Tag Archives: Love

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. 

Look Jesus! there are Crumbs: YOU SAID IT, NOT ME

“But she came and bowed down before him and said, “Lord, help me!”

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” he said.

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, your faith is great! Let what you want be done for you.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.”
(Matthew 15-25-28 NET)

.
Jesus, the greatest teacher who ever lived, Jesus the greatest prophet who ever lived, Jesus the greatest man who knew God’s Will perfectly and set His face like a flint to accomplish it at all cost,–said to this outsider woman, “woman, not God’s Will be done (His plan to only minister to the Jews before the atonement), but your Will Be Done.”

JESUS: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.

WOMAN: “Jesus, these are Your words not mine. You said with Your words, there are dogs in the house beneath the table. Even if you did not intend it, you have me under your table. Even if you did not intend it, there are always crumbs that fall down from the table. You SAID IT, not me! If You are to be faithful to Your word, then you ought to let me have the crumbs, because I am there under that table with those crumbs, and I want them. YOU SAID IT, not me!!”

This woman, even if she is commandeering Jesus’ analogy to go farther than Jesus intended it, she does something that most people lack, which is engaging God’s word with importance. In FAITH she treats the Lord’s word with SERIOUSNESS! God just spoke. God cannot lie. She is banking on the fact that Jesus must be faithful to His words, even if Jesus did not intend them to the length she is asking for. Most would have been too offended at being called a “dog,” to treat Jesus’ word with reverence and importance.

Despite the errors the health and wealth guys have, they are not mistaken on taking the divine promises, from God’s word, and treat them with importance. Those who often criticize these faith teachers, are often to offended at Jesus’ words calling them dogs and unbelieving perverts (Matt.17:17), to take His promises on health and wealth seriously. You cannot please God without faith, says the preacher in Hebrews 11. These despite their faults, have faith in God’s promises. To have faith in God’s promise, even for health and wealth, is at the same time to treat God with reverence and seriousness. Those, who do not, dishonor Him and treat His word as a little and light thing.

Jesus, after seeing this woman use His analogy against Him, rather than rebuking her, praises her. Think about that. How often did Jesus do that? Jesus gets out maneuvered and out argued by a woman taking His analogy farther than He intended, and He praises her “FAITH” for doing so. Unlike many around Him, at least she was engaging His word with great importance and seriousness.

Jesus says to her, “Woman, God’s will/pan is to only minister to the Jews first, but not His Will be done; rather, your will be done on earth.”

Your theology must include this Jesus, or you are not a Christian. Your faith must treat God’s every promise with this level of importance, or you are not a Christian. However, when Jesus comes, will he find faith, will He find people treating His word with this level of importance with healing and casting out demons as this women did?

‐——————–

Endnote.

Vincent Cheung points out in the essay, Faith Override (sermonettes vol. 9), that faith is the first doctrine. Similar to how the Mosaic Covenant cannot override God’s promise to Abraham, the same is with faith. God made a Covenant or contract with man about faith. It is the first primordial doctrine.

In fact, this is Satan’s first temptation to Adam, “did God say?” Thus, every other doctrine and Covenant that comes later will not override it; rather the opposite, God’s first doctrine of faith, if a man engages it, will override doctrines that come later, because they only add to this first doctrine, and not replace it.

Thus, behind Jesus saying not God’s will be done, in regard to His plan to only minister to the Jews before the atonement, is God’s standing doctrine of faith. God’s will is to honor the will of man, when man engages God’s doctrine of faith in His word. When the woman engaged Jesus’ word with absolute importance, it triggered this first doctrine of faith.

Thus, behind Jesus saying, “woman your will be done,” is God’s will being done by His faithfulness to always honor faith, His first doctrine established with man.

God Owns it All, the Saints Receive it All

God Owns it All, the Saints Receive it All.

Recall an earlier quote from Vincent, from “On Good and Evil,”

The Bible says that, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). It also says that, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13), but that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). This means that God’s nature is inherently good, and it is the objective standard of goodness on which all judgment on these issues must be based.[0]

I would like to point out from this an inference about how God’s children image Him.

There are a few reasons why God cannot be tempted. I will skip the issue that sin is not applicable to God. One reason why God cannot be tempted by evil, is because God already owns it all. How can God be tempted to steal something when He already owns it? The temptation of stealing happens because you perceive a lack in something, and you are tempted you to gain this lack in a manner that breaks God’s law, to lie and/or harms someone to get it. How can God be tempted to lie to get something, when He already owns it, and has no lack in anything? God has infinite power and value. If He does not already have it, if that is possible, then He can just create it. That is, by God’s nature itself, temptation for more than one reason, cannot be applied to God.

Remember Paul’s comments in Corinthians 1-3. He says there is a “wisdom” for the “mature” believer. He defines this maturity as the power, by the Holy Spirit, to know and receive all the goodies God has freely given us in Jesus Christ. This includes all of them, both spiritual and material goodies and favor. Paul goes on to say that, “all things are yours.” Then in context of this mature wisdom in knowing and receiving all God’s goodies, we are told we “think spiritually” and even have the “Mind of Christ.”

Jesus also, talked about degrees of faith. When commenting on the Roman soldier, Jesus said He had not seen such great faith in all of Israel. There is such things as weak and strong faith. With both examples, strong wisdom and strong faith was not related to suffering for Jesus, but the opposite. It was a “knowing and believing” that causes you to receive God’s freely given benefits.

Another example. “

Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about 100 years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,” (Romans 4:18-20 NET)

When Christians are strong in wisdom and maturity like this, they truly become Godlike, relative to our example above. God is not tempted because He already owns it all. Likewise, mature Christians, strong in faith and wisdom, receive all they ask from God. Thus, God owns it all, and Christians receive it all.

How can a Christian be tempted to steal, cheat their neighbors, and lie when whatever they are being tempted with they have the faith and maturity to receive it? Whether spiritual things like a hopeful mind, a joyous mind and a sound mind, the Christian can grow and receive this in faith. What about healing, finances, a spouse and help from everyday troubles? How can these tempt them in fear and lack to do something evil and sinful, when they can just easily receive it in faith?

There is more to having strength to resist temptation, but this is one aspect many foolishly overlook to their own damnation.

This is something that mature Christians do that truly makes them Godlike, and true image bearers of Christ. When they live this type of mature wisdom and faith, they think God’s thoughts after Him, and walk in His pathways. Leave the milk and elementary things like forgiveness of sins and move on to maturity.[1] Receive not only the doorway (forgiveness) but march to into house of God and sit at His table prepared for you. Receive the bread and wine, where God promises to “be your God, and you His people,” and promises to “never stop from doing good to you.” He defines Himself as a Good Father, in that whatever you ask for, you receive it, and not something different.


[0] Vincent Cheung. On Good and Evil. 2002. Pg. 6-7 (www.vincentcheung.com)

[1] (Not moving on in the sense of casting it aside, but having truly believed it as a foundation, you build on it.)

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

The Book of Acts: Applied Eschatology.

Acts:
(first draft, from ST book)

After ending his gospel, showing Jesus’ command for power, Luke shows in Acts the end time or eschatological power of Jesus on His throne, in the most direct and positive description. It literally shows Stephen looking up to heaven with Jesus in His position of authority “sitting at the right hand of Power.” Stephen sees Jesus reclining on the throne, with all power and authority. It shows how He uses this power and authority, by giving it to His chosen ones to advance the Kingdom of God on the earth. Luke shows chapter by chapter,  example after example what this looks like with God’s elect. Luke shows what happens when the saints are Jesus-on-the-throne-centered. He shows them with power, truth, boldness and love that advances the Kingdom.

Passages like Matthew 24 and John’s book of Revelation show the same thing. These passages are not the main or overview teaching on the eschatology power and authority of Jesus; however, they do teach an important point or application about it. They highlight a moment in time where Jesus exercises some of His throne power and authority in a specific application. It shows Jesus on the throne. It shows how this Jesus in all His power and authority uses this power and authority to judge and permanently destroy the Jewish system and tradition. The Jews were the one trying to stop the empowered followers of Jesus from advancing His Kingdom; the kingdom that Jesus is in authority and in control of. Jesus uses His power, to destroy the Jews in horrific punishment, so that they will not continue their opposition to His empowered elect. Jesus uses His throne authority, to permeably replace the old wine with the new; the old harlot bride, with the new faithful bride that is guaranteed to not depart from Him, under His New Covenant promises. He advances His Kingdom in Power. He made the hearts of the Jews obstante, and moved the Roman’s hearts to make the stars fall from the heavens. Jesus used His authority and power, sitting at God’s right hand, to advance the Kingdom by removing the ones fighting it the most, in destruction not seen on earth before or after. This is what Jesus looks like and acts like while sitting on His throne of Power.

Did the Christians take up swords to get Peter out of prison? No. The Christians focused on Jesus on the throne and prayed. Jesus used power and opened it. Jesus, in not only preaching through His elect, but in power advances His kingdom. When the church was oppressed by the government (Acts 4:23-31) did they take of swords or use the government to seek help? No. They put their faith with Jesus on His throne. Jesus in His power poured our miracles, healings and boldness on them to confront the government. Jesus in power advances His kingdom.  When the Apostles and other many churches and disciples healed, healed and healed, did they do the healing themselves, or use science or governments to do it? No. They focused their faith on Jesus on His throne. Jesus healed those people. In act of miracle healing, many demons of the kingdom of darkness are expelled out (Acts 10:38).  Jesus in power advances the Kingdom. When demons were cast out, did the Christian do it with power of the governments or swords? No. They focused their faith on Jesus on His throne. Jesus used His power and cast demons out when faith was used by His elect. Jesus in power advances His kingdom. When Paul laid hands on the gentiles to receive the baptism of the Spirit, did he sell this? Did he do it “by the name of Paul”?  Did Paul do this in the name of “the age of the apostles”?  Did Paul do this by the power of governments? No. Paul’s faith was with Jesus on the throne. Jesus in power, gives power to His elect and advances the Kingdom.

The importance of the book of Acts, is that is shows how to advance the Kingdom of Christ as a universal application. With the understanding that Jesus and the apostles, spoke so much of the destruction of the temple (and Jewish system) the question can arise, “were they to act in one way before its destruction, and we to act in another way after?” No, there is no essential deference, because this age is defined by Jesus sitting at God’s right hand. Jesus was there before (waiting for death to be under His feet), and He is there after the destruction of the temple(waiting for death to be under His feet). Nothing essential has changed. The only thing that did change, was Jesus triumphing over one of His enemies like a man stepping in a wine press. Thus, metaphysics and commands are the same. The Lion advances.

We will look at a few examples.

“Now when they heard these things, they were infuriated in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him.

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God,”
(Acts 7:54–56 (LEB).

Stephen is preaching. Stephen is being persecuted by the Jews. Being filled with the POWER of the Holy Spirit, Stephen literally sees Jesus sitting on His throne at God’s right hand.

What is the main thing here? Stephen, the Jews or Jesus with all His power? Jesus. Peter and the apostles kept making the point that the resurrection of Jesus is not a doctrine in a vacuum. Jesus’ resurrection is to the right hand of God. The Jesus who was born under the law, as a man, is a Jesus we do not know anymore.  “… At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” (2 Corin. 5:16 NLT). We know Jesus very differently now. This Jesus is the one in all authority and power. Stephen looking at heaven with Jesus on His throne, was pointing out the central theme in this moment. Stephen was drawing attention to the main actor. He brought everyone’s attention, to the ruling King of the kingdom of God. He showed that the King was watching. The King with all the power, was watching. The King with all the power to order angels, to empower His elect, to rearrange nature itself, to dispel demons and lies, and the King whose responsibility was to help His citizens, and advance His Kingdom, was watching and making decisions.  What decision did Jesus make? Steven was martyred for directly preaching the truth, and performing miracles in power. However, in the larger picture, it was a strategic lose for the kingdom of darkness and a win for God’s kingdom. Jesus let the Jews know He saw what they were doing, just as Jesus warned them while one earth. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down,” (Matt. 24:2 NIV). “And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me,’” (Luke 19:27 NLT). King Jesus was looking down from God’s right hand, saying, “I see you, and because you do not want me as King, and I am much more powerful than you, I will have you slaughtered in front of me. I will let you persecute some of my citizens, and even kill some of them, but I will both destroy you for this, and through them advance My Kingdom.  In the next chapter Paul begins to target the church and then table bearers, filled with the Power of Jesus’ Kingdom, go forth and advance the kingdom. “And the crowds with one mind were paying attention to what was being said by Philip, as they heard him and saw the signs that he was performing. For many of those who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them, crying out with a loud voice, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city,” Acts 8:6–8 (LEB). The Kingdom advances.

A few decades later Jesus did in fact have those Jewish enemies slaughtered in front of Him. The stars fell from heaven, and Jesus treaded the winepress of His wrath against them. Indeed, not one stone was left on top of another. “And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.  For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again,” (Matt. 24:20-21 NLT). “Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all these things take place!  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away,” (Matt. 24:34-35 LEB). The Lion advances.

“While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see,” (Acts 3:11–16 (NIV).

Right after being filled with baptism of the Spirit and power, we read in this next chapter how Peter healed a cripple. But, wait? Peter says it was faith in Jesus’ name, which Jesus worked in the man, that made the man healthy. Peter retells how the kingdom of Satan working through the Jews, tried to destroy Jesus. But instead, their attack help to orchestrate Jesus being put into all authority at God’s right hand. The Lion advances. Yet, these same Jews are still in the kingdom of darkness with their unbelief in God’s son. However, this poor cripple, believed in the King’s name, and now he is running around. The Kingdom advances, and the kingdom of darkness screeches as it shrinks back. This healing opens the door for Peter to preach the truth and expel the lies. The Lion advances, because the Lion is on His throne.

Again, in Acts 4 when Peter was released from prison, he and the disciples prayed for Psalm 2 to be applied in the form of healings, miracles and preaching to strike back at the kingdom of darkness. God feels the place with the power of His Spirit and approves of their eschatological application to destroy the both government oppression and Satan’s kingdom that is fueling them. Jesus makes it so easy for us. He tells us how He likes His power to be applied to advance His kingdom on earth, even against oppressive governments. Think about it. They ask that “healing” be used as a way to fire back at oppressive governments? Why? “Jesus of Nazareth—how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him,” (Acts 10:38 LEB). First, Peter points out the in “POWER of the Holy Spirit,” He healed. Next, the healing was at the same time casting out demons. Peter presupposes that most of the healings (if not all) were under demonic oppressions of possession and harassment. Think about that? Satan was victimizing people by oppressing their bodies with sickness and disease by demonic power. Jesus said the woman bent over for 18 years was being victimized by the devil.  By healing her, Jesus at the same time, released her from being under the power of the kingdom of darkness. Jesus advanced the Kingdom of God by healing her. Healing in this context is a positive help (to the one receiving it) and a negative blast against darkness at the same time. And it is immediate. Healing in this context of warfare, is like saying, “bring out the big guns, send down the artillery.” Thus, when the disciples were asking for healing to be used as a weapon against their oppressors, they are presupposing the aspect of healing that is casting out demons as it heals. They saw Jesus do this over, and over and over and over. After being filled with the “same Holy Spirit of Power,” are commanded by Jesus to do the same. Think about all the people being healed, even if some of them did not truly become Christians? Multitudes of people who are co-workers, bosses, and government workers, who were under the power of demons, are now suddenly free. It should not take much imagination to understand a boss who is sick and under the influence of a demon, would be a worse boss to have, than a boss who is healed and freed from demonic victimization. And if they truly are born again, then 10,000 times better.  In healing, the Kingdom steamrolls over darkness like a locomotive rolling over a rat. The Lion advances.

It is disobedience to your commanding officer to be not be filled with Power of the Holy Spirit, by baptism of the Spirit, and attack the kingdom Satan by healing the sick. Christians want more victory and power, but they are their own worse enemies. God as given them huge weapons to advance the kingdom of God, but they too busy debating what cracker to use in communion to notice. They are too busy looking at suffering people, and to busy looking at governments to notice. Many spiritual perverts, as slaves of Satan, make it their living to get educated and convince God’s people not to be baptized in the Spirit and not heal the sick as a weapon to advance the Kingdom. They are Satan’s littler helpers who spread his doctrine of non-faith. They tell people you can have faith for healing, and God still might not do what He promised by always giving you the healing that King Jesus died to provide. May God rain down more healing and miracles of judgement against them. May God pour the harm they have done in their false doctrines 10,000 times upon their heads.

The bible never opposes going to medicine, but never endorses medicine either, not even one time in the entire Bible. Christians have exchanged mighty lightning bolt weapons, given to them from Heaven, for water guns. It is as if Zeus gave you his lightning bolt, and you traded it for a bat, thinking it was better. Satan has deceived and damned many by making such a trade. We are recently in a virus pandemic, and Christians have handed healing off to the world. Where there could be healings that bring people’s attention to God, do not happen. Where there could be countless demons cast out of common people, bosses, and government workers, does not happen. Where healing could bring about opportunity to preach the gospel, does not happen. And the Christian without shame ask, why they are failing?

They prophesied a famine.

27 Now in those days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and indicated by the Spirit that a great famine was about to come over the whole inhabited earth (which took place in the time of Claudius). 29 So from the disciples, according to their ability to give, each one of them determined to send financial aid[aa] for support to the brothers who lived in Judea, 30 which they also did, sending the aid to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul. LEB

Some prophets from Jerusalem, through the power of the Spirit, told of a coming famine. The famine came just as it was told. This gave the believers a head start and time to prepare. Eventually, this led to other churches giving money to support the ones struggling the most. This money was handed to Paul and Barnabas, who delivered the aid.  We know from Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, the Macedonian Christians were one of the churches that gave money to help. Paul used this as motivation to encourage the Corinthians to fulfill their own desire to give to the Jerusalem church.

Monetary wealth is given.

“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich,”
(2 Corin. 8-1-9 NIV)

The kingdom of God is Jesus on the Throne with all power and authority. His kingdom is applied to a person in intellectual and ethical power when they are born from above by the Spirit, and as has been discussed more at length in this section, is the kingdom of God applied in power by the baptism of the Spirit. In money giving, the intellectual and ethical power is the focus. The Spirit surges in the souls of His chosen ones with intelligence to understand how great of a giver God is; how unmeasurable of a giver He is to them in the gospel. God is truly a generous giver without end. For those who have received the supply of God’s generous giving, understand this by applying (deduction) themselves, intellectually to these truths.  The Spirit, from this intellectual foundation moves the saints to be a giver like their heavenly Father. The saints also understand to give tithes and offerings is a command. They favor God by obeying His command. Paul says, it important that you give with a grateful heart, and not by force. This ethical power comes from the Spirit. The church in Jerusalem and surrounding areas, were not only suffering from famine, but also from authentic persecution for the gospel sake. Some were in need, and so the Spirit surged in the souls of those who had material abundance and moved them with ethical power to give and help. The Kingdom advances.

Jesus became our poverty so that we become His riches, here and now in this life, not just the next. In Chapter 9:8 Paul even says that God blesses us with abundance of monetary wealth so that in abundance (not poverty) we can give for every good work of God and the gospel.  Some who resist this doctrine that Paul taught,  do they also resist what he taught a few verses earlier? Paul, also wrote this verse to the Corinthians, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Corin. 5:21 NIV). Paul has already made clear the substitutionary death of Jesus’ atonement, in context of this epistle. He then says, in context of the Corinthians being asked to give money to the churches in need of money, says that Jesus became our poverty so that we become His riches. “Riches” is defined by the context of “poverty,” and the context of giving money. There is no way to logically or exegesis this away to mean spiritual things. It is about financial wealth. Jesus did indeed become our poverty by just coming to earth; however, there was so much money in the money bag that Judas was able to steal from it, without hindering the rest. Jesus and the disciples were not “poor.” Jesus’ total poverty was only fulfilled on the cross. Here he was truly penny-less and so poor that He hung naked on the cross. No money and naked. This was Jesus, the most wealthy being in all reality. He became our poverty so that become is wealth.

When Paul says this, it is not used to refer to heaven, although it would definitely include that; rather, Paul uses this wealth substitution that happened in the atonement to apply today, and now, and not over there and later. Paul uses this substitutionary wealth part of the atonement to imply that by this the Corinthians have monetary wealth today, therefore, because they have this wealth provided by Jesus’ substitution in the gospel, they have the ability give abundantly to the Kingdom of God.  The Lion Advances.

Jesus needed money to enter the temple to minister. Obviously, Judas with the money bag wasn’t there. Jesus tells Peter to go to the nearby sea and go fishing. Peter did. He found a coin in the mouth of the first fish. A first cast and catch. Is that work or entertainment? The big idea is simple. Jesus used a miracle to receive money so that He would advance the kingdom by His ministry.  Free money in a fish, to pay for taxes. The Kingdom advances.

Consider the Old Testament. But keep in mind all this has its foundation in a few great truths. God is generous by His own nature. Two, God cannot lie. Third, and this is the important one for our focus, is the promise in the Contract that “God will be our God, and we His people,” and this foundation is in the promise to Abraham, that He is Abraham’s exceedingly great reward.  This promise is restated in the New Contract. We are both grafted into Abraham’s blessing and in the New Contract promise. God being our God is God causing our fields to produce so much, we need to clear out the old grain in the barns to make room for the new. It includes being blessed with many children, and having the predatory animals leave our territory. This what it means for God to be or God, and we His people.

This is seen when Abraham defeats 5 armies and is crowned in wealth and prosperity. He then tithes to Mckeszedck, to show the lesser gives tithes to the greater, who is Abraham’s great reward. This is seen when Isaac planted and received a 100 fold in time of drought.

What about the Israelites when they needed great wealth to build the tabernacle to worship Yahweh? God literally had their pockets and packs filled with the treasures of Egypt. God transferred the wealth of the pagans to His children. God made the pagans do this willingly. Out of this great wealth they gave to the ministry. By this the kingdom of God advanced upon the earth in their day.

Baptism.

Paul and others kept looking for Christians who repented but did not receive the baptism of the Spirit. By this continued seeking for born again believers to be baptized in the Spirit, even the most average Christian wielded Zeus’ thunderbolt. As Solomon made silver a common thing in Jerusalem, the baptism of the Spirit makes power among the Elect a common thing. The kingdom advanced.

Tongues.

“One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” (14:4)

“I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all.” (1 Corin. 14:18 LSB)

Is Paul boasting or is he setting an example for us to follow? Paul was constantly dealing with hardship. How did he fight back discouragement and depression? Paul says the one who speaks in tongues edifies himself. Paul said he prayed more in tongues than out of control Corinthians! Putting these two together we see one practice Paul did that constantly edified himself and kept back discouragement. Praying in tongues. As saints and warriors for God’s kingdom we fight back discouragement by praying in tongues. No wonder when one is baptized speaking in tongues is a regular manifestation. Now wonder Paul wanted us all to speak in tongues. Paul was constantly self-edified by tongues and he wanted all to experience the same spiritual self-edification for their souls. God wants to encourage us. He wants us to pray in tongues. The kingdom advances when its soldiers are encouraged and made strong. Pray in tongues, and let the Lion roar, and in doing so we advance the Kingdom of God.

Empowered to preach the word.

A common spiritual empowerment from the baptism of the Spirit is boldness to preach the word. Acts 4:31 (LEB), “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” How can they believe without hearing the message? How can the message be proclaimed without a preacher? However, how much will they hear when the preacher is made bold by the baptism of the Spirit? They will hear to the degree the Spirit has power to empower. The limitation is measured by the Spirit’s ability to baptize and empower, not man. And so, there is not limitation. In the baptism of the Spirit the word is boldly preached, and the Lion advances.

Snakes bite, and are shaken off.

Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” (Luke 10:18-19 LEB)

“As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand… But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed,” (Acts 28:3,5 NLT).

What if Paul died from the deadly bite of the viper? It is obvious, Paul couldn’t heal and preach the gospel to these people. The Kingdom of God, would have a defeat, and Paul being accountable/responsible to fulfill his ministry would have taken a defeat. Yet, in the power of faith and the Spirit, snakes are shaken off like a blade of grass, and the Lion advances.

Suffering.

It is important to mention the suffering of the saints. I do this with some hesitation because many so-called Christians in my day seem to embrace suffering like masochists, and shake off healing like a viper. However, the Scripture teach that all who are truly born again, with faith surging in their souls, will face persecution. Some much less, and other much more. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV)

I will not harp on this, but only say it and those who are intelligent will understand. There is suffering that comes from unbelievers to oneself in “direct relation” to being a Christian, or that one is preaching and advancing the kingdom. There is another type of suffering. This suffering comes from the everyday troubles of life that come from living in a fallen world. Then lastly, there is a type of suffering that come from self-inflicted stupidity and self-inflicted unbelief.

The persecution the bible refers to only refers to the first type.

“A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.

…But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.  Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.  Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did.  Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims.”
(Act 8:1,4-7 NLT)

When persecuted the Christians left their current homes and went to other places. When they did, they preached the gospel, healed the sick and cast out demons, as they screamed. That is, in persecution, rather than snuffing out the church, the church grew and expanded.  Some were indeed martyred; however, the Scripture indicates that most stayed in the land of the living and by boldness of word, healing and casting out demons, they were the ones snuffing out the kingdom of darkness. They did not let suffering roll over them; rather, they rolled over the suffering for the advancement of their king. The Kingdom advances.

Others were sent to prison had more the one type of kingdom advancement. As reported in Hebrews 10, some of them visited brothers in chains. In this the ethical power was expanding. “For you both sympathized with the prisoners and put up with the seizure of your belongings with joy because you knew that you yourselves had a better and permanent possession,” (Hebrews 10:34 LEB). The preacher then transitions into Hebrews 11-12, where he encourages faith in his audience. There is some suffering mentioned in the end of Hebrews 11, however, the majority is about faith to acquire blessings, help and victories. The preacher’s overall theme is to endure with faith (for victory) and remember this world is not your true reward. Entering God’s rest with Him is.

Peter and Paul were both in prisons, and both had supernatural miracles by God to get them out. Remember the apostles prayer in Acts 4? They prayed for miracles as a judgment against the oppressive Jewish government. Look. God is doing just that. When God make earthquakes open the prison doors, it damages the prison. Think about that. The prisons are government property. For sake of his elect praying in faith, God damages government property in supernatural power to help them. God hurts His enemies, and blesses His chosen. Rather than looking to man made way to save one’s country, the church needs to pray Psalm 2 over themselves in faith, and see God supernaturally attack their enemies. In suffering, the church does not roll over; rather, by an indomitable faith they cause Psalm 2 to rain down judgment on their advisories. The church uses the opportunity of suffering to rain down judgment miracles upon their enemies. The Lion advances.

In Paul letter to the Thessalonians he speaks this way in 2 Thessalonians 1. They are suffering under the Jews, and Paul reminds them God will destroy them.

Vincent Cheung commenting on this passage in his commentary says,

Some have offered reasons to believe that Paul is referring to the first event (AD 70) in our passage. First, the text focuses on the punishment that would come upon those who are persecuting the Thessalonians at the time of the writing of this letter. These persecutors mainly consist of Jews, and the punishment in view here seems to correspond to what Paul means in the first letter when he writes concerning them, “The wrath of God has come upon them at last” (1 Thessalonians 2:16). Second, the language in our passage parallels that of Daniel 7:9-12 and Joel 2-3, which include prophecies that are now understood to have occurred in the first century. Third, the language in our passage parallels that of Matthew 16:27-28, where Jesus says that “some who are standing here will not taste death” before they witness the event. Thus it is more than possible that the punishment in our passage refers to God’s coming in judgment to slaughter the Jews and destroy their temple in AD 70.

The apostle stresses punishment in our passage, saying, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power” (v. 8-9). The words denote retribution and recompense. Our God is a God who punishes. We must become accustomed to this, but more than that, we must come to like it. To dislike the idea that God punishes is to dislike God himself, since he acts out of his nature of justice. That God would punish them with “everlasting destruction” does not mean that they would cease to exist, since then they could not also be “shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” Paul means that God would kill them and then send them to hell. They will have no share in the joy and glory that the faithful Thessalonian Christians are destined to receive.

Although it is likely that the passage refers to God’s coming in judgment in AD 70, the principles that determine the persecutors’ punishment and the believers’ inheritance remain applicable, since they are stated as universal principles.[1]

Paul does not say, “God will punish these very Jews who persecute you and no one else.” But he writes, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (v. 8). Those who “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” make up a very large but well-defined group, namely, all non-Christians. God is coming to punish all non-Christians, if not in AD 70, then at some other time, and if not by a temporal punishment followed by hellfire, then immediately by hellfire at their death or at the second coming of Christ. There will be no escape.

As for the Thessalonians, Paul says that they are numbered among Christ’s own people, not because they are Thessalonian Christians, but “because you believed our testimony to you” (v. 10). We have believed on the same apostolic testimony, and therefore we are also numbered among Christ’s own people, and will share in the same glorious inheritance.

The big idea is that Paul’s encouragement is to not let the persecution roll over them, and “just except it.” Rather Paul’s edification is that God will soon, punish those persecuting you. That is, fight back with faith in God to apply Psalm 2 with healings, judgment miracles, preaching bolding, and loving your brothers, and if some of you are martyred face it with boldness in God.

Peter has the same encouragement. In Peter’s letter, his has context remarks that indicate his audience, at least some, are under persecution. Yet, in this context, Peter does not edify the with “God is in control so just except whatever happens.” Peter quotes Psalm 34 (1 Peter 3:9-12). Peter’s instruction is to put your faith in what is said in Psalm 34 so that you can receive a “blessing” from God! This is said to the Jerusalem church, the most persecuted church. And Peter says this to them. Think about that. What does Psalm 34 say? (4-5,10, 12-18 NIV)

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

10.Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

This is filled with God hearing His people, who are in troubles. This Psalm teaches and commands us to seek God in our troubles and God will deliver us from ALL of them. This was not some guy on TBN. This was Peter quoting King David, saying this is applicable to the must persecuted saints in the world, at that time. Let the sink deep into your soul.

Thus, even in suffering the scripture takes Psalm 2 and Psalm 34 and moralizes for the most persecuted saints so that God will deliver them from all their troubles and receive blessings raining down from the Father of lights. The Kingdom Advances.

Demons are tossed out of the way screaming.

Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims.
And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.
There was great joy in that city.

(Acts 8:7-8 NLT)

When the Kingdom Advances: Demons scream, & Saints shout for joy.

Peter records in Acts 10:38 that as Jesus was healing He was casting out demons. Jesus also cast out demons directly. Jesus said He was the stronger man who went into Satan’s house, bound him and then plundered his house. Jesus by commanding us to be filled with faith and the baptism of the Spirit, is commanding us to carry on this noble cause. We are to expel the kingdom of darkness in intellectual power by the preaching of the word. We are to expel the kingdom of God by ethical power of the word and Spirit surging in our souls. However, we are also to expel the Kingdom of darkness by literally casting demonic forces. Jesus did it and wants us to do it. Like the children of Israel taking the promise land, Jesus has put this demon slaying sword in our hands for us to finish the work.

Faith in Jesus name.

This is dealt with in more detail in the section on Ethics; however, it does deserve a few passing comments here. There are separate modes of power. The first and most foundational is simply normal discipleship faith. This faith saves you, as Jesus often said. You are justified from your sin by faith in Jesus’ finished work. This same faith heals you. James in chapter 5 says your faith will cause you to be healed and forgiven. He also God will give you faith on the demand of your faith. This same faith casts out demons. This same faith allows you to march into the throne room of God, and directly ask God for help as angels and other heavenly beings watch God tread you as a son. This faith is, what John says in both his gospel and letter, obeying God. This faith moves mountains. And as Jesus kept pointing out in John 14-16, faith allow you to ask for anything from God and get it.

This faith even allows you to bypass things like being in the wrong time for the wrong administration such as the gentile woman seeking Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus was theologically correct. It was wrong for Him to give what belonged to someone else to then give it to her. It was not her time. Her faith bypassed Jesus’ theology and she got what she wanted anyway. As Vincent Cheung says, (as I paraphrase) “because faith is the first doctrine, no other doctrine or theology that comes later will contradict faith.”[2] Jesus in fact replies back to her, “Women, your will be done.” The big idea to see here in our context is this: the baptism of the Spirit, the gifts, and the anointing presence did not do this, normal discipleship faith did. The gifts and anointing is by the sovereign work of God to move when and how He wants. Faith is different. With or without the gifts and the anointing presence (although we seek them zealously) faith can bypass pre-appointed administrations of God to get what you want from God. This is something that almost exclusively belongs to faith.

This is way many in the Pentecostals and charismatics have harmed themselves and stunted their growth and stunted their ability to advance the kingdom. I have recently been listening to Benny Hinn. His instruction for how to cultivate the anointing presence of the Spirit is mostly correct (not all of it). We should all be praying in tongues and doing spiritual things the help spark the gifts and the presence of God upon us. The issue is that many “depend” on this in a way that is not taught in scripture. What if the Spirit decides to not sovereignly move on a day you are in great need? What if you do not feel the anointing presence of the Spirit when you need a mountain moved? FAITH is the answer. If you have matured your faith (as Jesus taught in John 14-16), then you are always ready, in and out of season, to move mountains and get help both for yourself and those around you.

Faith is separate from the baptism of the Spirit. It is separate from the gifts of the Spirit. It is separate from the mode of the Spirit that many refer to as the “anointing or manifestation of the presence of the Spirit.”

Because our faith can imperfect, all the above modes is able to help and strengthen and even work alongside our normal discipleship faith, but they are separate things.

“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all,” (Acts 3:16 LSB)

Think about the context? This is right after Peter’s Pentecostal sermon when he says to repent, be baptizes and then you will be baptized in the Spirit for power. Yet, this healing is not attributed to gift or baptism of the Spirit, but just normal faith in Jesus. There other examples like this in the book of Acts.

All need to be zealously sought and acquired.

Therefore, applied Eschatology is POWER that comes from
(1) faith,
(2) baptism of the Spirit,
(3) gifts of the Spirit &
(4) the anointing presence of the Spirit.

And there are many, many more examples, but time would fail me. So we move on.

———–END NOTE————-

[1] If our passage in fact refers to the second coming of Christ and the final judgment on the wicked, then the application is even more straightforward, although Paul would then be saying that God will avenge the Thessalonians at a much later time.

[2] Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. From Sermonettes Vol 9.

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

No Threshold too High or too Low, for God’s Policy of Favor

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)

Paul says you grow stronger by understanding and having faith in God’s limitless love for  you.

Vincent gives a great definition for God’s love,

“…[Love and hate] are policies of [God’s] thought and action. Since God is impassable, and his mind cannot be disturbed, it means that divine love is not a disturbance of the mind, but an intellectual disposition of favor and mercy. And hate is a disposition of disfavor and judgment…”[1]

Also, God’s has absolute mastery and control of His mind. He only “does what He wills.” Or that is, He only does the polices of thought, He has will do to.

“…Love is not an emotion in the Bible, but a volition. The spiritual man is marked by self-control, and has achieved mastery over his emotions. The mind of God is so integrated that he does only what he wills. As we increase in faith and holiness, our emotion should increasingly come under our conscious control, so that we become excited because we decide to become excited, become angry because we decide to become angry, and we can stop when we decide to stop…”[2]

If we add that to what was just said: Paul says that you grow stronger by believing God’s policy of thought and action of favor for you in Christ.

As in most things a “policy” might have a highest or lowest threshold that triggers the policy. Like a computer program, you might have thresholds that trigger a particular a program to execute. However, the Scripture defines God’s policy of thought and action of favor for His elect as not having something to small or to high that would escape His favor for them from being triggered and applied.

The death of God’s own Son, did not negate God’s policy of thought and action to give favor to His elect, to trigger and engage.

 “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners,” (Romans 5:8 NLT).

Paul argues from this that if God’s policy of favor triggers for such a huge thing, then how much more for the little things.

“Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else,” (Romans 8:32 NLT)”

Jesus also affirms this truth.

Thus, even the smallest things, like counting the your hairs, is not too small to trigger God’s policy of thought and action of favor to His elect.

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin[k]? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,” Math 10:30-31)

Thus, no matter what trouble of life today you find yourself in, if you cry out in faith to God, it triggers God’s policy of thought and action of favor. You realize you do not deserve such love? Great! It is unmerited. Your faith qualifies you. Your faith gives you direct access to heaven, to trigger God’s favor for you.

— Endnotes —

[1] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. 78 [] -added by author.

[2] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. Pg 61.