Category Archives: Christian Axiology

Good Tree – Good Fruit, Good Fruit – Good Tree

[This is a cannibalized section from the eschatology section from my systematic theology book, about the importance of the baptism of the spirit.]

“You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit,”
(Matt. 7-16-18 LSB).

“But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the coming one!
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit is good, or make the tree bad and its fruit is bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
34 Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say good things when you[q] are evil,”
(Matt 12:32-34 LEB).

“For there is no good tree that produces bad fruit, nor on the other hand a bad tree that produces good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn plants, nor are grapes harvested from thorn bushes. 45 The good person out of the good treasury of his heart brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks,” (Luke 6:43-45 LEB).

Jesus puts a focus on bad words and bad doctrine in how He defines bad fruit, because the context is the Jewish leaders committing the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit with a false doctrine that affirmed the works of the Spirit come from Satan. In Matthew 7 this is said in context of obeying God’s law and Jesus showing the true standard God commands, and thus, this is a universal teaching on all obedience and disobedience to God’s commandments. So, although bad fruit is a universal category for all disobedience, Jesus does put a stronger focus on disobedience with affirming false doctrine. Jesus says, “how can you SAY good things, when you are evil.” This statement contradicts Jesus’ truth claims about reality; thus, they cannot say good things, because they are evil, and they are evil and so they say evil things.

In Matthew 7:17-18 Jesus makes 4 truth claims. We will put them from A to D. Since Jesus intends for us to add ourselves or someone else to this, and thus we have 3 terms and a deductive application. We will use hypothetical syllogisms for simplicity with modus tollens, rather than categorical syllogisms and contrapositions, which can be a little more difficult (for understanding why and how) for those who have not studied logic. Example, the contraposition for, “all [good trees] are [good fruit bearers],” in the defined context of Jesus’ truth claims[1], would be “all [bad fruit bearers] are [bad trees].” In natural deduction this rule is transposition or contraposition.[2]

However, beyond this the scripture plainly says in 1 John 3:7, “he one who does what is right is righteous.” Thus, if good fruit, then good tree.

A, If good tree, then good fruit.
B, If bad tree, then bad fruit.
C, If good tree, then no bad fruit.
D, If bad tree, then no good fruit.

Jesus is repeating Himself in premise C and D, because their logical conclusions in Modus Tollens are the same for A and B.

In essence, with premise A and B, with the uses of Modus ponens and Modus tollens, we have 4 deductive conclusion or outputs.

Jesus defines the context in a way that these are opposites, and that there is no other options. When it comes to person and the law of God, there is obedience or disobedience; there is no other option. When it comes to a person and being born again in spiritual life or under spiritual death, there is no other options. Therefore, the negation will be said as “bad fruit or tree,” or “good fruit or tree,” since in context this is what the negation is.

If we only had premise “A” and we did a Modus ponens and tollens (or in categorical contraposition), then we can say “because bad fruit, thus bad tree,” but not, “because good fruit thus, good trees.” However, with premise B, and then with Jesus’ further restating this doctrine in premise C and D, we have the latter conclusion. Also, C and D close off any overlap for the categories of obedience (good fruit) and disobedience (bad fruit) for humans.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If good tree, (Q) then good fruit.
A.2. (P). Good tree
A.3. Thus, (Q) good fruit

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If good tree, (Q) then good fruit.
Ab.2. ~(Q) bad fruit.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) bad tree.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If bad tree, (P) then bad fruit.
B.2. (P). Bad Tree.
B.3. Thus, (Q) bad fruit.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If bad tree, (P) then bad fruit.
Bb.2. ~(Q) Good fruit.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) Good tree.

When Jesus says, “you will know them by their fruit,” it is being used as a proof. Jesus is saying, “x” proves that there is “y.” By using the Modus tollens we see bad fruit does prove bad tree, and good fruit proves a good tree. This can sometimes be seen with past, present and future tense verbs. As a category statement, “A good tree DOES or WILL produce good fruit.” Using the logic of double negative in reverse order, “if you produce bad fruit, then you have been or are a bad tree.”

The positive statements are positive statements about “metaphysics.” They are what God has created and sovereignly caused. The modus tollens, are being used as a way for us to discover and “prove” what metaphysics God as put us into, through our obedience or disobedience.

These statements of Jesus are universal; they are all encompassing statements about all good works in obedience and all bad works in disobedience. Jesus takes a few words from the Jewish leaders and says, “this specific bad fruit of false doctrine you said, is proof you are a bad tree.” Thus, applying this knowledge in deduction, any biblical premise that narrowly speaks of one type of bad or good fruit, even if only mentioned in one premise, applies to all four possible combinations shown. Whether it is John in “1st John,” talking about the good or bad fruit of loving God or loving your brother, it applies to all 4 combinations. “The one who hates his brother is in the darkness,” (1 John 2:11 LEB).

The same with Jesus saying,

“7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and prove to be my disciples… 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and your fruit should remain, in order that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 17 These things I command you.”[3]

Vincent Cheung has a great essay on this called, “Predestination and Miracles.”

God has chosen us, and predestined us. Predestined for what? There was more to what Jesus said: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” God predestined us to bear fruit. What is this fruit? Christian teaching often assumes that fruit refers to spiritual and ethical effects such as improvements in character, works of charity, and also works of ministry, such as saving sinners and building churches. This is not entirely wrong, but the biblical idea of fruit includes much more, and Jesus clearly had other things in mind when he made the statement.

Even in the same verse, we can see that Jesus had in mind not only works of preaching and charity, because he said his followers would produce fruit and that “the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” Gospel life and ministry is characterized by answers to prayers. What kinds of prayers? Wait, this is weaker than the way Jesus said it. The doctrine of prayer in historic unbelief is that “God will answer your prayers if it is his will (regardless of what he promised). Or, you can say that he always answers your prayers — sometimes he says yes, sometimes no, sometimes maybe, sometimes later. Or, when you ask for egg, he will give you a scorpion, so that when you ask for spiritual growth, he will give you cancer to teach you a lesson.” Among us, we have never accepted this view of prayer. We recognize it as satanic deception. But Jesus did not even say, “God will answer your prayers” or “God will always answer your prayers.” He said, “God will give you whatever you ask.” This is how God wants us to think about our relationship with him. This is how he wants us to think about discipleship. This is how he wants us to think about faith and prayer. God will give me whatever I ask when I approach him in the name of Jesus. No hiding behind a thousand qualifications. No excuses for me or for him.

God will give me whatever I ask. I will have whatever I ask. What I ask, I get. And I am predestined for this. So I am chosen to get whatever I ask. I am predestined to get whatever I ask. It is my foreordained destiny to receive whatever I ask God in the name of Jesus. If you have never heard this, then you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of predestination, you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of prayer, you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of the name of Jesus, and you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of discipleship. Just several verses earlier, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (15:7-8). Getting whatever we ask from God is intertwined throughout his discourse with the notions of bearing fruit, being his disciples, and loving one another. Thus getting whatever we ask from God is as pervasive as the gospel itself. It cannot be taken out and thrown away without tearing apart the entire gospel, and thus also our salvation. Here bearing fruit is almost the same thing as getting whatever we ask from God, and by getting what we ask from God, we show ourselves to be true disciples of Christ.[4]

The metaphysics that God sovereignly causes, is that a disciple (good tree), produces the (good fruit) of asking and receiving what they ask for.

Jesus defines good fruit as obeying His commandments. His command here, is to disciples (not merely apostles) to pray and get what you pray for. You need to think about that. It is a command from your God; it is not a mere suggestion or self-help tip. Jesus has already defined good and bad people by obedience and disobedience with 4 possible combinations, and thus, the same applies here. Bad fruit is praying and not receiving what you pray for. Thus, if you pray and do not receive because you lack faith, you are producing bad fruit. A continued life of this bad fruit is proof you are not His good disciple. A continued life of this bad fruit is proof Jesus did not predestine or appoint you to bear good fruit. It proves you were chosen by God to be a reprobate.

The apostles said, “then God has granted them repentance to life.” God’s sovereign work caused and predestined these with spiritual life (born from above) and reconciled them to Him, by repentance (faith). It is a statement of metaphysics; they are saved; they live in Spiritual life now; they live reconciled to God. When applied for good or bad fruit, it is the same as has been demonstrated, it is a test of proof.

The same is for baptism of the Spirit. If baptism of the Spirit (good fruit), then proof of the metaphysics that you are did repent and are in the category of spiritual “life” and “saved,” (good tree).  Bad fruit is not being baptized in the Spirit. A continued rebellion and disobedience in not being baptized in the Spirit is proof of reprobation, especially in context of doctrine. If you continue in affirming the false doctrines that God does not command you to love your brother, and that Jesus did not teach that truth does set you free, and Jesus did not teach that you get what you ask for in faith, and that God does not command you to be baptism in the Spirit, then you give strong proof you are a reprobate. If continued affirmation of false doctrine on this doctrine is not repented of, then stronger proof of God’s predestination of your reprobation. The same for hating your brother, (etc.). Hebrews 12 affirms that Christians have besetting sin. “let us lay aside the sins that easily entangle us.” It does happen. But the same chapter says to look to Jesus who is the author and “perfecter” of our faith. We are told to get free. We are told Jesus is able to heal dislocated shoulders. The great danger is not repenting and being arrogant. To be arrogant and unrepentance in continued false doctrine is a great, if not the greatest danger of proof for reprobation. Jesus was very compassionate with those who were at least trying to repent and follow, “lord help my unbelief.” Paul, after correcting the Corinthians for many sinful actions, kept encouraging them to repent and get better. At the end of the letter, he says to double check and make sure your election is sure. If no repentance of your bad fruit, then you give proof of reprobation.  For the false teachers that Paul dealt with, he didn’t record that even prayed for God to save them, but says regarding the coppersmith that God would “repay him” for the harm of the false doctrine and unbelief he was spreading.  Likewise Paul says in Philippians 4 the women and Clement’s names are in the “book of life (v.3),” because of their labor in the gospel. That is, Paul says their election of being saints is certain, because of their good fruit, and not because Paul received a divine revelation about them. We can do the same. Jude, regarding the false teachers, says they are reprobates destined for hell with the demons. However, regarding the Corinthians who were not affirming false doctrines as false teachers, but sinning in sins of passion, Paul corrected them and told them that “temples of God” do not behave that way.

We will now examine these arguments by putting them into syllogism A and B from above, since these two alone will output all the combinations we need.

Love and hating your brother.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If born from above, (Q) then love for your brother.
A.2. (P). Born from above.
A.3. Thus, (Q) Love for your brother.

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If born from above, (Q) then love for your brother.
Ab.2. ~(Q) hates your brother.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) proof of being born from below.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If born from below, (P) then hates your brother.
B.2. (P). Born from below.
B.3. Thus, (Q) hates your brother.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If born from below, (P) then hates your brother.
Bb.2. ~(Q) loves your brother.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) proof of being born from above.

Ask and get what You pray for.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If good disciple, (Q) then ask and get what you ask for.
A.2. (P). Good disciple.
A.3. Thus, (Q) ask and get what you ask for.

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If good disciple, (Q) then ask and get what you ask for.
Ab.2. ~(Q) ask and not get what you ask for.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) proof of bad disciple.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If bad disciple, (P) then ask and not get what you ask for.
B.2. (P). Bad disciple.
B.3. Thus, (Q) ask and not get what you ask for.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If bad disciple, (P) then ask and not get what you ask for.
Bb.2. ~(Q) ask and get what you ask for.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) proof of good disciple.

Baptism of the Spirit.

Peter and the apostles defined the “good tree” as repentance to be “saved,” and repentance of “life.” Thus the metaphysical category is life and saved. We will call this saved and unsaved.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If saved, (Q) then baptism of Spirit.
A.2. (P) saved.
A.3. Thus, (Q) baptism of the Spirit.

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If saved, (Q) then baptism of the Spirit.
Ab.2. ~(Q) no baptism in the Spirit.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) no proof of being saved.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If unsaved, (P) then no baptism of the Spirit.
B.2. (P) unsaved.
B.3. Thus, (Q) no baptism of the Spirit.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If unsaved, (P) then no baptism of the Spirit.
Bb.2. ~(Q) baptism of Spirit.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) thus proof for being saved.

______________ENDNOTES_______________

[1] That is, without context, as you might find in a logic textbook, you would need to say, “all [non-good fruit bearers] are [non-good trees].” However, unlike a logic book, that mostly gives the absolute minimum context of something, in Christianity we have a substantial context of knowledge about the world. We know exactly what Jesus means by “non-good trees” for humans commanded to obey His words, they are “bad trees.”

[2] I have seen some morons in modern logic want to deny the “law of excluded middle,” which is what makes this reverse double negative logic work. Aside from all rules showing this to be valid, included truth tables, it is interesting that those denying this are liberal theologians and atheist and empiricists who do not have an epistemology that is able give them truth in the first place. With a necessary epistemology that gives substantial knowledge about the world, with clearly defined categories, then the law of excluded middle is valid, strong and absolute. But beside all this, Jesus and the Bible assumes the law of excluded middle. Do not let those who do not have truth to begin with, be your teachers. Leave them alone to wonder in their own delusions.

[3]  Emphasis by author.

[4] Vincent Cheung. Predestination and Miracles. From the ebook, TRACE. 2018. Pg. 73-74

The Pinnacle of a Spiritual Life

Evil is when you talk against what God has said. Do not agree with wrong words. Cut off negative words quickly, say “all is well.”
 
Every obstacle in your life is now an opportunity. Faith filled words are the highest form of spiritual life.
 
Bill Winston. Twitter. July/04/2021
 
___________________
“For to us God has revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man that is in him? Thus also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God, things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. Now the spiritual person discerns all things.” (1 Corinthians 2:10-15 LEB)
 
“Is anyone among you suffering misfortune? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the elders of the church and they should pray over him, anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 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” (James 5:13-15 LEB)
 
Bill is correct here. Faith filled word’s are truly the pinnacle of a “spiritual life.” Whether he realizes it or not, this is the high intellectualism that bible teaches. Being “spiritual” is being intellectual. As Paul teaches in 1 Corn. 2, to be spiritual is having the Spirit of God (who alone knows God) reveal to you, the premises that God knows and understands to you, so that you have these premises and that you intellectually understand them and agree with them. But there is more to it. Paul specifically focus on the premises that deal with all the free goodies God is giving to us in Christ. To know these premises of freely given goodies, understand them and agree with God that He has indeed given them to you here and now in Christ, is according to Paul, the height of being intellectual, spiritual, so that such a person has the “Mind of Christ.”
 
This is why obstacles are food for the elect to be victorious over.
And why, since epistemology is the starting point, the beginnings of evil starts there, before it gets into behavior. As James says, if you are suffering misfortune, then ask for prayer, and agree your misfortune will go away. To intellectually agree and speak that your “misfortune” is who you are, that it will persist, is to think and speak evil. James says to speak in faith, and make it go away. This is goodness, this is intellectual; this is spiritual.
James says the same with with sickness and sinning. You are not to intellectually agree and speak that your sickness, is who you are, and that it will persist and defeat you. That is evil, this is anti-intellectualism; it is unspiritual. James says faith “WILL” make the sick healed. This is good; this is spiritual. The same with sin. You are not to intellectually agree and speak that sin, is who you are, and that it will persist and defeat you. That is evil, this is anti-intellectualism; it is unspiritual. You are to pray in faith and intellectually agree that in Christ you are forgiven and will mature in your behavior. This is goodness, this is intellectual; this is spiritual.

The Incorruptible Seed

1 Peter 1:3–5 (NKJV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

1 Peter 1:23 (NKJV)
“ [You have] been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”

In our struggle with sin, people can sometimes hesitate over the doctrine of besetting sins. Does not 1 John say if you practice sin you are not born of God’s Spirit? But then in Hebrews it acknowledges that we have besetting sins and encourages us to get victory over them by looking to Jesus who is the perfecter of our faith.

As in all things God is the foundation in theology. God is the foundation in epistemology; He is the foundation for all metaphysics, not man. Salvation, and by extension sanctification is an subcategory of metaphysics and ontology. The doctrine of Salvation describes how God is using His absolute power and control toward the two groups of people in the earth, which are the Elect and reprobate. The foundational issue about a besetting sin and the outcome is not the person, but God. The deciding factor rests on whether God has used His power to give new-birth through the Holy Spirit. If so, then a besetting is an annoyance, whether short or long, that is overcome. If not, the besetting sin will overcome the person.

This is foundation. The consequence is seen in how a person deals with it in their faith or lack thereof.

1 John 5:16-17 LEB
If anyone should see his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he should ask, and he will grant life to him, to those who sin not leading to death. (There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should ask about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.)

Hebrews 10:35,36,39 LEB
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward.  For you have need of endurance, in order that after you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
But we are not among those who shrink back to destruction, but among those who have faith to the preservation of our souls.

Hebrews 12:1,12-13
Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, putting aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, let us run with patient endurance the race that has been set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith….

….Therefore strengthen your slackened hands and your weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame will not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

The born-again Christian does not stop enduring; they do not shrink back. Again, the foundation is that God has recreated a Christian with HIS very own Spirit to empower them. Peter calls this the “incorruptible seed.” Remember Jesus’ prayer in John 17? He prays that we are made “one with Him” and “Him in us”! Why did Paul accuse Peter making Jesus a minister of sin, if the law justifies? IF what the gospel says is true, then consequences are real not imaginary. If I was remade into a cloud, then I would float. This is so simple a child can grasp it. If God says His Spirit is an unstoppable force that is part of the very DNA, as an inseparable part of the Christian soul, and an incorruptible seed, then IF you become corrupted, it infers God would be corruptible. The change from sinner and spiritual-death, to being recreated in the Spirit is a radical new creation. It is as if God made sons of Abraham from stones, no, even greater.

In Hebrews 12 verse 1, it says we have sins we repeatedly struggle with. Later in verse 12-13 is says to heal our broken hands. This is a spiritual metaphor. You are a new Spiritual creation, with an incorruptible seed. For a true Christian a besetting sin, is not a corruption of the incorruptible spiritual man, but a brokenness of his spiritual hand or foot. It is like having a dislocated hand, the rest of my body is fine. God is able to heal both physical and spiritual brokenness. The encouraging thing is that the passage teaches us, we can unshackle ourselves form the sin that so easily entangles us. The curial points to remember are two things. We have the power to do this, in the same sense as Jesus often says, “Your faith has healed you.” Or in the sense when James says that by resisting the devil, “YOU” make him flee from you. Our responsibility is our faith. Now, this brings us to the other crucial aspect, which has already been addressed, knowing God is the foundation for this endurance and victory. We are told to keep our eyes on Jesus, who is the perfecter of our faith. We just discussed our faith is our part, and then preacher says, you strengthen this, not by focusing on yourself, but on Jesus who will help your faith. That is, for every thought of your sin, you should have 10 thoughts of Jesus’ power, promise, love and faithfulness to help today, in the land of the living. You focus is on how pathetic Satan attempt is destroy us. No matter how hard the devil tries, he cannot win. We do. We are the overcomers in Christ our lord. The new testament writers often say something to the effect, “God is able, He will do it.” God will keep you. He will empower you. He will help you. He will deliver you. NOT YOU do it. God will do it, because He is able.

And so, there is a repeating sin that does lead to death, and one the does not. Sometimes, it is hard to tell the difference. Jude referring to this says, grab (like you do, by grabbing an animal by their neck) and toss them over the finish line.  For those born-again, they might lose out on some extra rewards in heaven, but they will not be overcome. The reprobate, even the smallest besetting will always spell out their doom. The weeds of life, make God’s truth stop growing, and makes their little besetting sin become a redwood giant.

Do not judge one part of your Christian life (a besetting sin) and forget whole of your Christianity that is growing and maturing. Like with the sower, the weeds of life choke out the seed planted. What this means is two things: not only are the weeds growing, but God’s seed “stops.” This stopping of God’s seed growing, is the most crucial part here. Besetting sins for the Christian is having a few weeds, but God’s seed is still growing and still larger. The reprobate, their weeds are many, and God’s seed is small, and finally stops growing.

Like with the parable of the sower, only the seed dropped on the good ground (i.e. born-again) produced a harvest. I will not deal with the aspect that we can know our election is sure here, but know that many times the New Testament writes spoke of the certainty of people’s election. This confidence was not based on visions from heaven, but on evidence based on the scripture; evidence we have today.  For those who know they are saved, know God has already won. You are already incorruptible. With besetting sins, the devil will chain your leg, and then whisper in your ear, “Ha., look! You are now corrupted.”  We are aware of his lies. We are those who fight. We are those who do not stop repenting and fighting. We do not shrink back. We are those who break our spiritual shackles. We are those who triumph over the world. We are those who resist and make the devil flee and screech.

God does not know how to lose. He wins and wins. Satan, loses and loses. Satan does not know how to win. The born-again Christian has been recreated with God in them, and part of their DNA. They also, do not know how to lose. They overcome the world. Sometimes the battle is long and sometimes the devil can deceive and cause years of stunted growth. Yet, the Christian will overcome. No weapon formed against them will prosper. Their faith is unstoppable. Their faith is as unstoppable as the one who empowers their faith, God. God is their foundation. And wow, what a foundation it is!

Word of Faith Confession.

One of the things I would tell my younger self, would be to do more devotional material and do weekly, if not daily word of faith confessions over God’s promises. To do them and never stop.  Below, is a WOF confession I do regularly.  I would encourage you to do this, if you are not already in the practice. The “I will” list is largely from a list I saw the Vincent Cheung Ministry Team post on their blog. I have expounded on this with things that I know I need to confess for my specific areas of building faith. You should make a list with both general promises and ones you specifically need.

Definition: God’s Love is His policy of thought and action of favor to His Elect.[1]

“Just as sin [dominated you] in death, so also [unmerited favor] will [dominate you] through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 5:21 (HCSB)

“I pray that from God’s valuable, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts, as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s (policy of thought and action of favor to you), and (this will) keep you strong. And may you have the (ability) to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is His (policy of thought and action of favor to you) is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand (in its infinity). Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life, and powerful ability that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:1619, NLT)

Father, You have given me Your limitless supply of unmerited love and put in me Your powerful ability. By Your Will You have made me holy by Your Son’s body, and because You are able, You have already made the New Contract active for me. The Same power you used in endless power of life to put Christ above all powers at your right hand, now works in me. You love me beyond measure. Your Son died to atone for my sins, in Love. You gave me the gift righteousness, out of love. Unmerited favor rules over all my life. Yes, you love me so much as to call me a child of God!

You say in a blood oath Contract that,

I will never remember yours sins against you,
I will write my laws upon your heart so that you will not depart but Love Me,
I will Be your God, and you my People,
I will be with you to heal and favor you,
I Will never stop from doing Good to you.

And you even say,

I AM your righteousness,
I AM your unmerited favor,
I AM your throne of grace and power that you have direct access through My Son.

I believed, and so I have spoken.”

Therefore, Father I say with love and confidence back to You, as I look to You for more maturity in these things. You made the worlds. You alone define reality with your Word, for there is none beside You. You have defined me as a son of God in Christ, as one in Him and He in me, as an heir of God.

I am what I am,
I am the righteousness of God,
by the unmerited favor of Christ,

Because You are able and will do it,  Father I will:

…walk in Christ and not without him,
…walk in faith and not unbelief,
…walk in hope and not fear,
…walk in your peace and not anxiety,
…walk in your joy and not depression,
…walk in your freedom  and not bondage of sin,
…walk in your abundant supply and not lack,
…walk in your health and not sickness,
…walk in your power and not my own strength,
…walk in your unmerited favor
& not self-righteousness,
…walk in confidence before you and not condemnation,
…walk in submission to your will and not to men’s
…walk in obedience to you and not rebellion,
…walk in your love and not bitterness,
…walk in your forgiveness and not resentment,
…walk in your healing and not infirmity.
…walk in your abundant prosperity, and not reliance on human effort,
…walk under the shadow of you wings and not be afraid of terrors,
…walk directly to the throne of grace and receive what I ask for,
and not act like I don’t have a Contract with God.
…walk in the fullness of Christ and not my own sufficiency,
…walk in the spirit and not the flesh,
…walk in your truth, and not the devil’s lies,
…walk in your friendship, & not enmity against you,
…walk in the law of the Spirit of life and not sin and death,
…walk in purity of mind, and not the cares of this world,
…walk in your unfailing mercy, and not mere human kindness,
…walk in storing up treasures for heaven with Christ & not the things of this world
…walk in my “beloved” identity in Christ & not as a mere mortal
…walk as a king in this life through Christ
and not as a slave to sin,
…walk in spiritual revelation, and not spiritual dullness,
…walk in your presence and not self-assurance,
…walk in your light and not in darkness,
…walk with you and not alone.[2]

Father this is your definition of the world and of me. I speak your definition back to you, for You are more than able, oh Father of unstoppable Power!

————–Endnotes————

[1]  I got the basic idea of this definition from reading Vincent Cheung, Systematic Theology. 2010. 78

[2] In fellowship to the Father, listen to His words of love and promise to you. Then in faith, speak back to Him your love and promise to Him, knowing He is able to strengthen you in all areas of life.

There are reasons to do a word of faith confession. (1) You already believe and so you speak it. (2). You admit you faith is weak, and you admit your mind needs to be renewed, and so, you speak God’s word and speak God’s promises, in order to renew you mind and to strengthen your faith. (3) You enjoy fellowship with God. You enjoy reading His word, and enjoy speaking in faith back to your beloved Father.

When God’s Will, Is Turned into Demonic Divination

We are not dealing with the difference about God’s Will, and its 2 ways the bible uses it, which is causality and command; this has already been dealt with. In addition, Vincent has already done a great article, demonstration the focus of the Bible about healing and such is not the Will of God, but the Will of man; this is positive doctrine the Bible overwhelmingly focuses on.

The focus I wish to bring up is the horrific consequence that happens when one abuses God’s sovereignty to negate Christian accountability and responsibility.

Even though God gives commands and precepts in wonderfully encouraging promises, they are still commands. They are not suggestions; they are not self-help-tips from a spiritual guru. When Paul tells us to live by faith and not sight, it is a precept. You are responsible and accountable to accomplish this by faith. When Jesus tells us not to worry and fear, it is a command. You are responsible and accountable to accomplish this by faith in God. When James tells us if we lack wisdom, to ask God, without doubting, to get wisdom, it is a precept. You are responsible and accountable to get wisdom by faith. If you doubt, you are in disobedience, and this accountability is yours to bear. When James tells us—if you are sick, pray in faith and you “shall be healed”—, he is giving a precept. It is not a self-help tip. James is not a Yoga teacher. He is standing in the place of God giving instruction and commands. You are responsible and accountable to get healed, if you failed, the accountability is yours to bear. The same with the beautiful gospel message. Just because it is wonderful, does not negate it is a command. All bear the responsibility to be saved by faith.

In all the above situations, saying “God’s Will,” will not save you on the day of judgement for disobeying these commands. Either Christ took on these disobedience in His substitution for you, or you will bear them in the fires of hell.

The phrase, “God’s Will,” or “God is in control,” is used to negate God’s command to be saved, to be healed, to get wisdom, to get victories over our troubles and so on. Yet, this is not what I wish to focus on. Another ethical horror, is what is happening when God’s will is used to determine ethics.

First, the irrational use of ontology to ethics.

“Brightman’s argument and all forms of so-called scientific ethics are based on a logical oversight. The premises of these theories are always descriptive statements, such as: I like this, or my friends like this. Science is a matter of observation and description, but scientific ethics depends on empirical observation for its premises. And if the premises are descriptive statements, the conclusions cannot be logically anything else than descriptive. Yet for ethics there must be normative conclusions. It will not suffice to say that you, or I, or Brightman likes this. What is required is a statement that you and I and Brightman ought to like this, and that everyone ought to like this, even though as a descriptive fact nobody likes it. The premises of science are always descriptive propositions; the conclusions of ethics must be normative. And it is a logical blunder to insert terms in the conclusion that did not appear in the premises. Any theory of ethics therefore that attempts to support ideals on observation, experience, or scientific method rests on a fallacy.”

-Gordon Clark. “The Achilles Heel of Humanism.”

Clark is making an obvious but often overlooked point. When thinking intelligently and rationally, you cannot do it if you try to conclude an ethic from statements of existence and casualty. You cannot validly go from ontology to ethics in a conclusion. Or do you cannot rationally go from “is” to an “ought” in the conclusion. The same is true for all category errors. You cannot be in the category of dogs, in your major and minor premise, to then concluded in a category of mathematics. So what if golden retrievers are warm blooded dogs, what does that have to do with 6 + 109 = 115?

Obviously athletic, empiricist, and evolutionist make this mistake, but why are Christians so stupid?

For example:

H.1. All humans are those who were born sinful.
H.2. Oshea is human.
H.3. Thus, Oshea is he who should repent.

This is painfully invalid. It is a four-term fallacy. I have more information in the conclusion, which I did not start with.

The premises are statements about reality, but I concluded with a different knowledge and category of an ethic.

The only rational way for Oshea to know that he should repent is if God commands it, and God does. All Christian ethics are God’s commandments.  

G.1. All humans are those commanded by God to repent.
G.2. Oshea is a human.
G.3. Thus, Oshea is commanded by God to repent.

I bring in this logic lesson, because this illogical (or superstitious) mistake is often made when I hear people say, “God’s will,” or “God is in control.”

Let us continue to see what a mix-up from God’s causality and His commands looks like.

If I say, all [bark] is [silent]. And all [dogs] [bark]. Thus all [dogs] are [silent],” then my syllogism is not sound because I made a 4-term fallacy (with bark), or an equivocation as an informal fallacy. 

For a syllogism to be valid, then the category needs to stay the same. If not, then mental blunders such as a 4-term fallacy, equivocation or a non-necessary connection is made (etc.). For a propositional syllogism to work, it must have a necessary connection and not merely a sufficient one.[[1]] A modus ponens where the “if…then,” connection is merely sufficient but not necessary, is most likely the fallacy of affirming the consequent wrongly disguised as something it is not.[[2]]

For a correct example, consider the Ultimate level.

J.1. (P) If God decrees (Ultimate) Johnny to not believe the gospel, (~Q) then Johnny will choose not to believe(relative ontology).
J.2. (P).
J.3. Thus, (Q).

The antecedent is ontology the on ultimate level. The consequent is ontology on the relative level. The Real level of causality (p), necessarily results in the relative level causality (q). This works, because it is a true cause and effect revealed by Scripture.

Think of a game like checkers, or chess.[[3]] The ultimate level is saying, “Oshea moves white pawn.” But on the relative level, “white pawn moves to E4.” Or in propositional logic, going from ultimate ontology to relative.

K.1. (P) If Oshea directly moves black bishop to B3, (Q) then the necessary result is that black bishop will take white pawn on B3.
K.2. (P).
K.3. Thus, (Q).

This is saying, “God directly causes all things; thus, God directly causes specific x, y or z.” If God ultimately causes all things, then God ultimately is the author for all rain. Or. If God ultimately causes all things, then God ultimately is the author for all sin. Like Vincent Cheung says, “Deduction is more like an application of knowledge, unlike induction, which is a fallacious attempt at arriving at more knowledge.”[[4]]

Now, what if I were to use God’s decree in the antecedent, but then go into a necessary consequent of what man ought to do (ethics)?

L.1.(P) If God commands all to believe in the gospel, (~Q) then Jack is accountable for not believing the gospel.
L.2. (P)
L.3. (Q)

N.1. (P) If God commands(ethics) that no one is to bear false witness, (Q) then Jack is wrong when he bears false witness against Sally.[[5]]
N.2. (P)
N.3. (Q)

The big idea? All [Christian ethics] are [God’s revealed commandments]. God commanded x, y and z; thus, is it always ethical for human (H) to obey x, y and z, and ethically wrong to disobey. NLV 1 John 3:4, “For sin is breaking the Law of God.” Thus, all [sin] is [lawbreaking]. If said in the immediate deduction of contraposition in layman’s terms, “if the law is being kept, then, there is no sin.”

Look, what happens if we mix categories up?

M.1. (P) If God decreed the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, (~Q) then Thomas is not accountable for not believing what Jesus commanded to.
M.2. (P)
M.3. (~Q)

Or in more concise way of saying it,

B.1. If God decreed unbelief, then ok to not believe.
B.2. God decreed unbelief.
B.3. Thus, it is ok to not believe.

Or God’s decreed said more in relation to plan, rather than direct cause.

B.1. If God planned unbelief, then ok to not believe.
B.2. God planned unbelief.
B.3. Thus, it is ok to not believe.

Again, this is unsound and false. It does not matter if it is ontology level 1, regarding God’s sovereign plan about reality, or if it is level 2, regarding God’s direct causality right now. To go from ontology to ethics is not a necessary connection. It is invalid and a false description of reality. It is invalid to conclude an “ought” from your observations, which is an “is.” What you observe is at best what something “is”; although, I do not even say observations are able to even give this, due to the logical fallacy of empiricism and induction. There is not a necessary connection (p), to an (q) ought. Those who practice this fallacy, practice a doctrine of witchcraft and divination. It is demonic stronghold over the mind.  

Necessary Connection of Ethics

 The Scripture often gives explanations (of reality and causality), or that, it gives definitions and context when the commands are given. Yet, the explanation is not the command and vice versa.  In propositional logic, there is not a necessarily connection in “if…then.” Or, in syllogistic logic, either premise 1 or 2 would be a false premise. Therefore, I cannot make a truth claim from scripture that, “All [what God causes] is [human ethics].” And so also, I cannot assert that, “if God caused the Pharaoh to be hard minded to obey, then it is ethically good for Pharaoh to disobey God’s command.”  

 However, there is a NECESSARY connection from what God commands man, to what man OUGHT to do. It always applies. God commands all men to obey Him. Oshea is a man. Thus, Oshea ought to obey God’s commandments.

Here is the right question to ask. “What OUGHT I do in this situation?” An ought, is referring to an ethic, and thus, I need to find God’s relevant commands and promises (which are commands).

Now try this with “God’s Will.”  Notice the category fallacy is now being used like a sleazy used car-salesman; it is like a fallacy called a “slight of hand.” It is hiding the clear definition behind ambiguity and rhetoric.

F.1. (P) If God’s will is for the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, (Q) then necessarily Thomas ought to do God’s will.  
F.2. (P)
F.3. (Q)

What does this mean? Depending how you use “God’s will,” whether for causality or command it will output different conclusions. And this—slight of hand ambiguity—is how I often see people use it. They output the conclusion that fits their favoritism. They find the easiest conclusion to fit their unbelief, rather than, outputting the conclusion that Scripture, with its correct categories, would give.

God’s Command Or Demonic Superstition? 

A simple way to term, the “invalidness” or logical leaps, which are made between premise and conclusion is “superstition.” The reason is that superstition is about making-up-*@#%, I’m sorry, making-up-conclusions that do not belong to what you know. To conclude a weird sound in your darkroom, is a ghost, is invalid; it is superstitious. A category of “sound,” and the conclusion of a ghost in the conclusion is a different category. The conclusion has more information in it, than what the premises provide. In other words, when you commit a category error, you are no less superstitious (invalid) than pagans worshiping the moon.

For example, it is invalid for a voodoo doctor or shaman to go from seeing a red moon, or the sudden motion of sand blowing in the air (a description of metaphysics or ontology, “is”), to an “ought” conclusion of, “we ought to sacrifice an albino baby for good luck for the village.”

Others do the same thing with demonic divinations with a game called Ouija board. Asking dead spirits or demons for advice or knowledge, they wait for board pieces or their hands to move. Hopefully by now, you see the invalidness of this. So what, if you hand moves? So what, if you hand moves 50 miles and then grows and shrinks? Who cares? It gives you no knowledge. It gives you no subjects or predicates. However, leaving the issue of empiricism, to conclude from a premise of metaphysics or ontology about hands moving, to “I should to this, or I need to do that, or I have an idea what to do tomorrow,” is invalid. It is superstitious. The conclusion has more information in it, than what the premises provide.

Christians however play the same game with the terms, “God’s will,” or “God is in control.”

They will say, “Johnny prayed for healing, but did not get; thus it is God’s will for Johnny to accept this (ethic) as part of his life.”  That is invalid. It is pagan superstition. The conclusion does not logically follow. The conclusion has more information in it than what the premises provide. They have a premise of metaphysics or ontology, and then magically produce an “ought” out of it. They are saying, “God move my hand (to have cancer or some disease), and thus, I know what I “ought” to do now. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is now being used like demonic divination. It is like saying, “I asked if I will be healed, and then the Ouija board moved my hand in this way, thus, it is fate for me not to be healed. I ought to accept this as part of my life.” In both examples what “ought” to be done did not start with God’s commandment about the topic; rather, both used causality and existence and their observations from it, to superstitiously form an “ought” conclusion.  

Sadly, many Christians have more in common with pagans and Satanists, when deciding what they “ought” to do, as compared to obeying God’s commandments. Why would Satan need to infiltrate the church with Ouija boards, when he has already been successful in making Christians practice demonic divination, by abusing the doctrine of God’s sovereignty to live a life of overt superstition. The amount I see so-called Christians abuse, “God is in control, and God’s will,” is unmeasurable. They so often live a life of superstition, they could even help teach voodoo witchdoctors how to be even more superstitious.

If Christians can stop committing spiritual perversion with empiricism and superstition for just one minute, then I pray God will help you see the horror you are committing against your own soul, and extreme level of disobedience you are committing against God’s commands.  Stop superstitiously divining what you ought to do; rather, humble yourself under God’s command and believe Him to be faithful do what He promised.

 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not narrowly about the forgiveness of sins, for that is only the doorway into the life of the Spirit. This gospel is about all the benefits it acquired, at that time and place (not another time, and another place), in Christ’s atonement. Galatians says that faith in Jesus grafts one into the promised blessing of Abraham. What does this promise of God mean? This promise includes, according to Paul, the Spirit and miracles. And let us not be naïve; if Paul is mentioning the Spirit and miracles, in context of the New Testament, it must be presupposed this is a common experience in the Galatian church. Yet, Scripture argues this common miracle experience is based on the very old promise that God gave to Abraham. God is merely letting His “Yes be Yes.” He is being faithful to His promise. God is not like man; God does what He promises, even if it is thousands of years later; and even if the people to who God promise did not realize this promise meant an abundant/common experience of miracles and Spirit in the New Testament Church; yet God knew, and He is faithful to do what He promised.

Thus, Jesus’ death and intercession grants this blessing for all individuals who have faith in Him. This is said on the relative level ontology. On ultimate level ontology, it was not accomplished by their faith; rather, Jesus’ atonement did, and it was accepted and declared as final and good by the Father. God’s sovereign choice decided that based on Jesus’ work the Elect are righteous and worthy to be adopted as His son’s. This act is good and righteous for God the judge to do so, because God thinks it is so. Therefore, faith as a purchased gift is sovereignly worked in those to whom this reconciliation was for. The Elect’s souls are far too weak to resist God’s power to awaken their tiny souls into the unstoppable power and life of His Spirit. And so, believe and receive. Read God’s commands and obey they, by acquiring what they promise in faith. Love God by obeying His commands. There is not another way to love God. But for the elect, God will put His laws into their hearts, so that they will not depart from Him. He will be their God, and they will be His people. God will not stop from doing good, and applying the New Covenant to them.

 

———-ENDNOTES——–

[1] See my website and the essay, “Logic Lesson – Categorical vs. Hypothetical,” by James Creighton

[2] M.1. (P) If my yard is wet, (Q) then it rained.

M.2. (P) Indeed, my yard is wet.

M.3. (Q) Thus, my yard is wet.

This Modus Ponens is really an affirming the consequent that is merely disguised. The connection is not a necessary one. Maybe I watered my yard with the garden hose? Let us restate it as affirming the consequent, which is the correct form when reasoning backwards in pragmatic matters. It is a fallacy and is the basis for all scientific experiments.

N.1. (P) If it rains, (Q) then my yard get wets.

N.2. (Q). My yard is wet.

N.3. (P) Thus, it rained.

[3] I got this initial idea of a chess game from Vincent Cheung. See, “There is No Real Synergism.”

[4] Vincent wrote this to me in an email(2017) regarding a question I asked him about his essay, “Induction and Bible Study,” web. 2016. (www.vincentcheung.com).

[5] Like the other above it, the antecedent is the ultimate ethic (God commands), and the consequent dealing the ethics on the relative level (human x choses to or not obey God’s command)—relative is the human level and not referring to relativism. There is some indirect use of ontology, for ontology, or reality can be predicated to any subject, but this is not the main or direct category here.

Help the Sick, By Giving Them a Smile?

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”
And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams will water the wasteland.
Isaiah 35:3–6 (NLT)
You do not strengthen and bless the hungry (to take their fear away), by giving them a smile and words of comfort. You bless them, by giving them food. The same for the cold; you give them clothes. The same is for the sick and deformed. You make the blind see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk (etc), by miracle working power. That is what Jesus did, and commands us to do.

Always God’s will To Heal Someone

Joe Carter at TGC, when talking about Bill Johnson at Bethel Church says,

The Johnsons are frequently criticized for their teachings, which often veers from the suspect to the outright heretical. A prime example is Bill Johnson’s….it is always God’s will to heal someone:”[1]

Some educated people, like the famous Erasmus, who was defeated by Martin Luther over an informal fallacy of a category error[*], are dumb at the most fundamental level. Or as Luther says, dumber or less educated than grammar school children, swinging on the monkey bars.

The gospel they use to condemn others of being heretical would make them twice as guilty, if not more. To shoot their opponent with their bb gun, they must shoot themselves with a .50 cal. pistol. Yet they do it anyway, somehow thinking they, “got them”?

I do not know the whole teaching of Bill, and so will not comment on him, but only on this one thing being said.  What Bill said is correct, if “God’s Will,” is meant as ethics, since “God’s Will” can mean either Christian ontology or ethics. And from my limited exposure, it seems to me, this is how Bill means it. (Let me give this quick side note. If Bill meant “God’s Will,” as God’s precept and when you criticize him, taking it to be ontology, then congratulations, you just committed the sin of slander and bearing false witness.) When asking what God’s will is for me, then the context is about ethics. Christian ethics is what God commands us to do. The bible commands us to have faith to be healed. It is not a suggestion, just as it is not a suggestion to repent of your sins in Jesus name, in faith. It is a command. James 5 says if you are sick then pray in “faith.” James is not merely saying to pray if you are sick, and then “see what happen.” James command is to get healed by faith, and if you have sinned you will also be forgiven.

Because it is always God’s command for healing when you are sick, then it is always God’s Will for healing.

When the disciples failed to heal the boy in Mark 9, due to their lack of faith, Jesus went behind them and healed the boy anyway. Why? Because it is always God’s Will to heal by faith. It is always God’s will to forgive sins, because it is His commandment to us. God is still alive, even if some Christians do not like this fact. Thus, God’s commandments still stand today.  If it is always God’s will for His commandments to be believed and obeyed, then healing and forgiveness is always God’s will.

On ultimate level causality, God causes all things. This is sometimes referred to as, God’s will. God caused, Thomas the Twin, to doubt Jesus resurrection; this was “God’s Will,” on the ultimate or only real level of causality. But God’s Will in regards to ethics, (what you ought to do) is to believe God. And so, Jesus rebuked Thomas, even though Thomas went along with God’s Will (causality) by not believing in Jesus’ resurrection. Even when God causes us to sin, for God causes all things, it is invalid to conclude this is what we “ought to do.” Paul clearly says in Romans 5 that God caused all people to be born as guilty sinners, and causes them to do sin. However, God’s commands all to repent, despite that He causes all to be born sinners, separate from their freedom and choice, (Acts 17 “he now commands all people everywhere to repent”). You cannot conclude, “Because God caused me to be born guilty and caused me to be control by sin, that it is “God’s Will,” for me to be a sinner.” No, what God causes and what He commands are not the same category. Color and numbers are not the same category. Why do I need to say this to grown adults?

Jesus rebuked Thomas, not on grounds of God’s causality, but of ethics. Jesus told him to do God’s revealed command, which is to believe in the Son of God.

Look, what happens if we mix categories up?

G.1. (~P) If God caused(ontology) the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, (~Q) then it is right(ethics) for Thomas to not believe what Jesus commanded.
G.2. (~P)
G.3. Thus. (~Q).

Or in a simply form:

B.1. If God planned unbelief, then ok to not believe.
B.2. God planned unbelief.
B.3. Thus, it is ok to not believe.

Again, this is unsound and false. It does not matter if it is ontology level 1, regarding God’s sovereign plan about reality, or if it is level 2, regarding God’s direct causality right now. To go from ontology to ethics is not a necessary connection. It is invalid and a false description of reality. It is invalid to conclude an “ought” from your observations, which is an “is.” What you observe is at best what something “is”; although, I would be cautious to even affirm this, due to the logical fallacy of empiricism and induction. There is not a necessary connection (p), to an (q) ought. Those who practice this fallacy, practice a doctrine of witchcraft and divination. It is a demonic stronghold over the mind. It has similarities to ouija board practitioners.

God caused the Pharaoh to not obey His command, by making the Pharaoh’s soul hard. However, this secret causality of God, does not negate His command(ethic), to let His people go. The same is with the gospel call to repentance. God might decree, and then cause human reprobate F or H or O, to not believe the gospel; however, what they “ought” to do is what God commands and not what God causes or decrees. The Pharaoh was a lawbreaker by disobeying God’s command to let His people go; therefore, He is accountable. Now, Responsibility is not based on Pharaoh’s freedom, but on God’s sovereign control to hold Pharaoh accountable to His command, period. Pharaoh did not resist God’s causality, because nothing can. Pharaoh is guilty because he disobeyed God’s command.

This is a similar stupid mistake that Erasmus made in mixing up ontology with ethics. Even if God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, Pharaoh is judged by God’s Will, that is, by God’s command to let His people go. We are also judged by this same impartial standard. We are judged by God’s commands.

This gospel of Jesus Christ is not narrowly about the forgiveness of sins, for that is only the doorway into the life of the Spirit. This gospel is about all the benefits it acquired, at that time and place (not another time, and another place), in Christ’s atonement. Galatians says that faith in Jesus grafts one into the promised blessing of Abraham. What does this promise of God mean? This promise includes, according to Paul, the Spirit and miracles. And let us not be naïve; if Paul is mentioning the Spirit and miracles, in context of the New Testament, it must be presupposed this is a common experience in the Galatian church. Yet, Scripture argues this common miracle experience is based on the very old promise that God gave to Abraham. God is merely letting His “Yes be Yes.” He is being faithful to His promise. God is not like man; God does what He promises, even if it is thousands of years later; and even if the people to who God promise did not realize this promise meant an abundant/common experience of miracles and Spirit in the New Testament Church; yet God knew, and He is faithful to do what He promised.

Thus, Jesus’ death and intercession grants this blessing for all individuals who have faith in Him. This is said on the relative level ontology. On ultimate level ontology, it was not accomplished by their faith; rather, Jesus’ atonement did, and it was accepted and declared as final and good by the Father. As stated earlier about God’s direct and arbitrary-sovereignty that gives all things their definition, the same is true here as it is for all things. God’s sovereign choice decided that based on Jesus’ work the Elect are righteous and worthy to be adopted as His son’s. This act is good and righteous for God the judge to do so, because God thinks it is so. Therefore, faith as a purchased gift is sovereignly worked in those to whom this reconciliation was for. The Elect’s souls are far too weak to resist God’s power to awaken their tiny souls into the unstoppable power and life of His Spirit.

Isaiah says that Jesus as a High Priest, accomplished healing for His elect. In fact, Matthew 8:17 quotes this passage as demonstrating Jesus fulfilling what God promised. The point is that the blood and intercession of Jesus purchased this healing gift for those who take it by faith. Thus, it is not surprising to discover that faith for forgiveness of sins is accomplished by the same way. Jesus’ blood and intercession purchased it and all individuals predestined to be in the Covenant, will have faith to take it. Jesus says in John 15 we are “appointed,” or that is predestined for good works.[2] To Jesus this predestination of fruit includes loving others and having faith to ask and get anything from God.

Hebrews 10:29  (NLT)
“Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.”

“To say you can have faith, but God still might not heal you,” logically means, you trample the bloodshed of Christ as trash. It despises the compassionate nature of God. Healing is a provision of the Blood of Jesus as a High Priest, which is stated in Isaiah 53, and reaffirmed in the New Testament (Matt 8:17).  At the time and place of Jesus’ atonement (not something else), both forgiveness of sins and healing was accomplished.  Furthermore, the blessing of Abraham was accomplished by the same means. Both are based on the finished atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you negate “faith healing,” because it is produced by the bloodshed of Jesus as a high priest, then you logically negate “faith forgiveness,” because the bloodshed of Jesus is the cause of both. If you throw out one, you throw out the other. Bye, bye, forgiveness of sins: see you later.  There is only one Bible and one definition of the atonement. And this definition makes both healing and forgiveness based on the finished work of Jesus and received by faith.”[3]

The truth of the matter is the God is “obligated,” to answer our prayers once God makes a sovereign promise to do so. (i.e. Obligated to His nature that cannot lie.) 1 John says that God is “just,” to forgive us our sins, not “merciful.” 1 John 1:9 (LEB), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, so that he will forgive us our sins.” Because of God’s sovereign promise to honor Jesus’ atonement and honor the promise of forgiveness of sin, when one asks in faith, God therefore, is “just” and “faithful” to forgive. You could be weird and call it, “forcing God to do our will,” but that would be a strange way to say it. God cannot lie. God is faithful. When God makes a promise, then He must fulfill it, or contradict His own nature. It was in God’s own freedom and sovereignty to make the promise to begin with. And so, He will sovereignly and happily keep His sovereignly made promise.  To sovereignly break the promise, would be to deny Himself.

What pathetic moron will say, “even if you believe in faith for salvation in Jesus, because God is sovereign, He might not forgive you, because it is arrogant to assume, God’s Will.” Lord forbid, we believe in “faith-forgiveness,” because it would mean God is not sovereign, right?”

Despite their rhetoric, the Bible is not their (non-faith-people, traditionalist, atheist) first principle for knowledge. Rather, it is their experiences, emotions, traditions and human empiricism. The kingdom of self dominates their tiny souls, because they start with their human speculations first, rather than God’s word. They would do us all a favor if they came out from the closet and just said, “Sola Empiricism,” and “David Hume alone.”

However, some do not even try to hide the fact that they are spiritual sluts with empiricism and human speculation and human superstition. With a straight face they ask me, “why do we not see so many miracles today, unless God does not want it?” They are like the people from Jesus’ hometown who said, “This is Joseph’s and Mary’s son,” and then in unbelief demand He prove by miracles who He claims to be. But their unbelief made that impossible. These peers did not start with God’s revelation; rather, their starting point for knowledge was their human observations. Scripture records it was due to their lack of faith, and not the lack of Jesus being willing and able to heal. With such people I am asking myself, what happen to starting with God’s revelation for knowledge? Where did God go? Why is it so automatic for them to start with a “human” speculation and “human” superstition? If they only mean to do a personal attack (a logical fallacy) by saying, “Oshea (or Johnny), how many miracles have you done,” then why do they default to argumentation that the politicians use?  Is it because politicians are such good examples for how to argue for truth?  They are like the religious leaders who slapped Jesus and demanded He prove His claim as God by prophesying. They harlot themselves with David Hume’s empiricism in the open streets, and then march back in their pulpits, and after wiping off their sweaty faces, they say with a straight face, “solo scriptura.”  Maybe if they could stop humping on empiricism for just a few seconds, they might wake up and realize the disgrace they are committing against their own souls, and against those who hear them.

But for you. Start with God’s revelation and believe Him. He wants you to know about all His benefits and to rely on Him to be faithful to fulfill all His promises, including both the spiritual and material one. Paul says in the prayer in Ephesians 3 that as we trust in Jesus’ great love for us, He will make our souls His home, and by this we become strong in the inner man. Trust in God’s policy of thought and action of favor to you[4], that always triggers on the highest, lowest, longest and widest application of life.

——-END NOTES——-

[1] Joe Carter, “9 Things You Should Know About the Bethel Church Movement.” www.thegospelcoalition.org

[*]Martin Luther’s point about confusing the category of an imperative and indicative is the first I know of who shows a category mistake with God’s causation and command. Vincent Cheung has been a help to me to understand this is greater clarity. See his, Systematic Theology, Healing and Atonement, and the essay called, “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11

[2] Vincent Cheung helped me to see this clearly in this passage. See, Vincent Cheung, Predestination and Miracles.

[3] Oshea Davis. Intercession and Predestination.

[4] This definition, I do not know if it is original to Vincent or not, but I learned it from him in his Systematic Theology book. “Love is God’s policy of thought and action of favor.”

The Transcendence and Nearness of God

Transcendence of God:

Attributes that describe God’s existence (such as, Infinity, Immutability, Timelessness (etc.)), show God’s existence to be Transcendent to every other type. This is where the base idea of holiness comes from, in the broadest sense. Holiness means God is a cut-above all others in a said category. However, God’s transcendence is a step greater than this, in that God is all together different in these categories. To be cut-above the competition does not “necessarily” mean a whole new category; it might, but does not necessarily donate that. The context will define how to understand it. At the very least, sometimes God Holiness does refer to His metaphysical attributes in the transcendent way.

“For thus says the high and lofty One—He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].”
(Isaiah 57:15 AMP)

At other times God’s holiness refers to His moral perfection, in Justice, Mercy and His ability to help. In this light God’s Holiness is the internal value of His nature. Glory, is this (internal) value, shinning out in the public (external).

He is holy.
…They called to Yahweh, and he answered them.
…you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrong.
(Psalm 99:6-8 LEB)

Furthermore, this is like God being Ex Lex. Or that God is above all ethical laws. This is indeed true in a sense; however, God is more than merely above the law. God is categorically different (transcendent) from the laws even being applied to Him. Again, the idea of category errors come up. God’s laws are not so much below Him, as they are applied to the category of man. It is not so much that God is above moral laws commanded to man; they do not categorically apply to Him.

As said before God is the Foundation of theology, not something else. The foundation of how or if laws apply to God, is God; it does not start with man, inductively making up superstitions about it. No. God is the foundation. God is the foundation that gave laws to man. Not the other way around, despite how badly man wants it to be. God’s law is commanded to man, not to Himself. If man tries to say, “well this means, God must also behave this way,” is man starting with something not revealed in scripture. It is man starting with man, and using man’s induction to command laws on God. It is the height of rebellion and arrogance. God is the foundation for laws, not man.

Back to the point. Is the category of humans above the category of “subjects and predicates,” or do they have no necessary category relation to even ask such a question? Is red above the category of odd numbers, or is there no necessary connection to even ask such a question?

In a publication that I cannot presently find at Vincent Cheung’s website, called, Better than Ex Lex, he says something to the effect of, “my position is not merely ex lex; rather, the transcendence of God is that he doesn’t even have to be ex lex.”

If God has infinite wealth and supply, and owns everything, and even owns the persons who owns things, then God is categorically different from a billionaire, and not merely in degree.

If God has infinite propositions and infinite connections about these propositions, and understands them, not in a mutable linear way, but in an immutable all at the same time understanding, then God’s mind is not merely different in degree, but is categorically different from man’s mind.

The Nearness of God:

This doctrine of the Nearness or imminence of God is put right next to God’s Transcendence because the Bible often does so to show the value of God.

Though the Lord is exalted,

He regards the lowly [and invites them into His fellowship]; But the proud and haughty He knows from a distance,” Psalm 138:6. AMP

Although God is separate from His creation and Transcendent to it, yet, God has made man in a special way; namely, spirit and intellectual/rational. When you combine with this that in Jesus Christ, God has given us His very own Spirit, then you have an incredibly, special result. The Saints know God in the same way God knows Himself. This does not mean the saints are God, or become infinite and timeless; rather, it means that the way God knows Himself, intellectual and Spirit—by His very own Spirit—God causes the saints to know Him in this way. God is near to them, in the way God is near to Himself, that is, in a rational and spiritual way, even by the Spirit who knows Himself.

“No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit.”
1 Corinthian 2:11-13

There are two main ways God is near to those who He favors/loves. Nearness in relationship (intellectually and spiritually), and nearness in participation in God’s supply (receiving all His benefits).

In both the section on Epistemology and Metaphysics we have already dealt in a broad way, definitions for how God and saints are close spiritually and intellectually. God is the original. God made man in His image. God in Jesus, truly makes man in His image, by giving them not only truth, but also His Spirit. By this man gets to know and communicate with God directly, in precision, immediately and intellectually.

The second part of God’s nearness, is something many churches have decided to make war against God. They wish to be the foundation of theology and dictate to God, what gospel accomplishments they want and others they wish to trample under their filthy feet. However, despite their protest, God is still the foundation of the gospel and Jesus’ victory from the grave is still available to those with faith. As with every war, this is one God will also win along with the saints, and those who oppose will be trampled under God’s foot as worthless trash.

Our passage says after being near to God in spirit and intellect (or the inner man), the result is another necessary nearness. It is a nearness of practical blessings and goodies (outer-man).

“..so we can know the wonderful things God has
freely given us.”

I will chase this point for a little bit, since it is denied. I will end up going over some points about salvation, which will be explored more in a later chapter.

Many at this point, foam at the mouth like demons, about a doctrine called, “already-but-not-yet.” They are correct in the strictest sense of the definition. There are some benefits of Jesus’ finished atonement and New Covenant that are available now, and some are later. For example, healing is for now, and a new transformed body, that does not need healing, is for later. So far, so good. However, I mostly see pastors and lay people use this doctrine to emphasize what we do not get now. The problem with this is that the Bible contradicts this emphasis. The prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself, used this doctrine to emphasize the super-abundance of what we get here and now! Thus I am in agreement with Vincent Cheung that this doctrine when mainly used, is a logical/exegetical fallacy.[1] It is sad to see the elites of orthodoxy, who boast of their knowledge and intellect, act like demons by turning a biblical doctrine into a convoluted fallacy.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 103 to remember how God gives you so much free forgiveness, goodies, blessings and helps. We are not to remember God’s benefits for person x over there, or remember them to be given to us in another place or another time; rather, we are to remember God’s benefits us now, in the land of the living, for us.  This is not a suggestion. These are precepts and commands; and thus, they are Christian ethics. God commands you to not forget all the ways He benefits you, today, in this place. He forgives you, He heals you, He provides prosperity to you, He delivers you, and gives you an abundance of good things. God gives to you freely and unearned. You do not give to God.

This is similar to how Jesus gives proof to John the Baptist that He is the Messiah who is bringing in the Kingdom of God. Not the Kingdom of God later, but now. He says, “healing, healing, healing, healing, resurrection and truth proclaimed.” That is, healing is a physical not invisible reality, such as forgiveness and a cleansed soul. It is a miraculous physical reality. As to resurrection, Jesus meant it, as a second time for a present tense physical reality.  Thus, Jesus’ Kingdom now is referred to by Jesus as “miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical and truth (which is invisible/spiritual). Thus, those who overemphasize the now part of Jesus’ Kingdom as the invisible, spiritual realities are enemies of Jesus, because they are working against His Kingdom and command. They are rebellious and disobedient.

Vincent shows how even Jesus Christ Himself, rebuked this ‘already-not-yet’ fallacy, when people used this nonsense on Him.

When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” So the theologians tell us, “These things had happened in the past.” Jesus answered, “Your brother will rise again.” But Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” So the theologians tell us, “These things will happen in the future.” Jesus answered, “I am the resurrection and the life.” The sisters applied the “already / not yet” principle on Jesus, but rather than displaying their theological education, it revealed their unbelief and ignorance. They did not even know Jesus very well. For Jesus, it is always a good time for a miracle. In the theology of Jesus, it is not a matter of time, but a matter of faith. He said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” And Lazarus was raised from the dead.[2]

The new covenant is active because, as Hebrews says in chapter 9, the death of the tester makes the testament active. The new covenant is active for you here, and now. This eating at the lord’s table, is eating the benefit that God is our God, and we are His people. God takes the tab for this table. You do not give to God; God gives to you. God want you to know about this. He wants you to know what a great benefactor He is to you in Christ, today, here in this place.  By Christ, in faith, it is freely given to you. It is already yours in Christ. Receive and eat.

God’s table of His best benefits is not given to the reprobates or even to clean angels; rather, it is only given the people He is nearest to. To you. To His redeemed, beloved children.

Hebrews points out in more than one place that the result of “God’s Will,” (for us to be holy), is for us to approach His throne of grace and receive what we ask of Him

The first mention is in Hebrews 4. What is the application for knowing our high priest has redeemed us? The idea of having peace with God is the ability and position to approach God, in His throne room of grace, to ask and then to receive the help we are asking for. There is no way to spiritualize this away. It is about receiving what we are asking for.

Jesus, when talking about prayer to God, teaches us something that opposes eastern religions like Buddhism (etc.). Such paganistic religions teach us that even if we do not change God’s will in our prayer, we have changed inwardly for the better, by seeking God. People who say such things are spiritual perverts. They are deceived and blind. Jesus contradicts this superstition about prayer and God, by teaching us that God gives a fish for a fish, and the Spirit for the Spirit. Let Buddha be damned, and Jesus and His teaching be highly valued.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you, if his son will ask him for bread, will give him a stone? Or also if he will ask for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore if you, although you* are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him? Matthew 7:7–11 (LEB)

Since it is God’s, and not man’s definition that a “good” God gives you the very thing you ask for, anyone who teaches otherwise is spouting a doctrine of demons. Some bark up like mad dogs that, “what if you ask for something bad?” So what? What does this logically have to do with what I am saying? This is not a relevant point, because James says if you ask God for evil things (“God help me murder this person”), then you are God’s “enemy,” and so prayer is the least of your concerns. Since I am addressing Christians or those who at least claim to be so, and not sworn enemies of God, I will ignore logically non-relevant points.

Back to Jesus. He says, if you ask in faith you will get what you ask for. Jesus even says this in more than one way, in case we missed it. What Jesus is doing here with prayer, is the same He is doing throughout the “Sermon on the Mount.” You have heard it said “do not murder your brother, but I say to you, do not do it, even in your heart.” When Jesus teaches on judging people, His point presupposes that you are able to judge your brother, and to do it without hypocrisy. You do this by removing the wood from your own eye first. Some morons say, “you cannot judge without hypocrisy or bias”; yet, Jesus contradicts this in His sermon. He teaches the true ethical standard God demands for judging, and He expects His disciples to do it. It is good news to see in the new covenant, God promising to give us ethical power, “I will write my laws in your hearts.”

In this context of Jesus repeatedly correcting the low opinion of people’s thinking on God’s commands and standards, Jesus talks about “prayer and faith.” Thus, when we see Jesus saying, “if you ask God in faith, you get the very thing you ask for,” then we can infer the presupposition behind it, at least in the broad sense; and so, Jesus’ teaching is in opposition to the people’s low opinion of what they think prayer and faith should accomplish. It seems little has changed in 2000 years, for who can find a person who values and does prayer the way Jesus demands it? The Jews had a perverted and low view of prayer. From the Mount, Jesus corrects their error and describes the true ethical standard that God commands about faith. Whatever the low valuation of prayer the Jews had, it was not to the standard of, “if you ask in faith, you will get what you ask for.”  Jesus is expecting and demanding, (just like He demands us to not even lust in our hearts after another woman), to pray and get what we pray for.  Jesus in essence says, “You have heard it said, if its God’s will, then you might get what you pray for. But I say to you, It is God’s Will for prayer, if you ask in faith, you will get the very thing you ask for, because God is the good Father.” This is the type of Being we are dealing with. You must deal with Him and not someone else. Do you know Him?

Back to the two passages in Hebrews.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most,”
(NLT Heb 4:16).

Next, after several chapters of doctrine and theology about how Jesus accomplished salvation, Hebrews 10, starting in verse 19 gives us the conclusion or result.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise,”
(Hebrews 10:19–23 NLT)

This is said as an application for learning how Jesus as the high priest of eternal power, has destroyed our sin and already made the New Covenant active in His blood.

In “context” of Hebrews 4 defining approaching God’s throne, as getting answers to our prayers for help, it therefore, does not mean the opposite in Hebrews10:19-23. The end says, “for God can be trusted to Keep His promise.” The promise that He will not remember our sins, and that He will be our God, who lovingly gives us help when we ask for it. The emphasis is on two points here by the preacher. One is the category fact or truths. You are holy in Jesus right now. You are beloved and stand before God, without Him remembering your sins against you.[3]

The second, is that you stand firm, believing these truths. You stand believing you are categorically holy, righteous and a child of God. That you believe you can boldly walk into heaven and push the door of God’s throne room open, and then you ask like a beloved son, for Him to help you. And that you stand believing He is the Good Father as He defined Himself to be in His word, so that He will indeed give you bread for bread.  The first part is always true, due to Christ’s finished work, whether or not a particular Christian has weak faith about it. However, if one has strong, unmoving faith about Jesus’ finished work, then truly you stand before God and He will answer your prayers.

The point is that Scripture makes the logical (or necessary) connection from Jesus’ atonement that makes us holy, to boldly going to God and getting “fish for fish, healing for a healing,” when we pray for help. Because the connection is not merely sufficient but necessary, then it is a “modus ponens” logical connection. If Jesus made you holy by His body, then you necessarily have access to boldly receive the things you ask for in faith.

If these two are necessarily connected, and they are according to Hebrews, Jesus and the apostles, then the logic of modus tollens applies. That is, if you deny the consequent you deny the antecedent. If you negate the application, you negate the foundation. If you negate getting our requests answered at God’s throne, then you negate being made holy by Jesus’ body. Novices play with the Bible like its play-dough. Their pet theories and traditions are not harmless when they make mistakes. They condemn themselves and turn the body of Christ into spiritual trash, in order to be fanboys of the past.

So to summarize, Hebrews knows no gospel that does not bring a person who is already perfected and “holy” to the throne of God, to ask and receive what they ask for. “God’s will,” is thrown around much today, but rarely do I see it used how the Scripture uses it. The preacher says it was “God’s Will,” to make us holy; however, we learn more. There was a pre-determined point why God desired to make us holy and perfected. The necessary result (or a previous in order Decree of God) is a person who by faith (who assents they have been made ‘holy’), stands at God’s throne, to ask and receive what they ask for. The conclusion is obvious, it is “God’s Will” for you to stand in faith, with your head held high, before His throne, to ask and receive a fish for a fish, mercy for mercy, son for a son, health for health, wisdom for wisdom, wealth for wealth, inner strength for inner strength, protection for protection in your time of need. To say this is “not God’s will,” is to logically say it is “not God’s will” for us to be made holy by the body of Jesus Christ.

Many educated people feel proud of their intellect and academia, but in their fanboy affirmation of the past—such things as cessationism and things like “only if it is God’s will” (negating God’s promises)—they expose themselves as plus ultra perverts. They think they know logic and knowledge; however, deductive logic, like math and truth, is not flexible. They try to bend the sword of truth to pervert it; however, they only end up impaled on it. Leave these voodoo practitioners, and return to standing firm in the truth that you are holy, and standing before the throne of grace. God made the world and defines His world as He wants. His Word defines you as already a holy child, who when you ask for help, then you will get the type of help you asked for. God is near to you, and you are near to Him. You are so near to God that you are sitting at His table. If you want some bread, reach for it. If you want some meat, then get a piece.

“In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
( Corin. 11:25-26).

What does this proclaiming His “death,” mean in relation to Jesus saying the New Contract is “an agreement confirmed in my blood”?

Think about Hebrews 9 where this connection is made:

Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.  The will goes into effect only after the person’s death.

…Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you. (Heb 9;16-17, 20)

So, in the Lord’s supper we are proclaiming the new contract, by a death in blood, that is made active. Once there is death/blood it is active at the moment, not later. In the previous chapter, Hebrew 8, he says the new contract in addition to saying we are forgiven, says “I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Thus, this is already active by the death of the Tester, Jesus.

This phraseology in the Bible, is always about God blessing and prospering the inner and outer man.

Consider Lev. 26

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.” (NLT)

The death of Jesus not only is a negative, where our sins, sickness, poverty, abandonment and stupidity were transferred off of us, and conveyed onto Jesus, where he carried them away from us to the place of the skull. Jesus death, because it makes active the new covenant is also positive. It makes God our God, and we become His people.  This is always defined as God blessing the whole man in all areas of life.  This is active now, not later.  Jesus’ death has already put the new covenant into play. God is already ours as our beloved God, and we are already God’s.

Reading how the Bible at the beginning defines terms is important. God first defines what “I will be your God and you My People,” to Abraham (Genesis 15:1 “… I am your shield, and your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 17:7-8,”…I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. …I will be their God.”). This promise to “be God to Abraham and his descendants” conveys spiritual blessings for being counted righteous for his faith, getting future promises, and much health, prosperity and favor in Abraham’s lifetime.

This will be explored more later, but Paul says in Galatians that miracles and the gift of the Holy Spirit (most likely referring to the baptism of the Spirit) is part of the Covenant of Abraham. Paul says, Jesus’ atonement grafts gentiles into this blessing of Abraham. Therefore, miracles, in the majority mode, is not to confirm Jesus (which is only a minority use of miracles) but God being faithful to perform the ancient blood oath to Abraham. Doing something to “prove” a future contract you intend to make (a sign), and performing an action that you are already bound by contract to perform, are two different categories.  For those who are savvy with logic, will see the implication of this. So what if the miracles for signs have ceased? Who cares? Miracles and the Power of the Spirit, (and the presupposition is that these are a common thing for the Galatian church, and those in Paul’s ministry) is part of the blood oath to Abraham. Has God negated His promise to Abraham? Then this majority mode of miracles and the power of the Spirit, as a common experience for Abraham’s descendants, is still active. Thus, if a church does not reflect what Paul teaches here, they are not spiritual descendants of Abraham. They do not have Abraham’s faith. They have not inherited Abraham’s blessing of miracles and the Spirit. They are damned and reprobates.

Leviticus 26 gives a summary of this same definition, as contained in the Mosaic Covenant; or as Paul says in Galatians, in the temporary covenant or tutor. The point to remember is that Jesus fulfilled this Mosaic covenant for us. In the gospel of Christ, we are unmeritedly and undeservedly credited as if we performed the stipulations of righteousness of Mosaic covenant.

This is a shadow of the New. That is, what you see here (lev.26) is much more so in the new blood oath, by Jesus Christ. The freedom from the slavery of Egypt in the New Contract, is about us being freed from sin. Freedom from the conscience of sin and from Satan’s oppressive accusations. God remembers them no more against us. So much so, we can march in the throne room of heaven to ask from God what we wish, “with our heads held high.” But that is just one part of “God being our God, and we being His people.” As being freed from Egypt is the foundation for the other blessings, so too within the New Covenant.

God’s promise is NOT blessing them with surplus crops in Egypt, but in the promise land. Their blessings awaited them in the promised land, not in Egypt. They needed freedom from the yoke of slavery first. Jesus does this for us in the New Contract. He frees us from sin and its guilt, so that He has a righteous foundation to lavish all His other blessings. Our promise land is not so much a place, for it is foundationally being brought near to God. The best land is nearest to God. There is however, a place for Jesus’ throne, and yet, the scripture says we have already (past tense) been raised and set with Jesus at God’s right hand. In 1 John 3 he goes so far as to command us to keep our thoughts where our lives are at, and our lives are not on earth, but are already hidden in Jesus, who is at the Power’s right hand. Thus, even if one wishes to make the promise land heaven, our lives are there. God is the foundation of theology and reality, and He considers us already with His Son. That is the only important point for us. So what, if you feel distant? What does that have to do with anything. Man is not the foundation of theology and reality; God is the foundation. He considers you as already with His Son, and therefore, you are.

John also says in chapter 4 that “as Jesus is, so are we in this world.” Jesus with awesome power, frees us from the law and Satan’s oppressive accusations against us. Now, He gives us a surplus of the Holy Spirit for miracles and healings; which is to say, since we are already in the promise land through Christ, Christ therefore, pours the promise land’s and kingdom’s power into us on earth, by the Spirit. Paul even says Jesus became poor for us, so that we might become rich, by His substitutionary death (in context it is decisively about money). Thus, Jesus multiplies our bank accounts and barns, because, in Jesus, our lives are already connected to the promise land. Our lives are even connected right up next to the Power, because our lives are connected to the valuable Person who sits at the Power’s right hand. If the blessings were so great in the Old Contract, then much more, when the Promise Land we are connected to now, is the true heavenly one! He pours over us an ocean of unmerited favor that is all for the taking by faith. How could someone be so depraved, so as to despise the oath of God, confirmed by the blood of His Son?

You cannot talk about “God’s Will,” and make it to be whatever you want it to be. If the Scripture makes certain effects as necessary connections, then the logic of modus ponens and modus tollens are now in play. Hebrews, as with other Scriptures make approaching God’s throne, to get the yes for your prayers, a necessary connection to God’s Will that made you holy. If you negate the consequence you negate the antecedent, which is the atonement.

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”

MADE holy. This causality is God’s doing, and it is His promise. To be holy relative to or “before God,” is more than not being punished. In Ephesians 1 it says holy and “beyond reproach.” This means we are perfectly moral and flawlessly ethical before God, so much so, we are beyond even the hint of an accusation against the demand for absolute perfection. By the body of Jesus, this is now our reality, “BEFORE GOD.” Even if our sanctification is not perfect, it is a non-logical point, because God considers you holy and righteous before Him. And God is not fickle or emotional like man. He promised to treat you as holy and righteous, not something else. Thus, He interacts and treats you as perfectly and morally righteous. However, our holiness and righteousness by the body of Jesus, which we have now, is a God-level holiness, because it was performed by Jesus Christ and freely given to us. Our position with God is not us standing somewhere in the back corner of God’s throne room or somewhere even farther; rather, our position NOW, is with Christ at God’s right hand. Do you understand the position you have now in Christ and before the Power?

Christ being at God’s right hand, presently enjoys and partakes of the goodness that rightfully belongs to being in that position. Yet, we are now with Christ! Thus, to be made holy by Jesus, is to be a partaker of the holy God, now.

To be made holy is similar to how Paul said that we were made righteous in Christ in Romans 5:19.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man,
the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous (LEB).”

By God’s sovereign control over His own creation, He authored and caused Adam to sin, and then by this He caused all mankind to be made into sinners by His direct and absolute causality. But the reverse is also true, but much more. God sent His Son and by His righteousness (holiness) God caused the elect to be made righteous. God is sovereign. Man has no free choice relative to God’s control on the ultimate level. God without asking humanity, and humanity not being free from God’s causality, made them sinners. Then God made some of them into His righteousness. However, there is even more to this sovereign control of God. In the New Covenant, God, without our consent and without us not being free to do otherwise, also made Himself to “be our God” and “made us to be His people.”  This New Contract is a packaged deal. If you negate one part, then you negate the rest.

To see what this means, consider the woman bent over for 18 years. Jesus said, because she was a daughter of Abraham it was “necessary” for God to heal His daughter. God was God to Abraham, and Abraham was God’s people. This is why Abraham was victorious when he defeated the 5 kingdoms and was blessed by Melchizedek, and why the other non-people of God were defeated. To be a true child of Abraham, means God is your God. We are so today in Christ (Galatians 3). This is a categorical truth. Recall an earlier comment about logical connections. A logical connection is only about “necessary” connections; logic is not about sufficient ones, for there is no valid inference with only sufficient connections.  Thus, Jesus said it was “necessary” for God to heal this woman, and not merely a good or sufficient reason. If God promises to be your God and you are part of His family, it is “necessary” for Him to benefit you with the goodness He promised.

This is what it means for “God to be your God, and You His people,” in the new covenant; and if you are a Christian, you partake of this benefit now. This is how the Bible over and over, defines what nearness to God means. If you do not know this you do not have nearness to God, or you are just really bad at being a child of God.

Not in another place, or in a different time, but here and now, “God is our God, and we are His people.” Act like it. Receive from your Father’s table. If God put you at His table (i.e. in Christ at God’s right hand) then it is God’s Will for you to partake of the fatness of His table. God is not a demon. God does not put you at His table, and then make you watch others enjoy a good meal, while you starve. David did not bring Mephibosheth to his table to torture him, like a demon, by making him watch but not partake. Mephibosheth sat at David’s table to enjoy the free supply of David’s bounty. You have heard it said that God disciplines His legitimate children, and this is true; however, the other side of the coin is also true. Taking food from your Father’s table is necessary for you to prove you are His legitimate child. Illegitimate children cannot ask and get what they want from God. You, take and eat. This is what the sovereign God has done. This is the type of Being He is. These things already belong to you.  It is His will, that you ask and receive what you ask for, knowing God is your God and you are His holy beloved child.  It’s God’s will that you behave like legitimate children and receive from your Father, who is NEAR to His children in spiritual and material benefits.

Through the atonement of Jesus, God is near to us in power, supply, blessings, healings, and “yes” to all our prayers, made in faith.

We will sum up this section with our systematic theology maximum. God is the foundation of theology, not man, not something else. God defines His nearness as intellectual and (inward) spiritual, as much as He does material, with the whole life of man blessed with His benefits.

ENDNOTES——————-

[1] Vincent Cheung. “The Already / Not Yet Fallacy.” Found in TRACE. 2018. Chapter 2.

[2] Vincent Cheung. The Already not Yet Fallacy.  From, “Trace,” 2018, chapter 2, page 8-9.

[3] God is all-knowing, so and it is not that God has spiritual forgetfulness; rather, God has a policy of thought and promise not to apply the consequence against you. He already did that on His beloved Son, Jesus. That is, for all practical, not intellectually knowing, purposes, God does not remember your sins.

Question about God’s displeasure in the death of the sinner.

As Vincent Cheung points out about the chess game analogy in, ‘There is no Real Synergism,’ the player is ultimate level ontology and piece to piece is relative level ontology.[1]

The piece to piece relation to each other on basis of the rules of the game, is like a person relating to the world on their ability to adhere to God’s command.

The Bible often speaks on the relative level, for example, in how person x relates to God’s commandment. Do they obey or disobey it? God’s command is His reveled definition for man, made in His image. When man interacts with God’s command and obeys God, this is the relative level. In this relative level context as it relates to God’s command. God does not command for the death of the wicked. It is God’s command for them to repent and obey Him. If it was God’s will/command, for them to die, He would command them to die. He commanded them to live. In other words, “It’s not my command for you to die, so don’t do it. I have commanded you to live. Thus, obey me.”

What God commands, and what He ultimately causes are two different things. The first category is ethics: God’s command. The next two categories are about ontology. The first is relative level ontology, which is said from man’s point of view as they interact with God’s command, or lack thereof. The last category is the ultimate level ontology. God’s ultimate design for the reprobate is for them to die as sinners and by this magnify the value of grace given to His elect (Romans 9:22-24). So in the ultimate or only real level of causality, God’s decree/will is the death of the wicked, as it was planned by God to support showing off His grace to the Elect. In this light, God both commanded, and then, used His command to distinguish the Elect and Reprobate. God causes the reprobate to fail on the command and causes this to magnify how He causes the Elect to obey/fulfill the command in Christ.

Endnotes——————-

[1] See also, Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians 2008. Pg 108
and Satanic Oppression 

Snake Basterds & Loving your Neighbor as Yourself

But when the set time had fully come,
God sent his Son,
born of a woman,

born under the law.”[1]

Some time ago, a famous so-called Christian writer, Joshua Harris, renounced Christianity[2][3] on Instagram. It has caused an uproar. What I found interesting was the comments at a certain pastor’s Facebook page. I assume the commenting friends of the pastor are professed Christians, because most non-Christians do not normally befriend Christian pastors because they like them so much. The pastor had a harsh rebuke for Mr. Harris, because of the dishonor Harris caused by implication, that God’s revelation is false. The comments that followed about this post, were mostly harsh rebukes to the pastor for not “loving” Harris and not rebuking him “privately”—which is logical nonsense, because the persons doing so were both harshly rebuking and publicly rebuking. Harsh rebukes are not loving, so don’t you do it you cruel, heartless, person—as I harshly and dogmatically rebuke you. How much hypocrisy and nonsense one can fit into one small sentence is amazing. LOL! Such thinking is faulty and broken. Do not publicly rebuke people for it is an ethical wrong, while I publicly rebuke you. Dumber than dumb. Both, if their ethics are true, would make them moral monsters themselves, but I digress.

Getting past the Redwood tree sticking out of their eye, the issue for such persons is that emotional and outward displays of gentleness/kindness is primary, and God is secondary. I remember one so-called Christian, after leaving Christianity, updating their religious affiliation on Facebook as, “Kindness.” The one redeeming aspect of this was their honestly. Many have a man-centered view on this aspect of reality. Their final authority is their emotions, God is only a memorial or knickknack. They submit to feelings; they do not submit to God’s Word. They worship man, and God is put under their boots. They use God to promote what “they” think kindness should be. They use God as a steppingstone to elevate man, they do not honor or respect Him.

Genealogy was and still is a big deal to the Jews. There is a reason for all the list of genealogy in the Scripture. It was a bigger deal if you could prove you were a direct descendant of David and Judah, rather than from Dan. If your father was important and you were the first born, you had a larger inheritance.  Therefore, calling someone an illegitimate bastard, was to give an insult at a debasing level. This was something that even the Jewish leaders tried to insult Jesus Chris with saying, “who is your father,” knowing the rumors about Mary being pregnant before marriage.

Growing up I thought calling someone a “son of a dog” (aka. An illegitimate  bastard of a dog) was about as low as an insult one could get. However, not until I read Jesus calling people bastard children of Satan and bastards of snakes did I realize there was more dehumanizing, more vindictive names to call a human being, “made in the image of God.” Think about this. Jesus did this in ministry time. He did this in front of other people.  The people He insulted where important, popular people. He did this, not as God, but as a man under the law. Therefore, pastors call the same type of people snake bastards and Satan bastards, and then do this in a Sunday service—of important people, in front of a crowd. They say this to image bearers of God.

Did Jesus fail the command? Did He fail to love His neighbor? Was He not born under the Royal Law to love your neighbor “as yourself?” This means, this is how Jesus wanted to be treated if the context was reversed. Think about that.

I say, let the disobedience be on the theologians, who have no idea what Peter meant when he says to be gentle in apologetics, rather making Jesus Christ violate the Law. Also, the apostle Paul and John totally violated the “command” for a gentle and respectful speech to others. The Old Testament prophets have many revolting ways (sometimes sexually graphic ways) they insulted unbelievers and persons who resisted the truth. There are so many juicy, dehumanizing and nasty things they said, one could write books time about it. Wait! It was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was not only the prophets themselves, but some is direct discourse from God Himself in the nasty, dehumanizing name calling of the Image bearers He created. God did it, the prophets did, the Apostles did and the cornerstone Himself did it.

Paul says to rebuke them sharply. Titus 1:12-14 (NIV), “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.[4]  Yet, how many disobey and dissent against this command of God? Do you? Paul stereotypes these people in dehumanizing, vile, cruel names. This was his “rebuke” of them. Then commands Titus, and by implication all teachers, to do the same.

Also, Paul says for those who claim to be Christians that we are to publicly judge them (Corinthians 6). We will one day judge angels, and so we are to practice making public judgments of each other in this life. Yet, how many are in willful rebellion to Jesus on this? Do they call Jesus master but willfully disobey Him? If I see this, how much more does God see your disobedience?

How many times did Jesus publicly and harshly name call and rebuke people? He called people pigs, snake bastards, stupid (morons), liars, hypocrites and sons of Satan. Jesus used the Greek work for “moron,” for people who resisted the Scripture and were forfeiting their souls to hell. He called people morons, in front of their peers, and in doing so, Jesus publicly shamed and emotionally embarrassed them. And Jesus did this while, “born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus, right after name calling the Jews as “liars,” and “Sons of Satan,” asked if anyone can prove He has sinned? That is, sinned according to the Law of Moses. They could not.  Therefore, all His harsh rebukes and publicly calling people morons did not break the commandment to “LOVE your neighbor as yourself,” otherwise, He broke the command of God and forgiveness of sins for mankind is lost. The Law of Moses (and prophets) teach we ought to not only love our neighbor, but also love God first, and this includes bringing people to Yahweh as true worshipers.

Did Jesus’ harshness “push people away,” or was Jesus to stupid to know this?

Jude 1:10-13 [LEB]

“…all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed.
11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, and have given themselves up to the error of Balaam for gain, and have perished[j] in the rebellion of Korah.
12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence, hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted,
13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity. ”

Let us not forget the vileness and creative poetic-ness of the rebukes given to human beings by Jesus and the authors of the N.T.

Apart from the immeasurable, de-humanizing insults Jesus gave when calling people bastards of Satan, I could not insult a person more horrifically, nor as poetically and creatively as Jude his brother. I guess Jude learned from His older half-brother the ins and outs of how to properly give de-humanizing name calling. Even Martin Luther has nothing on Jude. Think about the horrible realty Jude is describing in his vile name calling here. As much, as cruel atheists have tried to name call me in debates, they do not measure to the vileness, dehumanizing and cruel names to which Jude name calls false teachers.

Jude calls them dumb/irrational animals. Not just animals, but dumb animals. As a side note, according to Facebook to refer to a person on the level of an animal to showcase a human as inferior is, “hate speech.” Their standard outlaws the prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ Himself. They are called “Twice dead.” As if being once dead is not enough; they are twice dead? “Up rooted trees.” To say this of a human being created in God’s image is rather the insult. “Waterless Clouds”? Ouch! They are “wild” and “foaming” up their shame? “A wandering star”? Wow! This is a horrible insult to call a human being! Then to merely say hell is not enough for Jude, he needs to really describe hell in a sharper rebuke: “whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.” Ouch!

Morons or Unwise?

Matthew 23:19, “Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?

Jesus is calling people morons. There are two Greek words which are translated as fools or foolish (etc) in most Bible translations.  One is on the more offensive side, such as moron or stupid. The other means unwise, irrational or ignorant. Here, Jesus is using the more offensive one.  The Jewish leaders had forfeited themselves from entering the Kingdom of God. This was due to their moronic and irrational traditions that said such things as, “the gift is greater than the altar.” Christ’s argument was that His Divine Nature, being God, has infinite value, and therefore, this is the altar it makes His human body an acceptable offering to His Father for our sins. In summary, the altar is greater than the gift.  Christ was saying only God could save men from their sins, and He was there.

Jesus used this more aggressive word of moron when referring to the stupid virgins who forfeited their soul, Matthew 25:2 “Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish[morons].

Again, this is in context of taking about ultimate questions of reality. That is, in context of talking about Epistemology, Metaphysics, Logic, and Ethics. In context of these big questions that are revealed by Scripture people reject it. In this context Jesus calls them stupid morons. Jesus is not saying these overtly cruel names to people who dislike His use of Samsung over the iPhone, (not over personal things).

As a contrast, Jesus used the word for “fool” to describe his disciples, but its Greek was not “morons,” but “unwise.” And so, for those who are at least trying to understand but are messing up, Jesus called them “unwise” and “weak in faith.”

There are other times Jesus applies the less harsh form for example in, Luke 24:25, “Then He said to them, “O foolish[irrational] ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”  Jesus Christ is talking in disguise to His disciples right after His resurrection. He is amazed how slow in the head they were in connecting the dots in the Old Testament, which spoke about His death and His glory.  As I stated before, it appears that Christ lessens the harshness of His name calling depending now how hard He and His gospel are being resisted.  The disciples are trying to understand, yet have totally missed it.  Therefore, Jesus calls them irrational and slow to understand, when so much of the Old Testament speaks of God’s Son and the gospel.

People who are willfully not believing and spreading a bad report/unbelief are called MORONS.  Those who—even if slow—are at least trying to understand are called UNWISE. To know which, takes some discernment. It does not mean one must always follow this in any one particular case, but that it being a common theme in the N.T. should have some resemblance in a Christian’s own life.

The biblical preachers followed both of Christ’s examples in the use of name calling.  To the Galatians, where they seemed to be honestly trying to understand Christ, Paul called them irrational and unwise.  Yet, in the book of Romans, to people resisting God so hard they are unwilling to yield to Christ, he calls them morons

Galatians 3:1, “O foolish [irrational] Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?”

Romans 1:22, “Professing to be wise, they became fools [morons].”

Peter and Context.

1 Peter 2:3-14, 3: 13,15-16,  LEB

“… Subject yourselves to every human authority for the sake of the Lord, whether to a king as having supreme authority, or to governors as those sent out by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good…”

.. And who is the one [i.e. authority] who will harm you if you are a zealous adherent for what is good?…

“…always ready to make a defense to anyone [i.e. authority] who asks you for an accounting concerning the hope that is in you. But do so with courtesy and respect, having a good conscience.”

The context is painfully obvious. However, if there is one thing I have learned with so-called theologians is that they and those who scream the loudest to read a verse in context, are the ones who in practice, do not do it.

The context is authority. Do good and authority will most likely praise you. However, if the authority hurts you for being a Christian and for doing good, then you will not lose you reward. On the other hand, if you do evil, then the government is God’s extended authority to punish you.

First, the term, “everyone,” in verse 15 does not mean all people, because the term “all,” or “everyone,” is seldom meant this way in the Bible. Almost always, it is within a context of a particular group. The context of the group here is “human authorities.” For example, in verse 18 it reads, “For Christ also suffered once for sins,.. for the unjust.”  The “unjust” does not mean, “all unjust”; rather, this term refers to the particular group in context of Peter’s letter, called the “elect.”

Secondly, one might think verse 8-12 in chapter 3 means there has been a move away in context of “human authorities.” This would be a naïve mistake, and poor reading comprehension. Verse 13 and 14 speak of, “who is the ONE who will harm you,” and, “do not be afraid of THEIR threats.” In context, the one spoken of who has the power to bring harm is the human authority, and the one who has the power to threaten with fear is the human authority.

Third. The Greek word for “defense” or “answer,” is where we get our English word for apologetics. It is a rational defense of the Christian faith.  That is, when Jesus in John chapter 8 was doing apologetics. He was preaching and defending the gospel. Jesus did this in a positive proof of the good news. He likewise did so by tearing down the falsehoods and arguments of the Jew. Or as Paul says, “tearing down arguments…that is raised up against the knowledge of God,” 2 Corin.10:4-5. Apologetics includes both.

What does this teaching from Peter 3:15 look like?

Acts 23:3–5 (LEB)

3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! And are you sitting there judging me according to the law, and acting contrary to the law do you order me to be struck?” 4 And those who stood nearby said, “Are you reviling the high priest of God?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, ‘You must not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Paul does not apologize for the insult or the curse itself, but only apologizes for speaking that way to a human authority.

Conclusion

If there are people willfully teaching bad doctrine or hindering the good doctrine from being heard, then the rebukes become very harsh, even curses. Paul even prayed that the harm the coppersmith did in hindering good doctrine being believed, would be returned back to him. See Jude speaking of false teachers: it is one insult after another. 2 Timothy 4:14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.” In essence, Paul is praying like an vindictive Psalm over this person.

Yes, the vindictive Psalms are still for today. As a superior species of human, as a saint of God, as a co-heir who is seated with Jesus at the right hand of the Power, you have authority to pray such things today.

Whether it be pastors rebuking things they ought, or issues in movies, or business, or politics, many Christians unmask their spiritual perversion and adultery. They show how little they regard truth, and how much they love viewing the world from “their” human observation, emotions and calculations of kindness. They even judge God himself by these human superstitions.

Their god is not Yahweh; rather, their god is their spiritual belly of emotions. Their condemnation is well deserved. May God repay them for the harm they have done to the Church. They have a “man-centered view” on what it means to have a God-centered view of loving your neighbor. This man-centered view of kindness is in first place too them; God is secondary.  I know many professed Christians are dumber than bricks, do not know the Scripture and are in willful rebellion to God, but to reject God in disobedience over your emotions is Plus Ultra Stupid.

Jesus was always surprised to see faith in people, because it really is such a richly scarce possession. The same is for today.

born under the law

EndNotes—————-

[1] Galatians 4:4

[2] Sexual sins can be forgiven. But to disbelieve God’s word is truth to begin with, means you are not a Christian. It is a horrific dishonor to God, by making God to be a liar and man (as a starting point) truthful.

[3] Harris kept saying phrases like “according to historic Christianity.” In my experience this is often an indicator that one’s epistemology is empiricism (starting with man as a starting point of knowledge (i.e. speculation)), and not Scripture. Any other sin issue that might be exposed later, is secondary to this issue of epistemology.

[4] See Vincent Cheung. Rebuke them Sharply.