More proof in the puding.

The Gospel According to the Gospel advocates that God gave His covenant of righteousness to His friend Abraham and his descendants.  That is God has imputed to Abraham and his descendents the same righteousness by faith that we New Testament believers have in Christ.

I know this flies in the face of what is taught in most Christian circles but this teaching is found in our New Testament.  We simply have ignored it for another gospel. 

We assume in our church gospel that the Old Testament saint’s had to work the Law for righteousness and that only we New Testament saints get all the grace and imputed righteousness.  But this is not true.  Abraham and his descendants too were imputed the same righteousness as we have to us today.

You can find more on this at “Abraham” if you wish to look at more scripture concerning this topic.

Now more proof in the pudding.  Paul not only teaches the above mentioned, he also teaches that the Jewish nation sought to establish their own righteousness through the Law.  To this we all say, I know.  But Paul doesn’t stop there.  He says they did this because they rejected God’s righteousness. 

Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.[1]

This righteousness was the imputing of righteousness that was received by Abraham for him and his decendants.  The seal of this imputed righteousness was circumcision.  The Jewish nation rejected the righteousness that circumcision was the seal of and instead wanted to establish their own righteousness through the law.  They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”[2]

What the Jewish nation did was to reject what was offered to them by God which was testified to by circumcision.  You can not reject what is not offered.  And again Paul says they did not pursue their righteousness by faith.  They unlike there father Abraham simple didn’t believe in the promise of righteousness that God had imputed to them.

So what is my point?  Our gospel was preached to those at Mt. Sinai as it is written in Hebrews, and our imputed righteousness wasn’t began in the book of Matthew, but with our father Abraham.  It isn’t simply New Testament believers who were credited righteousness, it was all of Abraham’s descendants. 

Now we New Testament believers think only those after the cross were credited righteousness, but this simply isn’t true.  So if this is the case as taught in our New Testament scriptures, then what was the point of the cross?  You can find out at “Why the Cross?”

[1] Romans 10:3

[2] Romans 9:32

Why did God want to kill Moses?

After Moses had met the Lord at the burning bush and was sent by God to go to Egypt so that God’s people would be freed from bondage, we immediately read how God was going to kill Moses, after Moses set out to do as the Lord had said.  And this because Moses did not circumcise his son.

At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him.[1]

Is it that:

  1. 1.  This is proof that “the God” of the Old Testament was a psychotic bloodthirsty deity who was all too happy to punish anyone He was displeased with?
  2. 2.  God is not the psychotic bloodthirsty “God” of the Old Testament, but He did punish most severely those who did not obey Him to the letter of the law, since it was grace that was waiting to be revealed in Christ.
  3. 3.  God was defending the grace that He already demonstrated in the gospel of His word by opposing Moses to kill him.

Most of us believers would choose option two and most non believers probably would choose the first option.  However I think the real answer is the third option.  God is not the punishing God of the Old Testament, but the loving God of the Old Testament and He demonstrated His love and commitment to our very gospel when He was going to kill Moses.

As crazy as this sounds… Let me show you how scripture actually proves this. Continue reading

Our gospel is completed but not finished

Our gospel has been completed from the foundation of the world.

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.[1]

Not only do we have the testimony that God rested on the seventh day, we have the testimony that from God’s perspective His work has been done since the foundation of the world.

We have the testimony that even Christ Himself was slain from the foundation of the world.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.[2]

Even your name as a believer has been written in the Lambs book of life since the foundation of the world. 

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.[3]

Even your name as a believer has been written in the Lambs book of life since the foundation of the world.

Even our spiritual eternal dwelling and inheritance has been prepared since the foundation of the world.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:[4]

So in all ways and in all manners, our gospel has been completed since the foundation of the world.

But it is not finished.

We all know this famous scripture that Jesus quoted when He started His ministry.

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,[5]

But do you know He put the scroll down before He finished the passage of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Himself?

and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.  And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.  And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.  But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.[6]

Even though our gospel has been completed since the foundation of the world and God rested on the seventh day, there are still things that we have yet to see happen.  Has the day of vengeance yet come?  Has God gave them beauty for ashes, has He made it so they can be called trees of righteousness yet, has He made it so the gentiles will serve them?  No He hasn’t. 

All things are completed in our gospel from God’s perspective.  This is more than foreknowledge.  Our gospel is completed in God before the foundation of the world, but to us the recipients it is not finished.  Since God had completed our gospel and our inheritance from before the foundation of the world should we not preach the gospel?  Of course not!  Those for whom the gospel was intended still needed to have the gospel preached to them.  Even Christ still needed to come for the recipients of His grace.

So we can see in every way our gospel is complete and nothing is lacking and furthermore it is already accomplished by God.  It is the manifesting of itself to its recipients that God is patiently forbearing with us.

We can see the Jews were expecting their Messiah to fulfill all the Isaiah spoke and not just the first part, this is why the disciples wanted to know if He was going to establish His kingdom.  Just as the Jews have yet to see all prophecies concerning their Messiah come to be manifest, so we too as Christians have yet to see some things that were spoken of yet to be manifest in our lives.

Just as our brothers of the Jewish nation have a future expectation of their Kingly Messiah, scripture teaches we Christians have an expectation of our coming Messiah bringing us our salvation.  Now of course both Calvinism and Arminianism teach we have already been given salvation and this causes a lot of tension between the two. 

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.[7]

However understanding that our gospel is complete but not yet finished erases this contention.  If when Christ comes again, He brings you your salvation then you are saved and eternally secure as the Calvinist teach.  If however , you shrink back and shipwreck your faith by not enduring to the end, you as a believer will have fallen away and not abiding in Christ find yourself outside of God’s grace and subject to damnation. 

We see that waiting for the manifestation of our completed gospel is what erases the error of the doctrine of man in our gospel. 

Please feel free to go to my blog “The Gospel According to the Gospel” to see my many efforts and scriptural support of this hope of salvation held out in the gospel as Paul would say.  Until then understand there is a goal to your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.[8]

[1] Hebrews 4:3

[2] Revelation 13:8

[3] Revelation 17:8

[4] Matthew 25:34

[5] Isaiah 61:1-2a

[6] Isaiah 61:2b-6

[7] Hebrews 9:28

[8] 1 Peter 1:9

The art of spiritual bloodletting

In the past when a person was sick the doctor used to come to the home and practice what was called bloodletting.  It was believed that the sickness was in the blood and by removing a portion of the blood this would relieve the sickness of the patient. 

Today we clinically understand this only further weakens the body’s ability to fight of the sickness.  Hence this practice is now looked at with ridicule and scorn and an act of the ignorant.  Our first president was a victim of this practice, when he died shortly after his bloodletting.

In essence the practice of bloodletting removed from the body what it needed to keep the body healthy.  It removed a portion of its ability to provide oxygen, water and nutrients to the cells.  It also removed white blood cells needed to fight the sickness.  This practice instead of doing the patient good actually did the patient harm.

In our spiritual lives we fight two types of sicknesses that are manifest in many ways within the church and in individuals of the church.  These two sicknesses are faithlessness and sin. 

Instead of helping the church by encouraging the natural process given by God in scripture to fight off these sicknesses, we instead do spiritual bloodletting.  We accomplish this by bleeding out of our spiritual veins those scriptures that are needed for our healing.

Take for instance what is written by Paul.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,[1]

We rejoice at what Christ has done for us.  In fact I would argue this is the real message of Easter.  That not only did Christ rise from the dead, so did we who put our hope in Him. 

The tragedy is however, we teach since we have been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms as present tense fact, there is no way a believer can now loose this position we have in Christ.

Now enters disobedience to Christ commands and faithlessness in the believer’s life.  Instead of letting scripture that was intended to lead the believer to eternal life, we now apply our practice of spiritual bloodletting.  We drain from the spiritual life those scriptures that warn of falling away from Christ.  We drain this spiritual blood as verses not intended for the believer, but intended instead for the unbeliever, or as a contrast of the impossible actions of a true believer. 

So let’s start bloodletting those verses that are for our spiritual health, our correction, reproofing and instruction.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.[2]

Even though we sit in the heavenly realms with Christ, scripture warns those sitting in the heavenly realms of falling away.  But to this we practice our art of spiritual bloodletting, by saying this is not speaking to the believer or what is possible for a believer to do.

If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.[3]

Christ Himself teaches that we are grafted into Him.  Is this any different than being raised with Him in the heavenly realms?  We either have a share in Him or we don’t.  So now sharing in Him as believers, we are warned by Christ Himself as believers not to become someone who falls away by not remaining in Him.  To this we practice our art of spiritual bloodletting.  This scripture we excuse away with a flood of other scripture we use to assure the faithless believer and disobedient disciple how secure they are in Christ now that we have come to share in Him.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.[4]

Our gospel teaches us that we are grafted into Christ and are raised with Him into the spiritual realms.  Yet we have those warnings found in scripture about falling away as believers to which we practice our art of spiritual bloodletting.  But the warning is for all to see and gain understanding from.  We can have the expectation and hope of salvation if, if, if, if, if, if, we hold firmly to the gospel we had preached to us and not receive it only to return to our past sins and faithlessness and live like the unbeliever.

This bothers those of us who preach smooth words to the disobedient believer they are forever secure in Christ.  Ignoring the very words of Christ and His Apostles we are like the false prophets of old

The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.[5]

Yep this offends us.  But how much more do you think we offend the Son of God with our teaching that completely ignores His warnings to believes.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?[6]

Let’s not stop at spiritual bloodletting to prove the doctrine of men.  Let’s not be satisfied with our efforts to silence the full counsel of God for our smooth words.  Let not our spiritual bloodletting be exposed as the false and misleading teachings of men that it is.  Let us disembowel scripture to prove our point that confession of faith is all we need to be saved.  Let us gut the living word of God and leave it a hollow shell for our hearers.  And we think those who crucified Christ were ignorant.  Look at what we do to Christ the Word incarnate.

For more on the warnings found in scripture for believes go to “My plead with the saints“.

[1] Eph 2:6

[2] Hebrews 6:4-6

[3] John 15:6

[4] I Corinthians 15:2

[5] Lamentations 2:14

[6] Hebrews 10:26-29

He is coming with great power and glory!

The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.  Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.  Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.  His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.  The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.[1]

What kind of people aught we to be?  Let us not take lightly His correction and rebuking.  It is His love for us that He does these things.  He takes no delight in punishing the wicked, so let us put aside the sin that so easily hinders.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.[2]

He is coming for His spotless bride.  Will you let the work of Christ work in you the righteousness He requires of His people?  Or will you ignore the reproofing found in scripture for the disobedient believer and comfort yourself with smooth words?  While we still may enter into His rest, Let us not be found to be faithless believers who are disobedient disciples.  Reach out to the Lord while He may yet be found.

[1] Psalms 97:1-6

[2] Hebrews 12:1

Walk into the light

In yesterday’s post “Danger Will Robinson Danger” I discussed the danger of the doctrine taught by many a Christian teacher.  This doctrine teaches that there is no danger for the faithless believer (oxymoron) and the disobedient disciple (oxymoron).  Even though we have this testimony.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.[1]

He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.[2]

With such criticism of this teaching, what am I offering as a teaching?  You ask some of the best questions.

I advocate overwhelming evidence found in the New Testament that supports believers in Christ have a hope of a coming salvation.  I many times in my post quote scriptures that speak of being saved into a hope and waiting for Christ to bring us our salvation.  I would encourage you to look at the tab “Book” on my site and read “Got Salvation” to get a quicker understanding of this hope.  There you will find some but not all of the hope we have for salvation.

With this understanding we are born again into a hope.  With this hope in Christ we are to do what we are encouraged to do over and over again in scripture in order to make our hope sure.

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.[3]

In order to make our hope sure, we will be believers who are not faithless.  We will be obedient disciples, showing ourselves to be His disciples.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.[4]

We should teach that believers need to abide in Christ in order to make their hope sure.  Without this abiding in Christ we shipwreck the very faith that would have saved us.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.[5]

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.[6]

We should teach our disciples what Jesus taught His.  Believers need to abide in Him by keeping His commandments.  If not they will be cut off the very vine they were grafted into and thrown into the fire. 

We need to change our position that they are eternally saved at conversion, to they are grafted into the vine and they need to abide.  If they refuse to be believers who have faith, it they refuse to be obedient disciples they will not do as Jesus requires from His disciples.  They will have shipwrecked their faith and risk being cut off of the very vine they were grafted into. 

Let us no longer give men a false confidence that goes against what Jesus taught, let alone other scriptures, and teach what is according to The Gospel According to the Gospel.  Being grafted in is not the end all.  Remaining in that grafting until He comes is the end goal.  So men will not deceive themselves and know they are truly disciples of Christ.

[1] Hebrews 11:6

[2] John 14:24

[3] Hebrews 6:11

[4] John 15:8

[5] John 15:6

[6] John 15:10

Danger Will Robinson Danger!

Here at The Gospel According to the Gospel I have been advocating the New Testament teaches we have hope of salvation.  This hope, this coming grace, coming righteousness, coming salvation is spoken more of than what we quote, that of being saved.  I also contend in “How far has the apple fallen from the tree” that our New Testament teaches that God speaks things that are not as if they were in our gospel.  This doctrine of hope of salvation is not contradictory to God speaking things that are not as if they were.

So what is the big deal anyway?  Who cares if I contend for a hope of salvation and others contend men are saved when they first believe?  Isn’t it all the same in the end?

When a man comes to the understanding that he is a sinner before God because the Spirit of God has drawn him and repents, the church labels this man as saved.  This man accepts the understanding of himself as someone who has been saved.  He now goes through his days with the comfort of the church that his position is secure in Christ, that there is no circumstance at which he needs to be concerned of his eternal wellbeing.

The church will comfort such a man by saying even if we are faithless Christ will remain faithful.  We ignore the fact that Christ will be faithful to His word and do as He says He will, not be faithful to the faithless man.  We forget that without faith it is impossible to please God.  Intentionally or not, we give our stamp of acceptability to those who shrink from their faith in Christ.

The doctrine of men will tell this same believer they are not in the danger of hell when they leave their new life of righteousness for the old life of being a slave to sin.  We will argue until we are blue in the face that this backsliding has no relationship to their eternal condition of salvation. 

We have set up converts who follow the teachings of the church to be the exact kind of people who never entered their rest in the desert.  They did not go in because the lacked the faith and they were not obedient.  Yet to this we will cry, that wasn’t meant for believers today.  They didn’t have Christ. We do.

Is it not the same God?  Is it not preached in the New Testament they had the same gospel that we do today?  Is not the same expectation that God’s people should live in faith and obedience to His commands?  Yet we will throw all of this aside and say, we have Christ! 

We will never warn such a convert that they are in danger of trampling the Son of God underfoot.  No, for we claim they are secure in Christ.  Because of our doctrine we throw out all warnings to the believer, the unfaithful servant, the unfruitful tree, the grafted in branch, to remain, to abide, and all other warnings for words of comfort.  We have no idea that we have become like the false prophets who only spoke smooth and comforting words to God’s people.  We refuse to speak what was left behind by the prophets and apostles, if it doesn’t suit our doctrine of grace and salvation.

God is not a Calvinist, nor is He an Armenianist.  He is sovereign, yet we ignore the whole council of God for our sovereign doctrine of salvation.  So run and shout it in the streets that faith and obedience is not necessary for a believer to enter into his rest.  It makes me wonder who will stand before the Lord of our salvation and say Lord Lord did I not…  Only for Him to say depart from me.

So poo poo what I am saying.  I am the ignorant man here not you.  There is no danger for the disobedient disciple (oxymoron) of Christ.  There is no danger for the faithless believer (oxymoron), forget all the warnings in scripture.  Continue on your way, there is not need to take heed, or warning.  There is no danger ahead for you.  There is no danger for your converts.  After all you can be faithless and disobedient and still have Christ.

Danger Will Robinson danger!  It makes me wonder exactly who it is that God gives over to their futile thinking, when the church can not see nor understand the warnings of scripture.  God blinded the eyes of the disobedient and faithless Hebrews, but He would never do this to the church, we have Christ!  We think God only gives the depraved only over to their futile minds.  Yet we know He has blinded His chosen people.  They are stuck in their futile thinking and refusing the truth of scripture.  So what is your excuse, you who refused to believe the warnings in scripture for the believer?

Danger Will Robinson danger!