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Posts Tagged ‘total depravity’

Regeneration Does Precede Faith (I Was Wrong)

Posted by Job on March 22, 2013

In the past, I have vehemently criticized the doctrine that regeneration precedes faith. The reason for this was my ignorance. I took regeneration to be another word for conversion in that it had the exact same meaning.

However, regeneration only refers to passing from death to life. It is what happened in the natural sense when Lazarus and a number of unnamed characters were raised from the dead by those such as Jesus Christ, Elijah and Elisha. Those natural regenerations were types, or prefigurements, of the spiritual regeneration that happens when a sinner becomes a believer. We can include the resurrection of Jesus Christ as this sort of natural regeneration, as Jesus Christ’s physical existence went from being dead to alive. Obviously, being the sinless perfect and pre-existing God and Son of God, Jesus Christ needed no spiritual regeneration of any sort. This is in contrast with Lazarus, who not only experienced natural regeneration after being dead four days, but being one born into original sin and having sinned – as the soul that sinneth shall die as Lazarus did – he needed to receive spiritual regeneration also.

The subject of confusion: being regenerated, being born again, is only part of the salvation process. The actual conversion process happens after regeneration. Further, the effectual calling occurs before regeneration.

1. Effectual call: this is when God (the Holy Spirit) calls the sinner to salvation. It takes place when the sinner hears the gospel. (Note: the providence of God must place the sinner in position to hear the gospel first.)

2. Regeneration: this is when the Holy Spirit raises the sinner from the dead.

3. Conversion: this is when the sinner receives faith from the Holy Spirit, believes the gospel of Jesus Christ and hence fulfills John 3:16, Romans 10:8-9 etc.

The effectual calling cannot and will not happen unless one has first been chosen (elected by God the Father unto salvation from before the foundation of the world). The regeneration will not occur until one has been called. And salvation occurs after regeneration.

Why must regeneration precede faith? I am certain that you have heard that “dead men tell no tales.” Similarly, dead men cannot have faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). How can a dead man have assurance or conviction? A secular dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” How can a dead man have trust or confidence of any sort in anything, let alone a complete and total one in the unseen God? A dead man cannot even have wishy washy confidence in the casket that he is lying in. Why? Because he is dead. He doesn’t even know that he is in a casket. He has no feelings, thoughts or emotions.

This is not a contrivance of philosophy or idle speculation, but a truth clearly taught in scripture. Consider 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” But that is Paul’s doctrine, right? Well from the words of Jesus Christ in John 3:3: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Now John 3:3 is key. Seeing the kingdom of God or entering the kingdom of God is always used by Jesus Christ to refer to salvation. Always. So, Jesus Christ explicitly states that one must be born again before that person can be saved. Again, when Jesus Christ said “except”, He was making a condition. So, the condition of being saved was being born again. Regeneration precedes conversion or salvation. And take a look at Ephesians 2:8, which says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God.” Regeneration precedes salvation. Salvation comes by faith. Thus, regeneration precedes faith. It is clearly, explicitly taught in scripture.

The doctrine of regeneration precedes faith is considered to be a Calvinist distinctive. However, many non-Calvinists believe so also without acknowledging or admitting it. Many non-Calvinists believe that God makes a change in the sinner that allows the sinner to make a choice to accept or reject him. Of course, the acceptance is a decision made through faith, and the rejection is a decision made through a lack of faith according to this doctrine. The non-Calvinist does not refer to this as regeneration, of course, because he recognizes that regeneration must necessarily result in salvation. So the non-Calvinist regards this as God’s merely opening the sinner’s eyes and hearts for the purposes of allowing him a free choice.

Problems with this doctrine are many. The Bible makes it clear that unsaved people are spiritually dead. So the person goes from spiritually dead to “sort of dead”, akin to the woman who says that she is “sort of pregnant”? Just as you are either pregnant or not, you are either dead or not … there is no in-between! Second, how can the “sort of dead/alive” person choose to believe and accept God on this basis in the absence of faith? Simple: he cannot. He cannot accept the gospel and believe without faith. And if God gives him faith, he will inevitably believe. There is no such thing as conditional, decision-based faith that is only activated on choice. So, for the sinner to choose God once God makes this choice possible requires the sinner to already have faith present within himself. And if this faith is present, he never was a sinner to begin with, and he was never spiritually dead to begin with. The Bible states that without faith it is impossible to please God. The converse would mean that those who have faith are already acceptable to God, meaning that they were righteous, justified, regenerate and converted already. Instead of being in a condition of original sin, this person would have had to have been inherently righteous already without having heard the gospel and without need of Jesus Christ. Moreover, if such a righteous person were to confess and repent of his sinful condition and state his need for Christ to be his savior, that person would be a liar!

The doctrine of regeneration coming after faith – or truthfully that regeneration and conversion are the same – is due to people being determined to believe that God must offer a man a free choice to accept or reject Him in order to be just and righteous. However, accepting God cannot be made in the absence of faith! The Bible is clear on this. Thus, denying that regeneration precedes faith is nothing more than an absolute determination to believe a lie.

This also solves the problem of those who fall away and confirms the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, or “once saved always saved.” Be not deceived: faith is not mere belief. Faith only comes by the Holy Spirit after the Holy Spirit regenerates you. And after conversion, the Holy Spirit seals you and keeps you in the faith. The Bible is clear on this. The Bible is also clear with the parable of the sower that it is possible to believe the gospel at one point but later renounce that belief. The Bible further states clearly that it is possible to believe the gospel, retain this belief but not bear fruit. The Bible further still states that it is possible to believe the gospel, do good works and bear fruit but not be obedient. These are the teachings of Jesus Christ, and Christ makes it clear that those people (the ones who renounce the gospel after believing at one point, those who believe but do not bear fruit, and those who believe and bear fruit but are disobedient) will be cast into the lake of fire! Why is this so? Because these people believed without receiving faith, and they did not receive faith because they are still unregenerate. You cannot have faith and be spiritually dead, but you can certainly believe and be spiritually dead. Hence, rejecting the truth that regeneration precedes faith is one of the reasons why many Christian denominations (Methodists and many Pentecostals for example) believe that it is possible to lose your salvation. The regeneration precedes faith doctrine provides both absolute proof that those who fall away were never saved to begin with, and provides absolute assurance that those who are truly saved will bear fruit, attain obedience and endure trials and tribulations until the end, even unto death!

So God will accept anyone who comes to Him through His Son, because those who come to God are those that God has called to do so. Is God calling you today? If so, repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. If you wish for more information on how to do so:

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Charles Spurgeon Sermon – Such Likeness Between Men and Swine!

Posted by Job on February 1, 2012

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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

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Is The Rider On The White Horse Of Revelation 6:2 Christ Or Anti-Christ?

Posted by Job on March 9, 2011

Revelation 6:1-2 reads “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”

The predominant view in modern western fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity is that the rider of the white horse is the anti-Christ. This was my view until very recently, when I read the John Bunyan allegory “Holy War“, which altered, or should I say enhanced, my view of Jesus Christ (more on that later), just as did reading “Pilgrim’s Progress Part 1” changed my view of Christian living and Part II changed my view of the pastorate and of the church.

Allow me to say that this article provides a good reason why the rider on the white horse cannot be the anti-Christ, which is that the four horsemen are released this eschatological figure is not released until the fifth trumpet. The trumpets do not occur until the seventh seal, and the white horse is released by the first seal. So, the white horse comes at or near the beginning of the events of Revelation (presuming a linear timeline with a literal interpretation) while the anti-Christ comes well into those events. Some interpretations deal with this by claiming that the reference in Revelation 6:2 is the anti-Christ’s laying the groundwork, placing everything in order, for his full unveiling to the earth that is described later.

Well, further arguments against the rider being the anti-Christ are given in this article. It deals with how those who propose that the rider is the anti-Christ deal with the fact that white is always used to represent Godly virtue by making the statement that the anti-Christ comes in this manner to deceive people into thinking that he is Jesus Christ. However, this interpretation requires starting with the idea that the rider on the white horse is the anti-Christ, and then making everything else fit, something often called thesis-driven analysis and also called eisegesis. If your starting point was neutral concerning the identity of this character, then his being on a white horse would immediately disqualify your  associating him with the anti-Christ. But if your starting point was his being the anti-Christ, that is when you have to contrive an explanation for the horse being white, one that seems to violate all rules and standards for hermeneutics used for other passages. The question is: “Why is this done?”

It goes back to one’s view of Jesus Christ. The rider of the white horse is given a bow and he went forth to conquer, and conquer he did! Modern, humanistic, enlightenment thinking does not permit viewing Jesus Christ as the Conqueror. That is, at least not until the last day when Jesus Christ comes to judge the nations for their wickedness. That is the one time that the modern church with its man-centered mindset allows Jesus Christ, who as God is the Creator, Owner and Sustainer of the Universe, to be viewed as a conquering ruler. (And for those who believe in the rapture, this happens when the church is already off the scene, and is spared having to deal with Jesus Christ in this role.) In the modern mindset, Jesus Christ can be viewed as the sacrificial lamb, advisor, “co-pilot”, best friend, psychiatrist/psychologist, enabler, helper, moneychanger (prosperity doctrine), mystic/shaman, errand boy, and even romantic lover, but NOT as a conquerer. This stark, authoritarian, militaristic view runs counter to the modernistic Jeffersonian view that exalts such ideas as civil rights, human rights, democracy etc. above all, and needs a Jesus Christ that will bow and be conformed to it. Thus, Jesus Christ as conquerer cannot exist in the mind of the modernist/postmodernist Christian except for a single day when He is forced to execute that role with respect to the wicked. With the exception of that day, Jesus Christ remains in a construct that the modern mind finds acceptable. And according to that construct, where conquest to set up authoritarian rule is undemocratic is evil, this HAS to be the anti-Christ!

It cannot be Jesus Christ according to this mindset, because this mindset makes Jesus Christ a democrat. This Jesus Christ does not conquer. No, this Jesus Christ is standing outside the human heart like a lovesick teenage loverboy knocking on the door waiting, longing, begging for His sweetheart to come in. And it is only when the person that Jesus Christ’s target makes the free will decision to open the door to his or her heart and invite Jesus Christ in that salvation occurs.

For this to happen any other way, uninvited, unasked, and without consent, is tyranny. For Jesus Christ is not a sovereign king who rules by way of His undisputed dominion over the creation that is the work of His own hands for Him to do as He pleases. No, that is tyranny. Such rule is illegitimate, based on the threat of force rather than the consent of the governed! A true, enlightened philosopher king governs not by power or divine right, but by mutual consent! So, the one who stands at the door and knocks and will not come in without the consent of the “pilot” (for Jesus Christ is merely the co-pilot, not the actual pilot who is running the show and is the true master of eternal destiny, which is man’s free will) is Jesus Christ, the genuine article. The conquerer who does not ask permission, who does not gladly (though under submission) come when asked and does not meekly leave when rejected? Now that has to be the anti-Christ! So says the modern Christian mindset.

Thankfully, John Bunyan did not live in modern Enlightenment times! Therefore, Bunyan presents a different Jesus Christ, one that is actually present on the pages of the Bible before all the modern humanist filters and constructs are placed on it. Bunyan’s rather rough allegory presents a kingdom ruled by Shaddai (God the Father), whose most prominent and prized possession is the city Mansoul, which was built by the King Himself. While the modern mindset reared on democracy would revile the idea that a city is the possession of any king, A) this was in fact the custom of monarchs in times past – the kingdom and all in it were their possessions, and in the east the subjects of the “lord-kings” were considered slaves to the lord-king, and remember the Bible is an oriental book, not a western book and B) the Bible was fully written in the mindset of this custom. Mansoul rebelled against King Shaddai due to the provocation and trickery of Diabolus (Satan) and made Satan its king instead, under the false pretense that they could exchange status as slaves under King Shaddai’s rule to free men under his rule. Of course, Diabolus immediately made the residents of Mansoul his slaves, but so thoroughly corrupted and tricked them that they mistook the slavery of Diabolus and sin for liberation. Their delusion was so strong that when King Shaddai sent His captains (difficult to tell in the allegory, my guess is that they are angels) to liberate Mansoul from Diabolus, they resisted with all their might. The story was explicit: when Mansoul was given a multitude of opportunities to make a free will choice for King Shaddai, they rejected King Shaddai each time due to the depths of their depravity.

So, King Shaddai sent His Son, Prince Emmanuel, to recapture Mansoul. In this allegory, Emmanuel did not conquer Mansoul by standing at the door knocking and being invited in. Quite the contrary, He came with an army of soldiers and overcame the recalcitrant Mansoul, who resisted Him with all the force that it could muster – as it was still dedicated and devoted to Diabolus and its own sinful passions – with mighty force. Make no mistake, in this allegory, “and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” Mansoul! After the conquering of Mansoul was done, Prince Emmanuel had the entire town confess that He took the town for Himself as His prize by force; that when the town had the chance – indeed several chances – to yield itself up to the government of the Prince and His Father by choice, they refused each time. So, Mansoul chose the rule of Diabolus, and Prince Emmanuel gained the rule of Mansoul only by overtaking Diabolus, binding him, driving him out, and “spoiling the goods of the strongman” by declaring and setting up His own rule and domain – and through it re-establishing the same of King Shaddai – by force. Mansoul had no say in the matter, because Mansoul, by decree, election and will of God the Father its Owner and Creator – had declared it to be so. Mansoul did not choose Prince Emmanuel, but Emmanuel chose Mansoul (John 15:16).

Now, Jesus Christ as He is commonly depicted in most modern gospel music is not the rider on the white horse. But Jesus Christ as depicted in Holy War and in the Bible may well be. If nothing else, it is something to consider. Another thing to consider: why would the anti-Christ have to go about conquering the world to begin with? According to the words of Jesus Christ, Satan is already the prince of this world (John 14:30)! 2 Corinthians 4:4 declares Satan to be the god of this world, Ephesians 2:2 declares him to be the prince of the powers of the air. So, the anti-Christ does not need to conquer the world. All he needs is to have Satan’s authority transferred to him. Revelation 13:2 says exactly that: “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Further, Revelation 17 says that the rulers of the earth GIVE their power to the beast, NOT that he conquers them and takes it from them by force.

This may seem like idle speculation, or an excessive emphasis on “last things” when other issues concerning orthodoxy and orthopraxy are more pressing: “minoring in the majors.” However, one’s view of last things often casts a shadow on one’s belief. Many theological liberals and “moderates” de-emphasize predictive prophecy because of an anti-supernatural bias. Others use apocalyptic texts to promote the political and social causes that are near and dear to them. And many Christians are attracted to the rapture doctrines because of their desire not to suffer persecution and rejection by the world as Christ suffered the same.

In a similar fashion, the idea that the anti-Christ is the conquerer on the white horse reveals the mindset of a great many Christian theologians, preachers, and laymen concerning the doctrine of original sin. So many Christians SAY that they believe in original sin, or even total depravity, but by adhering to such interpretations as this, it really does imply otherwise. If original sin is true, if total depravity is true, then why is it that Jesus Christ comes only by willing invitation, and the anti-Christ only by force? Is that not backwards? If the anti-Christ, the beast is “the man of sin”, then the fallen, wicked world, if it is not his already, will freely, gladly accept him as one of their own, a kindred spirit! Again, why would a sinful world oppose and resist a man of sin? Why would they not accept him and instead need to be conquered by him? Only if there is some inherent virtue, inherent goodness in him that would cause him to resist the evil rather than accept it.

The idea that the anti-Christ would have to conquer is based on the notion that man is basically good; that the nations are basically good. And is that not what so many seem to adhere to because of their political, cultural and social beliefs? That the nations – especially the pro-western capitalist democracies – are good, and only the exceptions – the anti-democratic, anti-western, authoritarian regimes – are bad.

Isn’t it curious how most of the theories about where the anti-Christ will come is from the “bad” nations? First it was from the “bad” communist regimes. Then it was from the “bad” secular humanist socialist United Nations or European Union. Now speculation centers on the “bad” Islamic regimes. The idea that the anti-Christ could come from – gasp! – America, the shining city on a hill, the nation founded on Christianity and is a beacon of freedom and goodness? Well, MAYBE, but only if he is not really one of us like Obama!

Again, it is based on the idea that there is some inherent virtue in man, and some inherent virtue in what man builds. It is based on a rejection of original sin, a rejection of total depravity. Even the very idea that Satan takes over the earth and installs the anti-Christ only when the church departs after the rapture is based on the notion that Satan is not the god of this world at present! Ironically, people who adhere to this belief are de facto amillennalists believing that rather than being the god of this world in this present age, Satan is currently bound by the church’s presence.

So many Christians who profess to be evangelical or fundamentalist and profess a belief in original sin based on the actions of Adam only apply that doctrine to soteriology. They only apply mankind’s fallen nature to the individual human soul! But when it comes time to apply it to a larger scale, they shrink back! Why? Because of their love of this present world and the things in it! To those people, James 4:4’s “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” applies to liking MTV and the New York Times editorial page and not the entire fallen worldly system! The parts of the world they like, they consider it good, moral, even Christian. It is only the part that they are alienated from, usually because of political or cultural considerations, that they consider to be “worldly.”

But go back to the text and view it in context. Yes, Revelation concerns the last days. But the letter to the Hebrews – and elsewhere in the New Testament – declares that the last days began after the work of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God’s plan and the high point of the history of creation. So, the last days – the time period that Revelation concerns itself with – is not merely the last seven years, the “great tribulation.” Instead, it concerns itself with the entire endtimes, which is now, and has been since Pentecost. That is why the letters to the churches are the first part of the Revelation. They are not introductory material to set the stage for the eschatology. Instead, they are part and parcel of the eschatology!

In that context, note that the white horse and its rider come first. It is the first seal! So, after the heavenly visions in Revelation 4-5, the white horse and its rider are the first thing that we encounter when the events shift back earthward in Revelation 6. So, why not strongly associate the white horse and rider with Jesus Christ speaking to and walking amongst the churches in Revelation 2-3? Were the material in Revelation to be arranged topically (i.e. with the things happening in heaven all together and the things happening on earth all together), that is exactly how it would appear … Revelation 6:1-2 would immediately follow the challenge to the Laodicean church!

So then, why not consider the possibility that the rider on the white horse given the bow and the crown and goes about conquering (and as this article states he does not obtain or use these things illegitimately in a manner that is against God’s will … such ideas are missing from the text) is going about to foreign lands conquering souls of sinners for God the Father? Did not Jesus Christ say in the Olivet discourse (i.e. Matthew 24:14) that the end will not come until His gospel is preached in all the world for a witness to all nations? Well, in Revelation 6, though it is certainly the last days, the end is not yet come! So, me must consider that the rider on the white horse is none other than Prince Emmanuel enlarging the domain of King Shaddai through the conquest of souls in every tribe and nation that are hardened with the total depravity of original sin.

Granted, this article does state that the rider is the Holy Spirit, not Jesus Christ. I disagree, but for my purposes the distinction is not a great one, as Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit in His Name to complete His Work through the church which is Jesus Christ’s Body, and the Holy Spirit is the One who performs regeneration. Instead, the main point is to consider the strong possibility that man-centered, humanistic thinking is the reason why the rider on the white horse was ever called the anti-Christ to begin with, especially when one has to be very inconsistent in one’s interpretation of Revelation and the Bible in general to arrive at that viewpoint.

Of course, the main point is that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the world and all its people for their wickedness. The only way to escape this judgment that is certainly to come at a time in the future that has been predetermined by God the Father is to be saved through Jesus Christ. If you have not been, I urge and entreat you that you would be so; that you too would be a conquest of Jesus Christ as was I.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

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Conrad Mwebe: Total Depravity of Man

Posted by Job on May 16, 2009

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My Questions On Many Contemporary Practices Of Spiritual Warfare And Deliverance

Posted by Job on May 15, 2009

When I first began this site – as well as its now defunct predecessor – it was primarily one devoted to spiritual warfare and deliverance based on what I had learned from reading works by such people as Frank Hammond, John Eckhart, and to a lesser degree Rebecca Brown, Frank Peretti and Derek Prince. (Now where this field is considered to be dominated by Pentecostals and charismatics, please know that Frank Hammond, considered to be one of the most influential teachers in this area, had a Baptist background, having been trained at Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.)

Now when doing research – inasmuch as web searches can be considered research! – for teachings and material to include, quite naturally I would encounter many statements by Christians opposed to spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries and ignored them, chalking it up to faithlessness and false doctrines. However, one of them did capture my attention. It did not dismiss the possibility of Christians conducting legitimate deliverance ministries out of hand, which forced me to pay attention to it.

However, this article stated that the methods  to cast out demons popularized by Hammond and fellow travelers not New Testament doctrine and did not conform to the example by which Jesus Christ and Paul cast out demons. Instead, the “Pigs In The Parlor” and “He Came To Set The Captives Free” spiritual deliverance techniques far more closely resembled accounts of how rabbis used to cast out demons as recorded in the Talmud and other rabbinical writings. This document further stated that there was a line of Messianic prophecies among the rabbis that when the Messiah came, He would not have to rely on the laborious techniques of the old covenant rabbis, but instead would be able to cast out demons with power and authority, the spoken command. See, for example, Luke 4:33-37. Also note that Paul’s example of casting out a demon was much more after the manner of Jesus Christ in Acts 16:18. And the clincher, as far as I was concerned, was the assertion that the Frank Hammond method was also very similar to Roman Catholic exorcisms! (How ironic that J.P. Moreland, upset over a friend of his having to leave a prominent evangelical post upon this friend of his converting to Roman Catholicism, stated that evangelical Christians should abandon sola scriptura, calling it “Bible idolatry“, and suggested that among other things Roman Catholic traditions on exorcisms was an area where evangelicals should learn from Catholics!)

Now having rejected all of the other arguments against contemporary spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries, this one – that it did  not conform to the example of scripture and that it was an imitation of practices of intertestamental Judaism and of Roman Catholicism – I did not have an adequate answer for. So, I decided that while I would leave the existing spiritual warfare material on the site – reasoning that they are, at the very least, better than nothing and certainly preferable to the modern evangelical trend of relying more and more on psychology and psychotherapy, fields that were largely invented by New Agers, occultists, atheists, and sexual perverts (do a little research, it’s true!) – while refraining from adding new ones until I came across more Bible based doctrines of conducting spiritual warfare and deliverance.

Sadly, I have not encountered such doctrines as of yet, and in the past year or so have focused less on this area and more on “Christianity 101”, things having to do with the basics of the Christian faith and Christian living. Perhaps when I am done with grounding myself in the basics of the faith – matters of which I was very presumptuous and prideful while being wholly ignorant and immature – it will be a good time to investigate the doctrines of casting devils out of people anew.

Still, I have continued to discover more things about the teachings of Frank Hammond in particular that trouble me. First, Hammond takes a vast array of sinful habits and behaviors and attributes them to demons. (I actually had the goal of reproducing Hammond’s “demon groupings” chart on this site and never completed it because it was so large, now I am rather glad that I failed in that undertaking.) But the more that I ponder his teachings in this area, I perceive this as not considering Romans 7. This is not to say that Frank Hammond rejects Romans 7, but I have not seen him incorporate Romans 7 in his doctrines or applications in any careful way. This is very serious, because a study of Romans 7 is vital in discerning whether activity is demonic or simply due to what Romans 7 calls “the body of sin.” Instead, Frank Hammond advocates relying on a Holy Spirit gift for discerning demons. Now how does the Holy Spirit gift for discerning demons operate, and how are we to use it in a church or ministry context? The Bible does not say, so we have to rely on the teachings of Frank Hammond to tell us. Also, where Romans 7 makes it clear that there are some battles with our old natures that Christians are going to have to deal with until we get to heaven, Hammond’s teachings claim that such merely represents failed or incomplete spiritual deliverances, so we have to return to the deliverance ministers to do still more confessions of past sins in counseling sessions and then have still more nested interlocking demon groups buried and hiding deep inside of us, demons and demon groupings that the Holy Spirit gift of discernment failed to identify in previous sessions, out. That does appear to contradict this passage of Romans 7.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Claiming that this passage does not refer to the striving of Christians against the flesh and the need of grace to overcome ignores scriptures that can be used to interpret this scripture such as Galatians 5:24-25 and 1 Peter 2:11. This doctrine makes it appear that Christian living should, save an intermittent battle or three with a demon or temptation, basically be strife and trouble free, and that any Christian who is not experiencing Hammond’s definition of “life more abundantly” is either demonized or still engaged in sin habits that need to be broken, is living under some “generational curse”, has some “demon of inheritance” or that needs to be discerned and broken, and so on.

These doctrines deny the fact that Christian life is supposed to be inherently trying and difficult … one of persecution, chastening and affliction, dying to self daily, carrying the cross or cross-life. It makes me wonder if Hammond or any of the others in his school has ever read Pilgrim’s Progress or anything similar. It also, in a style that anticipated the current Oprahesque style of modern Christianity, which allows a person to reject accountability. Where today a professed Christian who follows the New Agey Dr. Phil psychobabbleanalytical doctrines can simply blame parents, teachers, classmates, spouses, pastors, or any number of emotional or mental problems for their unBiblical behavior, the Hammond school allows a person to simply say “the devil made me do it” and profess a need for spiritual deliverance. Either way, you get to blame someone else rather than yourself, and in this way you deny your need for a Savior and for grace, because you avoid coming to grips with your true nature. Rather than seeing yourself as a wretched sinner badly in need of grace and the work of the cross to impute righteousness to you that you do not deserve and never will, you see yourself as this basically good and decent person against whom there is this grand conspiracy of evil spirits and rotten circumstances to keep the real you, an inherently good and virtuous person, from coming out.  

Either way, it encourages you to hold onto an unBiblically inflated image of yourself and blame other entities – whether human, spiritual or institutional (as Hammond does speak of “prince demons” that control institutions, and claim that Christians should go into directed warfare against them to reclaim these institutions … there goes dominionism gospel of Eusebius and Constantine again!) – for your inability to live up to your own self image, which is an unBiblical delusion to begin with. Legitimate spiritual warfare and deliverance, indeed legitimate Christianity, is concerned with casting off this self – image delusion, which is part and parcel of the old man that needs to be cast off so that we may put on the new man (Colossians 3:10Ephesians 4:24). These doctrines make it appear that the difficult process of discipleship and Christian growth and maturity, as well as coming to grips with the nature of sin and meaning of grace, are unnecessary and unproductive, as it is far better to simply declare yourself and everyone else to be demonized. 

Most seriously, the Hammond doctrines seem to reject or distort the doctrines of original sin, the effects of the fall. They seem to create a picture where man is basically good, and all he needs to do to recover his inherent goodness and virtue is choose Jesus Christ as his Savior. Having done that, any problems or defects are not due to the exceedingly true and vile cosmic and metaphysical nature of the fall and original sin, but instead an evil spirit that is soiling what should by nature be perfect. At the very least, it in effect claims that the result of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross should have been to make us practically sinless with no need to battle and struggle in this life. Either way, Hammond’s doctrines distort or misunderstand either what the Bible says about original sin or the workings of the grace. Thus, Frank Hammond would claim that Paul was a liar when he stated in scripture that God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for Paul to deal with his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:6-9). Instead, Hammond’s doctrine would have us believe that Paul was simply demonized and that confessing his sins and being rid of the root of bitterness due to issues from his childhood that left all these doors open was the solution, nothing about this “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” doctrine that does not fit into Hammond’s view of victorious abundant Christian living!

Another thing: it is amazing how legalistic and guilt inducing the Hammond method is. It would have you believing that your mind, spiritual makeup, etc. contains this innumerable vortex of labyrinths and doors. The labyrinths are these hidden chambers that can contain a demon or three that must be entered into – with the guide of the Holy Spirit gift of discernment and aided by detailed confessions in counseling sessions – to draw the demons out. The doors are sinful thoughts and actions by which a born again Blood of Jesus Christ washed Holy Spirit indwelt believer can allow a demon or demons in at any time. So, the pruning and chastening process, the battles and temptations with sin, and the need to overcome that the Bible states that all Christians must endure are attributed to some sin (often in the past) that a Christian failed to confess, someone that the Christian failed to forgive, some “spiritual door” that is allowing demons in that needs to be closed, etc.

And this is probably the worst practical part of it. The most powerful weapon that Christians have in overcoming temptation and battling the flesh is prayer. Well, Hammond explicitly tells us not to use it, and does so in the very opening pages of Pigs In The Parlor. Hammond states that spiritual warfare and deliverance is not prayer, that praying for God to help us and to overcome in our lives issues that Hammond alleges is due to demons is at best redundant and possibly ineffective. Hammond counsels us that when we pray for things, it is our asking God to grant us something that we do not have already. But, according to Hammond, as authority over evil spirits is something that we have already through Jesus Christ, why pray regarding these matters? Praying when confronted with these issues is a way of ignoring, rejecting, even DENYING the power and authority that Jesus Christ has given you! So … when dealing with what Hammond asserts is demonic activity – which again is either discerned with the appropriate Holy Spirit gifts, or discerned through other means by those lacking this gift using methods that Hammond provides – BY ALL MEANS DO NOT PRAY! (Unless, that is, a prayer for forgiveness of sin,  a prayer to forgive someone that you are holding a grudge against, a prayer to close a spiritual door that allowed the demon in, etc.) Instead, immediately go into spiritual warfare, start binding, loosing, rebuking, and casting out! (By the way, the actual meaning of “binding and loosing” given in the Matthew 16:19 and  Matthew 18:18 that spiritual deliverance ministers often refer to should be investigated … a great many Bible interpreters state that when looking at the context of the passages in which those verses appear, they refer to doctrines, particularly the authority of apostles to establish doctrines for the church, spiritual warfare and deliverance techniques.) 

This I recall, for I was personally practicing it myself for several years. I related in  My Thorn In The Flesh how my mind is frequently assaulted by many manners of evil thoughts. I presumed this to be the work of evil spirits within and without myself, and for years applied the Hammond doctrines. I now realize that these are merely things that I have allowed to enter into my MIND as a result of all of the “entertainment” (movies, TV, music, novels etc.) in my life. Also, for years I refused to do precisely what I needed to about the problem – take it before throne of grace and cast it there in prayer – because these teachings told me not to! After all, praying, according to these doctrines, was weak, defeated Christian living … stuff for babies. (Well, maybe it is according to Matthew 18:3!) If I was to be a bold, strong, powerful spiritual warrior, a world changer on the front lines making a difference for Jesus Christ, I needed to just step out on faith and take dominion and authority over these evil spirits!

And so I did. It reached the point where it was practically automatic. Evil thought enters mind. Say “demon in the Name and by the power and Blood of Jesus Christ I bind and rebuke you and command me to leave and never return.” And so on, so on, so on … if you want to talk about “vain repetitions” then boy I was doing it. Also, so long as I was “binding, rebuking, and casting out” I had no need to humble myself, feel contrition or repentance, and beg God for help. Why? I was a spirit warrior world changer taking dominion, a spiritual He – man!

Now upon trying to discover and build “Christianity 101” these past months, I decided that just maybe I wasn’t as spiritually strong or powerful as I thought. So, I would leave the taking authority warfare to the stronger brothers and sisters, and I would resort to the milk of the weak babes, which was to PRAY. So, I battled and stopped the very many months – years in fact – of automatic “I rebuke and bind you in the …” conditioning … I really had gotten to the point where I did it on autopilot without thinking! … I would refrain myself from the “self – spiritual warfare and deliverance” and simply began to tell God that I was sorry for having or entertaining those evil thoughts and asked Him to forgive me and to shield me from those thoughts in the future. Now even before I received the response that I detailed in My Thorn In The Flesh, the results were much better … cleansing, strengthening, love, joy and PEACE where the “warfare” left me with guilt and conflict.

Now is this to say that I have never benefitted from spiritual warfare and deliverance? No. That is the main reason why I have not removed the materials from the site … my testimony is my testimony and it stands. However, though my testimony is part of my faith, it is the substance or entirety of my faith. My faith is Biblical, not experiental, and it is based on God, not on what happens to me. Had I never existed, God would still exist and His Word would still be true. So, when the time is right, I pray that God will lead me to doctrines on spiritual warfare and deliverance that are faithful to His Word and thereby honor and glorify Him

Sola Scriptura. Soli Deo Gloria. Solo Christo. Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Any spiritual warfare and deliverance that does not conform to those is but doctrines of devils! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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The Statistical Impossibility of Arminianism

Posted by Job on August 19, 2008

The statistical impossibility of Arminianism

By Kyle Andrews

To understand the errant doctrine of Arminianism we can look towards one of the simplest forms of mathematics known as probability. For example let’s take a coin for instance. A coin has two sides, one head and the other tails. If I were to flip the coin 100 times the probability of it landing heads or tails is 50/50. In all probability If I were to perform this exercise the likely hood of having 50% of the time landing on heads and 50% of the time landing on tails is likely the more times I flip the coin. That being said a 50/50 probability is likely. However, let us look at something different called “possibility”. It IS “possible” that I can flip the coin 100 times and it could land tails up 100 times or heads up 100 times. Although improbable it IS “possible”. So we can’t discount the possibility of 100 heads or 100 tails. Keep this in mind for we will come to this later.
The arminian claims that it is ultimately up to the individual to accept the atoning sacrifice on the cross. This in essence is the free will doctrine which is espoused by these neo pelagians who think that man has the final decision regarding his salvation. If this is true then it is obvious that man only has two options.
A: Accept Jesus as Lord and savior
OR
B: Do not accept Jesus as Lord and savior.
It is pretty simple. That being said, after the atonement on the cross there were a set of two improbable possibilities we need to look at according to Arminians.
A: it was “possible” that NO person would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior
OR
B: It was “possible” that everyone would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Although statistically improbable in either direction it was “possible”. And this leads to the crux of the situation. Mathematically Arminian’s deny the ABSOLUTE Sovereignty of God. In their view according to free will God was 99.99999999 % likely to save at least somebody. However, there was a statistical possibility of .00000000001% that God’s atonement on the cross would be in vain and would save nobody. Because of this at the moment of death after Christ said, “it is finished” He could not with 100%, A 100 % certainty claim what he did on the cross would save anybody no matter how infinitesimal the possibility. Because of this there was the slimmest possibility that he died in vain and the whole Bible from Genesis on would be a lie.
Now some of you may say I’m being too technical. If this is the case then it is you with the problem. God is either 100% Sovereign, or he is not. When it comes to God 99.9999999% does not make him perfect.
In closing Calvinism is the only way that guaranteed with 100% probability and 100% possibility that people would be saved. Because as we know with God ALL things are possible.

The Statistical Impossibility of Arminianism – Follow up

I wrote this after some deep pondering between Calvinism VS Arminianism. After some time a few things came to mind considering the free will doctrine which to the best of my knowledge had yet to be considered. It dawned on me that because Free will is of man and initiated by man’s ultimate decision it had occurred to me that it was possible that NO ONE might choose salvation. Once this happened a light bulb, if you will, went off in my mind. I said to myself, “with Arminianism God could have never been 100% sure that the death, burial, and resurrection would save anybody after that moment at calvary”. In essence God would have had to wait with his hands off and merely wait and see if his Grand Plan for the salvation of mankind would work. Next I demonstrated this by using mathematical possibility to help explain my idea. By using this methodology I could show without a shadow of doubt to the Arminian that in their view it was possible that God’s intent after the fall in the garden “could” have been done in vain. I made sure to clarify that because of the billions of people born since that it was highly improbable due to shear numbers but was possible hence the use of a coin. And like a coin with two sides their are only two choices. Once I had established these facts it then dawned on me that no matter the likely hood of salvation we could not with 100% accuracy that anyone could be saved. Once this was established it is by the Arminians own philosophy proven mathematically that God could NOT be 100% sure His salvation plan would result in anyone being saved. Hence the 99.9999999% Sovereignty of God which is not 100%. Alas it could be conjectured that God by the view of the Arminians was NOT in TOTAL control and NOT TOTALLY sovereign.

To expound upon this let us look at the definition of Sovereign.

1. Not controlled by outside forces autonomous, independent, self-governing.

2. Greatest in status or authority or power, supreme.

By definition the God of Arminianism fails to meet the definition of Sovereign. Free will dictates that mankind controlled his destiny after the cross.

Let us look at another definition given to God – Omnipotent

1. Having unlimited power

By the free will doctrine God fails to meet the standard applied to him. He could not have unlimited power but rather was limited in his power because A: He was not the final authority on who was saved and B: Albeit remote, he could not with 100%, A 100% certainty claim that His crucifixion would save anybody.

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Bible Verses On Predestination, Election, Perseverance Of The Saints, Limited Atonement, And Total Depravity

Posted by Job on July 9, 2008

Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance Of The Saints
Answering Common Objections

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Paul Washer: Man’s 2 Biggest Problems

Posted by Job on July 6, 2008

www.heartcrymissionary.com

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Brain Scans Showing Brains of Homosexuals Resembling People Of Opposite Sex Is The Result of SIN!

Posted by Job on June 17, 2008

Scans see ‘gay brain differences’

People are going to use articles like these to assert that what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality is wrong because homosexuality is an immutable biological characteristic like sex or race. (If anything, they view homosexuality as even more fundamental then sex – falsely commonly called gender, which is a political term created by homosexual feminists to suit their purposes – because sex change operations, now being given even to small children, are done to accommodate homosexual preferences.) 

However, findings like these do not oppose the Bible, but rather confirm it. They should not weaken faith, but rather strengthen it. Why? Let me give you an example. I am not among those that claims “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as a Christian allegory, and J.R.R. Tollkein’s vehement denials that it should be considered as such should be respected rather than claimed by Christians desperate to have a piece of popular culture all their own. Still, those familiar with the movies or books remember consider the effect that the ring, which represented evil and sin, had on Gollum. Consider not merely the effect that the ring had on Gollum’s MIND, giving him a split personality which Sam Gamgee named one “slinker” (after Gollum’s sneaky subversive subtle evil nature like Satan as the serpent in the Garden of Eden) and the other “stinker” (after Gollum’s more direct, malevolent, and aggressive evil nature like Satan as the dragon). Instead, also consider the effect that sin had on Gollum’s BODY. Where Gollum was once a hobbit like Frodo and Sam, sin transformed him PHYSICALLY into a twisted monstrosity that Aragorn referred to as “the footpad” after his froglike feet. Further, there were the orcs … originally elves but so PHYSICALLY twisted by Sauron’s witchcraft that not only did their appearance change, but they could no longer even bear sunlight! Again, “Lord of the Rings” is NOT CHRISTIAN, as Tollkein himself stated that it was his attempt to create a system of pagan mythology for Great Britain to go along with the Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology that he loved studying. Still, Gollum, the orcs, the trolls, etc. are examples of the physical effects of sin as told by a Mary – worshiping Roman Catholic that was very familiar with the subject, and as such makes for a very good secular nonbiblical contemporary example that can be used to illustrate a Biblical point.

Here is the sad part: orthodox, evangelical, fundamentalist, conservative, Biblical, etc. Christians have no problem acknowledging that Adam’s fall and the resulting effects of sin and death entering creation had a tangible effect: that the spiritual consequences of Adam’s sin had a real and discernible effect or manifestation on the natural world. So what is the problem? Contemporary Christians compartmentalize. They only believe that the “spiritual stuff like that” happened BACK THEN. Modern Christians, even Bible – believing ones, have the modern secular humanist mindset that in these times, the spiritual God of heaven has basically gone deist and left the workings of the world to science, economics, politics, religion, culture, and the alleged ability of man to use those things to take dominion of and rule the earth. Yes, even according to theologically conservative Christians, when the apostolic age ended not only God but the entire spirit realm went on holiday, and God and the ability of the spirit realm to have a regular tangible discernible effect on the natural realm in a way that billions of people can witness and acknowledge will not happen again until the rapture, the great tribulation, or the return of Jesus Christ (depending upon your eschatological position … full disclosure mine is historic premillennialism, which was the position of the early church before eschatological viewpoints were corrupted by Greek pagan allegorizing and the political needs of the Roman Empire). 

But no. Spiritual things and their ability to influence the natural world did not go away when Jesus Christ ascended back into heaven. The tangible physical effects of God’s grace are still present in all creation! God still causes the sun to shine and the rain to come for the good and the evil Matthew 5:45. What is it, modernist evangelical Christian? You do still believe that it is God that runs and sustains creation, right? Or have you been seduced by some corrupted form of natural theology that makes you more acceptable to the elite scholars and theologians? Well let me warn you … it was precisely that sort of corrupted natural theology, a form that made Christians marginally palatable to the atheist humanist enlightenment European academic community, that caused the Lutheran Church of Germany to vigorously endorse Adolph Hitler! The Lutheran Church of Germany actually issued a proclamation stating that God had placed Adolph Hitler in power to lead Germany back to greatness! So people, look at the horror of World War II and the blood of millions of innocent Jews and see the result of theologies that deny and run away from true spirituality, making God so transcendent, so detached and removed from His creation as to be functionally deist. And yes, I should point out that Hitler did murder homosexuals in his concentration camps too! People, be not deceived, Hitler was not evil because he hated homosexuals. Hitler hated homosexuals because he was evil!

So, a person that honestly believes in the spirit realm, sin and righteousness, good and evil has no problem accepting the fact that sin can and does cause physical changes in people. I am not merely talking about how alcohol abuse can destroy your liver, or gluttony can give you cardiopulmonary disease, though that certainly is true. I am stating that the spiritual effects of sin can and does have a tangible effect on a person’s biology, and moreover that said tangible effects can be passed onto one’s offspring. Again, go back to Adam! Why did eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil cause his death? Was it arsenic, strychnine, ricin, or some other poison? Did it contain anthrax, ebola, or some other pathogen? If so, it certainly took a mighty long time to work, didn’t it, because Adam lived to be 900, and spent a great deal of that time having children! And also, that would not explain how the ricin or the anthrax got into Adam’s children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and so on! No, there was nothing intrinsically harmful about the fruit itself. The Bible even says that it was good for food! The only issue was that God told them not to eat it. The death that entered Adam and the entire creation was the physical effects of sin. You know what? Medical science explains it. Our DNA, RNA, chromosomes, etc. are imperfect. We die because over time our body ceases to create enough healthy new cells to replace the cells that die, and we are also prone to conditions where malformed cells overtake and destroy healthy ones (i.e. cancer). That genetic defect has been passed on to every man born of Adam! And if the spiritual consequences of Adam’s sin had a physical manifestation back then, the spiritual consequences of our sins have physical consequences right now! 

That is why Christians need not unconditionally reject the notion that some conditions, including homosexuality, may in fact be genetic. We should not be so quick to adopt the recent – and humanistic and ultimately Marxist – notion that everything is the result of free will and surroundings. If the effects of Adam’s sin are propagated throughout all humankind, why cannot the biological changes that result from sin be passed down? Doesn’t the Bible itself say so, that the effects of sin go from generation to generation? Even better: does not the Bible say that we are born in sin? Do not words MEAN things? Well, so – called Bible believing Christians know full well what being born in sin means. We know it, BUT WE DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IT! That is why we are so willing to cast off what the Bible says in favor of the scientific, philosophical, and political imaginations that are products of minds that have specifically rejected Jesus Christ! I want someone to show me where it says in the Bible that anyone was a victim of their environment, surroundings, and circumstance. The one instance that I can think of, the infant son of wicked king Jeroboam that the sovereign God who predestines and elects knew was righteous, well God took that child out of that bad situation, didn’t He (1 Kings 14:12-14)? 

That is why we as Christians have to get serious. Sin in the time of Adam, the flood, the patriarchs, Israel, etc. is the same as sin today. It has the same effect on the spirit, the same effect on the mind, and the same effect on THE BODY. We Christians have to eliminate from ourselves these worldly considerations that make it so easy to reject our faith and start to believe THE BIBLE. So, instead of wallowing in the filthy pit of the church of judge not touch mine anointed excuses, we have to consider the effects that sin has on our physical bodies. And since there is a thing called genetics, we have to consider the effects that our sin will have on the bodies of our CHILDREN and our GRANDCHILDREN and so on. What about the work of Jesus Christ who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised by our iniquities, and by and with His stripes we are healed? That is true for those who REPENT. REPENT does not just mean giving mental verbal intellectual assent to being a sinner and saying that you are sorry. That is “salvation prayer easy believism.” REPENT does not mean being truly legitimately heartbroken. That is deception. The best evidence of this is the Old Testament where after Israel provoked God in the wilderness, God REPENTED of His desire to destroy them. God didn’t say He was sorry. Why? What does a sovereign holy God have to apologize for? Who does He apologize to? Especially when it comes to His desire to destroy wickedness? And no, God did not destroy Israel 1000 times and just feel so horrible, terrible, and afflicted about it that He had to go to the confession box, talk to the priest, and say the rosaries and hail Marys. So what did it mean when God repented concerning destroying Israel? IT MEANS THAT HE DIDN’T DO IT! Repent isn’t the EMOTION of feeling sorry, it is the ACTION of turning aside, changing your path! So, for Jesus Christ to heal the sin effects present in your body by and with His stripes – with His work on the cross – you have to REPENT of your sins which means YOU HAVE TO END YOUR SINFUL LIFESTYLE. Modern theology says that you can keep sinning and be healed so long as you are “Godly sorry” each time you sin. THE BIBLE says that the Holy Spirit writes God’s law on your heart and gives you such an aversion to sin that painfully vexes you. Which one are you going to believe? 

But the bottom line is that we should not be surprised when the sinful actions of people cause tangible physical outward signs that are not direct physical consequences of their behavior and otherwise cannot be explained. Honestly, what do you suppose all those references that Paul made to being delivered up and given over to all manners of corruption and wickedness actually means? People, in particular go study Romans 1:18-32, and instead of focusing only on the tidy neat inoffensive little notions acceptable not only to modern theology but also to the little theories of perverts like Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, and most who followed after them that this only applies to people’s behavior, minds, and character. No, look at those verses and consider that they mean for THE PHYSICAL BODY, and not just for individuals, but for people’s offsprings and entire cultures! Phrases like “corruptible man“, “gave them up to uncleanness“, “to dishonour their own bodies“, “gave them up unto vile affections“, “change the natural use into that which is against nature“, “leaving the natural use“, “men with men working that which is unseemly“, and the clearest example “receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Now I am not going to deny that this also does not refer to changes in mindset, morality, and character, but how can one deny that this also does not refer to the spiritual effects of sin changing the physical body to the point where it simply is physically not what it was prior? 

If one accepts that sin is inherently unnatural to creation and as a result has effects far broader and greater than the mere direct and immediate consequences of the act – the Biblical view – then one should have no problem with this whatsoever. But if one takes on the modern, humanistic worldview that sin is more or less natural and therefore Christians should resign themselves to it and even tolerate it to a great degree – the “stop all the condemning, stop talking about what we are against and start talking about what we are for” mindset – then being confronted by medical science such as this can only leave you with two options.

1. This is the bogus pseudo – scientific result of liberal agenda – driven politicians masquerading as people with Ph.D’s in biology, medicine, engineering, physics, etc. A conservative Republican family values Christian would have known to use only the “right” equipment and the “right” procedures and interpreted the data the “correct” way in order to get the “right” results that would have “scientifically proven” man’s free will. GOD FORBID THAT MEDICAL SCIENCE WOULD PROVE THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN AND HOW BADLY MAN NEEDS THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INTERVENE IN ORDER FOR US TO BE SAVED! WELL GUESS WHAT SOPHISTICATED CHRISTIANS – SCIENCE HAS ALREADY DONE IT WITH BABIES! SO WHY CANNOT SCIENCE DEMONSTRATE THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN WITH ADULT PRACTICING HOMOSEXUALS? (I am supposing that theological sophisticates are waiting for scientific results that would tend to confirm Pelagianism or Arminianism?) Of course, I am not saying that agenda – driven sham science does not exist: evolution is bogus for instance. But Christians have NO CASE for dismissing these findings until the science behind it is investigated. That has been the case with evolution: Christians have studied the science, forced even leading evolutionists to acknowledge that it is a sham, and as a result evolutionists have had no recourse other than to make it illegal to even mention the holes in evolution in public schools and universities and research labs have actually stopped hiring and admitting Christians into research programs. But in this instance, Christians need to investigate the science before they say that it contradicts the Bible. As it is, the only reason for claiming that these results violate the Bible in the first place is because modern theology presents a functional deism where the spiritual is replaced by the secular, the acts of God are replaced by the acts of man, and this creates a Christian mindset that is much more accommodating to amillennialism, dominionism, reconstructionism, and SIN.

2. Or you can decide “hey, well this proves that the gay rights activists like Soulforce and the Human Rights Campaign and Act Up are right, so we have to accept that modern science and ethics have proven the Bible to be wrong.” 

Both options are, of course, unacceptable to me. Instead, the route that I choose is one that the Bible has makes plain from Genesis 3: the spiritual effects of sin causes changes in the natural world, including but not limited to twisting, deforming, and setting at odds with its natural purpose the bodies of men. Think about it: the corruption of man and beast and the earth itself due to sin caused God to destroy the world with the flood! Similar to Romans 1, take a look at Genesis 6! “The earth also was corrupt before God.” “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” “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.” “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” But here is the clincher: “There were giants in the earth in those days.” Do you realize that there is an emerging consensus in the evangelical scholarly community that the giants of Genesis 6 merely referred to arrogant tribal rulers? Never mind that the exact same Hebrew word in that passage was used in Numbers 13:13, the giants of the sons of Anak. What did Israel say? “Compared to those GIANTS we look like GRASSHOPPERS! We can’t defeat them in battle, so we aren’t going to go in the Promised Land!” I guess “we are grasshoppers compared to them” was just a figure of speech; they were simply speaking of how mighty the tribal kings were. So I guess these Anakite kings were supposed to be mightier than PHAROAH OF EGYPT or something? So if they were grasshoppers before the Anakite kings, what was Israel before pharoah, who ruled the most powerful nation in the world? Amoebas? It sounds like to me that these leading evangelical scholars are doing all that they can to deny that sin really is and what sin really does. Which is precisely why I am certain that since these great respected theologians cannot take position 1) above and retain their esteemed positions in the academy, the day is soon coming that findings like this will make position 2) will be their only recourse. And the question is … when that day comes, will you go also with them? Or will you go with the Bible and those of us that believe in what it actually says and means? 

Posted in Apologetics, Christianity, gay rights, homosexuality | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

At The Cross All Men Are Equal

Posted by Job on May 7, 2008

See link below.

All Men Are Equal Down at the Cross

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Reformed Christianity: Does God Create Unbelief? The Divine Initiative

Posted by Job on November 27, 2007

R.C. Sproul series 2 http://ligonier.org

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, predestination | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Reformed Christianity: The Meaning of Free Will And Man’s Radical Fallenness

Posted by Job on November 27, 2007

R.C. Sproul series 2 http://ligonier.org

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

 
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