TRUTH VS. ERROR
Studies In Bible Doctrine
It is evident we are in the days of great deception spoken of by the Lord. It grieves my heart to see so much heresy and false philosophy robbing sincere, but uninformed people of the abundant, holy life they could experience within the "whole counsel of God". As a youth, taking Karate, I was taught to use my opponent's own inertia against him, rather than directly opposing his force. My soul agonizes to see how Satan has used this trick on so much of what is called Christianity today. Who would have thought that the zeal to win lost souls would cause men to fall into a false, watered down, Gospel to produce more "numbers". Who would have thought that the desire to avoid the errors of Roman Catholicism in their "adding to scripture" and making salvation come through the church's merit system, would lead so many into the Antinomian heresy of false repentance and false faith, which is afraid of anything that could be called "works" - even obedience to Jesus Christ.
I am continuously amazed to see people defending erroneous doctrine and the sinful, disobedient lives that adhere to it; while at the same time criticizing pure doctrine and the pure, godly lifestyles of those who follow it, as though it is sinful to be godly! Paul said grievous wolves would come in and spread false doctrine after he left. What you preach and practice today is either a product of an apostle or a grievous wolf. As we have said before, the only reason one prefers the grievous wolf doctrine over the pure apostolic is because he loves darkness, and the sin he can justify through it, more than light.
Once a Baptist preacher, who followed the heresy of false repentance spoken of in this book, was taunting one who believed you must live in obedience, and calling it, "sinless perfectionism". After a moment the man said to this Baptist preacher, "Just exactly what sin is it that you want to commit?" Yesterday a Calvinist asked me how it was that I came to my position. I said, "Plain statements of Scripture". We are to only build doctrine on PLAIN STATEMENTS OF SCRIPTURE, IN CONTEXT, WITH BIBLE DEFINITIONS FOR THE WORDS, AND COMPARED TO ALL THE OTHER STATEMENTS OF SCRIPTURE ON THE SAME SUBJECT. You can't ignore verses that don't fit in your system of doctrine, or use "your verses" to cancel "their verses". The Bible harmonizes perfectly, so the "my verse can beat up your verse" nonsense is unacceptable. Every verse fits in its perfect place and true doctrine will mesh with every verse.
I've found that many preachers misrepresent the opposing side in order to refute it. They build an absurd straw man, and then tear him up. The uninformed reader thinks they have refuted me; but they have only beat up their straw man. I've tried to get them to sit and discuss the issues, or even debate; but they will not. I believe it is important to confront error, and allow the people to see both sides.
Because I believe that men must repent and turn from their wicked ways before God can forgive them, I'm accused by these preachers of preaching "sinless perfection". Those who believe that Jesus must be received as boss (LORD) of your life, when you accept him as Savior; are labeled with "Lordship Salvation" -- and said to believe that unless a sinner becomes an instant, perfect, mature Christian at conversion, then he is not saved. This is a lie. This is a straw man and misrepresentation of their beliefs.
The Devil's tools are "false accusation" and "deception"; and it is sad to see these preachers, whom I was raised under, using such methods. As I said, I was raised under such preaching, saw the consequences in the lives of people I love, went to their colleges, and when I stood against such heresy, and tried to persuade my family, friends, and church, of the truth, I lost my church, was called a heretic by relatives and those I thought were friends. Don't think I am splitting hairs, and being extreme -- you haven't seen what I've seen. My confidence in such preachers was broken down because of all the dishonesty that I saw. When I turned to the Word of God, historic apostolic Christianity, and God's Spirit to lead me, I found the truth was much more evident than I expected, and marveled that I had not seen it sooner.
As I said, as soon as my personal bias was discarded, I saw the truth. If you would discard yours, and simply seek "TRUTH" you would see it too. I'm going to set the errors I've heard preached next to the truth of God's Word, and historic apostolic Christianity, and I want you to see for yourself which is consistent with the Word of God, and which is Satan's deceit. You will see the same lie in false doctrine that Satan told Eve in the Garden: If you disobey God, "YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE".
ERROR: Repentance is a change of mind that doesn't necessarily produce a change of lifestyle from rebellion against God to obedience to him. If God required men to turn from rebellion to obedience in order to be forgiven, then salvation would not be a gift. God is said to "repent", so repentance cannot be "turning from sin". It simply means a change of mind about Jesus. God just wants sinners to admit their sinful condition, and accept Jesus as the payment for their sins. So repentance is simply a turning from the one sin of unbelief. "Unbelief" is the only sin a sinner needs to turn from to be saved.
TRUTH: There are many points here that need to be addressed, so bear with me. THE BOTTOM LINE OF SALVATION FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION IS FORGIVENESS! God cannot grant forgiveness justly without two things:
1. Jesus' atonement (payment) for sins through his blood shed on the cross; and
2. Man's confessing and forsaking of his sin, which is called repentance in the Bible.
The men who preach the error are dishonest in that they make a big deal out of God repenting, yet don't tell the people there are different Greek words used by the Holy Spirit to speak of God changing his mind out of mercy, or man changing his mind and heart and life about his rebellion. In either case, God's "repentance" from wrath to mercy still changes his actions. Anyone with sense knows that if I change my mind about my rebellion, I will then strive to obey -- this is elementary.
FORGIVENESS IS A FREE GIFT. ALL GOD'S PROVISION IN SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT. THE ATONEMENT IS A FREE GIFT. IT IS FREE TO EVERY MAN WHO WILL REPENT AND RETURN TO GOD AS THE PRODIGAL DID TO HIS FATHER. Repentance does not pay for forgiveness -- thus causing salvation to not be a gift!! However, it is not a gift to rebels, or everyone would be saved, and nobody would go to Hell.
END VS. MEANS
Repentance is a change of the ultimate preference of the mind or will of man. It is a change in the "END", and not merely the "MEANS" in the ultimate preference of the will. A selfish person may adopt religion as a means of securing social status or pursuing the same "end" as he pursued before conversion -- self security, acceptance, praise of man, etc. Usually it is not hard to see this in a person if you are around them much, or speak with them about the Lord and their sins. There is a definite difference between the person who has surrendered his will to God's, and is seeking God and serving God for God's glory; and those who see God as a rabbit's foot -- a means to secure their own pleasure, prosperity, or security. This is where the Pharisees were, and many "Christians" today are. They have yet to experience true conversion. They are still seeking their own pleasure, and haven't forsaken their wicked ways. You can discover this by asking the question: Do they adjust their lifestyle to fulfill God's pleasure and will? Are they denying self and bearing the cross of obedience to Christ? Or, are they doing what they do because it satisfies the flesh? Does a woman dress fashionable, immodest, and worldly for God's pleasure? Does a man smoke, drink, chew, watch TV, look at ungodly books, or listen to worldly music for God's glory? What is the ultimate preference of the will? Yet their churches are full of these people who have been told they are not only saved, but secure for Heaven!
The churches are full of people who do as they please all week laying up treasure on earth or spending it without any regard to God's will, pleasure or Word. Many times they live just good enough to be accepted in their social arena, and receive the praise of men; but it never takes them to the realms outside the gate bearing the reproach of Christ -- doing God's will that brings the scorn of men.
These people live in the experience of Romans 7:14-25 or even worse in 6:1 -- "living in sin that Grace might abound;" but have never experienced Romans 8. They are in bondage to the flesh, and fulfill the desires of the flesh, though they are convicted by the law, and claim to be full of desire to do better. You do what you want to do. You may say you desire to do better, but what you do is what your ultimate preference is at the moment. The Gospel promises victory to those who really want it. That is what the new birth is all about. I understand that Christians have struggles; but it is because they have repented, not because they know they need to! It is struggling to obey, not struggling to justify their own way! It is struggling upward to victory, not wallowing in the mire!
This self deceit is where the people in Matthew 7:21-27 come in, as well as Judas, and the disciples in John 6:64-66. This is why when great multitudes were following Jesus, he would turn and say, as in Luke 14:25-35, and to the rich young ruler; that they must die to self before they could become one of his followers. There must be a death to "self fulfillment", before there can be the birth of "Thy will be done" in our lives. The false repentance doctrine is the tail on the "easy believe", dead faith dog.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN
When accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord, we must understand we become stewards of our lives and possessions for God's purposes, not owners.
It seems obvious from the context that these Corinthians were young in the faith, but still should have already known this -- They were told this at conversion. Jesus came preaching repentance to a world of men who had taken personal ownership of their lives contrary to God's will, and were living as "gods" for their own glory and pleasure; just as Satan told Eve in the garden.
ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW
This is the very reason the Bible can say, "If any man be is Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God" (2 Cor. 5:17). Right from the start!! We are the ones who yield our members to do right or wrong: and which ever we do, determines our destination.
This was written to believers, as sinners are already dead in sin. Notice how Romans 6:17,18 paint a perfect picture of repentance at conversion.
What form of doctrine was this? Not "Easy Believism", Antinomianism, Calvinism, or this false repentance heresy!
From Genesis to Revelation, God is calling sinners (people who practice sin) to repentance. Repentance is a complete transformation of the mind and heart. It starts with conviction from God's Word preached by the unction of the Holy Spirit about man's sin, and God's wrath toward it; and ends with a yielding to God, and forsaking of sins. The root of the Greek word METANOEO (repentance when referring to salvation) is META. It is the same root for METAMORPHOSIS and METABOLISM. The root means transformation. If this has really happened to a sinner's mind, then his entire life will change direction. That is why John the Baptist and the apostles demanded fruits or works "meet for repentance". This is why I John 2:4 can boldly say,
So... are all new converts supposed to be "liars" for some time before they start obeying; or are they expected to obey from the point of conversion?
WHAT DID THEY DO?
It is clear how the people in the Bible understood repentance: John the Baptist told the people to repent. So, what did they do? They came confessing their sins, and asked him what they should do to be righteous and acceptable to God. Jesus said that the people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. Well...What did they do? Jonah 3:5-10 says the people "believed" God, and therefore put away their evil ways. God's message is a promise of pardon to those who repent and forsake their wicked ways: so when I "believe" God, the first thing I do is forsake my sins in hopes of pardon.
REPENT OF SINS
To say that repentance is turning from unbelief, and not from sins, shows that they don't understand God's message that we are to believe. The Gospel is essentially the same all through the Bible: Salvation is by grace through faith -- nobody has ever been saved by keeping the law perfect. The words of the prophets are the foundation for New Testament Gospel preaching. Here is an example of salvation by grace through faith: Isaiah 55:6,7
This is exactly the same thing taught through the story of the prodigal son. Jesus is teaching the glory of one sinner repenting, more than 99 just persons (non-sinners) who need no repentance. Read Luke 24:46,
Now, if you take this to an English teacher, and have them diagram the sentence, they will tell you that repentance refers to sins. Before there can be remission (forgiveness) of sins, there must be repentance of sins. Those who hear this message and believe it will do what? ...They will repent of their sinful way, and turn to Christ, so they can receive remission.
VICTIM OR VILLAIN
I believe part of the problem is a false philosophy that man is a victim and not the villain in regards to sin. A victim cannot do anything but trust and allow the Savior to save them. But, the villain must give up his villainous ways before he can be pardoned and forgiven. Man is not condemned because he is a cripple, but because he is a criminal -- not because he is a victim, but because he is a villain! The prodigal son was not a victim, but a rebel; and had to give up his wicked ways to be reconciled to his father. Read Colossians 1:21,
They were alienated by wicked works, which stemmed from a wicked mind; so when they repented and changed their mind, guess what else changed? Their works! So what did they repent of? Their sins!
Hebrews 6:1 makes it clear what believers repented from at conversion: "dead works". Dead works are works that are not of faith in God, just as faith without works is also called dead faith -- they need each other to be alive!
WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE
Read what Paul said to the Gentiles, "Repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." Acts 26:20. "Works meet for repentance" is an interesting statement. It is the same thing John the Baptist required of the Jews. It proves that repentance has to do with "works", and a repentant person will have different works! The man in the temple cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner." He was repenting of his sins! Jesus told people who said they believed in him, "Go and sin no more". He was telling them to repent of their sins.
The bottom line of salvation is forgiveness! The Bible says those who cover their sins shall not prosper, but those who confess and forsake their sins shall have mercy. The man in the temple was confessing and forsaking his sins. The people who came to be baptized of John were confessing and forsaking their sins. The men of Nineveh confessed and forsook their sins, and all this is called repentance. The only people who have the privilege to simply "trust Christ" for forgiveness are those who are already repentant. Those still in disobedience can only trust presumptuously, and the Lord doesn't hear their request for anything -- "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me."
If the judge tells a wife beater to repent, what do you think he wants him to repent of? Eating sweets?... or beating his wife? When God calls sinners to repentance, he wants them to repent of being sinners -- and unbelief is only one sin that sinners must repent of, as can be seen from Revelation 21:8. We are to repent of the works of unbelief, not just from the unbelief, and keep the dead works.
CHILDREN OF OBEDIENCE
It is all too clear that men turn from disobedience to obedience at the point of conversion. If lost people are labeled the "children of disobedience" in the Bible, then what must Christians be? And when did this begin? Again, If I John tells us, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar"; then when did this change occur? It had to occur at conversion, or there would be a time when all baby Christians were liars! Sad to say, the ones following false doctrine are! -- Thanks to the deceivers who converted them!
Read Ez. 18:30-31; Ez. 3,18,33; Is. 1:16-20. Where do you think the Jews got their understanding of the meaning of repentance? The sin of "unbelief in Christ" can only be committed after Christ has been presented; but repentance is preached in the New Testament before Christ came, and to the Gentiles who didn't even know about Christ coming.
THE TRUE GOSPEL
The Gospel is that we can obtain remission of our sins in Jesus' name if we repent of them. This is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. When God said in Isaiah 55:7, "Let the wicked forsake his way", what was he saying? If the wicked forsook his way, was he to go some other man's way, or start obeying God? It is obvious. Well, then God was saying for sinners to come back to obedience in order to receive pardon, right? Right! How long did God want this person to remain obedient? If he turned back to his wicked ways, would God continue his forgiveness? Who is even foolish enough to argue that God would? The truth is plain and consistent with every verse in the Bible: While I remain repentant, I remain in God's forgiveness; but if I turn back to my wicked ways again, I step out of God's forgiveness. This is exactly what is says in Heb. 3:12-14; 10:26; II Tim. 2:12; Romans 6:16; 8:13; 11:22; I Cor. 9:27-10:14; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; Gal. 6:7-9; Eph. 4:30-5:7; Heb. 6; 12:15-25; James 5:19-20; II Peter 2; 3:17; I John 2:24-25; Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 22:7,14 to name a few -- not to mention the Old Testament ones like I Chronicles 28:9 & II Chronicles 15:1,2,
Now, this principle is the same in the New Testament, in fact, we are even under greater danger if we turn back, because: "To whom much is given, much is required." (Heb. 2:1-3; 10:26-29; 12:25).
A FREE GIFT?
To say the conditions of repentance and living faith make salvation not a free gift, or of works, only shows they don't understand the Bible at all. Normally, a criminal must pay his due punishment with or without repentance; but, because of God's mercy and the gift of Christ's atonement, God offers a free pardon to those criminals who return with a penitent heart. To say this is salvation by works shows further ignorance. "Salvation by works" says that good works can atone for bad works, so Jesus didn't need to die. Salvation by grace says that Christ made atonement as a free gift; but this free gift is only given to those who return to God as the prodigal did to his father: repentant, humble, submissive, and willing to only be a servant.
UNBELIEF OR DISOBEDIENCE
All sin is a form of unbelief. All obedience to the Spirit of the Law, or to Christ is because of faith! The two are inseparable. In fact, the Greek word used for disobedience in 15 places in the New Testament (Luke 1:17; Acts 26:19; Romans 1:30; 10:21; Eph. 2:2; 5:6; Col. 3:6; II Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:16; 3:3; I Peter 2:7:8; 3:1,20; 4:17);
...is translated "unbelief" or "believed not" 13 times in the New Testament (John 3:36; Acts 14:2; 17:5; 19:9; Rom. 11:30,31,32; 15:31; Heb. 3:18; 4:6,11; 11:31)
FAITH OR FAITHFUL
It is interesting also, that the word translated "faith" is also translated "faithful" in referring to salvation. To say someone is a believer, is to say he is faithful. Just as "infidel" means "unbeliever"; and "fidelity" means "faithful". The two cannot be separated. You can't have a believing rebel, or an obedient unbeliever. God requires the heart; so outward conformity to rules alone is not obedience. This is one reason the basis for salvation is faith and not the works of Moses' Law; because God wants the heart! He didn't have the Pharisees' hearts; nor does he have the heart of one who professes to believe, but doesn't strive to obey!! It is impossible for belief to be in the heart, without obedience in the life!! IMPOSSIBLE!
If there is disobedience, then there is some unbelief in the heart to the same proportion. That is why Hebrews 3:12 says,
The reason they say that God just wants the sinner to turn from his unbelief to their definition of belief -- which is to pray their "sinner's prayer", and say they are depending on Jesus to get them to Heaven; even though they won't obey Christ, get baptized, be faithful to church, etc.; is because of their error on Justification by faith. We will discuss that next.
CONFESSING THE LORD JESUS
God says that baptism is the answer of a clear conscience to God. If the sinner hasn't confessed and forsaken all known sin in his heart, he doesn't have a clear conscience in baptism! The Bible says we are to confess the Lord Jesus unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10). These false prophets are leading people to hypocrisy in telling them to confess Jesus as their Lord, but not live as though he is their Lord; and calling us heretics because we tell them to live what they profess!! Amazing!
2. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
ERROR: One act of faith in "accepting Christ" causes us to be perpetually justified before God -- thus having our past, present, and future sins forgiven and cleansed at the moment one "accepts Christ". Furthermore, the good works of Christ are placed (imputed) on our record, so we are seen as righteous as Jesus, though in reality we live in shameful disobedience to God. Thus, once "saved" we can never be condemned for our sins, no matter how wicked we live. God will only chasten us -- even to death and Heaven. Justification by faith, apart from works, means that whether our faith works, or does nothing, it has no affect on our salvation -- since we are perpetually justified by that one act of faith in receiving Christ. Some use the verse in Romans 4:5 to this end: "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Others will declare that our future sins are not covered at conversion, but that Jesus' advocacy is automatic and unconditional -- not conditioned on our walking in the light or confessing known sin. They even say that present confessing of sins for forgiveness has nothing to do with our salvation.
TRUTH: It is hard to believe that seemingly intelligent people actually believe and preach such damnable lies; but it is true. As I have studied, I have found that in the first century some gnostics actually had a similar idea; but the apostles shot it down. First John was written to combat such error in the first century. One big name, Baptist evangelist, who called me a "male donkey" in front of a church lobby full of people, because he could not answer my questions concerning his heresy; also told a relative of mine, "As long as he is stuck in I John, there is no hope for him". Well, I'm still stuck in I John!
It is easy to prove from Scripture that perpetual justification is conditioned on perpetual faith -- and that must be a living, obeying continual faith! I am justified today, not because I prayed a prayer 10 or 20 years ago; but because I am living by obedient faith in Jesus Christ today! Only past sins were cleansed and forgiven at conversion. Present sins that are known are cleansed and forgiven as I confess and forsake them. Present sins that are unknown to me now are the only ones automatically covered; but only while I am walking in all the light I have now!
WALKING IN THE LIGHT
It is clear that "walking in the light" means doing what I know is right. While I do this I still have ignorant (unknown) sins that must be covered, and are. Then the sins I know about, which will only be moments of weakness, slips, mistakes, etc. during my walk of faith, are to be confessed for cleansing and forgiveness. Nobody will be allowed into Heaven without having their sins cleansed and forgiven. God has given man the responsibility to not only repent and come to Christ in faith, but to continually use the means of grace God has provided to keep themselves in the faith, and under the blood.
OUR HIGH PRIEST
Jesus is our High Priest in the Tabernacle of Heaven, he is there with his once-for-all sacrifice provision to cover his saints and keep them saved; but we must follow God's program! We must:
1. Walk in the light (This is called by many different names: Sow to the Spirit, Abide in Christ, Live by faith, etc.) When we are walking in the light, unknown sins are covered, and we are eligible for number 2.
2. Confess known sins to our High Priest for cleansing.
We keep ourselves saved by these two steps. Step number two is seen in the following verses: Hebrews 7:24-25
If we understand "come" is present participle in the Greek, then we can see that Jesus is ever living and available, and thus can save to the end (uttermost) those who "are coming" unto God by him to confess and find grace to help in time of need. See Heb. 4:14-16:
This is powerful! Notice the sins that a believer must confess are not rebellion, but "infirmities" of our human nature; and, because Jesus has suffered victoriously, he is the perfect advocate for us.
ADVOCACY OF CHRIST
What John wrote in chapter one was so they would know not to commit sin, but if any person did commit a sin, they were to avail themselves of the provision of grace in Jesus our advocate/high priest/intercessor.
It is vital that you understand this! Reconciled means "getting together" not necessarily "staying together". Reconciled was "by his death" -- being justified by his blood from our past when we repent and are born again. However, our ultimate salvation is not wrought by this alone, but by his life! This is speaking of his continued work as our high priest, and our continued coming to him for mercy, confessing our sins. WE ARE JUSTIFIED PERPETUALLY BY WALKING IN THE LIGHT AND CONFESSING KNOWN SINS PERPETUALLY!!
So, unlike the Old Testament saints who came to the earthly tabernacle to an earthly priest with an animal sacrifice that could not really take away sins; we come to the Heavenly Tabernacle to Jesus who has offered himself the perfect lamb. We have a much better covenant, built on better promises, with better provision, a better priest, easy access, and, instead of praising God for it and using it, we want "our sins forgiven past, present, and future", so we can live as we please and never have to be bothered with our sins again! If this isn't Roman Catholic selling of indulgences, I don't know what is!!
FOOT WASHING IS A PICTURE OF JESUS' CONTINUAL PRIESTLY WORK
When Jesus washed the disciples feet, he taught them this same principle. First he said that a believer needs not to wash his whole body again (the bath of regeneration that cleanses from past sins, and the power of sins); but just needs to have his feet continually washed (Jesus' priestly work of keeping us clean while we "walk" in this dirty world). Now, does this affect our salvation? Jesus told Peter, concerning the foot washing, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me". That is pretty clear! Nobody will get into Heaven without a clean record of cleansed and forgiven sins. God has set the condition on that: IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT...; and, IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS...
All the exhortations I listed earlier concerning this show clearly that continued forgiveness is conditioned on continuing in the faith! The parable of Matthew 18:21-35 is clear to the honest soul that not only are we not forgiven for future sins, but we can lose past forgiveness that we already had! We can have forgiveness revoked, by not forgiving others!! Jesus said so!
JESUS' GOOD DEEDS NOT PUT ON MY RECORD
Nowhere does the Bible teach that Jesus' good deeds are put on my record. The Bible states that our faith is counted to us or imputed to us for righteousness -- this is because our faith activates Jesus' blood (Remember I John 1:7), which cleanses our record, which makes us righteous! The Bible says that "Jesus is our righteousness"; but that is the same scenario. If we have a living faith in Christ -- walking in the light, our sins are cleansed and forgiven through Jesus' priestly work applying his blood for me! If a man is saved by the skill of the doctor, it doesn't mean the doctor's skill is imputed to the man. We are saved by Jesus' righteousness only in that He obeyed the Father to the death of the Cross to shed His blood for the atonement of our sins.
Jesus' righteousness had to be put on his record, so he could be the sinless, perfect Lamb to die for me. Once he died for me, and provided his blood to atone for my sins, then there is no more need for his good works to be put on my record! If his blood washes away my sins, then why do I also need his good works -- sinless is sinless! If his good works were put on my record, then he would be in Hell paying for my sins, and I would be going to Heaven by works -- His works. He could not have been resurrected unless he was counted sinless, so if his good works were put on my record, he would not have them on his record, and would not have been resurrected. Jesus' death was vicarious, not his life and works! When people speak of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ, they can only mean Biblically that we are clothed in the cleansing blood of Christ -- the word atonement means "covering". Adam and Eve were clothed due to the shedding of blood, and so are we, if we continue in the light. Paul quotes David to clarify what the "imputation of righteousness" is in Romans 4:6-7:
WHAT ABOUT ROMANS 4:1-24?
Very simple: the works spoken of here are not works of faith in Christ (which activates the atonement for us, and thus saves us); but the works of Moses' Law in order to atone for our own sins, which is impossible. Notice, the word "debt" in verse 4. Justification by the works of the law is keeping the law perfect, as Jesus did, so that the law itself justifies me. Thus justification is a "debt" and not a salvation (salvaging). Paul makes it clear that no man is justified by the works of the law; and thus we can't seek justification in this way. We must seek justification by faith in Christ, which says, "I confess my sinfulness, and don't depend upon my righteousness to earn anything; but I repent of my wicked ways, and yield my members to Christ in faith that, as I follow him, he will be my atonement and High Priest to cleanse my sin, so I can be righteous before God, and thus be saved."
The Bible says, "Abraham believed God, and it (his faith) was counted unto him for righteousness." Simply read Hebrews 11 to see a further view of what this faith was. It was not just one act of faith, as we see the Holy Ghost quotes that phrase, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" regarding more than one act: Romans 3,4 -- promise of his son; James 2:21-24 -- the offering of his son; Heb. 11 -- going whither he knew not in obedience to God. Galatians speaks of Abraham's faith as faithfulness, and Romans speaks of the "steps" of his faith -- This is not speaking of "one act" salvation.
Romans 4:4, 5 say, "Now to him that worketh is the reward (justification) not reckoned of grace, but of debt." If we could keep the Law perfect, justification would be a debt -- not grace. Verse 5, "but to him that worketh not", --This has only one application, and that is in reference to earning justification as a debt God owes: working to earn justification apart from Christ. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness". Two things are obvious:
1. "Believeth" is the same faith spoken of in the rest of Romans, and the New Testament; and is not dead faith; but living, obeying faith -- compare Romans 2:5-11.
2. God justifieth the ungodly; but not as they continue in their ungodly ways, but as they repent. If "believeth" is living faith, then they are no longer "the ungodly" in the sense of rebellion, but just in the sense of human sinfulness, which we cannot eradicate here and now. To interpret this differently is to contradict the rest of the Bible. James makes this very clear, and is in perfect harmony with Romans. The "works" of Romans, which cannot save, are works of law to atone for sin; but the works of James, which our faith must have, are not works of the law (did the law tell Abraham to offer his son? or Rahab to hide the spies?); but the works of faith in obedience to God. Paul speaks of "works of the Law" to earn heaven as a debt; but James speaks of "works of obedience" as the acid test of true faith. Those depending on "works of the Law" to earn heaven apart from Christ's atonement will be disappointed; but those obeying diligently all Christ's commands seeking to find grace in His sight and receive of His atonement, will be saved.
Verses 6-8 illustrate the meaning of verse 5:
The false prophets say that verse 6, and 8 mean that believers can live in sin, and God won't record it anymore. This is pure heresy, and a lie from Satan. Verse 7 makes it all too clear what verses 6 & 8 mean. That is this: When God forgives a person's sins, those sins are not imputed to them. God can either forgive my sins and cleanse them, or impute them to my record for judgment day. If I am walking in the light, then they are cleansed and forgiven; but if I'm not, they are imputed. The blessing is upon the man who is living by the obedient faith of Abraham. In this state, and this state only will his sins not be imputed, but be forgiven and cleansed. When God forgives and cleanses, He is saying that He now counts me righteous, even though I haven't done the righteous deeds to earn that title. If I had, He would not have had to forgive me. "Imputation of righteousness without works" is simply the forgiveness and cleansing of those walking in the light!! When I'm forgiven and cleansed, my record says I am righteous (I've done my duty); when in fact I didn't do what was righteous. It is easy to see how someone could be led into error if they are trying to get by with sin, and not looking at the whole picture of God's Word -- Taking one passage out of context can start heresy every time!
In the book of Galatians, Paul is battling a problem of a similar sort. Some Jewish believers were telling Christians they wouldn't be ultimately saved if they didn't adopt the Law of Moses (diet and holy days, etc), and circumcision, to their faith in Christ (Acts 15). Paul battles this in Galatians by saying that, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." They don't need Christ's atonement, if they seek salvation through the deeds of the law. (Gal. 5:4-7)
If the apostles had believed they were justified by one act of faith, they would have used that argument in Acts 15, and Paul would have repeated that here in Galatians. They would have said, "We are already saved, what do you mean, 'We won't be saved, unless we are circumcised and keep the law of Moses'?" They didn't say that! They, instead labored to show the difference between justification through the deeds of the law, and justification through a continued, obedient, faithful belief in Jesus Christ. Which is spelled out in Galatians 6:7-9, and 15,16.
(italics and emphasis are mine)
It is obvious that "corruption" is equal to "Hell". This is very clearly teaching continuous justification by continuous faith. "Walking in the light" (I John 1:7); "sowing to the Spirit" (Gal. 6:8); "abiding in Christ" (John 15); "not living after the flesh" (Romans 6:16, 8:13); "Patient continuance in well doing" (Romans 2:7); "living by faith" (Gal. 3:11); "keeping his sayings" (John 8:51); and even more -- are all synonymous to "believing on Christ" in the Bible definition of the word "believe".
Those who say Christ's advocacy is automatic have already been sufficiently refuted, as well as those who say that people who believe will never turn back. All these things are inconsistent with justification by faith. Every warning to continue in the faith says there is no unconditional security, once you understand you are not saved by "one act" of faith. Ezekiel 18 & 33 are very clear on God's program, and harmonize perfectly with Romans 6-8, and the rest of the New Testament. Ez. 33:13 shows the error of unconditional eternal security:
This man was presumptuous because God said he would surely live; and so he slacked off, not realizing the promise was conditional -- this is exactly the dilemma of the false security of today. The effects of the unconditional security doctrine are seen and rebuked in Ez. 13:22.
The lie of unconditional eternal security is an enabler to the disobedient, causing him, with his "one act" justification, dead faith salvation, false repentance, etc. to be confirmed in his rebellion; and laugh and scoff at those who are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling by striving to walk in the light and confess known sin. They say, "All your works are wrong, because you are not supposed to add any works to grace" -- so they continue in their sin, that grace may abound. God forbid! When we call men to genuine repentance and living faith, they call us heretics - I know, I lost my church and many friends over it!
YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE ...
This is a terrible lie of Satan, "Ye shall not surely die"; but Romans 6:16, 8:13, 11:22, 2:5-11; I Cor. 9:27-10:14; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; Gal. 6:7-9; Eph. 4:30-5:7; Heb. 3:12-14; 6; 10:26-39; 12:15-25; II Tim. 2:12; James 5:19-20; II Peter 2; 3:17; I John 1:7-9; 2:24,25; Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,15-21; 22:7,14; 21:6-8; and many more in the Gospels, parables, related doctrines, etc.-- all say that faith without works is dead, and will not justify; and that those who do not have it, and continue in it; but live in sin, will be damned! I Cor. 11:32 says they will be condemned with the world, if God's chastening doesn't turn them around. This is implied in Heb. 12. Are you honest, my friend? Don't ignore the facts, because you want Heaven and sin too. You can't have both, as many other Scriptures state - such as: I John 2:3,4; 2:15-17; John 8:51; 14:21-24; 15:1-10; Matt. 7:21-27; etc.
Mark 8:34-38 is a passage I have heard watered down. I heard Bob Grey of Texas say that it doesn't refer to salvation; but, my friend, that could not be farther from the truth! Jesus is speaking of saving or losing your soul!! He and others in the same group of Baptists preach and teach the false doctrines we are refuting in this pamphlet.
3. ETERNAL LIFE
ERROR: Eternal life, once given to me by Christ is mine to the extent that I can leave God's will with it, and live in rebellion with it, and still live forever in Heaven. Once I have it, I will never die spiritually. The very fact that God states I have eternal life means I can never lose my inheritance in Heaven or be condemned.
TRUTH: Even when I believed eternal security, as a young man, I knew this was a faulty foundation to build upon. Eternal life is mine in the same way that sap (life) belongs to the branch of a tree. If the branch departs from the tree, and leaves the source of sap, then it will wither and dry up. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the source of life, and if I abide in Christ, I will have eternal life abiding in me; but I do not become the source, nor do I have eternal life apart from Christ. John 15 tells me if I stop abiding in Christ, I will be cast forth as a branch, withered, and burned.
See also I John 2:24,25:
Let that therefore abide [Meno] in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain [Meno] in you, ye also shall continue [Meno] in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
It is vital to see the conditional aspect here! Notice the Greek word behind “abide”, “remain”, and “continue” is the same. It is also vital to note that ultimate possession of eternal life comes after we have overcome, and endured in the faith. Note the following verses:
It is all too clear from Scripture that, just as a branch into a tree, we are grafted into Jesus at conversion (Romans 11:17), and as long as we abide or remain in him, we have his life in us -- in the person of the Holy Spirit, which is the earnest of our future inheritance, and the seal that God has accepted our repentance. We do not have the ultimate inheritance, but just the earnest or down payment or promise (Eph. 1:13,14). If we abide in Christ, his life or Spirit will abide in us, thus we will remain sealed unto the day of redemption, where we will receive our inheritance and our hope -- Eternal life with Christ!
According to Jesus’ definition, eternal life is more than eternal existence. People in hell will have eternal existence as well; but eternal life is something different.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Jesus declares that eternal life is a quality and “kind” of life, which can only be experienced in close union with God and Christ — which only comes to those who continue in a humble repentant, obedient walk with Christ.
Verily, Verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24
This is the only verse in the Bible that at first glance would seem contrary to what we are saying; however, once understood, it actually backs up what we are saying. This verse would appear to teach "one act" that produces everlasting, unconditional results; but this is not so. The conditions are clearly seen in the fact that "heareth" and "believeth" are BOTH PRESENT PARTICIPLE; so the verse would read: "He that is hearing my word, and is believing on him that sent me, hath everlasting life (abiding in him), and (in this state) shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. This is the only verse that even appears to teach what they assert; but instead it clearly teaches consistent that we must have a continued "hearing" and "believing". In fact, the following verses, like vss.28,29, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."; make it clear that Jesus was not preaching Antinomian heresy.
If eternal life was our eternal unchangeable possession at conversion, then many verses in the Bible would mean nothing; like for instance Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. “Have right to the tree of life” is declaring that we will receive eternal life AFTER we have passed our test.
Remember Gal. 6:7-9?
4. SALVATION BY FAITH, WORKS, OR BOTH?
ERROR: Saying one must obey Jesus, or continue in the faith, or exercise faith in Christ by obedience, in order to have saving faith, is teaching salvation by works. Salvation is by faith alone. Faith is simply depending on Jesus to take you to Heaven, and not your own good deeds, faithfulness, or obedience.
TRUTH: Salvation is by faith, but not faith that is alone. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." So says the Holy Spirit of God!
There are two types of works: works that provide salvation, and works to activate God's provision in my behalf. God is the only one who can do the provision works; but man is the only one who can do the activation works.
God will never do this for us, but has put the responsibility on us. Faith without the activation works is dead, is not even faith, and cannot save -- cannot activate God's provision. It is not faith at all, but mere presumption.
Whenever you see the Bible say, "not of works" it is always speaking of the works to provide salvation. We can't regenerate ourselves, but we can repent so God will. We cannot forgive ourselves, but we can confess our sins, so God will. If God commands it of us, then it is our responsibility. In Eph. 2:8,9 the "Not of works" is speaking of God's provision in verse 7, "his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" and also in verse 5, "hath quickened us together with Christ". The salvation spoken of in verses 2-7 was not without repentance, faith, obedience, etc. God kept his promise, as they met his conditions -- it is that simple.
In Titus 3:4,5 we see another "not by works of righteousness which we have done". This is speaking again of what provided or caused the "kindness and love of God our savior toward man". Did God provide salvation because we were so good? Did Jesus die on the cross and make atonement for sin, because we were righteous? God Forbid! If you look back in Titus to 2:11-14, you will see what God's grace says to sinners:
Can you see the difference between God's provision, his conditions, and our response? It is clear from the context that Titus 3:5 is referring to the fact that our good deeds cannot provide the "washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost"; and also it is equally clear in 2:11-14 that the grace of God must be activated for each individual's benefit by repentance and faith. Those who don't do what the "grace of God" is telling them to do, will not be part of the redeemed, peculiar people! If our works of faith were not a condition on our receiving God's works of provision; then every man would be saved!
WORKS ONLY AFTER SALVATION?
Someone has said that works only come after salvation: "we work away from the cross, but not to the cross"; but this is not Biblical either. We have read in Isaiah 55:6,7 where God tells the wicked to forsake his ways -- that is works. In Acts 17:27, Paul tells sinners this:
God comes all the way from Heaven, but expects us to come the last few steps to make the union complete. This is pre-salvation works. What the grace of God tells us to do in Titus 2:12 is works that we are to do at conversion and thereafter. We have read in James that we are justified by faith and works working together. We have read that faith without works cannot save. Jesus told sinners to "come unto me" -- this is pre-salvation works!
Continuing in the grace of God; sowing to the Spirit; holding fast our profession; walking in the light; confessing known sins; and living by faith are all works that have to do with my salvation. Repentance is a work that activates salvation. Confessing Jesus as Lord is a work that activates salvation. Calling upon the name of the Lord is a work to activate salvation. Jesus said that if we don't forgive, he won't forgive us -- this is a work that affects our salvation. Overcoming is a work that has to do with salvation. So you see, God's provision is not from any work of ours; but God commands good works of faith before and after salvation that activate and maintain salvation's benefits to our personal situation. Jesus may have died for everyone; but only those who "obey the Gospel" and activate God's provision for themselves will be saved.
IS BELIEF A WORK?
A passage that makes it clear what the Bible means when it says, "believe", and what will happen when we believe, is II Thess. 2:12,
It is obvious to the honest person that you can't "believe the truth" and "have pleasure in unrighteousness" at the same time -- not in the Bible definition of the word. So, to believe the truth means to forsake the pleasures of unrighteousness! The soul-winners had better make this clear. They can't just expect the people to know it.
II Peter 2:21 calls the Gospel message a "holy commandment" and the "way of righteousness". The apostles presented the Gospel in such a way that the sinner knew "to believe" was to obey that "holy commandment" and go in the "way of righteousness", forsaking the "pleasures of sin".
5. THE SALVATION STATE ON EARTH
ERROR: I am completely and eternally saved at the moment I accept Christ, and there is nothing more about my salvation that has to happen on earth, it is all settled.
TRUTH: The Bible has many passages that show we are looking forward to our ultimate salvation, and it is conditioned upon our continuous faith. II Cor. 6:14-7:1 is one of many passages that have been listed earlier. I will just quote 6:17-7:1:
Here we have believers who are under the continued responsibility to meet the same conditions whereby they were forgiven and received in the first place. It is obvious the conditions must be maintained if the sonship was to continue. God's promise was a covenant with man. We have our part, and God has his. Here we see God's definition of repentance, and our ever present responsibility.
ESPOUSED -- NOT YET MARRIED
To understand this better, one must realize that we are in a betrothal period with Jesus. The marriage of the Lamb with his bride (the church) is the big future event, where our salvation will be complete. Just as Joseph was going to put away Mary when he thought she had broken the betrothal covenant, so Christ, being also a "just man", will have to put us away if we do the same. Look at II Cor. 11:2-4,
Some say, "All you have to do is commit your soul to Christ, and trust him." However, I Peter 1:19 says we are to commit the keeping of our souls to God in well doing. Jesus expects us to be faithful to him, just as a betrothed bride should be. Conversion is the act of accepting Christ's proposal, and forsaking all others for Christ only -- otherwise, if we still love the world or sin, we are a two-timing harlot, and will be put away! Jesus doesn't have to marry an unfaithful bride, and he won't!
Read again Mark 8:34-38! Also Paul says, If any love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema -- accursed! Compare that to John 14:15, 21-24; I John 2:15-17; 4:20; and Romans 12:9. It is pretty clear that there is no room for half-hearted brides! When you accept the betrothal covenant with Christ, you forsake all others, love him, obey him, adore him. Can a baby Christian do this? Well... would you expect your newly espoused bride to feel this way toward you? She better! or refuse the proposal! Many of the false converts that many churches have would refuse the proposal if they heard it correctly. It is unnecessary to drag you through every reference and parable; if you are honest, you already see the truth. If there is anything you don't understand, you can always contact us and ask.
Here are some more references where salvation is at the end of our life of faith: Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 13:23; Acts 2:21; Romans 5:9,10; 8:24; 13:11; I Cor. 3:15; 5:5; 15:2; 2 Tim. 3:15; I Thess. 5:8,9; II Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:14; 9:28; 10:39; I Peter 1:5,9; 4:18; and there are others. We are brought into the salvation state at conversion; but ultimately saved when we die in faith, and go to be with the Lord forever. Just as Paul said he had fought a good fight, and kept the faith, so must we.
6. CHURCH HISTORY
ERROR: What the Baptist's teach concerning their unconditional eternal security, false repentance, "one act" justification, etc. is what the early first century Christians and the Ana-baptist believers preached.
TRUTH: Anyone who knows anything about the first two centuries of Christianity, the Waldenses, Albigenses, and other Ana-baptist groups down through history up to 1700 AD have to let out a hearty laugh at the above erroneous statement -- it could not be farther from the truth. The Baptist denominations in America have completely forsaken their Ana-baptist roots and become so protestant, that most of the faithful descendants of the Ana-baptist's today don't even realize the Baptist's are from the Ana-baptists.
I am telling the truth, but won't waste the time to document it all for you in this short pamphlet. On my shelf beside me are Baptist histories by Orchard, and Christian; Waldensian and Albigencian histories by Faber and Allix; Ana-baptist histories by Van Braght; the writing's of Menno Simons; The "Ante Nicene Fathers"; Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History; etc, and my Kings James Bible -- They all agree and testify that "unconditional eternal security", "one act justification", and all the errors we are combating are NOT from historic apostolic Christianity; but from grievous wolves crept in unawares, not sparing the flock!! The Baptists before and during the reformation, didn't believe unconditional eternal security. Some were later influenced by reformation doctrine, and caused a split back in England between the Particular Baptists, and the General Baptists. The General Baptists and their offspring still believe as I do (but have become worldly, thus condemning themselves); but the Particular Baptists and their offspring make up those who teach this damnable protestant heresy!
VOICES OF THE FIRST TWO CENTURIES
Barnabas (A work written around 70-100 AD, and widely accepted and circulated through the churches. Many believed it to be written by Barnabas, the companion of Paul.) "We ought therefore, brethren, carefully to inquire concerning our salvation. Otherwise, the wicked one, having made his entrance by deceit, may hurl us forth from our life." And again, "The whole past time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger....Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are the called, we fall asleep in our sins. For then, the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, will thrust us away from the kingdom of the Lord....And you should pay attention to this all the more, my brothers, when you reflect on and see that even after such great signs and wonders had been performed in Israel, they were still abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found to be, as it is written, the "many who are called," but not the "few who are chosen."
Clement of Rome (companion of Peter and Paul) writes around 96 AD: "Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in his promised gifts. But how, beloved, will this be done? It will be done only by the following things: If our understanding is fixed by faith towards God. If we earnestly seek the things that are pleasing and acceptable to Him. If we do the things that are in harmony with his blameless will. And if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity."
Ignatius (Bishop of Antioch, and personal disciple of one or more of the apostles) 35-107 AD writes: "Faith cannot do the works of unbelief, nor unbelief the works of faith." And again, "The tree is made manifest by its fruit. So those who profess themselves to be Christians will be recognized by their conduct....It is better for a man to be silent and be (a Christian), than to talk and not be one."
Justin Martyr 100-165 AD Writes: "Let those who are not found living as He taught, be understood not to be Christians, even though they profess with the lips the teachings of Christ. For it is not those who make profession, but those who do the works, who will be saved."
Irenaeus 130-200 AD (Bishop of Lyons - heard Polycarp preach in Smyrna when a youth). "To believe in Him is to do His will." Again, "With respect to obedience and doctrine, we are not all the sons of God. Rather, it is only those who truly believe in Him and do His will. Now, those who do not believe, and do not obey His will, are sons and angels of the devil....Those who do not obey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons." And again, "We should not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of olden times. Rather, we should fear ourselves, lest perchance, after (we have come to) the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but are shut out from His kingdom. And for that reason, Paul said, "For if (God) spared not the natural branches, (take heed) lest He also not spare thee."
Clement of Alexandria 150-215 AD writes: "It is neither the faith, nor the love, nor the hope, nor the endurance of one day; rather, "he that endures to the end will be saved."
Tertullian 160-230 AD writes, "We ought indeed to walk so holily, and with so entire substantiality of faith, as to be confident and secure in regard of our own conscience, desiring that it may abide in us to the end. Yet, we should not presume (that it will). For he who presumes, feels less apprehension. He who feels less apprehension, takes less precaution. He who takes less precaution, runs more risk. Fear is the foundation of salvation; presumption is an impediment to fear. More useful, then, it is to apprehend that we may possibly fail, than to presume that we cannot. For apprehending will lead us to fear, fear to caution, and caution to salvation. On the other hand, if we presume, there will be neither fear nor caution to save us." And also, "Some think that God is under a necessity of bestowing even on the unworthy what He has promised (to give). So they turn His liberality into His slavery....For do not many afterwards fall out of (grace)? Is not this gift taken away from many? These, no doubt, are they who, ....after approaching to the faith of repentance, build on the sands a house doomed to ruin."
7. SECURITY AND ASSURANCE
ERROR: Once I accept Jesus into my heart by praying the sinner's prayer, I am as good as in Heaven in that I cannot be lost or die spiritually ever again, no matter how I live or what I do.
TRUTH: The careful reader will realize we have already destroyed this heresy from its roots in the previous studies. Some will ignorantly say they agree with me on Repentance; but not on Security. This is absurd. Jack Hyles, a well known Baptist pastor who teaches the errors we are discussing, said in a sermon, in my hearing, that, "if you believe a person must turn from sin to be saved, then you have to also believe if he goes back to sin he will cease to be saved". He went the other way with it, to say you don't have to turn from sin -- he teaches the false repentance. However, he still knows how repentance and eternal security rise and fall together. It is absurd to say, "You have to take off your muddy boots before you come in the house, but after you are inside, you can put them back on" -- this is what you say when you claim to believe right on repentance, but hold to unconditional security.
I would rather know when I am secure, and when I am not, than to believe this lie of unconditional security -- because they are not as secure as I am! Let me illustrate:
Baptists will lead a new convert to pray the "sinner's prayer", tell them they can't lose it; but, later, when the person doesn't obey Christ and come to church, they conclude he never had it! BUT THEY TOLD HIM HE HAD IT AND COULDN'T LOSE IT BECAUSE HE PRAYED AND RECEIVED THE GIFT -- WHICH HE DID!! They didn't tell him he had to obey; but when he didn't, they decided he didn't have it!! Deliver us, Lord Jesus, from such foolishness!
Brother, I know from God's Word when I am in Christ and secure; and when I would be out of Christ, and cast forth as a branch! I John 2:3-5 is clear who is in, and who is out!! John 15 paints the picture clear! Let's examine Romans 11:22:
GRAFTED OR CUT OFF?
Some try to skirt around this verse by saying it doesn't refer to individuals; but national Israel, and national Gentiles -- FOOLISHNESS! When did all Jews get cut off, and when did all Gentiles get grafted in? NEVER! The unbelieving Jews (branches -- plural) were broken off, and only the believing Gentiles were graffed in. When did all the Gentiles "continue in his goodness"? NEVER! Individual Gentile converts were graffed in and stood by faith (vs. 20). This verse cannot be "explained away" by Unconditional Security Baptists -- they cannot get around it! It is as plain as the nose on your face, and if it were the only verse in the Bible that taught you could lose salvation, it is clear enough to stand the test!!
The Jews that rejected Jesus were cut off from the vine (salvation in Christ). The Gentiles who believed were graffed into Christ. If these Gentiles continue in the grace of God by obedient faith, they will be saved; but if they rebel, get lukewarm, etc. they will be cut off.
HE WAS SANCTIFIED BY THE BLOOD
Antinomians cannot comprehend the power and beauty of this passage, because they have faulty concepts of "sin". They don't teach the difference between ignorant sin, single acts of weakness - sin, and presumptuous or willful sinning. This is vital to understand I John 3:1-10 & 5:18-21, and this passage in Hebrews -- not to mention the whole Bible. The Baptists don't understand how that due to presumptuous sin, a man didn't have opportunity to offer a sin-offering and be forgiven in the Old Testament, but was stoned, "without mercy" under two or three witnesses. Those who sinned ignorantly were able to offer a sacrifice and be forgiven. Read Numbers 15:27-41! Then listen closely to Hebrews 10!
1. It was written to believers -- it makes no difference whether they were Hebrews Christians or Gentiles Christians -- salvation is the same for both. They were both in the same church! There was no church that didn't have both in it! The letter was read to the whole church for everyone to hear -- however, it dealt with specific questions that converts from Judaism would naturally have, so it was addressed to them and their particular needs. The principles apply to all!!
2. They were not "baby" Christians (5:12, 6:10, 10:32-36).
3. They were warned many times to "hold fast what they had" not "make sure they had it".
4. The passage in chapter 10 is without doubt written to believers.
5. The scenario is about what would happen if a man who "had been sanctified" by the blood of Jesus Christ, according to the New Covenant; took up willfully disobeying Christ, thus trampling him under foot, and doing despite to the Holy Spirit -- his earnest and seal. The result would be worse than a man doing the same thing to Moses in the Old Testament -- this is exactly what Hebrews 2 says, and 12:25. It is very clear to the open mind!
This warning is seen again in II Peter 2:20-22,
This is the same warning written to both Jewish and Gentile believers. How could the latter end be worse than the beginning if this person didn't lose his salvation? If you say he never really had it, then you are ignoring the obvious thrust of the passage that the person was "entangled again and overcome". It is clear that if he had not been "entangled again and overcome", he would have been just fine! You liberals need to look at the apostle's view of salvation:
1. "escaping the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ";
2. "the way of righteousness"; and,
3. a "holy commandment delivered unto them" -- that they were to obey!
The passage says this person was "washed", and that can only mean one thing!! Those who squawk about Peter calling this person who fell away a dog and a sow, miss the fact that Peter spoke of lost people as "sheep going astray" too; and he did say the sow was "washed" -- this is piddly nonsense to bicker over, when the whole passage is as plain as day.
Hebrews 6 is also a very clear and sober passage to warn believers who had become dull of hearing, and slow to grow. The Baptist's have such foolish and illogical excuses to try and get around these passages -- I was taught their excuses growing up, learned them again in college, I have their books now, and am ashamed to say I preached it myself for a few years. The scenario in Hebrews 6 is definitely speaking of a born-again person -- that is who Paul is warning! It can't get much clearer! If one were to turn away from Christ after having all God has to offer as means of grace, then they will not be permitted to go on to perfection, because they have crossed the line and crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh; and, therefore, will not be brought again to repentance; but are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. Read the whole chapter - The parable of rain on the earth represents two types of people (earth), which both receive God's grace (rain); but one brings forth fruits meet for repentance, and the other brings forth fruits of rebellion. The point Paul is making is clearly seen in 6:11-15: "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise."
Every passage we have listed through this entire pamphlet teaches that we are only secure, as we remain repentant and obedient! Assurance of present acceptance with God comes also from living by faith and obedience -- Do you pass the I John test? Read it! If you do, then Praise God; but if not, take care of it! -- you will not be allowed to prove John wrong by your personal situation becoming the "exception".
CALLING UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD
How many of you have heard this passage used to support the "pray a prayer" soulwinning plans. I was taught that this meant: "All you have to do is call upon the Lord and ask for his free gift to be saved". This term, "Calling upon the name of the Lord", means so much more than that!! It is the continual expression of "the just shall live by faith" principle. You don't see anyone in the Scriptures told to pray "the sinner's prayer" for salvation.
Peter quoted Joel in Acts 2:21, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"; but when the people asked what to do to be saved in Vs. 37, he didn't tell them to call on the Lord, but to repent and be baptized. In the New Testament, calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:21; 9:14,21; 22:16; Rom. 10:13; I Cor. 1:2, etc.) is the same language ascribed to those who worshipped the true God in the Old Testament (Gen. 4:26, 12:8; 2 Kings 5:11). Stephen died "calling upon the name of the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit" Acts 7:59.
Listen how Paul refers to true believers in the New Testament:
"Calling upon the name of the Lord" is not a one time "sinner's prayer", but a life long relationship! Peter and Paul are saying, when they quoted Joel, that "All who become true followers of Jesus Christ with a living relationship of "calling upon the name of the Lord" -- shall be saved ultimately at judgment day!"
It is an expression that also means to be surnamed or called by a person's name; hence it is used of being dedicated to a person, as to the Lord -- Acts 15:17 (from Amos 9:12); and James 2:7. Calling upon the Lord, and being called by his name characterizes the Christian life!
In Romans 10:9-13 Paul is not soul-winning, but discussing doctrine, and he is saying that the message requires our life (believe in the heart) and our lip (confession with the mouth) to match up! We must believe and confess Jesus as our Lord to be ultimately saved at judgment day! Belief in the heart leads to a righteous life, and confession leads to ultimate salvation. This life is classified by Paul as "calling upon the name of the Lord". Believing on the Lord (present participle), and calling upon the Lord (present participle) are all continuous, not a one time act. When the Bible says, "we believe unto righteousness", it reveals a continuing belief with a definite result. When it says, "confession is made unto salvation", it reveals a continual confession which leads to ultimate salvation at the end of one's life. We are born again, when we repent and start "calling upon the name of the Lord"; but we are not yet saved in the sense that saved is used in this passage.
WHAT DID GOD PREDESTINATE?
If a person will study closely this matter of predestination, they will find that God's predestination is not SPECIFIC but GENERAL. God didn't predestine Joe to go to Heaven and Henry to go to Hell. God predestined all who would believe on Jesus Christ with a pure obedient faith to be saved, and that all who rejected the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be damned. This is not hard to prove, when we see in Romans 9-11 that the Jews "to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants.....(9:3-5)", were once the "elect", but were cut off. Additionally, the believing Gentiles, who were not the "elect" were graffed in and became the "elect". We also find in 11:17-24 that if these Jews who rejected their Messiah, and therefore ceased to be the elect, would repent and believe on Christ, they could be graffed in again, and once again become part of the elect!! God predestined Jesus to come and give himself a ransom; that the Gentiles would be accepted into the church; and the basic plan of events; but not who would be saved, and who would be lost.
When I was lost, I was not part of the elect, but when I repented and submitted to Christ, I joined and became part of the elect (chosen) of God. If I don't continue in the grace of God, I can be cut off, and cease to be part of the elect (II Peter 1:10). "Unconditional election" as Calvinists teach cannot be reconciled with Romans 11:17-24. Nor does it make any sense for Paul to continue to try and reach those who were cut off (11:11,14), if election is determined by specific unchangeable predestination. This error of specific predestination has caused untold confusion about evangelism, church discipline, child rearing, prayer, Bible interpretation, and has done nothing but slander the pure love of God who wants ALL MEN to be saved. Jesus died for ALL MEN and WHOSOEVER WILL may come!! PRAISE THE LORD!
--The Bible seems to teach that God predestined and foreordained a format or program, but not man's thoughts and choices within these predestined perimeters. Therefore this would be a general predestination, but not a specific predestination. How much God foreknows in detail we cannot now know. Note the following passage where Paul sums up this thought quite clearly:
Acts 17:22-31 " 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
VITAL POINTS TO NOTICE FROM THIS PASSAGE:
--In the context we are speaking of "all men", not just the "elect".
--What is predestined is the boundaries of their activity - the "times" or different ages and events in the general program of the earth's life span.
--The predestined purpose was for "all" men to seek the Lord, if "haply" or "perhaps" they might feel after Him and find Him. This reveals that God placed men with freedom to choose, seek, and find God within these preset boundaries, and watched to see what they would do, hoping they would seek him. EVERY TIME the Bible says that God was "displeased", "angry", "disappointed" etc. at man's behavior reveals that He did not predestine this behavior, and makes us question in what way He foresaw it, if He did.
--Vss. 30 and 31 reveal that God has overlooked some ignorance in some men concerning false concepts of God, but now, since Jesus has come and made a clear revelation, God commands "all men everywhere" to repent. This further supports the fact that God did not predestine man's thoughts and actions or choices -- otherwise He would not be "winking" at their ignorance, because it would have been His own doing as much as their knowledge was. Also these verses reveal God commanding men to repent and follow His way, which would be mockery if they could not, or if God had to do it for them. Next, we see God is going to judge all men according to their response to His commands, which proves man's ability and freedom to choose. This passage alone disproves Calvinistic unconditional predestination and election; total depravity and inability; irresistable grace; and unconditional security.
There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that indicate clearly that what we do makes a difference in how things, at least in our life, will turn out. Every verse about prayer; every command to obey; every warning of disobedience; the parables of Jesus and teachings about the broad road, and the narrow road; the principles of "sowing and reaping" etc. etc.
There are many verses that indicate that somehow God didn't foresee exactly what would happen in every situation. In fact, every passage that speaks of God being displeased, disappointed, changing His mind or being angry seems to indicate this. Every passage that speaks of God being patient, longsuffering, gracious, or even compassionate seems to indicate this. I didn't write these verses, God did; so evidently He expected us to infer the obvious from them:
-- Ge 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
--Gen. 6: 3 ¶ And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4 ¶ There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
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.
6 ¶ And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 ¶ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 ¶ The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 ¶ 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.
-- 2Ch 32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
Are we to believe God's own testimony?
--Jer. 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Why would God have to search and try, if He predestined it all.
--Isa. 1: 2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
--Isa. 5:1- Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Did God predestine what these people are doing here? It seems He had different plans, and is upset over their use of free-will. This scenario is repeated hundreds of times in Scripture.
--Isa. 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Does God's actions depend on what man does? Does man's actions determine what God does?
--Ez. 18:20- 21 ¶ But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
30 ¶ Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
This clearly reveals God's anger and, shall we say, frustration with man's rebellion and wrong use of free-will? Could this be true if all were predestined?
--Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
--Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Would Jesus' speech be honest and acceptable if He predestined all of it? This clearly displays that Christ had a desire that would have been fulfilled in their behalf, but they ruined it. This clearly reveals Christ's disappointment due to man's obstinate free will.
-Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
--Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
--Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
*Is it possible to go contrary to the will of God?
--I Cor. 10:1-5 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
*For God to be displeased, it would seem He desired something different.
-- Jer 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
-- Jer 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
**How could God predestine the actions of these people, and then tell them that this abomination had not "come into His mind" - i.e. It didn't originate with HIM?
--Read the parables - The Great Supper, The Sower (Luke 8); and all the New Testament commands and promises. Need I continue? There is more evidence than I can give here.
"It is clear that there must be difficulties for us in a revelation such as the Bible. If someone were to hand me a book that was as simple to me as the multiplication table, and say, 'This is the Word of God. In it He has revealed His whole will and wisdom,' I would shake my head and say, 'I cannot believe it; that is too easy to be a perfect revelation of infinite wisdom.' There must be, in any complete revelation of God's mind and will and character and being, things hard for the beginner to understand; and the wisest and best of us are but beginners." --R.A. Torrey