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Elijah The Widow And Divine Election 1 Kings 17

Posted by Job on January 4, 2012

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.

In Luke 4:26-27, our Lord and God Jesus Christ tells us that God sent Elijah to a Gentile widow woman as opposed to a member of His elect nation. When His fellow Jews were reminded of this fact, they became enraged at Jesus Christ and attempted to murder Him. The reason – or the context – was that Jesus Christ challenged their presumptuous attitude towards God and their standing with Him; an attitude that was due to their faithlessness. Israel had placed their trust in the intellectual knowledge that they were the children of Abraham, as opposed to spiritual revelation concerning God’s nature. Hence is the difference between mere belief – which followers of Jesus Christ in in Name only possess (see the goats of Matthew 25:31-46) – and saving faith. The former is artificial, is the product of human reason and emotion, and does not endure until the end. A great example of this is the case of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:9-24, who made a human response to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the miracles worked in His Name – the Bible text says that he believed and was baptized – but never experienced new birth, as the apostle Peter testified that his heart was not right and he needed to experience true repentance. (Opponents of the so-called Lordship Salvation doctrine need to take note of Simon Magus). The latter is given only by God, and it always produces true repentance and legitimate salvation from which none can fall away.

Hence we should not be surprised that God sent Elijah to this widow woman. For though Israel was God’s elect nation, not all of Israel was elected unto eternal salvation. An example of this is Judas Iscariot, a Jew whom the Bible explicitly states is eternally damned to hell fire. Further, it is also clearly plain from the Bible that those elected by God unto salvation are not limited to national Israel. This is true of both New Testament times and Old Testament times. The signs are there that God sent Elijah to this widow woman because she was an elect Gentile, and hence a true daughter of Abraham and part of spiritual Israel, Israel of God as described by Paul in Galatians 6:16.

First, consider that this woman knew of God’s nature. In 1 Kings 17:12, this woman swore by God using Yĕhovah ‘elohiym chay, meaning as YHWH lives. By giving an oath upon this divine attribute, she recognized the God of Israel as the living God. Now contrast this with Darius, the pagan king of Medo-Persia during the time of Daniel. He referred to the God of Israel as the living God in Daniel 6, but he did not use the divine name (instead he used a more generic term for deity), further Darius was a polytheist, meaning that he believed in other gods (as evident by Daniel 6:7). Note that the decree of Darius in Daniel 6:25-28 commanded that everyone worship the God of Daniel, but (despite the claims of VeggieTales) did not command that YHWH be worshiped exclusively. Worship of other deities was still allowed, and in a polytheistic nation like Medo-Persia, it was obviously going to happen. Yet this widow woman made no reference to other gods, including the false deities of her own country and people. Thus, the knowledge of God of this widow woman exceeded that of King Darius.

Second, this woman obeyed the commandments of God. She knew that Elijah was an Israelite, and suspected him to be a prophet. When Elijah told her to feed him first with her last portion of food, and then feed herself and her son, against all reason and human nature, she obeyed God’s prophet, and through that action obeyed God Himself. She did this obedience through faith, even though it was yet in a seed form. And again, contrast the faithful obedience of this Gentile woman to the faithless rebellion of national Israel (save for the faithful remnant reserved for God by God’s divine decree) and also of those who claim to be Christians but are not like the goats of Matthew 25:31-46.

Third, this woman was aware of her sin condition before God, and it vexed her to a condition of penitence. This is in contrast with the self-righteousness of the Pharisees and Essenes in the time of Jesus Christ, and of Christians who believe in Jesus Christ only through the power of their own flesh (again i.e. Simon Magus). We know this because when her son died, the first thing that she attributes this great calamity to was her own sin (1 Kings 17:18)! She did not blame God directly by accusing Him, or blame Him indirectly by attributing this tragedy to the unfairness of life, but she asked if God sent His prophet to her to bring about the death of her son as punishment for her sins! And in this, she did not deny being sinful, nor did she deny the propriety of God’s punishing her for her sins!

In all of Israel, was there anyone who had this type of knowledge of the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and how sin has its wages, which is death? And how could anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, have this awareness except by divine revelation? And be not deceived, the knowledge of one’s sinful condition that causes true repentance comes only by Holy Spirit conviction! The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of his sin, gives the sinner the faith to believe the gospel, and then regenerates the sinner. We see in this narrative that this woman already knew of God and His nature, already knew of her sinfulness (and hence God’s holiness) and already knew of the dire consequences. Now we are beginning to see why God’s prophet was sent to this Gentile woman!

Finally, this woman sees the power of God, the revelation of God, through a miracle: the resurrection of her son. Now keep in mind: national Israel had seen the mighty works of God before and rebelled anyway, including virtually everyone who came out of Egypt. That generation perished in the desert because they lacked true God-given faith, and as a result fell away and tried to stone Moses and go back to Egypt! And in Elijah’s time, Israel SAW God miraculously expose and defeat the prophets of Baal, yet they (again save a remnant that God reserved to Himself, see Romans 11:4 and 1 Kings 19:18) soon began serving Baal again anyway! So where the non-elect have God revealed to them to no lasting positive effect (i.e. those who do not respond to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ) because of their faithless condition, this woman responded by saying that Elijah is a prophet of God and that the word of the Lord in his mouth was true.

Please do not walk away believing that this woman merely attested that Elijah was a reliable fortune-teller and wonder-worker after the fashion of not a few pagans. This woman spoke “dabar Yĕhovah peh ’emeth.” Ignore peh which only refers to Elijah being God’s vessel. Instead, focus on dabar Yĕhovah ’emeth. This means “the word of God is truth.” Again, she explicitly stated YHWH, the divine Name, which refers to the Holy Trinity and not merely God the Father (as some, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult and the equally false modern Judaism religion, mistakenly believe). “Dabar” means “word.” As we know from John 1 – and the apostle directly translated “dabar” into “logos”, and we know this from his citation of Old Testament texts – “dabar Yĕhovah” means “the Word of God.” The Word of God is none other than Jesus Christ. Emeth means “truth.” Hence when this woman exclaimed  dabar Yĕhovah ’emeth she stated “the Word of God is truth”, or “Jesus Christ is truth.” Thus, this woman bore witness of Jesus Christ, a true personal witness that could have only come by the Holy Spirit, and this is so both the Old Testament and New Testament dispensations (for lack of a better term).

Do you doubt? Well, emeth does not only mean “truth” or “true.” It can also mean “faithful.” So, who is referred to in the Bible as “faithful and true”? Why Jesus Christ in Revelation 3:14 and19:11. This Gentile woman in essence referred to two of the Names of Jesus Christ given in the Holy Spirit-inspired scriptures: the Word of God and Faithful and True!

So, she knew of God and His attributes. She obeyed God because of this belief. She knew of God’s holiness and her sin, of the consequences of this sin, and was truly repentant because of it. And she believed in – and publicly testified of – Jesus Christ. The only thing that this woman lacked from the salvation process given in the New Testament was those things that had not yet come to pass (the incarnation and passion of Jesus Christ) and yet her words lacked even less than many conversion techniques and pitches common in evangelical Christianity today! Hence, this widow woman was an Old Testament saint. And it was to this Old Testament saint, whose status as such was by the election and predestination of God the Father from the foundation of the world, that God’s prophet was sent despite her not being a member of national Israel. And therefore this widow woman was an Old Testament example of the New Testament doctrine given in Romans 10:12-13, Galatians 3:28-29, and Colossians 3:11.

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.

Be not deceived: though Elijah was not sent to a member of national Israel, he was definitely sent to a member of spiritual Israel. Whether Jew or Gentile, it is imperative that one must be a member of spiritual Israel so that one can reign forever with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem and avoid the wrath certain to come to those who are not members of this spiritual nation. If you wish to join Israel of God but do not know how, please read:

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Posted in Bible, Calvinism, discernment, election, evangelical, evangelical christian, faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Judaism, predestination, Reformed, salvation, soteriology, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Abijah And The Doctrines Of Grace 1 Kings 14:1-18

Posted by Job on January 1, 2012

I have the opinion that the case of Abijah in 1 Kings 14:1-18 can be used as an example to explain the doctrines of grace. My example does not deal directly with the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Old Testament saints; yet the principles of the doctrines of grace are still present. The text from Biblegateway appears below.

At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child. And Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman. And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now. For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. And Jeroboam’s wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died; And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.

The TULIP acronymn is often used to simplify and summarize the presentation of the doctrines of grace, often referred to as Reformed theology or Calvinism. Consider this to be TULIP as it pertains to this Abijah.

Total Depravity: 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us “in Adam all die”, a reference to original sin condition of all mankind that is the result of the disobedience of Adam, the originator and thus federal head of the entire human race. As Abijah is a descendant of Adam, he was considered a sinner, an enemy of God, separated from God, and dead to spiritual things. Romans 5:10-14 makes these facts, i.e. the state of our enmity with God, that this state and with it death was passed on to Adam’s descendants, clear. Note that it is because of this total depravity due to original sin that God can declare a death sentence on an entire family based on the actions of one person – as God did to the line of Jeroboam, father of Abijah, because of Jeroboam’s wicknedness and idolatry – and not be called unjust.

Unconditional election: God declared that of all the house of Jeroboam, only Abijah would receive an honorable burial. The reason for this was not because of the righteousness of Abijah, for Abijah was a child (so described by Hebrew word na’ar in verse 3 and yeled in verses 12 and 17). And God did not make a special case for Abijah because of his age, as God ordered the destruction of juveniles in many other cases, including the firstborn in Egypt. Instead, the reason why Abijah alone of the line of Jeroboam was given honor by God before all Israel was “because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel.” This good thing was grace; of God’s choosing Abijah and Abijah alone “in the house of Jeroboam”, the wicked king who turned Israel to idols. The election of the child Abijah was an act of a sovereign God alone, which Abijah having no ability to either consent to or reject the decree of El Shaddai.

Limited Atonement (though I prefer the Baptistic term particular atonement instead): in a dream the angel of the Lord revealed to Joseph concerning Jesus Christ that He would save His people from their sins (Mat 1:21). “His people” does not refer to national Israel, but the church, those called righteous and redeemed in both Old Testament and New Testament times. Jesus Christ stated that His death was not intended for all, but only for His friends in John 15:13-14. Note that Jesus Christ spoke those words not in public, but only to the apostles at the last supper, and moreover after Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, had been dismissed from the room – and from the scope of Jesus Christ’s words as pertaining to whom Jesus Christ called His friends and for whom He was going to die – in John 13:27. God gave Abijah an honorable physical death because Abijah was considered by the calling and election of God – and God so chose Abijah and not Abijah God in accordance to the words of Jesus Christ in John 15:16 – and as such Abijah was God’s friend. Jeroboam and the rest of Abijah’s house, however, was not.

Irresistible grace:  Revelation 13:8 reveals that Abijah’s name was written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 reveals that Abijah was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Abijah was called to God as a juvenile, and died as a juvenile. As such, Abijah had no opportunity to resist, defy or undo God’s plan to save him. As a result, the standing of Abijah before God declared in 1 Kings 14:13, “in him there is found some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel”, was going to be retained; this decree of God was going to come to pass.

Perseverance of the saints: Abijah was a child in a household that was totally given over to idolatry. Jeroboam, his father, chose idolatry to retain his political power. Further, his mother was the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh Shishak. Had Abijah lived to adulthood, he would have been reared and molded in this revolting spiritual environment. A study of the Kings and Chronicles books of the Bible reveals that pagan queens (of Judah and Israel) generally resulted in their sons’ being pagan kings. This Abijah should be considered an Old Testament “type” of the “once saved always saved” doctrine where Jesus Christ stated “no one will snatch them out of my hand” (concerning those given to God the Son by God the Father) in John 10:29.

So, the case of young Abijah, a child redeemed from the wickedness of the house of Jeroboam, was honored in death (though premature death was considered regrettable in Israel, the manner of his death was still preferable in that culture to that of the rest of his family) and had this honorable state and status before God preserved in the the Bible by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, can hence be used to understand the doctrines of grace. This is not some mere exercise, but rather our understanding of the doctrines of grace should give us ever more reason to worship, praise and glorify the God who grants this grace, for it is only by this grace that we are able to receive so great a salvation.

Have you experienced the grace of God? If you have not, I urge you to follow

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Why We Should Preach The Gospel To All Men

Posted by Job on May 27, 2011

Exodus 7:1-5 is a passage that I find fascinating.

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, [and] my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

As for “See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh”,  I am not going to touch that text with a ten foot pole. It is not that this text is unimportant, for it is, and has a meaning in this context and in the larger narrative of the interactions between Moses and pharaoh and the Exodus from Egypt. Instead, it is that I simply do not know with a certainty what the text means, and will not pretend to. I will say that this statement is part of why I find this passage to be so engaging, but not the majority part.

Instead, this passage shows us the primary reason for evangelism. Despite what we often believe, indeed what we want to believe, the primary purpose of evangelism is not to convert poor sinners. Again, the primary purpose of sinners is not the conversion of the lost! And that, dear Christian, is precisely why we should not submit to the oft-cited justification for God-dishonoring (i.e. deceptive, abusive, or man-exalting) evangelism tactics, or for having people holding church offices that do not meet the Bible’s qualifications for them: “See how it wins people to Jesus Christ!” If we make winning converts the chief goal of evangelism, and evangelism the chief duty of the church, then so long as converts are being made, anything goes, the “greater good” is being served, and the ends justify the means, right? Well, this passage, this early Old Testament passage from the Torah, reveals the error in that thinking, and the excuse-making and dissembling based on it!

In this passage, God tells Moses to go preach to Pharaoh. The message preached to Pharaoh includes God’s identity – the God of Israel, the God of Israel, and yes Moses did use the Divine Name, YHWH or Jehovah, in the course of stating His identity – and God’s commands, which is to be believed, submitted to, and worshiped according to the manner that God instructs. Also, though this passage does not contain it, the message given to Pharaoh contained a warning of judgment that would come to him and his nation if he responded with disobedience out of faithlessness, or unbelief. Moses and Aaron told pharaoh that regardless of his belief and obedience or lack thereof, God’s purposes would still come to pass, and God’s people would be saved, and those who were not God’s people would be judged for their wickedness. Further, God told pharaoh through Moses and Aaron (maybe that is the meaning of … oh never mind!) that the word being preached to him would be verified with signs and wonders. So, make no mistake, the message that God told Moses (and Aaron) to reveal to pharaoh was a protoevangelism, a prototype or type of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Moses gave to pharaoh a message that was the forerunner of the gospel of the Prophet like Moses who was to come, the message that the church has carried and borne within itself through trials, temptations and tribulations ever since. From this, we can assert that evangelism that omits the identity of God (as not only Saviour but Lord and Judge), the deliverance from sin (which requires repentance), the horrible judgment on those who reject the message out of disbelief, and that this message is verified by the great miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, a fact attested to by above 500 eyewitnesses, is not legitimate evangelism. How could evangelism that actually contains less than the word of the Lord that Moses gave to pharaoh over 1000 years before the coming of Jesus Christ be legitimate, and what excuse is there for withholding any portion of the word that Moses did not other than our possessing a sinful shame and offense towards the word of God because of our love for this present world that Moses did not have, so much so that Moses rejected the pleasures of the Egypt in order to suffer many things in God’s service (Hebrews 11:24-27) ?

Now even the mere fact that Moses preached a type of the gospel to pharaoh is sufficient to fascinate the mind and stir the soul. But wait … there’s still yet more! What is really amazing is that God told Moses in advance that pharaoh would not listen! “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart … but Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you.” So, God told Moses to preach the gospel to one whose heart was hardened! God told Moses to preach the gospel to one that Moses already knew was not elect! God told Moses to preach the gospel to one that was reprobate, and would not be saved! One whose God’s heart had hardened, was irrevocably lost, and as a result had no more chance of believing the gospel than did the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot. Like Judas Iscariot, it would have been better for pharaoh had he never been born. Make no mistake, without faith it is impossible to please God, and faith comes not from man but from God, a gift of the sovereign Holy Spirit given to those that God the Father has elected unto salvation before the foundation of the world. Pharaoh’s heart, hardened by original sin, was going to remain that way despite the preaching of the gospel to him because it was not in the decree of God that pharaoh was one who would be saved.

So, the question must be asked: why preach to a man like this? Is that not a waste of time and effort? Now, the easy answer to this is “We are supposed to preach to all people because only God knows those that He has elected to salvation, and we are not to attempt to act in God’s place by presuming to judge and know who He has elected and who He has not.” While this is 100% factual in general, in this case it is not so, for God had already informed Moses of pharaoh’s state! Again, God informed Moses in advance that pharaoh would not listen, and sent Moses to preach the protoevangelium to pharaoh anyway! Despite the fact that he was going to “fail” (with respect to the attempt to get pharaoh to acknowledge the revelation of God, repent of his sins and obey the revelation), God sent Moses anyway!

And the question is why? Does God set people up for failure? And if God sent Moses to deliver His word, can the Word of God fail? Does not the Bible say that the Word of God does not return null and void, but instead will accomplish the thing that God purposes (Isaiah 55:11)? How can that be true in this case? The answer is simply this: God did not sent Moses to preach the gospel to pharaoh so that pharaoh could be converted. God’s purpose in having Moses preach was not man. It was not pharaoh. Instead, God’s purposes in having Moses preach was God. It was so that God would be glorified. This purpose is hinted at in this specific passage with “And the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the LORD” but is given more explicitly later, when God states that through judging Egypt and accomplishing Israel’s exodus, He would be glorified before pharaoh, before Egypt, and before the world!

Make no mistake, this passage establishes convincingly the truth that we preach the gospel primarily to glorify God, and that God is glorified whether converts result or not. Indeed, when converts do happen, God receives the double honor and glory, for God is glorified by the preaching, and God is glorified by the conversion, particularly since it is God who accomplishes conversion and not man. The notion that we evangelize chiefly to win converts is man-centered doctrine and practice and must be abandoned.

The notion that we evangelize primarily to glorify God is Biblical truth, which is God-centered doctrine and practice, and must be internalized by every Christian. And once we realize that the primary purpose of evangelism is to glorify God, then we can no longer suffer God-dishonoring methods and God-dishonoring people or institutions with our support and acceptance. We will also no longer compare the apparent, temporal “success” of the God-dishonoring tactics and people with the true spiritual fruit of those who labor according to God’s will and thereby glorify Him! Should we mock God in the service of exalting the cause of saving man, and then claim that God is served, glorified and pleased by the saving of man? God forbid!

Though man, being the work of God’s Hands, is very precious to God, God is more important than man. Though man has great value, and it is a terrible thing for a man’s soul to be lost to eternal torment, the value of God far exceeds the value of not only each individual man, but the collective value of all men that ever lived and ever shall live! God is more valuable than His creation, and it is the chief duty of God’s creation to obey and glorify its Creator! Suffering practice that dishonors God and leaders who disobey God rejects this truth of Biblical revelation in favor of the lie that man is more important than God, or equal in rank or value with God, and it is the duty of God, that God is somehow beholden, to conform Himself, to lower Himself, to humble Himself, and accept whatever man chooses to give Him. If this is the case, then why did God reject the offering of Cain, and what was His basis, rationale, or justification for it? How could God have been just in His rejection and judgment of Cain? How can God be just in His judgment of anybody? God forbid that this should be the truth!

Instead, the truth is that Jesus Christ the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Jesus Christ! The truth is that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. This means that our evangelism must not and cannot be to us-ward with the chief goal and end being man and his salvation but to God-ward with the chief goal and end being God and His glory. That was why God sent Moses and Aaron to preach a type of the gospel to pharaoh, and that is why God’s Son has sent His church to preach the fulfillment of the gospel to every creature. We must first reject the false teachers who claim that the gospel is for some and not all – which apparently is an aberrant unscriptural form of Calvinism that Charles Spurgeon and William Carey contended against in their day – and then reject the leaven who claims that winning converts justifies the corruption in the message, the evangelist and the institution! Please recall that Jesus Christ said that many who will perform evangelism and do many other great works in His Name will be counted as goats and cast into eternal flame (Matthew 25:31-46 with Matthew 7:21-23). The goats are those who do perform work, but as the man-pleasers do, and not in spirit and truth. They are double-minded, calling on God but seeking to please man. As a result, they are disobedient goats, not obedient sheep.

To glorify God, Christians, all Christians no matter their age, sex, race, class, status, church office, etc. must share the gospel oft, and do so in a manner that glorifies God by submitting to God through obedience. It is those who are the true laborers in the harvest of the Lord. So, fellow Christian, I urge that you would pray to the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest, and also that you would be counted among those labourers that He sends!

If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge, entreat and implore you not to respond with unbelief and rejection as did pharaoh, for if you do, you will receive pharaoh’s reward, which is horrible judgment. Indeed, where pharaoh’s punishment as recorded in Exodus was bad enough, as it was a punishment in this life, it was only a type of the punishment to come, which is exceedingly grievous and eternal in its duration! Do not follow after the folly of pharaoh! Instead, repent of your sins, believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. Follow the link below to find out how.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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Limited Atonement Or Universalism? Romans 4:25 Means That You Must Choose!

Posted by Job on May 26, 2011

Most Christians believe that the atonement of Jesus Christ was universal, for all. Some believe that the atonement of Jesus Christ was for those given to Him by God the Father via divine election. The Christians who adhere to the majority view, then, must deal with Romans 4:25. This verse speaks concerning our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Now “delivered for our offences” means the atonement of Jesus Christ. Again, if you reject limited atonement (or the form of this doctrine that is more palatable to contemporary human sensitivities, “particular atonement”) in favor of universal atonement or unlimited atonement, then you believe that Jesus Christ was “delivered for the offences” of all mankind.

But there are two problems with this. First, Romans 4:25 does not say that Jesus Christ died for the offenses of all! Instead, it says that Jesus Christ died for “our offences!” Who is in view with “our”? Romans 4:24 makes it crystal clear: “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Further, the several preceding verses speak of righteousness imputed to Abraham, and that this righteousness is likewise only imputed to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Thus, the by context the “our” in Romans 4:25 is the believers only, and the text makes it clear that it is the sins of the believers only that Jesus Christ died for.

While that is a considerable hurdle – the plain explicit statement and meaning of the Bible text that precludes other interpretations unless one changes the meanings of the words or opts for some symbolic, allegorical or spiritual interpretation – it actually may not be the biggest issue with universal atonement doctrines that Romans 4:25 presents. Instead, this is posed by “and was raised again for our justification.” Now the “and” that appears in this translation is not a conjunction that was absent in the original language but added to the translation for clarity and readability, as is often done. Instead, the “and” is explicitly there in the Greek by way of the word “kai.” And “kai” is not merely “and” in the sense of a trivial, coincidental or weak relationship, but it is also often translated to be “both”, “likewise” or “indeed” indicating to things that must be taken together, such as one being dependent upon another, or one being a logical consequence or conclusion of the other. So make no mistake: the “our” of the atonement in Romans 4:25 is the “our” of the justification, with the atoning act in the former being the death on the cross, and the justifying act of the latter being Christ’s resurrection of the dead.

Now those of us who believe in limited atonement interpret this text consistently, meaning the “our” in “Who was delivered for our offences” and the “our” in “was raised again for our justification” refers to the same group of people. We hold that the same people for whom Jesus Christ died for, the faithful and elect, were the same ones for whom Jesus Christ was raised for and justified. However, universal atonement or unlimited atonement interprets this text inconsistently. For them, the “our” of the atonement is everyone, and the “our” of the justification is only those who believe by faith. Moreover, where limited atonement makes the death and resurrection, the atonement and justification work, as a unity as the text of Romans 4:25 states (remember the explicit “kai”) AND the gospel narratives clearly bear witness of (Jesus Christ NEVER separated His death from His resurrection) universal atonement separates them. Where unlimited atonement views the cross as making salvation possible for all and the resurrection as justifying only some, limited atonement views the cross and the resurrection as saving AND justifying some. Limited atonement makes atonement and justification the result of the same act in eternity – the decree by God the Father to send God the Son to effect salvation – where universal atonement makes atonement and justification the result of separate acts in creation, where the death of God’s Son was one act for one group and the resurrection of God’s son was another act for another group (or more accurately a subset of the larger group which benefited from the first act).

This dichotomy, this separation of the atonement and justification, of death and resurrection, cannot be supported by the text of Romans 4:25. It cannot be supported by the gospel accounts, especially the teachings of Jesus Christ. And it also cannot be supported by the epistles. With that being the case, Romans 4:25 is not an issue of universal atonement versus limited or particular atonement among those who believe that not all will be saved (as the Bible plainly declares, with Judas Iscariot being the most explicit example, the one whom Jesus Christ said that it would have been better for him had he never been born and called the son of perdition who was lost). Instead, the issue is whether the universal atonement described by the first phrase results in a universal justification given in the second phrase. The Greek text of Romans 4:25 leaves no other option, and neither does the context. If the “our” in view is all people, then “all people” are children of Abraham, which means that “all people” believe, which means that “all people” will be justified.

Please do not view this as seizing upon a single verse for the purposes of advancing a doctrine, for as mentioned earlier, the joining together of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is done in many times in the Bible, both prophesied in the Old Testament and borne witness of in the New Testament. So what is it going to be? Limited atonement or universalism? Romans 4:25 permits no other option. And as the Bible clearly declares universalism to be false (again, as Judas Iscariot is the prime example among humanity) you must repent of your sins and have faith in Jesus Christ to benefit from His death and resurrection. If you have not, I urge you to do so now!

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Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, Jesus Christ, limited atonement, Reformed, universalism | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Which Is Easier To Say?

Posted by Job on May 26, 2011

And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This [man] blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. Matthew 9:2-7

I have three observations from this passage.

1. Jesus Christ saw that this man had faith and then acted. Thus, faith was prior. This contradicts the curious doctrine held by many Reformed or Calvinistic believers that regeneration precedes faith. Now this doctrine has some merit, but only from an eternal viewpoint, from the perspective of the transcendent God who exists outside of time. This transcendent God chose His people, the ones who would be saved, from before the foundation of the world, and when He did so, it was done. Those people were considered saved, spared the wrath to come, and nothing could be done to nullify or revoke this fact. However, the eternal viewpoint is not the only viewpoint. God is not only transcendent, apart from time and creation (denying this, making God a part of creation, is the bedrock of so many false religions) but immanent with respect to creation, meaning that God does maintain a presence in time-space – indeed this presence is omnipresent – and sustains it (denying this is deism, among many other false systems), and then there was immanence par excellence by way of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. So while the salvation of the elect was an accomplished matter as soon as God decreed it before the foundation of the world, the regeneration of human beings happens at a specific time and place that God has also decreed. Compare this with the death of Jesus Christ for the sins of the elect on the cross. That Jesus Christ would do this thing was decreed by God the Father in eternity before creation was accomplished. However, God also declared that accomplishing atonement would happen by way of His Son’s entering space-time, dying on the cross at a specified time and place in a manner that fulfilled prophecies from earlier times and diverse places, and being likewise raised from the dead. Though this act accomplished salvation for all the elect regardless of time, the cross nonetheless happened at a particular time. It would be therefore be improper to say “the atonement preceded Jesus Christ going to the cross” if for no other reason than the Bible’s specifically stating otherwise. In like manner, this example shows that one cannot say that regeneration precedes faith. In this text, Jesus Christ saw that faith already present in the man, and forgave his sins. Though faith is not of man but of God, a gift of the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestowed upon the elect according to the decree before the foundation of the world of the Ancient of Days, who is God the Father, this example shows that the Godhead is glorified by the Holy Spirit’s first giving a person faith and then accomplishing the work of regeneration that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross made possible. (I am aware that people were regenerated by the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament prior to Jesus Christ’s atonement, with the deathless ascensions of Enoch and Elijah being the chief examples, but this was based on looking forward to the atoning act that Jesus Christ would accomplish at a particular place in time. Even in these cases, regeneration did not precede faith, and as the epistle to the Hebrews conclusively lays out, atonement did not precede the cross.)

2. Though “regeneration precedes faith” is a doctrinal aberration adhered to by some Calvinists, Reformed soteriology is also confirmed by this text. For at what point did the paralytic man exercise his free will? At what point did this paralytic man ask for his sins to be forgiven and to be saved? This paralytic man did have faith, mind you, and this faith was in whatever relevation of the Person of Jesus Christ that he had access to (for the Lord was not yet lifted up on the cross for sins, nor had He yet risen from the dead). But make no mistake: he came to Jesus Christ expecting to be healed! Even if he presumed that his paralysis was due to sin on his part (and the Bible makes it clear in the book of Job and when Jesus Christ healed the man born blind in the gospel of John that such is a false assumption!) the text and the context of this episode does not reveal that this paralytic had the priestly role of Jesus Christ in mind when he sought the Christ’s aid. It should also be noted that even the unbelievers in this episode did not challenge Jesus Christ’s ability to heal this man, but to forgive his sins! So, this man went to Jesus Christ expecting to be physically healed and thereby fulfilled his human responsibility of exercising his God-given faith (though this faith existed in the context of limited human knowledge) and when Jesus Christ being sovereign God saw that the faith given by the sovereign God the Holy Spirit was present in this man, Jesus Christ acted sovereignly, of His own initiative, unasked and uninvited (this man did not “ask Jesus Christ into his heart” or “say a sinner’s prayer”!) to save this man from his sins! And when the sovereign God acted in this manner, the paralytic had no say in the manner. He could not reject, refuse or undo it, nor could he truly even consent to it! This text, this example clearly demonstrates unconditional election and irresistible grace.

3. Point 1, that regeneration does not precede faith, and point 2, that unconditional election and irresistible grace are true doctrines, should inform our evangelism. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God says God the Holy Spirit in Romans 10:17. Regeneration happens when – in accordance with the time and place chosen by the Ancient of Days – one who has been elected unto salvation and given to Jesus Christ in eternity but from the temporal perspective is unregenerate encounters Jesus Christ through the preaching of the gospel, receives the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit, and is saved by the work of the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:14 asks us rhetorically “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” The Holy Spirit does not give faith apart from the preaching of the gospel, and the Holy Spirit does not regenerate in the absence of this faith.

Yet, the gospel is oft not being preached! A form of the gospel, perhaps, but not the gospel. The gospel of good works is often substituted where we try to draw people to Jesus Christ by being good, loving moral people so that we won’t have to use words. The Roman Catholic Francis of Assisi did say “preach the gospel, and use words if necessary”, but that is not Romans 10:14 or Romans 10:17. Also, a gospel of politics and social action is offered up to draw people to Jesus Christ, whether it is the conservative one of opposing abortion and homosexuality or the liberal one of relieving poverty and opposing political oppression. Yes, the Bible speaks of morality and justice on a personal and societal level, but those are in the interests of revealing God’s attributes and nature to mankind, and accepting only some of God’s attributes and not God Himself is but idolatry. Yet, these and other such flawed, distorted gospel presentations, which amounts to either Christless evangelism or evangelism that presents a false Christ, are common, even dominant.

Why? Well the answer is given in the text. When Jesus Christ presented the gospel – presented Himself in His priestly role and His divine prerogatives that bore witness to His identity as God in the flesh – what happened? He was opposed. He was hated. He was rejected. He experienced trials and persecution. “And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This [man] blasphemeth.” And the same thing happens to us when we present Jesus Christ as God who is not only Savior but Lord and Judge! That is what happens when we tell people that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and unless we repent of our sins, believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation and love Him by keeping His commandments! We experience opposition! We face persecution!

Now instead of accepting what the Bible says when it tells us that we will receive opposition just as Jesus Christ did, that we will be scorned and rejected just as Jesus Christ was, because He is our Master and the servant is not greater than his master, we decide that the problem is either us or the message. We decide that if we are experiencing opposition, it is because something is wrong with us and we need to change. We decide that if we are experiencing rejection, it is because something is wrong with the message and the message needs to change. So, in order to gain carnal acceptance, we take Christ out of the message. When we deny that Jesus Christ is the only way, we deny Christ. When we deny that true repentance means turning away from sins and living in obedience to Jesus Christ, we deny Jesus Christ. When we deny that God alone saves us, and not works or membership in a church, we deny Jesus Christ. And when we deny or omit the reality of eternal judgment and damnation for sinners, we deny Jesus Christ.

And why do we do this? Go back to the text. “For whether is easier, to say, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?” We do it because it is easier! Again, the scribes who persecuted Jesus Christ with their blasphemy in this episode were willing to accept Jesus Christ the teacher, because there were many teachers. They were willing to accept Jesus Christ the prophet, for there had been several prophets. They were willing to accept Jesus Christ the priest, for there were many priests. They were willing to accept Jesus Christ the king, for there had been several kings. They were willing to accept Jesus Christ the miracle-worker, for there had been miracle workers. What they were not willing to accept was Jesus Christ as God, as the one God, as their God! Had Jesus Christ merely been willing to be accepted, He could have just healed the man’s paralysis and ignored that man’s sin. For what? So that man would have been well and whole and therefore able to walk into the lake of fire for eternity instead of being carried there? Is that what would have been in that man’s interests? How? Or had Jesus Christ merely been willing to avoid rejection by His own people and persecution, even the death on the cross, He could have just overthrown the Romans and been made emperor of the world with Jerusalem as the capital and Israel the chief people. After all, didn’t Satan offer Jesus Christ the very same deal during His temptation in the desert? But the people would have enjoyed the earthly benefits of Jesus Christ’s imperial rule during their lives only to be cast into the lake of fire after they died, because no atonement would have been made for their sins!

So, Jesus Christ didn’t just take the easy way in merely presenting Himself to this man as his Healer, a role that He knew that the faithless unelect would accept Him. Instead, He presented Himself to this man as his God, a role that He knew would be rejected by the faithless and the reprobate! Jesus Christ took the hard way! He asked “Which is it easier to do, forgive his sins or heal him” and did the hard part, which was promise this man’s salvation at that time, and then be the personal guarantor, the personal surety of that salvation when He went to the cross later! But now, so many of us who presume to speak and teach in Jesus Christ’s Name despise the hard road that Jesus Christ took for the easy road. Which is easier to say? Repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ lest you perish for eternity? Or “I am pro-life?” Or “I support family values?” Or “America is a Christian nation founded on Biblical principles?” Or “marriage was created by God to be between one man and one woman?” Or “I stand with Israel?” Or “no justice, no peace!” Or “help the poor, the orphans and the widows”? Or “judge not”? Or “let he who is without sin cast the first stone!” Or “we must be good stewards of the environment and of our bodies?” Or “God is love”? While Biblical support can be found for all of those notions (provided that they are given in context) the point is that they fall short of the message of Jesus Christ, and fall particularly fall short of the message of Jesus Christ crucified for our sins and resurrected for our justification! The message of eternal life and worship of God to those who believe, and of woe and sorrow exceeding for those who do not!

And why do we avoid persecution by saying the easy things instead of the hard ones? Because though we profess to love God first with all our heart, soul and strength as the chief commandment requires us, the truth is that we love ourselves more. Because we love ourselves more, we love the world and the things in it more. That is being double-minded, and the epistle of James reminds us that such a person will never receive a thing from God, and that includes the free gift of salvation. So, Christian evangelist, I urge you to make your calling and election sure. Get off the easy way and take the hard way. Bear witness of the true Jesus Christ with the true gospel today, and do not withhold Jesus Christ and the gift of faith from your fellow man because you value yourself so much than you value your fellow man. If you are unwilling to experience persecution to liberate your fellow man from sin and death by preaching him the gospel, how can you say that you love him? And if you do not love your fellow man, whom you see every day, how can you say that you love God whom you do not see? The Bible asks the same question and you know the answer. Do not blaspheme Christ by saying that which is easy! Glorify Jesus Christ by telling the world the truth of Him.

If you have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, I urge you to do so right now.

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Posted in abortion, abortion rights, Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, evangelism, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, Reformed, religion | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Salvation Only Requires A Mustard Seed Of Faith!

Posted by Job on April 13, 2011

An old essay of mine on faith as it relates to salvation and Christian living used for an experiment of mine in using a text-to-voice translator for making videos for sharing sites. Any feedback is appreciated!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, faith, false doctrine, false teaching, Jesus Christ, Reformed, salvation, soteriology | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Spiritual Warfare In The Parable Of The Sower

Posted by Job on April 6, 2011

According to many popular spiritual warfare teachers, a major battlefield for spiritual warfare (binding and rebuking demons) and warfare prayer or directed prayer (praying against demons, their areas of influence and their activities) relates to evangelism and missions. These doctrines teach that there are powerful demons opposing the spread of the gospel by acting not just against comprehension and acceptance of this gospel of Jesus Christ in the minds of individuals, but that they keep entire regions, population groups, nations etc. in spiritual bondage. Sometimes it is through false religions and sinful practices, other times it may be government officials working to intimidate Christians, stop the building of churches, limit the distribution of Bibles, etc. There is a huge body of evangelism and missionary literature available that deals with this subject, and many large, respected Christian seminaries and Bible colleges deal with this issue in some fashion or another, including offering entire courses related to it, including how to stage and support successful evangelistic revivals. So it begs the question: how Biblical are the doctrines involved?

To answer, there does not seem to be a wealth of Bible texts that depicts the assumption of this scenario: that there is this huge swath of people that would receive the gospel and be converted if only demonic opposition were removed from the way. This is not to say, mind you, that these references are wholly nonexistent.

Revelation 2 and 3

Revelation 2 and 3 speaks of opposition to the churches in the way of false religious doctrines and persecution that may be influenced by demons. See the reference to the blasphemy of the “synagogue of Satan” as well as the “tribulation ten days” attacking Smyrna. Pergamos being located “even where Satan’s seat is” (a reference to the church’s proximity to a center of pagan emperor worship) and the martyrdom of Antipas, and accepted the false doctrines of Balaam and Balac (idolatry/sexual immorality) and the Nicolataines.

Thyatira adhered to the Jezebel doctrines (idolatry/sexual immorality) which is referred to as “the depths of Satan”. Philadelphia is being persecuted and withstood by another reference to “the synagogue of Satan.” However, no demonic persecution is apparent regarding Laodicea, Sardis or Ephesus. Instead, those churches – and presumably their evangelistic activities – were being hindered by love of the flesh and its works thereof, and this was particularly the case with Laodicea, who fell in love with money, prestige and power.

Also, even the churches that did have problems with demonic influences, it appears that in some cases those problems existed because what the evil influences offered appealed to the flesh – the fallen natures – of the church members, and the churches yielded to the temptation not so much of the evil spirits as of the flesh. This appears to particularly be a problem with Thyatira and Pergamos. By inviting demonic problems with their own carnality, those two churches were really no different from Laodicea, Sardis and Ephesus, in that the root cause of their problems was the carnality, not the evil spirits.

That is why Jesus Christ gives Thyatira and Pergamos the same remedy that He gives Laodicea, Sardis and Ephesus: repentance and return to true worship of Jesus Christ in holiness, sound doctrine and Godly fear. One should also note that regarding the two churches that did not provoke demonic persecution with their carnality or spiritual immaturity – Philadelphia and Smyrna – Jesus Christ does not tell them to respond to the demonic tormentors with spiritual warfare, but instead tells them to be faithful in the midst of trials by relying on Him and on His work, His promises and His faithfulness (see Revelation 3:8-10 and 2:10)!

So, regarding the demonic opposition that rises up against missionary work (and everything else), from what Jesus Christ told the churches concerning this opposition, we can take the position that His position is the same as that of the Holy Spirit speaking to and through Paul concerning his thorn in the flesh (a demon that tormented him) in 2 Corinthians 12:9’s “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Rather than going into spiritual warfare/deliverance over their oppression, the church was to heed the next verse’s admonition: “take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak , then am I strong.” So, rather than attempting to overcome this opposition with our own warfare tactics, we are to put our trust in the sovereignty and power of God to overcome them on our behalf for His glory. Our duty, then, is to be faithful to God by keeping His commandments.

Simon Magus

Another reference is that of Simon Magus in Acts 8-9. Using false religion akin to witchcraft and the occult, Simon Magus opposed the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Samaria. How was this demonic stronghold defeated? Not by spiritual warfare to bind it, or by directed prayer against it. Instead, Philip the evangelist simply kept preaching, and the Holy Spirit used his preaching to break down that stronghold Himself, and the Samaritans were converted. Demon spirits cannot withstand the power of God! Indeed, even Simon Magus believed the gospel! Though this Magus was not regenerated and went on to become a notorious opponent of the gospel and advocate of a gnostic syncretist system, even his form of belief – that lacked the power of Godliness – was evidence of the triumph of the sovereignty of God over against the works of both man and evil spirits.

The Whole Armour of God

Ephesians 6:10-18 is probably the most vital text to spiritual warfare/deliverance/directed prayer teachings. It reads:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand . 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

This passage may well seem to contain a treasure trove of spiritual warfare teachings, exhortations and methodology, especially if it is interpreted more spiritually than literally. Verse 11-12’s meaning, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places“, is impossible to dispute. However, the problem is that this passage is not quoted in its entirety when spiritual warfare teaches use it. So, consider verses 19 and 20, which complete the section and the thought.

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Recall that Paul is in a Roman prison for preaching the gospel at the time that he wrote this epistle. Rather than being some text on spiritual warfare that fails to reveal any warfare methods or practices and is of a sort that exists nowhere else in the canon of scripture, Paul was merely exhorting the church to preach the gospel, to pray for the spread of the gospel, and to pray for him specifically that he would not succumb to his flesh by allowing the persecution that he was experiencing (in jail) to cause him to either stop preaching the gospel, or even worse, to start preaching it in a way or manner that would minimize offense and better his situation.

Paul did reveal the truth that evil spirits were ultimately behind the spread of the gospel and his imprisonment, and that these spirits were the ones motivating the religious and political leadership to oppose Christianity in general and him specifically. But Paul’s purpose of doing this was to prevent his followers from using secular or temporal methods (i.e. political maneuverings or intrigue) to get him out of jail (recall that from Acts that Festus would have released Paul to the Christians had he been bribed) or overcome opposition to the gospel, but to instead rely on God. And, through the use of a military metaphor to make his words memorable (just as Paul used athletic metaphors for the same reason), Paul stated that this reliance on God and His will, being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might in order to stand against this Babylon system, meant possessing or exhibiting truth, righteousness, faith, prayer, salvation, and the gospel of peace (or of Jesus Christ).

Now had Paul simply written “go and be truthful, righteous, faithful, exhibit evidence of your salvation, preach the gospel boldly, and pray for yourselves and me also”, it would not been nearly as memorable, or as effective in the ears of the original hearers. However, it also would not have been the subject of such curious interpretations and applications as it has been through the years. One problem is that so many spiritual warfare teachers take this text as justification for their binding/rebuking/casting out doctrines and practices while ignoring what the text actually commands, which is truth, righteousness, faith, exhibiting fruits of possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A particularly great irony: Paul wrote this text specifically so that the church would not have temporal aspirations or use secular (or spiritual) means to get them, but instead to keep their eyes fixed on God and eternity. However, spiritual warfare teachers, particularly those in dominion theology, use this verse to mean that Christians should use spiritual warfare against demons that control government and religions for the purposes of asserting political, social and economic control over nations and ultimately the globe. So where the Holy Spirit spoke that text through Paul commanding Christians to be patient, faithful and reliant on God, this verse is being misapplied by men who misuse Christ’s Name while pursuing their own thirst for power.

The spiritual wickedness in high places will be overcome by Jesus Christ, and not by man, and yes man does include Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will overthrow Babylon, not the church taking authority, recovering the dominion that was given to Adam (for the dominion given to Adam transferred not to the church but to Jesus Christ!), overthrowing Babylon, and setting up its own rule in its place. Revelation does not depict the church defeating and overthrowing Babylon, but Jesus Christ returning to defeat Babylon! Recall that it will be given to the beast to make war against the saints and to overcome them (Revelation 13:7) and that Babylon will be filled with the blood of Christian martyrs. Only the return of Jesus Christ will save us from this. Evidence of this is how Paul did not apply this very same text used by spiritual warriors in their quest to take towns and nations for Christ in asking for his fellow Christians to so much as pray to get him out of jail! Instead, Paul ultimately humbly glorified Jesus Christ by dying the death of a martyr.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

This text is explicit. “But if our gospel be hid , it is hid to them that are lost; In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”  This reminds us of Revelation 12:9, which says that Satan deceives the whole world concerning the truth of Jesus Christ. But what does 2 Corinthians 4 tell us to do about this sad fact? Not spiritual warfare to take on dominions, powers and principalities. Instead, there is merely a brief exhortation to confront this fact by the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is curious that in the prior chapter, there is an apparent reference to the blindness of the Jews reminiscent of Romans 11. Both Romans 11 and 2 Corinthians 3 state that the ending of this blindness, the “lifting of the vail upon their hearts” as it is called in 2 Corinthians 3:11-18, will happen when God commands it. The King James Version text states that this will happen when Israel turns to the Lord, and Zechariah 12 supports this. Israel’s turning to God will not occur as a result of Christians binding and rebuking dominions and directing prayer towards them, but after the times of the Gentiles – as mentioned in Romans 11 – ceases. Just as the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity happened when the prophesied 70 years were completed, the coming of Israel to Jesus Christ will occur when the times of the Gentiles end, and this is a predetermined time known only by God the Father. Warfare prayers cannot open the eyes of the blind. Only the Holy Spirit can. The Holy Spirit does this in concert with the preaching of the gospel by drawing sinners, convicting them and opening the eyes of those Satan has blinded.

Parable of the Sower

This brings us to the parable of the sower of Mark 4:3-20, Matthew 13:3-23, and Luke 8:5-15. This parable is probably the best theological treatment of evangelism and missions in the Bible, and all of the apostolic teachings in the epistles, including Paul’s, merely expands on it, or enhances the Christology of it. Jesus Christ is the seed, for His gospel is the seed, and the legitimate gospel presents Jesus Christ Himself: it is Jesus Christ Himself through the reality of His existence, His teachings, His work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead that is being sowed into hearts. Also, Jesus Christ is the sower, for it is the church, Jesus Christ’s own body, that preaches the gospel. For brevity, Luke’s presentation will be given.

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed , some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down , and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up , it withered away , because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it , and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up , and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried , He that hath ears to hear , let him hear . 9 And his disciples asked him, saying , What might this parable be ? 10 And he said , Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see , and hearing they might not understand . 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear ; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved . 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear , receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe , and in time of temptation fall away . 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard , go forth , and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection . 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Please note first of all that the gospel is not only or merely to be preached where the way has first been paved by spiritual warfare and directed prayer. Instead, the seed is sowed everywhere. The gospel must be taken wherever the Christian goes, and it should be preached for and to the glory of God in addition to the goal of converting sinners. It is not to be preached in some strategic, planned manner desired to produce the most or best results after the manner of some corporate marketing scheme or government program.

Quite the contrary, the sowing of the seed seems almost heedless or arbitrary. The sower is only concerned about sowing the seeds, and the sower then leaves the seeds to their own fate. The reason is that the job of the sower begins and ends with sowing the seeds. (Please note that we are speaking of evangelism only, not discipleship or fellowship.) Just as a human farmer planting corn or watermelon, he simply puts the seed into the ground and allows “nature” (not really!) to take over.

Sure, he may water it, fertilize it, and take actions to remove weeds, but none of those will make the seed grow. Only God (not “nature”) can make the seed grow! And the same as it is with evangelism. Directed warfare prayer does not convert people, only the Holy Spirit does. The only caveat is that for the seed to grow, it must first be planted, so for converts to be made, the gospel should be preached. So, efforts in binding, rebuking demons and praying against them should be redirected towards evangelism, whether personal or public.

Another consideration: of the four groups listed by Jesus Christ, which were the seeds that landed 1. on the wayside, 2. on stony ground, 3. among thorns and 4. in good soil, the works of Satan were only explicitly mentioned in one of those, the ones that landed on the wayside! Now Luke 8:13 does say that Satan does this in order to prevent people from being saved. But Matthew 13:19 states that this is made possible only because of the failure of the person to understand or comprehend the gospel! While this certainly reminds one of Hosea 4:6’s “many people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge”, the truth is that only the Holy Spirit gives one knowledge or comprehension of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:14 states that the natural man cannot perceive or understand spiritual things, and that includes the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus, binding and rebuking the enemy and directed warfare prayer will not result in the effectual opening of the hearts of the gospel, because this will not happen in a heart where the Holy Spirit is not active to provide comprehension of that gospel!

Now what of the other two groups who are not saved, meaning those among the thorns and those on the stony ground? The failure of these groups are not attributable to evil spirits, but of human nature: the flesh. Those among the thorns do not persevere because they prefer the riches and cares of this world. They are akin to Demas and the aforementioned Simon Magus. While it is true that Satan is behind the Babylon system that tempts men with its illicit pleasures, but going into spiritual battle against that system is to no avail when the issue is not the Satanic availability of the system, but the failure of man to resist it. Again, without the work of the Holy Spirit, it is not so much that Satan that man cannot overcome, but rather his own flesh that Satan appeals to with his temptations: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It was these things that Satan appealed to in order to cause the fall of Adam, and it was also these things that Jesus Christ resisted during His time of temptation in the desert. So, it is not the presence of Satan but the absence of the Holy Spirit that is the key here, and that is something that warring against devils will not fix.

The same is true with the other group, the one that falls among thorns. Though Revelation and other areas of the Bible make it abundantly clear that Satan provokes and controls the persecution of those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, the issue is those who yield to this persecution because of the weakness of the flesh. The parents of the man born blind refused to testify to the miracle of Jesus Christ worked on their own son because they feared being put out of the synagogues. The gospels refer to many others who believed in Jesus Christ but refused to testify of it because they feared the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Of those like unto them, Jesus Christ said that those who are ashamed of Him in this life will not be saved on judgment day!) The epistle to the Hebrews was written to warn Jewish Christians that they could not be saved if they abandoned the faith due to persecution, and Revelation 2-3 (indeed the entire epistle!) was written for the purposes of encouraging Christians to endure persecution to the very end.

Falling away due to the cares of the world and falling away due to persecution are two sides of the same coin. One is more concerned with pleasing the flesh than pleasing God, and the other is more concerned with preserving the flesh than preserving the relationship with God, and both are of Esau in that they mortgage their future inheritance for much lesser benefits in the present. The Holy Spirit is the One who gives Christians comprehension of the gospel so that Satan cannot deceive them with a lie (i.e. false Babylon religions including atheism), and the Holy Spirit is also the One who seals Christians so that they do not yield to the pressure on their flesh that the Babylon system exerts either through persecution or enticement. So, in all three cases, spiritual warfare and directed prayer will not overcome the lack of Holy Spirit involvement concerning an unbeliever. Doctrines otherwise are those which place the erstwhile spiritual warrior in the place of God.

More Workers In The Vineyard

Now Jesus Christ did tell us to pray on matters concerning evangelism and missions. However, just as Paul exhorted Christians to pray for the protection and the success of the missionaries and evangelists, Jesus Christ instructed us to pray for more missionaries. Matthew 9:36-28 reads “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted , and were scattered abroad , as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Similarly Luke 10:2 reads “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into his harvest.” Now the prayer was not that the works and workers of Satan would be thwarted and overthrown so that people could be saved. Instead, the prayers were for more workers for the harvest! Why? The key term is “the Lord of the harvest.” YHWH is the Lord of the harvest, meaning that He is utterly sovereign over salvation of men.

The term translated “Lord” in this passage, kyrios, means (in the context that is most relevant here) “about which he has power of deciding.” Do not be deceived: the number of those who will be saved and the identity of those who will be saved is known by God, decreed by God, and is set forth by God from before the foundation of the world (Mat 25:34, Eph 1:4). Otherwise, in what sense could YHWH be the Lord of the harvest? In that case, YHWH could be manager of the harvest. Or CEO of the harvest. But YHWH could not truly be the Lord, the complete and total ruler, of it!

Consider an illustration. If you are selling a product, the manager or CEO can run the operation of manufacturing and marketing the product, but he does not have the power to choose who buys. Even if he breaks down and destroys opposition to the sale of his product by driving all competitors out of business and overcoming tariffs and regulations (the business equivalent of spiritual warfare evangelism) the consumer decides whether to buy or sell or not. Because the manager or CEO, despite all of his efforts and talents, still does not ultimately determine whether his product is bought or not (or by whom it is not) he is not the lord of the marketplace, only a manager or CEO in it. But God, in His sovereignty, is Lord of the harvest. He is Lord of evangelism. He is Lord of missions.

Thus, the number of those who will be saved, set forth from before the foundation of the world, will not be reduced by the plans of Satan, for God’s purposes shall come to pass. His Word shall not return null and void, but instead go forth and accomplish its purposes! Also, this number will not be enlarged by the prayers and warfare of the saints. We are but God’s servants, not little gods with dominion over salvation and those who hold the eternal fates of men in our limited, flawed sinful hands. So, our role is to pray that more Christians would obey God by taking on the duty of active evangelism and missions so that God will be glorified by more people, and so that there will be a further division of labor.

So, the Bible clearly teaches that spiritual warfare missions/evangelism is to no avail. Instead, we should do what the Bible actually tells us, which is to pray for the salvation of sinners, pray for more evangelists and to be evangelists ourselves. In this way we properly apply the Biblical evidence, obey God and glorify YHWH who is the Lord of His harvest.

If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, how does this relate to you? It is simple: you must repent of your sins and believe in the deity, virgin birth, atoning death on the cross for sins, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, you will be one of the seeds that did not land on good soil, and therefore lost to an eternal punishment in the lake of fire. But be encouraged: Jesus Christ promised that none of those given to Him by God the Father would be lost. So, one must take on their responsibility of believing in and confessing the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to be saved in order to make their calling and election in Jesus Christ sure. Do this now! In order to do so, please click on the link below and:

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, evangelism, false doctrine, false religion, gnosticism, Jesus Christ, limited atonement, missionary, Reformed, religion, spiritual deliverance, spiritual warfare, syncretism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Luke 14:23’s Compel Them To Come In Refers To Irresistible Grace

Posted by Job on March 27, 2011

Luke 14:16-24 reads

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden , Come ; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse . The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused . And another said , I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said , I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come .So that servant came , and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said , Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded , and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

As useful as was Augustine in combating the heresy of Pelagius, we must never forget that this fellow in many other respects oft labored to promote the political interests of the Roman Empire and its state religion, including but not limited to laying the groundwork for such endtimes views as preterism, amillennialism and postmillennialism because the Roman Empire wanted Christians to see it as the fulfilment of the kingdom of God, which make Christians far less likely to oppose it. The error of Augustine’s allowing the pulpit to be used to advance a state agenda was exposed when Catholicism later cast aside Augustine’s work against Pelagius and instead adopted what is clearly semi-Pelagianism when it suited its political interests. Contemporary pastors who wish to mix the doctrines of the holy God with the ambitions of the fallen state should take note.

But far more harmful than Augustine’s endtimes doctrines in service to the Roman state was his misappropriation of Luke 14:23. His wicked, evil use of this scripture was employed to justify a state doctrine that over the centuries caused the deaths of untold people by the sword, and kept scores of others in religious darkness with the threat of force. Though there were others before him and after him, it was Augustine who most effectively made the case that it was God’s will for the state to use the threat – and reality – of force to make membership in the state church compulsory. This made the ambitions of the state and the church shared, and allowed one to not only tolerate but promote any amount of corruption and wickedness from the other so long as it advanced the interests of both.

Augustine’s malevolent butchering of Luke 14:23 occurred during the time of the Donatist rebellion. Now history records the Donatists as heretics, a vicious smear which shows just how truthful the proverb “the winners get to write the history book” is. Any idea that the Donatists were heretics motivated primarily by political, nationalistic and ethnic/racial considerations to break from the Roman church in order to pursue strange doctrines was convincingly shattered by Leonard Verduin’s “The Refomers And Their Stepchildren”, and that so many church historians have disseminated Catholic propaganda regarding this sad incident is something that will have to be answered for by them.

The truth is that the Donatists should be considered to be as among the earliest Protestants. While it is true that some of their motivations were not entirely religious, it was clearly superior to what motivated the Anglicans (Episcopalians) to separate from Rome. Also, it is ridiculous to call them heretical based on doctrine because on most points the Donatists beliefs were similar to the Roman church from which they attempted to break, and where there were divergences, the Donatist position must be preferred. So, the only reason why history denounces the Donatists is because the Catholics call them so, and as the Donatist attempt to separate failed where other separatist efforts (the Eastern Catholic churches and the Protestant Reformation) succeeded, the unjust Catholic judgment against them stands.

So, during the time of the Donatist protest, even though the entity known as “the Catholic Church” was not yet fully formed in doctrine and organization, the Roman Empire had already started appointing “priests” for political and other reasons. Cronyism, nepotism, political payoffs and other forms corruption were oft used for the basis for selecting church officers, and this resulted in vain fellows with unsavory backgrounds and behaviour and questionable training – unqualified and unsuitable on many counts – being appointed as priests by the politico-ecclesiastical hegemony all over the empire, and the region of the Donatists (north Africa) was no different. When the practice of elevating unqualified individuals to the priesthood was challenged, the Catholic Church responded that the measure of qualifications of a priest is being ordained and appointed by the church, and not the spiritual or moral state of the church itself. When the sacraments (i.e. baptisms and the rite of communion) offered by priests who were deemed by those in a position to know (the parishioners that they were presiding over) to be unbelieving were challenged, the hierarchy took the position that the legitimacy of the sacraments were not a function of the priest who gave them, but rather of the church that ordained the priest. (This remains the position of the Roman Catholic Church to this day, and is used to retain any number of priests who exhibit severely aberrant doctrines and behaviour.)

The Donatists, then, took the “radical” position that church offices should be held only by those qualified to do so, and that ensuring this required that the officers be chosen by the local churches themselves. The Donatists stated that the baptisms performed by illegitimate priests were illegitimate, and had to be performed again. (Donatists were the original Anabaptists.) Further, Donatists held that the church must be “a church of saints, not sinners.” Now of course, this is not necessarily an unqualified defense of Donatists and Donatism. For example, they were still very much “Catholic” in doctrine and practice, believing in such abominations as a human priesthood, rites of penance, and the Eucharist.

The Roman church responded predictably to the Donatist protest: with brutal military action. They did not succeed in totally eradicating the movement. (That was accomplished by the Muslims in the 7th and 8th century.) But they did persecute the Donatists mightily, and as a result kept their ideas, influence and numbers within the empire to a minimum. So, while they did not succeed in wiping out the Donatists, they did accomplish their primary goal of preventing the widespread challenge of the authority of the Roman church, and please recall that challenging the authority of said church was the same as challenging the authority of the Roman empire.

However, some men of conscience did protest violent action being inflicted on other people who professed to be Christians, and also demanded to know what in the Bible justified compulsory church membership enforced by the state, especially since those who dissented did have strong Bible-based arguments on their side. Make no mistake: the Roman empire was being challenged on one front by the Donatist defection and another by their reaction to the former, and both fronts exposed the Roman church for the spiritual fraud that it was.

Into this crisis stepped Augustine. Now as a north African and one who so convincingly expounded such positions as justification by faith, one could have well expected Augustine to side with the Donatists. Instead, Augustine sided with those who paid his salary and elevated him to a position of prestige and power. In addition to siding with the imperial position concerning their right to appoint unregenerate officers and the legitimacy of sacraments administered by such officers, Augustine searched the scriptures to find something that would justify using murderous force to eliminate dissenting movements and thereby make church membership universal (save whom the church excommunicates!) with the sword. (Please note: this remains the goal of the Roman Catholic Church to this day … a global institution where everyone is a member … or else. In this way, the rule of Christ over the earth is accomplished through the church, and then Jesus Christ will return for the church.) And Augustine found Luke 14:23’s “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled.” Of course, this grotesque misinterpretation and misapplication of a Biblical text was more than good enough for the Roman empire, because it suited the purposes that they already had anyway. It is similar to the true but sad tale of the woman who used Ephesians 4:22-24’s “take off the old man and put on the new man” to justify her desire to un-Biblically divorce her current husband and marry a new one without being considered an adulteress. In her rebellious heart, she had already determined that what she was doing was not only permissble, but the will of God, and merely needed a Bible text to misconstrue to justify it, and would not be deterred, even when her pastor informed her of that text’s correct meaning and application (and of the Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage).

Augustine’s actual interpretation (eisegesis!) of Luke 14:23 is of little consequence, for it was used to arrived at an illegitimate meaning for an illegitimate intent in service to an illegitimate institution. Unless one agrees with – or is willing to in some context defend – the state using the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction to compel membership in a “church” who regularly ordains and retains atheists, homosexuals, occultists and child molesters as its officers, then that could be taken for granted, and therefore there is no need to violate Proverbs 26:4 with regards to it. Instead, let us simply declare Augustine’s efforts to be thoroughly wrong and evil – with its use throughout history to justify many evils (including the magisterial church-state Reformers’ murderous actions against Anabaptists – whom the Reformers ironically politicized as Donatists! – Michael Servetus and others) as evidence of its great error – and move on to a proper interpretation.

In this parable, the “lord” is God the Father and the “servant” is “God the Holy Spirit.” It came to pass God the Father accomplished salvation (through the sending of His Son for atonement), and established the kingdom of heaven. (One does not have to reach far to arrive at this interpretation, because immediately prior to starting the parable, Jesus Christ stated “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God“.) The establishment of the kingdom of heaven is the meaning of the reference to “for all things are now ready.” Now the Bible declares that salvation is for God’s called (or elect) but first the Jew and then the Gentile. (We should also realize that Matthew 20:16 and 22:14 state that “many are called but few are chosen.” While all election of God is unconditional, not all election of God is unto salvation, but rather only the election as “chosen.”) So, the initial call goes out to the original olive tree, the natural seed of Abraham; the Jews of Israel. Due to their faithless condition (as faith comes from God) because of their not at this time being chosen for salvation (the salvation of the Jews will not occur until after the fulness of the Gentiles comes in), the original branch (save a few) demurs and defers.

So, the mission then goes to the Gentiles, who having not known the special revelation of Yahweh because of their not being in the Jewish nation and therefore not having received or lived under the Sinai covenant or benefited from instruction of the law, the writings and the prophets, are spiritually “poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” These may have been the ones who for some reason were aware of their sinful condition and the benefits of the kingdom of heaven (i.e. they are Gentiles who have already attached themselves to Judaism to some degree – such as the God-fearers, the Ethiopian eunuch and the centurion Cornelius – but did not fully convert to Judaism, but were yet “within the city” based on their faith and partial observance) and immediately with gladness believed the gospel of Jesus Christ when they heard it. If one recalls the account of church growth in the early portions of Acts, there was indeed a pattern of angry Jewish rejection on the part of all but a few, but enthusiastic acceptance and rapid growth among the Gentiles that had already been praying to YHWH, fasting, giving alms, attending the synagogues and worshipping in the outer court of the temple.

But after adding the relatively few Jews who had been with Jesus Christ and witnessed His resurrection, the Jews who believed after Pentecost and thereafter, and the Judaism-observant Gentiles who received the gospel with very little effort because of possessing pre-existing faith (some theologians refer to those such as these who lived between the advent and passion of Jesus Christ and the destruction of the temple as “transitional period faithful” akin to Old Testament saints), there was still “room at the table.” That was when this famous case took place. The lord, again in this parable God the Father, told his servant, representing God the Holy Spirit, to go out of the city into the highways and hedges (meaning away from the confines of believing Jews and Gentiles who merely needed to transform their faith from an Old Testament one where Jesus Christ was concealed to a New Testament one where Jesus Christ was revealed) and into the realm of the faithless.

Now the faithless, due to their original sin condition (doctrine of total depravity) these folks were not going to come “to the supper”, or into the kingdom of heaven or participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb with His bride, willingly. Instead, these unwilling people first have to be given faith and converted. Who gives faith? The Holy Spirit, or the servant in this story. Make no mistake: faith does not come from or is not produced by man, but is a gift of the Holy Spirit, see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. After the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is the One who regenerates the sinner, see Titus 3:4-7. Make no mistake: this does not happen because the sinner wants it to. The sinner because of his total depravity is thoroughly unwilling, and thus comes into the kingdom not by way of a free will decision, but by God’s compulsion. God’s sheep, declared so before the foundation of the world, hear the voice of Jesus Christ and come when He calls, but Luke 14:23 reveals that a great many come because the Holy Spirit is the Staff that the Great Shepherd uses to pull them in with Its crook on their necks! This is the doctrine of irresistible grace, and gives support to the theory that the rider of the white horse of Revelation is not the anti-Christ, but instead is the Holy Spirit, and the conquering that the rider on the white horse goes about doing is not the nations, but of those called and chosen by God the Father from out among the nations to be the bride for God the Son.

So, in this parable you see 3 of the “5 points of Calvinism” (total depravity, unconditional election, irresistible grace) explicitly or nearly explicitly at work. Also, perseverance of the saints is implied, as those brought in by the Holy Spirit remain to fill the house and eat of the marriage supper of the Lamb; they do not fall away. Only limited atonement is missing, and this is only because this parable is not expressly Christological, but instead deals primarily with the decree and election of the God the Father and the work of drawing in  and regenerating of the Holy Spirit. So, in telling this parable, there was the Second Person of the Holy Trinity describing the role of the First and the Third Persons of the Holy Trinity in salvation, to the point that though the Third Person of the Trinity is the servant of the First, the Third Person is still sovereign in salvation because men do not have the option of saying no to the Holy Spirit! Those that the Holy Spirit compels must come, because the Holy Spirit is God, and God is Sovereign! Soli Deo Gloria!

Now the compulsion of the Holy Spirit is by no means limited to Gentiles. Instead, Romans 11 is clear that sometime after the Gentile mission is complete, all Israel will be saved. The Jews are currently “not in the house” or “even in the city” but like the Gentiles are faithless, but at the return of Jesus Christ will be drawn and regenerated by the Holy Spirit according to the election and decree of God the Father, and at that time the olive tree will be complete, with the original branches together with the grafted in formerly wild branches.

So, the compulsion of Luke 14:23 is not the servants of the state forcing church membership with the threat of the sword. Instead, it is the Servant of God conquering those captive to original sin and therefore because of their fallen natures and corrupt wills are unable to come to God, and for that matter do not even have a true desire to. (At the very most, they may have a desire for morals, ethics, religion, cultural conformity, tradition, pleasing the expectations of others, to assuage their guilty consciences, to avoid the lake of fire, or to receive the benefits of heaven. It is those things that man can come to and decide for himself of, and not truly of God, and indeed lest we forget a multitude of false religions offers all those things also.) Jesus Christ has bound the strong man and led his captivity captive, so now the Holy Spirit is free to go and spoil his goods. So against the false teachings and applications of Augustine, this is the true meaning and intent of the passage and in its correct context.

Thus, please know that membership in any church cannot save you (even if it is a legitimate New Testament local congregation headed by Jesus Christ) and neither can being the beneficiary of any sacrament, ordinance or ritual. Instead, only membership in the true church will save you, and membership in that church is only granted to those who are saved by the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ that is granted by that same Holy Spirit. If this does not describe you, then you are currently separated from God, at enmity with God, and the Bible states that all those who are found in that status on judgment day will receive an eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Do not let the doctrines of election, predestination and irresistible grace cause unnecessary confusion. Just as God’s sovereignty in salvation is a truth clearly set forth in the Bible, so is the responsibility of man to believe the gospel and submit Himself to Jesus Christ as his Lord. They are two truths that are not in conflict with each other, but are both true in their own right and work together in ways that are beyond our understanding to give God the glory. God is glorified both by being sovereign over salvation and by seeing those formerly trapped in original sin do what was impossible for them prior become possible with God (see Matthew 19:25-26’s “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed , saying , Who then can be saved ? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”, and over against not only their own sinful natures but also the desires and machinations of Satan.

So make no mistake, those chosen by God have as their duty to make their calling and election sure. If you have not done so, I entreat and implore you to do it, do it quickly, indeed do it today, and moreover right now!

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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Joseph And The Pharoah: The Butler Was Loved But The Baker Was Hated! Genesis 40

Posted by Job on March 16, 2011

Genesis 40 provides an amazing story that illustrates the Biblical doctrine of election, that being God choosing to to save and who not save, who to favor and who to disfavor. Now actually, the text is much stronger than that; as the story of Joseph, the pharaoh, the butler and the baker can be used to illustrate Romans 9:13, which reads “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” The parallels are so strong that it can as an allegory to describe first God choosing Israel of all nations to be His elect nation, and then the church from all peoples to be His elect people.

First the story itself: Joseph is cast into a pit by his wickedly jealous brothers, who first plan to kill him and then decide to sell him into slavery. This was specifically done in order to prevent the dreams that God gave Joseph from coming to pass (Genesis 37:20) and by all appearances was the result of evil spirits – using human jealously and anger as a vehicle, agent and lubricant – attempting to stop God’s purposes from coming to fruition with regards to the descendants of Abraham and the recipients of his promise and covenant. Instead, while they took a break from their evil deeds to eat lunch (not exactly the brightest or most focused or self-disciplined bunch of miscreants were they?) Midianites and Ishmaelites come, get Joseph out of the pit, and sell him to slavery in Egypt to Potiphar.

While in slavery in Egypt, Joseph faithfully serves his master and for this is rewarded by God (in keeping with 1 Peter 2:18; please reject the false modern humanistic doctrines and instead heed what the Bible says when confronted with injustice and oppression). Evil spirits act yet again to provoke Potiphar’s wife into attempting to seduce Joseph, and in contrast with the sexual immorality of Reuben and Judah, Joseph resists even to the point of 1 Corinthians 6:18’s command to “flee fornication.” That gives the evil spirits acting through the lust and pride of Potiphar’s wife the opportunity to cast Joseph into prison. (Realize that God was with Joseph, for the offense that he was accused of should have resulted in his summary execution.) In prison, Joseph yet again keeps such doctrines as 1 Peter 2:18 and Romans 13:1-4, and rather than protesting the injustice that he is subjected to, he behaves in an exemplary fashion and is blessed by God for it, who also causes the blessings of man – the prison keeper – to fall upon him.

With that out of the way, here is where the allegory – if you will – begins in earnest. First, let us start with pharoah. As emperor of Egypt, pharoah had unquestioned power over the people in his political domain. He had absolute power over his subjects. In that culture, far removed from the west and long before the Enlightenment, there was no concept of human or civil rights. Also, the law of Moses, which limited the rights and prerogatives of Israeli monarchs and gave citizens human and civil rights, did not exist in Egypt. Instead, just as Joseph was a slave to Potiphar, all of pharoah’s subjects were his slaves. As  emperor of Egypt, his subjects were his people to do with as he pleased: to sell to other nations as slaves (a practice not uncommon in that era), to conscript for his own military or economic service (again, a common practice), to reward with riches and favor, or to kill and take all that was theirs (again, a common practice). So, it is no accident that God in His revelation used royal language (king, emperor, lord etc.) to describe His relationship to Israel, all nations and people of the earth, and all of creation itself because in that time and place, everyone would have immediately known and presumed His complete ownership and rule according to it in a manner that we cannot even conceive in modern times due to Enlightenment thinking.

But it is precisely because of this mindset, one where a monarch had complete authority over his kingdom (and also a patriarch had complete authority over his household, including wife, children, younger brothers and sisters and their spouses and children, servants etc.) and is the representative symbol of all that is his, all that is “called by his name” (whether a nation for a ruler, a tribe for a chief or a household for a patriarch) that doctrines like federal headship (i.e. of Adam and Jesus Christ) work. Start applying such notion as individual rights and individual agency, which again did not apply in those days in a political context unless granted by the king himself, and ideas like federal headship (and things that proceed from it like original sin) break down. So make no mistake, just as God is Lord of creation, pharoah was lord over Egypt! (As a matter of fact, the same Hebrew words for lord were used for both Yahweh and human rulers, and human rulers were also called “god” in that day, including at times in the Bible, see the “ye are gods” passage of Psalm 82:6, the one notoriously abused by the Word of Faith teachers for their false doctrines.) And now you see why it was such a serious, grievous error when the children of Israel rejected God as their Lord and King and instead demanded a human lord and king.

So pharaoh, in every earthly sense “lord” and “god” over Egypt, becomes angry with two of his subjects; the chief butler and the chief baker. The nature of his anger is this: the text says that he was “wroth.” The Hebrew root word used was qatsaph which can mean “to put oneself in a rage.” The same word was used to describe the anger of YHWH at the children of Israel over idolatry, disobedience and other sins in Leviticus 10:6, Deuteronomy 9:7-8, Deuteronomy 9:22, and Zechariah 8:14. What was it that caused the wrath of pharaoh against his subjects? The text does not say. So, using this “argument from silence” (a common tactic of Jewish theologians that was used extensively regarding Mechizedek in Hebrews 7), we can extend this allegory, metaphor or what have you to symbolize the wrath of God against all mankind, one that exists not solely because of any sins on the part of the individual, but rather because of our universal fallen sinful condition, our original sin, because of being in Adam. As Adam is the federal head of all men (indeed, the word “Adam” means” mankind, and the English word is actually the transliteration of the Hebrew word and not a translation), he represents his sinful nation – it is called by his name – just as pharaoh represents the Egyptian nation. So, because all men are called by the name of Adam, Adam’s sinfulness is imputed to all men. (Recall also that Adam named his wife Eve, which is the Hebrew word “chavvah “, which means “living”, according to her being the mother of all humanity.) Because of this, God is at war with the sinful nation that Adam is the head of just as America not so long ago was at war with the Iraq nation that Saddam Hussein ruled.

So pharaoh represents God, and the butler and baker represent humanity, and pharaoh’s anger at them for the unstated reason represents God’s anger at humanity over our original sin. What does pharaoh do? He casts the butler and the baker in prison, and away from their prior positions of serving him. This represents our alienation from God and our absence from His presence because of our sin. God is holy, therefore that which is sinful cannot stand before His presence! This recalls how Adam was cast from his position from serving God as caretaker of the garden of Eden because of his sin (Genesis 3:24) and also how Satan and the demons were cast from their first estates of serving God due to their rebellion (Jude 1:6).

Now just like YHWH, it was well within the rights of pharaoh due to the privileges, power and authority contained within his position and rank to kill the butler and baker, and the fact that the butler and baker caused the lord of Egypt such grievous offense made this fact even more so. Yet pharaoh used his kingly prerogative to spare the life of the butler and execute the baker. The butler was loved, the baker was hated. Why was the butler chosen over the baker? Well, do not believe the many Hollywood depictions of this story – and even some depictions by any number of Christian efforts i.e. children’s videos – that favor the character of the butler over that of the baker (such as the 1995 miniseries starring Ben Kingsley and a cartoon movie starring Ben Affleck that depicts the baker as violently assaulting Jacob) – because these movies, made according to modernistic humanistic tendencies and ideas of fairness, are not justified in the Biblical text. Instead, pharaoh chose the butler over the baker during a feast of merriment for all his servants (reminds one of the marriage supper of the Lamb and the bride of Christ that will be witnessed by the angels!) and therefore did it because it was for his pleasure! Though the king could have killed both, for his pleasure and his own sake he graciously spared one! Just as God’s choosing Jacob over Esau had nothing to do with Jacob’s character, for Jacob was a usurper, thief, manipulator, liar and con artist. Witness, for example, the way that Jacob mistreated his wife Leah, and how he blatantly favored the children of Rachel over the children of Leah and the concubines (sending the latter group first so that if Esau and his army started killing people, Leah, the concubines and their kids would have almost no chance to escape, but Rachel’s would have a chance!). Jacob was just as bad as was Esau, if not worse. Yet God chose him!

It was all according to the wishes, the desire, the pleasure of the pharaoh. Please note that the nowhere does the Bible call the pharaoh wicked for exercising his prerogative in this manner. Quite the contrary, the Bible accounts this pharaoh as being wise for recognizing the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, living within Joseph (Genesis 41:38) and making him ruler of Egypt based on it. He is a clear contrast between the pharaoh of Moses, who resisted this same Holy Spirit due to God’s hardening his heart.

Note that the butler and the baker had no say in this matter. The baker did not reject the grace of pharoah; indeed no such opportunity to accept or reject it. And the butler had no say in this matter either. The butler had no opportunity to call the pharaoh unfair for imprisoning him in the first place. He had no space to reject the grace given to him because he felt that it was unfair that he was saved while the baker was not, and while many other people (including Joseph) remained in prison. The baker could not accept the grace of the pharaoh because no such “free will choice” to do so was given to him. And the baker could not reject the grace of the pharaoh, because as the subject of a potentate with absolute power, authority and dominion over him (if only in a temporal sense, and please recall according to Jesus Christ that the power of the pharaoh over the butler and the baker were given to them by God, see John 19:11 … so yes, as frightening as it is to believe, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama … oh never mind) he lacked the power and authority because of his own low estate – his lack of power, authority, rank and dominion -with respect to the pharaoh. (See what Psalm 136:26, Luke 1:48 and Romans 12:16 about God’s gracious dealing with His people despite our low estate.)

So, for the butler, the grace of pharaoh was irresistible! So is it with the grace of God towards His sheep; His Son’s bride. The bride cannot say no, because if all members of the bride do say no (not merely a theoretical possibility, especially when both the effects of sin and the nefarious plotting of Satan are involved!) then God’s Son has no bride, and the purposes of God are thwarted. God forbid that such a thing would happen! Make no mistake, just as the “god of Egypt” in this incident had the power to love the butler and hate the baker and exercised it accordingly, God of all creation has the same prerogative – indeed even a greater prerogative for God is greater than the pharaoh – to do with Jacob (all those in Jesus Christ) and Esau (all those in Adam) and has exercised it accordingly before foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), since before Genesis 1:1!

And when did this happen? Genesis 40:20 says that it occurred the third day after Joseph interpreted the dreams of the butler (the dream that he would receive salvation of his live through grace) and the baker (the dream that he would receive neither this salvation or the grace that makes it possible). Now how long was our Lord and Savior in the grave after His death for the sins of His bride on the cross? Three days. Now nothing is in the Bible by coincidence; in it are no superfluous facts. So, the fact that three days after the prophecy, the promise of grace, came by the butler from Holy Spirit of Elohim (the Name that Joseph used to the butler in Genesis 40:8) to the butler was this promise of grace consummated by the butler’s release from bondage (which the Bible often uses with reference to sin) is a clear reference to the work of Jesus Christ. That allows us to elevate this episode from being mere metaphor, symbolism and allegory to typology. In this episode, the pharaoh, in loving the butler (Jacob) and hating the baker (Esau) was a type of the Ancient of Days, God the Father. Joseph is commonly regarded to be a type of Jesus Christ. And of course, the Holy Spirit was within Joseph. So in this story, the Trinity is together and in agreement, whether in actuality (the Holy Spirit in Joseph) or typology (pharaoh as God the Father, Joseph as God the Son).

Keep in mind that just as the butler was saved on the third day, the baker was executed on the third day. So, just as Jesus Christ delivered salvation to the elect with His ministry, Jesus Christ will return again to punish the non-elect on the Day of the Lord and will also serve as Judge of the non-elect before their punishment in the lake of fire (read the book of Revelation). So, the purpose of Genesis 40 is not to be fascinated with metaphor, symbolism, typology and allegory. Instead, it should be used to instruct one of the fact that those in Jesus Christ will be saved (the butler) and those not in Christ will perish in eternal punishment of flame (the baker). In light of that fact, one must make His calling and election sure in accordance with the scriptures (2 Peter 1:10). Repent of your sins (Acts 2:38), confess with your mouth and believe with your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord who died for your sins and is whom God raised from the dead (Romans 10:9) and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) or in the Name of Jesus Christ and in God the Father and God the Son (Matthew 28:19) who indwell Jesus Christ.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christian salvation, Christianity, Egypt, election, evangelism, irresistible grace, Reformed, religion, Russia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Did Jesus Christ Die For Judas Iscariot?

Posted by Job on March 10, 2011

According to those who believe in universal atonement (or unlimited atonement) the work of Jesus Christ on the cross makes salvation possible for all but certain for none based on the doctrines that A) Jesus Christ died for the sins of all humans and B) a person must accept this fact in order to make His work efficacious. So, let us apply this to the case of Judas Iscariot. Did Jesus Christ die for his sins, and make salvation possible for this character?
If this is the case, then why did Jesus Christ call Judas Iscariot the son of perdition in John 17:22? In that text, Jesus Christ said that He had preserved from falling all of the apostles except this one Judas Iscariot, and that the exception of Iscariot was so that the scriptures would be fulfilled. Since the fate of this Judas Iscariot was foretold in the Bible, inspired by the same Holy Spirit that works regeneration, in no sense was his salvation possible. The idea that the death of Jesus Christ makes salvation possible for all cannot possibly be so in the case of Judas Iscariot. Or if it is so, then with respect to Judas Iscariot the death of Jesus Christ was in vain. After all, Iscariot was not one born out of due time. He knew Jesus Christ personally, heard Jesus Christ preach, and saw His many works. So, if redemption was possible for everyone, then would not Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve, one of those sent out two by two who did mighty works in Christ’s Name (Mark 6:7-13) including healing the sick and casting out devils, be foremost among whom it was possible?
Yet, why did Jesus Christ say of Judas Iscariot that it would have been better had he never been born, as recorded in Mark 14:21 and Matthew 26:24? It is logically incongruous to say of a person on one hand “Jesus Christ died for his sins, making his salvation possible” and then on another “it would have been better for him had he never been born!” In the former case, Judas Iscariot had a chance at salvation. In the latter case, the one actually recorded in the Bible, he had no chance.
Also, it can be said with a high degree of confidence that Jesus Christ Himself stated that His atonement was not intended for Judas Iscariot. Where was this? The famous text of John 15:13, which reads “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Who are the friends of Jesus Christ? He says so in John 15:14, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” In this section, Jesus Christ was speaking to His apostles during His high priestly prayer and discourse. As the apostles are the foundation of the church, when Jesus Christ addressed His apostles in this manner, He was addressing the entire church through them, with the apostles’ acting as the church’s representatives.
So, the summary of John 15:13-14 is “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, and you (meaning first the people that He is directly addressing, and then through them the church that the people that He is directly addressing represents) are my friends.” And when Jesus Christ says “I am dying for my friends and you are my friends”, Judas Iscariot has already left! Judas Iscariot had departed the room, and thereby from the perspective and effect of these words of Jesus Christ, from those who Jesus Christ identified as His friends that He died for, in John 13:26-30! Judas Iscariot was not alone when he left, but Satan had entered into Judas Iscariot. And of course, Satan is not a friend of Jesus Christ. Despite the claims of Origen and others who adhere to universalism, Jesus Christ did not die for Satan! And it is also true that Jesus Christ did not die for those who Satan rules, those whose father is Satan according to the words of Jesus Christ in John 8:44-47!
And it cannot be said that Judas Iscariot was unique; the one person in history for whom Jesus Christ did not die. Atonement is either universal or it is limited, and the mere exclusion of Iscariot makes it limited. Also, it should be said that even Muslims who read of Judas Iscariot were aware of the implications, as the (false) Gospel of Barnabas was almost certainly written and definitely advanced by Muslims specifically as a polemic against Reformation doctrines, of which limited atonement is one.
While limited atonement is a truth, it is equally true man cannot and does not know the identity of the people that this act of Jesus Christ is limited to. For instance, some early Jewish Christians felt that the work of Jesus Christ was limited to members of their nation, but that false idea was destroyed upon the conversion of Cornelius. Further, Reformed Baptist William Carey, an adherent to limited atonement in its true form, exposed false doctrines based on distortions of limited atonement (created for the political and cultural purposes of European church-states) against “evangelizing the heathen” for the abominable doctrines of devils that they were with his successful missionary work in India. Further still – and very sadly – up to 88% of children born and raised in evangelical Christian families and churches leave the faith upon adulthood (a fact that challenges not limited atonement doctrines, but rather free will salvation ones, as why would all these people, having been raised with the message of the gospel and heard it hundreds of times all their lives, knowingly brazenly reject Jesus Christ and choose an eternity in a lake of fire instead)?

So, please recall the words of Jesus Christ: many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 20:16, Matthew 22:14). It is the duty of those who are called and chosen to make their calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10); to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philemon 2:2) in accordance to the manner laid out for us in the scriptures (Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10). If you have not received the free gift of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ, do it now.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, Islam, Jesus Christ, limited atonement, Muslim, Reformed, soteriology, universalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Charles Spurgeon On Evangelism

Posted by Job on June 16, 2008

Evangelism [01] Compel Them to Come In

Evangelism [02] Good Earnests of Great Success

Evangelism [03] Bringing Sinners to the Savior

Evangelism [04] How to Become Fishers of Men

Evangelism [05] The World Turned Upside Down

Evangelism [06] Harvest Time

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, evangelism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Southern Baptist President Johnny Hunt Claims Everyone Is Elect

Posted by Job on June 11, 2008

New SBC President…sigh

Johnny Hunt is the pastor of Republican Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, who held a universalist prayer for rain last year: MEMBERS OF ALL RELIGIONS WERE INVITED. In the post below, I wondered why Perdue’s pastor – whom I had no idea was so prominent in the Southern Baptist Convention; apparently he could have been a president in the past but withdrew from consideration at the last minute – did not discipline him for publicly participating in a prayer with the heathen (and not praying in the Name of Jesus Christ) a clear violation of “thou shalt have no other gods besides me” principle of scripture.

Sonny Perdue: More Republican Universalism

Hey, I am going to be fair. I am not going to claim that Perdue’s actions – and Johnny Hunt’s failure to so much as speak against them – are the result of his pastor Johnny Hunt’s Arminianism. Still, it just strikes me as, well, a curious coincidence is all. In any event, here is what brother John Sorrell has on the post that I linked to about the new SBC president’s doctrines.

Hunt on Election

Hunt and the Doctrines of Grace

Johnny Hunt on the Sovereignty of God

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Twenty Three Sins of Evangelical Christianity Or Why We Must Pray For Another Reformation!

Posted by Job on March 29, 2008

By Phil Perkins. Recommended (vigorously so) by Theology Today.

TWENTY-THREE GREAT SINS OF AMERICAN EVANGELICALISM–Why We Must Pray For A Reformation Again.

Many Christians today are calling for revival. They are mistaken to do so. Revival is the imbuing of what already exists with new life. In the past, Evangelical Christianity has experienced renewed vigor from the Holy Spirit in great moves of God many call revivals. These are times, such as the Welsh Revival, when God, in a special work, in response to the need of the church and the prayers of the saints, breathes into the church and individual saints new spiritual power to live holy lives and to witness.What we need is a reformation much like the Protestant Reformation. God didn’t revive the Roman church. To make it stronger and more powerful would be to aid the kingdom of Satan because its doctrine was Satanic. God called a remnant out of the Roman church to return to biblical doctrine and practice. Thus, Historical Evangelicalism was born. Modern Evangelicalism is not the same. We have gone into sin and lost doctrines that are essential to make biblical faith possible and added others that make biblical faith impossible. We must not seek new vigor for Evangelicalism. We must change it or simply leave it to return to Historical Evangelicalism, that is, the faith once for all delivered.

May it please God, not to revive an old donkey, but to make us a lion again.

1. The Lost Doctrine of Regeneration.
If we aren’t changed, we aren’t saved. Jesus said that if we are His sheep, we will obey His commands and if we don’t, we aren’t His. John 10, Matthew 7:18.

2. The Lost Doctrine of Sanctification.
If we aren’t being made progressively more holy, we aren’t saved. Romans 8:28-29.

3. The Lost Doctrine of Personal Holiness.
If we aren’t radically different than those around us, we aren’t saved. Matthew 10:17 & 16:6; Luke 6:26; Ezekiel 36.

4. The Lost Doctrine of Corporate Holiness.
If our churches and institutions aren’t pure from false teaching, false teachers, and any who hold to false teaching, they are no longer Christian institutions. We must change them immediately or stop supporting them in any way whatsoever and leave them. Deuteronomy 12-13; I Corinthians 5:9-13; Revelation 2:6; 14-16, & 19-24.

5. The Lost Doctrine of the Glory of God.
If we seek our own glory or success, we are sinning. Philippians 1:12-18; Psalm 145. Matthew 23.

6. The Lost Fellowship of Suffering.
If we avoid embarrassment for being Christians, don’t worry. We aren‘t. Matthew 10: 32-33; Romans 10:9-10.

7. The Lost Leadership of Men.
If men don’t act like men again with courage and self-sacrifice, all is lost. Our fathers gave their lives for correct doctrine. Many of today’s pastors and leaders won’t risk being called “insensitive.” Men, let the ladies be sensitive. You be godly. And lead. And die. I Timothy 2:9-3:13.

8. The Lost Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture.
If we read books other than the Scripture for Christian doctrine, we are blaspheming, calling God a fool or a liar. II Timothy 3:16-17. The only two proper uses of other religious works are 1) to illuminate Scripture by way of explanation or example by another more discerning or more familiar than we are, or 2) to research false teaching in order to expose the lie and expel the false teacher for the protection of those weak in the faith and for the preservation of the holiness of each of the saints and for the preservation the corporate holiness of the church, Christian school, or any other Christian institution. I Corinthians 5:9-13.

9. The Lost Doctrine of Truth over Relationship.
If we value anyone, even our families, over being right with God in practice and doctrine, we aren’t saved. This is a call back to holiness and sacrifice, not meanness. Read and take seriously what Moses and Jesus taught in the following references. You will see that following God under either the Old Covenant or the New Covenant meant that many would be separated from families, friends, and loved ones who will not accept the truth. Much false teaching and many other sins in the church are tolerated simply because one brother will not sever ties with another who has fallen. In other words, will you be willing to be divorced by your spouse because he or she will not tolerate God in the house? Pastors, will you jeopardize your career for the gospel? Many will not. This is a disgrace unfit for the kingdom of God. Choose you this day whom you will serve! Deuteronomy 13; Matthew 10:32-39.

10. The Idolatry of Love.
If we worship the god preached in most of Modern Evangelicalism, we are idolaters, because the god of most Evangelicals is only love. The God of Scripture is much more. I John 5:6; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9.

11. The Sin of Reproving the Reprover. (The New Phariseeism–Unbiblical Rules Against Telling The Truth.)
If we continue to adopt the unscriptural ethics of the idolaters of love, we will continue to be like the Pharisees of old, adding laws God has never given, and honoring human tradition over Scripture. In our zeal for the soft, the sentimental, and the mediocre, we hate the prophet and make artifical rules to silence him. Amos 5:10 & 14-15; Matthew 11:16-19; Amos 7:10-17.

12. The Idolatry of the Effeminate. (Worshipping the Uber-mommy.)
The American jesus isn’t the Jesus of Scripture. It’s a bizarre mix of god, goddess, man, and an uber-mommy unknown to Scripture. We have idolatrous pictures of this imaginary girlygod standing at a knobless door, unable to conquer the human heart that Yahweh, the true God, created. This contradicts both reason and Scripture. Exodus 20:4-6; Revelation 1-3; Nahum 3:13; Leviticus 19:17-18; II Timothy 2:1.

13. Self Idolatry.
If we continue to preach self-esteem, we deny Christ, Who taught us we are filth. Filth awaiting judgment. Roman 3:23, 6:23.

14. The Idol of the God Who Serves Me.
If we continue to seek earthly blessings from God, rather than self-denial, we continue to indulge our emotions and expect riches and health on Earth, while our souls die. Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 9:27.

15. The Lost Doctrine of the Value of Doctrine.
If we continue to deny the importance of strong biblical doctrine, we are self-contradictory fools, valuing the doctrine that says no doctrine is to be much valued. II Timothy 2:14-18.

16. The Lost Doctrine of the Powerlessness of the Church and Its People.
If we continue to speak as if God cannot act without our cooperation, we will remain idolaters, blaspheming the Sovereign Yahweh, and worshipping a domesticated god we control. Deuteronomy 11:25; John 6:44-65.

17. The Lost Doctrine of Redeeming the Time.
If we continue to spend time in secular entertainment, we will remain unfaithful servants, not evangelizing those for whom God has made each one of us responsible, all the while poisoning our souls with the humor of Satan, the mindset of this world, and the desires of the flesh. Ephesians 5:15-16.

18. The Lie of “Impacting the Culture.” (Whatever That Means.)
If we continue to engage in this and other nebulous doctrinal sophistries, we will go to our graves, not fulfilling the Great Commission, which calls us to the specific task of teaching individuals the Scripture. Culture is the world, and is to be shunned. Learn the customs of politeness and modesty. Avoid the contamination of the values of any human culture. Love not the world. Romans 12:1-2; I John 2:15-17.

19. The Lost Obedience to Witness. (Evangelicals Who Don‘t Evangelize Are Lying!)
If we continue to cower, and not witness, we disobey Christ’s last command on Earth and refuse to disciple anyone as Christ taught us to. All His students were required to witness almost from day one. How have we come to the point at which a man can be called a Christian who isn’t regularly witnessing? It is dishonest. It is disobedient. It is inexcusable. May God damn the preacher who says otherwise. The book of Jude; Ezekiel 33.

20. The Lie of Relevance.
If we continue to attempt to “make the gospel relevant”, we are apostates, leaving the original gospel, which God told us was plenty relevant since it, and only it, is the power to save from eternal wrath. Are we smarter than God? Romans 1:16.

21. The Lost Doctrine of God’s Hatred for the Wicked. (Lost to the people, hidden by the preachers.)
If we continue to speak and preach about the god who is only love and does not hate evil and the workers of evil, we are idolaters and lie to our hearers, damning even our own children to eternal hell unless they rebel against us and return to the God of Scripture Who is loving to the repentant and burning in His anger against the unrepentant. Psalm 5:5.

22. The Lost Doctrine of Repentance.
If we continue to preach belief without Christ’s call to repentance from all known sin, we have another gospel and will spend eternity in hell, with the blood of our followers on our hands. Jude 4; Matthew 4:17.

23. The Lost Doctrine of the Fear of God.
If we continue to tell people that God is to be respected and not feared and that He will not send anyone to hell, we are liars whom God will judge eternally in hell. Most of our preachers have lied to us on this issue. Because we insist upon a god who doesn’t scare anyone we either fail to speak of hell or tell the lie that our god doesn’t send anyone there. Scripture says otherwise. Revelation 14:9-11; Malachi 1:14; Hosea 3:5 , 11:10-11; Daniel 5:25-26; Jeremiah 2:19, 5:22-24, 10:7, 10:14; Isaiah 2:10-19, 33:6, 50:10, 57:11, 59:19, 64:1-2, 6:5; Jonah 1:8-16; Jude 4; Habakkuk 3:2-16; Matthew 10:28.

In Christ,
Phil Perkins.

AFTER NOTE: Many have asked to reproduce this post and I will be away for a few days. Please do so. Encourage folks to copy it and take it to pastors, church boards, and denominational leaders. Use it as a petition to ask them if they will return to these biblical doctrines and practices. If not, then shake the dust off your feet.

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Posted in abomination, apostasy, blasphemy, Calvinism, Christian hypocrisy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church worldliness, emergent church, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, heresy, religion | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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