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Archive for the ‘salvation’ Category

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 »

John MacArthur: A Survey Of The Soils

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

From the parable of the sower, Mark 4:1-20

http://gty.org

Posted in Bible, Christianity, evangelism, Jesus Christ, salvation, salvation through Jesus Christ, soteriology, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paul Washer: Regeneration Versus Decisionism

Posted by Job on October 26, 2011

In this sermon Paul talks about the misuse of Scripture in the understanding of salvation.
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1021081230111
Regeneration vs Decisionism – DEEPER Conference 2008 Breakout Session (Living Waters & Way of the Master)

Posted in Bible, Christianity, discernment, election, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, faith, false doctrine, false teaching, Holy Spirit, irresistible grace, Jesus Christ, Judaism, limited atonement, Reformed, religion, Ruach Hakadosh, salvation, salvation prayer, salvation through Jesus Christ, spiritual warfare, televangelism, testimony | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Salvation By Works Manifesto

Posted by Job on May 3, 2011

I, a person who wishes to be justified by works always, desires to A) receive credit for the good that I do while B) exempt responsibility for the evil that I do. The “good” that I do? That is all me, done within myself out of the goodness of mine own heart, or at least the good sense to choose heaven over eternal damnation. At the very most, God provided a good example, or a means, for me to express my inherent goodness.

But the evil that I do? Well, first of all, mys evil works are VERY exaggerated. And who are you to speak of my evil works in the first place. That is JUDGING. That is self-righteous phariseeism. Judge not lest ye be judged! Take the log out of your own eye before worrying about the speck in mine! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

Besides, it isn’t as if I have HURT anybody. Or even if I did … there were extenuating circumstances! And she had it coming! What about what SHE did to me! Who cares about what I have been through? About MY feelings? About MY pain? In light of those things, who are YOU or anyone else to tell ME to go and sin no more? Or to stop sinning or else an even worse thing will happen to me? I know that I am a good person!

How do I know this? Well, I evaluated myself on my own scale that I built for myself that fits only me. If I put YOU on that scale, then YOU will be found wanting, because I am all to aware of YOUR sin. But when I am on it, my faults are minimized and my faults are glorified! Right?

And I am no innovator, here. Instead, the instructions for building this scale has been transmitted down through the generations. It came to me from Eve herself. When Satan told Eve that if she were to eat from the forbidden tree, then she would be as God, knowing good from evil. Well, it was based on my own personal knowledge of good and evil obtained through my own self-will that I constructed this scale.

After all, it is not as if I am a partaker in this “original sin” business. You see, I am basically, intrinsically good. That is why I am justified by my works. All of my good works are mine, and Jesus Christ came to shine the light on my good works, so that all the world would know that my ways are good. That was why Jesus Christ did not die in my place. No, Jesus Christ died as my moral example, as my role model! I am in Christ and identified with Christ, but only in purpose and example. I do not need to die to self daily, or to be crucified with Christ, buried with Christ and resurrected with Christ because I have no indwelling sin identity or nature. I have no old man. I have no “flesh.” Those things that Paul and the New Testament writers spoke of were mere literary metaphors and figures of speech of that day. After all, haven’t you been acquainted with “the new perspective on Paul”?

So, my sins are not truly “sins” at all. They are just mistakes, errors, lapses in judgment, that result in not any lack of sanctification, but instead a lack of good moral and religious training and application. In this sense, I suppose, it can be said that when I sin, “the devil made me do it.”

And my sins are only against myself and against other people. I am perfectly capable of forgiving myself, atoning for myself, and the people that I have hurt are simply whining, complaining, and need to learn how to forgive lest they go about in their own personal hells, torments of their own creation. The idea that my sins are against a holy, perfect God? I am not acquainted with such things. Aren’t you aware that the leading theologians and homileticians of the day have convincingly defined sin as a societal problem, a social ill? Leading figures in psychology, psychiatry, medicine, economics, government, physics etc. all agree, and how can this faith that you claim to have received from the saints stand against this overwhelming body of evidence? You say that it is the faith of the apostles, but the apostles were mere men, and the Bible was written by sinful men whose hope is in their works as was I. This thing about how the Bible is inerrant because it was co-written by the Holy Spirit, and can be uniformly, consistently interpreted and understood? Well, if that is true, then why are there so many Christian denominations?

And you have failed to grasp the greatest thing, the great genius and beauty of salvation by works. Who gets to define good works? I do. Who gets to define bad works? I do also! Sure, I do have guidance. I have the Bible, a treasure of moral instruction. I have my church, a stately institution that has endured for many an age. And I have my pastor and many exhorters, upright men and women all. All of those provide me with much insight as concerning good and evil. But from these sources, I can pick and choose as I please.

So, over the balance of my life, I can declare myself to be righteous. Because I have rejected the Bible’s claim that God is constantly watching me, evaluating my actions for good and evil, I am able to declare most of my deeds to be amoral, neither good or evil. You see, because I have rejected the Bible’s statements that God is evaluating my heart, and that my actions are the result of my heart, I am able to say that most things that I do, say and think are to no effect for good or evil. Most of them are merely passing time, chance occurrences and daily living, with no effect on anyone for good or ill. This is so because I declare it to be.

This is not to say that I never do good works. I do many such good works and deeds. What is it that makes these works good? Why my own evaluation of them as good. If I say that my works are good, then God is obliged to accept them. Do I not have the right to make this determination based on my knowledge of God from being made in the image of God? Does not the Bible say “ye are gods”?

I say the same regarding my evil works. I decide which of my works are evil according to my own value system. I also decide the severity of my evil works. I generally decide that positive number and positive value of my good works outweigh the negative number and value of my evil works. As a simple illustration, I do 5 good works a day and assign them 5 good points each, and I do 3 evil works a day and assign them 3 evil points each. This means that I daily come out ahead. This is how I examine myself to see whether I be in the faith. On the rare occurrences when my evil points outweigh my good ones, that is when I seek out a religious service of some sort, a pastor of some kind, who is capable of being my mediator before God and asking redress for my sin. I go before the altar and pray, I sing spiritual songs, I am extra generous at the offering plate, and I volunteer for some religious work of spiritual benefit, especially among the poor, the sick or children. That eases my guilty conscience and brings me back to a positive balance. Is that not the message of the epistle of James … faith without works is dead?

Do not be mistaken, I do have faith. I have faith that Jesus Christ makes my salvation by works possible. Jesus Christ made it possible for me to believe in myself! Is that not true religion, that which causes one to be true to oneself, to find oneself? Did not Jesus Christ come in order to teach and show me the true revelation of myself? Is not believing, serving and fearing one’s self, keeping one’s own commands, the whole duty of man? And is this not true righteousness, for does God not dwell with man, inside man, and man’s institutions? Did not God have respect for Abel’s offering because Abel had knowledge of himself, and rejected Cain’s offering because Cain lacked this enlightenment, this knowledge of self, this self-fulfillment that comes through salvation by works? Cain murdered his own brother! Clearly the mark on Cain was the mark of one lacking self-esteem! So, you see, if you could just learn to interpret the Bible correctly, you would see the message of justification and sanctification by good works everywhere! And it the same message attested and shared by the common witness of a great many world religions, great enlightened moral teachers (is that not what a prophet is, but someone who speaks in his own name of himself bearing witness of his own self-worth and enlightenment) like Muhammed, Buddha, Maimonides, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Joseph Smith, the Dalai Lama and so many popes and saints. It has influenced so many movements, from the social gospel to the family values religious right. No matter your race, religion, ethnicity, nationality or creed, you have the power and authority to define your good works and be saved by them. Is that not “binding and loosing”?

I am not known by my works. I am known by my definition of my works. Through my own definition of my self by my own evaluation of my works, I learn to know myself according to my own system of knowledge. That is self-discovery, and that is the means and the end of salvation.

So, this is my manifesto.

Authored by ME
Signed by ME
Witnessed by ME
Attested by ME
Approved by ME
By the power and authority invested in ME
To the pleasure of ME
To the glory of ME

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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 »

Romans 4:17 – Speaking Those Things That Are Not As Though They Were!

Posted by Job on April 8, 2011

Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Suffer me while I provide three examples of YHWH speaking those things that are not as though they were.

1. Creation

Genesis 1:1 reads “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” In the beginning of what? Space, time, matter, all of creation, the entirety of the existence of all things apart from YHWH Himself, for YHWH alone is I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14). How did God accomplish creation? Well, by Jesus Christ were all things made (Hebrews 1:2 and John 1:3) and Jesus Christ is none other than the Word of God (John 1:1). So, when God said (among other things) “Let there be light”, YHWH accomplished creatio ex nihilo, which means that He made something out of nothing. Before God spoke, there was nothing. This means that with respect to creation, God spoke things that were not as though they were.

Let there be light: and there was light. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God called the firmament Heaven. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion … over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female!

After God spoke, these things were. Before God spoke, these things were not! God called these things before they were!

2. Sin

After God created Adam, He gave the commandment: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Note that God did not say “if you eat of it, you will surely die.” God said “in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” We cannot hedge concerning this meaning. It likely did not mean that Adam would drop dead on the very day that he ate it, for that did not happen. Adam lived to be 930 years old. Instead, it was a prediction. God knew that Adam would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil! God knew that the fall would take place! Do not be deceived. When God spoke those words in Genesis 2:17, He foretold the fall of Adam – and through Adam mankind – into sin though it had not yet happened. Adam ate thereof, and because of this in Adam all die (1 Corinthians 15:22). And for all who die in Adam, their fate is the second death; eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). So, with regards to Adam and all those in him, God spoke things that were not as though they were when He said or in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die! For Adam and those in him are not yet cast into the lake of fire, but rest assured: they will be.

3. Salvation

But do not despair! 1 Corinthians 15:22 also says that in Christ all live! Yes, that text was written after Jesus Christ came, endured His passion, resurrected and returned to God the Father in accordance with the scriptures. But immediately after the fall, in what is called the protoevangelium, God bore witness of this great salvation thousands of years before it occurred! Before the martyrdom of Abel, before the translation of Enoch, before the calling of Abraham, before Moses led Israel out of Egypt, before the star prophecy of Balaam, before the Davidic line was formed, before the children of Israel came out of exile and began longing for the Messianic hope, God spoke a thing that was not as though it were!

To Satan after the fall in Genesis 3:15, YHWH said “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” God did not say “this woman”, referencing Eve, for Eve is the mother of all humanity, both elect and non-elect, both the Godly seed and Satan’s seed (those of Adam). He said “the woman.” Which woman? Revelation 12:1-2 reads “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” And who is this woman’s seed? It is given in Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And who is the dragon of Revelation 12:17? Revelation 12:9 tells us. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” So, clearly in Genesis 3:15, God called the mystery of the salvation obtained for the elect by Jesus Christ – something that was not because Jesus Christ was not yet come into the world and lifted up on the cross as payment for sins – as though it was.

Revelation 21:1-7 gives us a picture of the fulfillment of what God spoke in Genesis 3:15, of what His only begotten Son obtained for His elect, those called out before the foundation of the world. Indeed, that is yet another thing that God spoke that was not as though it were, for God decreed the salvation of those that were elect before they were even born; before they even were!

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Why can only God call things that are not as though they were? It is because God is the only One that is capable of making those things that are not be! Only God has the power to transform that which is not into something that is! With this body of facts at your disposal, how can you resist so great a salvation … one that is so great precisely because of the greatness of the One who makes it a reality for all who believe?

Do not be deceived: this has been the plan of YHWH from before the foundation of the world. Evidence of this is God’s creating man in His image and His likeness, and this makes man unique among all creation, including even the angels for whom there is no remedy, no avoidance of eternal damnation, for those who fell. God made man in His own image precisely so that upon His Word’s coming to the world in human flesh as 100% God and 100% man when He was born of a virgin by the Name Jesus Christ, He would so perfectly reveal God the Father to the extent that to look upon Jesus Christ was as looking upon God the Father! So by making Adam in His image, God called the redemption of those who would believe before Adam even plunged creation into sin in the first place. Though salvation through Jesus Christ was not, God called – God planned – as though it were.

So, now that you are confronted with this overpowering evidence, I urge and implore you to resist this Truth no longer. Instead, be saved by the One who speaks things that are not as though they were, and by doing so makes those things reality! Lest you perish in an eternal lake of fire, repent of your sins and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, Christianity, devotional, evangelism, Jesus Christ, prophecy, religion, salvation, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Endtimes Alert: Doctor Gives 9 Year Olds Sex Changes. And They Say Evil Spirits Are Not Real?

Posted by Job on April 21, 2008

See link here.

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

A liberal Christian came by about a year ago to challenge me as to whether corporate industrial pollution was responsible for the increase in homosexuality – especially among children – by messing with their hormones (see link here). My response to him? COULD BE! Whether corporate greed drives sexual perversion, or whether sexual perversion drives corporate greed (pornography IS a multi – billion dollar business, and that does not even include the things that aren’t counted as pornography but should be, so where there is a demand mammon will meet it). But now here is the evidence that sexual perversion is deeply embedded into our culture and being normalized:

CHILDREN HAVE CUT themselves. In some cases, 9- or 10-year-old kids have staged suicide attempts. The little boys sob unless they’re allowed to wear dresses. The girls want to be called Luke, Ted, or James. Their parents, desperate to know what is wrong, go online and type “gender disorder.” And what they find is that, even now, decades after doctors performed the first sex changes in America, there’s little help for transgender children. 

There is more.

IDEAS: When are children old enough to declare what gender they will be?

SPACK: All I know is that when I see preadolescents, they have been dressing in the underwear of the other sex for years. These kids are almost certainly transgendered.

And they say evil spirits are not real? We are not just talking about the evil spirits in the children, but rather from the ADULTS that accommodate this vile wickedness, this abuse of God’s creation. This is the key part: the article says that pre – adolescents have been exhibiting this behavior for years. Pre – adolescent means pre – teen, which equates to 10 – 12. So if a 10 year old has been doing this for years, it means since 6, or 4. That is before a child has had any meaningful exposure to the culture: schools, movies and television, etc. So then, how is it that these children have been turned so perverse so early? Child molestation is an easy answer, but too easy. You may want to blame parental neglect due to so many households in which women work – especially households led by single mothers – but that is a class based argument, not a spiritual one, for many of our lower income and minority communities have always seen high percentages of working mothers and single mothers without anything like these sorts of problems. And please realize that the article talks about how this fellow learned these techniques from the oh so progressive Dutch who lack some of our social problems (instead having entirely different ones that the American media rarely speaks of). 

I think that an answer may be found in studying the state of Old Testament Israel. Regrettably I do not have a link at hand, but in one of his messages in The Minor Prophets series, Ronald Dart of Born To Win spoke of King Josiah’s efforts to spiritually rescue Israel, and gave the opinion that sometimes a nation’s apostasy has gone on so long and is so deeply embedded into the culture that it cannot be saved. Dart spoke of Israel then with their idolatry, sexual perversion (including child prostitution) and murder of the innocent (including child sacrifice) and compared it with the evils of contemporary America, making the conjecture that America had itself crossed its spiritual Rubicon into irrecoverable corruption and apostasy. So, God destroyed Israel, leaving it utterly desolate, so that the land could rest from the abominations of the people. Why? Well, God still had plans for the land … for His Son to be born into it. But Israel had so corrupted the land that God intended to be holy and set apart for the purposes of Jesus Christ that it had to be cleansed through desolation. 

Think back thousands of years earlier, Sodom and Gomorrah. The place was filled with sexual immorality and violence, so God overthrew it. And think back quite a time earlier, in the primordial period just before the flood. The whole world was filled with violence and other evils, including the giants in the land, the nephilim about which there has been so much speculation. But in all of these instances, the Word of God records that the very land itself had become corrupted with sin. Not just the people. Not just the cultural traditions, perverted religions, and public institutions of government, military, and commerce. And not just the animals (which the Bible makes clear can be corrupted, not only through God declaring everything that had breath of life corrupt and having to be destroyed in the flood and the evil spirits entering the swine when Jesus Christ cast them out of a man, but when God often warned the children of Israel not to keep or sacrifice to Him the cattle and sheep of pagan nations, but instead to destroy them all along with the people!), but the very land itself!

Now I will grant you, there is some ambiguity or flexibility as to what precisely the term “land” means in various contexts in the Bible, but in this instance we can be reasonably certain that it is strongly correlated with the geography of a nation itself. So if the land is polluted by what the people living in the land are doing, then in what manner is this pollution? If it is not a horde of evil spirits attracted to an area by repulsive sinful conduct of the worst manner, I do not know what is. And there is no worse sin than that of the person who has knowledge of God or professes God but rejects God. Yet that was what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and mankind falling into sin and the entire creation being corrupted with it was the result. Romans 1:18-32 makes it clear that many in the world knew of God during the primordial period. And then you had the apostasy of Israel, God’s elect nation of stiff – necked people. Now I reject dominion and official theology, America is not the new Israel. But still, how can we not compare the wretched conduct of so many people who claim to believe in God to that of biblical Israel, of Sodom and Gomorrah, or of the cosmos before the flood? So if we are indeed a land corrupted by sin, with what is the resulting corruption? From my humble estimation, it can be nothing else but evil spirits that have such reign over the land that they can now enter into children of very young ages – ages before both Jewish and Christian doctrine claims that they can possess any responsibility for sin – and fill them with thoughts and provoke them to behaviors that are not convenient even without those children personally having been exposed to external sources of wickedness on that scale.

So we can suppose, then, that the effects of God ridding a corrupted land from its people so that it can rest as He did with Israel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the entire world with the flood can be viewed in terms of Matthew 12:43-45, which reads “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” Get rid of all the people, and there is nowhere for these unclean spirits walking through dry places to find rest, and nowhere for him to bring the seven spirits more wicked than he. It would honestly appear that with the grotesque abominations that are now not only commonplace and accepted but DEMANDED by our contemporary society that America as a nation is that wicked generation that is in that last state. The only question is whether it applies just to America, as it did to Israel in the time and place that Jesus Christ was speaking (as the nation of Israel was destroyed in 70 A.D.) or does it apply to the whole world? Is this the beginning of sorrows for the earth, or just for America? After all, nations have come and nations have gone! Remember the mighty civilization that the Aztecs built? Yet the conquistadors overthrew it all! So … time will tell. 

I acknowledge that during the short time (a little over a year) since I started this website, I have gone from (disillusioned) Pentecostal to a more Reformed Christianity, but people, evil spirits are real, and Reformed Christians have to come up with a way to deal with these problems through evangelism and ministry programs so that we can redeem God’s children from the clutches of the enemy. That is one of the reasons why I have yet to remove the spiritual warfare materials from the top (also to the side) of the site: it is mostly from the charismatic perspective – with due respect to the Baptist Frank Hammond – but really what else is there?  

From another perspective, this type of evil shows how perversion is taking over the world. Not only is it happening virtually unchecked, but it is the people that say that it is wrong that would face opposition. Suppose you and I were to go to Boston right now with picket signs and bullhorns in front of this fellow’s office, declaring to the world the abomination that it is. (Of course, some would propose that quietly talking to people and handing out gospel tracts would be a more effective and more Christian way of dealing with this evil than publicity – seeking grandstanding, but consider the question anyway.) The news media, the intellectuals (of which there is no shortage of in Boston) and even many clergy would denounce such an effort as hateful, bigoted, intolerant, etc. and before long there would be hate crimes legislation against it, with news footage of Christians yelling and swinging signs at crying confused children, it would be a political watershed moment for the gay rights community, their Selma. Yet a mere 40 years ago, such an establishment working this type of evil against children would have been burned to the ground!

It has to be spiritual. Satan knows that he has but a short time, so the forces of spiritual wickedness are being unleashed upon the earth in a way like never before, and it will build until the return of Jesus Christ. The moral climate, the economic climate, the wars and diseases, the apostasy of the church … it all adds up to one thing: the fulfillment of the things spoken of in Daniel, Ezekiel, the Olivet discourses of Jesus Christ in the gospels, Revelation, etc. And yes, the apostasy of the church is a clear indication. How can these things be going on in a nation that claims to be over 75% Christian (if not higher) without a single hint of righteous outrage? Without armies of Christians motivated to action? It is as if a spiritual cloud of fear, defeat, blindness, pacifism, and accommodation is hanging over the church. And so many are that are fighting are doing it the wrong way: through electoral politics and in the courts. Were John Edwards and George Whitefield about today, what would they say about us? And better yet: how come WE are not doing what John Edwards and George Whitefield did? And yes, I include myself among the number of those that really are not doing nearly enough for the gospel. I have to do more. We ALL have to do more!

Jesus Christ is coming back soon, Christians. And when He does, what will you say if He asks you why didn’t you do anything to help, defend, and advocate for His little children such as these?

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Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, beast, Bible, big business, blasphemy, charismatic, child abuse, child evangelism, child molestation, Christian salvation, Christianity, church scandal, demon of the day, demons of inheritance, discernment, economic collapse, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, false prophet, family breakdown, gay rights, great tribulation, homophobia, homosexuality, how to cast out demons, identity politics, idolatry, Jesus Christ, mammon, man of sin, mark of the beast, pornea, pornography, salvation, sex crime, sex demon, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, social breakdown, societal decline, spiritual deliverance, spiritual warfare, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet | Tagged: , , , , , | 29 Comments »

Is Magdi Allam The Muslim Baptized By Pope Benedict on Easter Even Saved?

Posted by Job on March 25, 2008

www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

(John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 10:9,10)

Is the Muslim baptized by Pope Benedict on Easter saved? A big news item
this Easter was the “conversion” of Magdi Allam, a Muslim author and critic
of Islamic fundamentalism who was publicly baptized by the Pope on Easter
Sunday. Allam, whose wife is Catholic and described himself as a
non-practicing Muslim, is the deputy director of the Corriere della Sera, an
Italian newspaper. Allam has been very sympathetic to Israel in his
writings, and stated that his conversion would likely procure him “a death
sentence for apostasy,” or the abandoning of one’s faith. The fact he might
be killed for leaving Islam, which is called for in the Koran, makes my
question even more critical. Is Magdi Allam even saved?

This is a legitimate question since the Bible clearly states in Ephesians 2,
verses 8 and 9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” We are saved by God’s
grace, His unmerited favor, and our faith in Jesus Christ, the only name by
which men are saved. Period! This passage goes on to clearly state that
good works won’t save you. Joining a church and sitting in the pew doesn’t
save you. The fact your mom and dad are Christians doesn’t make you saved.
BAPTISM DOESN’T SAVE YOU! The Bible teaches that baptism is an act of
identification with Christ as a public proclamation of your relationship
with Jesus AFTER you have accepted Him by faith.

The problem I have with this story is wondering whether Magdi Allam thinks
that by joining a certain church, being baptized, and taking communion,
saves his soul. Actually, I have this concern about many people who seem to
think that as long as they have joined a church they are saved. Listen to
me carefully my friend, joining a church and sitting in a pew doesn’t make
you any more saved than if you went to the zoo and stood in the lion’s den
would make you a lion! You are only saved because you have made the
conscious decision to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, repent, turn
from your sins, and ask Christ into your heart and life by faith. You are
only saved because you have given your life by faith to Jesus!

It was Jesus who said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal
life.” The Book of Romans in Chapter 10 tells us, “That if you confess with
your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him
from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you
believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and
are saved.” No church can save you, no amount of good works can save you,
no special acts can save you, all the money in the world can’t save you, the
only way you can be saved is by putting your faith in Jesus Christ! The
church helps you to grow in your faith AFTER you are saved. Good works flow
from your life AFTER you are saved. Baptism and communion are acts of
remembrance AFTER you are saved. Giving becomes an act of worship AFTER you
are saved.

This is so critical. Let me ask you a serious question. Are you saved?
Have you consciously made the decision to ask Jesus into your heart and life
by faith? Many people have said the “sinners prayer,” but there are no
magical words to save your soul. Those words are simply a verbal guide to
what you are doing in your heart by faith. If you are reading these words
today and have never really made the conscious choice to ask Christ into
your life by faith, or if you don’t have 100% assurance that you are saved,
I would invite you to go to, http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm. Pray
to ask God to open your heart, read the words, pray the prayer, and accept
today God’s gift to you of everlasting life through His son Jesus.

I love you and care about you deeply. For those of you who already know
Christ as your Savior, I would encourage you to forward this email to those
people in your life who may not know Jesus as their Savior. Some of those
people may think that just because they belong to a church they are saved.
Some of those people may think that because their parents are Christians
they are also. Some may think that because they are “good people,” and do
many good works they are saved. Sadly, with the watered down, politically
correct preaching in so many of our churches today, with most TV preachers
only preaching about how to give them more money or how to be happy and
prosperous, most people simply don’t understand that salvation is only a
prayer of faith away.

It sounds easy, and it is. It is easy because Jesus already did the hard
part. However, it is not a decision to be taken lightly since when a person
accepts the Lord, they are turning from their sins, promising to follow the
Lord, and that means His Word (that is why I wonder how someone can call
themselves a Christian, yet live in rebellion to the Word of God!), and
literally giving their life to Him. The Bible says that we have been bought
with a price, that it is no longer our life any longer. When you accept
Jesus by faith, you are giving your life to Him. It no longer belongs to
you, it belongs to Jesus. Everyone wants the benefits of being saved, but
few want to pay the price of being saved. It cost Jesus His very life so
you can be saved, and it costs you your very life to be saved!

In many parts of the world, people are literally killed for accepting
Christ. I am encouraged by the tens of thousands of Muslims in Iraq who
have come to know Jesus as their Savior in the past 5 years. It is one of
the great testimonies of our involvement in Iraq. I pray for these new
brothers and sisters daily and ask you to as well, since they all face great
persecution and even death for leaving the lies of Islam for the truth of
Christianity. Many brave soldiers of the cross are on the front lines in
the Middle East, many of them converted Muslims, taking Christ’s hope to
those still lost in the darkness of Islam.

So I pray for Magdi Allam, that he has not just joined a church and thinks
that his church membership and getting baptized saved his soul, since it did
not. I pray that he has made the conscious decision to accept Jesus into
his heart and life by faith, since the Bible proclaims there is only one
name by which men are saved, the name of JESUS!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or
be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator.
To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now
available via AUDIO each day. Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm
Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling 1-727-342-5673

(C) Copyright 2008, Bill Keller Ministries. All rights reserved.

Posted in apostasy, Bible, Christianity, devotional, Islam, Jesus Christ, Muslim, religion, salvation, salvation through Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I Am A Sinner Lord Please Be Merciful to Me! Psalm 85:7

Posted by Job on March 22, 2008

Listen Watch

BIBLE MEDITATION: “Show us Thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us Thy salvation.” Psalm 85:7

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: There’s a story about a lady who went to a photographer to have her picture made. When she saw it, she didn’t like it. She took it back and told the photographer, “You’ll have to take this over.” He asked, “What’s wrong with it?” She said, “It doesn’t do me justice.” He looked at it and looked at her and said, “Lady, you don’t need justice; what you need is mercy.” God is just, but we need mercy. If you have never come to place where you have seen yourself as a sinner lost before Almighty God and cried out to Him for mercy, then you’ve never been saved.

ACTION POINT: You may have joined a church, but have you thrown yourself on the mercy of the court? Have you said, “Lord God be merciful to me, a sinner?”  share devotional with a friend    visit lwf.org

Do you know Jesus?

Posted in Christianity, devotional, Jesus Christ, religion, salvation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Anti – Christ Mindset Loves Animals More Than People: Outrage Over Soldier Killing DOG

Posted by Job on March 4, 2008

No one cares about children dying in stories like this (see commentary!) but kill a dumb animal like in this story or in the Michael Vick case and THAT is what sparks outrage! The total evil depravity of the modern mindset is ever more proof that the world needs Jesus Christ, that people need Jesus Christ so that the love of God can transform their minds so that they can once again start loving PEOPLE, including INNOCENT CHILDREN! If you have not done so already, please accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by following The Three Step Salvation Plan so that you can begin to feel love again today! If you do not love your fellow man you cannot love God, and all that reject God will be punished by Him in everlasting fire! So there is more at stake here than the pain of dumb animals here (and yes, I oppose animal cruelty, the Bible clearly calls it a sin!). It is about your eternal soul. Satan wants to get you so wrapped up into the fate of animals and other trivial things that you will reject the urgent need to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ! Please do not fall for his devices!

Video Appears To Show Marine Abusing Puppy

(CNN) — The military is investigating a “shocking and deplorable” YouTube video that seems to show a Marine throwing a puppy off a rocky cliff. YouTube.com removed the video for violating the Web site’s terms of use. The black-and-white puppy makes a yelping sound as it flies through the air.

“That’s mean, that was mean,” one companion says off-camera, addressing the alleged puppy thrower by his last name. The fate of the animal is not known. The Marine is identified on the video and in other Internet postings as a lance corporal stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe. It’s not clear where the video was shot, although the man who appears to throw the puppy and another Marine are in full combat gear with helmets. YouTube.com had taken down the video by 12:30 p.m. ET Tuesday “due to terms of use violation,” according to a banner on the Web site.

“This is a shocking and deplorable video that is contrary to the high standards that we set for every Marine,” Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Chris Perrine said at a news conference Monday night. “We will investigate this and take appropriate actions,” Perrine said. He said the Marine is being kept safe in view of the anger over the alleged incident.

Perrine added that the majority of Marines conduct themselves honorably. “There are many examples of Marines who adopt pets and bring them back from Iraq and demonstrate their compassion on a daily basis,” he said. If the video is deemed legitimate, the lance corporal could face a charge of conduct unbecoming a Marine, Perrine said. There could be administrative action, nonjudicial punishment or a court-martial, he added.

“It’s all governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and anything from reduction in pay to reduction in rank to confinement to discharge from the Marine Corps” is possible, Perrine said. If others are involved, they too will be disciplined, he said. “Certainly, there’s a lot of outrage, and a lot of people are upset about it. I think every Marine is upset about this video,” he said. “We hope that it turns out not to be what it looks like.”

Posted in Christianity, evolution, Jesus Christ, salvation | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

HOW CAN GOD JUDGE ME?

Posted by Job on March 3, 2008

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ, salvation | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Annihilationism And The Christian Metaphysic

Posted by Job on February 18, 2008

Not long after I began this site, a fellow objected to my brazen emphasis on two foundational Christian doctrines: the Holy Trinity and eternal suffering in the lake of fire for sinners that die without accepting the resurrection and Lordship of Jesus Christ. The man dismissed by being “hatefully intolerant and unnecessarily divisive” on the Trinity issue, and further insisted that the doctrine of eternal suffering in the lake of fire was of pagan in origin and made God appear both overly cruel to sinners and choosing to allow evil to exist for eternity rather than causing sinners and fallen angels to simply be consumed and cease to exist, hence annihiliationism.

Now my first impulse was to simply dismiss this fellow, sincere as he was, as someone with marginal views. Now I see how wrong I am. As for modalism, while the number of those that OFFICIALLY align themselves with this heretical doctrine through membership of varied oneness pentecostal denominations is small, 17 million, they exert influence on the rest of Christianity in a manner far greater than their numbers. Apart from them is also the increasing number of liberal and emergent Christians that really see no need for particulars concerning the Godhead because their doctrines do not require Trinity or for that matter even a truly divine Jesus Christ to begin with, for they have centered their beliefs around the false god of manhood anyway.

But it has recently come to my attention that annihiliationism is also gaining traction in evangelical circles, and among its adherents is evangelical giant John Stott. And just like evangelical Christianity did absolutely nothing regarding T. D. Jakes or the many other oneness preachers, it has refused to rise up and discredit Stott and the annihilationist preachers. Why? Because modern evangelicalism hates Christian fundamentalism worse than Christian heresy. Now is it possible to hold certain heretical or blasphemous views without being a heretic on his way to the lake of fire? I myself believe that to be the case, primarily because of my notion there are degrees of seriousness of doctrinal deviation, and also the hearer is only responsible for the portion of sound doctrine that he has been exposed to. But whatever the implications that a particular doctrine might have on the eternal salvation or damnation of its holder, certain views are still quite simply deviate from scripture, and those that preach them are not to be accepted or tolerated because of their standing or of some misguided desire not to be a Pharisee or cause of disunity, and that goes for John Stott and annihilationism, Billy Graham and universalism, or R. C. Sproul and infant baptism.

Now most of the justifications for this doctrine is typical man – centered doctrine, both the notion that God has no right to treat their exalted notion of mankind in such a way (don’t Christians read the Old Testament anymore?) and that having to publicly espouse the doctrine in the presence of those that reject it make them uncomfortable. But there is one legitimate issue that they have raised that I wish to deal with according to my limited ability to do so: the idea advanced by annihiliationists that the eternal punishment cannot be because eternal existence is a gift from God that will be granted only to those that make a decision for Jesus Christ. In other words, in the view of evangelical scholars like Clark Pinnock, Edward Fudge, John Sanders, Philip Hughes eternal existence is conditional. Some, but not all, evangelicals that hold this view are open theists, those who hold a doctrine that teaches that God changes His Will in response to man’s actions in history (consider it process theology – lite).

To further make this point, Pinnock for example ultimately denies the reality of the existence of the created spirit – man as described by Numbers 27:16, Job 32:8, Job 34:14, Proverbs 18:14, Ecclesiastes 3:21 to claim for all intents and purposes that man only has a body, and that to support the hellenistic belief of eternal punishment Christian tradition rejected the biblical doctrine of the resurrection of the body in favor of a focus on man’s eternal spirit. It is not so much that Pinnock or other such people deny the existence of the spirit man, but rather they view that the physical human existence as the ultimate reality – this is humanist evangelical Christianity after all, a fact of which they are very proud! – and as a result the spirit man would obviously share the same fate as the natural body.

I suppose that in a different era, we might have had to give this notion some serious consideration. But thanks to the discoveries of one Albert Einstein, we no longer have to. Not that Einstein was much of an innovator, as he merely proved with his theory of relativity what the Bible already said: that time was part of creation along with space. Three – dimensional space and time are not separate entities, but rather creation consists of four – dimensional space – time. And my King James Version says in Revelation 10:6 that on the day of the Lord, time will cease to exist along with the rest of the cosmos, the created order of space, matter, and TIME. “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” Please note what the next verse says for reference:
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”

Now this is very destructive to many open theists because their doctrines make God a function and servant of time in some respects. (More accurately, this theology views God as not so much dependent on time but rather in bondage to the free will decisions of man made in time.) But the truth is that God will do away with time when He ends creation, because time is part of that creation. Before creation there was no time, and after creation there will be no time. And that is the problem with the anniliationist view: they see evil spirits – which includes the spirits of men – as needing to be sustained by God for eternity, which in their view is time running forever, a view that comes from math (and physics) class of eternity consisting of infinite time, with that infinity being able to exist in three ways: from yesterday to infinity (negative infinity), from tomorrow to infinity (positive infinity), and from today to infinity in both directions (total infinity).

But math class does not describe the spiritual realm that God inhabits, only the natural realm. In truth, it does not even accurately describe the natural realm, for astrophysics does not regard negative infinity of time – space but rather it having a definite beginning (the Big Bang!) that confirms the creation of both in Genesis 1 (and John 1), and as just stated Revelation depicts the ending of space – time (as do the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Christ also).

Though spirits may appear in the time – space limitations of creation for a time as do angels in their appearances, as did God in Old Testament theophanies, and Jesus Christ in the incarnation, the true abode for spirits is the spiritual realm where time is nonexistent. That is eternity, that is forever, that is the final state. Each human has a spirit man that will have a final existence, a final status, in the spirit realm where time will not exist. Cessation of existence will not be a factor, because cessation requires TIME which is part of CREATION. Instead, spirits of men – in addition to angels whether fallen or not – will simply exist. The only question is where this existence will be. Those that rebelled against God within the time – space of creation will exist in the lake of fire. Those that obeyed God during the time – space of creation will exist with Him.

Despite the scriptures that the annihilationists use out of context (literary context, the context of the audience to whom the scriptures were first given, and the context of the totality of scripture) that they use to build their case, rest assured that their motivation in applying them is borne of a prior conviction that man is too important and precious for God to treat – and in their opinion mistreat! – in such a fashion. “God cannot do this to me because He has no right to!” is the mindset that motivates this doctrine, and that is primarily why it must be rejected.

Please note that some of the more radical exponents of this doctrine, which does not appear to include Stott, state that the reason why eternal punishment cannot exist is because of the implications of free will. God cannot compel us to serve or love Him, but can only accept our decisions to do so arising from ourselves. Now while in their estimation God can and should bestow limitless blessings on those that accept Him, by that same estimation God simply has no right to make the punishment of those that freely choose to reject Him particularly onerous. Their belief: “it is my choice out of my free will, God, and your only choice is to accept my free will, give me a punishment that I decide to be appropriate, and go on about your business and leave the matter be!” I cannot help but considering it to be the “it is my body, my choice, and my life!” humanistic philosophy of the pro – abortion movement applied to Christian theology. At the very minimum, the very same lying evil spirits are at the root of it, seducing the desperately wicked deceitful hearts of man (Jeremiah 17:9)that harbor imaginations and high things that exalt themselves against God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The final insult is that annihilationism advocates promote their position as the solution to the problem that evangelical pastors are increasingly uncomfortable about the topic of the lake of fire and now rarely mention it, and as a result the doctrine may soon vanish from mainstream respectable Christianity. They propose their view as a way to make divine punishment acceptable enough to the world that evangelical pastors will again start preaching it, and thereby save the doctrine of divine punishment from extinction, making them the TRUE defenders of the orthodox notions of the sovereignty and holiness of God (at least with regards to how those notions relate to the inherent great value of man and his free will). Both the trends of Christian pastors refusing to tread on the topic because of their own cowardice before worldly opinion and the willingness to embrace heretical doctrines to please this same world that rejected and murdered God on the cross is evidence that the great apostasy, the great falling away, is indeed nigh upon us. Sadly, the oneness annihilationist (Laymond was his screen name) was not someone with marginal views, but rather represented one that was on the cutting edge. Instead, the biblical view is the one that is fast becoming marginal.

Posted in apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical christian, heresy, humanism, prophecy, salvation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Why Predestination Is Fairer Than Free Will Arminianism

Posted by Job on February 16, 2008

Yet another attempt of mine to stab at a complex topic from my ignorance, but here goes. It is commonly asserted that the predestination position as regards to salvation must be rejected because it is unfair to condemn someone to such an unspeakable fate as eternity in the lake of fire without that person having a choice in the matter. In our modern humanistic western mindsets, we define fairness as universality and equality of opportunity where each person rises to whatever heights that he may as a function of his own individual merits. Not only have we dedicated immense resources to attempting to conform our world into some utopia where such a thing is possible, but we conform our entire thinking according to this mindset. This explains why such things as racial, class, gender, religious, tribal, national, sexual preference, etc. bigotry, racism, and discrimination were taken as a fact of life worthy of no real consideration just a few short ages ago but are now considered horrible offenses against the human race. Now we do acknowledge that this fairness and equality of opportunity can never be practically reached – nonliberal Christians especially so – but we nonetheless view merely striving for it as a self – rewarding endeavor containing an inherent noble virtue.

It is no surprise, then, that our notions of fairness would influence, and as such be imposed upon, our theology. For God to be righteous means that God has to be fair, and fairness means giving everyone equality of opportunity by virtue of making salvation a free will choice to accept Jesus Christ. As far as the people who have never heard the gospel? Well that is an allowance for the fact that the utopia of equality cannot be achieved in a world that fell into sin through Adam.

The truth is, however, that there is a real tension: the fairness only applies to people that hear the gospel. The people that hear the gospel and choose to accept or reject it are the only ones that receive the sort of fair and equal treatment that is mandated by such things as the 14th amendment or the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For people who never hear the message of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, this standard of “fairness” and “equality” is as irrelevant as are the 14th amendment and the Civil Rights Act to anyone living in China or Sudan right now. Just as the great many western human rights activists could honestly care less about the inequality and unfairness experienced by people who live in those regimes, their theological counterparts truthfully must limit their notion of fairness to a single subset: the very tiny percentage of the population in human history that has ever been in a position to respond to an offer of covenant relationship with God through special revelation. So then, if the truth be known universalism (not the belief that everyone will be saved but rather that there is saving grace present in all religions) is the only thing that can satisfy this notion of equality and fairness.

So it leaves the real problem: how can making salvation conditional on one’s personal decision for Jesus Christ be fair in any sense when so many have never had the opportunity to meet the condition? In that respect, it is grotesquely, manifestly UNFAIR that I was born in modern America as opposed to, say, inland China in 42 AD. It is unfair not only to my ancient Chinese counterpart, but it is unfair to ME that I should have my own fate in my own hands while tainted with the effects of original sin.

God forbid that this should transpire regarding myself, but for the sake of exercise imagine if at some point in our mutual shared torment my ancient Chinese counterpart is sitting in the flame next to me. That fellow would turn to me and say “My fate is quite understandable, but what is your excuse?” My response would have to be “None save than the love of sin that I not only could not overpower by my own strength, but truthfully did not want to even if I could have.” What would be the only honest rejoinder that my companion in torment would be capable of making? “Ah well, then I have nothing to complain about, for had the choice been up to me I would done the same as you.”

And that would be perfectly true, because even the appearance of choice would have been but the cruelest of illusions. It would have been the pretense of an equal fair choice when in truth there would have been no choice at all, a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation. For what can overpower sin but the grace of God? And if original sin can be overcome by the mere choice of a sinner, then why is grace needed in the first place? Free will makes grace not only incidental and superfluous, but a hindrance to the execution of true justice in terms of both the individual sinner and cosmic terms, and unspeakably cruel not only to those that are never offered it, but those that are offered it but lack the strength to receive it by their own initiative.

There is more still. Aren’t some people just inherently stronger than others? More moral? More virtuous? The Bible certainly says so, even to the point of there being even places in the kingdom of heaven according to one’s righteousness. So if salvation is based on free will, cannot the person that failed to exercise it blame the God that created and foreknew him for “making him weak”? If it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, then why, God, did you suffer me to be born into an extremely wealthy family? How, God, was that fair? Sure, I heard the gospel, but You said in and by Your own Word “blessed are the poor!” So then I did not have an equal fair chance to the slave person living in poverty and oppression that accepted Jesus Christ as her only hope and reason for living!

For those and many other reasons, it cannot be said that the free will position is more fair, more equal, more just, and again not only for the sakes of those that do not hear the gospel, but those who hear it but choose to live in their natural state of original sin and love of the world. Instead, it can only be fair if God Himself chooses whom He will save – and whom He will not – according to His own prerogative just as He exercised a similar sole prerogative through creation in the first place.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, predestination, salvation, universalism | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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