Tag Archives: God

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Defining Epistemology

Defining Epistemology

By definition, of being a “STARTING point,” it cannot be deduced. Consider this from a 3 premise syllogism or chain syllogism. Where does the major premise come from that starts the argument? Or if we start with a syllogism and ask where does the major premise come from, one might say, “well it comes from this previous syllogism, or premise.” We can do this for a while, and we will have three options. The first, is to say it is an infinite regress. This ends up in skepticism, and thus denies the law of contradiction.[1] Second, is to say, “I do not know.” This seeming authentic answer hides the fact that you are really saying, “I know that I do not know.” This option is stupid and a self-contradiction, and thus, it has no existence. To know that we do not know is a contradiction. To be true, it must be false at the same time. It ends up in an infinite regress of affirming and denying the same thing.[2] This problem is not limited to thinking; rather, it has ontological implications as well. For example, try saying, “I do not exist”? “You” cannot do it without using “your” existence. This shows the ontological impossibility. That is, reality stops me from doing this contradiction. It does not, and cannot exist. A square circle does not exist in my mind or reality. The law of contradiction is not only a law of thinking, it is a law of reality. If you have a contradiction, you have something that has no existence. Such stupid, non-existence is to be dismissed and tossed in the recycle bins of our minds.

Now though these are called laws of thought, and in fact, we cannot think except in accordance with them, yet they are really statements which we cannot but hold true about things. We cannot think contradictory propositions, because we see that a thing cannot have at once and not have the same character; and the so-called necessity of thought is really the apprehension of a necessity in the being of things. This we may see if we ask what would follow, were it a necessity of thought only; for then, while e.g. I could not think at once that this page is and is not white, the page itself might at once be white and not be white. But to admit this is to admit that I can think the page to have and not have the same character, in the very act of saying that I cannot think it; and this is self-contradictory. The Law of Contradiction then is metaphysical or Ontological.[3]

Since the first & second options are a thinking and ontological impossibility, then consider the other. In this third option, if we keep going back, we must eventually hit the starting point or origin of knowledge. This starting point cannot be deduced, because it is a starting premise and not a conclusion.

There are some irrational comments about this floating around, for some anti-Christian commentaries say that a first principle is not “provable” in any sense. However, provable, in the context of philosophy, logic and doctrine has a strict meaning. It means a deduction. This is true, as far as it goes. However, just because something is not deducible does not mean it is not provable in the sense of giving a logical justification or warrant for why one should pick this first principle over all others.  For example, consider the aspect of the self-authenticating principle of the law of noncontradiction, that we just went over. It is not a deduction. It is not circular, because we never left from doing the law of noncontradiction.[4] Yet, it was justified as true because of its necessary and self-authenticating nature.

For a quick comment about this self-authentication of the LoC. It only works because we are only considering it on this narrow slice of reality, and we are ignoring some of the presuppositions that are needed to discuss this in the first place. For example, logic does not even give us knowledge about itself, because it is dealing with the structure of thought, and not the content (terms and premises) of thought. But more on this later.

And so, a worldview or system-of-thinking about the world, must start somewhere. The option of not knowing is implausible with reality. Thus, the next question is if your epistemology is a good one or a bad one. That is, does the starting point of your worldview make knowledge possible or not possible?

Some try to make this point vague or blur it by saying a worldview might be an interconnection of several starting points like a bridge with many supports. This appeal is a red-herring or sleight-of-hand fallacy, to divert attention away that their epistemology is in ruin. It is irrelevant, because even if so, some points would be more foundational than others; thus, if we were to discover one of these foundations were compromised, then the whole structure would fail.

For example, if one attempted to make a dual epistemology with the Scripture and something else “x,” and this “x,” was shown to be faulty, then it would falsify the scripture, which was said to have taught this hybrid epistemology.

Additionally, if one wishes to claim more than one starting point for knowledge, then if one of the epistemologies (K) makes a judgement about one of the other epistemologies (B bible), then in fact this (K) is a higher or more foundational starting point. It is the true starting point that judges the others. If empiricism (or my observations and emotions, or skin color (etc)) gives me additional knowledge that I use to judge the Bible, (if the Bible is correct on this point or that point), then empiricism is a higher starting point over the Bible. Empiricism would be my major premise in a syllogism.

In the quote below, Vincent is using the term “worldview,” but the context is relating more directly to the first principles or the presuppositional level of worldviews. His context is about “how a starting point is completely true versus only partly,” but the overall point addresses our present topic.

Suppose a given system of thought includes the following propositions: (1) X is a man, and (2) X is an accountant. If, in reality, (1) is true but (2) is false, how will a person know to affirm (1) and deny (2), unless he is already acquainted with X? Unless the system is completely true (or false), there is no way to tell which proposition is true (or false) without importing knowledge from outside of the system, and if one imports knowledge from outside of the system, then he would be evaluating the system in question by the second system from which he has gained the knowledge to evaluate the first.

That is, if worldview A is not complete true or false, then there is nothing within worldview A by which we can accurately judge a particular proposition within worldview A as true or false. If we bring in something that we know from worldview B by which we judge something within worldview A, then we are making worldview B to stand in judgment over worldview A. But if one has already obtained knowledge that is accurate, relevant, and extensive enough from worldview B by which to evaluate worldview A, then he cannot meaningfully learn anything from worldview A. He is judging it, not learning from it.[5]

To summarize, even in a so-called multi-structure of starting points, there will be one that is more foundational, and that stands first above the others to judge and evaluate them.  The question is, if the starting point of your philosophy makes any knowledge possible? If not, then not only do you not have a worldview to discuss, you do not even have the knowledge to discern “if cats are planets” and “if rocks are clouds.” You have nothing.

END NOTES

[1] This impossibility of infinite regress will rear its ugly head when dealing with other ontological issues, such as if matter always existed. It is not impossible to progress forwards in time for infinity; however, if matter was eternal, then today would have never reached. You cannot say ‘matter has existed for an unreachable amount of time,’ to then say, ‘it has now reached today’. As said before, a contradiction has no existence. How stupid men become when suppressing God’s truth.

[2] To affirm the proposition, “Adam is a man” (X), is to deny the contradictory proposition, “Adam is not a man” (Y, or not-X). Likewise, to affirm the proposition, “Adam is not a man” (Y), is to deny the contradictory proposition, “Adam is a man” (X). Now, to affirm both “Adam is a man” (X) and “Adam is not a man” (Y) is only to deny both propositions in reverse order. That is, it is equivalent to denying “Adam is not a man” (Y) and “Adam is a man” (X). But then we are back to affirming the two propositions in reverse order again. When we affirm both, we deny both; when we deny both, we affirm both.

Therefore, there is no intelligible meaning in affirming two contradictory propositions. It is to say nothing and to believe nothing.

-Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. Pg. 21

[3] H.W.B. Joseph. 1906. An introduction to LOGIC. Pg.13

[4] “Think about this. If the law of contradiction is the “ultimate” or foundational law of logic, then how can we prove the law of contradiction? Can you prove it without using it? If you can, then the law of contradiction would necessarily be a secondary law. But if you must use it to prove it, then are you being circular? Where is the circle? For something to circle back, you need to move away from it first, but how can you depart from the law of contradiction, so that you can circle back to it to make the fallacy happen? If you can understand this, then you can apply it to biblical apologetics. The only difference is that the law of contradiction has no content, so it is less likely to confuse you. But the principle is the same.”

Vincent Cheung. From his blog post in http://www.vincentcheung.wordpress.com. Sept. 2016.

[5] Vincent Cheung. The Light of Our Minds. 2004. Pg 36 (www.vincentcheung.com)

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There Is No Essential “Me” Left

To sound pious one fool quoted Romans 7 where Paul says, “in me nothing good lives,” to suggest that Christians cannot look inward to see glory, honor, righteousness and immortality.  

First Paul was referring to a hypothetical typical Jew, and not to himself after being born from above. Mistaking this for Paul after being re-created in the image of Jesus Christ has caused destructive conclusions and blasphemies.

Second, their conclusion is “apart from God, there is nothing good in me.” There is a serious problem with this.  Since “my” inner man is born-from-above and the image of Jesus, and “my” mind is the Mind of Christ, then apart from God, there is no essential “me” left. My old-man is dead, and no longer my identity. This does not mean I live in pragmatic sinlessness, but that my definition and reality is spiritual, divine, and holy. Example, apart from God upholding my body into existence, with the exception of my socks, I have nothing left. The clothes on my body is not my identity or definition. And so, if God destroyed me right now, except my socks, I have nothing essential of my identity and definition left.

Likewise, Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 3 about the fire burring away things not built upon Christ. These dead works are not part of my essential definition and new creation in Christ. Thus, they can be burnt away, and I am still fully “me” and not half of me.

If you have any essential anything that is not your identity being the nature of God and the Mind of Christ, then you are not saved.

If you have been re-created in God’s nature and the Mind of Christ and out of your belly is flowing rivers of living waters, then if you look inward, you will see glory of the image of Jesus. The only way for this not to be true, is if your identity has not been re-created in a new, heavenly reality.

Your inner-man is a new reality, your outer tent that clothes your inner-man, the flesh, and its attraction to empiricism/emotions is not your essential reality. It is secondary, dead, and wasting away. To define “yourself” by the old-man as your essential identity is to define “you” as the old-man, and thus “you” cannot be a new reality in Christ.

To glorify God for the power of the gospel, you must look inward and see “you” as a new divine creature, a superior species, a child of God, being birthed with His nature as your nature. You cannot diminish this reality without destroying the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 The gospel is not too good to be true. It is very believable because God says it true, and God is trustworthy. Satan and the old-man are liars. God tells you the truth. He tells you correct definitions about reality. Emotions are a lair. God describes reality as it truly is.

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A Superior Species

We declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden
and that God destined for our glory
.
1 Corinthians 2:7

Its all fun, joy and praises when I mention we need to glorify God, praise Him, give Him all the credit, and extol His Name above all others, and this is as it ought to be. However, once I mention how highly God has exalted man as a superior species in Christ, then I am attacked. The reason for this is the church being under the oppression of tradition and false humility. People are stuck at the doorway of forgiveness, being centered on their sin; they are centered on themselves.  This doorway into the next life, is so precious and magnificent that they remine there. They never truly inter in the glory and privilege of being children of God. They never experienced what it means to be child and sit at the table of their beloved Father.

The Logic of Denying the Consequent is used throughout the Scripture. If there is a logical necessary connection from the antecedent to the consequent, then if you deny the consequent, you deny the antecedent. The part that makes this work is if the connection is necessary and not merely sufficient. Ultimately, this means it must be a truth, but only God is able to reveal truths. However, since the scripture gives us truth and uses this logic, then so will we.

For example,

Galatians 3:18, “For if the inheritance is of the law, [then] it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”

M.1. (P) If inheritance if of the law, (~Q) then inheritance is not by promise.
M.2. ~(~Q) It is by promise.
M.3. ~(P) Thus, inheritance is not by the law.

This example is given to lead to our present subject. If you deny the consequences of man’s highly exalted position produced by Jesus’ atonement, then you deny the atonement. There is no way around this.

Does Jesus sit in the heavenly places?
So does man (Ep. 2:6, Col. 3:1-3).

Is Jesus blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places?
So is man (1:3).

Does Jesus have the Mind of Jesus?
So does man (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Was the gospel predestined for the glory of God?
Yet, it was also predestined for the glory of man (1 Corinthians 2:7)

Does Jesus have direct access to the Father?
So does man (Hebrews 4:16, 10:19)

Is Jesus heir of the world?
So is man (Romans 4:13).

Does everything belong to Jesus, including time?
It also belongs to man ( 1 Corin. 3:23).

Does Jesus have the intellectual and ethical power to judge all things?
So does man ( 1 Corin. 2:15)

Jesus is the only begotten son of God, but in this context, I ask, is Jesus a child of God?
Yet, so is man (1 John 3:1,9, 4:13)

Is creation liberated into the liberty of God?
Yet, it is also liberated into the glorious liberty of man (Romans 8:21).

How glorious and valuable is the resurrected Jesus Christ?
Man also has this glory and image (Romans 8:30)

Did Jesus have the fullness of the Spirit of God on earth? (Acts 10:38)
So does man (Acts 1:1-8)

Does Jesus dwell in the house of God?
So does man (John 14:1-3)

Does God judge Angels?
So does man (1 Corinth. 6:3)

The same love the Father has loved Jesus, Jesus loves man. (John 15:9)

The same love the Father loves Jesus, the Father loves man. (John 17:23

The same glory the Father gave Jesus, Jesus gives this glory to man. (John 17:22)

The same Spirit of God, who knows God exactly (because it is God’s Spirit), God has given to us, so that we have the Mind of Christ.

If we deny pantheism (as the bible does), then we must affirm, as the Scripture does that God does these glorious thing to man, not Himself. When Peter says to humble yourself under God’s hand, he says God will exalt “you” and not Himself.  It was Jesus, who created all things and sustains all things by His power, who said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” If this is so for a pagan, how much more is this true for all thing magnificent things God as given His children.

God promised to make Abraham’s name great and famous. Abraham became excessively rich and defeated a combination of many armies. Even to this very day Abraham is sung in the songs of millions and millions of Christians. Even in Heaven Abraham is famous (Matthew 8:11). The promise was to make His friend’s name great, not His, and it happened just as God said. God made Moses like a God to Israel and Pharaoh. God promised to do the same for Joshua, by making him great in the eyes of Israel. It was never recorded that Jesus was teleported by the Spirit, but this glory was given to a man, a table bearer named Philip.

To diminish the glory of man, particularly the born-from-above man, is to diminish the glory of God, because God said He has greatly exalted and glorified man through Jesus Christ. It would be to say God is defective and stupid at accomplishing His desires. To trample on the glory, fame and exaltation God has given His chosen ones is to trample on the blood of Jesus Christ as a common and ineffectual thing.

We are part of Abraham’s blessing, fame and glory (Gal. 3-4).

God does not mind sharing His glory, authority and power, for example, with His friend Abraham or giving the disciples 12 thrones, and all saints the inheritance of being His children; however, what God will not share is the credit and praise that belongs only to Him for all the good things He predestined for our value. Praise and credit is one type of glory (there are many types of glory), however, this type of glory, God will not share. Herod learned this the difficult way. Fame, power, favor, thrones, an eternal name, riches God has no issue lavishing these glories on His friends and children.

God has made us a superior species in Jesus Christ. Any denial of the unmeasurable magnitude of this reality is a denial of the gospel and blood of Jesus. There is no risk of pride, for we know God has give all these things to us by unmerited favor and mercy. Jesus loved us to the point of the cross. To accomplish these great things for us He was nailed to our curses. However, by the magnificent promises of God we partake of the divine nature itself. It is our new identity. We are glad to recognize this and praise God for eternity. We are filled with inexpressible joy for all the good things God as lavished so freely upon us. Oh, what great love this is, that God calls us His highly beloved children.

The Path of Faith & the Spirit

It just dawned on me, that when I learned about (or that God personally taught me) God’s sovereignty and occasionalism and decrees, was when I was a teenage and had never heard of John Calvin or any reformation. It was a time I was praying in tongues and experiencing the anointing presence of God, and often hearing prophecy in my church. It was in this environment God revealed to me these doctrines from His word, without any man involved. The Spirit taught me these doctrines; no man or system or book did. It was in the power of the Spirit I learned them.

I now see how the evil one took advantage of my overall ignorance and immaturity to lead me to the reformed world to try and snuff this out with unbelief (and contradictive theology). I thanked God I never stopped my belief in faith and the Spirit, but it was being chocked by an onslaught of unbelief material. I was deceived to think reformed material would help me fight sin, when it was the very thing weakening my ablity to fight.  I thought Reformed doctrine would not only give me some more knowledge but help with things such fighting besetting sin. Oh boy, was I wrong.

God in His kindness did not forget me. I was in the middle of transcribing Jonathan Edward sermons for Yale University, and even asked by John Piper’s team for possible collaborations, that the Spirit of God overwhelmed me in my house and I fell to the ground. I felt a hand touch my back and I heard Jesus say to me 3 times. “Oshea I love you, and I have forgiven you of all your sins.” I was then aware that despite all the reformed theology I was reading it was not translating into inner growth and faith. In my heart I wanted out, but didn’t know how. I knew something was wrong.

I few years later Vincent Cheung began his transition to faith and inner strength and God worked on my heart to completely leave the reformed world and showed me a better way. I saw that the way of faith and the Spirit was always the good path, the right path. It is a path that will cause God to stop and boast about you, exalt you and uplift you. It is a path that will fill you with joy, power and glory.

Basic doctrines like God’s sovereignty, occasionalism, and the eternal decrees is child level easy to understand, and no one should boast about understanding it as a great intellectual feat. Faith and miracles is something to boast about; indeed, even God will boast about you if you have faith.

Suggested reading:
God Will Boast About You.

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Only Believe

“Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”
– Jesus

Faith and fear do not exist in the same place together. This is why Jesus said, “only believe.” Some have a mixture of faith and fear, and thus, their faith is not pure and only partial. Partial faith will get partial results, because of God kindness. However, if you want true success in miracles, then do not fear, but “only believe.”

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A Disciplined Son, Sitting In His Room, In His Father’s House

What is the fear of the Lord? The fear of the lord is defined by its context. At times is simply means to worship the lord, as Jesus quotes to the devil. But at times it means awful dread of judgment. And lastly it can mean, as a legitimate son, to fear the discipline (not condemnation) of your father.

Vincent Cheung writes regarding a besetting sin,

It is good that instead of excusing yourself, you admit your sin and you are taking it seriously. Even if the sin persists, remember to never lose this – never begin to make excuses or to think that it is not a sin.

It is correct that true faith in Jesus Christ leads to holiness. However, a stubborn sin – or two or three – can tend to capture our attention to the exclusion of other aspects of our lives. When you take your entire life into account, is the basic disposition toward holiness? Is there an overall growth in knowledge, reverence, purity, and good works? If so, then this is consistent with a genuine faith in Christ. Instead of allowing a stubborn sin to become a stumbling block for your whole faith, you should consider the fact of your continuing growth in Christ to draw strength and encouragement in the ongoing battle against the remaining evil… So even if you draw on the strength and pressure of a Christian community, see to it that your main focus remains on Jesus Christ. He is the sole Mediator, the Lord of the conscience, and the Shepherd of your soul.[1]

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way,”
(Hebrews 12:1-3,7-11. NLT)

“Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going,”
(John 13:38, 14:1-4. NIV)

“He will judge everyone according to what they have done.  He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.”
(Romans 2:6-7 NLT)

“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord,”
1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

So right after Jesus tells Peter that Peter will betray Him (people have forfeited their souls for less), Jesus says not to worry, but remember He is preparing a room in His Father’s house for all the disciples, including Peter.

Peter did suffer the disgrace and sorrow for what he, but Jesus restored him, and Peter upon receiving this freely given love, freely gave it back to the brethren by strengthen them.  Peter never stopped from having a room in the Father’s house.

When I was disciplined by my parents, my mom would make me wait in my room for my dad to come and give me a spanking. As Hebrews 12 says, discipline is not pleasant. How obvious this is. It is proper to “fear” the unpleasantness of discipline. The point to remember is this, it is discipline, and not condemnation. For those in Christ Jesus we never fear condemnation, because Jesus was already condemned in our place. [2] This is a fear a Christian should never experience, and any voice or feeling that says otherwise is a lie from Satan. Our judgment has already happened. Only grace and life are before us. It is a bight day, today in Christ. It is a brilliant future.

However, I want to bring your attention to this aspect.  I waited for my dad’s discipline, in my “room” in my “father’s house.” Think about that. The same is for our heavenly Father. For all those truly born-from-above, we never leave our Father’s house. Even if we wait for discipline, we wait as sons, in the safety of our own rooms.  And even in the extreme example of the parodical son, when the son left his room on his own, the father’s always had a room waiting for the son’s return.

Any discipline is to help you mature as a son. That is, the good things you are seeking, such as blessings, health, prosperity (etc.) God our Father wants to give this to us, more than we want to receive it. We are already in Christ, righteous in God’s sight, reconciled and co-heirs with Jesus. By faith, at any time we can approach God’s throne; our sins do not negate this. However, if our sin is to often or too big, it can hinder our conscience to be sin focused and not righteousness focus, and this will hinder our faith, and this will hinder us freely receiving all the good things from our Father. God’s discipline for His sons, is not to remake us as sons because our sins stopped us from being sons; no, our Father desires to mature us to understand we are beloved sons through Jesus and on this foundation, in faith freely receive the good things promised us. God wants to give more than you want to receive.

When we are sick, we need to have a relentless focus on our healing, on the word of God about healing day and night. We are not to focus on our sickness, we are to focus on the healing already accomplished by Jesus in His finished atonement. We are not to focus on the pain, but the how much God loves us and wants our healing more than we want it. Sickness is from the devil, it is a curse of the law and Jesus started to demolish it in His ministry and has commanded all His disciples to continue this battle. We are commanded to have faith to be healed.

The same for sanctification, even in besetting sins. We need to have a relentless focus on our righteousness in God, and not our sin. Hebrews 12 in context about the sins that so easily ensures us, says to focus on Jesus who began and will strengthen our faith. The application is obvious. We do not focus on what our eyes see, or minds feel, or body experiences; rather, we focus on all the promises of God that are yes through Jesus Christ. We focus day and night that we are the righteousness of God in Jesus, that we are children of God, beloved and reconciled once and for all time. We can march into the throne of heaven at any time and place to ask and receive from Almighty God, as dear children.  We need to see that even all our future sins are forgiven, forgotten and gone. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that not only did Jesus become our righteousness for us, but also our “sanctification.” Jesus did not only start our faith, but He will be faithful, (not you), HE will be faithful to mature and finish our faith. In blood, Jesus promises in the New Contract, that God will write His laws on our minds so that we love God, by obeying His commands. This was not your promise to God, but God’s promise to you. The Father pointed to His Jesus’ bloody corpse and said on that day, I promise I will cause you to love Me. This is love, not that we loved God, but that God so loves us that He sent His son to be a wrath appeasing atonement for us. The old man has already died, and the new man is already here. We are free from the law of sin and death and now we reign in this life through Jesus Christ.

This does not diminish our sickness by focusing on our healing promised in Jesus, instead of the pain, but is obedience to focus on what God tells us to focus on. The same for sin and righteousness. It is obedience to focus on our righteousness, sonship and value in Christ and not sin conscience.  Psalm 1 says you will have success in all that you do if you think on God’s word day and night. We know the way. It is Jesus. It is a relentless focus on our beloved identity in Him, and that all the good promises are our definition and yes through Jesus.

ENDNOTES

[1] Vincent Cheung. Habitual Sin. Sermonettes Vol. 6. 2012. Pg.81.

[2] Now, if you are in extreme, gross sin (there are degrees of sin), it is not wrong to remember the dread of condemnation, in the sense that Paul says, check and see if your election is sure; yet, these are extremes that most Christians should not relate to (2 Corinth. 11:20-22, 27, “guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”). Yet, even in this extreme, God killed them with sickness before they could forfeit their salvation. And yet, in this extreme James 5:15 still applies, “Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven,” NLT. God wants you to prosper.

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FAITH QUOTES

[These quotes are from various preachers and teachers from the “2022 Southwest Believers’ Convention.” From Aug 4-6, 2022, from the Kenneth Copeland twitter page.]

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours
– Matthew 11:24

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts,
ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
-John 15:7 (AMPC)

“The destroyer is rebuked for our sake and His weapon of sickness and disease cannot prosper against us.”
– Kenneth Copeland

“We resist sin…we resist sickness and disease.”
– Kenneth Copeland

“When you can’t recognize yourself, doubting likely has become a habit in your life.”
@jesse_duplantis

“God never anointed Jesus to go about putting sickness on anybody.”
@terripearsons

“Fear is not okay.”
– Kenneth Copeland

“You are supposed to be healed today!”
-Kenneth Copeland

“Jesus paid the bill for our healing with His own blood.”
-Kenneth Copeland

“Doubt will steal your face, because it has no face. It’s an identity thief.
@jesse_duplantis

“An unlimited God can be limited by His own people!”
@jerrysavellemin

“You start acknowledging God over all the good things that happen to you and more good things will happen to you.”
@jerrysavellemin

“The battle may not be your choice, but the outcome is.”
@jesse_duplantis

“We can limit God through small thinking and negative talking.”
@jerrysavellemin

“God’s warehouses are full! All He wants to do is Bless His kids!”
@jesse_duplantis

“Faith brings our hopes into reality.”
@jerrysavellemin

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
– Hebrews 11:1

“Faith knows ahead of time what God will do.”
– Keith Moore

“When God tells you that He wants you to do something, and you have an assignment, you can get bold — Nothing can stop you, nobody bigger than Him.”
-Keith Moore

“Get out of the boat of religion and start walking on the water because Jesus is not in the boat He’s on the water.”
@jesse_duplantis

“You’re moving from Victory to Victory. Your Victory is already done!”
@Creflo_Dollar

“Now is the time to know that without Him you can do nothing.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“The very law of mankind should be total dependence on God.”
@Creflo_Dollar

Declare it until you believe it: “I am the righteousness of God.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“The thing that gives you eternal value is that God Himself chose you and paid the highest price for you.”
Keith Moore

“We’re not righteous in God’s eyes because we do right. We’re righteous because of Jesus.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“Righteousness is your stance and position with God. It’s the ability to stand in the presence of the Father with no fear, shame, guilt, inferiority, or condemnation.”
Creflo Dollar

“There’s absolutely nothing that God’s favor can’t accomplish.”
@jerrysavellemin

“The favor of God changes rules, regulations and policies in your behalf.”
@jerrysavellemin

“Start putting your faith in what Jesus has already finished.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“You don’t have to talk God into it. He wants to do it, He desires to do it, He gets great pleasure out of it.”
@jerrysavellemin

“Zero + Zero is Zero. Zero + Faith is plenty!”
-Kenneth Copeland

“I depend on favor every day of my life.”
@jerrysavellemin

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
– Hebrews 11:6

“I’m righteous because of Jesus. As long as Jesus is alright, I’m alright.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“You can’t leave up to God, what God has left up to you.”
– Keith Moore

“Victory is a finished deal.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“God wants you to depend on Him so He can show you His commitment to take care of you.”
@Creflo_Dollar

“Doubt makes you the center of your belief.”
@jesse_duplantis

“When the disciples obeyed Jesus, their boats were so full they began to sink.” Kenneth Copeland

“Grace is God speaking to you, faith is you speaking to Him.”
@JeremyPearsons

“Religion makes beggars out of men and women.”
-Keith Moore

“The household of faith is faith in the morning, faith in the noontime, faith when the sun goes down.”
@JeremyPearsons

“There’s always somebody telling you you can’t, God says you can. Who’s lying?”
jesse_duplantis

“Jesus did everything by faith in His Father, and it’s the same Father dwelling in you and me, and it’s the same faith.”
Kenneth Copeland

“We are the body of Christ, in this hour — we are the transition piece.”
@terripearsons

“Doubt is an unconscious atheism.”
@jesse_duplantis

“You can’t come to Him in faith and not have something happen!”
@terripearsons

“People who know how to use their faith are operating on a different level.” @terripearsons

“Don’t talk the world. Talk The WORD.”
@jerrysavellemin

“Divine moments change your entire existence!”
-Kenneth Copeland

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
– Matthew 21:22

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Judgment OR Salvation

In the scripture the terms “salvation” and “deliverance” have similar meanings, but not the same. Deliverance usually is in the context of judging an enemy to rescue someone out of slavery and trouble. This is seen in Israel crossing the Red Sea and the Egyptians were drowned in it. Salvation includes this, but it also means more (Heb. 9:28). On this judgement aspect the two terms are interchangeable.

When Jesus mentions in John 16 that the Holy Spirit “correct the world about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged,” this is what we mean by deliverance. Judgement is referring to all aspects of power and command that belongs to a ruling king. Salvation is this and the addition of His positive works of righteousness freely given (Romans 5) and positive blessings given to us by His Contract in blood (Hebrews 8).

Jesus executes judgement on Satan by binding him up and blundering his house.

“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters,” (Matthew 12:28-30 NIV). (see Acts 10:38, Heb. 2:10-14, Colossians 2:15)

Jesus is the caption of salvation for His chosen ones. Satan is the chief enemy against Jesus’ kingdom, and thus, the King must deal with Satan to show His power. Jesus does this. Jesus removes the dominion of Satan and replaces it with His dominion. This is Jesus’ judgment and deliverance. The Holy Spirit corrects the souls of men about this, because they have sided with Satan against the Kingdom of God. Satan is defeated; his kingdom is weakening. Soon he, and all who align with his rule, will be thrown into hell. But Jesus’ kingdom will last forever and ever, amen.

In Satan’s dominion, his law was a law of accusation, bondage, and fear. Jesus defeated this. He obtains His Kingdom by war and conquest. Jesus bound, plundered, and casts out Satan; He neutered his power and accusations against His chosen ones. Jesus came to earth and by His power, even power showed in sacrifice, defeated Satan in battle. Jesus is a mighty warrior. The devil defied the saints of God. Jesus with one stone, killed Satan and cut off his head. In Jesus’ atonement and resurrection, it was 100 times truer, “Today the whole world will know there is a God in Israel.”

“Now is the time for judgment on this world;
now the prince of this world will be driven out.”
John 12:31

In Jesus’ dominion, He rules with the law of unmerited favor and sonship. The Father has transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 2:13). These additional super blessings of being sons of God, even co-heirs with Jesus and being highly favored by God and not merely forgiven and in a neutral standing with God, is the fuller meaning of “salvation.” The word salvation can mean just judgement or the fuller meaning depending on context. David often used salvation as God both delivering him, and setting his feet in a good and prosperous place. Jesus does this for all His saints through His atonement.

The substitutionary atonement of Jesus is both a deliverance in power and a substitutionary exchange were Jesus gives us His righteousness and highly favored status. Thus, the finished atonement of Jesus is the fuller meaning of salvation.

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Substitutionary Atonement: Curses For Miracles

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corin.5:21 LEB).
Though (Jesus) was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” (2 Corin. 8:9 NLT)
“Surely He has borne our sickness, And carried our pains… And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5 LEB).

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” in order that the [gospel] might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the [gospel]
of the Spirit [ & miracles, – verse 5,8] through faith,”
(Galatians 3:13-14 LEB).

Sin for righteousness.

Poverty for prosperity.

Sickness for health.

Curses for Spirit and Miracles.

Interestingly, the reverse for curses is the baptism of the Spirit and miracles. Tradition the rejects these things as a common experience for the believers and so put themselves under a curse, by doctrine and practice. If you are not under miracles, then by Paul’s argument you are still under a curse.

Paul argues in the beginning of chapter 3 that by faith they were filled with the Spirit and miracles, and not by doing the law. Thus, Spirit and Miracles are put together by Paul. Next, Paul says this is the blessing of Abraham that God promised, and this promise is also for gentiles who have faith. Then Paul says, the Scripture preached this blessing as the “gospel” to Abraham.

Two important notes in how Paul is using terms. Paul uses the terms “God” and “Scripture” as interchangeable, and terms “blessing to Abraham” and “gospel” as interchangeable.

Thus, when verse 14 says that we might receive the Spirit, it has already been defined by Paul along side with “miracles,” and that they are together defined with the interchangeable terms, “blessing and gospel.”  By defining the gospel as the Spirit and miracles Paul is defining the gospel or blessing by important specific effects, and not defining it in its broadest meaning. Therefore, in Paul’ argument it is not a straight “curses for blessings” conclusion, the way it might mirror, sins for righteousness. Paul is going straight to the effects. Curses for the Spirit and miracles.

This should not be a surprise if you consider the origin of this gospel, which is Abraham. God’s blessing to him equated in an onslaught of miracles after miracles. Physical miracles of his and his wife’s bodies, prosperity, favor, military victories over multiple kingdoms, the King of Salem giving him bread and wine and talking with God face to face (etc.). Thus, when we are grafted into this blessing by the atonement of Jesus and faith in Him, we are grated into an onslaught of miracles.

Paul’s argument is that through Jesus by faith, we have the same gospel that was promised to Abraham is given to us. Simple and beautiful.

Thus, even after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul’s argument is the gospel of Abraham is the foundation for the abundant miracles and Spirit of power being demonstrated in the Galatian church. The church receives this freely in faith and not by works of the law. Thus, the foundation for the current New Testament church dispensation is the ongoing gospel of Abraham. Therefore, any argument about miracles ending with the apostles, is stupid, anti-scripture and anti-gospel.

The reason people say such things, is because they are men who are focused on men, albite good men, but men nonetheless. They love men, love the praise of men and will do anything to side with men. God is just an afterthought and decoration. As demonic as it is, God is used as an exegesis principle to help them focus on men.

The Scripture is focused on God. God and His swearing by His name to bless Abraham with unending miracles in the foundation. All those who turn to this God and His gospel of miracles, will not be put to shame.

The important point is that the “age of miracles” is interchangeable with the “age of the gospel of Abraham.” If this gospel stands, it is an age of miracles and the Spirit.  The only 2 ways for abundant miracles to stop is (1) God stops being faithful to His promise to Abraham (which He swore by His Name to do, Heb. 6:13-14) or (2) people do not believe in God’s gospel promise (Rom. 10:16).

Many men have conspired with demons to say it was the first reason and not their lack of faith that explains the lack of the effects of the gospel, which is miracles and the Spirit in their life. They have their reward.

But for us, let us partake of the Lord’s Supper and remember the sufferings of Jesus that exchanged our sin for His righteousness, our sickness for His Health, our poverty for His wealth, and ours curses for His miraculous power. Let us be Christians and live the gospel of Abraham that Jesus made ours by being literally nailed to our curses on that tree. God wanted this. Just as God wanted Abraham to be blessed with a life of miracles, He wants you to be.

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YOU Have The Ability, If YOU Believe

If I can?” Jesus asked.
“Anything is possible if you have faith.” TLB

What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked.
Anything is possible if a person believes.” NLT

The word for “can” or “able” means ability or power to do something. The word for possible also has a similar meaning of having a powerful ability to make something happen. It appears Jesus is making a play on words. Jesus is in effect saying, “If I have the ability? No, you have it mixed up. You have the ability, if you believe.”

Jesus is doing a play on words in that, one, Jesus is showing that He is offended at the question. “If I am able. Of course, I am able.” The grammar shows Jesus with emotion, “IF I CAN!” The point is that Jesus expects the presupposition that a person coming to Him for help believes He is able.

The second aspect is how Jesus takes what the father says, and uses or puts it back on the father. The father was asking about Jesus’ ability, and Jesus turns around and says there is ability to heal here; however, it lies with you and your faith.

Context. Think about the desperate father wanting his child healed. This is a public place with a crowed watching. What does Jesus do? Does he take the father aside to a private place and correct him privately? No. In front other others, during ministry time, Jesus corrects this emotionally desperate father about a theological mistake.

If someone needs a healing, and there is a theological issue stopping it, then the most loving thing you can do is to correct the mistake, even publicly so that they can correct themselves and receive the healing they so desperately need. If you are easily offended, then do not expect to get healed, for Jesus corrects those He loves. Our heavenly Father disciplines (not condemns) those He loves. Why? Because God wants you healed, prosperous and matured more than you want it.

About the second point, it is important to see how the man tried to put the responsibility on Jesus but Jesus takes the responsibility off of Himself and puts it on the desperate father. Even though the father did not have full confidence in Jesus that He had the ability, yet, it is enough the he thought it possible for Jesus to have the ability. If Jesus has the ability, and a desperate father is asking for help (how does not have the ability) then the accountability is on Jesus to heal. However, Jesus switches this around. He says the father, through faith, can heal his child, and thus, the accountability lies with the desperate father to heal his child, because God desires mercy more than sacrifice. Jesus showed neighbor love helps those in need (the beaten man on the road) and makes the need go away.

The father accepts this accountability and responds in an appropriate manner. If the responsibly is the father’s, because by faith he has the ability, then the father needs faith. Therefore, the father says he has faith, but it is imperfect and so asks Jesus to help his unbelief.  This is good theology. This is how to correctly respond with the accountability God as placed on us. Jesus healed the child.

Many in my day, do not follow this scriptural example. They take the (we will call it a hat) the hat of ability and responsibility and put it on Jesus’ head, saying, “if you will, then you can heal me.” But Jesus’ takes this hat off his head and puts it back on their head saying, “you can heal yourself, by faith in My promise. The responsibility of this healing is on your shoulders, not mine.” Instead of responding to Jesus like the desperate father, they take the hat of responsibility that Jesus put on their head, and they throw it down at Jesus’ feet saying, “I will suffer for the glory of God, by the will of God. We will not have you rule over us, by telling us what we are responsible for. We will decide this ourselves.”

God is the one who decides what man is responsible for, not man. That what it means to be God and in all authority.

Jesus tells us what He will do with people who will not accept His authority to rule over them. Jesus says these predestined reprobates will be slaughtered at His feet. “But these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence!’” Luke 19:27 LEB

The good news is that we are children of God; we are so superior, so loved and so close to God as insiders, we can heal, cast out demons and throw mountains into the sea. Angels and all other created beings do not have this special insider status that the children of God do. Jesus has removed all our sins from us. He has cleansed us and made accepted as beloved in the Father’s sight. He bore all our sins, our sickness and curses. He gave us His righteousness, health and blessings. God has reconciled us to Himself and adopted us into the very family of God. Jesus’ finished atonement has given us the right to wield the authority and power of God so that we can heal, cast out and bless. God wanted this. It was His idea to do this. He wants it. You are not fighting against God to wield this type of power. If you resist this, it is then you will be fighting against God.

Think about how much God loves you. He puts His power in your right hand, and His authority in your left. He wants you to overcome this world, because Jesus your forerunner overcame it. He wants you to be self-aware that you are a child of God, and a co-heir with Jesus Christ. He wants you to look down and see you are wearing sandals and He wants you to feel that are clothed in the best robe from the Father’s wardrobe. God wants you to be aware you are wearing His signet ring on your right hand. He wants you to lift your right with the ring and to order the servants, because you are His child and heir.

If you want to see how much of an insider status you have as a child of God, then consider the viewpoint of an angel. God commands one to go and they go, he tells another to come and they do. They are servants of God. As God’s creation, we will always be bondservants of God, but we also have the addition of being children of God. Imagine an angel seeing Jacob wrestling God for a blessing, when God has commanded Jacob to release Him? No angel would dare to disobey a direct word of God. But as children, God’s first doctrine for us is faith, and no other doctrine after this can contradict it. It is the first primordial doctrine for God’s children.[1] It is their insider status. Imagine an angel looking at Moses standing in front of God, after God said He would wipe out Israel, and say, “Don’t you do it.” No angel would dream to do such a thing, and those who did are now demons. Imagine an angel looking at the gentile woman hijacking Jesus’ analogy, for her own desire, after Jesus told Her it was not her time and it was morally wrong to give what belongs to Israel and give it to her. No angel would do such a thing. However, for God’s children, their insider status (faith), gives them the privilege to do this. Act like the children of God. God wants you to act like children of God, because God re-created you as children of God. He wants this.

You must start somewhere. Today is a good day. Ask for Jesus to help your imperfect faith. Run to win the race. Jesus is the author of our faith. Look to Him, and He will make you a hero of faith. He will strengthen you. Remember faith is not how much you love God, but how much God loves you and has reconciled you to Himself.

This is mature doctrine. Oh Lord, let those who have ears, hear.

ENDNOTES———-

[1] These last few statements were influenced by Vincent Cheung’s essay, “Faith Override.”