Paul's Passing Thoughts

“You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away….but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.” James 4:14, Hebrews 10:25

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 7, 2013

 

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Index of Essays on Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 6, 2013

Originally posted on Essays on Calvinism:

This is a work in progress. This blog is indexing over 1000 articles on Calvinism from Paul’s Passing Thoughts .com

This is in preparation for several upcoming writing projects for TANC Publishing.

View original

Gnostic Watch Weekly is Now False Reformation Blogtalk Radio, Fridays 7pm

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on October 5, 2013

The 2015 Conference on Gospel Discernment and Spiritual Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 4, 2013

How Christians Change: Biblical Dynamics of Change in Sanctification; Part 2, Defeating the Enemy, “Who Are We?”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 1, 2015

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Good evening, everyone. Welcome to Blog Talk Radio False Reformation. This is your host, Paul Dohse. If you would like to call in and add to the lesson tonight, the number is 347-855-8317. You will hear me say, “You are on the air. This is your host, Paul. What is your question or comment?” and just start talking. Identifying yourself is optional.

Per the usual, we’ll be checking in towards the end of the conclusion of our presentation and try to get a conversation going with Susan about the topic at hand to kind of round everything out.

The subtitle for tonight is, “Defeating the Enemy.” Last week, we met the enemy, “sin.” This series is about how we grow in our Christian lives and a big part of that is defeating sin, but that shouldn’t be our major focus. I have come to believe that we have been trained mentally to be sin-focused in our Christian lives rather than love-focused. The reason for this will be discussed shortly.

But our focus tonight is on who we really are as Christians. In regard to the stalwarts of Protestantism, who did they say we are? Well, Simul Iustus et Peccator, simultaneously saint and sinner. And trust me, that describes Protestantism in a nutshell: the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s of humanity. You ever wonder why the church is such a mess? It’s full of people who profess to have split personalities—how obvious is that?

Interestingly, many psychologists believe that split personality, or dissociative identity disorder is the biggest responsibility escape mechanism afoot in our culture. Hey, we just recently witnessed that in the American sniper murder trial, right? The guy who murdered Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield claimed innocence by reason of split personality. “Hey, the other guy did it, not me.”

This is so prevalent in the Protestant church, and worse yet, it’s drilled into the churched youth as well—“I’m just a sinning saint, and the sin did it, not me.” “Sorry I said that to you, I was in the flesh. Now that I am in the spirit, I feel really bad about it.”

Now, actually, that’s not authentic Protestantism—that’s Protestant Light that came alone in later years because our natural bent is to interpret God’s word grammatically, and the Reformers never meant for us to interpret our Bibles grammatically. Their prescribed method of interpretation matched their gospel. Simul Iustus et Peccator never meant that we had a split personality, what it really meant is that Christians remain unchanged and totally depraved. First, we need to understand how our spiritual forefathers defined us, and then we will discuss how the Bible defines us. Defeating sin begins by knowing who we are. And by the way, how can we even believe a true gospel if we don’t understand a true biblical definition of man?

Simul Iustus et Peccator does not mean that we are both saint and sinner at the same time. Another way of stating this is perhaps the more formal version, simul justus et peccator. This means simultaneously just and sinner. The saint is not changed, he/she is still a sinner, but the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer by faith alone.

Said another way, we don’t change; only God’s perspective on us is changed. Christ died for our past sin, and therefore our past sins are imputed to Christ who paid the penalty for sin, but from then on, our sins are covered by the righteousness of Christ. This is known as double imputation. We don’t change, only God’s perspective in regard to us changes.

And so with this formula Luther was saying, in our justification we are one and the same time righteous or just, and sinners. Now if he would say that we are at the same time and in the same relationship just and sinners that would be a contradiction in terms. But that’s not what he was saying. He was saying from one perspective, in one sense, we are just. In another sense, from a different perspective, we are sinners; and how he defines that is simple. In and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin; we’re still sinners. But, by imputation and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just or righteous. This is the very heart of the gospel.

~ RC Sproul, simul justus et peccator, www.ligonier.org  June 26th, 2012

Indeed, that is the heart of the Protestant gospel. We remain unchanged, but by faith alone, we receive God’s Christ perspective. And by the way, when it gets right down to it, the Catholicism that Protestantism came from believes little different in regard to justification; the difference is really not even worth talking about. That’s why the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was possible—you can barely slip a playing card between the two gospels. In both cases, justification is a process, and not a finished work, and the sin of the sinner is lessened in sanctification, but we still remain short of the glory of God which is synonymous with a justified state of being. If salvation makes the “believer” just that is what both Catholics and Protestants call “legal fiction.”

Why? Because as Christians, we still sin, right? And look, here is the problem: the church is under the same classification as the world; i.e., “sinners.” “But Paul, we sin less than the world.” Oh really? Who is to say? Where is that standard? Besides, look at the real world: you will be hard pressed to make that case on any wise. What a confused mess!

So, who are we? Are we different people who really change, or merely people who are seen differently by God? Are we new creatures, or merely seen as God’s children when He looks at the world with His Jesus glasses on?

Here is the answer: we are different if we are really Christians. We are not only declared righteous, we are not only seen as righteous—we are righteous. Obviously, the idea that we are still classified as sinners is going to greatly hinder sanctification. “As a man thinks in his mind, so is he” (Prov 23:7), Right? You know what, so much of my and Susan’s life is consumed with the fallout of this reality right now; in our lives, and the people that we counsel.

Bottom line: the Holy Spirit is not going to unleash His power in people who think they are still sinners. Susan and I are constantly trying to minister to people who have been told all of their lives that they are sinners just like everyone else that Jesus sees differently. In regard to the worst that society has to offer, we hear, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” And then we wonder why our kids have to learn everything the hard way. They are absolutely befuddled until the trap door lets loose underneath their feet while on the short end of a rope around their neck.

How does this work biblically, this whole notion that we are righteous beings? I think the best place to start is with a proper definition of sanctification elements. First of all, the flesh, or “members,” or “body” is not inherently evil. Listen carefully: the flesh is not biblically defined as “evil,” it is biblically defined as, “weak,” and “weak” is not necessarily evil. Christ was weaker than he was when He was in heaven with God, does that make Him evil? Hardly. Christ was weaker while not in His full glory; yet, He was completely holy. The elect angels are called “holy angels” (Mark 8:38), yet they are weaker than God, right?

Being weaker than God does not equal “evil.” God’s omnipotence doesn’t necessarily correlate 100% with His holiness.

Hence, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is ‘weak’” (Matt 26:41). Christ said the body is weak, but He didn’t say it is evil. And get a load of this: creation, even post fall, is “good.” This is what I am trying to say: the Gnosticism that Protestantism was founded on, the whole material is evil and spirit is good construct drives a lot of the anemic sanctification of our day and years past.

For example, creation is still both weak and good.

Romans 8:19 – For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

And…

1 Timothy 4:4 – For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

And…

Romans 15:14 – I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.

So this can be the first point here in regard to who we are as Christians, we are weak, yet good. Let me add another definition: We are saved spiritually, our souls are righteous, but we await another salvation—that of the body. See it in the passage that we just read?

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Redemption is not salvation/justification. Redemption is glorification, or the complete renovation of our mortal bodies. It is salvation from weakness. It is when our willingness is set free to serve God in immortality. That’s redemption. This is important because when we are reading in our Bibles about salvation, we must interpret the passage according to which salvation is being talked about; justification or redemption. Let’s look at an example.

Romans 7:24 – Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

By the way, the word for “wretched” in this verse is a Greek word that means perseverance in the midst of affliction. Paul isn’t calling himself wicked, he is stating that he is afflicted by sin and longing to be saved from what? Right, the body of weakness. That’s redemption. Let me point out another verse to make an additional point:

2Corithians 5:9 – So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it (NIV).

The goal is the same whether we are here in these weak bodies or in heaven—we make it our goal to please Him. Let’s add yet another point: the body is not evil because it can be used to serve God or sin:

Romans 6:13 – Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Romans 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

How about this one?

1Corinthians 6:19 – What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (KJV)

1Corinthians 6:13 – The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality.

Ok, as most of you that read my blog know, I normally use the ESV unless otherwise stated. In regard to my citation of 1 Corinthians 6:19, I read from the KJV because most translations have “a temple,” or “a sanctuary” etc.  “The temple” in the definitive is the better rendering. This gets more than a little interesting because more times than not when the word “temple” is used in the New Testament, it refers to the Holy of Holies. A good example of this would be Revelation 11:2 and 11:9:

2 …but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

In both cases, the exact same word that is used in 1Corinthians 6:19 for temple is used in these two verses out of Revelation. If you note Rev 11:19, the ark was located in the Holy of Holies, or the most holy place. 1Corinthians isn’t merely saying that our bodies are a run-of-the-mill temple where the Holy Spirit dwells, our bodies are likened to the Holy of Holies. Something to think about.

When the Bible instructs us to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy, that’s because we are holy. That’s who we are. We are aren’t sinners saved by Grace, we are saints saved by grace. Note Hebrews 10:

18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

This is a call for Christians to boldly enter the Holy of Holies which only the high priest of Israel could do on the Day of Atonement once a year after washing his entire body. The only reason we have access there is because we are in fact holy. Entering by the blood of Jesus means that His death removed the veil that separated us from the most holy inner chamber.

We are holy as our father is holy, but isn’t that legal fiction because we still sin? No. Last week, we met the enemy, sin. It is important to note that sin dwells in the flesh, but sin and flesh are not one. When the Bible speaks of the “desires of the flesh” or the “sinful flesh,” it is speaking of when the body is being used in the service of sin rather than a holy sacrifice to God. Romans 6 makes it clear that Christians are no longer enslaved to the sin master, but are now enslaved to righteousness. They have traded one master for another.

Last week, we also discussed the fact that there is a reaping and sowing among the lost and saved. Christians can suffer present consequences for obeying the sin master that no longer has jurisdiction over us. In severe cases, especially sexual sin, this can lead to physical death (1Cor 5:5, 11:30, 1Jn 5:16). In the case of the unregenerate, they bear fruits for death in the present and eternal. Christians should not fear eternal judgment, but we are commanded to fear present consequences (Phil 2:12, 13, 1Thess 4:3-7, James 5:9, 1Pet 4:17, Acts 5:1-11, 1Jn 5:16).

On the one hand, when the unregenerate sin, present death and eternal death are being compounded, on the other hand, when a Christian sins, only the death of present consequences are being sown. This is where we add another definition in regard to sin: there is sin that leads to more and more death culminating in eternal death, and family of God sin that reaps present consequences. Excessive family sin leads to the forfeiture of a rich entry into God’s kingdom resulting in a fearful shrinking back at the appearance of God (Eph 6:1-3, 2Pet 1: 9-11).

Also, the sin that formerly dwelled in the unbeliever died with Christ, and enslaved, but when the believer was resurrected, a remnant of the former sin somehow remains in the body, but has been stripped of its ability to enslave. I am not saying that I totally understand it, but Romans 6:20 seems to describe it as a reversal of freedom and slavery. We were formerly enslaved to sin and free to do good, but now we are enslaved to righteousness and unfortunately free to sin.

But that sin does NOT count towards our status as God’s children. As His children of weakness, we sin against our heavenly Father which also grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30), but the only reason we sin is because we are clothed in weakness where some sort of remnant of sin exists. Some suggest that it is merely the habits of the old you that are in your memory—there are many different theories that fall short of being concrete.

Nevertheless, our souls are righteous (2Pet 2:8), and sin is an unfortunate choice when it gets right down to it, and not enslavement—the masters have been changed. You have been bought by the blood of Christ from the Sin master. You are considered holy because you are enslaved to righteousness (Rom 7:25; the word for “serve” in that verse is douleuō which means bond slave). Actually, Romans 7:25 is stating that Christians are enslaved to the law of God. Hence, they are considered holy.

Let’s pause here and add another element along with a biblical definition: the new birth is a literal death of the old person with Christ and a resurrection unto a new person with Christ (Romans 6:3-14). The saint is considered righteous and holy because he/she is no longer enslaved to sin. This staus is not forfeited because of the weakness and remaining sin that has been stripped of its status and ability to enslave. We are the actual offspring of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1John 3:9).

In conjunction with the new birth, I would like to conclude with the legal proclamation by God that declares us sinless. We are not only anthropologically holy, we are legally holy—we are just. How does that work?

Before we died with Christ in the new birth, we were under law. Every sin we committed was imputed to that law, also known as the law of sin and death, and were reaping fruits for death stored up for the final judgment. Now, I know that the Bible says that Christ was also born under the law, but so what? That wasn’t a problem for him because he could keep all of it. That’s just another way for the Bible to state that he was born into the world as a man like everyone else—under law.

In Romans 7:1ff, we find that when we died with Christ, the old us that died with Him was under that law, so guess what? According to Paul in Romans 7, it’s like a marriage covenant where one of the spouses died. The living spouse is no longer obligated to that marriage covenant, and is free to enter into another covenant.

The resurrection with Christ enters the recipient into another covenant—the new one; specifically, the law of the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2). Along with the new birth comes a desire to love and obey the new covenant which is really a different perspective from the law’s point of view.

Hence, the believer is free to aggressively love God and others through obedience without fear of condemnation. The sin we were once enslaved to is not the focus, love is. Why would the focus be on the former slavery and not the present freedom?

It makes sense that if we don’t change, sin, failure, and our depravity would be the focus. I fear that we empower sin in the lives of Christians because we give it far more attention than what is warranted. Sin shouldn’t be the focus, love should be the focus. God is love (1Jn 4:16), love matters more than sacraments (Gal 5:6), casts out fear (1Jn 4:18), covers a multitude of sins (1Pet 4:8), is the only gift that will not pass away (1Cor 13:8), and is greater than faith and hope (1Cor 13:13). The idea that Christianity is a “lifestyle of repentance” is egregiously misguided; Christianity is a lifestyle of love. The past bondage is not emphasized in the Bible; the freedom we have to love is what is emphasized.

Next week, we will talk about the particular applications of what we have learned. How do we do the Christian walk?

“How Christians Change: Biblical Dynamics of Change in Sanctification; Part 3, Doing the Christian Walk”

Notes added to the audio version:

To the Ruling Elders of Southwood:

On September 4, 2011, our daughter and her family from Atlanta were here and we attended the Sunday worship at Southwood.  After the service, our 13 year old granddaughter, who is well grounded in scripture, stated that she was very confused by the message.  She had come away hearing that every good thing she does is wrong.  Why would she believe that?  We have gone back and listened again to that message, entitled “Duh,” and here is what we found:

The message is from Galatians 3:1-6. Paul is chastening the church for falling prey to the persuasion of the Judaizers, exhorting them again that God’s love for them was not by any of their own works but through the miraculous work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Jean seems to take the written word beyond its intent.  He subtly changes ‘God’s love’ to ‘God’s favor.’  He changes legalism to performance. He takes Jewish law and extends it to almost any action one does.  Here are some paraphrased quotes from the sermon.  “To keep God’s favor, the Galatians were believing they needed Christ and a dash of obedience which looks like those things called Christian disciplines. Christian walk Christianity is from the Devil. Faithfulness is feeling condemned for work you haven’t finished (as contrasted with faith: resting completely in Christ). Faith is a litmus test for teachers and leaders; the difference between faith in Christ alone and faithfulness is like the difference between truth and falsehood, between Heaven and Hell. Faith alone is all we will teach.” (Here Jean says this is what Paul is teaching but he gives no supporting scriptures to support his interpretation.) “Discern as false any book, sermon, or Bible study where you hear a dash of self justifying obedience.  Self justifying obedience is from Satan.

Jean’s statements, combined with the tone and inflections in his delivery, imply that he is scornful of Christian disciplines, preachers, Christian writers, the Christian walk, obedience, faithfulness, good works, and an individual’s efforts.  This message can lead to the conclusion that everything we do is evil and, by extension, that God and the Holy Spirit can do nothing through us.  The message lacks balance and leaves sanctification out of the equation.  A new believer under this teaching would be moribund after accepting Christ, hidebound in fear that he can do nothing right.  While it is true none of us have all pure motives, it is also true that God commands us to go forward and that the Holy Spirit will be with us.  God says we are His instruments for spreading the Truth.  We cannot do this if we are strapped by guilt; we can do this if we seek partnership with the Holy Spirit.

From here Jean goes back to Paul saying “…since you were 100% depraved when you were brought into the Kingdom by the Holy spirit and by no works of your own, why are you trying to be perfected by your own human efforts?  You are being deceived by the Devil.”  I believe Jean is paralleling Paul in this.  Jean then goes on to “We are like alcoholics ; we use Bible study, prayers, small groups, etc. as a crutch and the church rewards our ‘addiction’ with its approval.  How would you know if you were addicted?  Stop everything.  If you feel anxiety, then you are afraid of leaving your ‘fix.’”   So we ask: what does God have us do?  Jean’s answer is “rest totally in Jesus.”  So in turn we ask, what does Scripture say about resting totally in Jesus?  But we hear no clear answer from the pulpit.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Unless sanctification is rooted in justification and constantly returns to justification, it cannot escape the poisonous miasma of subjectivism, moralism or Pharisaism…. Since the life of holiness is fueled and fired by justification by faith, sanctification must constantly return to justification. Otherwise, the Christian cannot possibly escape arriving at a new self-righteousness. We cannot reach a point in sanctification where our fellowship with God does not rest completely on forgiveness of sins…. Christian existence is gospel existence. Sanctification is justification in action.

~ Present Truth magazine: Volume 16, Article 3; http://www.presenttruthmag.com/archive/XVI/16-13.htm

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The Holy Spirit gives the sinner faith to accept the righteousness of Jesus. Standing now before the law which says, “I demand a life of perfect conformity to the commandments,” the believing sinner cries in triumph, “Mine are Christ’s living, doing, and speaking, His suffering and dying; mine as much as if I had lived, done, spoken, and suffered, and died as He did . . . ” (Luther). The law is well pleased with Jesus’ doing and dying, which the sinner brings in the hand of faith. Justice is fully satisfied, and God can truly say: “This man has fulfilled the law. He is justified.

We say again, Only those are justified who bring to God a life of perfect obedience to the law of God. This is what faith does—it brings to God the obedience of Jesus Christ. By faith the law is fulfilled and the sinner is justified.

~ Present Truth magazine: Law and Gospel; Volume 7, Article 2, Part 2

An Open Letter to the President of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 28, 2015

Originally posted February 21, 2012

“This is the apostle Paul’s disparaged 3-verse system to fix a lack of peace. It is the wonderful hope that obedience to God’s word seizes upon His promises. And that’s why many NANC counselors strip their victims of hope.”

 “The cited letter reflects the same things often taught by many board members of NANC and BCC. Because this doctrine combines justification and sanctification, it makes sanctification like a minefield because what we do in sanctification can affect the justification that supposedly powers it. This does not lay a healthy foundation for counseling”

Dr. Street,

The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors website states the following about your organization:

NANC exists to help pastors and those who would be ministers of the Word of God by providing help and encouragement. NANC is first and foremost a certifying organization. The certifying process is rigorous but attainable by even the busiest pastor. The process consists of the completion of an approved training course, the completion of a theological and a practical counseling test, several references, and a minimum of 50 hours of supervised counseling experience.

Furthermore, your organization refers hundreds of “counselors” certified by your organization. The purpose of this letter is to publically confront you in regard to the fact that NANC has board members, Fellows, and hoards of certified counselors who openly promote a blatant false gospel. I will first establish this fact, in case you are not aware of it, and then beseech you to tell me why this is acceptable.

Much data could be provided as I have been sent several articles written by NANC Fellows that contain outrageous teachings; and apparently, NANC thinks nothing of sending troubled people to antinomian mystics. But I only need to quote one of your present board members, David Powlison. Powlison performed a lecture at John Piper’s church while Piper was on a sabbatical to eradicate “several species of heart idols” that he saw in his heart (apparently, they were of the 8-month type because he was able to return to ministry at the pre-appointed time). Powlison stated the following at Piper’s church:

This might be quite a controversy, but I think it’s worth putting in. Adams had a tendency to make the cross be for conversion. And the Holy Spirit was for sanctification.  And actually even came out and attacked my mentor, Jack Miller, my pastor that I’ve been speaking of through the day, for saying that Christians should preach the gospel to themselves. I think Jay was wrong on that.

Jack Miller was the father of Sonship Theology, a false gospel that is presently wreaking havoc on Presbyterian churches. It has also been known as Gospel Sanctification and is the primary catalyst for the present-day New Calvinist movement which has turned orthodoxy completely upside down. The doctrine is best explained by a theological journal that was its source:

Unless sanctification is rooted in justification and constantly returns to justification, it cannot escape the poisonous miasma of subjectivism, moralism or Pharisaism…. Since the life of holiness is fueled and fired by justification by faith, sanctification must constantly return to justification. Otherwise, the Christian cannot possibly escape arriving at a new self-righteousness. We cannot reach a point in sanctification where our fellowship with God does not rest completely on forgiveness of sins…. Christian existence is gospel existence. Sanctification is justification in action.

Miller adopted the theology and coined the phrase, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” “The same gospel that saved us also sanctifies us” is the New Calvinist mantra of our day. I receive many links to articles written by NANC Fellows who clearly hold to this doctrine. In fact, How People Change, written by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp (and based on Powlison’s Dynamics of Biblical Change) is a Sonship/Gospel Sanctification treatise. Tripp and Lane are also on the board of the upstart Biblical Counseling Coalition. That board is the who’s who of Sonship/GS/ NC, including hyper-antinomian Elyse Fitzpatrick.

On a church level, here is the fruit of this doctrine:

To the Ruling Elders of Southwood:

On September 4, 2011, our daughter and her family from Atlanta were here and we attended the Sunday worship at Southwood.  After the service, our 13 year old granddaughter, who is well grounded in scripture, stated that she was very confused by the message.  She had come away hearing that every good thing she does is wrong.  Why would she believe that?  We have gone back and listened again to that message, entitled “Duh,” and here is what we found:

The message is from Galatians 3:1-6. Paul is chastening the church for falling prey to the persuasion of the Judaizers, exhorting them again that God’s love for them was not by any of their own works but through the miraculous work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Jean seems to take the written word beyond its intent.  He subtly changes ‘God’s love’ to ‘God’s favor.’  He changes legalism to performance. He takes Jewish law and extends it to almost any action one does.  Here are some paraphrased quotes from the sermon.  “To keep God’s favor, the Galatians were believing they needed Christ and a dash of obedience which looks like those things called Christian disciplines. Christian walk Christianity is from the Devil. Faithfulness is feeling condemned for work you haven’t finished (as contrasted with faith: resting completely in Christ). Faith is a litmus test for teachers and leaders; the difference between faith in Christ alone and faithfulness is like the difference between truth and falsehood, between Heaven and Hell. Faith alone is all we will teach.” (Here Jean says this is what Paul is teaching but he gives no supporting scriptures to support his interpretation.) “Discern as false any book, sermon, or Bible study where you hear a dash of self justifying obedience.  Self justifying obedience is from Satan.

Jean’s statements, combined with the tone and inflections in his delivery, imply that he is scornful of Christian disciplines, preachers, Christian writers, the Christian walk, obedience, faithfulness, good works, and an individual’s efforts.  This message can lead to the conclusion that everything we do is evil and, by extension, that God and the Holy Spirit can do nothing through us.  The message lacks balance and leaves sanctification out of the equation.  A new believer under this teaching would be moribund after accepting Christ, hidebound in fear that he can do nothing right.  While it is true none of us have all pure motives, it is also true that God commands us to go forward and that the Holy Spirit will be with us.  God says we are His instruments for spreading the Truth.  We cannot do this if we are strapped by guilt; we can do this if we seek partnership with the Holy Spirit.

From here Jean goes back to Paul saying “…since you were 100% depraved when you were brought into the Kingdom by the Holy spirit and by no works of your own, why are you trying to be perfected by your own human efforts?  You are being deceived by the Devil.”  I believe Jean is paralleling Paul in this.  Jean then goes on to “We are like alcoholics ; we use Bible study, prayers, small groups, etc. as a crutch and the church rewards our ‘addiction’ with its approval.  How would you know if you were addicted?  Stop everything.  If you feel anxiety, then you are afraid of leaving your ‘fix.’”   So we ask: what does God have us do?  Jean’s answer is “rest totally in Jesus.”  So in turn we ask, what does Scripture say about resting totally in Jesus?  But we hear no clear answer from the pulpit.

The cited letter reflects the same things often taught by many board members of NANC and BCC. Because this doctrine combines justification and sanctification, it makes sanctification like a minefield because what we do in sanctification can affect the justification that supposedly powers it. This does not lay a healthy foundation for counseling, and as Timothy F. Kauffman recently stated in the Trinity Review, when justification and sanctification are combined, anything we do in sanctification is works salvation—even doing nothing. It’s eerily reminiscent of Christ’s parable concerning the slothful servant. When such a parable is considered and compared to statements by Elyse Fitzpatrick and her spiritual big brother Tullian Tchividjian, it should make the hair stand up on a deceased person.

Moreover, the unfortunate results of counseling that comes from this doctrine can be seen in the following statement by a pastor who oversees a NANC counseling center:

We read this quote from Paul Tripp in last week’s Biblical Theology Study Center. Amazingly, part of the quote was used again the following evening during testimony time from someone not in our class…someone who resonated with the quote in the midst of personal crisis. For those who are involved in biblical counseling, it can be really easy (and tempting) for the Bible to become little more than a 12-verse system designed to fix a life. Tripp reminds us that the Bible isn’t a how-to manual, but a place where we find hope in a Person.

Compare that statement with what the apostle Paul said:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

This is the apostle Paul’s disparaged 3-verse system to fix a lack of peace. It is the wonderful hope that obedience to God’s word seizes upon His promises. And that’s why many NANC counselors strip their victims of hope. That, and confusing children who love the Lord.

So tell me Dr. Street, why is this acceptable? Why not come out from among them? Besides, the evidence that this doctrine was concocted by a Seventh-Day Adventist who is now an atheist is overwhelming. The truth will come out, and will eventually be accepted as truth. Why stick around and look stupid? Or, you could fix the problem. I beseech you Dr. Street, stop sending troubled people to false teachers. This is something that none of us want on our resume.

Paul Dohse

Last Week We Met the Enemy, But Who Are We?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 27, 2015

Blog Radio LogoLast week, we met the enemy, but can we really defeat sin in our lives if we don’t know who we are? Are we saint, or sinner, or both? And how does that relate to sin? Is our race in the Christian life for salvation or reward, or is the reward salvation itself? Christians suffer from an identity crisis–few of us know who we really are before God. Can we defeat sin in our lives if we don’t know who we are? It’s doubtful, but is that an errant goal altogether? Join us tonight for the discussion and join in!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/falsereformation/2015/02/28/how-christians-change-biblical-dynamics-of-change-in-sanctification-part-2

What Your Sanctification Says About Your Justification: Is Your Gospel True or False?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 27, 2015

“The law is the standard for love, not justification. In all of the aforementioned systems of sanctified justification by works, faith doesn’t work because it can’t lest salvation be lost. In the Christian life faith works because it can for the sake of love without condemnation.”

“Knowing that justification is a settled issue that has nothing to do with the law anyway, the true Christian only sees law-keeping as an opportunity to love. Christians not only have the anthropologic law of conscience written on the heart, the new birth writes the Bible there as well. In other words, we love the law.”

“Obviously, those who must focus on faith alone works in order to remain justified cannot focus on aggressive obedience to the law that defines love.”   

What do you believe about salvation? Your Christian life will tell you. Therefore, the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 should not confuse us. The “wicked” servant was not cast into outer darkness because he didn’t put his talents to work, but rather what he thought it meant to be a servant. In other words, in order to be saved, you need to know what a Christian is. That should be fairly evident.

Do you live your Christian life by “faith alone”? That is a statement in regard to what you believe about salvation, or what happened to justify you; viz, justification.

This is not complicated. Don’t complain that I am making your touchy-feely “simple” gospel a theological treatise. I am sure you concur that some Bible words have to be understood in order to be saved. The Bible splits humanity into two categories: saved and unsaved; i.e., “under law” or “under grace” (Romans 6:14).

“Under law” is the biblical nomenclature for the unregenerate lost. Under law means that sin rules you. Not in a plenary sense, because man’s conscience and fear of punishment from civilian law restrains people. Yet, they are under the condemnation of God’s law and every violation is documented. Unless they are saved, they will be judged according to their works in the final judgment. Though some who followed their conscience more than others will receive a lesser condemnation, it is still eternal separation from God. They are under law, and enslaved to sin. The last judgment DOES NOT determine justification; it ONLY determines the degree of eternal condemnation. It doesn’t determine justification; it only determines the wages of sin.

Moreover, sin uses the condemnation of the law to provoke people to sin. Primarily, sin uses desires to tempt people, but sin’s incentive is the law because it condemns. Sin lives for the purpose of condemning people, and uses desire to get people to sin against God’s law. This leads to present and eternal death. Sin’s desire is to bring death. When the Bible speaks of “the desires of the flesh” it is referring to instances when the flesh is serving the desires of sin.

The flesh can also be used to serve the desires of the Spirit (Romans 12:1). The flesh has NO desires; it is used by the dweller for good or evil purposes. We will either use our bodies to serve the desires of sin or the desires of the Spirit. Of course, people have their own desires, but unfortunately, the unregenerate are guided by the desires of sin. They assume sinful desires are their own desire which is true. In contrast, sinful desires are not part and parcel with the regenerate soul.

Said another way: among the lost, the desires of sin are very much the same desires possessed by the individual who are indifferent to the law of God. A desire for God’s law is absent while their life is continually building a death and condemnation dividend. Some of that dividend is paid in this life until the full wages of death are paid at the final judgment.

Under grace is not void of law. The law (same as “Scripture” or same as “Bible”) has a different relationship to the saved, or those under grace. A literal baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place, as symbolized in water baptism, which puts to death the old person under law and resurrects the new person under grace. The saved person is now a new creature created by the Spirit of God. The person under grace is literally born of God—he/she is God’s literal offspring.

Therefore, the old person is no longer under the condemnation of the law in the same way a dead person cannot be brought under indictment for a crime. Consequently, the motivation for sin is gone. The power of sin is the law’s condemnation that leads to death (1Corintians 15:56, 57). In addition, the person under grace has been given a new heart that loves God’s law and its way of life. The book that could only bring death is now a book that brings life. Either way, it is the Spirit’s law; He uses it to condemn those that are under it, or uses it to sanctify those who are under grace (John 17:17).

THEREFORE, how you see the law determines what you believe about salvation. If you believe that you can somehow obey the law in a way that unwittingly seeks to be justified by law-keeping, you are still under law. If you believe justification is defined by perfect law-keeping, you are still under law. Those who believe this also believe they need a salvation system that filters all their works into a category of faith alone. The Christian life is categorized or departmentalized into works that attempt to be counted for justification and faith alone works that qualify as “living by faith alone.” Do not miss the point that this also includes abstaining from certain things that aren’t necessarily sin as defined by the Bible.

Yes, hypothetically, a person would need to keep the law perfectly to be justified by the law, but that doesn’t make perfect law-keeping the standard for righteousness. If that were the case, the law is a co-life-giver with the Holy Spirit, and a death would not be necessary. We are justified APART from the law—law has NO part in justification. The Bible defines justification, but it’s not a standard of justification (Rom 3:21, Gal 2:19, 4:21). Law-keeping by anyone does not justify.

If one is trusting in a system that fulfills the law for justification, particularly if it calls for not doing something in order that the law is fulfilled in our place, that is works salvation through some kind of intentionality whether passive or active. These kinds of systems are always indicative of being under law rather than under grace. One such system that has several variances calls for doing certain things or not doing certain things on the Sabbath which can be Saturday or Sunday depending on the stripe of system. If you follow the system on the Sabbath, all works done by you during the week are considered to be by faith alone.

In Reformed theology, particularly authentic Calvinism, contemplation on your sin leading to a return to the same gospel that saved you imputes the perfect law-keeping of Christ to your life. Notice that a fulfillment of the law is required to keep you saved, but we do faith alone works in order that Christ’s perfect law-keeping is imputed to our account. The problem here is that a fulfillment of the so-called “righteous demands of the law” is the standard for justification. Hence, clearly, this keeps so-called “Christians” UNDER LAW. In addition, a so-called faith alone work is still a work.

Not so with under grace. We are now free to follow our new desire to obey the law out of love without fear of condemnation. The law is the standard for love, not justification. In all of the aforementioned systems of sanctified justification by works, faith doesn’t work (or love) because it can’t lest salvation be lost. In the Christian life (sanctification) faith works because it can for the sake of love without condemnation.

Knowing that justification is a settled issue that has nothing to do with the law anyway, the true Christian only sees law-keeping as an opportunity to love. Christians not only have the anthropologic law of conscience written on the heart, the new birth writes the Bible there as well. In other words, they love the law. Obviously, those who must focus on faith alone works in order to remain justified cannot focus on aggressive obedience to the law that defines love.

This is exactly what the books of James and 1John are about. Faith is not afraid to work because there is no condemnation. Faith without works is dead, “being alone” (James 2:17 KJV).

Are you in a religious system that propagates faith “alone” in the Christian life? Your faith is not only dead, it speaks to what you believe about justification. You believe justification has a progressive aspect and is not completely finished. Secondly, you believe the law has a stake in justification. Thirdly, your system categorizes works as faith alone works (an oxymoron of sorts) or works that are unfiltered in some way and therefore are efforts to “self-justify.”

If you believe the right gospel, you know that it is impossible to unwittingly partake in an endeavor to justify yourself. It’s a metaphysical impossibility—it’s not in the realm of reality. No false religion teaches that you earn your justification by perfect law-keeping—there is always a system that prescribes sanctified do’s and don’ts that in turn fulfill the law for you, otherwise known as “the traditions of men.”

It’s the fallacy of faith alone works for justification. But any work for justification is justification by works whether doing nothing (abstinence is still doing something), something passive (contemplationism or prayer is also a work) or anything active.

Law and justification are mutually exclusive, and true faith is “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Faith works because there is no fear in love (1John 4:18). Don’t be like the servant who was afraid and hid his talents in the ground. Christ said it best:

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”

paul

What is the Race of Faith? Justification or Sanctification? Or Both? A Biblical Evaluation, Part 1: First Letter of John 1:7-10

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 26, 2015

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1John 1:7-9 are the go-to verses for most Protestant denominations, particularly verse 9. The rendering promotes the idea that we must continue to confess known sin after salvation in order to keep our salvation. This isn’t considered to be works salvation because repentance is a faith-alone work that originally saved us. So, since we are going back to the same gospel that saved us, and that salvation is by faith alone, and repentance is by faith alone, doing this act in order to keep ourselves saved is by faith alone and not works.

Hence, the Christian life is a “race of faith” in which the prize, or reward is salvation. As long as we live our Christian life by “faith alone” we are not disqualified from the race. In verses like 1Corinthians 9:24, the prize for winning the race is taken to mean salvation.

The key to how this works is the confession of sin that is brought to our attention by conscience or the Holy Spirit. If we confess that, we are then cleansed of all unknown sin and sin beneath the sin. As long as we are returning to the same faith-alone gospel that originally saved us, it doesn’t count as works. As plainly stated by many Protestants, Christians still need ongoing salvation from sin. And verse 7 is the icing on the cake; if we “fellowship” with each other, viz, if we are a member of the church in good standing, this in and of itself also continues to cleanse us. John Calvin et al taught that ongoing repentance for re-cleansing (re-salvation) was only valid if one is a member of the institutional church. For several citations on this, read the booklet “It’s Not About Election.”

This is the prime example of traditions of men (orthodoxy) fulfilling the law of God on behalf of the “believer.” The so-called believer partakes in some kind of activity in order for a substitution of some sort to be perpetually imputed to the subject for the maintaining of salvation. Of course, the fundamental error is law being a standard for justification. Law either condemns or sanctifies, but it has no part in justification. Second to that, when justification is not a finished work, ambiguous classifications for what is a work and what isn’t a work is needed to keep justification moving forward by “faith alone.” See the problem? A faith-alone work is an oxymoron.

Even more icing is heaped on the cake when you approach these verses with the Redemptive Historical hermeneutic. This interprets every verse in the Bible as a salvation verse, or justification verse in a supposed context of progression.

So what’s really going on with these verses and others like them? It’s pretty simple when you approach the same with the Grammatical Historical hermeneutic. Historically, John was addressing the rampant Gnosticism of the day that saturated the 1st century church and culture. There were and are many, many veins of Gnostic thought, but John was addressing the one that believed man was spirit and therefore pure; only the material realm is evil. Therefore, no person sins because they are spirit—it’s the material world that’s evil. Moreover, it doesn’t matter what one does in the body because it is of the sinful material realm.

While many recognize this historical fact, they proceed to see these verses as sanctification verses. While rightly dividing the difference between sin unto condemnation and sin against God’s family relationship, they errantly concede a continued need for “cleansing.” It goes something like this: because we also fail to recognize family sin that we commit, it is necessarily for that sin to be cleansed as well when we confess sin against family. While this is far closer to the truth than the former, and perhaps harmless, it is best to see 1John 7-10 as verses pertaining to justification as a onetime finished work.

An idea that man is sinless because he is spirit denies the need for the gospel altogether; it makes God a liar. In that context, 1John 7-10 makes perfect sense. But the question becomes that of Greek tenses, moods, and voices. Is this forgiveness an ongoing need, or did it just happen once? And if it only happened once, is the effect still ongoing? When this is considered grammatically, the arguments can fly in every direction. The English translation seems to imply an ongoing need for forgiveness.

First of all, the New Testament does not emphasize repentance in sanctification to the degree that repentance for justification is emphasized. The emphasis is a onetime turning away from who you presently are to save yourself from a perverse generation (Acts 2:40). Don’t get me wrong, repentance is a part of sanctification, but the emphasis is a positive one regarding what we are free to do, not what we have been set free from. The past bondage to sin is not emphasized in the Bible, the freedom we have to love is what is emphasized.

1Peter 4:8 – Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

God is love (1Jn 4:16), love matters more than sacraments (Gal 5:6), casts out fear (1Jn 4:18), covers a multitude of sins (1Pet 4:8), is the only gift that will not pass away (1Cor 13:8), and is greater than faith and hope (1Cor 13:13). The idea that Christianity is a “lifestyle of repentance” is egregiously misguided; Christianity is a lifestyle of love. The past bondage is not emphasized in the Bible; the freedom we have to love is what is emphasized.

No wonder then that 1John 1:7-10 is interpreted through the prism of a continued focus on condemnation and sin. In contrast, it is pitting repentance from sin unto salvation against the idea that man is already sinless and has no need to be forgiven through belief in Jesus Christ. This idea is also calling God a liar in regard to man’s true status. Therefore, we see that 1John 7-10 regards justification as set against the historical teachings of Gnosticism that was infiltrating the Christian assemblies at that time. 1John is also peppered with a pushback against the same vein of Gnosticism that posited the idea that Christ didn’t really come in the flesh (I John 1:1).

1 John 1:7-10, though having a grammatical semblance of present continuous, is speaking of the onetime finished work of justification that all people need as opposed to the Gnostic idea that the invisible is good, and the material is evil, and that all sin belongs to the material realm and not relevant to the spiritual. We have looked at the historical, now let’s examine the grammatical.

Verse 7… “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” The book of Hebrews makes it absolutely clear that this only happened once.

Hebrews 10:11 – And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Is the blood of Jesus reapplied to our sins each time we repent? This is the only contextual conclusion that can be drawn from the aforementioned orthodox use of 1John 1:7-10. It is a perpetual application of the blood for each known sin that we commit, plus an additional cleansing for unknown sin.

To the contrary, there is one sacrifice for ALL sins and for ALL time resulting in God not remembering any sin committed by believers. Said interpretation of 1John 1:7-10 states that God will in fact remember our sin if we do not reapply the one sacrifice of Christ. Again, 1John 1:7-10 is a justification verse; that justification is a finished work that only occurs once.

Surrounding verses in context also support this view. “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake” (1John 2:12). Also, those who walk in the light are representative of those who have been cleansed from “all” sin (v.7), and the washing is always indicative of justification as a onetime finished work (note John 13:9-11).

Repentance for family sin resulting in prevention of Fatherly chastisement is another issue altogether and has nothing to do with 1John 1:7-10.

James 5:13 – Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

A “lifestyle of repentance” keeps our focus on “keeping ourselves in the love of God” or stated more plainly, keeping ourselves saved for a best shot at “standing in the judgment.” There is no condemnation for those who believe Christ and we will not stand in any judgment that determines justification (John 5:28,29, Luke 14:12-14). However, Christians who live out their calling to righteous living will have confidence when we are swept up in the general judgments that come upon the world, or His appearing at the end of the tribulation period (1John 2:28, 4:17). Peter spoke of a “rich entry” into the kingdom (2Peter 1:11).

Focusing on assumed sin that we are supposedly powerless to overcome will keep us from a successful Christian walk that gives us confidence (I Jn 3:18,19, 2Pet 1:9,10, Heb 10;22), a walk that pursues peace and love as a focus and not an endeavor to discover how sinful we are.

This will only lead to fear, and a shrinking back from the thought of seeing God. In contrast, mature love casts out fear.

paul

“< Tweet, Tweet: A Lifestyle of Repentance?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 26, 2015

Is America a Christian Nation? Dissecting the Worldview

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 25, 2015

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Good evening, everyone. Welcome to Blog Talk Radio False Reformation. This is your host, Paul Dohse. If you would like to call in and add to the lesson tonight, the number is 347-855-8317. You will hear me say, “You are on the air. This is your host, Paul. What is your question or comment?” and just start talking. Identifying yourself is optional. Broadcasting on Saturday night at seven tonight. Usually, it is Friday night at seven, and, Lord willing, we’ll resume on that same schedule next week. Per the usual, we’ll be checking in towards the end of the conclusion of our presentation and try to get a conversation going with Susan about the topic at hand to kind of round everything out.

Tonight we are discussing the question, “Is America a Christian nation?” Is America a Christian nation? The fact that the question is trending really should alarm us. The fact that the very question is trending is an open display of the average Christian’s errant view of history and really reality itself. Because of Protestant tradition, most Christians have a completely bogus worldview. Nevertheless, we will answer the question biblically tonight. We will present a truly biblical worldview. We’re not going to spend a lot of time on that. I’m going to present what I think is the biblical worldview at the end of the presentation reading from Romans Chapter [UNINTELLIGIBLE 0:03:35]. Really another way you could ask it is, “How should true Christians process reality itself?”

Well, where to start? First, let’s start with defining what a Christian is. Christian is one of those generic words that we kind of throw around, right? We are going to stop here and ask why that is. Why do we just kind of – are able to throw around these words like Christian, Gospel and so on and so forth? And we need to look at that because it speaks hugely to the point at hand here. How can we have this conversation without a definitive understanding of what the word Christian means? This question is discussed on radio and other venues, that is, the question of “Are we a Christian nation?” America, that is. The question is discussed on radio and other venues comfortably while crossing every line between everything and the kitchen sink that calls itself Christian, and nobody blinks. How can this happen? Well, here’s how. Because all stripes under the nomenclature of Christian define the word this way. You ready? Not secular. That’s the definition of Christianity, not secular.

So during the day when Christian soccer moms are running the home base and listening to this discussion on the radio via the Janet Mefferd Show or whatever, it can be Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Unitarian or whatever. To all of them, the word Christian in this context means the same thing: not secular. Yes. While this subject is being discussed, all theological differences can be put away because all of these parties have one thing in common. They believe in God in one way or the other. For the time being, they are united against the greater evil, the secular, the big S, those who don’t believe in God. And as we know, the godless have been out to destroy the godly since the beginning of time, us against them. Yes, as we think, the primary nemesis of the Church has been all of those secular people who don’t believe in God. And on the other hand, you could also say their definition of secular are those who don’t believe in God. Usually, more times than not, it’s just equated with atheism. Secular equals atheism.

This so not human history. Do this. Find one account in human history where a secular government persecuted religion. Well, your answer is probably going to be, “Well, Marxism.” But even if that’s true, even if you could use Marxism as an example, Marxism is a parenthetical historical anomaly really. But let’s look at the notion. Marxism was/is an equal opportunity persecutor when it gets right down to it, that is merely intolerant of different views on how to achieve its utopia. I think it’s fair to say for the most part Marxism doesn’t care what you believe. It primarily believes whether or not you give them any trouble or stand in their way. Those who die under its tyranny usually do so as a result of its policies, not a targeted persecution. Its targeted persecution is usually against dissenters. Even if you find fault with my assessment, remember Marxism is primarily a 19th and 20th century phenomenon. And, by the way, secular governments in general are really a post-American Revolution phenomenon. Before that, church states were the norm, and by church, which is a very handy word with a 5th-century etymology, we mean organized religion. Organized church states were always the norm by and large before the American Revolution, and again, really, the whole secular government thing is kind of a post American Revolution phenomenon.

Okay. So here at TANC, which sponsors this radio show, we are big on defining words because words mean things. “Church” is defined as a religious institution with an authority structure. By and large, all international violence in human history is predicated by religious intolerance. This is a violence that will not even tolerate those who keep their mouths shut and look the other way. This is a violence that goes door to door demanding that you agree with them. This is an intolerance that one day announces that your race has been proclaimed anathema. Have a nice day. Please note the first step kind of sounds like this: Don’t you want a government ruled by godly principles? Of course, you do. Christian good, secular bad. Those who believe in God, good. Those who don’t believe in God, bad. Second step, once they get into power using that ploy, hark! Not all who claim God really believe in God. Then the secular boogeyman that never existed in the first place is now the pseudo-Christian. Let the slaughter begin. That’s history, period. This is the way it always happens.

So this is what we really are asking when we ask if America was founded on Christian principles. Was America founded on belief in God? Was belief in God principal in which the nation was supposed to function? After all, don’t we have money with “In God we trust” printed on it? We have defined what is really behind the trending conversation. I’m going to pause and give a short answer to the question, really longer than I thought it would be, and then develop the first notion. Really, I’m going to first develop more the second notion, that is, what’s behind the trend? I’m going to address the second notion first, actually. What is the true historic answer to the question? Then I’m going to conclude with what a true biblical worldview should be. (more…)

Acts Lesson 46

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy on February 25, 2015

Tuesday Night Bible Study
February 24, 2015

Study of the Book of Acts


Lesson 46 Outline

Brief review

  1. The scene in Athens
    1. Paul’s manner, again
    2. Disputing daily
      • διαλεγομαι – “dee-ah-leg-oh-my” – to say thoroughly. A structured, well laid-out argument
      • Continuous, on-going
        • Within the synagogue
        • Outside the synagogue
    3. Epicureans and the Stoics
      1. Rival philosophies
      2. Both sought knowledge and wisdom
      3. Variations on gnosticism
    4. “City wholly given to idolatry”
  2. The Athenian interest in Paul
    1. What did the Epicureans and Stoics have to gain by debating Paul?
    2. Paul is ridiculed
      • A “babbler”
        • σπερμολογος (“sper-mol-oh-gus”) –“seed-picker”
      • One who sets forth “strange gods”
        • χενος (“zee-nos”) – guest, visitor, alien (foreigner)
        • δαιμονιων (die-mon-ee-on) – a demon or devil. some diety.
  3. The focus on Mars Hill
    1. The “Areopagus”
        • αρειος παγος (Areios Pagos) – “Hill of Ares”, “Rock of Ares”

      areopagus1

      • Compare with verse 22
    2. “Strange things” for a “strange” audience
      • επιδημεο (“epi-day-meh-oh”) – to make oneself at home.
      • Combined with χενος (“zee-nos”). – “residing foreigners”
      • Compare with verse 20
        • χενιζω (“zeh-nid-zoh”) – to be a host.

“< Tweet, Tweet: Focus

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 25, 2015

“< Tweet, Tweet: Law-Keeping

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 25, 2015

“< Tweet, Tweet: History

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 25, 2015

“< Tweet, Tweet: The Law

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 24, 2015

“< Tweet, Tweet: The Final Judgement

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 24, 2015

The Home-Schooled: Poets [Platonists] and Don’t Know It

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 24, 2015

TANC LOGOIs there a more deceived mass of humanity than the homeschool community? I doubt it. While thinking they are the epitome of a Christianity that supposedly founded America, the depths of their cluelessness is stunning. The Neo-Puritan movement has all but totally taken over homeschool curriculum resulting in a whole Christian subculture of functioning Platonists.

Something seems to be missing from their history books: colonial Puritans were known as “Christian Platonists” by those who were the movers and shakers in the American Revolution. Puritans, the undisputed heroes of the homeschoolers, were little more than Eastern mystics without the same penchant for colorful dress codes.

One of the more visible signs of their  functioning Platonism is the secular is evil mentality. My wife Susan likes to share one of her favorite examples of how she was once a functioning Platonist like most good Baptist Kool-Aid drinkers. As a professional educator, being a teacher in the public realm was unthinkable to her. She also believed that secular educators do not have a true grasp of reality because they are “secular”, i.e. spiritual, good – secular, evil. That’s simple Platonism. Another way of stating it: weak equals evil.

After buying into the whole Christian education is ministry motif  resulting in no retirement and near financial destitution, she was forced to take a teaching position in the dreaded secular realm of abject evil. To her shock, she was barely qualified to cut it in that realm.

The Reformed have always been masters at integrating Scripture into their Marxist worldview, and they presently own Christian publications not excluding homeschool curriculum.  The present-day Neo-Puritan homeschool movement is the greatest threat to American liberty in this present age because of its astir ability to present evil as good to the future leadership of the church. In addition, their rewriting of world history is egregiously disingenuous. Below, I have included an excerpt from a Christian homeschool book sent to me by a homeschool mom that is very indicative of the problem:

The Birth of Postmodernism

Social critics have observed that the rise of modern society in America follows a similar plot line [to the Tower of Babel account].  A people who were proud of their automobiles, their computers, their moon landings, their weapons of mass destruction, and their scientific methods of birth control, devised to build themselves a city.  It would be based on man-made laws, and it would serve to exalt the ways of man rather than the ways of God.  Human reason, not divine revelation, would bring the people into a heaven made on earth.

The rise and fall of the Tower of Babel and modernism are similar.  As with the Tower of Babel, the building of modernism stopped with the gathering of peoples.  In the confusion over who or what would replace the authority of God, a popular saying emerged: “What is true for you is not necessarily true for me.”  Society, lacking a cohesive set of absolutes, broke apart, splintering into a myriad of divergent communities.  Women opposed to men; children opposed to their parents; whites opposed minorities; heterosexuals opposed homosexuals; “Pro-lifers” opposed “Pro-choicers”; the Religious Right opposed the Liberal Left; etc.

As we pass from modernism, society is becoming more obessed with the “right” to choose according to individual ideas of right and wrong.  People no longer look to or acknowledge an objective, universal standard of truth.  Everyone is doing “what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).  American literature reflects this shift.  It, too, has fallen into a downward spiral, beginning with God-oriented, historical accounts during the colonial period; slipping to Romanticized portrayals of nature and man in the nineteenth century; and finally, dropping to man-centered pictures of reality that have only caused disillusionment and confusion.

In the dawning of the postmodern age, the walls of certainty and truth have crumbled and art has tumbled into the gulf of meaninglessness.  The only writers and artists worthy of serious attention are those that have not only recorded the fall of truth but also attempted to put the pieces back together again.

The Modern Age.  Thomas Oden, professor of theology at Drew University, argues that the modern age lasted exactly two hundred years-from 1789 to 1989.  At its beginning was the French Revolution, which exalted human reason.  In the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the revolutionaries tore down images of Christ and erected a statue of the goddess of Reason.  The Rights of Man became superior to the rights of God.  Man was enthroned as the ultimate authority.  Man and his intellectual abilities would bring society into the form of socialism and communism.

The Russian Revolution put into practice the economic theories of Karl Marx, instituting a communist state.  Marx, borrowing from the scientific theories of Charles Darwin, believed that the lower classes would eventually emerge to the top.  This would complete the evolution of society.  There would be no upper class or lower class, everyone would be equal.  Gene Veith correctly stated, “Communism was the most thoroughgoing attempt to remake society by means of human reason.”  Devoid of the influence of the Scriptures, it based its advancement on science and human reason.

The appeal of Marxism was deceptive.  While claiming to create a utopian state based soley on human reason, it found its power in “oppression and brute force”.  After WWII, the term Iron Curtain came to be used for the barrier against communication and travel that the Communists erected.  It limited the citizens of communist states from relations with Western Europe and the United States.  Human reason did not lead the people to greater freedom.  On the contrary, it led to the greatest horrors that this world has known, namely, the extermination of more than six million Jews in Nazi Germany and the execution and starvation of millions of “class enemies” first in Stalin’s Russia and later in China under communist dictator Mao Tse-tung.  In 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, signaling the fall of the Iron Curtain and the death of the modern age.

In America, the Rights of Man never became as thoroughgoing as in Russia.  The Christian roots and capitalistic economy of America were too well grounded in the nation’s demeanor.  “One nation under God” was not merely a decorative slogan printed on the tokens of free enterprise.  The existence of a personal God was and still is recognized by a majority of Americans.

The Art of Meaninglessness.  Sir Arnold Toynbee, a historian of world civilizations, has observed the societies that stop believing in a universal standard of morals tend to lose their ability to create great pieces of art.  As we survey the landscape of American literature, we can see this occurring.  Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor and Jonathan Edwards all spoke with beauty about the God who rules over His creation.  Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville argued with the same God, yet with eloquence, acknowledging His presence.  Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman all denounced the God of the Bible and questioned the idea of truth.  Their work, though inventive, lacked a connection with the real world.  Hemingway and Fitzgerald could paint a clear picture of problems but they left readers without an answer.  Their works lack the goodness of wisdom that makes art truly beautiful. …

American Literature
Alpha Omega Publications
Author: Krista L. White, B.S.
Editor: Alan Christopherson, M.S.

I Always Do Dr. J’s Homework

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 24, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published August 8, 2010

In another recent post by Dr. Jay Adams, he seems to once again allude to the doctrine of the evil twins (Dr. Jay’s Hopeful Post and the Evil Twins).  The post I am referring to can be viewed here.

Let me begin with this quote from his post:

“Others are confused because of the recent revival of an old error: confounding Justification by faith with Sanctification by the work of the Spirit. The Spirit works His fruit in us by enabling us to understand the Word, by giving us the desire to obey it, and by enabling us to do so.”

Dr. J further explains:

“In the revival of this teaching, passages that speak of justification by faith are related to sanctification.”

Yes, there are many examples of this. He then relates how this can affect counseling:

“As a result, instead of encouraging Christians to obey God’s admonitions in the Bible, they are told that they can’t do so, and that—in one way or another (not everyone agrees how)—God must do it to them, for them, instead of them.”

Then he continues with a suggestion for those counselors who are fortunate enough by the grace of God to get a second crack at those who have been counseled that way, unlike many that I know who have had their faith shipwrecked by this teaching:

“When meeting up with those who have been taught this sort of thing in your counseling, and who are confused because it ‘didn’t work,’ you should ask them to do something like the following:

  1. List all of the commands in 1 Corinthians (for instance).
  2. Write down how many times Christ, the Holy Spirit or the Father is the One Who is thus commanded.
  3. The write down how many times you (or the Corinthians, if you will) are commanded to do them.

Well, when I was in counseling some time ago, I was given a lot of Jay’s homework assignments from his various books by a guy who I hope is not being deceived by the doctrine of the evil twins. But since I did all of the homework assignments, when Jay posted this one, I just couldn’t resist. So, in the following list, I document all commands from 1 Corinthians and answer questions 2 and 3. This should make it much easier for any counselor or counselee who actually wants  to follow through with Jay’s suggestion, and share the results with him ( feedback@nouthetic.org ) However, remember, this would not even include instruction or commands that are implied through Paul’s informative teaching.

Also, the list creates huuuuuuge problems for the four pillars of Gospel Sanctification (not necessarily what Jay is speaking of here, but very similar; could just be a doctrinal evil twin); namely, New Covenant Theology, heart theology, Christian hedonism (wouldn’t JC Ryle love that one?), and redemptive historical hermeneutics. I will be posting in the near future on why these verses do extreme violence to the GS doctrine. But, if someone wants to help me out with some examples, I would appreciate it. Post them in the comment boxes.

So, here’s the list, hope it helps: (more…)

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Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 24, 2015

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The Ten Pillars of Contrast: God’s Prescribed Home Fellowships Versus the Institutional Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 23, 2015

As I catch up on reader homework, church drama is truly overwhelming. I find the information sent to me astounding. I was tempted to write five posts and I do not have time to do so—not even close. So, here are ten pillars (see Revised Twelve Pillars) that I believe are at the crux of what we see in the mega-soap opera called “church.” Come out from among them and be separate—let the dead bury their own dead.

I. God’s Kingdom is NOT on Earth

This paves the way for dominion theology and the marriage of faith and force. It also causes misplaced priorities among God’s people.

II. Focus on Individual Sanctification NOT Collectivism

In case anybody hasn’t noticed, the institutional church has no answers for victorious Christian living. In fact, the concept is openly mocked. The focus is the success of the institution as a salvation vessel. Ministry success is measured by the growth of infrastructure, not individuals.

III. Priesthood of Believers

Vertical aspect: One authority being Christ and His word as the one mediator between God and man. Horizontal aspect: fellowship and gifts, NOT authority and spiritual caste.

IV. Salvation is Finished

Justification is complete when the believer passes from death to life via the new birth.

V. The Judgment

Christians will not stand with unbelievers in a final judgment to determine justification. All people who stand in the final judgment are already condemned. Christians will stand in a separate judgment to determine rewards.

VI. Meeting Financial Need, NOT Institutional Taxes

New Testament tithing is according to meeting needs. Tithing to an institution is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

VII. God’s Prescribed Model by Default

It is clear that the beginning of the “church” took place in homes; yet, the idea that this model was transitional or a contrary institutional model is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

VIII. The Church Discipline Myth

The New Testament prescribes “self-discipline” and the “Lord’s discipline” but nowhere speaks of a discipline performed by the church. Fellowship is based on active fellowship and NOT authority. Eldership is a gift, NOT the authority of God by proxy. Elders are to use their gift of teaching to persuade God’s people for their own benefit and the building up of the body of Christ to God’s glory.

IX. Salvation is of the Jews

Gentiles did not replace Israel, but are made partakers of the commonwealth of Israel through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

X. Rejection of Gospel Centrality

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are tri-equals in Justification and sanctification. We baptize in the name of all three. IF there is a centrality, and we do not believe there is, it would the Holy Spirit and not Christ. He is the promise to mankind and Christ.

What is the 5-Word Gospel?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 23, 2015

How Christians Change: Biblical Dynamics of Change in Sanctification; Part 1, SIN, Knowing the Enemy

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 23, 2015

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Listen to audio here. 

Good evening, this is your host Paul Dohse and we have a lot to cover tonight. So, if you would, obtain your Bible, a notepad, and a writing utensil of your choice.

Tonight, we are going to cover the basic fundamentals of change in sanctification. We are going to focus heavily on the biblical definition of words used in the Bible that explain how we change in our Christian living.

This ministry believes that Christians really change to the glory of God in a lasting and meaningful way. Protestants, that is, Protestants who really know what Protestantism is about DO NOT believe that people change in a meaningful way pleasing to God.

But here is the rub of the deception: Protestantism defines change as perception only. FAITH is defined as a seeing only. You ever heard the maxim, “Perception is reality”? “But Paul, I have heard these guys say, ‘faith works,” Right, BUT what do they mean by that? In other words, who’s doing the works? Trust me, not us, and I have that in print all over the place. Early on in this ministry when I was the darling of many so-called “Old Calvinists,” they used to say to me, “Paul, it’s like the New Calvinist’s are saying that Jesus obeys for us.” Well, that’s exactly what they are saying, but we are not going to get into how they supposedly make that work in this study. Suffice to say that Augustine, Luther, and Calvin borrowed from Eastern mysticism to make it work.

Tonight, we are going to focus on the real deal. Look, at some point we stop seeking to prove people wrong, shake the dust off of our feet, and let the dead bury their own dead. I am almost to the point where I am saying, “Let’s get the home fellowship networks going and all but completely ignore the perpetual drama of the institutional church.”

Let’s start our study with the word, “sin.” What is “sin”? As Christians we need to stop more often at the four-way word stop and stop running stop signs with presuppositions. Here is what we do with words like sin: we see the red word sign coming and we drive right by without a pause while saying, “Sin is doing bad stuff.” Good is good; sin bad.

Where did sin come from? What is it? How does it function? To not have a complete understanding of sin greatly cripples your ability to understand sanctification. Listen, you don’t need to be a Bible scholar, all you need to be is a wordsmith. All you need to do is remember to stop at the word signs.

Let’s go to the Scriptures and first look at where sin came from:

Ezekiel 28:12 – Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared.

14 Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee.

16 By the abundance of thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I have cast thee to the ground; I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 By the multitude of thine iniquities, in the unrighteousness of thy traffic, thou hast profaned thy sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of thee; it hath devoured thee, and I have turned thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee (ASV).

Also,

Isiah 14: 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!

13 And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north;

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall gaze at thee, they shall consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

17 that made the world as a wilderness, and overthrew the cities thereof; that let not loose his prisoners to their home?

18 All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, every one in his own house.

19 But thou art cast forth away from thy sepulchre like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain, that are thrust through with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a dead body trodden under foot.

20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people; the seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever.

21 Prepare ye slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers, that they rise not up, and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities (ASV).

Sin originated in an angel created by God. Revelation 12:4 may indicate that he led a rebellion in which 1/3 of the angels followed him. We know that some indeed followed him in rebelling against God. This is the origin of sin.

Of course, the metaphysical possibilities here are endless, and what we are going to do is stick with what we know objectively, yet, I will pause here to throw a few pennies into the philosophical coin jar. Unlimited possibilities does not necessarily equal a deficiency in creation. God doesn’t know everything because the word “everything” implies there is a limit to knowledge and that limits God. Knowledge in the eternal realm can’t have a beginning and an end because that limits God’s ability to know. Knowledge in God’s creation can have no bounds because that limits God. Unforeseen results isn’t the point, eternal knowledge with no limitations is the point.

What God creates is good, but has unlimited possibilities, and that doesn’t make it ungood. Is God able to create something with unlimited possibilities, or must he limit His creation because it could cause Him some sort of trouble? Predestination presumes that God is limited. He must control everything lest His own creation becomes a metaphysical boomerang. Before God created Lucifer, did He have knowledge of evil? If so, where did that come from? Or, is God unlimited by the unlimited? If God is unlimited, why does he need predeterminism? In contrast, freewill suggests God can’t be limited in any way by His own unlimited creation.

That’s the long version of, “We simply don’t know.” But I do know this: I was teaching a Bible study one night for a Reformed church I was a member of and suggested that Christ didn’t know some things. Where do I get that? Among other places in the Bible, Mark 13:32. I tell you, the claws came out like you wouldn’t believe! The hostility was unreal! I was thinking, “Wow, are these folks going to start getting physical with me?” Yet, Christ plainly stated that there were things He didn’t know—get over it! When God visited Abraham and told him that He only knew what was going on in Sodom because of reports brought to Him, is that what He meant or was He just sporting with Abraham?

This is where we get into a discussion of God being limited by attributes assigned to Him by silly men. God is omniscient; therefore he cannot not know something. I beg your pardon, God can choose to not know something if that’s His desire—He is not limited by so-called omniscience. Look, I didn’t write the Bible, if God says He doesn’t know something that’s good enough for me.

But this is interesting, a Reformed person, actually more than one, has protested to me that by making the assertion that Christians are functionally righteous is to attribute an attribute of God to us, in essence, making ourselves God. Let me clarify this idea: they are saying that righteousness is an attribute of God like omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. To say that we, as Christians are actually righteous in the truest sense is like saying that we are also the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. Interesting.

Now, back to what we know definitively and can actually apply to our lives in order to please God and experience wellbeing. We are hunkering down on the word, “sin.” We are going to jump ahead a little bit and mention the primary catalyst of sin, or agent of sin, or the arms, legs, and feet of sin, DESIRE. Take note of our first major bullet point in defining sin: it’s an unrighteous, or misplaced desire. Lucifer desired to be a coequal with God in authority, and put a plan of insurrection into to place that led to a rebellion in heaven. It could even be argued that he wanted to surpass God in authority, if “authority” is the right word. The concept of “authority” might have been misconceived by Lucifer to begin with.

At that point, God doesn’t decide to immediately destroy Satan and the angels who participated in the rebellion. Some angels rebelled and others didn’t, I believe this is the metaphysical principle of freewill in action. We often hear it argued, “If I had a choice, and I chose God, that makes me better than the guy who didn’t choose God.” But wait a minute; didn’t God create all of the angels equally good? He did; equally good and with an equal ability to choose. Choice is just that, “choice.” It’s a created ability, not a predetermined outcome. If it’s a predetermined outcome, why would it be a choice? At this point, why wouldn’t God just put an end to the rebellion and call it a day? Did God predetermine that something He created as good fall into sin? I doubt it.

Next, we have Satan approaching Eve in the garden and using the catalyst of sin, desire.

Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

For our purposes in this study, we want to focus on, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”

Satan created a misplaced desire in her mind, and when the desire was acted upon, sin was conceived and it brought about death. Let’s now go to James 1:12ff.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

When we obey a sinful desire (we will revisit the obedience of sinful desires in much detail later), some sort of death comes about. In the life of a Christian, this death can be very subtle. Obviously, Christians can choose to obey sinful desires to the point where the death is not so subtle, but more times than not the death is subtle. Unkind words to your spouse may seem like a little sin, and it may be so trivial that she covers it with love, but where does the subtle death take place? Probably in the bedroom. Hey guys, let’s jettison ahead and toss up an example of how we are going to be able to help Christians with the word of God in the future as we tap into the unchartered territory of sanctification. When a fellow brother has ED, yes, it might be a medical problem, but it may also be the result of deaths. And even if it is medical, what led to the medical problem? Let me ask you a question: is eating a desire? And, is the third trip to the buffet a good desire or a misplaced one? Eating is a good desire until it becomes overeating, or an escape. Some people drink a 12-pack, other people will just grab a spoon and a whole half-gallon of ice cream. Right?

With that said, let me throw out another principle: we never judge, we eliminate (James 5:13-16). Indeed, Christians can suffer, and even be overweight due to difficult circumstances beyond their control, but you always eliminate death choices as one of the possibilities. If these principles are emphasized in home fellowships it will enable families to counsel themselves. No one knows their own life better than them. Ironically, formal biblical counseling has saturated the institutional churches and its popularity is exploding, but all that tells me is sanctification hasn’t been properly taught for years. Young men go to seminary to learn how to counsel, not to equip so they don’t have to counsel. What’s up with that? If the average Christian knows how to live life why do we need the present-day gargantuan biblical counseling movement? The institutional church has been derelict in their sanctification duties for 500 years and are now making millions off of their own failure!

David Powlison, one the biblical counseling gurus of our day: “We are bringing counseling back to the church.” That begs the question: what have you Protestant Bozos been doing for 500 years? Has there been a lack of funds? Why should we trust you now?

Look, teach good, strong sanctification from the word in the home fellowships and the movement will explode. Why? because that breeds life, and people like life. Make the teaching of the word central to your home fellowships and everything else will be icing on the cake.

Not only that, the only place where real change is going to be propagated is in the home fellowship movements—the institutional church is not going to buy into the idea of real change within the believer.

In verse 12 the word for trial is better interpreted, “temptation.” That should be evident from the verses that follow where the word “tempted” is used. And what is the reward for saying “no” to sinful desire? Right, the crown of life. Is that rewards of life in this life or when we stand before Christ? I think both (James 1:25).

Now, let’s go back to the garden. When Adam and Eve obeyed the sinful desire, they received indwelling sin:

Genesis 3:15 – I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Here is another HUGE word in the sanctification scheme of things, “seed.” We are going to look at a lot of words that make the complete sanctification picture, and this is one of the dominate sanctification themes throughout Scripture, “seed,” or “offspring.” Obeying the sinful desire gave birth to sin within Adam and Eve, and all of humanity then came from Adam and Eve. This doesn’t change until the Virgin Mary bears the Messiah, she is “the woman” and “the seed” of the woman is Christ.

But the primary purpose of Christ, the seed of the woman, is twofold: to bear the sin of humanity, and enjoin Jew and Gentile into one body through His resurrection by the Holy Spirit. This is “the promise” (the baptism of the Holy Spirit Acts 1:4,5) made to Abraham and Christ (Galatians 3:13-18).

On the other hand, the Holy Spirit was regenerating immediately after the fall. Christ told Nicodemus, “you must be born again” (John 3:7), and that was before the cross. The new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are two different things; the baptism of the Holy Spirit united Jew and Gentile into one spiritual body. In one of the parts of this series we will be looking at the Holy Spirit’s ministry in depth.

Believers “lived” by faith, or faith made them alive. Saving faith believes God. Hebrews 11 makes this clear. Their belief also made them righteous (2Peter 2:8). From the very beginning, in this way, there was enmity between sin and the seed of the Spirit:

1John 3:7 – Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother…

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Notice the contrast between “of [ek] God” and “of [ek] the devil” or “of [ek] the evil one.” Ek is a Greek preposition that denotes origin—where something came from (“out from”). All people born into the world process sin that came from Adam and Eve. However, indwelling sin does not make humanity direct descendants of Satan in the same way that the new birth makes believers direct descendants of God. When sin was found within Lucifer, it was the creation of a separate entity unlike the new birth imparts God’s seed within the believer. The new birth is being born of God and you are part of His actual linage—God’s seed is not a separate entity working in the believer. Sin, of course, has commonality with Satan in regard to character and enmity against God, but biblical references to people being descendants of Satan is in a manner of speaking. Sin does not make people direct descendants of Satan.

Let me bring my point into clearer focus. There was a time in history when Satan in fact tried to up-the-ante and create a human race that would have been direct descendants of the fallen angels. Said angels actually cohabitated with the daughters of men. God incarcerated those angels until the last days when they will be released as a judgment, and then wiped out mankind in the flood because of this direct descendancy which was also an attempt to wipe out the lineage of Christ (Genesis 6:1-4, Jude 6,7). Post-flood, another attempt at this is made at Sodom and Gomorrah and we know what happened accordingly (Genesis 19).

That’s an important distinction because this brings us to our next point in knowing the enemy; i.e., sin. SIN is a master. People born into the world are really more direct descendants of sin than anything else, they are the “children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Certainly, Satan can rule over people through the mutuality of sin, but sin is a master in and of itself.

Genesis 4:6 – The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Again, we see the concept of life and death. The Hebrew word translated “accepted” in the ESV is really “lifted up.” Disobedience leads to a fallen countenance, a form of death, and obedience leads to being lifted up, a form of life. Again, we see the catalyst of sin—desire. Sin desires to master, and uses desire to tempt people to sin. As we will see further along in the study, disobedience not only leads to some kind of death in various and sundry forms subtle and not so subtle, the desire for the sin increases in intensity and becomes an enflamed lust that enslaves the individual. It could be argued that this is the first detailed gospel presentation in the Bible. Remember, people who believed God in the Old Testament were born again of the Spirit. Salvation is not just believing in the facts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, it is a plenary believing of God that says, “God said it and that settles it” misunderstanding at times notwithstanding. Cain did not believe God in regard to the fact that sin is a master who wanted to dominate Cain, so we read the following:

Genesis 4:8 – Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

Death, right? Do you see the progression of death via disobedience and not believing God? See the intervention of God at various stages? That’s evangelism. God is modeling evangelism here. Let’s read further:

Genesis 4:13 – Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

God puts a restraint on the consequences of his sin in order to continue the evangelism process, and be sure of this—this is a microcosm of every life on earth and the way God seeks man out in the same way He did Adam and Eve in the garden. God uses us and the Holy Spirit to seek men out, and yes, many of the righteous will die in the process.

So, if man is enslaved to sin, why are there any positive things in the world at all aside from Christianity? Because man is created in the image of God. But let’s not run that stop sign, ok? Let’s stop and ask ourselves what that means. It means a lot of things; such as, man is made to work, create, and take satisfaction in his accomplishments. Man is made to produce and will not be happy unless he is accomplishing things. Man functioning against the purposes of creation is also sin, and I think the kind of death propagated by laziness is extremely obvious, right?

When man creates something and stands back saying, “It is good” that imparts life, not death. Also, man is created with the works of God’s law written on his heart and a conscience either accusing or excusing his actions. The bad feelings associated with a conscience that is condemning you is definitely a form of death, and a clear conscience is definitely life. Secular psychologist and former president of the APA Orval Hobart Mowrer built a whole career on this concept and helped more people than any other psychologist in human history. Basically, the same counsel God gave Cain; if you do well, your countenance will be lifted up, if you do wrong, you will be downcast. How does one love life?

1Peter 3:10 – For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

Do we have a problem in our society with people not loving life, viz, depression? You bet. To me, it is clear why depression is so rampant in our society. Also, note that Peter is citing an Old Testament passage,

Psalm 34: 12 – What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

We have to note that the very same death/life—cursing/blessing concept is operative in the New Testament as it was in the Old. Before we move on, here is another sanctification/counseling nugget: when an unbeliever comes to you for counsel it is a perfect opportunity to present the gospel. Please don’t take the approach that if they don’t become a believer any counsel that you would give them is a waste of time. No, tell them, as God told Cain, that God’s wisdom can indeed make them happier in this life, but ultimately they are still condemned. Both Christians and unbelievers live under the death/life construct, but only the Christian can have eternal life. Showing God’s wisdom for living reinforces the fact that the One who created us knows what’s best for us in this present life, but that doesn’t deal with eternal life, only present life. They need both, and that makes a great gospel presentation. If they opt out of the eternal for the time being, every time you teach them about present life it is going to remind them that they need eternal life. See how that works?

Sin is a master, and this now brings us to the ancient slave/master motif presented in the Bible; primarily, the slave trade, or the marketing of slaves and how they were purchased from one master by another from time to time. All born into the world are born into the slavery of sin.

Romans 7:14 – For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

We will be discussing the law’s relationship to this later in the study, but for now, focus on the fact that those born of flesh, are sold to the sin master. This concept has a myriad of biblical citations. This concept also makes a strong connection between the teachings of Jesus and the apostle Paul.

John 8:33-36 – They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.

Romans 6:22 – But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

And then,

1 Corinthians 6:20 – for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1Corinthians 7:23 – You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.

1Peter 1:18 – knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

2Peter 2:1 – But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Christ’s death purchased all men from the sin master. All of mankind has been freed from slavery, but choose to remain enslaved; they deny the Lord that has bought them. Their present master is a real salve master who enslaves them, but the Master who has paid for them with His life wants to set them free. His yoke is light, and gives rest from the fear of condemnation. Though His servants live in fear regarding present death or life, the death or life of eternal life is a settles issue. It is a rest from works for justification, not sanctification. They are free from the fear of condemnation, and free to aggressively love God and others in sanctification. Christ is an altogether different Master. As he said, His servants will remain in the house forever unlike the household of the sin master. Not only that, He is a Master that is a brother and friend to the servants. The servants remain in the household forever because they are true family:

John 15:15 – No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Hebrews 2:11 – For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,

Lastly, sin is presently a defeated enemy. Sin was defeated on the cross by Christ, but many men choose to be enslaved by sin and carry on its work. Nevertheless, Christ will not strive with man forever and will put an end to the works of sin. Christ came to destroy the works of sin created by the devil (1John 3:8). In the Millennial kingdom, Christ will put an end disease and sickness, and finally he will end the last enemy, death:

1 Corinthians 15:54 – When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

That is our segue into next week. Sin is the cause of death, and the power of sin is the law. All fear of death has to do with judgment. What does this mean? We have met the enemy, next week we will learn what empowers him, and how he is defeated in the Christian life. “How Christians Change: Biblical Dynamics of Change in Sanctification; Part 2, Defeating the Enemy.”

Catalog

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 22, 2015

Catalog.

How and Why “Gospel-Driven” Sanctification / Sonship Theology Creates Cult-Like Churches

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 21, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published January 31, 2011

In all of my writings on gospel-driven sanctification / gospel sanctification, and its apparent mother, Sonship Theology, I have primarily addressed the error, and not its ill effects on discipleship and people’s lives. Basically, refutation of false doctrine has prevention in mind, not theological debate for entertainment purposes.

My firsthand experience with a “gospel centered” church is applicable here because this same church and its leaders are well respected in Reformed circles, and especially among those who propagate gospel-driven sanctification. Paul David Tripp speaks at this particular church often, and others such as Stewart Scott and Robert Jones have recently participated in major events there as well. Therefore, it is fair to conclude that this particular church’s activities are not considered to be abnormal among “gospel centered” persuasions.

The church I am using as an example regarding the “what,” (I will write about the “how” last) would classify themselves as being a New Covenant Theology church. They consider “Theology of the Heart, redemptive-historical hermeneutics, gospel-driven sanctification, and Christian hedonism to be tenets of NCT. What does this church and many others look like as a result of this theology?

Foremost, the leadership is very controlling. Members must have permission from the elders to vacate membership status. Those who attempt to leave membership for “unbiblical reasons” can be placed under church discipline. I have personally counseled former parishioners of said church on how to “get out of there” with minimal stress, and how to leave without being placed under church discipline. At this particular church, leaving for doctrinal reasons is considered “unbiblical.” In one particular case where the elders deemed the reason for departure “biblical,” the parishioner informed me that the chairman of the elders told him, “We would never prevent you from leaving for that reason.”

These elders are also very controlling in the area of thought. In a sermon preached by one of its elders entitled, “How to Listen to a Sermon” the following idea was introduced: Christians are not able to grow spiritually from personal study, but must only learn from sitting under preaching; specifically, preaching by the elders at that church. Here is an excerpt from the manuscript:

“You think, perhaps, that [you] can fill up the other half of the plate with personal study, devotions, or quiet times, or a radio program. Beloved, you cannot. Scripture is relatively quiet on such practices. [Particularly on the issue of radios]. But on preaching, the case is clear and strong. Neglect preaching and neglect your soul. I know that some are kept from services for legitimate reasons which are out of their control, but I doubt that is the case for most. I beseech you, change your ways for the good of this people and for the good of your own selves. Give the Word its rightful place. As I have often said, there is no better place you could be than here, under the preaching of the Word.”

Of course, the first thing that would come to mind for any thinking Christian is the biblical account of the Bereans who studied the Scriptures on their own to determine the truthfulness of Paul’s teaching. But according to this elder, the account in Acts 17 wasn’t referring to that, but rather was illustrating the proper way to listen to a sermon:

“The text here implies that there was an interactive nature between three entities: The preacher, the hearers, and the Word. Note this cycle: Paul, from the Word, delivers words. The Bereans, from Paul’s words, go to the Word. The Word cycles from God, through the preacher, to the people, back to the Word, and this, verse 12 tells us, produced belief in the God of the Word.”

In other words, personal study alone cannot produce belief; preaching from an elder must be part of the “cycle” that produces belief (notice the emphasis on “belief” rather than increased knowledge per the progressive justification element of gospel sanctification). In fact, he said that personal study only “flavors” the preaching:

“So a good preparation for the public preaching of the Word is the private consumption of the Word. It will be the seasoning that brings out the flavor – salt on your French fries, if you will”

So, personal Bible study isn’t the food, it’s just the flavoring. And, personal Bible study is for “flavoring,” not discernment. Buyer beware.

In another category under mind control, separate small groups that meet during the week under the supervision of individual elders in homes of members are instructed not to associate, or speak with members who have left for doctrinal reasons. Also, the primary purpose of the meetings is to get feedback from the parishioners on what was taught the previous Sunday, and fielding objections or concerns. In other “gospel centered” churches, these mid-week meetings are closed to outsiders, or non-members. These meetings have also been known to produce weird occurrences like the time an elder unexpectedly produced all of his financial records in plain view of the group for their inspection. A parishioner confided in me that he found the incident to be surreal, and more information than he cared to know about.

Unknown, for the most part, is the gospel-driven use of what’s called redemptive church discipline. It is a staple of these churches, and it is a very broad use of church discipline. Reformed Christians who join “gospel centered” churches assume it is a reference to traditional forms of church discipline. Parishioners can be placed in this process for any sin, and without any prior notice or inclination. It is not the normal process of inquisitive steps to determine a Christian’s willingness to repent, but more like a counseling process in which elders judge when the parishioner has actually repented. Verbal repentance on the part of the subject is not accepted. Members are not free to leave membership while in this process without being excommunicated for supposedly attempting to vacate membership while in the midst of an unresolved sin issue. Those who dispute gospel sanctification are often placed into the process to convert them to a “redemptive” view of sanctification. They either convert, or they’re excommunicated. Accounts of “gospel centered” churches using this process to control parishioners is vast.

However, the major complaint coming out of these churches is the ignoring of clear biblical mandates by their elders. Parishioners are often perplexed by this. But this is because the elders of these churches believe the Bible is solely for the purpose of showing forth redemptive principles (ie., the gospel) and not instruction. Per New Covenant Theology, they are only obligated to a “higher law of love” which replaced biblical imperatives. The idea is the following: all actions done with the motive of love are righteous. As Francis Chan wrote, “….because when we are loving, we can’t sin”(Crazy Love p.102). As in one case when an elder was caught counseling someone’s wife without the husband’s knowledge – his defense was that he did so “in love.” Therefore, just about anything goes in gospel-driven churches, and well published accounts include excommunicating hundreds of members at one time for non-attendance, which is a questionable act when Scripture is considered to say the least.

How does this happen? First, it begins with a niche doctrine. Propagators often admit that gospel sanctification is a “radical departure” from orthodox doctrine. Those are the words of the propagators, not mine. Any movement that begins with a niche doctrine is in danger of becoming a cult, that’s Cult Apologetics 101. My research has made the following evident: the doctrine was conceived by a man named Jack Miller in, or about 1980.

Secondly, the niche doctrine draws leaders who are more interested in being unique than being in the truth. Take note of what one of the elders of the aforementioned church said while introducing a Sunday school class teaching Christian hedonism: “This doctrine is what makes us unique.” Whenever the goal is to be unique, trouble is not far behind.

Thirdly, niche doctrines and a striving to be different leads to subjectivity and confusion because the leaders are constantly striving to make the doctrine fit with reality and orthodoxy. This results in the kind of events mentioned above.

Fourthly, these elements mixed with the fact that most Reformed churches are autonomous in their polity is an extremely dangerous combination. Basically, the leadership is not accountable and the congregation is on their own.

Niche doctrines, the control of members in thought and action, the ignoring of clear biblical mandates, misuse of unbiblical church discipline in order to control parishioners through fear, manipulation, and intimidation; this is how the “gospel centered” leaders of our day adorn their vile doctrine. Therefore, perhaps they should be named with the cult leaders of ages past accordingly.

paul

The Non-Doing Doesn’t Damn Protestants; It’s What They Believe About the New Birth

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 20, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published October 17, 2014

“Protestantism speaks of being saved from the condemnation of the law to a rest from obedience to the law of the Spirit of life. This is a rejection of the new birth and leaves the Christian enslaved to sin. This denies the good news of the incorruptible seed that Christians are born of. Protestantism makes the case that “the law” cannot produce righteousness, but this totally neglects the true biblical relationship between the believer and the law of the Spirit. A one-dimensional law necessarily rejects the new birth and circumvents the Christians ability to love God and others.”

In the parable of the talents, the slothful servant wasn’t sent to hell because he was lazy, what sent him to hell is the logic that caused the laziness. In other words, his laziness was a symptomatic cause of what he believed about God.

All liars will be thrown in the lake of fire, but it’s not the lying that paves the way—what they believe paves the way. How they act is merely a natural result of what they believe. Likewise, how Abraham lived is not what made him righteous, what he believed made him righteous—his life as set against the weakness of his mortality was the result.

BUT we cannot stop there because what we believe is not the direct thrust of what we do. Yes, it’s a symptom, but not the main thrust. What we believe leads to God recreating us or not recreating us through the new birth. The argument is better defined by behavior flowing from a particular type of human creature: born again of the Spirit or not born again of the Spirit. We must be careful to not say it’s belief alone while excluding the regeneration of the new birth.

It is also very important to know that regeneration is a colaboring with the Spirit that puts us in the love-loop. If we are not truly recreated into new creatures born of God who actually participate in righteous doing, we are not really participating in loving acts. Simple belief only watches the love being performed or manifested by the Spirit with no involvement by us. When Jesus says, “well done faithful servant,” he supposedly isn’t really talking about anything we did other than simply believing, which also ironically includes, “as much as you did it to one of these, you did it to me as well.”

Now let’s use this paragraph to dismiss some stupidity. The title of this post does not include people who consider themselves Protestants, but really have no idea what the Protestant gospel states. But would you go to a Kingdom Hall church because you have points of agreement with them? No, and why is that? Because you know the fundamentals of their gospel are false. So, if the official stated gospel of Protestantism is false, you need to get out of there. And that is the case. Secondly, Protestants like to interpret reality via either/or. This is because it is a Gnostic religion founded on all reality being interpreted by two categories only: material evil or invisible good. What you are discussing, whatever that may be, is one or the other. In contrast, OUR doing is not either evil or good, it can be one or the other, or both. In Protestantism, man’s doing must be totally good, or totally evil according to its Platonist/Gnostic foundations, and it is therefore the latter because man is part of the material world. The Reformers then went to the Bible and stuffed the Bible into that prism come hell or high water.

Protestantism is a false gospel because it redefines the new birth and denies the biblical definition of it. How is this done? We will use Romans 8:2 to explain.

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

This is not complicated. Protestantism denies the new birth by making the law one-dimensional. The law can only do one thing: condemn. Therefore, you are not set free to “serve,” you are only set free from the condemnation of the law. YOU do not pass from death to life functionally, only positionally. By faith alone in Christ’s death and resurrection, the Spirit performs all of the acts of love described in the Bible in our stead. That becomes the Protestant definition of being free in Christ: Jesus performs all obedience in your stead through the Spirit. The Christian life of faith is a “rest.” As Joseph Prince has stated,

When we work, God rests, when we rest, God works.

And that my friends is good old fashioned authentic Protestant soteriology. That is almost word for word from John Calvin himself.

When the law can only condemn, we must stay clear of it because it demands perfection as a standard for righteousness. Its righteous demands must be fulfilled by the law-giver Himself. And again, there is no dynamic from which any person can please God because they are of the material realm in which only evil can come. Therefore, the new birth must be redefined as a position rather than something that results in a function performed by humanity. A command to love is really a command to see what you are unable to do while watching its manifestation by the Spirit…

When we work, God rests, when we rest, God works.

Rather than the new birth being defined as an actual new creature able to please God through loving obedience to the law, it is defined as a rest that merely perceives the works of the Spirit apart from us. We do not love functionally because belief does not bring about an actual new creature—only an ability to perceive works done by proxy. Christ said, “You MUST be born again”; therefore, a true gospel must properly define the new birth. Is it being set free to rest, or is it being set free to serve as literal new creatures reborn of God?

In the former, note that the law of the Spirit of life is something that the Spirit does and not us according to Protestantism. The law of the Spirit of life is a realm in which the Spirit performs obedient acts of love in our stead. This frees us from the condemnation of the law of sin and death and its demands for perfect obedience. Any attempt to obey the law directly is not of faith—the law must be obeyed for us as a result of complete rest “in Christ.” The law can only condemn.

In Protestantism, some teach that the law of the Spirit of life is a realm, and the law of sin and death is an actual written law while others teach that both are a realm; viz, Spirit realm versus sin realm, or material versus invisible. But either way, the Christian life is a rest.

In addition, according to them, remember that the Christian life must continue by faith alone, the same way we were saved. This necessarily connects the Christian life to our original salvation; in other words, salvation must be maintained the same way it began: by faith alone. If works must be eradicated in the Christian life save the work of faith only, it must be concluded that salvation is an ongoing work. If it wasn’t, we could safely leave the gospel that saved us and move on to something else. The who’s who of Protestantism warn continually that this would be a false gospel.

Start with Christ (that is, the gospel) and you get sanctification in the bargain; begin with Christ and move on to something else, and you lose both (Christless Christianity: published by Dr. Michael Horton in 2008, p.62).

It’s remaining in a rest to keep yourself saved by faith alone, the same way you were saved. Working in the Christian life is made synonymous with works salvation and law-keeping for the same.

Now, let’s look at this from the biblical point of view. In Romans 8:2, in both cases concerning the law of the Spirit and the law of sin, the word is “nomos.”

g3551. νόμος nomos; from a primary νέμω nemō (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), genitive case (regulation), specially, (of Moses (including the volume); also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle):— law.

The strict grammar calls for the meaning to be a prescriptive application of principles or regulations. There is a law of the Spirit, and a law of sin and death, and both refer to a prescriptive standard. It is such with a different dimension for the saved and another dimension for the unsaved—one law with two different perspectives and result. To the unbeliever, the law is the law of sin and death because sin within provokes the unbeliever to sin against the law. Therefore, it can only condemn the unbeliever; the power of sin is the law’s condemnation. Sin can provoke the unbeliever to compounded wages of judgment and wrath.

More than likely, “sin” is the seed of the serpent, and those born again of the Spirit have the seed of God within them.

Genesis 3:15 – I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and her offspring [seed]; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

1John 3:9 – No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s[b] seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

1Peter 1:22 – Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

… 1Peter 2:1 – So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

This exchange of seeds is vital. Notice that being born anew with an imperishable seed is actually “the good news preached to you.” Notice also that this gospel preached to us is PAST TENSE. And by the way, the “grow[ing] up unto salvation” is NOT salvation in the justification sense, but salvation in the redemption sense. Justification is a onetime finished act by God, the redemption of the body (glorification) is future. What is telling is that Peter doesn’t say that the gospel IS being preached to you (present continuance). Moreover, Peter states in his second epistle that we are to add several different actions to our faith, not continue in the same faith.

Let me also add this: it is an “imperishable seed.” Once you are born of it, it is irrevocable. The seed doesn’t qualify you to help God finish your justification (Catholicism), it is an eternal seed within you whether you are silly enough to attempt to finish a work that is already finished or not. Granted, if you believe justification has to be finished, you are probably not born of the seed. In addition, to say the seed of God is not in us (Protestantism) is equally egregious.

When the ground of justification moves from Christ outside of us to the work of Christ inside of us, the gospel (and the human soul) is imperiled. It is an upside down gospel.

~John Piper

The new birth and the seed of God within us makes it possible for us to obey God according to the law of His Spirit, which is the Bible—a written standard. Christ said we must love Him by keeping His commandments, and immediately after stating that, He added a very significant caveat: He would send a “helper/counselor” to aid us in doing so. The indwelling Holy Spirit HELPS us, he doesn’t love Himself in our stead. Neither does He grieve Himself by not obeying for us all of the time—that’s our job. To deny that is to deny the new birth and the gospel of the kingdom.

When we died with Christ, the old us that was born with a perishable seed also died. We were then born anew with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave. This set us free to SERVE…not rest.

Romans 7:1 – Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Now, please note: “the old way of the written code.” What is that? That was servitude to the Old Covenant which was a will with the inheritance being eternal life. All sins committed against the law were imputed to that covenant.

Galatians 3:21 – Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Hebrews 9:15 – Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

The Old Covenant still has a function today. All those who do not know Christ are still provoked to sin against it, enslaved to its condemnation, and all of their sins are imprisoned in it. When they believe in Christ, that law, signified by the marriage covenant of the dead spouse in Romans 7, is ended along with all sins imputed to it and its condemnation. There is then no law to judge us, and where there is no law there is no sin. The Bible never says that the Old Covenant is presently ended for all purposes (Hebrews 8:13).

But now, the newly born spouse is free to “serve” Christ. The Spirit uses His law (word) to counsel us, encourage us, and instruct us in regard to life and godliness. To “serve” (in the new way of the Spirit) is the following word:

g1398. δουλεύω douleuō; from 1401; to be a slave to (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary):— be in bondage, (do) serve (- ice). AV (25)- serve 18, be in bondage 4, do service 3; to be a slave, serve, do service of a nation in subjection to other nations metaph. to obey, submit to in a good sense, to yield obedience in a bad sense, of those who become slaves to some base power, to yield to, give one’s self up to.

It is an exchange of seeds from death to life, and an exchange of slavery from sin to righteousness:

Romans 6:5 – For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

This brings us full circle back to Romans 8:2. We are set free from the law of sin and death “in Christ,” that is, His death on the cross to obey “the standard of teaching to which you were committed.” That would be the law of the Spirit.

To deny that the Christian is able to please God through their own obedience aided by the Holy Spirit is to deny the new birth. Christ said we must be born again. Protestantism speaks of being saved from the condemnation of the law to a rest from obedience to the law of the Spirit of life. This is a rejection of the new birth and leaves the Christian enslaved to sin. This denies the good news of the incorruptible seed that Christians are born of. Protestantism makes the case that “the law” cannot produce righteousness, but this totally neglects the true biblical relationship between the believer and the law of the Spirit. A one-dimensional law necessarily rejects the new birth and circumvents the Christians ability to love God and others.

Romans 8:3 – For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Capitalism is Next to Godliness

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 19, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published July 7, 2014

The overall wellbeing of the world matters to God. He is not indifferent to injustice whether among the lost or the saved. He allows it to rain and shine on both. God does not disdain His creation though fallen.

Christ told the following parable:

Luke 10:30 – Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Notice that Jesus doesn’t make an issue of whether or not the victim was a Christian or not. God is concerned with what happens in the world. Certainly, salvation is of the paramount concern, but not to the exclusion of every other reality. Jesus called that “compassion.” I argue that the closer people are to a truly biblical worldview, the better off they are overall. And, no circumstance good or bad has the market cornered on leading people to Christ. The gospel is not benefited by the world being in misery.

The fact is, man was born free, capable, and responsible. He was born to work, accomplish, and overcome. If he was a fish, these are the waters that he swims in. God is not indifferent to the state of humanity in North Korea versus America, and Christians should be concerned likewise. Politics are important. Consider the following:

Proverbs 31:11 – The heart of her husband hath trusted in her, And spoil he lacketh not. 12 She hath done him good, and not evil, All days of her life. 13 She hath sought wool and flax, And with delight she worketh [with] her hands. 14 She hath been as ships of the merchant, From afar she bringeth in her bread. 15 Yea, she riseth while yet night, And giveth food to her household, And a portion to her damsels. 16 She hath considered a field, and taketh it, From the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. 17 She hath girded with might her loins, And doth strengthen her arms. 18 She hath perceived when her merchandise [is] good, Her lamp is not extinguished in the night. 19 Her hands she hath sent forth on a spindle, And her hands have held a distaff. 20 Her hand she hath spread forth to the poor, Yea, her hands she sent forth to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of her household from snow, For all her household are clothed [with] scarlet. 22 Ornamental coverings she hath made for herself, Silk and purple [are] her clothing. 23 Known in the gates is her husband, In his sitting with elders of the land. 24 Linen garments she hath made, and selleth, And a girdle she hath given to the merchant. 25 Strength and honour [are] her clothing, And she rejoiceth at a latter day. 26 Her mouth she hath opened in wisdom, And the law of kindness [is] on her tongue. 27 She [is] watching the ways of her household, And bread of sloth she eateth not. 28 Her sons have risen up, and pronounce her happy, Her husband, and he praiseth her, 29 `Many [are] the daughters who have done worthily, Thou hast gone up above them all.’ 30 The grace [is] false, and the beauty [is] vain, A woman fearing Jehovah, she may boast herself. 31 Give ye to her of the fruit of her hands, And her works do praise her in the gates! (YLT).

In these verses, a free market is assumed; earned self-esteem is assumed, the ability of all to do good is assumed, and truthful/rightful recognition is assumed.

And the folly of worm theology is also assumed.

paul

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The Ramblings of a Dictionary Nerd

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 18, 2015

susan3-2Originally published August 4, 2013

Our son, Philip, called me a Word Nerd the other day. I love words and increasing my collection and understanding of them is enjoyable. There is an orange paperback Handy College Dictionary fourth edition lying next to my laptop, and I use the Merriam-Webster online dictionary daily to find the best word and the most complete meaning of a word to use when I write. I write assessments, goals, objectives, case notes, and reports for my job. On occasion, I write an article for my husband’s blog, and I am attempting to write a novella. (I forbid anyone to read it for it is my creative way to download, and to keep an old mind working as sharply as possible.)  When I had extra time last week, I tracked down the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious; an interesting little research sidebar. So, you think I have gone off the deep end? Perhaps, but I will go out with a rich vocabulary.

Confusing and/or impressing people with fancy or impressive words is not the intent of wanting a strong vocabulary. The point to developing and using a strong vocabulary is to be able to choose words with greater precision. It makes communication simpler, not the opposite as some think. Studying words also helps me in my study of the Word.

Take for example the word grip. Out of curiosity, I used the online dictionary to give me wonderful meanings of that commonly used word. I played tennis back in the day and was always being instructed on how to improve my grip. Everyone who played the game with me always assured me that if I strengthened my grip, my ability to control the ball would improve. There are idioms which use the word grip such as: get a grip, come to grips, and lose your grip, in the grip of something. I have lost count of the times I have been told to “Get a grip.”

A firm, tenacious hold to gain or maintain control or mastery was one rendition I preferred. Immediately, I cross-referenced the word tenacious and by doing so, the meaning of the word grip was expanded. Tenacious: not easily pulled apart, persistent, determined, unfaltering, unrelenting.  Grip means to take hold with a determined, unfaltering hold in order to gain or maintain control/mastery of a situation, person, or thing. With more investigation, I learned that grip and tenacious had both positive and negative connotations. Grip also has the softer meanings to embrace, clasp, cling, or cradle, and tenacious can mean bull-headed, unregenerate, and stiff-necked. So, an expanded rendition of grip can be a firm, tenacious hold, or a bull-headed clinging to a person, situation, or thing in order to gain or maintain control or mastery.

Why do we grip people, situations, or things so tightly? Is it an attempt to gain or maintain control? Is it fear that something less or inferior will replace what is being held onto so tightly, or even worse, lost forever? Is it a reluctance to say good-bye to the past and a resistance to embrace the future? Is it for security or an emotional safety net? If my questions were on a checklist, I would be checking yes to all of the above.

Gripping the past, hanging on tenaciously to it, does it change the present? Can it affect the future? Yes. It keeps daily growth and spiritual transformation from happening, affects present and future relationships with family, friends, and even casual acquaintances, and hinders new and deeper experiences from being enjoyed. It can be a raw form of rejection.

Even holding onto the good things of the past too tightly can affect personal growth and positive change. How many times have we heard the phrase, “We’ve always done it this way,” because someone at the church or in the family doesn’t want to experience change?

We are told in God’s Word to hold and to also let go. The Apostle Paul tells us to hold onto right thinking and strong doctrine, to hold on to what is good with the promised result of deeper sanctification. I did a quick, not exhaustive, word search of cling, and hold. It was interesting to me that in some of the references I read for the word hold, it was in regard to supporting something. Now, doesn’t that give a perspective on how we can grip someone or something? Rather than hanging on in order to gain or maintain control, we can tenaciously support that person, or organization. Support…do I feel another itch to look up a commonly used word and see what new perspective I can get?

Just like the circuitous storyline in the children’s book If You Give a Mouse A Cookie : When I now hear the word grip, my mind will flash back to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary; and when I go to the online dictionary I will  get curious and will look up words. Hmmmmm… And if I look up words I will want to read their definitions. I will even look up the word definition and discover that it’s a statement of the meaning of a word, exemplification, elucidation, clarification, rendering, vignette…….

Ok, Susan, “Get a grip.”

Elitism, Slavery, and the Institutional Pastor

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 17, 2015

“Tell me, what part of the idea that formal church membership is synonymous with being in-Christ do you not understand?” 

One of the greatest threats to American liberty in our day is the institutional church and its empowerment of the clergy. The Western institutional church founded in the 4th century is, and always has been, a political entity. Christ’s called out assembly was never an institution, but a living body driven by truth, gifts, and fellowship—not orthodoxy and authority. The true body of Christ is guided by the fellowship of agreement in His one mind and truth for the sole purpose of the Great Commission.

What the institutional church, or simply “church”, strives for is influence and control of people. What we are witnessing right now with the Neo-Calvinist movement is a big tent conglomeration of people.  This gives the institutional clergy something to bring to the table at the right time in history when power-brokering is in play.

Governments typically have one primary concern when the chips are down—the populous outnumbers the leadership. You can only kill so many people, and if you kill all of them there is no reason to have a government in the first place. This makes influence over people, and hence control, of paramount value. Already, the who’s who of the New Calvinist network can go to the government and say,

We can establish through these networks that this many people will listen to us and do what we say. Not only that, if we tell them to, they will take positive action to support the government in their endeavors as well. We have convinced them that governments are ordained of God and do His bidding no matter how wrong it may seem at the time. Now, with that said, where is our place at the table? What do we get for controlling this many people for your purposes?

John Piper et al don’t care where the New Calvinist Kool-Aid drinkers find themselves after it’s too late; they will be part of the elitist crowd that has always enjoyed a lifestyle separate from the great unwashed masses in the socialist caste systems that have always dominated human history. The ability to control a group gives you a place at the table.

And of course, the New Calvinists use the trusty mainstay of the ages to control: threat of eternal damnation. The New Calvinists are selling salvation, and business is booming. Tell me, what part of the idea that formal church membership is synonymous with being in-Christ do you not understand? What seems to be unclear about excommunication and what that means for you? Catholics have always been out of the closet on this. At least they have always known what they believe; if the local priest says you’re in—you’re in.

But American Protestants have always functioned that way while denying it until now—now they pretty much accept the idea openly after 40 years of indoctrination by the New Calvinist movement which has brought the American church back home to Calvin’s Geneva. As a young pastor years ago, I couldn’t see the obvious when Baptists who hadn’t shown up for church in years would become completely unglued upon the mere suggestion of removing them from the membership list. New Calvinists have put a stop to that nonsense.  Now you better damn-well show up every time the doors are open in order to keep your salvation.

The present-day New Calvinist network that controls Christian publishing, seminaries, local churches, etc, is primarily a political animal that is an imminent threat to American liberty. But the greater concern is the wasted lives of those called by God, individually, to run a kingdom race specifically designed for them alone.

This is the tragedy: Christians seek permission from the institutional church to fulfill our calling given to us by Christ alone, and that is who we will answer to and no one else. They have conned us into selling our calling to them for a falsely established habeas corpus.

I seriously doubt the political endeavors of the institutional church can be stopped, but individual Christians can take back their true calling to the Chief Shepherd as opposed to institutional slavery.

paul

Related:

Cross Conference Website Full of In-Your-Face Spiritual Caste

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 17, 2015

Originally published December 12, 2013

Cross Square

I have written much on the whole power of the keys thing that New Calvinists advocate. Basically, it’s the idea that truth comes down from God to the elders, and then the elders disseminate the truth to the unenlightened masses. We call this “orthodoxy.” A good example of orthodoxy is the Westminster Confession authored by, and don’t miss this, “the Westminster Divines.” Did I say, “Divines”? Yes I did.

Prior to the Reformation, it was the philosopher king’s parable or noble lie: mythology. By the way, “orthodoxy” is a word that is born from, and is part and parcel with the marriage of church and state. The etymology of “orthodoxy” has always been associated with eras when “truth” was owned by the state. Using that word as a synonym for “truth” in our day is an epistemological sleight of hand. The word is used to subtly assimilate the idea of spiritual caste into the minds of people who are not paying close attention to words in an open society.

The power of the keys gig also includes the authority of elders to decide who is saved and who isn’t. When you get kicked out of a New Calvinist church, they honestly believe that they have removed your name from the Book of Life. After being removed from the Book of Life by the Clearcreek elders, and other Calvinistic elders that I have never heard of threatening to do the same, I wondered where they get this stuff, so I perused my trusty copy of the Calvin Institutes and found this notion in 4.1.21,22.

Regarding CROSS, the official website of the upcoming Cross conference where the future leaders of the church are going to be fed this stuff, everywhere you poke that site, this kind of caste mentality comes oozing out. Consider the following:

The Great Commission was given to a community. Western readers have tended to read the Great Commission passages (especially Luke 24 and Matthew 28) in light of the autonomous individual. We [tend to] interpret the commissioning scenes as tasks assigned to individual Christians. But a proper focus on the corporate dimension of these accounts helps us understand the commissionings in light of the identity Jesus bestows upon a community. Jesus does not send a Christian to the nations, but a church.

Being interpreted: all faith based ministries not under the authority of “the church” have no mandate from Christ. Also, the constant referring to Western thinking this and Western thinking that among New Calvinists is very, very creepy if you know where it is coming from. This is in contrast to medieval Reformed thinking that, in Martin Luther’s words, “settles all disputes by sentence of death.”

And a PPT friend sent the next example. Remember when Jesus talked about the vine and the branches in John 15? Do you remember anything about elders being in that conversation? Well, note the following screen shot from the conclusion of a John Piper video:

VINE

Listen folks, we can’t let these guys feed this stuff to our youth without putting up some kind of a fuss. These are future leaders coming to a church near you. These are young people who will leave that conference and take these ideas into hundreds of local churches. I interviewed a media guy today who will hopefully be videotaping our dialogue with the young people at the conference. After it sank in, he commented, “Sooooo, you are going right into the belly of the beast.”

Well, somebody needs to. Come and join us.

paul

The Least Common Denominator of Reformed Theology

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 16, 2015

Dualism 1

TANC Theological Journal

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 16, 2015
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“< Tweet, Tweet: Sunday after Sunday

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 16, 2015

How Christians Change: Biblical Dynamics of Change in Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 15, 2015

Blog Radio LogoChristians are called to real and lasting change leading to a love for life. We will define sin, the flesh, the heart, and the biblical prescription for overcoming sin.

Friday, 2/20.2015 @7pm.

Show Link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/falsereformation/2015/02/21/how-christians-change-biblical-dynamics-of-change-in-sanctification

Acts Lesson 45

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 15, 2015

Tuesday Night Bible Study

February 10, 2015

Study of the Book of Acts

Tonight’s Text – Acts 17:10-15 Brief review

Notice Paul’s method of operation again. Compare with verse 2 – “as his manner was”“These were more nobleευγενης (you-gen-ace) – well-born; high in rank; generous.           

ευ (you) – good or well

 γινομαι (gin-oh-my) – to cause to be, that is, to  become (reflexively); to come into             being.

Who are the “these” who were “higher in rank”?

“Readiness of mind”

προθυμια (pro-thoo-me-ah)

            προ (pro) – fore, in front of, prior to.

            θυμος (thoo-mos) – passion.

“forward-passion”

“whether those things were so”

Literal rendering – “if these may hold thus”

verb in “optative” mood 4th class condition – a future possibility

4th class condition – a future possibility

 

 

Chan, Carson, Piper, Tchividjian Versus the Holy Spirit On “Rules”

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 14, 2015

GS LogoOriginally posted May 2, 2011

Here is what the brain-trust of Sonship theology says about “rules”:

Francis Chan: “To change our hearts, what we value, what we risk, how we act, we don’t need more guilt or more rules, we just need to be in love with God. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.”

DA Carson: “In this broken world, it is not easy to promote holiness without succumbing to mere moralism; it is not easy to fight worldliness without giving in to a life that is constrained by mere rules.”

John Piper: “So the key to living the Christian life – the key to bearing fruit for God – the key to a Christ-exalting life of love and sacrifice – is to die to the law and be joined not to a list of rules, but to a Person, to the risen Christ. The pathway to love is the path of a personal, Spirit-dependent,  all-satisfying relationship with the risen Christ, not the resolve to keep the commandments.”

Tullian Tchividjian: “A taste of wild grace is the best catalyst for real work in our lives: not guilt, not fear, not another list of rules.”

What the Holy Spirit says as translated by the foursome’s Bible of Choice, the ESV:

Psalm 18:22
For all his rules were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me.

Psalm 19:9
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

Psalm 89:30
If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules,

Psalm 119:7
I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.

Psalm 119:13
With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.

Psalm 119:20
My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

Psalm 119:30
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.

Psalm 119:39
Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.

Psalm 119:43
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.

Psalm 119:52
When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD.

Psalm 119:62
At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules.

Psalm 119:75
I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

Psalm 119:102
I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.

Psalm 119:106
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.

Psalm 119:108
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules.

Psalm 119:137
Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.

Psalm 119:156
Great is your mercy, O LORD; give me life according to your rules.

Psalm 119:160
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Psalm 119:164
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.

Psalm 119:175
Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.

Psalm 147:20
He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the LORD!

paul

How Close are We? A Call to Discernment in the Last Days

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2015

Blog Radio LogoTonite on Valentine’s Day Eve at 7PM. Call in and talk to the host: 347-855-8317.

Are we in the last days? How do we really know? What are those days like? Will the third temple be built before the Lord’s return? What significance does this have to our present walk with God?

The showtime link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/falsereformation/2015/02/14/the-second-coming-of-christ-how-close-are-we

“< Tweet, Tweet: Worship Walk

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2015

“< Tweet, Tweet: The Spirit's Power

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2015

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Tough Questions for Answers in Genesis: Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2015

HF Potters House (2)

What Does Calvinism “Look Like” with the Help of Secular Music?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2015

How Calvinists keep their salvation: working hard at doing nothing all day.

How Calvinist elders oversee the flock:

What motivates Calvinist elders?

The Calvinist Gnostic mindset:

Calvinist parishioner’s theme song:

Or…

Calvinists that finally flee feel like this…

No more songs about death and sin, instead…

Sally Lloyd-Jones: The Wicked Witch of New Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 12, 2015

12767_medium_imgOriginally published July 11, 2013

“Basically, Jones is actively indoctrinating our children to see reality in a contra-normative construct, and teaching them salvation through perseverance in antinomianism. Christ is clear on this: for those who lead children astray, it would be better for them if they were never born. And that also goes for anyone who propagates her materials.”  

It isn’t enough for the New Calvinists to lead adults into hell with a false gospel and let them have the blood of their own children on their hands. No, they have to take their false gospel directly to the children for fear that the parents cannot do the job themselves.

But targeting children with a false gospel is where I draw the line. Now that the New Calvinists have emasculated “Christian” fathers who now stand aside and give these tyrants unfettered access to their families, New Calvinist organizations are cashing in on repackaging the false gospel of progressive justification for children.

A reader sent me a post by Sally Lloyd-Jones in which she endorses her new children’s book that propagates the false gospel of progressive justification via Redemptive Historical hermeneutics; ie., the Bible as gospel metanarrative. Here, “meta” doesn’t mean “grand narrative,” but rather the interpretation of reality through narrative, or story. By seeing our wickedness as set against God’s holiness in the narrative, we experience the works of Christ that He imputed to our sanctification by His perfect fulfillment of the law while on earth. Hence, the Bible is not for instruction or rules.  Its purpose is to show the works of Christ that we are unable to perform (though Christ plainly stated that we would do more than He did [JN 14:12]). It’s a formula for living by faith alone in sanctification. This is nothing new, it is primarily what James refuted in his epistle. That’s why Luther rejected the canonicity of said epistle—it contradicts the Reformed gospel that interprets ALL reality through Christocentricity. This also defies the metaphysical reality that all rules are not morally based. “Rules” make living life itself possible in many regards. The rules for baking a cake are morally neutral, but necessary if you want an edible cake.

According to this doctrine, the experience of our obedience, or better said, the experience of “obedient faith,” is subjective because we really don’t know what we are doing in our “own efforts” versus what the Spirit is manifesting in our realm. Anything done in our “own efforts” should be repented of as “self-righteous works.” I have heard elders offer up such prayers for the congregation firsthand. If we actually believe that we can learn God’s will and perform the work ourselves as born again believers, that is “mortal sin” of a false gospel that will condemn us to hell. If all of our good works are attended with fear that they could be perceived as our own works, that’s “venial sin” that doesn’t condemn us and can be forgiven by “repenting of good works” as propagated by the likes of Dr. Tim Keller. In fact, Keller, an in-your-face and in-broad-daylight Christian mystic is Jones’ pastor.

Jones, in the promo post for her children’s book entitled, “Teaching Children the Bible,” begins with this question:

Do you read the Bible like a rulebook? Do you look at the biblical characters as heroes to emulate? Or do you read Scripture as a Story with one great Hero?

This statement is indicative of the Redemptive Historical worldview; there isn’t more than one way to look at the Bible. But most importantly, the Bible is used as a tool for a worldview that is contra-normative to interpreting reality. In this construct, there are only two ways to look at reality: the cross story or the glory story. If it is about us (the glory story), rules and heroes are applicable. But if it’s about the cross story, only Christ and His works are to be seen, “not anything we do.” “It’s not about anything we do, but what Jesus has done.”

So, supposedly, there are two ways to look at reality, and in the correct way,  the cross story, realty is only perceived in the difference between the following duality: our sinfulness as set against God’s holiness. Moreover, Jesus as hero is often presented by New Calvinists as Christ saving us from a wrathful God who still holds the law over our heads. That’s why rules are bad: we are still under the jurisdiction of the law and therefore unless we can keep the law perfectly, all bets are off—Jesus to the perpetual rescue. We are still under the law, so if we don’t keep it perfectly, we are guilty of violating all of it. To think we can keep the law in a way that pleases God is a mortal sin because when we break the law at any point, our basis for justification collapses. The basis of justification is a continued maintaining of the law. So obviously, a perpetual maintaining of the law is required to keep us saved; ie., the progressive imputation of Christ’s perfect works to our sanctification which is supposedly the road to “final justification.”

And this is clearly the problem with the Reformed gospel; the law is the standard for our justification and not the death of Christ alone. The one act of obedience is not the ground of our justification, but the perpetual and progressive imputation of Christ’s fulfillment of the law to our life by faith alone without works. This is a gospel that keeps Christians under law and redefines under grace as Christ keeping the law in our stead. But this is still, “under law.” Those under grace are justified “apart from the law.” Therefore, in the same way that we violated the law at every point when we were under it, we fulfill all of it when we love our neighbors because we are under grace and not under law.

The reader who sent me the link protested to a Facebook friend who endorsed the book on her page. Her response was that he was clueless because they were not advocating the unimportance of rules. Exactly, rules are extremely important to them because it is still the basis of our justification. The key is that Jesus keeps the law for us. But of course, this is a metaphysical sleight of hand that comes from Calvin himself and is an under law gospel. Basically, Jones is actively indoctrinating our children to see reality in a contra-normative construct, and teaching them salvation through perseverance in antinomianism. Christ is clear on this: for those who lead children astray, it would be better for them if they were never born.  And that also goes for anyone who propagates her materials.

Unbelievably, Jones is given full access to our children by brain-dead shepherds. In the promotion, she brags about how she undermines what the parents in local churches teach their children:

When I go to churches and speak to children, I often start by asking them two questions:

First, How many people here sometimes think you have to be good for God to love you? They tentatively raise their hands. I raise my hand along with them.

And second, how many people here sometimes think that if you aren’t good, God will stop loving you? Almost without fail they raise their hands. These children think they have to keep the rules or God won’t love them. They think if they mess up God will stop loving them.

These children are in Sunday schools. They know all their Bible stories. And they have missed what the Bible is all about.

They are children like I once was.

On display here is the arrogant metaphysical sleight of hand that is indicative of mystic despots that believe they understand the high mysteries of God that the masses are unable to understand. If she is confronted about undermining the parents of the church, she will insist that she was referring to the children only when she said “people” and not the parents of the church. If she is confronted about law and love being mutually exclusive, she will assert that she was only talking about justification. Here we have the diabolical communication of the New Calvinist on full display. Law and love are mutually exclusive in justification, but NOT sanctification. However, that distinction is never made as these wicked false teachers talk about sanctification in a justification way because we are still under the law according to their gospel. They incessantly teach the fusion of justification and sanctification (which equals being yet under law), and only make the distinction when they are called on it. But even then, their “progressive sanctification” is really progressive justification as they play on the assumptions of those being deceived. This is deceptive communication that comes directly from the pit of hell.

Jones continues:

Even though I came to faith as a small child, I somehow grew up thinking the Bible was filled with rules you had to keep (or God wouldn’t love you) and with heroes setting examples you had to follow (or God wouldn’t love you).

I tried to be good. I really did. I was quite good at being good and keeping the rules. But however hard I tried, I couldn’t keep the rules all the time, so I knew God must not be pleased with me.

And as far as being a hero: I certainly couldn’t ever be as brave as Daniel. I remember being tormented by that Sunday school chorus “Dare to Be a Daniel.”

Notice how our love is completely excluded from the metaphysical construct of the argument. That’s because we cannot have any love, that’s the glory story. And if we have love, that enables a dichotomy between justification and sanctification. Hence, justification is the setting of God’s love on us without merit, and our love for God in sanctification is our fatherly love as His children that is not under law but under grace. Like all Calvinists, she makes the two the same. Any ability to love God points directly back to the standard of justification and is not separated from sanctification. And law is not the standard for justification to begin with; it’s the one act of Christ’s obedience to the cross.

In the second paragraph, the idea that perfection is a requirement to MAINTAIN our justification is clearly evident. I was really, really good at keeping the law, but God requires perfection in order to be pleased with us. Therefore, Christ must keep the law for us in sanctification in order to maintain our justification. This is clearly works salvation by persevering in antinomianism. Other Christians can’t inspire us to love God in sanctification by keeping His commands—that’s the glory story.

This doctrine also denies the new birth and the fundamental difference between being under law and under grace. When we are under law, we are enslaved to sin and free to do good (ROM 6:20). That means the overall direction of our life will be law-breaking and then we will be judged by that very law in the end. Under grace is enslavement to righteousness and the freedom to sin (ROM 6:18). In salvation and the new birth, slavery and freedom are switched resulting in an overall direction of life. But our justification will not be judged by our freedom to sin because we are no longer under it. The overall direction of our sanctified life will be righteousness because we are born of God and have His seed within us. Loving God by keeping His commandments is therefore the direction of our life and not the perfection. Per the Reformed false gospel of progressive justification, perfection is still the standard because we are still under law and not born again by the biblical definition:

At the end of the story there were no other teachers around, and I panicked and went into autopilot and heard myself—to my horror—asking, “And so what can we learn from Daniel about how God wants us to live?”

And as I said those words it was as if I had literally laid a huge load on that little girl. Like I broke some spell. She crumpled right in front of me, physically slumping and bowing her head. I will never forget it.

It is a picture of what happens to a child when we turn a story into a moral lesson.

When we drill a Bible story down into a moral lesson, we make it about us. But the Bible isn’t mainly about us, and what we are supposed to be doing—it’s about God, and what he has done.

Children don’t need to be told to try harder, believe more, or do it better. That just leaves them in despair. The moral code always leaves us in despair. We can never live up to it.

I knew it as a child—I could never be good enough or brave enough.

None of that is the point unless we are still under law. The point of sanctification is not moral law, but loving God and glorifying His name and wisdom through obedience. The Reformed gospel denies our ability to please God through obedience (ROM 8:7,8). The crux is perpetual re-salvation by faith alone apart from works in sanctification. Nothing could be clearer. The new birth is redefined by, “mortification and vivification” which is a perpetual reliving of our baptism to maintain our justification. Note Jones’ statement in the same promotion:

We don’t need a moral code. We need a rescuer. And that’s why I wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible and Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, So children could know what I didn’t: That the Bible isn’t mainly about me and what I should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.

That the Bible is most of all a story—the story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

Obviously, in context, one can only conclude logically that this is a perpetual “rescue” and not a onetime event. The New Calvinist Paul David Tripp calls this an “everyday rescue.” In a sermon at Southeastern Theological Seminary (Spring 2007), referring to Romans 7:24, he made it clear that Christians need to be rescued [saved] every day. That’s the crux.

It grieves my heart that these wicked satanic minions are given free access to our children. This is where Christians should be motivated to standup against these false teachers.

If we are not motivated by the eternal wellbeing of our children, we are a disgrace to the cause of Christ.

paul

Core Ideology’s Bloody Road to Utopia

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 12, 2015

PPT HandleIt doesn’t seem to make any sense. I have written on several occasions about the tacit approval of terrorism communicated by leading evangelicals in the New Calvinist movement. One such leader protested in a recent article that ISIS atrocities in Iraq were being exaggerated. Well, gee, that just isn’t fair. I have also written about the fact that many well-known evangelicals voted for President Obama. This seems perplexing.

Now, after all of the bantering back and forth between groups about school prayer, and religious groups meeting at school, etc., we find out that public schools across the nation are promoting Islam. One such report can be found here.

What’s going on? Regardless of the brutality and horrors perpetrated by Islam, people whom conservatives disagree with, but would stop way short of suggesting they support Islamic brutality, are conspicuously aloof from standing against Islam’s virus-like infiltration. It’s almost like there is something they have in common with Islam that they deem very important.

And that’s exactly the case.

Sure, liberals vehemently reject the brutality of Islam with all prejudice, but there is a more egregious enemy plaguing the earth; those who believe mankind can self-govern. This isn’t an oversimplification; liberals believe that utopia can be reached if the right mediators between truth and mankind are ruling, and the great unwashed masses are obediently following without question. All of the bloodletting is due to half-hearted endeavors. Yes, Islam is a religion of peace; there would be peace if everyone would only see that they know what’s best for the world. For another example of this, see “Democrat.”

And that my friend is the ideological tie that binds. The American principle of a government by the people and for the people is a tough nut to crack, and it requires whatever it takes. Quibbling about innocent blood is beside the point, that’s collateral damage and necessary sacrifices for the common good. Once Islam has served its purpose in helping socialism destroy self-governing, Plato’s philosopher kings can sort it all out with more bloodletting.

It’s all very ugly, and that’s “unfortunate,” but alas, that bloody road leads to utopia.

What America needs is a Patriot Party. Few conservatives really understand the true ideology of the original framers of the constitution, even fewer Republicans, and I venture to guess not a single Democrat. How bad is it? Even Rush Limbaugh doesn’t recognize the colonial Puritans for the Islamic socialist pigs that they were and has unwittingly endeared them to our children through recently published books. Moreover, and sadly, Ayn Rand, a Russian immigrant, has probably shown more understanding on this issue than anyone in the past 70 years.

We are in big, big, trouble. As an aside, that’s why I think Immel’s TANC 2012 sessions need to be viral. Really, we need to have a weekend pizza party and get a good video redo on that as well. Nevertheless, the transcripts are presently available. His three sessions really nail the big picture.

So Far, This is What I Know by Andy Young

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on February 11, 2015

So far this is what I know:

  • Belief in Jesus = belief in God (Matthew 10:32-33; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; John 5:23, 24, 38-47; 6:29; 8:19, 42, 49, 52; 10:25, 38; 14:7 [actually, just about all of John 14!]; 15:23; 16:3, 27)
  • Belief in God = righteousness = justification (Romans 3:21-26; Romans 4:3, 5, 11, 20-22; 9:30; 10:4, 10; Galatians 3:6; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 11:4, 7; James 2:23)
  • Righteousness = justification = new birth (John 5:24; 1 John 2:29, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 3:10, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:9)
  • New Birth = ending of the law (John 5:24; Romans 6:14; 10:4)
  • Ending of the law = no condemnation (John 3:18; 5:24; Romans 4:15; 5:13; 8:1)
  • No condemnation = freedom to show love by obedience to the law in sanctification. (John 13:34; 15:12; 15:17; Romans 8:2; 12:10; 13:8, 10; 14:13; Galatians 5:1, 13, 22-26; 6:2; Ephesians 4:1-2, 28-32; Colossians 3:10-17; Titus 3:7-8; Hebrews 10:22-24; James 1:22-25; 1 Peter 1:22; 2:13-16; 1 John 3:11, 14, 22; 4:7; 2 John 5)

There may be a few more steps in there (and these references are by no means exhaustive), but that’s pretty much the gist of it.

Andy

New Calvinist Changes in Church Discipline Policies and the Uninformed Unsaved

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 11, 2015

PPT HandleWill church history repeat itself in regard to the New Calvinist resurgence of the authentic Reformed gospel of progressive justification? Is New Calvinism, the fifth resurgence, dying the same social death as the prior four? Only time will tell, but the movement is clearly on the ropes.

New Calvinist churches, it is hard to say how many, are modifying their policy of bringing attendance slackers under church discipline. The mystic despot Mark Dever was the first to blaze John Calvin’s trail on this by excommunicating 256 members for nonattendance.

Now, in a reversal of this policy, many New Calvinist churches are merely sending out letters notifying the slackers that they have been removed from the membership list. However, if you carefully note Reformed ecclesiology, this is merely backdoor excommunication without the drama. John Calvin, as well as Martin Luther, were in no wise unclear about church membership being synonymous with salvation.

Undoubtedly, the New Calvinists have appeased tithers by saying they are no longer disciplining members for nonattendance, but merely removing them from the membership list…which is synonymous with removing them from the Book of Life.

I wonder if that minor detail is included in the letters.

paul

Overcoming Addictions

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 11, 2015

What is an addiction? It is safe to assume that most addictions are driven by desire. According to Psychology Today:

Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

Elsewhere:

Addiction is a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences; it can be thought of as a disease or biological process leading to such behaviors. The two properties that characterize all addictive stimuli are that they are (positively) reinforcing (i.e., they increase the likelihood that a person will seek repeated exposure to them) and intrinsically rewarding (i.e., they activate the brain’s “reward pathways”, and are therefore perceived as being something positive or desirable).

How should the laity help the addicted with Scripture? The Bible describes sin as a “master.” It also describes “flesh” or the “body,” or “members” as being instrumental for holy endeavors or useful to fulfill desires that come from sin; i.e., “sinful desires” or “desires of the flesh.”  When Scripture uses “desires of the flesh” it is not stating that sinful desires come from the flesh per se, but rather sinful desires that sin is using the flesh to fulfill. Remember, at least in regard to the Christian, the “flesh” can be utilized for either good or evil. Sinful desires come from the Sin master.

The Bible also states that sin is empowered by the ability to condemn. If  condemnation is taken away, sin still exists, but its status as master has been revoked. If condemnation is removed, sin is unable to enslave.

1Corithians 15:56 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who are under law are under condemnation, and the Bible also states that Christ came to end the law. Those who believe in Christ have been “purchased” by His blood, and we no longer belong to the Sin master. The Bible uses the slave/master terminology to describe the transaction. And somehow, sin is stripped of its power to enslave when it can no longer use desires to provoke God through the members of the individual. Here is an example of sin as slavemaster:

Genesis 4:6 – The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Sin desires to rule over the individual, and it uses desire to tempt.

James 1:13 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the apostle Paul informs us that we become enslaved to whatever we obey. Obeying sinful desires results in being enslaved to the desire. What follows is the whole chapter of Romans 6, and it is a long citation and encompasses all that we have discussed so far.

Romans 6:1 – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What we read here can also be seen in the introductory citations: the desire enslaves the individual, and that person will continue in the behavior regardless of the fruits which include death-like existence and condemnation. These desires produced by sin can range from annoying habits to the unthinkable. People can have a desire to kill other people, and if they obey that desire, they can become serial killers. That extreme example can be applied to many other sinful desires. Sinful desires coming from covetousness or greed can also cause people to commit sins that make the obtaining of the central desire possible. You get the picture. One could expand this into an in-depth mapping of human behavior.

As we see in Romans 6, born again Christians are able to say no to sinful desires. The desires still occur, but they are not able to dominate us. We are able to say no. Sin is no longer a master, but has been demoted to a pesky stalker. However, eventually, in the believer, these desires can be put to death:

Colossians 3:5 – Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Galatians 5:24 – Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Romans 8:13 – For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Galatians 5:16 – So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

In unbelievers, destructive desires can be kept under control for a better quality of life, but such desires can never be totally put to death. As stated by Alcoholics Anonymous, “Once a drunk always a drunk.” If you think about it, unbelievers have little choice but to label many addictions as medical problems because the desire cannot be put to death, it will continually harass them till the day they die unless they are born again. People saved out of a sordid life will often testify that particular dominate desires vanish immediately, but that is not always the case. But in the least, the desire is manageable through biblical applications and eventually dies.

In the unbeliever, destructive desires can be managed through practical means, even biblical ones, but sinful desires in the believer can actually be put to death.

paul

Protestantism: So Many Flavors, but It’s All Ice Cream

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 11, 2015

Protestantism has many different denominations and interpretations of the Bible, and let me explain why that’s the case. Protestantism was founded on the idea that the law of God has a single dimension. That’s the foundation, and that fleshes itself out in one way or the other across all denominational lines.

For purposes of keeping this simple, we will focus on how this applies according to what is in vogue presently: the law can only condemn; the law can only provoke us to sin; the law demands perfection or all bets are off; the standard for being justified is perfect law-keeping.

What to do about law? That fundamental question is what divides all sects of Protestantism. It is what drives all the bickering between Calvinists, Arminians, free grace (Zane Hodges), and the anti-lordship salvation crowd which is mostly made up of the free grace crowd

This is why Protestants can’t seem to get it together on Christian living. Trying to make a single dimension law work in the Christian life causes all kinds of confusion. Staying in the same vein of simplicity, let’s use Romans 8:2 in an attempt to understand the problem:

Romans 8:2 – For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

That’s two different relationships to the same law. To the born again believer, the Spirit uses the law to sanctify the believer (John 17:17). To walk in the Spirit is to learn and obey the word of God which is life. This is a colaboring with the Spirit in the truest sense.

To the unbeliever, the law can only condemn, and sin within uses the law to provoke the unbeliever to sin. To the unbeliever, the law can only bring death. Hence, “the law of sin and death.”

In what way does the law set us free to “serve another”? When we believe its testimony, it sets us free from being condemned by it, and frees us to obey it as a way of loving God and others. This isn’t a difficult concept: if we listen to wisdom we live; if we reject wisdom we die, but it’s the same wisdom.

Again, for purposes of making a simple point in this post, I am not going into how this all fits together with the believer being truly righteous, and able to please God through obedience while falling short of perfection. You aren’t going to understand any of that till you get this basic point anyway.

The following prompted this post: I stumbled upon an anti-lordship salvation kind of guy named Jack Smack who believes Calvinists, Arminians, and proponents of lordship salvation are all going to hell. Again, this all boils down to differences in how you get the square peg of a single dimension law into the round hole of Christian living and the gospel. Note what he states in the video:

 Now what is Lordship salvation? It’s the idea that you have to live a certain way, you have to prove you are saved by your works.  You got to obey God; you got to repent of your sins, and it’s all of this jargon.  And there’s a lot, there’s a few other things they say:  the lot of them will tell you, you know, you can’t live any way you want to and all this, well, they’re trying to control you.  They’re trying to put you under the law.  They’re doing exactly what these Jews were doing.  It says, “why compest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”  Okay…

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Now look at this:  Lordship Salvation, they’re people trying to get you to sin – they want you to sin! They teach lawless, that lewd antinomianism, because if you get down to it, they’re trying to put you back under a law.  And all the law can do is cause you to sin.

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

So actually, in all reality, ironically, a Lordship Salvationist claims like they don’t want people to keep on sinning, but the reality of what they teach, it’s going to make you go on sinning, according to that verse.  So yes, Lordship Salvation proponents are antinomian.  Regardless of whether or not they will admit this, the bible says they are.  Any time you try to put somebody under a law, you are making them into a bigger sinner PERIOD.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

So, it’s all I have.  Lordship Salvation makes you into a bigger sinner because you’re imposing laws on people that they just can’t obey on their own, and um…that’s exactly what these people are doing.  So I , you know, believe in, I teach Free Grace.  I teach that we’re justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Now you have to understand Free Grace, or you cannot serve God; and you cannot, you know, obey God.  You have to understand what’s been done on your behalf: Jesus Christ died for your sins. He was buried and rose again.  He gives eternal life as a free gift.  So, on the basis of that, we should want to serve God and to live right.  And that’s what I teach.  People that are teaching law, lordship, they’re the antinomians because the reality of what they teach leads to uh..transgression.

In the Bible, there are only two kinds of people: under law (lost), and under grace (saved). But what is missed in Protestantism is that being under grace doesn’t exclude being under law, it’s just not the law of sin and death. The law informs us as to what people need to do to be free from being condemned by the law, resulting in being free to use the law for loving God and others.  If we want to know what to do in order to not die for lack of wisdom, we go and ask Lady Wisdom, right?

When we are saved by believing the law’s testimony about Christ, we are set free from its condemnation in a one time, completed transformation from death to life. We are now free to serve the law unto life more abundantly. Freedom from the law of condemnation is a gift, but obedience to the law as a born again believer yields rewards in the present life and the life to come. Hence, “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.” But living to God doesn’t exclude the law; Matthew 4:4 couldn’t be clearer on that.

Nevertheless, notice how Smack states that the relationship of the law of sin and death remains the same for the believer. This keeps believers “under law,” which is the very definition of a lost person. He states that a demand for Christians to obey the law only causes them to sin more! Woe! But frankly, this take on law is the same problem with Protestantism in general across the board.

The obvious question becomes: how do I obey the law as a Christian in a way that won’t cause me to sin more or condemn me? Of course, this has caused much confusion among Protestants. The remedy is usually a confusing system of some sort that imputes the perfect obedience of Jesus to our life in the same way His righteousness was imputed to us by faith alone. These systems range from outright denial of the law in the Christians life to a “relaxing of the law.”

Here is what Christians need to come to grips with: the two uses of the law in Romans 8:2. That is the key.

paul

Acts Lesson 44

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

Tuesday Night Bible Study
February 3, 2015
Study of the Book of Acts

Tonight’s Text – Acts 16:35 – 17:9

Brief review

I. Concluding thoughts on Philippi
– Commentary on Acts 16:35-40

II. Events in a Thessalonian synagogue
A. Paul’s manner

B. Paul’s appeal to reason

– Definition of “reason”

1. A cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.
2. The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.

C. Necessary facts regarding Messiah
δει (die) – it is necessary or it was necessary
– To suffer
– To die
– To rise from the dead

D. The Biblical significance of suffering
– Psalm 22

III. People’s response to Paul
A. The positive
– Some Jews believed (most did not)
– Large number of devout Greeks
– “Chief women”

B. The negative
– “Moved with envy”
– Riot at the house of Jason
– False testimony to the city rulers

Notes:
Acts lesson 44

Susan Dohse: Colonial Puritanism; TANC 2014 Sessions 1-3

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

SUSAN 2014 SESSION 1

Do any of you remember the popular show Myth Busters? Well, Myth Busters was a popular show at our house, and the goal of that team of men was to disprove popular myths by using a scientific, investigative approach. And often, they would take legend, superstition, or even a stunt that had been re-done on television to see if it could really happen without the effects of Hollywood. And they would break it up into a scientific investigative approach and then determine if the myth was definitely a myth, could probably happen or that it would occur all the time.

Now I would like to provoke you to take on the role of a myth buster and rather than accept what’s in our textbooks or what you read on your online blog spots and what you hear from the pulpit, rather than accept that as factual, biblical or true. And this is why we call TANC a discernment ministry. It’s a ministry that encourages believers to become Bereans, searching the Scripture daily to verify what is taught from the authority of God’s word.

Well, the topic that I have chosen to present to you is based on a historical research approach, and I have selected three myths that I would like to try to bust. And I assure you that I could have and should have delved deeper into my topic, but I allowed time restraints to hinder me–cooking, cleaning, playing with the grandbaby. But I did read eight books and twelve inches of material that I printed from online resources. But what I want to do really is just to plant a seed. I want to plant a seed and hopefully provoke you to germinate that seed. You take my point of view, you look at my references, and then you go and research for yourself and see if you come up with the same or similar conclusions that I have.

Well, there’s a plethora of myth surrounding the early history of America, some from secular humanist research, many from the Christian historians, but you have to be careful. You have to be careful when you elevate historical figures to the rank of hero and you begin hero-worshiping historical figures without knowledge. Or you hold a group of people in such high regard that we are encouraged or we are told to encourage our children to emulate them. So therefore, it was important for me to frame any research that I did with dependable historical records, direct quotes from personal writings, sermons and speeches. Now the word “dependable” is – I glean that from a colonial historian who wrote the book The Times of Their Lives: The Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony by James Deetz – Now he said that if three or more historical documentations from firsthand accounts–court and church records, personal diaries, pamphlets and books–if three or more of those documentations agree fully or mostly, then the assumption can be made that that source is probably reliable, more reliable than not reliable. So I try to do the same as Mr. Deetz in preparation for this talk. I tried to look at historical documents, church and court records, personal diaries, pamphlets and books.

There is a resurgence of interest and emphasis on the Puritans today–their beliefs and their practices. In our Christian schools, heavy in the homeschool movement, and in our churches, there is a push to pattern how we study the Bible, their theology and how to contend for the truth from the Puritans in order to make significant changes that will reap eternal results. I quote from a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary, “No greater tribute to them could be made than to follow their example in this regard.” And “in this regard” is referring to how to study the Bible, their theology and how to contend for the truth. Well, that emphasis is causing me to have some grave concern, because there is a lack of foundation based on fact and true historical perspective. Myths are being presented as facts, and the same criticism that’s heaped upon those secular humanists who want to shape America’s history by eliminating and covering its Christian roots need to apply to those who try to shape America’s history by eliminating and covering its Calvinist roots.

Here are the three myths that I would like to bust. And if I don’t bust them, at least poke a hole in the balloon.  Myth number one: “The Puritans came to New England because of religious persecution and a desire for religious freedom.” Myth number two: “God could make any people his chosen.” And myth number three: “The Puritans have a biblical worldview.” These are three key foundational truths to what the Puritans believed. They believe they – why they came to New England, that God could make them his chosen, and what their worldview was.

Well, myth number one, the Puritans came to the New World because of religious persecution and a desire for religious freedom. The Puritans immigrated to establish God’s commonwealth on earth, a community of visible saints following the Bible and to found churches on a congregational model. The king gave permission for the migration in order for England to acquire new materials, to check the power of Spain, to find a new route to the Orient, and to convert the Indians. It’s very important to remember what was in their charter, the Massachusetts charter that was given to those colonial-minded people. Acquire new materials, particularly gold and silver, to check the power of Spain, to find a new route to the Orient, and to convert the Indians.

Now English history reports that the Puritans back in England wanted to purify the Church, the Church of England. And that’s how they got that nickname “Puritans.” The pilgrims, who were called separatists, chose to break away from the Church of England and many even left England for Holland. The pilgrims of Plymouth are not the same as the Puritans of Massachusetts. Both were Calvinists, but they were not the same. The pilgrims of Plymouth were Puritans, seeking to reform their church, and the Puritans of Massachusetts were innocent pilgrims who moved to this land because of religious conviction, not persecution. The name Puritan, it was initially an insulting moniker, very much like when the believers in the New Testament were first called Christians. It was really not a praiseworthy title. It was to make fun of them. Well, the same was the title Puritans. That title was to poke fun at them. (more…)

Basic Principles of Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

1. Sin and weakness are not the emphasis, love is. 1Peter 3:8

2. No fear in regard to justification or condemnation; fear of consequences in sanctification. James 5:9, Philippians 2:12,13, 1John 4:16-19

3. We are truly righteous and good. 1John 3:9, Romans 15:14

4. Rewards for obedience in this present life. Philippians 4:9

5. Justification is a gift, we earn rewards in sanctification. Hebrews 6:10

6. Obedience is love. John 14:15

7. The Holy Spirit is our HELPER, not one who obeys for us. John 14:16

8. Sanctification is NOT a rest. Galatians 5:7, Hebrews 4:9-11

9. Our soul is saved, we await the redemption of the body. Romans 7:24 (“wretched” means: one who is persevering in affliction, NOT personal wickedness). Also Romans 8:23

10. Prayers can be hindered by disobedience. 1Peter 3:7

11. Strive for a clear conscience. Acts 24:16

12. You become enslaved to what you obey. Romans 6:16

13. Sanctification is wisdom for controlling your body. 1Thessalonians 4:3

14. We are resurrected to a reward, not a judgment. Luke 14:14

15. We use the body for Holy purposes: Romans 12:1

16. We desire what we invest in. Matthew 6:21

17. Scripture application to life leads to a life built upon a rock. Matthew 7:24-27

18. Those who do good love life. 1Peter 3:10-12, Psalms 34:12-16

19. The power is in the doing. James 1:25

20. Learning to hate evil and love good. Romans 12:9

21. Practice of truth leads to more understanding. John 17:17, Hebrews 5:14

22. Adding biblical truth to our lives bolsters a feeling of assurance. 2Peter 1:10

23. Our goal is a rich entry. 2Peter 1:11

24. Sin uses desire to tempt us. We must define sinful desires versus godly desires. James 1: 14

25. Teachers are a help, but not efficacious to individual learning. 1John 2:27

26. There is only one judge that we are individually accountable to. Romans 14:12

27. Put off the old habits of the dead you, learn the ways of the new man, and apply them to life. Ephesians 4: 20-24

28. Our practice is “true” righteousness—it is really us doing it. We are “truly” righteous beings. Ephesians 4:24

29. Faith works through love in sanctification. Our faith doesn’t work for salvation of the soul, it works for love. Galatians 5:6

30. Our ultimate goal is the new heavens and new earth. This is the full consummation of The Promise. 2Peter 3:13

31. All three Trinity members help us in our sanctification. Philippians 2:12,13, John 14:16

32. Our sanctification is powered by the same power of the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the grave. Ephesians 1:18-20

33. Some things are a mystery, but we are individually responsible to learn and obey the majority of Scripture. Deuteronomy 29:29.

“< Tweet, Tweet: Righteousness of Your Own

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

An Edited Point-Counterpoint Gospel Debate

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

Point: …you imply (to me anyway), that we work to make ourselves perfect and that’s our goal in salvation. Salvation is about reconciliation. It’s when we rest in the finished work of the Cross…through the in working of the Holy Spirit we change, but it’s all His work … The more we look at the flesh to control our fallen state under the law the more we fail.  The law was given to increase sin…so we saw our need for a Savior.  You seemed to me to be mixing the two covenants together, I know that will only cause bondage. The new covenant is about a relationship with our God. God bless.

CounterPoint: What you state above is the progressive justification that IS Calvinism. You have the traditional view of law/gospel that is just plain false.

P: No!!! We are already justified. The law has nothing to do with grace….Show me why you think I believe in progressive justification?

CP: You mean Protestantism’s “already not yet” justification? Ok, let me be specific: First, You make rest in justification the same thing as rest in sanctification. That’s Calvin’s Sabbath sanctification—if you do any works in sanctification it’s works salvation because justification and sanctification are fused together. Sanctification is NOT a rest.

Also, note that you make sanctification part of “reconciliation.” I thought you said the reconciliation was finished? Secondly, you state clearly that Christians are still under the law, and therefore, the Holy Spirit must do ALL the work. Thirdly, note that you plainly state that the law has the SAME relationship to us now as “Christians” as it did before we were saved: to increase sin.

Protestants don’t understand the difference between being under law and being under grace, and Calvinists and Arminians are both guilty of the same linear salvation. The “way of the Spirit” is a different relationship to the law—you are making it the same whether saved or unsaved. That’s the smoking gun. The law still serves to show us sin, and not love.

P: “You mean Protestantism’s “already not yet” justification?” Not sure of what part of IT IS FINISHED you failed to understand here. Then you say “Ok, let me be specific: “Christians are still under the law, and therefore, the Holy Spirit must do ALL the work”??? I never said anything of the sort …”The more we look at the flesh to control our fallen state under the law the more we fail”. Meaning the law has passed away…not for us now! It was never brought about justification or sanctification, salvation has always been by grace, the law was given to bring death.

I had this problem before with you; you fail to see the difference between sanctification and propitiation. Both justification and sanctification both parts are needed for Salvation. Christ justified the Fathers wrath on our behalf, (He paid the price), and we are sanctified through His BLOOD…wash as white a snow The moment we first believe. Without sanctification there can be no “reconciliation.”(new birth), you would still be in your filthy rags.

CP: The fact that you don’t understand the law’s relationship to sanctification speaks for itself. Here is what you say: “Both justification and sanctification both parts are needed for Salvation.” Bingo, you say, like Calvin and Luther, that progressive sanctification is part of the salvation process. How is this not “progressive salvation”? Sanctification is part and parcel with the Christian life, so you are saying the Christian life is part of the salvation process. You also say sanctification is the washing, it is not.

The new birth is regeneration, or the quickening, not the washing. You make justification, definitive sanctification, progressive sanctification, salvation (justification), and redemption all the same thing. Why? Because your gospel defines Christians as still under law. At any rate, to clarify, you clearly say that sanctification is part of the salvation process and is a progressive washing accomplished by the Holy Spirit. How is that not progressive salvation?

P: Sanctification means to set apart to make holy, to purify…without sanctification there is no regeneration (indwell of the Holy Spirit) the Holy Spirit cannot indwell otherwise; we need to be washed clean by Christ saving Blood. Justification is a legal declaration of being declared not guilty. The work of Holy Spirit is NOT progressive washing!!! That a Catholic works based salvation, and most of Christendom outside the Catholic Church teaches. It’s called religion. I am talking about the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT, not man’s flesh and the works there of. We are saved to the uttermost the moment we first believe. I have never read Calvin or Luther, I far as I can understand Luther taught a milder form of Calvinism.

CP: So you’re saying the Holy Spirit’s salvific work is finished, right? And you are also saying sanctification is complete, right?

P: Yes. But you seem to use Sanctification in a completely different context. So you beleive we are in a ongoing process of sanctification, right ?

CP: You are correct about my position, sanctification is progressive. BUT, you make that one side of the salvation coin… Therefore, obviously, we don’t do sanctification because that would be works salvation. As you said, the Holy Spirit has to do sanctification for us because it is a part of salvation. SO, what you really mean when you say sanctification is finished is that it is finished FOR US, but NOT the Spirit. At any rate, here is your problem, the Bible specifically states that sanctification is an ongoing work done by the believer: 1Thessolonians 4:3,4.

P: I was not saying “sanctification is finished FOR US, but NOT the Spirit.” I fear you have to much invested  to change your mind, but I will leave links dealing with this .Aaron Budjen is Jewish , he was saved while training to become a rabbi, so understands what living under the law is like more than most.

CP: Simply answer the question. Is sanctification finished or not? And if it is, for who? Is sanctification part of salvation, yes or no? You have already said it is, so is it finished or not? You have already said it is. So how do you reconcile that with 1Thess. 4:3,4?

P: O.K but it will take more than a simple answer …The words “sanctify” and “sanctification”, as they are used in the Scriptures, basically mean: (1) to set apart or separate for God, (2) to regard, treat, and declare something or someone as holy, and (3) to purify and make holy. 90 references to that doctrine in Scripture. Here is a list of some of them:

2 Tim 2:21;  John 17:17;  1 Thess 5:23;  Gal 2:20;  2 Thess 2:13;  Ex 31:13;  1 Thess 4:3;  1 Cor 1:2;  Rom 6:6;  2 Pet 1:2-4;  Heb 13:12;  Rom 6:1-23;  2 Pet 3:18;  Heb 12:10;  2 Cor 1:22;  1 John 1:9;  1 Pet 1:2;  1 Thess 4:3-5;  Col 3:5;  John 17:19;  Rev 7:14;  Heb 10:14;  Eph 4:13;  Gal 5:19-21;  Lev 21:8;  Ex 13:2;  Jude 1:24;  2 Pet 3:1-11;  1 Pet 2:24;  Heb 13:21;  Heb 9:14;  Heb 3:12;  Col 3:1;  Col 2:11;  Phil 2:13;  Eph 5:25-27;  Eph 5:3;  Eph 4:16;  Eph 4:12;  Eph 3:19;  Gal 6:14;  Rom 15:16;  Acts 26:18;  1 John 3:3;  Heb 12:1;  Rom 12:1;  Acts 26:17;  Acts 20:32;  Luk 5:32;  Jer 1:5;   Ps 91:1-16;  Lev 22:9;  Lev 21:1-23;  Lev 20:8;  Ex 40:9-11;  Ex 30:29;  Ex 19:14;  Rev 22:15;  1 John 3:2;  1 John 1:8;  1 John 1:3;  Heb 13:4;  Heb 12:14;  Heb 10:10;  Heb 2:11;  Titus 1:1;  2 Tim 2:11;  1 Thess 4:4;  Eph 5:26;  Eph 4:24;  Eph 2:10;  Eph 1:13;  Eph 1:3;  2 Cor 12:21;  2 Cor 7:1;  2 Cor 1:21;  1 Cor 7:14;  1 Cor 7:2;  1 Cor 6:18;  1 Cor 6:13;  1 Cor 1:30;  Rom 13:12;  Rom 8:7;  Rom 8:1;  Rom 7:20;  Rom 6:11;  Rom 6:2;  John 3:6;  Luk 16:13;  Eze 37:28; Lev 11:44

Without complete sanctification, without being made holy, there is no salvation. Sanctification is accomplished on our behalf and in us when we are regenerated (born again), when we are made to be new creatures in Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 6:11 , Paul is writing to people who were certainly not the perfect pictures of what “good” Christians would look like. The church at Corinth was not regarded by Paul as a perfect example of what a church should be, yet he said to those people that they had clearly been sanctified, based on their faith in Christ. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ”If sanctification is two-fold, in other words partially achieved by the work of Jesus Christ and partially by man himself, then the words of Paul must be disregarded.

Additionally it would indicate that the sanctification brought about by the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross, was incomplete and only partially effective. If sanctification is, even in part, understood to be progressive, then we are confronted by an insurmountable problem, and you said I believed in works salvation! We would never be able to determine at which point sanctification would sufficiently have been achieved by the sinner. The determination of that point would be left at the discretion of men, or that of a religious system and blabbering men like yourself, both of which are hopelessly fallible.

Where in Scripture are those parameters defined? They are not, because sanctification is not partially achieved by Christ, nor is it progressive. The work of Jesus Christ has been done, not only in part, but in perfect completion, and the imputed righteousness to the sinner (sanctification), is as a result, perfect.,, IT IS FINISHED….  The seventh day was set apart (sanctified) for God (Gen. 2:3). This was done by God Himself. This is the first time the word “sanctify” is used in the Bible.  That seventh day was not altered at all from the other days, it was simply set apart, separated from the other days of the week a day of rest. Biblical sanctification is not a process by which saved believers become more holy over time. ……..If we are not sanctified, we are not saved. We cannot sanctify ourselves before God. The mere suggestion that we can do so is an absurdity.

CP: Uh, where is your answer in regard to 1Thess. 4:3,4? Clearly, the verse defines sanctification and states that we take part in it, and how we participate.

P: Don’t make me laugh, one scripture which I will look into, but I need to read the entire context … you cannot take a isolate verse and build a doctrine around it. Certainty when you have multitudes of scriptures stating the opposite. If we take part in sanctification, then it would make null and void the Cross, plus we would have something to boast in…. The gift becomes a reward that is earned … I don’t believe sanctification is separate work, if we was not sanctified then we were not washed completely clean by the blood Of The Lamb.

If sanctification is an ongoing process, to me you’re just added works to the mix. Now I do believe we bear fruit and we can certainly hinder that process, no problem with that at all. But the fruit is not us producing the fruit; it’s us yielding to the prompting of The Holy Spirit its allowing the Holy Spirit to use and work through us.

CP: You just lost the argument. Not only does the “One Verse” argument not cut it, you state the following: “If we take part in sanctification, then it would make null and void the Cross, plus we would have something to boast in…. The gift becomes a reward that is earned .” That’s pretty much the smoking gun on many points… You believe the same old Protestant gospel that keeps Christians under the law as a standard for justification. Hence, we must live our Christian lives by faith alone in order to remain saved. If we live by the Protestant formula of faith alone, the  Holy Spirit, as you have stated clearly, OBEYS FOR US.

P: If we live by the Protestant formula of faith alone ” …you foolish man…” one verse you build your legalistic doctrine on and bring others back under bondage. “Hence, we must live our Christian lives by faith alone in order to remain saved”. Foolish again, we are kept …we do not keep ourselves in “faith”, YOU HAVE A CALVINIST VIEW OF SCRIPTURES. I would not be surprised in the least to found you were once a Calvinist. Sanctification is salvation along with justification.

CP: Very well, each man must be convinced in his own mind and God will judge all in the end. We all have one judge–and I am not your judge. With that, I can sincerely say farewell and blessings to you. The last word is yours if you want it.

P: Amen to that…..For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Farewell and blessings to you also.

“< Tweet, Tweet: Wicked Pastors

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

“< Tweet, Tweet: Weakness

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

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