Tag Archives: logic

Obedience Proves you Understand the Scripture

All who follow his precepts have good understanding,”
(Psalm 111:10 NIV).

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and prove to be my disciples,
(John 15:7-8 LEB).

 Ethics are the conclusion of one’s worldview. Without knowledge, there is no knowledge of ethics. Without a reality, then there is no reality for ethics to exist in. Without man, there is no man to command. Thus, on the major premises of epistemology and metaphysics, ethics conclude from this.

We read something interesting Psalm 111:10b. We are told that by obeying God’s precepts (i.e. Ethics) it “proves” that a person has good understanding or intelligence. Since obeying God is Christian ethics, it means obeying God concludes from “understanding” Christian epistemology and metaphysics. This is why the greatest test for exposing if a so-called Christian pastor, or historically famous theology is truly intelligent and understanding can be seen in their obedience of God. In obedience they prove they have understanding of Christian epistemology and metaphysics. However, like the religious hypocrites in Jesus’ day, some Christian ethics can be outwardly mimicked, at least to a degree. However, some ethics cannot be mimicked by hypocrites. For example, one such ethics is mentioned by Jesus in John 15. Jesus’ presupposes that bearing fruit for the Father is a command or precept. It is a Christian ethic. Jesus says by doing this ethic you “prove you are His disciples.” The ethic mentioned here is having faith to ask God for anything and then God give you this anything.

Even Jesus said it was more difficult to speak healing to the sick than speaking forgiveness of sins, because if you say, “get up and walk,” there is an immediate point of verification. False Christian converts do not have faith, thus, they cannot ask for God for anything and then get it. They cannot do the miracles that Jesus did, because they do not have faith or understanding.

The more difficult ethics that cannot be mimicked by false converts (such as healing, miracles and answered prayers), are ethics that give greater proof of greater understanding of God’s truth and greater Christian intelligence. It means you need to understand more of God’s sovereignty and Christian epistemology, and to believe them, in order to do such ethics. These ethics prove, you truly believe what the bible claims about God.

Thus, the real proof for a persons claim to ministry is not a degree, which is mere human approval, but doing the more difficult ethics. These prove such a Christian has great understanding of Christian epistemology and metaphysics. It does not mean they are perfect in their understanding, but as the Scripture says, it does prove they understand God. If your pastors and favorites theologians do not have such ethics in their life, they do not give Scriptural proof they understand God’s sovereignty, or biblical epistemology as well as they claim.

Do not let such disobedient weaklings be your instructors, in particular, if they directly teach against such ethics, or merely hold them back. 

Prayer of Petition VS Dedication: When prayer becomes Non-prayer

Below, is a quick contrast between a prayer of “dedication,” that Jesus prayed in the garden, and a prayer of “petition” (John 15:7, Luke 18:1).

These are two different categories. They do have some overlap, depending if you are looking at the only real level of causality, or from the human relative level, and ethics. There is also some overlap between the direct meaning and indirect or presupposition behind it; however, we will keep it at this relative and direct perspective for simplicity, because it is this level that Jesus mostly spoke about.

When Jesus prayed in the garden, it was a dedication prayer, like Hannah dedicating her son, or when we dedicate our tithes and offerings to God. We will focus on the two necessary qualifications from these types of prayers, which is important for our present topic.

 

Dedication:

One, the person dedicating knows specifically what the plan or will of God they are dedicating to. The point is about a “specific” plan, “revealed from God,” not revealed from human speculation. Second, the person is directly giving up something of theirs to aid God’s specific plans and goals.

As for the first qualification Hannah knew God’s plan about having an ongoing ministry to God with ministers.  There was no mystery about what God might or might not do about having a church and ministry. God instituted it and commanded it. It was His goal and plan. There are no vague notions about it. Hannah dedicating her son to the service of God, was Hannah dedicating to a clear and specific plan of God she understood. The same with tithing.  You know exactly what God’s plan is when it comes to tithing. There is no mystery here. God’s plan is to support His ministry and ministers. You are dedicating your money to His plan, a plan you know about in precision and clarity. The same with Jesus in the Garden. Jesus knew the specific plan of God about His death for the salvation of the elect. There was no mystery here. There were no nebulous notions of what God might or might not do. Jesus says in effect, “I am not here for Myself, to ask for something, I am here to dedicate Myself to Your plan Father, however, in Me giving Myself to aid Your plan, if there is a way for Me not to suffer so horrifically, then grant this to Me, however, I am here to aid Your specific goal Father, so I will do it no matter the cost.

In all these examples the plan of God is known from infallible divine revelation, and not personal superstitions from observations. Thus, one important point about a prayer of dedication is knowing about a specific plan of God as revealed truth (as infallible divine revelation), and giving something you have to aid this plan.

The second point is about who is giving to who. God owns all things, however, even Jesus when talking about the relative level said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” and not “Give Caesar’s things to God, because God ultimately owns it.” The bible does not teach pantheism. God is not what He creates, although He directly and absolutely controls every aspect of it, so that He is even the author of sin and evil. Thus, when God gives “you” something, because God is separate from the things He creates, God gave it to “you,” and “not Himself.” It is yours, not God’s, in this sense.  God gave money to Caesar, not to Himself, and thus, it is Caesar’s. The same with our money. When we tithe and give extra offerings, we are giving to God in this sense. God has said what His plan is about the ministry and ministers, and we obey Him by giving a portion of our money to aid God’s plan.

 

Petition:

A prayer of petition has the two same foundational points from above, but the object has changed. First, it is our specific plan, not God’s. Second, God is giving to us, and not us to God.

For the first point, the direct focus is our plan. We have a specific plan, and we are asking God to help, give it and establish it. Think about healing. When King Hezekiah was praying to be healed, was he praying for the idea of healing for all people, all animals and all theoretically possible aliens in the broadest sense possible? No. He was praying for healing for himself. (I know this sounds obvious, but people still miss these sort of things). As with the prayer for dedication, the plan is a specific one, and not a mystery, not might this or might not that.

I recall one time I was praying for help against a temptation to God, however, I was not clear in how I wanted God to help me. I suddenly felt the Spirit of God rebuke and say to me, “What do you want?” I then said, “I want my friend (Chris) to call me in the next 5 minutes, and read a Psalm to me and pray for me.” Exactly 5 minutes later my friend Chris called, and said he called because he suddenly felt the holy Spirit move him to call me, and read me a Psalm; and so he did.

God is often kind to us in our lazy prayers; however, this kindness of God does not remove the accountability from us that we are to specifically make our request known to God and receive them in faith.

As for the second part is obvious. God is the one giving to us. We are not referring to mysterious hidden providences of God; rather, we are referring to what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount.  Jesus said God is a good Father, in that what we ask for, God gives us this exact thing and not something different. God gives to us, and gives what we ask for. God hears our plan and our will, “Lord, heal me of this sickness,” and God aids our plan, by giving us a healing. Just like we see Jesus doing over, and over, and over, and over again in the Gospels. These people were stocking him, overcrowding Him, even interrupting Him (the person lowered through the roof), and He would stop what He was doing, and blessed their plan by giving them the healing they were asking for.

By staying on this level, we learn an important lesson: one type of prayer will negate the other. You are doing one or the other. You are in the direct sense, either giving to God, or God is giving to you. You are either knowing God’s exact plan (as divine revelation) and aiding it, or God is hearing your exact plan and aiding it.

Many when they pray, are in fact not praying, because they act like they are praying a petition, but then they refer to, “Lord, your will be done,” which is a dedication type prayer. When praying about the same these prayers cancel each other, therefore it is as if they prayed nothing. If this is the majority of your prayers, then you are not praying. If you are not praying, you are not a Christian. If you are not a Christian you will endure eternal suffering.

Since this is exactly the WOF doctrine, the WOF is right, and the others are wrong. Unless you are making a prayer of dedication, it is often wrong to pray “if it is your will,” as if you do not already know his will. In a prayer of petition, it can be an indication of unbelief and rebellion.

When you came to Christ, how come you did not pray, “God, I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he came to this earth to die for sinners. If it is your will, save me, but if not, let me burn in hell”? Now when you sin, how come you do not pray, “God, I have sinned. If it is your will, forgive me, but if it is not, then revoke my salvation and damn me to hell.” How come? Because you know Jesus already suffered for your sins and paid for your forgiveness. God tells you this in his word. You knew God’s will before you asked, and you received by faith. Well, Jesus paid for a whole lot of other things, and God also tells you about them in his word.[1] 

This point we have been highlighting is a point that is different from the category error of mixing up ontology and ethics. If you do not know a specific divinely revealed truth, then an appeal in prayer to “ if the will of God,” is almost always nonsense. One could refer to the will of God in the broadest sense possible, such as “all things for God’s glory,” but the person who says this, could by the “will of God,” blaspheme the Spirit in the next breath and be sent to hell for the “glory of God.” Thus, a dedication prayer, is not meant to be said in this broadest sense possible, unless you are fine with giving your life to God, for God to cause you to blaspheme the Spirit, so that your burning body in hell is for His glory. No, you need something more specific.

Both types of prayer have in mind a specific plan, and is seeking to aid that plan. Because both are specific, to pray one type is not to pray the other type. To pray, “Lord heal me,” is seeking your specific plan, not God’s plan, in this direct sense. In this sense, you are indeed asking for “your will to be done” not God’s will. You are asking for God to give to you, and not you giving to God. Just like those who lowered the paralyzed man through the roof, and interrupted Jesus, they were asking for their will to be done[2]; they were not looking for God’s will to be done, in the direct sense by giving to a specific revealed plan of God.

I apologize for having to say such obvious things, but some have so abused the “will of God,” and so abused God’s sovereignty that I must go over this.

If you are NOT thinking about a specific decree and plan of God from Scripture (like tithing for support of the ministry), or a specific prophecy God has given you about your own ministry, then there is little context and little to no intelligibility to pray a dedication prayer. You are just mumbling at this point. You are praying like a mumbling pagan.

To ask for healing, and then say, “but your will be done,” is nonsense. In essence it is saying, this prayer is about “me knowing” my specific plan for healing and knowing “You giving” me that healing: however, it is also about “me giving” to You my circumstance and my “my not knowing” your specific plan to heal or not heal me?” LOL!

Again, this type of prayer has now become non-prayer. You are not saying anything. You are praying things that cancel each other out. If you pray like this, you are not praying, and if you do not pray you are not a Christian.

What is odd is that many cessationist and traditionalist (and sadly even Pentecostals) often refer to the “will of God,” as if they are praying a dedication prayer, when they are asking for something in a petition prayer. Thus, they are not praying. Getting past this point, we see another problem. If they are not receiving divinely given prophecies/visions/dreams concerning specifics for their ministries, then what “specific” plan from Scripture are they using to dedicate themselves to, by giving something to “God’s revealed plan”?  Take healing for example. What Scripture says God will not give healing when asked in true faith? Where? Remember a rebuttal only works if you can show a scripture that only means no healing with faith, and not a mere possibility.

These persons now have a real problem. They need a specific plan of God to dedicate themselves to, so as to feel really humble about themselves.

Sadly, the only thing left for such persons to acquire a “specific” plan of God, is to humanly divine it from the movements of circumstance, similar to how Satanists humanly divine the future with movements of a Ouija board. Their circumstances move this way, their bodies and hands move this way, thus, it is God’s specifically revealed plan not to heal me. Starting with an epistemology of human empiricism/observation (not scripture) they superstitiously conjure up a specific plan of God to their liking, such as, “its not God’s plan to heal me of this sickness.” Thus, many so-called Christians have more in common with demonic cults than with Christianity.  They are one step away from entering into the fellowship of demons, if they are not already there.

Be true Christians. Pray dedication prayers when applicable, and pray petition prayers when applicable and do not blur them into the same thing. Be Children of the light.

 

Dedication: Lord I give this to you.
Petition: Lord give this to me.

 

Dedication: Lord your will be done.
Petition: My will be done.

Dedication: I know Your plan, so I want to give this to You, to aid Your plan.
Petition: I know my plan, here is something I need You to give me, to help my plan.

 

———-END NOTES———-

[1] Vincent Cheung. Prayer and the Word of Faith.  From the ebook, Sermonettes Vol.8, 2015, pg.45.

[2] See Vincent Cheung. Healing: the Will of Man.

First Principles of a Worldview or First Spirits?

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

LSB Colossians 2:8

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon: (elementary principles),

4747 στοιχεῖον [stoicheion /stoy·khi·on/] n n. From a presumed derivative of the base of 4748; TDNT 7:670; TDNTA 1087; GK 5122; Seven occurrences; AV translates as “element” four times, “rudiment” twice, and “principle” once.

1 any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal. 1a the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not however the written characters, but the spoken sounds. 1b the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe. 1c the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as others think) because in them the elements of man, life and destiny were supposed to reside.
1d the elements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles of any art, science, or discipline. 1d1 i.e. of mathematics, Euclid’s geometry.[1]

In the verse, the word “philosophy” is actually used, not “spirits or angels.” In addition to philosophy being used by Paul, which is about philosophy, the context is about “traditions of men,” that are conclusions from “elementary principles.” In Philosophy 101 you learn that ethics (or in this case religious ethics as “traditions”) are a conclusion from the rudimentary principles of metaphysics(reality) and epistemology(knowledge). To talk about ethics, as Paul does here, coming from elementary foundational principles of a human system, is as philosophy as it gets.  In fact you can start any Intro to Philosophy book or college class with this statement, “Philosophy is the study of the fundamental principles, or ultimate questions about life.” The first two biggest questions are almost always about “starting point for knowledge,” and then the “starting point for reality.” With these two big fundamental principles laid down, then one can easily proceed to ultimate question about ethics.

The whole structure of this premise and those immediately around, is strong philosophy, or ultimate question language. Thus, “stoicheion,” due to context should mean what it normally means and not some other meaning, like “elementary spirits.” It means ultimate or rudimentary/first principles of a worldview. Think about the philosophy word, “epistemology.” It means, “first or starting principle of knowledge.”

Thus, the last part of the Strong’s Lexicon (1D) is best definition of this word, that fits the context of Paul’s premise. Paul is therefore, referring to the first and foundational principles of a humanly made worldview, and then the “traditions” men conclude from the first principles of their humanly devised worldview.

Paul is contrasting “human” versus “Christian” first principles, and then human conclusions from their humans first principles versus Christian ethics from its first principles.

Men have their own speculative statements of first principles of knowledge and reality, and from this they superstitiously conclude human traditions as their ethics. Their traditions are false, because their first principles of their worldview about reality and knowledge are false; and therefore, their traditions/conclusions are false.

Christians on the other hand, have Christ, who is hidden all the treasures of knowledge. The Scripture reveals the starting principles about knowledge(epistemology) and reality(metaphysics) to us, and from foundation, God reveals His commands(ethics) to us. Christians ethics are founded on reality and truth, whereas, non-christians ethics are founded on a delusion of reality and skepticism as knowledge.

[1] Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Sola Scriptura: The Soiled Diaper of the Reformation

Until the Reformed renounce the WCF, they are no less Catholic, with their triple epistemology. Because “SOLA SCRIPTURA” is no less a triple epistemology than the Catholics, it is not redeemable. It cannot be saved. It is to be trashed. God might have temporarily used sola scriptura, like a dipper, in the early days, but He has long ago thrown this soiled diaper in the trash. The Reformation took the idea of only standing on Scripture for knowledge and soiled it with empiricism and tradition. Sola scriptura is now God’s target practice. We ought to do the same.

Their cessationism alone soiled the Scripture as the only starting point for knowledge. But their boast about leaving Catholicism is also naive and delusional. They could not leave it alone. Man (WCF) and empiricism managed to be equal starting points for knowledge. They were abused under Catholicism and when they tried to leave, they became the abusers and abused Scripture with addition starting points, despite their honest intention to solely use scripture. Its tragic, but it is also demonic. They blasphemed. Also, the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, which Martin Luther largely got correct, (except faith and miracles) the Reformed soiled that diaper too with the WCF.  They served their purpose that God ordained for them, and afterwards God discarded them. The proof is that in application God did not predestine them for faith, healings and casting out demons, when Jesus said you give proof you are a disciple and that He “chose you” by you asking getting what you want (John 15). Jesus said the ones he predestined will bear fruit. Jesus says, you will know them by their fruit.

“…If anti-faith and anti-miracle ministers and groups were ever useful, they are not useful anymore. God has exploited them for his own purpose. The salt now has no flavor, and it is ready to be thrown out and stepped on by men. They are holding people back, and they should be discarded and forgotten. The church has recovered to a point that we no longer need teachers who refuse to teach the word of God as it is written. It has reformed indeed, and then reformed again. There are those who refuse to continue after the first small step, who after they have rejected Satan, refuse to continue with Christ and welcome him in all his fullness. But there is only one Christ. If you do not receive him — all of him, since he is one — then you reject him. For the church to move forward, it must cast aside these useless people like wet dog poo, and leave them behind to die….”
Vincent Cheung. “The Primacy of Healing Ministry.”
From ebook. Contract, 2020.

[The below, is slightly out of context from the source, but should be followable. It is a person, Johnny, who was offended by uncle Vincent Cheung’s teaching on God’s sovereignty and saying God is by logical necessary the metaphysical author of sin and evil.]

1.  I agree with Johnny’s analysis of Gordon Clark. The traditional definition of “sola scriptura,” does not mean what we mean by saying, “the Scripture is our sole epistemology.” They mean the scripture plus, what God sovereignly caused the Reformers to say and doctrinally formulate at the time. (In this, the Reformed are nothing more than a rehashed version of Catholicism, with their dual and even triple epistemologies.) The main sovereign work of these men forming doctrine is the WCF. And it is clear the WCF, (in addition to other heresies, such as cessationism) affirms secondary causes relative to God. Clark, because he was a Presbyterian must affirm the WCF. Thus, his only recourse was to irrationally make the WCF affirm the type of sovereignty that Martin Luther and himself taught. What Clark and Luther taught contradicts the WCF: thus, somebody is teaching the truth and the other a blasphemy. But the WCF is almost Arminian level weak on God’s sovereignty. It is blasphemy. There is no rescuing it. Clark was grasping at straws in order to make himself look like a good Presbyterian. The author is correct that Clark’s remarks to make the WCF be as sovereign as the Bible teaches was a failure.

2. Johnny’s remarks on Luther, however, are incorrect. Luther clearly teaches God both creates and causes/moves evil and sin in people and demons, and not merely “lightly nudges some evil that ontologically was put there in the man, apart from Himself.” To Luther, the same directness God uses to cause “faith” is the same sovereign directness God uses to cause unbelief (i.e. sin) in a person or demon. Luther, who was writing in non-stop syllogisms and the necessary connections of arguments clearly states that God is not what He creates and causes, by logical deduction. According to Luther if God creates or cause evil, it has no logical necessary connection that God is that Himself. The author does not know what Luther taught.

“……But what do they effect by this playing upon words” This is no more than saying, the act is not God Himself. This remains certain, that if the action of God is necessary, or if there is a necessity of the consequence, everything takes place of necessity, [then] how much [more] the act be not God Himself. But what need was there to tell us this? As though there was any fear of our asserting the things done were God Himself….” [2]
[i.e. God is not what He causes. If God creates a river and directly causes it to move north, then God Himself is not a north flowing river. The same with men and their good and evil choices that God directly causes. Or if God causes a man to choose evil, then God is not that.]

“…Paul teaches that faith and unbelief comes to us by no work of our own, but through the love and hatred of God (228).”
[God the author of all good and evil, of all things by direct causation]

“…What I assert and maintain is this: that where God works apart from the grace of His Spirit, He works all things in all men, even in the ungodly; for He alone moves, makes to act, and impels by the motion of His omnipotence, all those things which He alone created; they can neither avoid nor alter this movement, but necessarily follow and obey it, each thing according to the measure of its God-given power. Thus all things, even the ungodly, cooperate with God(267).”
[God the author of all good and evil, of all things by direct causation]……..”

3. Johnny says Vincent’s argument infers God made Adam defective and this infers something further, saying,

If the defect of man is something caused by God, then God must have this defect in itself…”

This connection in this hypothetical syllogism is not a “necessary connection.” At best it might be said to be a sufficient one, but a syllogism only works if the connection is necessary. The only way for this connection to be necessary is if God is “NOT” separate from His creation as taught by pantheism (etc.). That is, unless the author proves the Bible teaches pantheism, he has no necessary connection in his argument. But if what he says is true, then by implication if God creates a north flowing river then God Himself is a north flowing river.

(3.a) John Calvin clearly taught that God could have created Adam in a type of perfection that would have given Adam the “strength” to not commit the original sin. Calvin says it is the height of injustice to suggest God had to create Adam with the strength to not fall to sin. So not only does Calvin contradict the author, he but provides a counter argument. If God did not create Adam with the strength to withstand a nuclear bomb, is that a “defect”? No, it is not a defect. It is a matter of strength and weakness. That fool has no idea what he is talking about. And as Romans 9 shows, God loved and hated in order to show His previous goal of showing His power and mercy. This original goal for the elect is truly perfect, compete and God-level valuable. Since the order of the decrees are in logical order, then if we were to talk about defect or perfection, it is the original decree for the elect that is to be evaluated, and not the last decree, which is last, in a long list of decrees to get to this perfect original goal.

(3.b) Also, as Luther shows, it does not logically follow that what God creates and causes, proves that God Himself is what He creates and causes. Luther even points out that His opponents understood this logical inference, and is asking why they need to state something so painfully obvious. Since, Johnny contradicts this obvious thing, when even Luther’s opponents agree with him, then he must be dumber than a litter child.

He also slanders and bears false witness to what Luther actually taught. He commits the same mistake he accuses Gordon Clark of. Luther is still considered part of the Reformed, and so to a degree, Luther is nebulously part of the “sola scripture’s” triple epistemology Catholic copycat. He slandered Luther to make him say what the WCF says. This is the result for having people, like the Pope, and empiricism, part of your “sola scriptura.” When there are contradictions between two divine fathers, you have to pick a side and bear false witness of the other to make them say the same thing. These are lovers of men, and the approval of men. They have their reward.

However, whether Luther this or Calvin that, I do not care. I do not bear the label of Reformed or Presbyterian. I do not adhere to “sola scriptura,” because no one has proved the Bible teaches that men and empiricism are a triple epistemology with itself.

4. The person, despite his rhetoric, keeps meta-morphing God’s commands, epistemology and ontology together like a child, the very thing Luther accuses Erasmus of. This person is a delusional and not some biblical hero.

5. “…Cheung, recognizes that the reformed doctrine denies that God is the author of sin….”

I agree with the author. When the Reformed chose the WCF (over Luther’s Bondage of the Will) as its creed, it publicly and formally denied God is the metaphysical author of sin, along with faith and expansionism. There is no rescuing this. The Reformed willfully chose this, they bear it. As long as the WCF stands the Reformed are no less Catholic than the Catholics.

Vaccine: Lest We Offend Them.

Once you believe God heals on demand by faith in His promise, then one is free for many options. By faith, God is able to keep me from the virus and heal me. If some say the vaccine has a small percentage to cause problems, then so what? God can heal me of that to. Since taking or not taking the vaccine is a freedom for me and taking the vaccine helps me to not give unnecessary offence to my secular society, then I am freed to do this. Faith in God’s promises gives me the freedom to not give unnecessary offense, which Jesus often did. Without faith in God to do what He promised, then one is always limited and enslaved to circumstances, and his own fears. He will be enslaved to self-fulling prophecies of unbelief, just like children of Israel when peered over the edge of glory and said, “these people are too big and strong for us,” and God made it so for them. In this limitation and fear, man will focus on man, and governments that are made up of man, and protests that are made up of man. God was never in the picture for them.

Vincent explains more on this issue of, “lest we offend them.”

“…Let me say more about this. The New Testament teaches that we should be concerned about public opinion, not in the sense that we should cater to the false beliefs and wicked desires of the non-Christians, but that we should present the Christian faith in the best light possible, maintaining the impression that our God is one that teaches us to live in faith, in peace, in compassion, and in integrity. This teaching is perhaps unfamiliar to a great number of Christians, so here is a partial list of relevant verses: 2 Samuel 12:14, Nehemiah 5:9, Romans 2:24, 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, 2 Corinthians 6:3, 1 Timothy 5:14, 1 Timothy 6:1, Titus 2:5, 1 Peter 2:12, 1 Peter 3:16. There are many more. Jesus himself did some things “lest we should offend them.” He never hesitated to offend the religious leaders. In fact, he contradicted their creeds and violated their customs on purpose. However, he avoided unnecessary offense toward those who could not have understood. It was the same with Paul. Several times he said that we ought to behave this way or that way so that “the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” Of course, some unbelievers would blaspheme God no matter what, but Christians should not add fuel to the fire. And indeed, in some aspects it is possible to achieve a positive reputation. For example, if Christians never cheat in business, unbelievers might still consider them fools for believing in God, but they will say, “At least they always honor their word.” If Christians never cover up sexual abuse that occur in their midst, but speedily and publicly punish the offenders, and make a point of hunting down the criminals to bring them before the authorities, the unbelievers would say, “Well, if they say this never happened, of course it never happened.” But Christians do cheat in business, constantly. And Christians do cover up sexual abuse, so much so that we do not even know how much has been covered up. And now we are so indignant about religious freedom! We have not followed the example of Jesus and the apostles. We have not cared about integrity and public opinion about the Christian faith. To the world, the Christian faith represents hypocrisy, not integrity. Be ashamed, not indignant. Be embarrassed, not self-righteous. If we have cared about how outsiders perceive the faith that the Lord entrusted to us, we would have behaved differently through the centuries. Then the unbelievers would say, “I still do not believe what they say, but I will have to admit, they are a peaceful and productive people. They are an asset to society.” If this is the best that we can achieve among those who refuse to believe, we should still attempt it. It is right to offend the unbelievers as much as possible, as often as possible, if it is for the truth, but Christians often offend because of pride and self-righteousness, or they stand up for what they wish is right in their minds after they have contradicted what they knew to be right in the word of God. And Jesus has to pay for our mistakes with his reputation.

Since the churches have worked hard through the centuries to establish themselves as the most useless institutions in a time of widespread disease, when they randomly grow a spine and stand up for a principle that no outsider cares about, one that is not even necessarily biblical, this is not going to give them a positive impression about the faith of Jesus Christ. When outsiders think about Christians, healing almost never comes to mind. On the rare occasions when they see some Christians that pray for the sick, immediately they see even more Christians attack them. So at a time when healing is the most relevant thing to the entire world, Christians become nothing other than a public nuisance, nay, a public hazard, when they defy medical opinion and insist on a practice that to the outsiders is the very thing that threatens healing the most. Christians have ceded the entire domain of healing the sick to the heathens, abiding by the Hippocratic Oath instead of the Great Commission. This is the worst time to grow a spine for a principle that is unrelated to healing the sick. It is an invitation for maximum contempt. Christians have offered no extended and intelligent explanation on healing the sick to the non-Christians, followed by demonstrations and evidences that would withstand scrutiny by medical experts — and indeed, although we believe that human science is severely flawed, healing miracles performed by the power of Christ can satisfy their standards. Thus if we suddenly defy medical advice, the unbelievers would not consider us principled, but backward and selfish. They would think that not only the Christians would be the ones that perish, but they would contribute to the spread of this contagious disease to all others. Concerning most Christians, who have no faith that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death, this assessment by the heathens would be correct.

Do not be angry with your governments. They are trying to save lives, including yours. They are trying to save you from the fallout of your stupid religious tradition and unbelief. Be angry with your churches. Be angry with your pastors and theologians. Be angry with your orthodox heroes, both historic and modern. Be angry with all those who opposed healing by faith in Jesus Christ. Be angry even with those who merely neglected to teach it. All of them have sinned against God, and against all of humanity. Will you finally exorcise these people from your life? You will not, right? So you should be most angry with yourself. Be angry with yourself. You have the same Bible. You have the same message from God as all these other people. If they did not believe God, you could have believed God. But you have not done your part to believe what he said and to teach others. The more angry you are with your governments, and the more you defy them at this time, the more you condemn yourself. You reap what you sow. You have been sowing messages and attitudes of sickness, and now this is what you reap. Your theology is so masochistic that you are even proud to be sick. Jesus called it satanic bondage, but you think it is some badge of holiness or some gift from God. And you have attacked those who believe in biblical healing. Now when people get sick, Jesus is the last thing they think of — because of people like you. So when they attempt to stem the spread of disease by enforcing isolation, and Christians insist on gathering, the churches do not appear as solutions to anything, but only as problems in the eyes of unbelievers. You are guilty. You have allowed this situation to develop. The only innocent ones are those who have promoted biblical healing as hard as they could, but have been drowned out by the voices of unbelief. If you have been faithful to the teachings of Scripture on healing, and if you are indignant that the government does not offer you an exemption or consider you essential, then from now on work hard to distinguish yourself from others who claim to be Christians, but who are in fact no-healing and anti-healing heretics.”[1]

[1] Vincent Cheung. “A Matter of Public Health.”
From the ebook, Contract. 2020. 82-83

Baptism Of Power: Applied Eschatology

[This is a first draft canalized section, from the Eschatology section, from my systematic theology book. ]

When Jesus on His throne becomes central when thinking about eschatology, rather than man-centeredness, the application is power; this power comes from baptism in the Spirit. It also comes from an indominable faith that moves mountains, and approaches the throne of grace to receive the very thing one asks for. One becomes focused expanding the Kingdom of God, in power, truth and love.

The New Testament teaches in more than on place saying something to the effect, “by believing God’s love and forgiveness for you, you are empowered to love and forgive one another,” (i.e. Colossians 3:9-13). Thus, who would contend with us saying, “if you want to be mature in loving others, you need to be focused on God’s love for you,”? You need to be radically Jesus-centered focus, if you want to be mature in your own love and mercy given to your fellow brethren. The same is in eschatology. If you want Power to advance the Kingdom, if you want Power to help those who are suffering, then you must be radically focused on where Power comes from, Jesus on His throne. If you want Heaven’s power, then being focused on men and government is a contradiction.  The reason why so many focus on man and governments in eschatology, is because the LOVE being focused on man. Man-centeredness is their idol and god. They have their reward. Human power is all they will have.

As for us, we keep our minds where our life and power is at, the right of God with Jesus.

Jesus began to do and to teach, 2 until the day he was taken up, after he had given orders through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen…

4 He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”…

they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.”
(Acts 1:1-8 LEB)

“And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all,”
(Acts 4:33 LEB)

2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in the same place. 2 And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues like fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability to speak out.

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them, “Judean men, and all those who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words! 15 For these men are not drunk, as you assume, because it is the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel..

30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 by having foreseen this, he spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned in Hades nor did his flesh experience decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up, of which we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you see and hear.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”

9:17 So Ananias departed and entered into the house, and placing his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight and got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking food, he regained his strength. And he was with the disciples in Damascus several days.

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message. 45 And those believers from the circumcision who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as we also did!” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days…

11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the inland regions and came to Ephesus and found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “But we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into the baptism of John.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the one who was to come after him—that is, in Jesus.” 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

____

If Jesus sitting on the throne is the foundation and focus for eschatology, and His commands for power still stand, then applied eschatology for Christians is baptism in the Spirit, faith and miracles.

As has been discussed in the previous section on salvation and the gospel, baptism of the Spirit is a (logical speaking) necessary consequence of the gospel. We will briefly go over this.

“Always remember that Jesus Christ,
a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead.
This is the Good News (GOSPEL) I preach,”
2 Timothy 2:8 (NLT).

As has been stated before, some traditions and heretical teachings have a tendency to limit what the term “gospel” means, as taught by the Scripture.  Imputed righteousness and being declared righteous by the Father is a super awesome doctrine, but there is more that the bible defines that belongs to “good news,” than a few narrow doctrines. As usually men are habitually and systematically man-centered, so that instead of yielding to a purely biblical definition of that the gospel means, they yield to tradition and men.  We know who they serve.

Paul teaches in this passage that the gospel includes that Jesus was raised from the dead “as a descendant of King David.” This refers to the promise God made to “King” David about a descendant that will come from him. There are two aspects of this promised person. One, he will be the saving Messiah. The second, is that He will be a “King” on a throne, ruling in power and authority.

This descendant of King David, according to Paul, is connected to the fact that Jesus was raised. This point of this is simple, for there are only two aspects to it. When you and I are resurrected, it is not necessarily connected to us sitting at God’s right hand as King and Judge over all things; however, this is precisely what it means for Jesus. Jesus is raised as the promised King, from King David, who sits on a throne of power. That is, Jesus’ resurrection by the Father from the grave, cannot be disconnected from the fact that His rising is a rising to sit on a throne. The doctrine of Jesus rising form the grave is the same thing as His rising to sit on the throne as King. One cannot separate Jesus’ resurrection from His sitting on the throne as a King. The doctrine cannot be separated like that. Jesus raised from the grave is not to some nebulous place in the clouds. We are told and know where He was raised to. He was raised to the right hand of the Power. This doctrine for Paul, is “the gospel he preached.”

Also note, this is Paul to Timothy. Furthermore, this is the gospel Paul preached to the gentiles; thus, is not a specific doctrine for Jews or something like that.

Peter, in the first recorded apostolic gospel sermon, harps on this aspect of Jesus being King David’s descendants, who was raised to the position of throne power and authority. It took up much of Peter’s gospel sermon.  Again, one cannot say, “this was for the Jewish audience,” when Paul as the apostle to the gentiles, to Timothy, says this is the gospel he also preached.

Peter sums up Jesus’ rising as the seated King from David as,

“both messiah and King.”

Thus, this promised descendant from David, according to Peter includes both the “saving Messiah” and “King” aspect to it. The resurrection is part of the gospel, most would admit, but the resurrection cannot be separated from that fact that it is a resurrection as a King to a throne. This power the Father “worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this age but also in the coming one, 22 and he subjected all things under his feet,” Ephesians 1:20-22. Again, Peter does not separate the saving and Throne aspect of Jesus Christ as the risen descendant of David. It was the gospel Paul preached and it was also the gospel Peter preached. The promise included both, and thus cannot be separated by theologians without blaspheme.

Peter then makes connection to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. His argument is this. Jesus as the descendant King from King David, was raised to the right hand of God, and in His position of power, has poured power out His power to us, through the baptism of the Spirit. That is, what has this newly seated King done with His position of Power? What will He decree? What will this seated descendant King of David do with all this authority and power? Peter’s answer is this: He gives us His power and authority so that we can overcome the world and spread His kingdom to every corner.

“So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith,” Galatians 3:5-8 NIV

The promise to bless, from God to the man Abraham, thus includes the Spirit and miracles. Since even the Old Testament speaks of the saints having God’s Spirit to empower them to have faith and follow God, “the Spirit,” spoken by Paul to the Galatians is most likely referring to the baptism of the Spirit.  Paul further says, this blessing promised is “the gospel.” Thus, the gospel according to what the Scripture preaches, included the Spirit and miraculous power. Why is this “gospel” not systematically taught in pulpits today. Because many are preachers for Satan rather than obedient servants of God.

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus,”” Acts 17:6-7 NIV

Paul preached on throne aspect of Jesus enough, that the opponents had no issue summarizing, even if they slandered by taking the meaning in the wrong way, Paul’s gospel as a King on a throne who rules over all people.

Jesus in His last words in the Scripture says, “I, Jesus. …I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” This whole apologetic revelation to John is predicated by Jesus on the metaphysics that He is the King promised from the line of David, who is even now on His throne.

In the gospel, it teaches and proclaims a metaphysics of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Power. This teaching on metaphysics—from Jesus’ point of view or from the view of God as the only real cause in reality—includes how Jesus is using this power to not only give an inner ethical power, but also a missional kingdom advancing power, by the baptism of the Spirit. If the resurrection cannot be separated from metaphysics of Jesus sitting on the throne (Eph 1:19-23), and the throne doctrine cannot be separated from Jesus having all power and authority (Acts 2), and this power of Jesus cannot be separated from Jesus pouring out the baptism of Spirit according to the promise of the Father (Acts 2), and the doctrine of resurrection is part of the definition of the gospel (1 Corin.15), then the gospel includes Jesus on His throne ruling in power and pouring out the baptism of the Spirit.

Ethics, which is an application of this reality, is Jesus’ command for His followers to get answers to their prayers and be filled with His power. Our application of this is to obey it. Our responsibility and accountability is to obey our Master. Thus, our seeking to have answered prayers and filled with power is an application of the gospel, when considered in the category of ethics.  Thus, to make this clear, from a doctrine of epistemology and metaphysics Jesus’ resurrection to the throne and pouring out His power in the Spirit and causing His elect to have the faith to receive it, is the gospel, and not merely an effect.  However, viewed from ethics, which is God’s command and our response to this in obedience, can be view as an effect of the gospel.

Thus, the doctrine of eschatology is a narrowed doctrine of the last aspect the gospel. The gospel includes all the foundational doctrines such as the promises of God to Abraham (Gal.3.), about the sovereign deity of Jesus (John 1:1-4), His humbling, His obedience under the law, His substitutionary atonement for us, and His resurrection to the right hand of God, pouring out faith and baptism of the Spirit. Eschatology is merely a focus on the last metaphysics of the gospel. Remember, the doctrine of salvation is merely a subcategory of God’s absolute control over reality. God has controlled reality in all aspects of creation, the fall, the promises, the sending of His Son, His atonement, and now the Son’s enthronement with all authority and power given to Him. Eschatology is a focus on God’s control over reality in the present reality of His Son at His right hand.

When dealing with what man ought to do, we are asking about ethics. Christian ethics is about God’s commandments.

Luke records Jesus last command to the disciples as waiting in Jerusalem until they are baptized in the power of the Holy Spirit. They are already clean, and born again because Jesus says so. They are clean or born again because they believe in Him.

In the very beginning of John chapter 1 with the doctrine of the “LOGOS” John records, “In him was life, and the life was the light of humanity. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it,” (John 1:4-5 LEB). We are talking about an intellectual light, for the world did not “know” or that is intellectually perceive who He was. Their minds were dark in spiritual stupidity. Paul records it this way,

“This therefore I say and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles walk: in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart, 19 who, becoming callous, gave themselves over to licentiousness, for the pursuit of all uncleanness in greediness,”
(Ephesians 4:17-19 LEB).

Although light can refer to ethical good, here John and Paul is using it for an intellectual understanding and belief. In fact Paul says in 1 Corinthians, that the Spirit alone knows God, and by us having the Spirit, we know God, and know Him in the same way God does, by His Spirit. Then He says, “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,” (1 Corin. 2:12-14 LEB).

The “things of the Spirit” is intellectually understanding and accepting knowledge about our standing in God and all the goodies given to us. The “things of the Spirit,” which the natural man cannot understand is about an intellectual understanding and assenting to the truth revealed in the gospel. In fact the famous dialog with Jesus and Nicodemus Jesus says only by being born again can you see/perceive the kingdom of God. “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.”… Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God.  What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘It is necessary for you to be born from above,” (John 3:3-6 LEB). The word for “see” here can mean to perceive and understand, and in context of chapter 1, where John makes the context of Jesus being the intellectual light, then John means for us to take it this way. Jesus says it is “necessary.” In context of light, being intellectual perception, then it is obvious why it is  “necessary” to be born from above, because how can one believe in the gospel if they do not understand it? Spiritual life, is intellectual life. Being born again, must therefore, happen before repentance, because you cannot repent without understanding and accepting the truth. This is only done after being born from above. In fact, Jesus makes this connection to intellectual assenting to the truth as part of the Spirit’s work. “The Spirit is the one who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “Because of this I said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by the Father,” (John 6:63-65 LEB). Jesus appeals to the overall sovereignty of God to work the work of a person being born again and having the intellectual light to understand and believe what Jesus is preaching; however, the immediate focus is on the Spirit that causes a person to see and believe what is being said.

Near the end Jesus says to the disciples, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see him or know him. You know him, because he resides with you and will be in you, (John 14:17 LEB). Jesus affirms the Spirit is already in them. The Spirit that gives intellectual light to understand and believe the truth. They are born from above. John in 1 John restates this saying, “You are from God … They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world and the world listens to them.  We are from God. The one who knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit, (1 John 4:4-6 LEB). John says we are of God (i.e. born from above) and the proof is the intellectual ability to listen what God says, understand it, and believe it. Reprobates do the opposite.

Jesus also says in John 6:27-29 that the work and command of God is to believe in the One who He sent, which is of course is Jesus. Thus, there is some overlap of an ethical light. The Spirit births in a man, the light to understand reality, by causing him to believe in the truth of God. The Spirit gives a man the courage to accept the wonderful reality of all the good things God as freely given him in Christ. However, the act of believing in Jesus’ salvation is the “work” and “commandment” of God (Acts 17:30). Thus, believing is both an intellectual light and ethical light. Thus, being born from above is both a birth of intelligence and ethics in man. Before they were intellectually and ethically dark. They are a new reality of intellectual and moral power.

Despite Jesus in chapter 14 saying the Spirit already resides in them, says the Father will send the Spirit, in Jesus’ Name. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything that I said to you,” (John 14:26 LEB). John, also gives commentary about this other giving of the Spirit. “Now he said this concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified,” (John 7:39 LEB).

What is this? The Holy Spirit already birthed the disciples in intellectual and ethical power? Jesus says in John17, in His high priest prayer, that the disciples already believe He was sent by the Father, except Judas. Thus, they already possess the power to believe Jesus. What else is needed? Missional power is what is also needed.

And he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you, but you stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high,” (Luke 24:44–49 LEB).

Jesus already opened their mind to understand the Scriptures, they are already born from above with intellectual and believing light. They were baptized for repentance of sins. What more is there? Jesus says to wait until you are clothed with power. Many people are lazy and do not see the big picture or do not care about what God loves and cares about. Jesus is zealous to advance His Kingdom and then hand it to His Father. His command about missional power is a command to accomplish this zeal and love. Christians expose their true or false professions, by jumping on board with Jesus’ command and zeal or disobeying it.

Luke, who is the same author of the book of Acts, writes a few verses later in Acts chapter 1, gives more defining to the term “clothed with power.”

He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”…

they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth,”
(Acts 1:1-8 LEB)

Luke teaches that clothed with power and “receiving the power of the Spirit,” is being baptized in the Spirit. Jesus in John 14 says, “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.” Jesus further defines this at the end of Luke, “I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you.” Peter teaches us in the Pentecost sermon, that this refers to the baptism of the Spirit. Peter says, when the Father seated Him at His right hand and faithfully gave Jesus the promise of the Spirit, then Jesus from the position of the Thone authority sees to it that He gives it to His disciples.  “Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you see and hear.”

The important part here is how Jesus defines the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus refers to the baptism of the Spirit as missional power to advance the Kingdom. “ You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.” Baptism of repentance and baptism for missional power are different categories. They are two baptisms. It is possible to receive both at the same time, but there is no direct teaching from Scripture that says it only or even mostly happens this way; nor do individual examples logically deduce such a doctrine.

Peter, under the Holy Spirit says this refers to baptism of the Spirit as a fulfillment of the Promise of Joel, which puts salvation for sin and them empowerment as part of the same promise. Peter says, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (baptize in the Spirit for missional power). For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”[1]

The two big takeaways here is that the Scripture interpreting itself, says Joe’s prophecy is for salvation and baptism of the Spirit for empowerment, and that they belong together for this age. How long is this age? Peter defines it by Jesus on the throne, and this is the other big takeaway, to “as many as God calls to Himself.” Thus, the age for Joel’s prophecy is in play as long as Jesus sits on the throne at God’s right hand, and God is still “calling people to Himself.” As long as Jesus is still at God’s right hand, and God is calling people to Himself, then Peter’s command to repent, and then be Baptist with power, still stands. It was not some crazy on TBN, this was the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. Peter puts baptism of repentance and baptism of the Spirit together with “as many as God calls to Himself.” There is no logical law of logic or principle that can divide this. A person can do this, but since there is no logical way to do it, they can only do it by delusion and blaspheme.

Peter says to repent and be baptized for forgiveness. Thus, they must be born from above to do this, since only in spiritual intellectual life can one see and believe in the Kingdom. Next Peter says, and then you will be given the gift of the Spirit, which Jesus terms as “baptized in the Spirit,” for missional power. There is the baptism for intellectual and ethical life, and then Peter says, Jesus will give the baptism of the Spirit. These are two distinct and separate categories. To mix them up is both stupid and wicked. Jesus commands that we obey Him and receive both baptisms. Peter in the first apostolic sermon, commands all to be baptized for forgiveness, and then God will further baptize for power. The context is the audience asking about the baptism of the Spirit, which they are watching unfold in front of their eyes. Peter command is for there to be intellectual and ethical birth and baptism, and then the baptism of power will come.

Peter argues that this is promised in Joel, and his for all who call on God for salvation. Thus, it is not about apostles, or the age of the apostles, since both Joel and Peter put this baptism of power with the call for salvation together. Thus, after quoting Joel putting them together, and making Jesus on the throne as the foundation, Peter says, “promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.” Remember Jesus commanding the disciples to be baptized in the Spirit to have missional power to be witness to Jerusalem and surrounding area and to the ends of the earth? Peter, under the power of the Spirit, says this promise (of missional power) is for all those far way, as many as the Lord God calls to Himself.” “Calling to Himself,” is salvation. Thus, this is not intended for the apostles, but for all who God will call to Himself. All who God will call to Himself, God gives them the promise of Joel, through Jesus Christ in authority dispensing it from His throne. Thus, this is an order and command to only believe in Jesus for salvation, but to believe in Jesus to give missional power (and out of love to Him) advance our Savior’s kingdom.

Thus, Jesus is the main actor here, not Peter, nor “any age of man.” Jesus is still on the throne. The Father has not taken back His gift of the Spirit to the Son. Jesus is still faithful to give repentance and the Spirit for all those who call out in faith, which was promised in Joel. The promise of Joel for salvation and missional power, is in play as long as the absolute sovereign God “calls people to Himself.” This is radically God focused, not apostle focused. The reigning Jesus defines this age, not man.

Jesus gives intellectual and ethical power for faith and salvation, and then gives the baptism of the Spirit for missional power to advance the kingdom.

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message. 45 And those believers from the circumcision who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as we also did!” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days…

11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the  repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”

Verse 10:48 says that Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus. That is, they did water baptism, confessing they believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and of a new life. However, in 11:17 refers to the “gift” of receive the Spirit as “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Thus, before we get into specifics, the simple plain reading shows two distinct baptisms: one of repentance and the sign of water baptism, and then baptism of the Spirit for missional power. I say mission power, because Luke in chapter, through Jesus Christ defines this second baptism in this way, and thus, we will do the same.

This bears repeating. You cannot have biblical interpretation principles and only apply them to your opponent, and not apply them to yourself. Jesus and Luke’s first mention of the gift of the Spirit is defined as a second “baptism of the Spirit” specifically focused on “missional power,” not forgiveness or something else.

Peter says God gave them the “gift of the Holy Spirit.”  However, Peter affirms God already “baptized” them. They have already been baptized. But Peter still orders them to be baptized with water later. Thus, Peter affirms two baptisms. Why? Because the first baptism is the category of intellectual and ethical life. The second baptism is for missional power. Because the first baptism of new life is an intellectual and ethical power, it thus gives the ethical power to obey Jesus command to receive power for missions. Being born again, gives ethical life to respond to Peter’s order to not only repent but receive the baptism of the Spirit for power. The reason many do not receive the baptism of the Spirit is because the are still born from below. They do not have the intelligence and power of character to accept and receive the gift of missional power. God did not sovereignly “call them to Himself.”

However, as seen in Acts 19, Paul found “some who believed” that had not yet received the baptism of missional power. Therefore, it is possible to have the first baptism without the other. However, Luke records that Paul is quick to give them not only better explained baptism of repentance but also baptism of the Spirit. In fact, it is because they are already born from above, that they proved it by so quickly receiving the further teaching Paul gave them. They had the intellectual and ethical power to perceive and accept the further teaching Paul gave. They still did not have the missional power, thus, Paul fixed this with laying hands on them. Because they were truly born again, they not only obeyed by receiving the further teaching on repentance from Jesus, but also had the power to obey Jesus and receive His gift of the Spirit.

Some morons complain, “well if you make baptism of the Spirit a separate baptism like Peter and Jesus and Paul did, then you will make those who have not experienced the baptism of the Spirit to be second class citizens.” Well, of course the Scripture would make them second class, but not for the specific reason you might think. They would be second class in the same since the man in Corinthians made himself a second-class Christian by sleeping with his step-mother. The man was willfully disobedient, and unrepentant. Paul, handed him over to Satan, so that in the destruction of the flesh, he will be saved. In his excommunication, he really was a second-class Christian, even in the literal sense. However, we know the story. The man repented. He was then brought back as a true bother in Christ.

This is the same issue with baptism of the Spirit. When Paul found the believers who were not baptized in the Spirit, he did not excommunicate them or say anything harsh. He loved them by preaching a fuller gospel message to them. They did not hesitate to obey and receive what Jesus commanded. What would happened if they said, “we do not believe Jesus has ordered us to receive the baptism of the Spirit for missional power; the command is only for you apostles”? What if they kept refusing and started to teach there is no baptism of the Spirit for missional power after one has confessed repentance in baptism of water? Would Paul still have called them believers after that, or called them false teachers? I will not answer that for you. No, being ignorant of the baptism of the Spirit, or being hindered to receive it because false teachers, does not make one a second-class Christian (it would leave you less powerful to advance Jesus’ Kingdom); however, unbelief and refusal to even try to obey Jesus would make you one, if not much worse. Excommunication should be given to all who disobey this order and hinder others in their false doctrine; all believing Christians ought to hand these over to Satan, and perhaps God might sovereignly grant them repentance while their flesh is destroyed.

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the inland regions and came to Ephesus and found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “But we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into the baptism of John.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the one who was to come after him—that is, in Jesus.” 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

Luke records that these people, although limited in their understanding of the gospel, are “disciples.” Paul in fact presupposed they are believers saying, “when you believed?” Thus, they are referred to as disciples and believers by Paul and Luke, despite only having known John’s teaching and baptism of repentance. After teaching, Paul led them to be water baptized again in the name of “Jesus.” After this Luke records, “the Holy Spirit came upon them,” which Luke first mentions in chapter 1 as “baptized with the Spirit.” They are already saved. They are already born from above with the intellectual and ethical power to be “believers” and followers. With faith in Jesus’ gospel and being baptized in water to show their faith in Him, they then received the baptism of the Spirit, for missional power. The Kingdom advances. This is exactly what Peter preached in Acts 2. Repent and be baptized in water, and then you will receive the baptism of the Spirit for power. Thus, Paul shows there are two baptisms along with Peter.

Also, it is worth noting that “speaking in tongues” is mentioned regularly, when people are “baptized in the Spirit.” At the very least, the doctrine from this alone, without bringing in others, is that speaking in tongues is a regular power that the Spirit works in those He is baptizing with His power.[2]

From this alone we realize that Jesus advances the Kingdom not only by intellectual and ethical power, but also miraculous power. Speaking in other tongues is a regular sign when receiving Zeus’ thunder bolt. When there is speaking in tongues, the Kingdom advances. In fact, the speaking in tongues is what brought all the questions, that lead Peter to preach the sermon in which three thousand souls were conveyed form darkness to light. The Lion advances.

[1] () added by author.

[2] I believe the argument can be strongly made that it is almost always manifested when there is baptism of the Spirit (if no always), but this is only a basic systematic theology book. Consider the principle of first mentions. Speaking tongues is mentioned in the first teaching on the subject, and then regularly mentioned after to continue to reinforce this.

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

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.”

When all Else Fails, Attack God with Ad Hominem Fallacies

I posted an expert on facebook from Vincent Cheung’s book, “Godliness with Contentment,” (pg.13) about prosperity and the atonement. 


…However, we must make a crucial distinction. The Bible never opposes wealth itself, and it never opposes legitimate practices and occupations that produce wealth. As Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” In fact, God is one who gives his people “power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18, ESV). Paul writes that Christ suffered poverty so that we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9), and that God would supply our needs according to his glorious riches by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Therefore, we denounce those who, in the process of refuting the so-called “prosperity gospel,” blaspheme the word of God by their unbelief and tradition. Their rejection of God’s promises is arguably more sinful and destructive than the love of money, because it entails a direct denial of Christ’s atonement – the context of 2 Corinthians 8:9 is financial wealth, not spiritual wealth, just as Matthew 8:17 refers to physical healing, not spiritual healing. The atonement must include health and wealth, or we would remain sick and poor even in heaven. To deny this is to renounce Christ and the Christian faith.

Although the Bible says, “Forget not all his benefits” – that he both forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:2-3), faithless theologians and preachers make it a matter of orthodoxy to reject some of his benefits. They preach a different gospel. They refuse his benefits, and refuse to allow others to reach for them. They persecute those who teach God’s people to have faith in his promises, and to depend on him for health and wealth. They spread unbelief and heresy, thinking that they are doing God a favor, but they have become the servants of demons…[1]

I feel confident to say that Vincent teaches that both wealth and health are part of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and that these benefits, like forgiveness of sins, are available to faith.

A person responded with a critique about this saying, (we will call him Billy)

“This is nonsense. What he says denies Jesus’ words in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” It demeans the poor woman whom Jesus praised because she gave all she had – which was a tiny gift. It mocks the suffering of the saints (read Hebrews 11, just for one). The only truth I see in it is that God teaches to work, & that in general that brings prosperity to his people. Paul suffered serious health problems, & God denied him healing. We are indeed to depend on God for health & wealth – as Paul did. But that does not mean God will always give it to us – Paul was neither fully healthy nor wealthy. I would not put much confidence to someone who steps so far aside from the full biblical teaching.”

First, I want to say that I do not represent Vincent, nor am I affiliated with him. I do not know how he would respond to this, and if you wish to know, ask him. However, this example is a good one for me to go over how people who go against the Scripture, will often try to defeat you by an onslaught of non-relevant points and arguments. Do not be intimidated; rather, take the knife they tried to stab God’s Word with, and turn it against them, along with your own sword. Here is a maximum that is like Wing Chung. If you see them move toward you, with the same arm you use to defend, attack their central point. Make them defend it. If you sense weakness and they begin to move back, then you still attack their center point. It is right that they defend against the unmovable Word of God that they have conspired against to attack.   

I want to give two thoughts about this as we go through it. One is about logic in general. Logically speaking, at every point I am saying to myself, “what does this, logically have to do with that”? They seem to be points of non-relevance, over and over. The second is specific point about ad hominin attacks, which is again a point of non-relevance.

The first point brought up is John 16:33. Jesus said you will have trouble, but to take courage, because He already defeated the world. My first thought is what does this verse logically have to do with refuting the point that prosperity and healing are in the atonement and are accessed by faith? Part of the issue here is defining what Jesus meant by “trouble” and by “I have defeated it.” There are to main categories Jesus dealt with in the gospel of John, and in the immediate context. One is everyday troubles, such as sickness, poverty, demon harassment and (etc.). The other trouble was from persecution for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will not be dealing with persecution trouble since this is not what Vincent addressed. But needless to say, even in persecution we are not without our weapons. Look at how Paul faced persecution and kept winning against the power of darkness. But that is for another discussion.

If John 16:33 only is referring to “persecution” trouble and Vincent was dealing with the category of everyday troubles, then this verse has no logical connection. If it deals with both, and Jesus “defeating” this only refers to us experiencing this victory in heaven, then this verse again has “no necessary connection” to everyday troubles.

If troubles refers to both(everyday and persecution) and Jesus’ victory has results that effect the present everyday troubles and heaven, then we start to see some logical connections in the right categories.

As for everyday troubles and Jesus’ victory having effects now, the context of John will give us clarity. Jesus says in the SAME chapter (John 16),

I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.  “You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. .. you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.”

Before this passage, Jesus tells the disciples, they will face persecution. And so, we now have two categories. One is persecution. The other is asking for anything, and then receive this anything so that, not God, but “you” will have abundant “joy.” This asking and receive anything, is in the broad category about everything and having joy from it. Thus, everyday troubles is included in this receiving and experiencing joy, if not the main point.  

However, John 16 is in an unbroken dialog of Jesus talking to the disciples starting in John 14. Jesus says more on this topic. For example in John 14 it says, “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in me, the works that I am doing he will do also, and he will do greater works than these because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do this, in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it,” (John 14:12-13). Vincent makes a critical observation about what Jesus means by “works” in this passage,

… He made a distinction between his words and his works. If you do not believe because of this thing, then believe because of the other thing. So by his works, he did not mean his words, or his ministry of preaching, but his ministry of miracles. Later in the discourse, Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them…” (15:22), referring to his sermons, and then he said, “If I had not done among them what no one else did…” (15:24), referring to his miracles. He again made a distinction between his ministry of preaching and his ministry of miracles. It is not a matter of emphasis, but in this context, his “works” refer only to his miracles, and exclude his ministry in doctrine and charity.[2]

And so, Jesus command to pray and get anything is particularly referring to His types of miracles. What was one type of miracle Jesus did a large number of? Healing? Sickness and defective bodies and constant pain and suffering is indeed a “trouble.” In Acts 10 Peter says Jesus did good and “healed all” who were oppressed by the devil. The devil is described as troubling the people with oppression of sickness and defective bodies. The devil was a strong man, but Jesus was a much stronger man.  The devil pushed but Jesus pushed harder. Jesus’ “works” defeated and overcame these persecutions of the devil. “You will face trouble, but take courage, for I have defeated the world.” The world is under the sway of the devil. Jesus says in John 16 that the “ruler of this world” is judged and defeated by Him.

What about money? Jesus needed some money to pay the price of the temple tax. Jesus told Peter to cast into the sea and he will find a fish with some money in it. “But so that we do not give offense to them, go out to the sea, cast a line with a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. And when you open its mouth, you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that and give it to them for me and you,” (Matt. 27:17 LEB). We are still in the “works” that Jesus did and to which are commanded to do in faith; we are still in the category of how Jesus’ works overcome troubles in everyday life. Jesus used a miracle/work to gain money to pay for a tax. Jesus used a miracle to gain money He and Peter did not work for to pay for tax.

Thus, to use John 16:33 against the use of faith to gain healing and money on the basis of the atonement is Plus Ultra stupid, and battles against Jesus’ direct command to be a disciple.  

Billy, then says,

“It demeans the poor woman whom Jesus praised because she gave all she had – which was a tiny gift.”

The idea of category fallacies (which is a fallacy of non-relevance) has already been addressed, but it raises its ugly head again. Thus, what does this have to do with any necessary connection to that? Jesus is praising the woman’s faithfulness to give, even in her poverty. That is all that one might categorically say about this. Jesus said if you seek His Kingdom first, that He will give you monetarily (clothes and house) what the pagans seek after. Who knows, maybe right after this God blessed her with an abundance for seeking His kingdom? Maybe on this one issue the lady lacked faith to receive like she ought? Whatever the reason or whatever happened, we do not know! If the lady lacked faith to receive more money, then Billy’s critique amounts to an ad hominin attack against this precious lady.

Many Christians watch more politics than reading the Scripture and so they are more prone to make ad hominin fallacies(as one sees in the media) than valid deductions from Scripture. Just because person x failed to realize a promise, it is on them, it has no logical connection to God being faithful to do what He said. In fact, Paul in Romans 9 is defending such a point. Jesus in John 6, referring to why they do not believe, is defending this point by saying, the Father has not drawn them. The promise is not affected by millions of personal failures to realize the promise. Just because I failed to realize the promise that God has promised a way of escape from every temptation, it is on me; it has no logical connection to God being faithful to keep His promise.  When the disciples could not cast out the demon, because of their little perverted faith, it had no logical connection to God being faithful to keep His promise about faith. Jesus turned around and cast the demon out, doing God’s will, and displaying the absolute certainty of God keeping His promise.

Billy then says,

“It mocks the suffering of the saints (read Hebrews 11, just for one).”

Again, how does Hebrews 11 have a logical connection with refuting the doctrine that healing and prosperity is in the atonement and acquired by faith? What necessary connection do birds have to do with refuting that 2+2=4 ?

Hebrews 11 mentions how person after person acquired healings, lands, wealth, children, great power, military victories and etc. What logical connection is there that refutes what Vincent said? Abraham received great wealth by being blessed by God, to make him a nation. How does that refute wealth by faith, when these examples give wealth by faith? Isaac received 100 fold in a time of trouble. Sure, he planted, but the 100 fold was not natural. It was supernatural. Joseph? Did he naturally earn his wealth as the second most powerful man in the greatest kingdom on earth? Did not God, give supernatural and overly abundant favor to him because of his faith? The woman with Elijah, she did work in the most lose term of working, by actually getting jars and pouring out the supernaturally reproducing oil; however, the whole point of this story is that God gave her wealth supernaturally, apart from her working for it, and on the basis of her faith. When Peter did the first cast, to pull out the piece of money from the fish’s mouth, was it work or recreation? How does receiving money supernaturally by faith refute receiving money by faith?

The last few examples of Hebrews 11 is in the category of persecution for the sake of the gospel. As said before, this is a separate category from everyday troubles. The promises of health and wealth and of victories and helps, largely are about these everyday troubles. Thus, these examples of persecution cannot be used as a necessary connection to refute healing on demand by faith, on the basis of the atonement.

If we mention Hebrews 11, why not also mention Hebrews 4, 8 and 10? Does not the preacher in Hebrews 10, after talking about the eternal priesthood of Jesus and the new covenant(contract), conclude with, “boldly approach the throne of grace.” Hebrews 4 shows us that going to God’s throne is not first about us giving God worship by giving Him something, but us going to Him and worshiping Him by receiving help from Him! We do not give to God, He gives to us. Think about that. The preacher makes the first application of Jesus and new covenant, as us going to God to “receive” unmerited favor for ourselves.

Billy then says,

“Paul suffered serious health problems, & God denied him healing. We are indeed to depend on God for health & wealth – as Paul did. But that does not mean God will always give it to us – Paul was neither fully healthy nor wealthy.”


The second thought I wish to address is Billy’s ad hominem attack, as odd as it seems, against the apostle Paul. 

Why would I care, what Paul, personally accomplished in healing? I do not care, because it has no necessary connection to a promise that God has given. Paul was not perfect, and so he still sinned. The promise is that God has provided a way of escape from every temptation. Thus, does Paul’s failure to live perfectly have a necessary connection to refuting the promise? Who is at fault? Who is accountable for this? Who is responsible for this? God? Or Paul?

I do not understand why I need to say this! A person’s failure has no logical connection to God’s truth and promises. This is the same for biblical persons! People in the bible are not exempt from this.

Many so-called Christian are so dominated by media and politics, which use an unending use of ad hominem attacks, think more like the world than Scripture. Politics use ad hominem attacks constantly, and they are stupid for doing so. You should NEVER base your argument on a logical fallacy. So what if Hitler enjoyed and used math, it does not give a necessary connection that math is evil.  So what, if Satan uses words to speak, there is no necessary connection that words are bad. I do not care if Peter had a failure and for a time went back to the law, there is no logical connection that the gospel is void, and no logical connection that law saves. Peter’s failure gives no necessary connection that God failed the promise to sanctify us. The failure is on the persons. God promises still stands for those with faith.

Bypassing the issue that there is NO passage in the bible that revealed Paul with a sickness, we will deal with the ad hominem issue, and assume Paul had a sickness, for sake of argument. It is telling that so-called Christians are comfortable with attacking Apostles with ad hominem assaults, to refute doctrines. Do you have no fear of God at all? Even if Paul was sick, so what? To attack him personally, is a logical fallacy. To attack him personally equates, you are NOT logically attacking Scripture’s argument of the promise. You have in essence strawman-ed the Scripture and God’s promises. All you have done is made your argument and yourself pointless. For a clarification about the “thorn in the flesh,” see Vincent Cheung, “A Thorn in the Flesh.”

One common issue with this I find is that some try to extract an ethic from God’s sovereign causality. Why would I care, if God sovereignly caused the disciples not to have enough faith to heal the boy? How does their personal failure have any necessary connection to me today? One category is ontology the other is ethics. God’s promise still stands. The lack of faith is their accountability and responsibility; God’s promise to heal by faith takes no collateral damage due to personal failures in this. You do not get ethics from ontology. Seriously, how stupid and wicked can you be? You get ethics from God’s command and promise, not from what God caused, or what you think God is causing. Do you really enjoy demonic divination so much that you force it upon God’s word?

Stop using God’s Word like Ouija board, you spiritual perverts.

The real horror is that such an attack is ultimately a personal attack against God. What their attack infers is that God’s character is the type of character that will give His beloved sons cancers and poverty, as part of His Divine Nature to do so! It also means an attack on God’s faithfulness in that God will give out cancers and poverty to His elect, even if they ask in faith to have it removed. God’s Word ascribe such things as the devils hate to mankind (Acts 10:38), and as God’s curse upon those He hates (Deut 28). This is not God’s thought to the elect, and it is not his promise to them. His thought is a “policy of thought and action”[3] of favor to them, and His promised action is one of salvation, healing, helping and uplifting for all those who call His Name in faith.


[1] Vincent Cheung. “Godliness With Contentment.” 2013. pg 13.

[2] Vincent Cheung. “Predestination and Miracles.”
Found in Trace. 2018. Pg. 75. (www.vincentcheung.com)

[3] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. Pg 78