Paul's Passing Thoughts

History and Recent Events Are the Residual Effects of Core Bible Truth, But We All Need Salvation

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 3, 2021

Your problem with God is sin. That is what stands between you and God. However, the true definition of “sin” is a bit tricky. Freedom versus slavery is a dominate theme in the Bible. Now, so-called Bible scholars would say the Bible is using the slave/master motif to illustrate man’s slavery to his own sinful will and nature, but that’s not exactly true.

The fundamental problem with church orthodoxy and religion in general follows: it demands a strict dichotomy between the existence of God and humankind. It makes the only true freedom a freedom from this life. Mortals are in slavery whether they recognize it or not. They are, supposedly, enslaved to their own sinful desires by virtue of being mortal. Hence, there is no real freedom in this life—life equals slavery, and the only freedom is freedom from mortality. The church double-speaks on this by adding the phrase “in Christ” to everything. “Sure, oh my, yes, you are free…’in Christ.'” Translation: in reality, you are enslaved by your mortality, which is synonymous with evil. Jesus is merely a ticket to future freedom. We will let you assume we are speaking of the present in order to deliberately deceive you.  

This is Dualism: the material world is evil and the spiritual world is good. And, since mankind is material, he is inherently evil, or totally depraved. This is a core philosophy that drives all religion and politics. This is why the Evangelical church is getting in bed with Marxism. Fundamentally, they believe the same thing. It’s not hard to understand; during WWII, Communism was better than Fascism and the West took advantage of the division between the two. However, leaders like General George Patton recognized that once Communism was used to get rid of Fascism, we should have moved to eliminate Communism as well because both are anti-freedom. The church believes freedom is a misnomer; like Communism, it believes mankind cannot truly be free and too much freedom merely frees men to be more and more selfish. To the church and religion in general, political and practical freedom gives mankind more freedom to live out the unfettered slavery to total depravity. Hence, the church is either overtly Marxist, confused about the issue, passive, or all show and no go.

This also speaks to human value and ultimately, life value. If you value life, justice is important. Trust me on this: justice and life value are synonymous. The lawless do not value life. You may notice that people have an intuitive need to see justice prevail; that is directly related to an intuitive love for life that is infused into most people born into the world until their consciences are retrained by proponents of Dualism. The church is anti-abortion because it is confused about its own Dualism, but to a great degree, that is changing.

So, the rule of law is all about putting a value on life. Lawlessness dismisses justice because it doesn’t value life.

What does the Bible say about all of this? Well, yes, sin came into the world, but the world is still basically a good thing because God created it. The Bible DOES NOT make a strict dichotomy of good and evil being defined by material and invisible. Dualism is a philosophy that defines sin itself; Dualism is sin’s ultimate organizing principle. And, Dualism requires a middleman. Without a middleman, the individual is free to have a conversation with God directly and decide on individual conclusions. This totally upends Dualism by suggesting the individual has ability. We must have…watch for it…additional mediators between God and man because mankind is unable to understand God.

Dualism is the original political religious doctrine presented to Adam and Eve in the garden. “Did God really say?” Was the serpent not saying that he was a needed mediator between the two (Adam and Eve) and God? Of course he was. Am I saying, for all practical purposes, the serpent was the founder of the church, Communism, and the Democrat party? That’s exactly what I am saying. They are all saying the same thing, and any Churchian, Communist, or Democrat who doesn’t understand that is confused. In simple terms, in the final tribunal of God, every case involves one individual, and there will be no attorneys in the courtroom except Christ. But, as we will see, that analogy is good for this paragraph only and is far from the truth we are looking for. Nevertheless, it would be good to add here that this is the fundamental organizing principle that the founders of America understood: the ability of the individual and personal responsibility. Self-rule, if you will. Historically, this principle has been considered metaphysical blaspheme. But, the results speak for themselves.

The danger in this discussion is to devalue the need to be saved because the Bible indeed teaches that mankind is basically good. Humankind is basically good because God created it and everything God creates is “good and should be received with thanksgiving.” Every individual, according to the Bible, is born with the law of God written on their hearts with the conscience either excusing or accusing them according to their works. The human conscience is part of being created in the image of God. Whether or not an individual lives by their conscience is a paramount mental health issue.

So, while everything we see in the news and trending politics connect to Dualism in some way, what does the Bible say you should do? It says you should be born again. This frees you totally in the here and now. Individualism gives you practical freedom, which leads to a much higher quality of life in the here and now, but the new birth gives you complete freedom for eternity. Both saved and unsaved people do good works, but good works will not save you. Even Hitler did good works. The Bible says demons know the truth, but they aren’t saved either. However, with that said, I believe right motives do save you. Look, regarding the theological dark age we live in, what I refer to as the “Protestant Dark Age,” I do not believe God sends people to hell for not having their biblical ducks lined up perfectly. Fact of the matter is, it’s complicated stuff. On the other hand…

…love is about motives and sin is about enslaving others.

There is an interesting verse in the Bible that states the following: everyone who comes to God must believe he exists and is a rewarder of those who do good. The reward is not salvation; the reward is peace in this life and the life to come. The good doing is not to prevent consequences, but because it is the right and just thing to do, or it is how you would want to be treated. We don’t want to receive help from people who are being compelled do we? No, we want to receive help from people who want to help us, right? Right motives flow from a loving heart. Motives matter. I believe a desire to have the right motives is a godly motive as well. Love is closely connected to godly motives if not the same thing. Being born again can be experiential or non-experiential. I do not think perfect theology is the prerequisite for being born again; I think right desires are. In the Bible, a strong desire to control others is intrinsically linked to condemning sin, usually because you think they need to be controlled by yourself because you are better and smarter than they are.

For purposes of this article, we will look at one way the Bible frames sin. Sin is a master that is controlled by a desire to control others. There you have it; that’s how the Bible defines sin. Sin is a slave master utterly controlled by a desire to control others. The Bible then states what sin uses to control people: condemnation. It goes like this: “Since you are totally depraved, and a loser by my definition, you need to salvage what’s left of your miserable life by obeying my wisdom.” Now, it is interesting how “wisdom” is defined by Dualism. True wisdom understands that there is no wisdom. Got it? True knowing is understanding that man cannot know. True knowledge is knowing that there is no knowledge that can be known. Thinking that you can know is the epitome of arrogance in both the secular and religious realm. Definitive knowledge does not exist in the material realm. If you start paying attention, you will see this everywhere you look. Transgenderism, Common Core Math, the list goes on and on.

So, sin seeks to control you by proving that you are a bad person to yourself which leads to you relinquishing self-rule for your own good and survival. This, again, is everywhere you look, whether Critical Race Theory or a myriad of other trending fads. Self-rule is posed as the ultimate danger to humanity. Sin loves sin because it proves the point. Sin rejoices in evil. Where sin falls short, slander fills the void.

According to the Bible, Christ frees us by eliminating sin’s primary weapon: condemnation. No condemnation, no sin. No sin, no slavery. What the Bible refers to as “the law,” is really a very general term referring to all knowledge about salvation. In one respect, the law is good because it upholds life value and the value of what God has created through justice. In another respect, the law is condemnation, which is what Christ died to eliminate. This is not a legal loophole for those who want to use grace (God’s love in action) for a “cloak of unrighteousness.” Those who are born again aren’t looking for a license to sin, but rather desire to please God. Again, it’s about motives. With that said, our assurance comes from the fact that God has no law that can judge us. We are no longer “under law” but “under grace” (under love). I recently had a discussion with a Catholic about all of this. He is hoping that he has obeyed God well enough to make it into heaven.

Full stop. Many times, when the Bible speaks of law, in context, it is referring to what religions say the law is. In religion, the particular laws of a church fulfil the law of God and thereby prevents condemnation that damns one to hell. In other words, mediation through church authority. Only problem is, Christ cancelled all condemnation in all laws. I shared that with this fellow. “What are you talking about? Christ died to remove all condemnation from the law. When you appear before God, he will have no law that can condemn you.” ‘But I don’t keep the law perfectly.’ “Well, do you keep the law at all because you want to please God?” ‘Of course I do!’ “Well, there you go, the Bible says love fulfills the whole law, so, end of discussion.” In other words, all church does (whether Catholic or Protestant) is keep people under the fear of the law’s condemnation for purposes of pseudo-mediation.

The Bible also says that all people born into the world are born into the law’s condemnation. They are born “under law.” They are under condemnation. This doesn’t mean they can do no good; it means the good they do can’t save them. Since everyone is born under law, and Christ died to end the law, he died for everyone. The way the Bible frames this is interesting. The world only has two masters: Sin, and Christ—Christ has already purchased everyone’s freedom from the Sin master through his death. All those who freely except the purchase and flee to the other master who they rightfully belong to are born again. The Bible says we therefore die with Christ and are resurrected with him. This is the new birth. The old us born under law dies with Christ, and like all people who die, can no longer be indicted by law, and are resurrected to a new person who is free to serve the law in the ways of love with no condemnation (Romans 7). Of course, the new birth changes our heart to motives that match those desires. This moment of new birth may be experiential or not. What matters is what you believe and what you want to do. That’s what saves you and you don’t need a church or anyone else but Christ to do it. And, it is a one-time and for all-time event.

The new birth changes your relationship to the law from condemnation to love. What now guides your actions is the following question: is it an act of love? Not a concern for consequences; Christ died to end the consequences anyway. There are no consequences. This truth clarifies motives.

Now, if you make a foolish decision in the present day you may temporarily suffer the condemnation of a civil government. That is a whole other subject not being discussed here.

Another biblical facet of this is interesting. The new birth is a change of slaveries leading to a different direction and not a perfection. This truth can primarily be seen in Romans chapter 6. You are transformed from being enslaved by sin to being enslaved by righteousness.  You were formerly enslaved to sin, but free to do good, but now are enslaved to righteousness, and free to sin. In other words, slavery and freedom are switched leading to a different life direction, not necessarily a perfection. I may not be remembering this correctly, but I believe electrical current flows from negative to positive with the efficiency of the current being determined by the strength or weaknesses of the circuit. It’s kinda like that. The new birth changes the flow of current by reversing slavery and freedom.

In regard to how the new birth changes our relationship to the law, there is a famine in our land. In regard to truth about the new birth, a dark age. I hope this post is helpful in overcoming that. There is a true freedom from fear and condemnation in the present. Holiness is also present. We are to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy. The written code of the law is not the standard for that, the new birth is. We have this treasure in earthen vessels.



Harriet Tubman and Romans 8:2. True Salvation Involves Two Laws and New Birth

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 13, 2020

ppt-jpeg42The other night I was watching a movie about Harriet Tubman and was struck by one of the scenes.  The movie was based on her true story, and I later looked up a printed version of the scene. Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave that lived under two different laws.  She recalled crossing the state line into Pennsylvania where the law declared all people to be free, and stated the following: “When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”

Protestants are big on definitive black and white statements. John MacArthur stated the following about justification: “Justification is a forensic, or purely legal, term. It describes what God declares about the believer, not what He does to change the believer. In fact, justification effects no actual change whatsoever in the sinner’s nature or character.”

Of course, a thinking person would question that statement immediately. If a law can give you hope, would not having hope change you? Of course it would. In addition, the contrast of being under the law of slavery in that day and later freedom would most certainly change one’s perspective on life drastically.

Missing from the church gospel is the two different laws of slavery and freedom much like Harriet Tubman experienced. And for that reason, the church has no biblical gospel. Yes, the movie about Harriet Tubman inspired me to once again try to help church people get their minds around what the biblical new birth really is.

In regard to church: “You mean it’s all a lie?” Yes…sorry about that. I lived the lie for 30 plus years, but was glad to find the truth because I always knew something wasn’t exactly right with church. In fact, I was never completely comfortable with its canned five-word gospel either: “Christ died for our sins.”

Salvation is very much like the Harriet Tubman story and her two different lives under two different laws and how she crossed the line from slavery to freedom. That’s very akin to chapters seven and eight of Romans. There is only one difference; she lived under one law that was bad, and the other one was good.

However, she experienced true freedom, and that compelled her to put her newfound life and freedom on the line to save others. Had the law in Pennsylvania been little different from the law that Harriet Tubman fled, not only would her life have been little different, she would have been little motivated to bring others to her newfound freedom. This is another good analogy to be taken from her story because I was in the church for thirty plus years and getting people to evangelize was like pulling a mule uphill. There is a reason for that and the reason follows: church people are not under a different law. It is the same law they have always been under. Their “saved” life is little different from their old life they were supposedly saved from.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

This verse of Scripture is not about invisible realms or realm manifestation and other ideas that come from mysticism. The word for “law” in this verse is “nomos.” It is used a little less than 200 times in the New Testament and refers to the word of God. These are two different laws.

You could argue that it is really the same law (the same Bible) with two different applications, and you would have an argument, but that is not how the Bible frames it. These are two different laws; so, what makes them different? Answer: one has condemnation, and the other one has no condemnation. Under one, you are a slave; under the other, you are free. Under one, you are a sinner, under the other, you have no sin. Throughout Scripture, these two laws are spoken of differently.

More specifically, the new birth is the demarcation between the two laws. Perhaps you could say the different person makes these laws different. Clearly, the Bible teaches that the old us died with Christ and died to the law of sin and death, and we were resurrected to a new life under a new law.

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? 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

One law is dead when we become a Christian; it died with us when we died with Christ in Baptism. Christ died to end that law, and the old us died with him. We were also resurrected with Christ and are now under a new law. It is interesting to note that Harriet Tubman (her free name) had to be covert when she went back to Maryland to smuggle her family and friends to freedom in Pennsylvania; Maryland considered her to be under their law. Tubman believed that once you are made free, you are always free. Once you cross that line from Maryland to Pennsylvania, you are born into freedom and always free.

LIKEWISE, for true Christians, the world, and the church with it, will always claim that we are still under the law of sin and death. Actually, the church is most guilty of that. The church is the perfect example of Maryland slave owners in the Harriet Tubman narrative. MacArthur said it, no? When a Christian crosses that line between freedom and slavery, it does nothing to change that person. That’s what he said. In Pennsylvania, the law only declared Tubman free, but she was still enslaved?

If that was the case, she would have hardly risked her life for 13 covert missions to free 70 slaves. As a military officer in the Civil War, she led the raid on Combahee Ferry that freed 700 slaves.

This is why the church lacks zeal; its freedom from sin is only a “legal declaration” without the experience of real freedom. The church still lives in Maryland while only confessing the glories of Pennsylvania. “We are all sinners (still enslaved to sin) saved by grace.”

Harriet Tubman only lived under one law, the law of freedom. The old law she lived under, when she was Araminta Ross, no longer existed. In her mind, neither did Araminta Ross. Perhaps Christians who truly understand the new birth should change their names. Christ was known to endorse that idea at times.

Harriet Tubman’s life is a most fitting example of the true biblical new birth. We are not still under the law of slavery while confessing the freedom of heaven. We are literally citizens of that kingdom and under its law. She lived as a free woman. I am sure the old Maryland law tormented her at times, but that did not make her any less free.

This is what she has known for some time now: when she crossed over the Pennsylvania line, she felt like she was in heaven because she was.


Obtaining Assurance of Salvation

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 6, 2020

ppt-jpeg4“You can state it that way, and the Bible does in a few places, but that is really just another way of stating what Christ really did. It’s not the whole story. What Christ really did, and understanding it, is key to having assurance of salvation. And by the way, as we shall see, church is no friend of that understanding.”

The Bible states that all fear comes from the fear of God’s judgement. So, people don’t fear death per se, they fear the judgement that comes afterward. This is the general, core principle, and we see it clearly in realty. ALL psychological problems, whether deemed medical or the product of bad thinking and doing, have an element of fear or paranoia. A person may be diagnosed as Bipolar, but anxiety will also be present…always.

Enter condemnation—condemnation is the consequence of God’s judgement. Those under God’s enviable judgement are also under condemnation. This word is very central to the discussion of a Christian’s assurance. If you are a Christian, and you lack assurance, it is because of condemnation. Where condemnation does not exist, 100% assurance of salvation is present. lack of assurance necessarily means condemnation has crept in.

Now comes the thesis of this post: condemnation is not yet completely vanquished by God; our fight for assurance is a fight against condemnation. While the Bible tells us that in reality, objectively, there is NOW…NO condemnation for those in Christ, condemnation can still harass us because death has not yet been vanquished by God. Death is still alive. The Bible states that it will be the last enemy defeated by God.

These are the basics, and lend understanding to God’s beautiful awe-inspiring plan of salvation. God’s plan of salvation is a logically consistent complex tapestry that employs all aspects of reality including individual identity, family, religion, and government. Any question of Bible doctrine is determined by how it fits with God’s true plan of salvation.

For example, is the Trinity a correct Bible doctrine? Yes, because it fits with how God transformed mankind from living creatures to being His very family members. Angels are living creatures created by God, and it can certainly be said that He loves them, but they aren’t family. No Trinity, no family. No family, no salvation. And by the way, this is family in the literal sense. Can I make a logical argument for the Trinity? Yes, it is efficacious for becoming part of God’s family and becoming part of God’s family is synonymous with being saved.

God is a Father and the words He speaks are life. His words are His seed, the seed of life. God came to man with Promises, and those who believe those promises and embrace them as their identity are fallen upon by the Holy Sprit and God’s word (His seed) is infused into them. This results in a love for God’s truth. This results in holding God true and every man a liar. This is true of the father of our faith, Abraham, and is true for us just the same. We are saved by believing God’s promises, and nothing else.

God made a promise to Abraham AND “the seed,” Christ. To Abraham, God promised that He would make Abraham a great nation that included Jews and Gentiles as one metaphysical body. He promised Abraham that the nation would dwell in a city built by God where pure righteousness will dwell. We and our father of faith look for that city. It is the hope of things not presently seen because we believe God’s promises. Yet, that hope forms how we live presently.

To the seed, Christ, also, “the Word” because He is, “the seed,” He promised the following: He would die for the sins of mankind, and would not be left to corruption in the grave. God, through the Spirit, would resurrect Him from the grave, and establish the new birth. Those who believe the promise are fallen upon by the Spirit and die with Christ, and are resurrected with Him, and thereby become heirs of the promises and the commonwealth of Israel.

“Heir” is another key word here. “a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person’s death.” You see, it is not technically correct to say that Christ died for our sins. You can state it that way, and the Bible does in a few places, but that is just another way of stating what Christ really did. It’s not the whole story. What Christ really did, and understanding it, is key to having assurance of salvation. And by the way, as we shall see, church is no friend of that understanding.

The Old Testament is a will. A will is not executed until there is a death. The New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises. That’s what makes the New Covenant “better” while the Old Covenant is “passing away.” Christ died to END that covenant and fulfill its promises. let’s look at the Old Covenant will.

The Old Covenant will was administered by Angels on Mount Sinai. It was deliberately instituted about 400 years after God’s promises to Abraham and Christ because salvation is by the promises and not the law. The law was instituted by God to increase condemnation. The apostle Paul said it was instituted to “increase sin,” but that’s another way of saying the same thing; an increase of sin leads to increased condemnation which leads to increased fear of death because death has to do with God’s judgement. A review of all the events at Mount Sinai puts an explanation mark on that point.

However, the law, or the will, also offered life. The law also offered instruction on how to love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbor as well. This was the gospel of Moses under the will: “I put before you on this day death and life, choose life.” Meanwhile, as a believer in the promises and therefore infused with the seed of God, ALL of your sins were imputed to the will. In this way, it was said that you were “captive” to the will because all of your sins against the law were held captive by the law. “All sin is transgression against the law.” The will was said to be a “protector” against sin’s condemnation until Christ came.

Accordingly, all the believers under the will were held captive in a place called “sheol” until Christ died. When Christ fulfilled that promise, “he ascended on high, he led captive a host of captives, and gave gifts to men.” Those gifts were poured out on the ekklesia (“called out assembly”), and made Jews and Gentiles one body with Christ as the head. This was part of the promises made to Abraham and Christ.

Here is the important part: Christ’s death fulfilled the will, but also by fulfilling it, ended it. And since all sin was imputed to the will, sin is no longer merely covered by the law by way of imputation, sin is ended. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” Why would the Bible say that? Death is a sting because of sin’s condemnation, and the law condemns. If you are an heir to a will, and the testator dies, that will is fulfilled, you receive the goodies, and the former will no longer applies to you.

However, remember, the will is “passing away” and for believers has been replaced with “better promises.” That is, those that have been received. In this way, the will, is a “ministry of death.” That’s because the Sprit still uses it to “convict the world of sin and the judgment to come.” Sin→condemnation→fear→hopelessness→death→judgement all go together. The bible calls this sequence, “under law.”

ALL sin is still imputed to the “ministry of death” as an objective criteria for the question of sin and condemnation: if the ministry of the will has been ended for you, that is, to increase condemnation to compel you to flee to Christ,  there is no condemnation because for you, the will has been fulfilled by Christ. This doesn’t make the Old Testament will any different than any other will except the volume of heirs. If you discover that you are an heir long after the death of the testator, you are still entitled to the inheritance.

Are all people born into the world under the old will? Well, are all born “under law”? Are all born “under sin”? Well, then all are heirs of the Old Testament will. Sadly, some understand that they are in God’s will and do not care to contact their attorney in order to collect the inheritance. “How will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation.” Literally, God sees all of this as a rejection of what He has offered as “something to be despised and trampled underfoot.” Interestingly enough, in the Bible, the promises are said to be to those who are “near” (Jews) and those “far away” (Gentiles). To the “invited guests” (Jews) and whoever you find to fill the wedding banquet hall (Gentiles).

Those who want to collect on God’s inheritance by believing the promises are said to be “under grace.” This is better understood as, “under love.” This is because under law and under love are two totally different state of beings. “Grace,” is defined as God’s love in action. In every place you see the word, “grace” in the Bible, you can replace it with the word, “love” and it will make perfect sense in the context of the sentence. Salvation was the ultimate grace and act of love, and believers partake in grace as well. To always interpret the word “grace” as a salvation event is a serious interpretive misstep.

When you are under grace, what you know about the law should be the foundation of your assurance. Death means you will see God, but it also means you will see your literal Father who has no law for which to judge you. And if He has no law, there is no condemnation. The old you that was under sin, the law, condemnation, and judgement, died with Christ; you now stand before your literal Father—no father worth his salt condemns his children; in fact, the Bible says NO loving father does.

Instead, we are told that we will be judged based on how we built upon the foundation of our faith. Some sort of rewards will be given accordingly, and our efforts that fall short (“wood, hay, and stubble”) will be consumed with fire. Note that wood and hay are not worthless materials by any stretch of the imagination; I think eternal value is the issue. You may make a beautiful piece of furniture out of wood for someone who otherwise could not afford it. The wood will pass away, but not the act of love that made the furniture; that’s eternal.

That brings us to the subject of love. The practice of a Christian has not changed: as under the old will, we obey love and life; our faith works through love. It’s an altogether different state of being: faith→word→love→courage→joy→life→eternal reward. As 1st John states, “perfect love casts out fear because fear has to do with judgment.” As children of God, we can experience the loving chastisement doled out by real fathers who don’t condemn their children and provoke them to wrath, but we are never subject to a condemning judgment by the law. Hence, “where there is no law there is no sin.”

Nevertheless, the Christian is still harassed by condemnation. The Devil, sin, and religion, all wage war against the Christian with condemnation. To the degree that these attacks are successful, the Christian will lack assurance. For certain, if a Christian misunderstands the relationship of the law to the new birth and does not understand the covenants, their assurance will be a hot mess and their sanctification woefully anemic. A Christian who is sure of their salvation will lead a powerful life. This is not to be confused with religionists who base their assurance on a false hope.

Assurance is based on the right gospel, the right knowledge, and practicing love that displaces fear. The law is fulfilled by love.

Church orthodoxy is predicated on the “Christian” remaining under the law and its subsequent condemnation. Church orthodoxy has a single perspective on the law. That means the following: when a Christian does a good work, or an act of love, if you will, they have no way of knowing what their motives are. “Am I doing this to justify myself before God, or am I doing it strictly out of love?” If there is only one relationship to the law, condemnation is always running in the background and it is impossible to discern motives. This is why the church doctrine of double imputation states that Christ obeys the law for us and thereby excludes the possibility of practicing love through the law.

In contrast, a Christian can always know their motives if they understand that being under law is a different relationship to the law than being under grace. While under grace, it is impossible to justify yourself with the law. This is because the true Christian knows they are justified by believing in the promises of God and the law can justify no one, nor can it give life. That’s why Christ did NOT live a perfect life so that a perfect law-keeping  life could be imputed to the Christian life. The law is not the basis of righteousness to begin with nor can it give life. The law can only condemn, and we are no longer under its jurisdiction.

All that’s left is the possibly of loving while there is NOW…NO condemnation. The true Christian understands that the new birth is a demarcation between two different persons that are under two different jurisdictions and two different relationships to the law. One is dead and no longer subject to the written code; one was enslaved to sin, and the new person is enslaved to righteousness. Those who are enslaved to righteousness are free from the condemnation of the law.

Hence, the Christian is free to aggressively love God and others through knowledge of the law with no fear of condemnation or concern that they have ill motives. In fact, the apostle Paul told us to outdo each other with love! In other words, try to be better than other Christians in regard to loving God and others.

Church orthodoxy opens the door wide for condemnation. Under law and under grace are not two different relationships to the law according to orthodoxy, but under grace is a covering for remaining under law. If under law is not completely vanquished, there is no real biblical new birth. If law and justification are not mutually exclusive, all remain enslaved to sin and its condemnation under the law. Clearly, church orthodoxy says so-called Christians are under both; this is not true, you are 100% one or the other. Under grace is not a covering for remaining under law. And if you function according to that ritualistic system, condemnation will have a strong foothold.

Unfortunately, since church orthodoxy keeps all people under law, which is central to its double imputation soteriology, many look to church commitment for assurance. Being committed to church and patted on the head by pastors and elders give many a false sense of security. Apart from church ritual, actually referred to as “church ordinance” and “the sacraments,” their assurance would be shattered. Others are condemned by the weekly preaching and seek relief from church sacraments. The condemnation leads them back to Christ, supposedly, which leads them to live a “lifestyle of repentance” by returning to the cross (“ordinary means of grace”) for more Jesus. For those supposedly not under condemnation, weekly preaching is very condemning. The complete absence of condemnation makes church orthodoxy impossible while the doctrine of double imputation depends on it. One must remain under the law’s condemnation for perpetual pardon through Christ found only in the church.

A proper view of justification will also answer all other types of theological questions. Is there more than one resurrection and judgment? Yes, because we know at least one resurrection involves plenary condemnation, so that resurrection cannot include Christians. There are many more examples.

The Christian’s level of assurance is directly related to condemnation. When a Christian is experiencing lack of assurance, condemnation is present and active in some way. Condemnation always fills a void where love is lacking, will definitely seize the opportunity to pounce when a Christian’s behavior is unbecoming, and will have success always in error concerning the gospel and its relationship to the law.




Where is the Church Doctrine of Interim Salvation?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 16, 2020

ppt-jpeg4There is no difference between Protestantism and Catholicism. Both focus on the need to deal with “present sin” and the supposed authority of the church being efficacious for that purpose. Catholics call it the “sacraments,” while Protestants call it the “ordinary means of grace.” Clearly, in both cases, there is no maintaining of salvation without the church. Again, I will repeat, as I often do, that Catholics are more honest about it while Protestants deliberately hide the fact. We also contend that salvation is a onetime finished work by God inside the believer obtained by faith that does not have to be maintained.

So, other than the other run-of-the-mill life events that keep us from going to church, of late, we have the Coronavirus. There is a lot of spiritual cheerleading going on as a result, but conspicuously absent is discussion of how “Christians” keep themselves saved apart from church. Can atonement take place apart from church? And if it can, how? As another aside, we would contend that sin is not covered, but ended.

It seems that there would be a formal doctrine that addresses this. However, there does seem to be an unspoken doctrine of sorts: if you can’t attend church through no fault of your own, God will forgive your sins apart from the church. But, with that said, shouldn’t there be a stated doctrine of some sort? Priests and Protestant pastors alike have stern warnings for professing Christians  who “think they don’t need church.” Yet, when access to church is blocked, there seems to be no doctrine of interim atonement spoken of.

I at least have a partial answer for this. As a former Southern Baptist pastor, I can tell you that many, many, many Baptists believe they are saved by being a member of a church whether they show up or not. This is an irrefutable fact that I saw and experienced firsthand for years. Formal church membership coronated by water baptism supplies an ongoing cleansing for “present sins.” Those who “show up for church every time the doors are open” are a spiritual elitist class of Christians and not “casual Christians.” They are of the “devout” class.

Where in the world would Protestants get that idea? Well, from Protestant orthodoxy. Protestant orthodoxy has always held that “present sin” removes one from salvation  without ongoing repentance leading to forgiveness that can only be found in the church:

“Moreover, the message of free reconciliation with God is not promulgated for one or two days, but is declared to be perpetual in the Church (2 Cor. 5:18, 19). Hence believers have not even to the end of life any other righteousness than that which is there described. Christ ever remains a Mediator to reconcile the Father to us, and there is a perpetual efficacy in his death—viz. ablution, satisfaction, expiation; in short, perfect obedience, by which all our iniquities are covered” (The Calvin Institutes: 3.14.11).

“Nor by remission of sins does the Lord only once for all elect and admit us into the Church, but by the same means he preserves and defends us in it. For what would it avail us to receive a pardon of which we were afterwards to have no use? That the mercy of the Lord would be vain and delusive if only granted once, all the godly can bear witness; for there is none who is not conscious, during his whole life, of many infirmities which stand in need of divine mercy. And truly it is not without cause that the Lord promises this gift specially to his own household, nor in vain that he orders the same message of reconciliation to be daily delivered to them” (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.21).

“To impart this blessing to us, the keys have been given to the Church (Mt. 16:19; 18:18). For when Christ gave the command to the apostles, and conferred the power of forgiving sins, he not merely intended that they should loose the sins of those who should be converted from impiety to the faith of Christ; but, moreover, that they should perpetually perform this office among believers” (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.22).

“Secondly, This benefit is so peculiar to the Church, that we cannot enjoy it unless we continue in the communion of the Church. Thirdly, It is dispensed to us by the ministers and pastors of the Church, either in the preaching of the Gospel or the administration of the Sacraments, and herein is especially manifested the power of the keys, which the Lord has bestowed on the company of the faithful. Accordingly, let each of us consider it to be his duty to seek forgiveness of sins only where the Lord has placed it. Of the public reconciliation which relates to discipline, we shall speak at the proper place” (Ibid).

“Q87: What is repentance unto life?
A87: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience” [the newly applied obedience of Christ in response to re-repentance] (Westminster Shorter Catechism (1674).

“. . . forgiveness of sins is not a matter of a passing work or action, but comes from baptism which is of perpetual duration, until we arise from the dead” (Luther’s Works: American ed.; Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press; St. Louis: Concordia, 1955, vol. 34, p. 163).

“. . . Forgiveness of sins is not a matter of a passing work or action, but of perpetual duration. For the forgiveness of sins begins in baptism and remains with us all the way to death, until we arise from the dead, and leads us into life eternal. So we live continually under the remission of sins. Christ. is truly and constantly the liberator from our sins, is called our Savior, and saves us by taking away our sins. If, however, he saves us always and continually, then we are constantly sinners” (Ibid, p.164).

“On no condition is sin a passing phase, but we are justified daily by the unmerited forgiveness of sins and by the justification of God’s mercy. Sin remains, then, perpetually in this life, until the hour of the last judgment comes and then at last we shall be made perfectly righteous” (Ibid, p.167).

“For the forgiveness of sins is a continuing divine work, until we die. Sin does not cease. Accordingly, Christ saves us perpetually” (Ibid., p.190).

“Daily we sin, daily we are continually justified, just as a doctor is forced
to heal sickness day by day until it is cured” (Ibid., p.191).

Protestants howl in protest at the idea they teach progressive justification that can only be found in church. But I must ask, what is it to be continually “justified” daily for “daily” sin?

The best answer I have for all of this follows: the best salvation insurance underwritten by church is Catholicism. If you can’t go to church to get daily justification, you can fall back on purgatory.

True, you need church going on to get people out of purgatory, so, I would suggest churches focus on that heavily in-between things like the Coronavirus. People unable to obtain the church’s authority over salvation are counting on it.

At any rate, good luck with the whole hot mess.




Eternal Salvation: What is It?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 2, 2020


According to the Bible, eternal salvation comes by hearing the word of God and believing it. This is not a mere intellectual assent, but what the Bible calls “faith.” Faith puts its hope in God, God’s wisdom, and God’s way of life. Faith and hope are closely related. Actually, faith is what the Bible is referring to when it speaks of belief. “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Faith results in a different mindset and behavior. Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 119.

Faith, Seed, and New Birth

Faith comes by hearing and believing resulting in the new birth. The new birth is a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit that transforms a person into God’s literal child, or what the Bible refers to as God’s “offspring.” It is the hearing of God’s word and believing it that results in the word of God being implanted within the individual by the Holy Spirit. God’s word and God’s life are synonymous (Matthew 4:4). In fact, God’s word, faith, God’s seed (offspring) are for all practical purposes of salvation the same thing. Matthew 17:20, Matthew 13, Luke 17:6, Romans 4:13, Romans 4:16, and Hebrews 11:11. Belief, faith, and miraculous new birth are a common theme throughout the Bible. And…

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (1Peter 123).

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls (James 1:21).

Along with this word of God residing within the believer, the Spirit, Christ, and God the Father live within the believer as well (1Corintians 3:16, Ephesians 1:13-14, John 17:23).

What the New Birth is NOT

The new birth is not a mere “experience” or perception, or a subjective sanctification. It is not the result of a mere “legal declaration.” The new birth makes a person truly righteous as a state of being. In the biblical new birth, true righteousness and the holiness of God are NOT outside of the believer. The believer is not merely declared righteous; the believer IS righteous as the true and literal offspring of God.

The righteousness of God is transferable to the being of those born from above. This does not mean that righteousness originated with us, and therefore, making a substitution necessary that is not truly part of the believer. This denies the reality that God can join holiness with mortality. The reality of God becoming one with those born again is demonstrated by Mary and the virgin birth of Christ. This was hardly a righteousness outside of Mary; God used her body to bring the Savior into the world. “Christ IN you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Therefore, Martin Luther’s “alien righteousness” should be rejected with disdain.

The New Birth and the New Covenant

Hence, under the New Covenant, the Spirit not only implants the word within us, but He baptizes us. This does three additional things: it puts the old person to death and resurrects him/her to new life, changes that person’s relationship to the law, and makes the believer ONE with Jews and Gentiles. The baptism of the Spirit makes one part of the “commonwealth of Israel.”

Therefore remember that formerly you who are Gentiles in the flesh and called uncircumcised by the so-called circumcision (that done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and decrees. He did this to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace and reconciling both of them to God in one body through the cross, by which He extinguished their hostility.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-18).

The old us is put to death with Christ, and the new us is resurrected with Christ.

What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. So you too must count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:1-14).

The baptism of the Spirit changes our relationship to the law.

Do you not know, brothers (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?  For instance, a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law and is not an adulteress, even if she marries another man.

Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we lived according to the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, bearing fruit for death. But now, having died to what bound us, we have been released from the law, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code (Romans 7:1-6).

Because the new us is no longer under the law and its condemnation, no substitution for the penalty of sin or a perfect law-keeping righteousness is needed. We have been set free to serve another Master once and for all. That freedom means that there is NOW…NO condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). Christ came to end the law Romans 10:4), not to continually fulfill it as a substitution in return for participating in “the ordinary means of grace.”

That doesn’t mean we are not under any law while under grace. The law, or Bible, is now our manual for loving God and others. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The Bible is now useful for our “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).

The born again Christian now finds purpose in loving God and others aggressively with no fear of condemnation. “Sin” regarding a believer is really a failure to love and can bring Fatherly chastisement as well as practical consequences, but has no need of reacquiring Christ’s finished salvific works.

Note: any gospel that does not emphasize the TWO laws (both “nomos,” not two “realms”) of Romans 8:2 are necessarily a fulfilling of the law through a ritulistic substitution rather than fullfilling the law through love.

The Order of Salvation

All individuals born into the world are born with the abilty to ask God for eternal life because the works of the law are written on their hearts and their consciences either accuse them or excuse them. (Romans 2:12-16). Those under law are convicted of sin and the coming judgment by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8). And, as mentioned earlier, faith comes by hearing the word of God and believing it.

Hence, God seeks to save man through an internal conviction, an external conviction by the Spirit, and the preaching of the word by God’s children in the world. And, “God’s kindness leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Furthermore, creation testifies to God’s goodness and His wrath to come (Romans 1:18-20). The efforts of God to reach mankind is astounding to think about. The internal testimony, the testimony of the Spirit, the testimony of God’s people, the testimony of creation, and God’s personal testimony of kindness. Therefore, the Bible states that “man is without excuse.”

Salvation begins with an individual being persuaded by these messengers, believing it, and wanting this truth of God to be the reality of their own lives. In response to that, the Holy Spirit baptizes them. That is the order of salvation. To make this clear, the book of Acts describes a visual illustration that demonstrates it (Acts 10:24-48).

The Old Covenant

The Old Covenant was a will to which all sin was imputed. The New Covenant ends the Old Covenant (for believers) and all of the sin imputed to it. Galatians chapter 3, Hebrews chapter 9, Romans 10:4.

Saints under the Old Covenant had their sin imputed to the law, or “imprisoned” under the law. The New Covenant puts an end to sin altogether and baptizes Jew and Gentile into one body.


Justification is by the new birth apart from the law. Justification is by “the promise” of a seed apart from the law. Galatians chapter 3 states that there is only one seed. If the standard for justification is perfect law-keeping, the law is a second seed, but there is only one seed according to Galatians chapter 3. The law cannot give life.

Justification is the result of God’s seed being implanted within us. One who has the seed of God in them “CANNOT SIN.” This is just another way of saying a believer is justified and is the cardinal point of 1John chapter 3. Again, born again believers are righteous as a state of being.


Sanctification is the growing of the Christian life and not the progression of salvation in any way, shape, or form. Like any new birth, the birth event is a onetime finished event followed by the progression of life. The new infant grows by the “pure milk of the word” or in other words, the Spirit’s second use of the law to sanctify (John 17:17). The Spirit’s first use of the law is to convict the world of sin and the judgement to come.


Redemption is the salvation of the body and is future; it is different from the salvation of the soul (Romans 7:24).


The church, inherently, is an institution, and therefore has no validity for fellowship among Christ’s called out assembly (ekklesia). All authority is vested in Christ alone, and the fellowship of God’s people is a cooperative body with Christ as the head. The body of Christ is a cooperative effort of collective gifts granted by the Spirit, not an authoritative hierarchy. True Christian fellowship functions like any other family would function.

However, we should also remember that we are ambassodors representing God’s kingdom and also a royal priesthood. A concerted effort to glorify God’s kingdom while we are here should be taken seriously and aggressively pursued through fellowship. Unity will be determined by agreement in the one mind of Christ. Fellowship is determined by who is fellowshipping together and not church membership.

What Justification by New Birth is NOT

It is not Catholicism versus Protestantism, which is an absurd notion. Both hold to a progressive salvation through church ritual. Catholicism refers to that as “the sacraments.” Protestantism refers to it as “the ordinary means of grace.”