Tag Archives: prayer

Empowered by the Spirit to Shine God’s Salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH

“And he says,
“It is trivial for you to be a servant for me,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel.
I will give you as a light to the nations,
to be my salvation to the end of the earth.””
(Isaiah 49:6 LEB)

Notice the last phrase, “THE END OF THE EARTH.”

This passage is directly about Jesus, God’s servant who would redeem and save His people. However, take special notice how both the apostle Paul and Jesus Christ use this passage of Scripture. They both quote it in the book of Acts, and both use it to refer to the church and not merely about Jesus. That is, Jesus through His redeemed church, will shine the Father’s salvation to the end of the earth.

First Paul.

“For so the Lord has commanded us,

‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
That You may bring salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH.’”
(Acts 13: 47 LSB)

Paul says that God commanded him and his ministry team, on the basis of Isaiah 49:6 to preach the gospel to all who will listen. How can this be, if the passage was about Jesus. The church is one body with Jesus. Jesus prays in John 17, in more than one way, that as the Father and Jesus is one, that the church be made one in Jesus. Jesus working through the Church, is Jesus working.

Next, we will see how Jesus command this passage for all disciples, and then ‘how’ this will happen.

“But [Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set by His own authority;
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to THE END OF THE EARTH.”
(Acts 1:7-8 LSB)

Jesus say it is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that his followers will fulfill His command to expand His light to the end of the earth. In the next chapter, when the Baptism of the Spirit arrived, the Apostles only made up a small percentage. Thus, we are shown His baptism and command extends to all Jesus followers.

Three things. One, this gives proof that baptism of the Spirit is for all, for Jesus connects TO THE END OF THE EARTH kingdom expansion to the baptism of the Spirit.

Second, as long as this command stands, to obey God by expanding His salvation to the ends of the earth, the baptism of the Spirit still stands.

Third, without the baptism of the Spirit, one cannot obey this command to shine God’s salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH.

Matthew 4 shows something similar. Isaiah 9 is quoted about a light shining in Capernaum. Well, what happened in Matthew 4 and in Capernaum? Jesus is led by the Spirit to be tempted and filled by the Spirit for ministry. Jesus started His ministry only after He was empowered by the Spirit. Jesus said that He cast out demons by the “power of the Spirit” and not merely by His Son of God authority.  After this anointing of the Spirit for ministry, Jesus goes to Capernaum to (1) preach repentance and to (2) heal the sick. It is in this context that Isaiah is quoted by saying a “Great Light has Dawned.”

Thus, Jesus Christ “great light shining” is summed up with being empowered by the Spirit, preaching and healing the sick. Jesus’ command for His redeemed followers is the exact same thing. They are commanded to be baptized in the power of the Spirit, to preach and heal the sick.

The same thing He did, and the same way He did it.

Think On These Things: Think on Healing & Miracles

“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if there is any excellence of character and if anything, praiseworthy, think about these things. And the things which you have learned and received and heard about and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you,”
Philippians 4:8-9 LEB.

Thoughts of sickness are a lie against the promise of God; thoughts of sickness are not honorable, not right and they are not pure of heart. Thoughts of sickness are not pleasing, and not commendable. They are not excellence of character and or praiseworthy.

Thoughts of Healing are an agreement that the promises of God are true. They are honorable. Thoughts of healing are right, are pure and pleasing. Thoughts of healing are commendable, and they are excellence of character. Thoughts of healing are praiseworthy.

Does this sound strange to you? If it does you are out of touch with reality; you do not know God, the gospel or scripture.

Healing is part of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, (Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17); it is by biblical definition part of the gospel. The gospel is good, it is trustworthy, praiseworthy, excellent, and so forth.

Sin is not good, not praiseworthy, not excellent and so forth. For a Christian forgiveness of all their sins by Jesus’ finished work is a stepping stone; a doorway into the next life. To stay at this doorway, means you do not believe you are forgiven, which is why you never enter into or believe the gospel. The only correct way for a Christian to think of sin, is being already judged and buried in Jesus’ death. Sin, death and judgment are behind the Christian. Value, unmerited favor and joy is before the Christian. Hebrews 10:2-3 says that the Old Testament yearly sacrifices reminded the minds and thoughts of the practitioners of their sin. The writer of Hebrews says this was not a good thing for the mind to be reminded of our sins. To be reminded of ones sins, if you are indeed forgiven, is not excellent or praiseworthy. They were reminded of their sins, because Christ had not yet come. Hebrews later states that Jesus once and for all removes our sins from us. The pragmatic implication is that our minds and thoughts are not reminded about or sins; rather, we are reminded of our new identity in Christ. We are the righteousness of God and co-heirs with Jesus. By His great love we are children of God.  Thus, it is not a good thing to be mindful and dwell on your sins. You are to be renewed by thinking about Jesus, and who are “presently” in Him. This is praiseworthy and excellent.

Paul says in Romans 6 we are to assent that we were buried in Jesus’ death. Our sin, by His atonement, was dealt with and buried. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, that we at one time knew Jesus from a human point of view, but we do NOT know Him this way any longer.  He is on the throne, ruling and pouring out the baptism of the Spirit. Our thoughts are to be on this present reality of Jesus. Paul extends this to us. The old man is gone, with all our sin and judgment for that sin. Our new creation is our present reality, and this is where our thoughts ought to be. Thus to “think on these things,” is not thinking about our sin, but how righteous God sees us as. God interacts with us, as the righteousness of God.

The pragmatic application is if your circumstances or Satan tries to remind you of your sins, you are not indulge this temptation by thinking about your sins; rather, you are put off this old-man way of thinking, and put on the new-man, who thinks about how completely forgiven he is and how boldly he can march into the throne room of God and ask and receive.

The same is true for healing and sickness. Sickness is part of curses of Adam and of the Law (Deut. 28). Jesus, by substitutionary atonement, became our curses. Jesus was nailed to our curses of sickness. Even when leapers who needed to be healed, under the Law, a blood sacrifice was given. Healing is shown under the Law, that a substitutionary sacrifice is needed. Jesus was our substitutionary sacrifice to redeem us from all sickness.  Isaiah 53:4 says Jesus “bore” (same word for the substitution atonement for the escape goat in Lev. 16) sickness and pains.[1]

Curses are not honorable, excellence, praiseworthy, etc. And yet, sickness is a curse.

Sickness is a curse; it is not excellent. Sickness is a curse; it is not praiseworthy. Sickness is a curse; it is not honorable. Sickness is a curse; it is not “true” regarding what God has promised.

When tempted by circumstances and the devil to keep rehearsing your sickness over and over in your mind, do not sin by doing this; rather, be obedient and put on the new-man who thinks on the finished work of Jesus who bore all your sickness and pains, who was nailed to your sickness and how these died with Him, on His body, so that you are freed and released from all of them. God is for your body, so much so, He made it part of the gospel. He is the God who heals you.

To indulge on thoughts of your sins or sickness is in direct disobedience of the Scripture commanding us to “think on these things.” Rejoice! You are commanded to think on righteousness, healing, blessings, miracles, peace with God, Joy and unending unmerited favor upon you.  Rejoice.

[1] For more see, Christ our Healer. FF Bosworth.

God will boast about you!

I do not know you and so I will keep my thoughts on a basic level.

I will pray for you.

I am glad to hear you know your wrongs and desire to correct them. This self-awareness and disposition of your soul, about your mistakes and seeking God for help and restoration is something you must not lose, at all costs. This is a must have for proof you are saved.

If you read my essay, “God Rekindles Smoldering Wicks,” you know I once struggled with deep depression and came close to suicide. I know what it is to have a battle within the soul. I talked about having a relentless focus on God and His promises and His positive definition of me as a child of God in His Son. I still go over the promise verses listed there, almost daily. I make them my daily food. This was Vincent’s basic advice to me and it was great advice. I also take the Lord’s Supper almost daily in worship. I read faith devotions and materials, a few times daily.

And this brings me to my next point. Although I quote Vincent Cheung often, what got me out of my pit, had nothing to do with being a good little Clark or Cheung. Your statement about being a “good little Clark,” concerns me. It seems you being centered on “men” rather than “God,” is more natural for you. You might want to disagree with me on this, but in my experience people who say what you did, are in fact centered more on man than God. I am not saying you are unsaved by this, but that, at the very least, the natural tendency of your mind is not going to God first. If you want out of the pit, you must put off this old man, that thinks of man, and put on the new man, that is renewed by putting a mind that first thinks and sees yourself as a child of God standing in the very throne room of Yahweh. It must become secondhand nature for you to see yourself as a prince who belongs in the throne room of God your Father.

When I was getting out of the pit, I did not think of Vincent or Clark or any man. I pounded my mind with the word of God, and from this foundation began to pray in line with who God says I am, and all the good things He has blessed me with. Also having spiritual strength and faith to command demonic attacks and oppressive thoughts to leave is important, if that is how the evil one is attacking you. I could have memorized all that Vincent Cheung has ever wrote, but when I approach God in prayer, it means nothing. What matters are the promises of God and taking an immovable stance on them. When I approach the holy throne of God, what matters, is that I see myself as the righteousness of God, in Christ, so that this throne is a throne of grace and favor for me. Vincent, Clark, nor any man can help me or do this for me; they cannot do this for you either. When I approach God, I am clothed with the precious righteousness of Jesus Christ, who loves me. This is my faith, my hope and my shout of victory as I stand in the presence of God, asking for help. You should get to a point when standing in front of God, in His majestic throne room, before the elders, saints and angels, is more natural and reflexive than approaching any man.

Both in a divine trance/vison God gave me, and from advice from Vincent Cheung, I had to make a change to study more faith-based materials and devotionals and less theology. I needed to work on inner Spiritual strength more than going deeper in theology. I still study theology (and everyone is commanded by God to pursue theology), but my greater focus is inner strength now.

Systematic Theology is easy. Seriously, is it super easy! (This doesn’t mean there is no single point where it can be a little complicated). The older I get the more I realize this. Once I got it, I know it, and no one or demon can take it from me. God’s absolute and direct sovereignty over all things, is a child’s doctrine. Men ought not to boast about understanding it, as if it is a big accomplishment.

Faith is another issue. If you have faith to move mountains, then like the people mentioned in Hebrews 11, you are a man whom the world was not worthy to have known. That is worth boasting about! Like the gentile woman (or the Roman Centurion) who had with faith when Jesus sad it was not God’s will to heal her, but she took it anyway, God will publicly praise you! With faith, God will boast about you! Think about that. Rather than you wasting time boasting about men, with faith, God will use His time to boast about you. If you truly want God’s praise more than men, take an indomitable stance on faith. God’s approval, is the only type of praise that you should seek. Be a hero of faith.

Everyday I read devotions from those infamous health and wealth (word of faith) preachers, that everyone makes fun of. I obviously do not recommend them for overall Systematic Theology (for that see Vincent Cheung), but for basics of faith in God’s promises, I would recommend them to all. They are the only ones out there who obey and respect God by taking those promises of faith, deliverance, healing and material blessing with any kind of seriousness.

Vincent recommended me to leave my Reformed church, focus on spiritual strength with God’s word and faith-based devotions, and this was in addition to a divine vision I received from God about this. I encourage you to do the same. Even though this is not directly about how to deal with the immoral sin you committed, broadly speaking, it will be the way out of the pit. It will keep you out of the pit. It will even thrust you on top of the mountain of God, where God takes you by the hand and delivers you from all your troubles. God wants to do this. He said so. He promised it. He made all those wonderful promises and in blood ensures us He will always perform them, because He wanted to.

The promises are your definition. Listen carefully to me on this. God’s promises are not suggestions, they are in essence a technical definition of God’s children. They are you!

If turn your mind to this, so that these promises (definitions of you) are second nature to your thoughts, you will find yourself standing beside God on mount. Zion, looking down on all your troubles.  Turn you mind to the Jesus Christ in the gospels and book of Acts. He never left. He is waiting for you there.

-from email

You are My Sheep, and I Pray for You

In these promises to each other the Father promises that Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. In summery, this means Jesus’ priesthood is before and different from the Levitical one. It is an eternal and permanent priesthood, that the Levitical one cannot override, which came later. The Levitical priesthood, particularly with the Day of Atonement, we see a teaching illustration to learn what the substitutionary atonement of Jesus will look like, who has the original and eternal priesthood.

In Jesus’ priesthood, we learn in Isaiah 53:12 that He both bore (like the escape goat) the sins but He also “interceded” for them. For example, the priest in Leviticus 16 on the Day of Atonement, only sacrifice and interceded for the children of Israel, and not Moab or someone else. The atonement is for Israel only, not other people. The priest only intercedes for Israel. As the next chapter says (17) the “life” of the animal is in the blood. This is like “life” currency. Jesus gives us the currency of His life in exchange for our currency (or debt) of death. The “intercession” is about telling the bank where you want the money to go. What would happen if you dropped off a briefcase of money without say where you want it? This is why Jesus intercedes, He is telling the Father where the life currency of His atonement goes.

In John 17 Jesus prays, “not for the world” but only for those whom “Father gave Him.” This means His sacrifice was only for those whom the Father gave Him, and not the whole world, as in every single person. If Jesus did not intercede for ‘x’ group, then Jesus did not die for them. We call this definite atonement. Jesus’ atonement was successful for a definite group and not universally for all.

John 10:26-27, Jesus says, “you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep! My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The “you do not believe” is the conclusion, the “you are not my Sheep,” is the major premise for why we have this conclusion. If you are not already part of Jesus’ sheep, then it concludes you do not believe, and will not believe. Jesus is answering a question with a separate statement about metaphysics and its effects. The ones not believing Jesus, ask if He is the Messiah. To put Jesus’ statement into a syllogism, (1) if you are not my sheep, then you do not believe.” (2) You are not my sheep. (3) Thus, you do not believe what I say.” Also, Jesus in other places says there is only two options, sheep and goats. By saying they are not sheep He is saying they are goats.

If you are not part of Jesus’ sheep then you will never listen and believe what Jesus says. “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd. (v.16)” Combining this with the above meaning we learn, if a future person is not already now part of Jesus’ sheep, then they will not believe. Jesus teaches if someone is a sheep now, even if they are not-born-again now, they will believe in the future. His sheep, including those who are “going to believe” (future), believe because they “are” (present) already His sheep. These are those who Jesus interceded for, therefore they will believe at God’s predetermined times.

Jesus says “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never perish forever (v27-28).” After saying those who asked if He was the messiah, are not part of His Sheep, He says straight to their face that He gives eternal life to His sheep, which excludes those He is talking to, because He said they are not part of His sheep. There is no teaching of TWO groups that receive Jesus’ “eternal life,” in the scripture. Therefore, the law of excluded middle applies here. If you are not part of this group, then you are a goat, a reprobate.

This also kills the very stupid teaching that says predestination, election, reprobation and God’s absolute sovereignty is an insider doctrine for mature Christians, and not outsiders. Jesus in a mixed audience, in the face of those He is calling reprobates, is teaching these doctrines. Jesus does this again, for example, in John 6, where He says only those the Father draws will come to Him to receive eternal life, and it is for these, that He gives up His life for. If Scripture is going to be your first principle for all knowledge, then get all those answers there, not from men.

The foundational we learn from this are two things about salvation. One is the decrees of God. God in His sovereignty plans and does all the saving of sinful man. Since we have already dealt with the overall doctrine of God’s sovereignty we will focus on this second important point. Jesus’ statements teach the foundation of salvation is about metaphysic, or reality that is. God decides ‘x’ is a sheep and ‘y’ is a goat. The sheep is in the category of a sheep and gets all the category realities that belong to it, and the same with the goat. The world is God’s playdough. He makes up categories from nothing, with all their attributes. He then creates individuals out of nothing, to put into these categories that He wants.

Jesus says for the sheep that He dies for them. He will give them eternal life and they will live with Him forever. This is the reality, the category of being a sheep. He is the only Potter. If God decides ‘x’ is a sheep, then it is so. No one, not even Satan, not even the ‘x,’ can stop it, not because the person will believe against their own will, but because the Potter molds their will to be a sheep, and thus they will believe. Salvation at its foundation metaphysics, not ethics or about man and his choice. Because it is metaphysics first, then therefore, choice and ethics, which are conclusions of epistemology and reality, will follow.

This is great news for all God’s chosen ones who have cried out to God to save them. They will not be disappointed. Despite their internal struggles (even besetting sins) and the attacks of men and devils, even all this cannot stop them from being sheep, cannot separate them from God’s love, and cannot stop them from inheriting eternal life. This becomes a cornerstone for the believers to correct themselves and mature their faith, knowing they are winners. Their faith has overcome the world, because they are children of God.

[this is taken from my Systematic Theology book]

I Reserved 7000 Who Have Not Bowed to Empiricism

They only problem with handling adult doctrines like God’s Sovereignty, predestination, election, reprobation is if you are a child you will end up hurting yourself and those around you. I remember Vincent Cheung saying something like this several years ago and it keeps repeating itself to be true in my encounters with church people.

When knowledge does not increase a person’s faith, it only increases his ability to pretend. Just because someone takes it upon himself to handle an “adult” doctrine does not mean that he is mature spiritually and intellectually. You can let an infant drive a car, but he will probably crash it. Putting him in the driver’s seat does not make him an adult. Likewise, most theologians are spiritual kids, although they handle adult doctrines. They are just pretending. They play around with divine sovereignty, the covenants, the history of redemption, and so on, but when they drive — when they formulate, teach, and implement these doctrines — they wreck faith. [1]

I had another brief conversation with person (we will call them Billy) about faith and healing. I was sharing some verses about faith and healing and encouraging them to grow their faith. I specifically commented on the fact that faith in God’s promises (whether for salvation or healing) always guarantees you will receive what you ask for.

I was quoting from John 15:7-8,

“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.”

Not only does it say you will get what “YOU” want (it does not say what GOD wants but what “YOU” want), but Jesus Christ says answers to prayers (for the things “YOU WANT”) is a test of orthodoxy. Jesus says it “proves” you are a disciple if you pray for what “you” want and God gives this to you.

Why is this? Because only insiders of the Covenant can do this. Outsiders do not have this access to the Father. Jesus Christ gives a test of orthodoxy that cannot be mimicked or faked. Only children are able to ask for anything they want, and the Father give it to them.  Reprobates and outsiders to the covenant do not have this precious access or life.

It is the same type of proof that Jesus gave for Himself as the Son of man. The religious fakes and fanboys would wash the outside of the cup, and thus fake this aspect to give proof they are part of the Elect. However, because they are in fact reprobates, they cannot do the true proof of orthodoxy, which is faith. Faith gives direct access to God and proves you are part of the Elect. Jesus gave proof that God heard His prayers, and by this He proved He had the Father’s approval. This proof was not something He did by His own power, but God gave Him the fullness of the Spirit (which we are also commanded to receive) and gave Him the things He asked for in prayer. Jesus therefore, gave proof that the insider status He had with God was of the closest type. Jesus said more than once we ought to believe He is who He claims to be, because of His miracles. And guess what, God commands that we also do something similar to prove we are insiders. He commands His followers, receive answered prayers for miracles as proof they are Elect and not reprobates who are thrown into the fire. He demands a type of proof reprobates cannot mimic.

Apart from this “proof” of discipleship, the precious truth we see is how intimate our Contract insider status is. God so loves us, so considers us as children who sits at His table with Him, that we can ask for what WE want and God will gladly give it to us. The Father sent His only begotten Son, to be crucified in agony and torn apart with scourging; He points His finger at Jesus’ bloody corpse and says, “I will do what I promise.” He goes beyond all measure to give extra assurance that He will do what He promises. He promises to give us what we ask for. Think about how loving and kind God is to us. How loyal is His unmerited favor for those whom He loves!

Billy responded with this:

“Where are all these miracles?
I do not see them.
If what you are saying I true,
then no one is saved.”

In my mind the first thought that came up was, “you David Hume Empiricist prostitute, you spiritual adulterer and spiritual pervert. You have whored yourself to the world at the most fundamental level of your worldview, and rejected God.”

Knowing this person considered themselves “Reformed,” I responded with how God Himself dealt with a similar accusation. First Paul says in Romans chapter 9 that when calculating what we can observe humanly (i.e. empiricism and induction) it could infer that God has failed to save His people. But Paul says God has not failed, because He only promised to bless those who are part of the promise by election, and not by natural birth of being a Jew.  An excessive amount of reprobates does not negate God’s promise to save those whom He elected.

Paul then brings up the example of Elijah and God, as an example. Elijah is a major player in Israel. He is well known. He has been around. He seen and done much in Israel. After all he has been through, he becomes discouraged and says to God that he is the only believer left in Israel.  Like I said, Elijah isn’t some small farmer who has never been anywhere. He as known and see many things in Israel. Thus, from a human evaluation standpoint, he has more credibility than most to make an inductive, albeit irrational conclusion from his observation. He concludes that he is the only one left who believes God. He asserts this conclusion, based on his empiric observation and inductive conclusion to God as a fact. God turns around and rebukes Elijah. God tells Elijah that He has kept for Himself 7000 people who have remained faithful to Him. This is in context of Romans 9, where God says before people are born, or do good or bad, He choses to hate one or love the other, in accordance to His own free choice of election and reprobation.

 “God has not rejected his people, whom he foreknew! Or do you not know, in the passage about Elijah, what the scripture says—how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have torn down your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life!” But what does the divine response say to him? “I have left for myself seven thousand people who have not bent the knee to Baal.” So in this way also at the present time, there is a remnant selected by grace,” Romans 11:2-5.

This same answer God gave to Elijah, Paul says it true in his day, and is also true for today.

Thus, when someone says, “I do not see all these miracles and answers to prayers (like Jesus stated and commanded, John 15:7-8)), thus, there are none, and yet I know God will save people, thus what Jesus said cannot mean what it obviously means,” they are acting just as irrational, arrogant as Elijah. God’s rebuke to Elijah is applicable here to. God has reversed for Himself 7,000, or 70,000,000 million for Himself who have not bowed their knee to empiricism (Baal) and rejected Jesus’ command for answered prayers. Despite what Elijah can observe and calculate, what God says is the only starting point for knowledge. God is true when He says there is a remnant according to Election, and Elijah was a liar and false witness against the truth. His false witness against the truth was based off his human empiricism and inductive conclusion.

So what if you do not see and overabundance of answered prayers and miracles? Even if it means there are an excessive amount of reprobates in the church, just like with Paul and the Jews, it does not mean God as failed. It means the reprobates failed to be insiders because of their lack of faith, and the rest, probably because you are a reprobated yourself, you are not around enough to see God’s power working.

Religious fanboys and reformed like to use the doctrine of election and reprobation, but this doctrine is an adult doctrine and so is wasted on children like themselves. This doctrine of reprobation is pointed at their face like a gun, which they are holding. They will hurt themselves and those around them when they use it. Maybe the reason they use the word reprobate so much is because they are reprobates and simply like the word, by God’s providence.

I love God’s providence, because I do not reject have the bible. As Vincent Cheung points out in “Predestination and Miracles,” I am predestined for miracles. But you outsiders of the Covenant, just because you narrowly understand some aspects of God’s sovereignty and reprobation, does not save you from being one.  Just because Satan can teach you about some aspects of Hell, does not save him from being imprisoned there. Maybe he knows about it because he is understands first hand what it is be God’s enemy and under His punishment.

If you are a true disciple, you will whole heartily have faith for all of God’s commands, promises and sovereign faithfulness. Those who have been
“born from above” do not make excuses for their lack of faith if they struggle; rather, they cry out like the father seeking deliverance for his son, “help my unbelief.” The Elect will seek and find stronger faith. They are real disciples, who grown in faith, rather than in unbelief. They progress forward, rather than shrinking back.  They are true insiders; therefore, the Spirit speaks in their souls, “you are a child of God, and so ask! and you will receive. Approach your Father, for He loves you.”

Starting Point for Knowledge.

The other aspect of this person’s response is rejection of God at the deepest level of one’s worldview.  That is, when dealing with the ultimate question of knowledge (I am using knowledge here as truth), what is the STARTING or first principle where you get this knowledge? Every other ultimate question, whether about existence, causality, ethics, value, history, man salvation etc., will come from this starting point of knowledge. To say it is important is an understatement.

The Reformed like to mock the Catholics for boasting about their dual starting point for knowledge with the addition of the Pope. But what is the Pope? He is a man. When the Pope gives additions to the Scripture it is from empiricism (which is a logical fallacy) and then mostly will have addition fallacies of induction in other forms. The terms for these are speculation (for empiricism) and superstition (for any form of inductive logic).  The key point for both is a “man,” starting point for knowledge. In this epistemology man does not start with God’s revelation, but with man. Man, through fallacious empiricism, somehow miraculous get knowledge from observation. Man then uses superstitious induction to formulate a premise to then deduce from. But sense this premise is formulated by speculation and superstition, then applying the logic of deduction cannot rescue it from being non-knowledge. It is a “man” starting point of knowledge versus a God starting point of knowledge that is revealed and not sensed. As Jesus said to Peter, “flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father has.”

Just by the simple calculation of logic, empiricism is demonstrated as irrational. And so, as a starting point of knowledge it is ontologically impossible.[2]

However, since the Scripture is my starting point, what does this infallible epistemology say about empiricism? Vincent Cheung, first brought these verses to my attention.

Commenting on 2 Kings 3:16-24[3] he says,

“What did the Moabites see – blood or water? The Moabites thought they saw blood, but their senses deceived them. We know that they saw water that looked like blood because this is what the infallible testimony of Scripture says. Thus the passage points out that the senses are unreliable, and shows that we depend on divine inspiration to tell us about particular instances of sensations.”[4]

Vincent also lists John 12:28-29, Matthew 14:25-27, and Matthew 28:16-17.

Even though these are only a few instances of a Divine testimony of empiricism (knowledge starts with sensation) being wrong, it is enough to trash the whole thing into skepticism.

To show the importance of this, then consider if I were able to show just one instance where the Scripture was false. For example, what if it were false that Jesus was born in Israel, but rather born in South Asia? The issue is that it would cast doubt on the rest of the premises in the Scripture. The problem is not that any premise would definitely be wrong; rather, there would be no infallible mechanism to demonstrate how any given premise of Scripture is true. It would trash the whole bible (as a starting point for knowledge) into skepticism. The issue here, is that skepticism denies the law of non-contradiction; and thus, ontologically impossible.

If invisible knowledge comes by sensation is true, then where is the justification? Where is the sound argument to prove it?

To have a picture in the mind of Mt. St. Helens is a copy of it(2); it is not the actual Mountain(1). That is one category, and then another. In addition to this is another categorical leap; that is, to think propositional thoughts about(3) the indirect copy(2) of the real Mt. St. Helens(1). There is no logical justification for these 2 categorical leaps between premises and conclusion. In essence, the syllogism is like saying, “All dogs are mammals. All blue things are color. Therefore, All humans are clouds.” There is no more justification for that syllogism than saying the propositional thoughts in an invisible mind, about the picture copy in my physical brain, is knowledge about the real Mt. St. Helens. Both are playing with categorical reality as if it is play-dough. That might work to sell Fantasy novels, but not so much when asking questions about the reality we live in.

This has been said to demonstrate that our only starting point for knowledge is God. Any starting point that starts with “man,” leads to skepticism, but skepticism is logically impossible and does not exist. All human starting points of knowledge does not exist, except in delusion and fantasy.

Most Christians know this without me having to go into all this technical explanation of it. But when reprobates infiltrate the Church, and deceive people, we need to give a detailed and harsh rebuke to them.

Most will say something like, “the Bible is our final authority.” But what I am saying here is a more foundational statement. I start with the Bible as my only public first principle for knowledge, and only the bible. If you ‘say x’ is knowledge, and cannot show it came directly from the bible or deduces from it, then it is by definition not knowledge you can prove.

Therefore, when the Bible says if I have in God’s only Son to save me from my sin and confess it, then it a truth claim about reality. It is not a probability. It is a truth that will always be sure, and reliable. If Billy says, “well I have seen some Christians who have renounced their faith and now worship Satan. Therefore, the bible is wrong, or people do not understand what the bible says. What the bible really means is that one can have faith in God to be saved and God will still reject them hell.”

The problem with this is at the foundational level. Billy used a “human” starting point to produced so-called knowledge. Then uses this as a higher authority against the Bible, by making the Bible adjust its meaning to this knowledge produced by a human starting point of empiricism and induction. The problem with this that all human starting points to produce knowledge is nothing but speculation and superstition. No knowledge is produced when starting with a human epistemology, not even with things such as what is “tree” or what is a “dog.”

Most Christians hearing what Billy did with this aspect of faith and salvation would be alarmed; they would at least, have a vague idea Billy is using a human starting point to reject what the Bible clearly says about faith and salvation. But when it comes to faith for answered prayers and faith to be healed, then suddenly many Christians revert to using a human starting point for knowledge as if they are a 50 year grand master chess player. They revert to using of empiricism and induction as if they were world champions. They would make David Hume and the Pope blush in envy. If only they could stand on human starting points as reflexively as some Christians do, then maybe they could have brough more over to the side of Satan.

If falling on empiricism to produce knowledge is sooooo natural and reflexive, then it is a good chance, it is your true master and foundation. If you do not start with God for knowledge, how do you suppose you will conclude with His revelation? You will not of course.

If you read Jesus saying that if His words abide in you and you in Him, then you ask whatever you wish and God will give it to you, and you must start with this knowledge and no contradict it. Obviously you cannot just the Scripture to contradict this because it and Jesus say over and over if you have faith, (whether for salvation, healing or whatever you wish), you will have it. Jesus says it is what “YOU” want.

If there is a wrong place for YOU, then it starting with YOU when producing knowledge. If you use YOU to produce the knowledge that “what Jesus says over and over is not what He means, but what Jesus meant is you can ask in faith and God will still reject it,” then you are a reprobate, or at least on this point you are playing the part of one. To revert and say, “I do not see.., or I observe.., or the church fathers did not see or observe,” then you are nothing less than a plagiarized rehashed Pope. You are a spiritual pervert that the foundation level of knowledge. You do not start with God to get truth, you start with YOU. You have used speculation and superstition no less in proportion than some shaman observing the moon and concluding ‘x’ or ‘y.’

Why do people do this. First, this is now reprobates think. They are only doing what is natural for then. Apart from the Scripture as a starting point, all others (including all non-Christian religions) revert to using a human starting point is some way.  Thus, it is natural for reprobates to show their true human foundation when they find things in the Bible they do not like or makes they feel uncomfortable. Secondly, to hide their human starting point they will mock other obvious reprobates with human starting points such as the Pope. They do this to hide their human starting point in the shadow of the more obvious ones. They say solo Scriptura, but this is just a slight of hand to say, sola empiricism. Thirdly, like human approval and because it is natural for reprobates to start with a human epistemology other reprobates will be attracted to them and give them praise, approval and money.

If you are truly not a reprobate, but are only playing the part due to spiritual immaturity, then repent now while you still have a chance.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed. God is willing to forgive and restore. He will do what He promise. If you ask in faith for God to forgive, He will. If you are an insider to His love and covenant, then ask and receive, because He wants you to. He commanded that you do it, because He wanted the situation where you ask and He gives. God wanted this. You do not have beg.

Because of God’s promises, which He sovereignly wanted to make, and the Contacts He made in blood, God willfully made it so that it is necessary for Him to hear your prays in faith and give you what you want, whether spiritual or material. Jesus said it was “necessary” for the daughter of Abraham, (who was bent over for 18 years) to be healed on the Sabbath. The word for “necessary” here is like saying 5+5 necessarily equals 10. That is, 5+5=10 is not just a sufficient or good reason, it is a necessary one. Jesus says because she is an insider to God’s love and covenant it is “necessary” for God to heal her.

Jesus with perfection stood on God’s Word as His knowledge, and those who follow Him will do the same.

And this woman, who is a daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan bound eighteen long years—
is it not necessary
that she be released from this bond on the day of the Sabbath?”
(Luke 13:16 LEB)

Endnotes

[1] Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. From the ebook, Sermonettes Vol. 9. 2016.

[2] Even the secular philosopher David Hume admitted as much about his starting point of empiricism leading to skepticism.

[3] While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! 17 You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. 18 But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! 19 You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.”

20 The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.

21 Meanwhile, when the people of Moab heard about the three armies marching against them, they mobilized every man who was old enough to strap on a sword, and they stationed themselves along their border. 22 But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it appear red to the Moabites—like blood. 23 “It’s blood!” the Moabites exclaimed. “The three armies must have attacked and killed each other! Let’s go, men of Moab, and collect the plunder!”

[4] Vincent Cheung. Presuppositional Confrontations. 2010. Pg 70. www.vincentcheung.com

Scripture Uses God’s Transcendence to Shove His Nearness In Your Heart

I was re-reading this essay from Vincent below. It struck a chord in my mind because I had recently read a passage of Scripture in Ephesians 3 that said and concluded the same thing.

First the quote from Vincent,

“Those who claim to provide a God-centered theology are often proud of their theological prowess, but in reality their solution is superficial… For this reason, they seem to think that God-centered religion usually stresses God’s transcendence. God himself does not think so. That is not how he presents himself in Scripture. That is not how he tells his own story. A God-centered theology listens to what God says about himself, and in his narrative, he stresses both his transcendence and his immanence.

He could be aloof, but instead he is closer than your own heartbeat. He could forget about you, but instead he counts your hairs. He could let you fend for yourself, but instead he feeds you and heals you, and works miracles for you. He could be too important to have anything to do with you, but instead he wants you to have faith in him and ask from him. He is so spiritual that he does not even have a body, but he promises he will strengthen yours. He is so transcendent that he created the world, but he is so immanent that he walked and talked with Adam. He is so transcendent that he could destroy Sodom, but he is so immanent that he engaged Abraham to negotiate with him. He is so transcendent that he could wipe out Israel, but he is so immanent that he allowed Moses to stand in his way and stop him. This is how he wants you to know him. This is God-centered theology.

I do not say that we should find the right balance, because it is not a matter of balance. It is not a matter of finding the right point on a scale, but a matter of right or wrong doctrine. Jesus was the most God-centered person who ever walked the earth. He was God himself, but more than anyone in Scripture, he was also the one who told us to pray for our needs and ask God for what we want. The “God-centered” people declares, “God is not Santa!” and they think that this is God-centered theology. It is true that God is not Santa, but this is because he is far better than Santa. Jesus said he is our Father, and it is his pleasure to give good gifts to his children. He does not bring us gifts only once a year, but Jesus told us to ask for our daily bread. They say, “God is not a cash machine!” It is true that God is not a cash machine, but this is because you only withdraw your own money from a cash machine. Paul wrote that God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This is God-centered theology, because it listens to what God says about himself, rather than shoving divine transcendence back in his face no matter what he says.”
(Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. Sermonettes 9. 2016. Pg. 9-10)

It is obvious that when the Scripture reveals propositional truths and premises about His Transcendence, Sovereignty and Power it is directly revealing truths about them. There is no higher spiritual activity than theological reflection. We are to reflect on the truths about God’s divine nature, including His transcendence.

However, what I wish to focus on is a mistake people make when thinking about His transcendence, and that is the emphasis.  When the bible reveals or emphasizes His Transcendence (and here is the IMPORTANT PART) to His chosen ones, and to those seeking Him in sincerity, what is a common or if not the most common application or consequence or command given in light of this? Think carefully about it.

As Vincent points out in general, God’s interaction and teaching with His children has a focus on His transcendence and nearness. Likewise, even when God speaks of His transcendence to His chosen ones, the emphasis leads to a conclusion of God’s nearness and love.

Paul in Ephesians chapter 3 does exactly this. After talking about the transcendent God who uses His church to show off how manifold His wisdom is to all the powers at be, Paul’s first conclusion is “come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Then Paul’s next reaction is “when I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray…,” and Paul prays that they will be made strong by His Spirit and love, and they both understand His and also experience His love greatly.

This is how Paul used the doctrine of God’s transcendence in relation for the saints.

And if that was not enough, Paul concludes a third time with this famous statement, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

So, after theological reflection on God’s predestination and grace (chapter 1) and His secret plan revealing how God uses the Church (now made up of gentiles) to show off the transcendent great wisdom of God (for His glory), the application is not to fall on our faces and beg or say self-deprecating statements to impress God with our humility; rather, we are given a true application of humility which is to boldly approach God’s throne and ask, knowing not only will God give us what we ask for, but super abundantly more than that, even beyond what we can image.

This is like Jesus’ teaching on the sermon on the mount but on steroids. Jesus kept commanding us in that sermon to pray and expect to get what we ask for. A fish for a fish, and bread for a bread. Now we are told we will get the bread we ask for and even more bread, not something different, but more of the good things we asked for. God uses His transcendence to shove His love into our hearts, which causes us to trust in His love more, and cause us to have more boldness in asking for what we want.

It is demonic for the religious fanboys to mostly emphasis God’s transcendence to highlight self-deprecation and farness, when Scripture regularly uses God’s sovereignty and transcendence to highlight His nearness to His children and their bold access to Him. If you see God’s transcendence and then feel hesitation to approach God you are acting like an outsider, as if you have no covenant with God. For God’s contracted insiders and children, His power and sovereignty is a motivation to approach boldly, quickly, constantly and with their heads held high.  God’s transcendence for God’s children is motivation to receive what they ask for and then even much more.

“I was chosen to explain to everyone[c] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.  So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 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. 18 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.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen,”
Ephesians 3:9-20

Jesus: “You Have Heard it Said…”

Jesus: You have heard it said,

“if you ask, you might or might not get it, depending on God’s will.”
However, I say to you, “If you ask you will receive, if seek you will find, and if you knock the door will be open.”

Jesus: You have heard it said,

“If you pray God will answer with a ‘yes,’ ‘maybe’ or a ‘no.’”
However, I say to you, “for everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Jesus: You heard it said,

“If you keep asking, and God has not given it to you,  God has answered your prayer with a no.”
However, I say to you, “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” [1]

Jesus: you have heard it said,

“Even if God answers your prayer, because God is looking out for you, He will often give you something different, but better.”
However, I say to you, “what man is there among you, if his son will ask him for bread, will give him a stone? Or also if he will ask for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore if you, although you* are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?”

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives,

and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you, if his son will ask him for bread, will give him a stone?

Or also if he will ask for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore if you, although you* are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him? Matthew 7:7–11 (LEB)

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

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

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

Do you know this Jesus?

[1] Luke 7:5-8

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.

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