[Home] [Accept Jesus] [More] [Previous] [Next]
035.000.000 Torrey: no
CONCEPTS OF DIVINITY
This chapter explains some concepts of
general theology. The Topics do not necessarily apply to the Father, Jesus, and
the Holy Spirit of the Bible.
None of the terms defined in this chapter
refers to a specific religion or denomination except 'triune deity' and Replacement
If you are reading this book from the beginning,
you can skip this chapter initially. You will need to read about Pantheism for
Chapter 40 and Deism for Chapter 50.
Philosophers and those who study comparative
religion have studied the concept of a divine being in the abstract.
Various religions have different concepts of divine being(s). Christianity is
monotheistic, not polytheistic, non-pantheistic and non-deistic. Those abstract
concepts will now be explained, in preparation for a discussion of the omnipresence
and personality of God.
In this chapter 'God' refers to the God of
Judaism and Christianity, whereas 'god' refers to either (a) the concept of
a divine being in the abstract, e.g. "a god is superior to man", or
(b) the being(s) worshipped by any non- Judeo-Christian religions.
Topic 12: Heresy
Heresy means false doctrine,
or false teachings.
POINT 12: Heresy
can result from an intention to mislead.
A teaching can be false because the teacher
knows it to be false and wants to mislead his listeners.
POINT 22: Heresy
can result from good-faith mistake.
Many modern Christians don't like to discuss
religion with non-Christians because "I know the person is sincere about
his religion." A false teaching done or believed in good faith is still
a false teaching.
POINT 32: Heresy
can result from misunderstanding or misinterpreting valid doctrine.
=== DISCUSSION ===
The Bible teaches that those who are not
saved will be destroyed. Many Christians wrongly interpret this
as "cease to exist."
As discussed in the chapter "The Future
Destiny of Unbelievers" (Torrey: p307, T:VIII, P:"Destruction":1),
this term means that something is ruined to the point where it cannot serve
the purpose for which it was designed.
POINT 42: Some doctrines
heretical to Christianity.
Some concepts discussed in this chapter are
considered heresy by Judeo-Christianity, e.g.:
(a) Deism. Christian doctrine:
God gets involved in the affairs of man. He led the Israelites out of Egypt
parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21),
and tumbled the walls of Jericho (Joshua
(b) Polytheism Christian
doctrine: the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the only God.
(c) Pantheism Christian
doctrine: God has always existed. He created Heaven and Earth. He is distinct
from that which He created.
(d) Replacement Theology Christian
doctrine: In Genesis 17:7
God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham.
(e) Universalism Christian
doctrine: God doesn't lie. He said He hates sin and those who do not accept
Jesus will be condemned to continual torment. He meant exactly what He said.
(f) Reincarnation Christian
9:27- 28  Just as man
is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,  so Christ was
sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second
time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Topic 22: Blasphemy
Blasphemy means to speak of
god in an impious manner.
=== DISCUSSION ===
Jesus and St. Stephen were condemned because
each said that Jesus was God. The Pharisees considered it blasphemy to claim
someone is the equal of God.
5:18 For this reason the
Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath,
but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
10:33 "We are not
stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy,
because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
19:7 The Jews insisted,
"We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed
to be the Son of God."
Topic 32: Prophesy:
future history divinely revealed.
Prophecy is future history
revealed by God in advance. In other words, the events prophesied have
already happened -- they just haven't happened yet. Prophecy
is different from fortune-telling, 'predicting the future', clairvoyance, or
'psychic predictions' because only prophecy is divinely-inspired. Any predictions
that are not divinely-inspired are not prophecy.
Prophecy is a direct revelation from God,
communicated through a man. It is a gift from God, not a power
or ability the man possesses. A true prophet cannot prophesy whenever he wishes
or on any subject he wishes, e.g., which horse will win a particular race or
what the price of a particular stock will be in six months. A true prophet can
only prophesy the things that God reveals to him.
Topic 42: The
source of basic law.
POINT 12: Basic
laws: laws involving moral issues.
There is a difference between 'basic' law
and 'mundane' law. Basic law has to do with issues of morality, e.g., is abortion
wrong. Mundane law has to do with everyday affairs, e.g., highway speed limits.
POINT 14: Legal
system: rules governing behavior, handed down by a governing authority.
A "legal system" is a set of rules
intended to encourage certain types of behavior and discourage other types of
behavior. It is decreed by a governing authority such as a legislature or a
military governor. On the other hand, rules set by an entity that lacks governing
authority are not a "legal system"; an example is a set of corporate
POINT 16: God's
Because God is a governing authority, each
of the following qualifies as a legal system or part of one:
(a) The Decalog (the Ten
Commandments) (b) The entire set of Old Testament
commandments (613) (c) The changes by Jesus
during His life on Earth
POINT 18: Jurisprudence:
the philosophy of law.
All legal systems have certain common traits.
Hence, certain analytical concepts can be applied to every legal system, even
God's legal systems. The study of the philosophy of law is called
Topic 52: Deism: god doesn't get involved.
Deism describes the relationship between
a god and his creation. A deistic god creates a universe and puts into it all
the necessary powers of self-action and development. He sets it going, and then
he sits back and watches passively.
Topic 62: Monotheism:
Monotheism deals with the nature of god.
A monotheistic religion believes that there is one god. The opposite is polytheism,
which believes that there are two or more gods.
Topic 72: Polytheism:
Polytheism is the opposite of monotheism.
A polytheistic religion believes that there is more than one god.
=== DISCUSSION ===
A prime example of modern polytheism is Mormonism.
This religion claims to be a Christian denomination and uses the name "The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." It claims to believe in the
Bible, Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. However, regarding the nature of
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of
the Mormon religion preached "these three constitute three distinct
personages and three Gods." Mormonism is really a polytheistic
religion, and hence, not Christian.
Topic 82: Triune
deity: One God consisting of three persons.
POINT 12: 'Triune'
The concept of a 'triune' deity deals with
the nature of God. Christianity believes there is a single God consisting of
three distinct persons. This 'three-in-one' concept is termed 'triune': 'tri'
meaning 'three' and 'une' meaning 'one'.
POINT 22: Unique
Christianity is unique in that it believes
there is only one God, but that God consists of three distinct persons.
=== DISCUSSION ===
The Koran, the scripture of the Moslem (also
spelled "Muslim") religion, says that Jesus was not God and is not
divine. Hence, Islam does not believe in the triune deity. In the Koran, a chapter
is called "sura."
4:157 (Koran) "But they
killed him [Jesus] not nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear
to them. They killed him not. Nay, God raised him up unto himself."
In other words, the Koran teaches that Christ
was not crucified or killed by some other means. God raised him directly up
into Heaven, as He did with Elijah and Enoch.
5:75 (Koran) "They do blaspheme
who say God is Christ, the Son of Mary."
5:78 (Koran) "Christ, the
Son of Mary, was no more than an apostle."
Some Christians erroneously believe that
Allah, the god worshipped by Moslems, is simply Jehovah under another name.
Consider, e.g. the official Catechism of the Catholic
Church, expressly approved in writing by Pope John Paul II. Point 841
Church's relationship with the Muslims. 'The plan of salvation also
includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom
are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together
with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.'"
(italics in the original)
POINT 32: Triunity
is not polytheistic.
Three persons in one God is not the same
as three separate gods, just as three persons in one family is not three separate
12:28 ... "Of all
the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important
one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God,
the Lord is one."
Topic 92: Pantheism : god is the universe and the universe is god.
The Judeo-Christian God is omnipresent. This
conception of God's location must be balanced by the conception
of God as a person, a distinct entity. Otherwise we run into the heresy known
as pantheism, i.e., the belief that god is not only everywhere
and in everything, but that god is everything and
everything is god. A pantheist believes that god has no existence separate from
that which he created.
Pantheism is a perception of a god's nature.
Religions that worship 'Nature', 'Mother Earth', 'the Universe', etc., are pantheistic.
Topic 102: Replacement
Theology: Jesus broke Jehovah's covenant
POINT 12: Replacement
Theology claims that Jesus cancelled (set aside) God's covenant with Israel.
This assertion in based on Hebrews 10:9 Then
he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the
first to establish the second. Hebrews
10:9 New American Bible reads ...
In other words, he takes away the first covenant to establish
27:51 At that moment the
curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and
the rocks split.
This excerpt is often interpreted as meaning
that the covenant with the Jews was torn up by the crucifixion of Jesus.
POINT 22: God made
an everlasting covenant with Abraham.
17:7-8  I will establish
my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and
your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the
God of your descendants after you.  The whole land of Canaan, where you are
now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants
after you; and I will be their God.
POINT 32: The tearing
of the curtain destroyed the separation imposed in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, the Temple was divided
into three sections. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, where
God would visibly manifest Himself. The Holy of Holies was separated from the
Inner Court by the curtain. Only Temple priests could enter the Inner Court,
and only Jews could enter the Outer Court.
When the curtain was torn in Matthew 27:51, God tore away that
which separated Him from His people. Christ's death opened the way to salvation
for all men, both Jew and Gentile; it tore down the curtain between
Jew and Gentile forever.
Torrey: p39, T:III
Topic 112: Universalism:
Everyone will be saved
Universalism can be summed up simply: "God
is telling the truth about the existence of Heaven, but He is lying about Hell.
Everyone will be saved, regardless of what they have done, and
whether they repent or not."
A similar view is "Okay, perhaps God
will condemn the absolute worst sinners, such as
Adolph Hitler, but He'll let most unrepentant sinners into Heaven."
There is a fundamental flaw in this logic:
if God will lie about Hell, why should we believe Him about Heaven? Why not
assume He is lying about Heaven, but telling the truth about Hell?
20:14 New American Bible If
a man marries a woman and her mother also, the man and the two women as well
shall be burned to death for their shameful conduct, so that such
shamefulness may not be found among you.
Chapter 20 contains a long list of crimes punishable by death.
is the only section that specifies death by fire, a particularly horribly painful
way to die. Anyone who can read that chapter and still believe God isn't telling
the truth about Hell is simply fooling himself.
Peter 2:4-9  For if
God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them
into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;  if he did not spare the ancient
world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a
preacher of righteousness, and seven others;  if he condemned the cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of
what is going to happen to the ungodly;  and if he rescued Lot, a righteous
man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men  (for that righteous
man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by
the lawless deeds he saw and heard) --  if this is so, then the Lord knows
how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day
of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
Topic 122: Reincarnation:
Souls repeatedly obtain new bodies.
Many non-Christian religions espouse reincarnation,
the belief that after a creature dies its soul goes into another creature, usually
at the birth of that creature. When the second creature dies, the soul moves
on to a third creature, and so on. Some religions teach that the type of new
creature and the events the new creature will face are determined by the karma
the previous creature accumulated, i.e., there is a supernatural 'record book'
of good and bad deed that follows the soul from one life to the next. Some religions
teach that souls can ultimately make up for all sins they have ever committed
and that when they do they reach Nirvana, i.e., they cease to
A common 'proof' of reincarnation is past-life
regression, usually done with hypnotic regression, an application of
hypnosis in which a person is mentally regressed to an earlier period in his
life. Under hypnosis, he recalls events in detail and can relive the events
as they occurred, including the emotions, pain, etc.
The early 1950's bestseller The Search
for Bridey Murphy describes how an amateur dabbling in hypnosis decided
to try regressing someone back to the womb. When he was successful, he tried
to regress the person even further, to see what would happen.
The person described an earlier life, in great detail, detail
the person could not possibly have known. Since the early 1980's, this technique
has become quite popular.
The Bible provides an alternative explanation
for the phenomenon of alleged past lives: contact with 'familiar spirits',
a polite word for demons. Such activity goes under many names,
some old, some new: spiritism, sorcery, shamanism, spirit guides, witchcraft,
channelling, mediums, 'remote viewing', 'scientific' remote viewing, fortune-telling,
wizardry. Such contact with the spirit world is so hateful to God that in Leviticus
20:27 A man or woman who
is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them;
their blood will be on their own heads.
19:31 Do not turn to mediums
or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your
[Top] [Home] [Accept Jesus] [More] [Previous] [Next]
(c) 1999-2003 by Rick Reinckens