Yoke of Bondage

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law! Part 1

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 257B

January 8, 2005

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law! Part 1

During World War II, when the Japanese had used all oriental types of torture to break the will of POW’s, as a last resort they would use the most effective of them all. It was not bamboo shoots pushed under the prisoner’s fingernails, which is excruciating painful. It was not physically painful, but it was mentally destructive and, in many cases, I have been told it broke the prisoner’s will and spirit to not spill the beans.

The Japanese would deliberately open a staged avenue of opportunity for the prisoner to escape. Once he took it and was able to get into the jungle, they would allow him to get far away enough from the camp to begin to feel a sense of freedom from the great prison camp time of bondage. Then they would suddenly recapture him and take him back to bondage. This would break him mentally, and he would remain willingly under bondage to their will.

I offer this World War II experience as an example of a born again, eternally saved soul, actually believing it had been set free from the bondage prison of the law, only to have false teachers pounce on it to take it back to the same prison from which it thought it had escaped.

Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

The most miserable people on the surface of the earth are not unbelievers, nor those who totally trust in works to be saved. The most miserable people are those who were genuinely saved by grace, and are then led by false teachers to go back under the law to be assured they will make it to heaven. Their struggle to “stay” saved is a mockery of the work of Jesus Christ being enough, and is the height of sheer spiritual foolishness. Their efforts to complete an already competed work by Jesus is a lifelong miserable experience for them, for they can never be sure they have added enough to be assured of a heavenly entrance, and their motive for service to God is not their love for him, but a fear they won’t do enough make it to heaven, so he let’s them go to hell!

Galatians 3:1-3 – O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Believers are made perfect by their faith in the one time offering of Christ for all their sins as being the absolute, all sufficient, blood covering. They believe the offering of the promised Seed of Genesis 3:15 was more than enough to cover all their sins – past, present, and future.

Galatians 3:6,7 – Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. [7] Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. [8] And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:16-18 – Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [18] For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Galatians 3:29 – And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

False teachers who lead born-again babes in Christ back under the law are in serious trouble, just as were many Japanese prison guards who mistreated American prisoners in torturous bondage.

Brother Earl Hamilton gave me an account of Jerald Mooneyham of Reedville, Arkansas, who was a long time prisoner of the Japanese, and underwent horrific torture. When the Yanks freed his camp, he cut out the heart of the one guard who had been guilty of the most serious atrocities, then threw his body on a railroad track that had delivered the prisoners to the camp. The false teachers, who led new born babes back under the prison camp bondage of the law, will suffer an eternal spiritual punishment much greater than the physical punishment of the Japanese guard.

Matthew 18:1-7 – At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? [2] And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, [3] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. [4] Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. [5] And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. [6] But whoso shall offend (cause to stumble) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. [7] Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

I Corinthians 1:17,18 – For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. [18] For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

I Corinthians 2:1-5 – And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. [2] For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. [4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

I Corinthians 15:19-22 – If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. [20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. [21] For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. [22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

I John 5:11,12 – And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not have life.

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law! Part 2-9

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 258B

January 18, 2006

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law! Part 2

Colossians 2:9,10 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

John 1:16,17 – And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. [17] For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 10:9,10 – I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. [10] The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

So if, when we are saved, we receive all of his fullness, are eternally sealed, and heaven bound, why can’t we just try with all our might and heart to keep the 10 commandments, believing by so doing we can obtain spiritual maturity, and then finally be able to live the abundant life? The answer is one that most believers do not accept. Their remaining life on this earth after they have trusted in Christ is one of failing to recognize their carnal nature is a hypocrite, and will be until the day it ceases to function. And, because of their unwillingness to accept this fact, they live miserable lives of guilt, or even worse, seal their conscience with a hot iron, and actually believe they can keep the Law of Moses now that they are saved. If you have overcome your carnal nature to the extent it is no longer a hypocrite, then you can live above sin, and perfectly keep the rest of the Law of Moses. Why do so many born-again believers live guilt ridden lives? – Because they keep on feeling guilty, even after they ask God to forgive them! If they could live above sin, then they would not keep feeling guilty for failing to do so for the rest of their lives. They simply don’t believe I John 1:8-10.

I John 1:8-10 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

When I was a young man in grade school in Batesville, Arkansas, I ran around with two of the Redding boys. There was a pear tree on the block where they lived, from which I often took pears. I would take them when I could barely bite into them, and they were 100 percent pears. But I always waited to pick most of them when they were ripe, and my teeth could sink into their soft mature ripeness. They were 100 percent pears when they were first made pears by the tree’s juices, and they were 100 percent pears when they came to maturity. I was a 100 percent fully equipped child of God at the instant of my new birth, and I am still a 100 percent fully equipped child of God at the present time, and will be a 100 percent fully equipped child of God at the time I draw my last breath. Why? Because I have had the fullness of Christ in me from the instant I was saved! To let him live his life in us is the abundant life of John 10:9,10 – It is the daily going in and out in everyday life, and spiritually finding pasture as we allow him to live his abundant life in us. You cannot live it under the law!

So, is the abundant life our ability to perfectly keep the Law of Moses because we are saved? Is that spiritual growth? Do we reach spiritual maturity when we are finally able to keep the Law of Moses? And are we to constantly be on a guilt trip because we fail to do so? There is a very important principle in II Peter 1:3.

II Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

We have received everything we need for life and his godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. That being the case, the Christian life is not starting out with Jesus and then graduating to something better. There is no such thing as a doctor’s degree for a believer. Every saved person begins his Christian life with everything he will ever receive to live it.

Remember the pears – they were 100 percent pears from start to finish. They were not too tasty when they were young pears, and they were hard as nails, but they were still pears. The nature of what they were would not change as they grew, nor would they gain anything that wasn’t already there. They would simply mature.

So what caused them to become mature? Life flowed from the tree to the fruit and the fruit matured. His Spirit flows through our new spirit to our saved soul to teach it understanding in its personal relationship with Christ, who produces his fruit in us. As our faith in the ability of Christ grows, rather than faith in our own ingenuity to improve on the methodology of his written word, then we let him produce his fruit his way, and we live our lives by his faith living in us.

John 15:5 – I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Galatians 2:20 –I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

If my spiritual growth to maturity is based on how well I keep the Law of Moses, then for what purpose is Jesus living in me? Is my righteousness determined by how well I keep the Law of Moses?

Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

So what is spiritual growth toward maturity in Christ? Even though we were given everything we will ever need at our spiritual birth, we still have a lifetime of growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and in understanding the riches, power, and life that he has placed in us in his person.

II Peter 3:18 – But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Where does one grow in grace and in the knowledge of their Savior, to give glory to God?

Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Church members (branches) of his body (the vine) LET the knowledge of their Savior flow through them and grow in his grace. Without him they can do nothing!

So what is the abundant life? It is getting up every day, and going through it. When you sin, Christ in you let’s you know it – You confess it by asking him to forgive you, and knowing that he has – then you repeat that process until you go to sleep that night. As you grow in the personal knowledge of him from Scripture, you develop a personal relationship with him, and that ever deepening relationship produces more and more fruit.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 259A

January 22, 2006

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 3

John 15:3 – Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 12:43-45 – When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. [45] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. EVEN SO SHALL IT BE ALSO unto this wicked generation.

That “wicked generation” was the last generation of the Law of Moses.  Their forefathers had placed their faith in the Promised Seed of Genesis 3:15, which came by Seth through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  However, the Law of Moses was given to teach the impossibility of a carnal man ever living up to God’s righteousness, and to drive Israel to faith in the Promised Seed as their only hope.  By the time of Christ’s arrival, the purpose of the Seed’s coming to save souls from hell had been changed to: “Messiah is coming to deliver Israel from Roman bondage to great material prosperity.”  Israel’s only hope for true rest of the soul was Jesus. The “last generation” had gone under the law alone, and their ability to keep it, as their only hope for rest, but there is no rest under the law.  The last generation was like a demonic spirit, who had been cast out of a man who was under the law, but rather than him receiving Christ to fill his vacant inner house and prevent its reoccupation by the demonic forces, he chose to remain under the law.  So, without the indwelling presence of Christ to hinder it, the demonic spirit returned with demonic spirits worse than itself, and they all indwelt him.  The state of Israel has been worse than was their condition before they rejected their Messiah.

Matthew 12:45 – Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

They simply did not come to Christ as their only hope of eternal rest in this life, which Jesus came to give them, but chose to labor under the heavy burden of the law where there is no rest.

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

John 5:39,40 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

I Peter 1:23 – Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

John 15:3 – Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Unfortunately, many of the saved today, who were saved by grace through faith, and can never lose their eternal salvation in Christ, also choose to go back to the law to add it to Jesus to insure their salvation and, even though they are heaven bound by his grace, live a life of bondage as a penalty for a lack of total faith in Christ.

If a saved person trusts in the works of his flesh to add to what Christ did on the cross, his trust is in the life he lives afterwards in his lifetime, and he is of all men most miserable.  He never knows when he has added enough to the cross.  His faith is not in the works of a living Christ resurrected from the dead without any additions, it is in his own ability to keep what God gave him as a free gift of his amazing work.  We were born spiritually dead in Adam.  We are made spiritually alive in Christ forever the moment Christ saves us, not by our works, but by the grace of God in him – Those professing faith in Christ, but who don’t believe this, are miserable.

I Corinthians 15:19-22 – If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. [20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. [21] For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. [22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

We are forever set free from the condemnation of God the moment we come to Christ to be saved from what we are from our conception in our mother’s womb, a sinful soul that must have a Savior after it passes the age of accountability.

John 3:7 – Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The new birth makes us alive in Christ, and Christ alive in us – we are instantaneously passed from death to life eternally, never again to come under condemnation.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and SHALL NOT come into condemnation; but IS PASSED  from death unto life.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 259B

January 25, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 3A

An Exposition of Luke 17:3-19

LUKE 17:19 – And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Ephesians 2:8,9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Verses 3 to 19 in Luke 17 involve a discourse comparing the fullness and completeness of God’s forgiveness with man’s inability to measure up to it.  It manifests the grace of God in Christ to save our souls by the faith we put in him, which is less than a grain of mustard seed.

LUKE 17:3-5 – Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. [4] And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. [5] And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

The disciples were flabbergasted.  They knew they did not possess that kind of faith, which is exactly what it was meant to teach them.  Only one human being, the God-man Christ Jesus has ever manifested that kind of faith.  God alone has the compassion to forgive us every day of just what Jesus was asking them to do.  God’s grace in his forgiveness of our constant daily sins is the root of my faith in Christ.  I have great sadness for all who repent toward God, put their faith in Christ Jesus, and are genuinely saved, but then immediately go back under keeping the Law to insure God’s forgiveness for their future sins.  They have been bewitched by false teachers who mentally drew them back under the Law after they had been genuinely saved by grace through faith.

Galatians 3:1-6 – O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? [4] Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. [5] He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [6] Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

What does the expression “growing in grace” really boil down to?  It simply means this – The more the person, who has his faith in Christ alone to save him, studies the word of God, the more he realizes that God was much more gracious than he thought when he was saved.

I Peter 2:2,3 – As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: [3] If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

LUKE 17:6 – And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

This is a form of hyperbole.  Again, it makes the point they do not possess this type of faith – only he does!  He never did any miracle without a purpose – Not once did he misuse his power as the Son of God to perform the kind of thing he has just described.  As a carnal man, I would misuse this type of power and, just to show how fantastic it was, I would do something spectacular like transferring a mulberry tree to the bottom of a salty sea.  The miracles of Jesus always had a distinct God- directed purpose that men might believe Jesus was the Christ.

John 20:30,31 – And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: [31] But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

We are to be rejoicing that our names are written in heaven, not because we are able to exercise the miracles of God, such as casting out demons.

Luke 10:17-20 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. [18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. [19] Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. [20] Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

We should serve God in thanksgiving because he has allowed us to be his servants, not to receive thanks from Jesus for our service.  Jesus will reward us for degrees of our service to him, but we are not God’s little helpers that he should thank us.  He does not need us – We need him!  We are to serve him and be thankful for his grace in promising us he will reward us, but the servant is not greater than his master, and we should serve him as our gracious master who has more than proven his love for us.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Luke 17:7-10 – But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? [8] And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? [9] Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. [10] So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

The word translated unprofitable is achreios, which, in its basic root definition, simply means “not needed.”  His grace was not only in saving us from condemnation, but was also extended to us in his letting us serve him, even though we are not needed.  He graciously saves us, and then uses us in spite of what we are, even when he does not really need us to accomplish his purposes.

Colossians 3:23,24 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; [24] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Faith in Jesus Saves and Seals Our Souls Eternally – but Grateful Faith Gives Glory to God by the Lives We Live in His Church, and It Preserves our Life’s Service!

Luke 17:11-19 – And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. [12] And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: [13] And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. [14] And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. [15] And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, [16] And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. [17] And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? [18] There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. [19] And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

I Peter 2:4,5 – To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, [5] Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:19-25 – Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, [20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; [21] And having an high priest over the house of God; [22] Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. [23] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) [24] And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: [25] Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

SPECIAL PROPHEY UPDATE NUMBER 260A

January 29, 2006

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 4

It is impossible for a child of God to be blessed (happy) spiritually unless he understands that by grace God has imputed his Son’s righteousness to him without works.

Romans 4:6 – Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

It is impossible for a child of God to be blessed (happy) spiritually unless he knows the shed blood of Christ has caused God to forgive all his iniquities (plural) and to cover all his sins (plural).

Romans 4:7 – Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

It is impossible for a child of God to be blessed (happy) spiritually unless he knows God will never impute a sin to him that would place him back under condemnation from which he was once removed at the time of the new birth, when he was passed from death to life.

Romans 4:8 – Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and SHALL NOT COME into condemnation; but IS PASSED from death unto life.

A very good friend of mine, that was in my graduating glass at seminary, who is some nine years my senior, yet still actively preaches and teaches in a seminary, came out of a belief which taught if you sinned at any time after you were saved, you lost your salvation.  My friend had been truly saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ but, after his experience of salvation, he was immediately, and repeatedly, taught that by sinning he would lose his salvation.

Since he was genuinely saved, he lived a life of torment for some time, because each time he sinned he had to repent, and do good works to get back into a state of grace.  Finally, on a hot summer day, while traveling with his wife, the car had a flat tire and, while he was taking it off and putting on the spare, he experienced several problems, but finally got the spare tire in place.  When he let down the jack he discovered the spare tire was flat.  He kicked the spare tire and the worst curse word a man can use toward God rolled out of his lips. At this point his wife said, “Well, now you’ve done it, you have committed blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, it’s all over for you!”  He was awe struck, and cowered in great fear for some time.

He kept running back to his pastor time after time and down to the altar over and over, to get out of what his denomination called a “backslidden” condition, and to be restored to salvation.  This went on for several years.  His only real problem was that he had been genuinely saved, but falsely taught.  Finally, he went to his pastor in absolute desperation, and told him, “I cannot stop sinning – No matter how hard I try, I cannot completely stop sinning.”  He told me his pastor, who had dealt with his problem many times in the past, said, “Albert, can you live a month without sinning?”  He quickly replied, No sir, I cannot!  Then his pastor said, “Can you live a week without sinning?”  Albert said he thought for a minute or two, then answered, No sir, I cannot.  The pastor then said, “Can you go through a day and not sin?”  Albert mulled this over for more than two minutes before he replied, No sir, I cannot.  His pastor said, “Well Albert, how about an hour, can you go one hour without sinning?”  Albert said he took some time to think about one hour, and almost said he could do it, but the more he thought about, the more certain he became he could not, so he answered, No, I cannot.  Then the pastor issued his final question, saying to Albert, “Can you go just one minute without sinning?”  Albert thought seriously about it, and finally he said, “Yes, I believe I can?”  To which his pastor let out a yell, “Praise God, Albert; live the rest of your life one minute at a time!”  Unfortunately, this is not a joke!  It really happened.  It is tragic, not funny, because many live spiritual lives of misery because they actually believe it is possible to live above sin after salvation, if one tries hard enough.  They are not free from the great burden of sin, being buried up to their necks in it, and deceiving their own souls.  They do not believe that the one time blood offering of Christ was sufficient, acting alone, to cleanse them from condemnation for all sins, past, present, and future.  They believe it is possible to live a life without sin after they are saved, because they have the power to continuously control the flesh.

I John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Hebrews 7:24,25 – But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. [25] Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

The word translated as “uttermost” is “panteles,” and it means “to the last, to the extreme end” – which, in the context of this verse means to the end of eternity.  The only way I will ever go to hell is if Jesus dies, which will never happen because he “ever lives” to make constant intercession for me.  I am accepted in him forever.

Ephesians 1:6,7 – To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. [7] In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

It was God who has made us accepted in Christ.  It is in Christ we have full redemption through his blood.  It is in Christ we have the forgiveness of sins (plural).  And it is all by grace alone, not by works before or after he saves us by grace through faith.

Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Romans 3:26-28 – To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Titus 3:4-7 – But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5]Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Galatians 4:7 – Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.   (Do you want all or part of the inheritance?)

Revelation 21:7 – He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

SO WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR NEW FREEDOM SINCE YOU CANNOT LOSE YOUR SALVATION?  HOW CAN THE TWO FOLLOWING  SCRIPTURES BE RECONCILED?

Ephesians 2:8,9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES DO RECONCILE EPHESIANS 2:8,9 AND GALATIANS 2:8,9!

I Corinthians 15:36-38,41,42 – Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: [37] And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: [38] But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him. [41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. [42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

Revelation 21:7 – He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

There are two questions directly proportionally to each other that the believer should consider after he has been saved: (1) How glorious will the resurrection body be that the Lord gives me in heaven, and (2) How much of the inheritance do I want to receive.

If you have been saved by grace, then you will reap in your glorified body what you allowed Jesus to sow each day from it, and your degree of inheritance in heaven will be directly proportional to what you allowed him to sow from it.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 260B

February 1, 2006

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 5

Luke 10:25-28 – And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Do you really think that Jesus thought it was possible for someone, other than himself, to actually do what he told the lawyer he had to do to receive eternal life?

Did Jesus lie to the man because he was tempting him?  Of course not!  He told him the absolute truth!  And he still says the same thing to all men and women today!  If you will do what verse 27 says, then God will give you the gift of eternal life, and you can live in heaven with him forever.  There are actually people on this planet today that are giving it all they have to do what Jesus said in order to escape hell, and go to heaven.  Are you one of them?

Perhaps an even greater tragic spectacle to observe is one in which many children of God actually believe they can do it after their soul is saved, while they still live in sinful flesh.  They truly believe that with Christ living in them they can muster up enough strength to completely control the flesh, and perform verse 27 before God in order to assure going to heaven, and they give it their all in their march to gain entrance to heaven.

So why on earth did Jesus tell the lawyer he could go to heaven by keeping the law, and why did he leave verse 27 for us to read?  Because he loves us more than we can imagine, and wants to teach us we cannot do what he alone could do, keep verse 27 perfectly before God while we still live in the flesh.  Why does God tell us to do something he knows we cannot do?

I Corinthians 15:50 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Romans 8:7 – Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Galatians 3:24-26 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Paul was one of the greatest Christians of all times, but he had a carnal mind before and after he was saved, and it kept functioning in his flesh until his soul left his body.  Listen to the cry of a saved soul led to give you an understanding of what will go on in the lives of all who are saved until the day their soul departs their bodies.  The “I am” in verse 14 is present indicative active, and has to refer to Paul at the time he wrote the epistle to the church at Rome – It cannot refer to the time when he was Saul of Tarsus.

Romans 7:14-24 – For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. [15] For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [16] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. [17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

As a born again believer, you are still living in the sinful body of your coming physical death.  Are you going to deliver yourself from it because you keep the law, or is Jesus, who saved you by grace through faith, going to deliver you from it?  Listen to Paul’s answer to his own question in verse 25, which was written for our benefit.

Romans 7:25 – I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Will Jesus Christ deliver you from your sinful body, even though you do sometimes serve the law of sin that is still in your flesh?  Is there that much grace in God’s love for you?   Yes!  That is why it is amazing grace!

What Paul describes in verse 25 is the Christian life set before all believers. To put it bluntly – It is a lifelong struggle against the flesh by the new Spirit, with you, a sealed soul, caught between the two in a never ending battle until your soul departs the flesh at physical death.  The battle is the Christian life with all its major battles and daily skirmishes.  Jesus has given us all that we need to fight the battle the instant we receive him, but we still have the rest of our lifetime to grow in grace by growing in our knowledge of the depthless grace that is in him, and what he has waiting for us in heaven.  Peter makes this teaching clear in his second epistle.

II Peter 3:18 – But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

The Christian life, whether it lasts one year or eighty, is a walk filled with valleys of deep depression and hills of high exultation.  Its one mandatory requirement is the willingness to endure in the faith that saved us through all of its ups and downs.  Jesus alone saves us – Not the Christian walk – But it does gradually give us a peace that is beyond all understanding in the midst of a world filled with uncertainty and problems.  It does not give peace in the flesh, but it does give great peace to a soul that daily struggles between the flesh and the Spirit.

II Peter 1:3-8 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: [4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. [8] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Special Prophecy Update Number 261A

February 5, 2006

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 6

Luke 16:27,28 – Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: [28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

A desperate cry from the soul of a man in hell anxious to see his kin saved from hell.  I have heard this cry many times while ministering in Dardanelle for more than 31 years, but not from lost souls in hell.  It came from saved souls crying out to see their kin saved.  Is there something wrong with that?  Certainly not!  But it often puts pressure on children to be saved because dad and mom, grandma and grandpa, want them to trust in Jesus and be saved long before the Holy Spirit starts his wonder of the conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit leads to spiritual repentance only those souls he knows are able to repent toward God and place their faith in his Son.  Paul and the rest of the apostles certainly didn’t exhibit a preoccupation with salvation of children in their writings.  Child evangelism came into existence largely because children are much more inclined to do what the speaker and family say they should do, in order to get their favor for having done so.  This makes it a ripe field for overzealous soul-winners.  They get what they think are genuine professions of faith, and I am sure in some cases that is true, but it is very easy to lead a child down a path of seeking approval from the evangelist.

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have lost count of how many children our church has re-baptized because of overzealous evangelistic methods employed by well meaning preachers, teachers, and other born again believers, who were relentless in their desire to help the Spirit of God do his work.

The souls of those individuals led down the Roman road, long before the Spirit started convicting them, did not respond to him, but to the desire and will of the one or ones who drove them down it.  They go down a road of confusion believing they are saved, but do not have Christ, and keep trying to obey the commandments of God in the flesh.  Every time the Spirit does convict them, they just keep on saying to themselves, “Lord, I will do better,” over and over until they finally do experience salvation, or die and go to hell.

They are like a young girl who has reached the ripe old age of 25 and never married.  Her parents, friends, and relatives stay on her like a duck on a June bug in many different ways, their efforts directed toward her getting a young man to the altar before she becomes an old maid.  She doesn’t get married because she needs to or wants to – she gets married because all her friends are in that state and everyone keeps telling her that is the thing to do – so, with all that peer pressure, she finally gives in and gets married to make everyone happy, and lives a miserable life ever after in a state far worse than being single.  Young children often do the same thing about being saved – they do it in response to human family and society pressures, and live a more miserable life than a lost man who rejected Christ.  There is nothing more miserable than a baptized lost man setting on a church pew.  Not only is he miserable – He makes those around him miserable.  He is like a person pretending to be in spiritual union with someone he never met.  He is like a man without Christ, with only a carnal mind, still attempting to please God – claiming to be in spiritual union with the God who says he is “none of his.”

Romans 8:7-9 – Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

There is a natural tendency in many churches today to characterize being saved as the end of something, rather than the beginning of a new relationship with the one who saved the individual.   Post salvation is meant to be a time of growing intimacy with the one who saved us.  It is the major eternal life purpose in a believer’s life.

John 17:3 – And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Philippians 3:10 – That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Philippians 3:13-16 – Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:12-16 – Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [13] For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. [14] Do all things without murmurings and disputings: [15] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; [16] Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 261B

February 8, 2006

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 7

John 8:30-32 – As he spake these words, many believed on him. [31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; [32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Some believers do not continue in the word long enough to understand God’s grace, they never allow the word to make them his disciples (taught followers).  And, as a consequence they never learn just how free from his condemnation God has made them in Christ.  There are many believers at this moment who have either deceived themselves into believing they can keep the law because they have been saved, and another group living daily guilt ridden lives because they cannot.

Romans 7:14 – For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Perhaps the greatest challenge a saved man or woman faces in life is to accept that Christ died for what they are, and that they are saved sinners, not sinners who, if they try hard enough can completely stop sinning.  This is not to say they should stop fighting against sin, for that is to go on until the saved soul leaves the body, nor is it meant to imply that sin should not be decreasing as they are found walking daily by faith.  But it does mean they should not let the devil put them on a guilt trip because they keep on sinning, no mater how hard they try to stop or, even worse, actually convinces them they have finally reached their ultimate goal of no longer committing sin.  By far the most gracious thing I have discovered since I was saved is that God’s grace is so deep I cannot find the bottom of it.  Paul wrote of this great depth of grace and love he had found in Christ Jesus in his first epistle to Timothy.

I Timothy 1:14-16 – And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

This was one of Paul’s latter epistles, so he was certainly not a young Christian at this time, and certainly more mature than I will ever become, and yet he states that he is, in his own mind, the chief of sinners.  The words “I am” are “eimi ego,” and they are present indicative active, which means that Paul was referring to himself at the time he was writing the epistle, not to his time as Saul of Tarsus.

Paul, like John, echoed the same principle of continuing in true to get to know the one that saved you.  I promise you, I like him a lot more now that I am getting to see the depth of his grace and love, and it is much easier to follow him than when I was first saved.

I Timothy 2:3-6 – For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

God doesn’t just want us to be saved and wait for him to come and get us.  God wants us to come to know his Son in the grace and love that is available in him!  As a babe in Christ comes to this knowledge of the truth, he understands that no one stands between himself and God other then Christ, and that it is God’s testimony the ransom price of his blood, when we accept it, covers all our sins, past, present, and future.  I am testifying that right now!  It is the record God gives us of him.

I John 5:9-13 – If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. [10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. [11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [13] These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life,

II John 3-6 – Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.   [4] I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. [5] And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. [6] And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

I Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 262A

February 11, 2005

Escaping by Grace, only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 8

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE GRACE OF GOD!

From what source must any human obtain God’s love?

Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Does a saved person have to return God’s love to him to go to heaven?  No

If so, then salvation is not by grace!

Can a saved man or woman go to heaven if they don’t keep the commandments of Christ?  Yes

Many saved men and women keep the law because they are afraid God will send them to hell if they don’t, but those who know he won’t, keep them because they love him.

John 14:21 – He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

If a saved man does not keep his commandments, will he have constant fellowship in the immediate presence of Christ in this life, and in heaven?  No

John 14:21-24 – He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. [22] Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? [23] Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. [24] He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Is returning God’s love what gets us to heaven and out from under his condemnation?  No

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and SHALL NOT COME into condemnation; but IS PASSED from death unto life. Jesus spoke the verses in John 13:34,35 and 14:1-3 to the remaining 11 disciples after Judas had departed the group.  They had all followed Jesus as his first New Testament church?  All of them had been immersed by John in the Jordan and then called out by Jesus to be his local church that followed him faithfully for more than three years.  They were faithful church members who kept his commandments.  Where do you think such people will live in heaven?  Do you think it possible that being baptized and being faithful in one of Christ’s local churches might determine “where” you live in heaven?

John 13:34,35 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 14:1-3 – Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Where is his Father’s house in the final heaven age?

Revelation 21:1-3 – And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Will Jesus live in that city with those men and women who kept his commandments because they loved him?

Revelation 22:14,1-5 – Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. [1] And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. [2] In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. [3] And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: [4] And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. [5] And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Where will the saved live that did not love him?

Revelation 21:24 – And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

How far out of fellowship were some of those saved men and women living outside the city in this present life?

Revelation 22:11,12 – He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. [12] And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Don’t try and tell me a church member can’t live an unjust or filthy life.

Quickly is an adverbial modifier, used as a descriptive adjective.  It refers not to the “time” of his coming, but to the “manner” of his coming.  He will come in a split second, like the time it takes an eye to blink, and church members will be caught in whatever life style they are living at that moment.  That is why the word “still” is used four times.

Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

In the first chapter of Revelation the Spirit advises the reader that the entire book is written to churches.  In the second and third chapter the expression, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” is used seven times.  In the last chapter the following verse appears.

Revelation 22:16 – I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The three following Scriptures identify what gets a person “to” heaven, and allows that person to remain there forever.

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 1:17,18 – For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. [18] For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Ephesians 2:8,9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And the two following Scriptures determine “where” he lives in heaven once he goes there.

Acts 2:41,42 – Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. [42] And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Matthew 28:20 – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Church members found performing those two Scriptures will live in the city of the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 22:14 – Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Scriptural baptism and continuing faithful in one of his churches does not save you, but it does determine the place you will dwell in heaven.  Being baptized, after experiencing the gift of salvation in receiving the Holy Spirit, is a commandment according to Peter.

Acts 10:47,48 – Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? [48] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days,

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 262B

February 15, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 9

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

In our society, it is not uncommon for a young man to get so far in debt that he goes to a loan shark to get enough to pay off his gigantic debt.  The loan shark lets him have the money, but he has to get an extra job to repay him.  And, even with the added burden of his new additional job, he is only to pay the interest on the loan monthly.  This pleases the lone shark immensely, since he will keep paying off the loan for the rest of his life at a much greater final cost, and will never pay it in full.  So, he keeps on paying on his debt month by month, year after year, and finally dies at age 80, without any of the actual debt being paid.

The loan shark is much like the Devil, who successfully keeps him paying all his accountable life, and he dies without every completing the payment.

The principle is the total debt he owes by law that says he must pay it.  He is a slave to the law that demands full payment.

The monthly payment is the great burden that hangs around his neck all his life, with each new payment reminding his conscience it is still unpaid.  He dies knowing his labor has not been sufficient to pay off the total debt.

People who come to Jesus alone for salvation receive it, and it is not a loan.  He pays the full debt and charges them nothing.  He paid their debt off completely and forever by his works and by his blood.  Saved people who go back under the law are paying interest on a debt they no longer owe.  It is a penalty they pay for not going on in the study of his word to understand Jesus paid it off forever.  If they continue in his word after he saves them, then they will come to understand how free he has set them from the condemnation of God to hell for all their sins, past, present, and future.

John 8:30-32 – As he spake these words, many believed on him. [31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; [32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Failure of a saved soul to know him more and more in a full relationship, as he reveals himself in his word, is the major reason many saved souls never find the second rest he defines in the verse following Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29 – Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

The yoke of the Devil under the law is a heavy burden one carries all their natural life.  By comparison, the yoke of Christ we put on after we are saved is a zillion times lighter, because we have been removed forever from the condemnation of God for sin.

Matthew 11:30 – For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

One of the reasons that so many people will not submit themselves to God for service is this – They are still dealing with God on the basis of an unpaid debt, and live under the apprehension he is angry with them – it is only natural they will try to avoid him, much as the man who avoids contact with the loan shark because he still owes him the debt.

If believers continue in what his word will teach them about the character of the one who saved them, then they will eventually be convinced that what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient to forever deliver them from the spiritual death of being eternally separated from him in a lake of fire.  They will come to realize they will never again go back under his condemnation for sin, having been passed from death unto life.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and SHALL NOT COME into condemnation; but IS PASSED from death unto life.

Security of the believer is the start of a relationship with Jesus that becomes more and more personal as one gets to know him.  It is the beginning of a relationship that leads to the saved soul finding peace under a light yoke.

Matthew 11:29,30 – Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The relationship with Christ is a journey in this life that is well documented by Peter.

I Peter 2:1-6 – Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings [2] As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: [3] If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. [4] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, [5] Ye also, as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ  [1] Are we attempting to do it in love?  [2] Do we desire his word?  [3] Have we tasted his graciousness?  [4] Do we keep on coming back for more of [2]?  [5] Are we serving in one of his local N.T. churches?

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law? Part 10-16

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 263A

February 19, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 10

The Law of Moses was a temporary system to prepare Israel for the coming of her Messiah, who was to bring in a new relationship between God and man that would be a much “better” covenant that the old covenant.  In Hebrews, Jesus is presented as being superior to those who brought the old covenant, such as angels, Moses, and the Prophets.  Jesus is “better” in person, and is the one who beings the “better” covenant.

The Old Covenant began in Genesis 3:15 with a promise of a Seed, and was then confirmed when God’s Seed did seal it eternally with his own blood on the cross.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The Law became a part of the Old Testament Covenant when God gave it to Moses.  And the Law spoke of the coming Seed as the Prophet from God.

Deuteronomy 18:18,19 – I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. [19] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Christ is “better” than the Old Covenant priesthood.  He brought in a “better” covenant in that he brought in the one-time ultimate sacrifice, and all “his works” have given us the unshakeable foundation, which is the basis for all our hope.  The new covenant is based on “better” promises.  The comparisons made between the Old and New Covenants in the book of Hebrews give graphic descriptions as to why the New Covenant is, without a doubt, the “better” covenant.

Hebrews 8:1-6 – Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; [2] A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. [3] For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. [4] For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: [5] Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. [6] But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

The first covenant could not be perfect until Messiah, the Seed of Genesis 3:15, came to absolutely fulfill it for all men.  The Old Covenant was not faulty, but man is, and he could not be faultless before God, because God alone could fulfill it.  God came as the man Christ Jesus, and fulfilled it in and by the works and sacrifice of that one lone, single, solitary man, his only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

II Corinthians 5:19 – To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Hebrews 8:7-13 – For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. [8] For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [9] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. [10] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: [11] And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. [12] For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. [13] In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Today, as was the case with the religious leaders of all Israel, religion has become consumed with hanging on tenaciously to keeping the Old Covenant of the law to be saved or to stay saved after they are born again by the New Covenant.  It is very difficult to get a person who is legalistic to ever understand how free they are from the condemnation of God under the New Covenant.  They keep trying to put the law into the same container with the New Covenant, and it absolutely will not work.

Luke 5:36-39 – And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. [37] And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. [38] But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. [39] No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Jesus told the Pharisees to “search the Scriptures,” He was referring to the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, because it spoke of him.  Jesus fulfilled it all completely, and he told them plainly – If you will come to me, I will give you the rest you will never find in the Scriptures under the Old Covenant, but they would not honor him by coming to him as the Messiah.  They preferred to stay under the Old Covenant, even though it spoke of him

Deuteronomy 18:18,19 – I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. [19] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

John 12:48-50 – He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. [49] For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. [50] And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 5:40 – And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 263C

February 22, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law!  Part 10A

The most important doctrine in the church is that of salvation by grace, and maintenance of the gift received by the same Spirit that gave it.  It is this doctrine that the Devil first tried to change.

Galatians 3:1-5 – O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

And after eternal salvation by grace there are two other doctrines, which the Bible identifies as “ordinances.” The first is baptism by immersion by the authority of one of the Lord’s churches, and the other is the Lord’s Supper, which we are to observe AFTER we have been baptized.

I Corinthians 11:1,2 – Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.  [2] Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

The false teachers are used by Satan constantly to lead churches astray by changing the teachings of these three doctrines.  And the latter times were supposed to see an increase in their number.

I Timothy 4:1,2 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Matthew 24:11 – And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

They teach a false doctrine of adding works to the cross for the salvation of the soul, denying the completeness of Christ’s sacrifice.

I Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

I Corinthians 6:20 – For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I Peter 2:24 – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Colossians 2:9,10 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

One of the Old Testament accounts that reflects God’s rejection of a man being cleansed of his sins by his own offerings, works, and power, is that of the great Syrian Captain Naaman, who was over all the host of Syria.  He developed leprosy, which in the Bible is pictured as representing sin, and the King of Syria was so desperate to see him healed that he sent Naaman to the King of Israel with a letter asking for healing of his leprosy.

II Kings 5:5-9 – And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. [6] And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. [7] And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.  [8] And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. [9] So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.

Naaman was one of the mightiest men of his day, and he came bringing great wealth to pay for his cleansing of the dreaded leprosy, and whatever work or mighty deed that was required of him he was willing and able to do.  But this is the Word of God that was delivered to him.

II Kings 5:10 – And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

That was the word of God to Naaman.  It was all he had to do to be cleansed of leprosy.

He had to believe the Word of God enough to do what he was told to do!

This was the Word of God to all of you who have been cleansed of sin.

Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You had to believe the Word of God enough to do what God told you to do!

What was Naaman’s reaction to the offer of God’s grace to cleanse him of leprosy?

II Kings 5:11 – But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

Naaman wanted to see a miracle performed by a man of God he could reward for having done so.  He did not want his healing by faith in the God of the man of God without some sort of visible sign of God’s power.  The same is true with many today.  They want to see the one performing the cleansing and feel the power run from the top of their head to the soles of their feet.

II Kings 5:12-14 – Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. [13] And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? [14] Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Since the prophet of God did not appear to perform the miraculous cure – which Naaman anticipated – since there was no appearance of the prophet himself to bring forth a miracle, since there was no sign by which the prophet could bring praise and glory upon himself – It left Naaman nothing else to believe except the promise of the word of God.

II Kings 5:10 – And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

So how could the word of God be sufficient in, and by, itself to accomplish all that was necessary to cleanse Naaman of leprosy?  And how could the Word of God be sufficient in, and by, itself to accomplish all that needed to be done to cleanse our souls of sin?  We are living in an age where most believe baptism and works must also be added to God’s Word to cleanse our souls of sin.

John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Many today are just like Naaman, they believe there is a God, and they believe he will deliver them if they will do something worthy of his delivering them, and they also believe Jesus is his Son, died on the cross for them, and is alive in heaven today, but they simply will not believe that the sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to cleanse them from the condemnation all men are under for sin.  They feel they must do something themselves to receive the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased for them with his one time offering fall all sin, past, present, and future.  And many, even after they have received the eternal gift of salvation, paid for by his blood, believe they must continue to do something to be allowed to keep his gift of grace.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 264A

February 26, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 11

Hebrews 11:1-40 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [2] For by it the elders obtained a good report. [3] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. [4] By faith Abel [5] By faith Enoch [7] By faith Noah, [8] By faith Abraham, [11] Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. [12] Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. [13] These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. [14] For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. [15] And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. [16] But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. [20] By faith Isaac [21] By faith Jacob, [22] By faith Joseph, [23] By faith Moses, [31] By faith the harlot Rahab [32] And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: [33] Who through faith [39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

At no time in history, or in the future, has any man or woman ever been saved except by grace through faith.  All of those listed in Hebrews 11 were Old Testament personages that were saved by grace through faith.  All of them received eternal life in the same way that we do today – they trusted in the mercy of a merciful God.  If you read Hebrews with that understanding, that it is a book written to saved men and women to explain what they already have, and to exhort them to walk by faith in the salvation God has already given them, you will understand the mercy of God in Christ Jesus.  If you try to interpret it as a book written to lost people, you will have to consistently twist the examples given to make them fit your own theology.

While I am certain that God has always saved men and women by grace through faith, I am acutely aware that he has dealt with man in different ways in different eras of time.

Under the Old Covenant of the law, God employed a set of sacrificial practices to deal with man and lead him to place his faith in the promised Seed to one day deliver him.  But the law, in itself, had no power to forgive any future sins.  It cleared a man’s conscience only of past sins.  All the sacrifices and gifts were never able to clear the conscience to the degree they could put their faith in them to be the atonement for future sins.  Conscience clearing for future sins could only be given at the time of reformation, when the promised Seed came to make a way for ALL SINS to be forgiven by a one time offering for them – PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.

Hebrews 9:9,10 – Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; [10] Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

In the Old Testament the sacrifices were a temporary covering (a kaphar) for the sins of the believer in God’s promise of a Seed who would come to deliver them from all sin forever at Golgotha.  The Seed was promised in Genesis 3:15, and the picture of the temporary covering (the kaphar), which the Seed would one day provide as an eternal offering, is found six verses later in 3:21.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:21 – Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

It was the actual sacrifice of the promised Seed on the cross that cleansed all the sins of the Old Testament men and women who had their faith in God’s promised Seed, as well as those believers who were physically alive at the time of the cross, and all future believers who would put their faith in his covering (kaphar), his body, his blood, as the only offering God would accept for past, present, and future sins.

Romans 3:24,25 – Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

God, in his amazing forbearance, extended his mercy and grace to believers for thousands of years from the first offering of Abel to the final compete offering of the Seed, Jesus Christ, at Golgotha.  Their sins lay under the temporary covering of the grace pictured by animal sacrifices of innocent blood for their sins.  But when Jesus died for all sin at Golgotha, the Lord symbolically lifted up all the animal sins, and swept the sins of all believers, past, present, and future, as far away from them as east is from west.

The gifts and offerings of the Old Covenant could make the believers offering them ceremonially clean on the outside, but they could not make them clean inside.

Romans 2:28,29 – For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Hebrews 10:1,2 – For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. [2] For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

In their consciences there was no freedom in the Seed. We have seen him, and can understand grace – that’s why we can say we are under a “better” covenant.

John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 264B

March 1, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law?

Part 12

Hebrews 10:14 – For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

One of the most important principles of comprehending grace is in our understanding we are not like God. No matter how hard we try, we cannot completely forgive someone who offends us. Some swear up and down they can, but that is saying to oneself, “I am no longer carnal in the flesh.” We must understand that God is love, and he alone can forgive, and no longer hold us accountable for offending him by letting our carnal nature get the best of us time after time. When we come to him asking for forgiveness he forgives us completely. To say that God no longer remembers what our sins were, is like saying he is not God, for as God he has total recall, but to say he never drags it up again to charge us with it at his Son’s judgment seat is the total truth expounded in his word.

In Scripture we find God fulfilling three roles in three offices involving forgiveness of sins.

God the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin by the word he has written.

God the Father is Spirit, and he is the offended one, who must be satisfied with our repentance.

God the Son is the mediator who eternally satisfied the Father for believers by his one time offering for all sin forever.

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

God hates sin with a perfect hatred. He will never be satisfied unless a sinless man can live a sinless life. Only one man ever did that, and that one man satisfied God for all of us who will put their faith in him alone as the only offering that has satisfied God.

It is our faith that his sacrifice for our sins satisfied God forever, and that he will never place us back under his condemnation for sin. In no way do I mean to imply he has decided to redefine sin or change his holy attitude toward it one whit, but I do tell you without hesitation that he is completely satisfied with his Son’s sacrifice for it!

Romans 5:8-10 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. [10] For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

It was the righteousness of his Son that satisfied him for the sins of all who would put their faith in him. It allowed God to be perfectly just in justifying us by our belief in him as the one offering that satisfied God.

Romans 3:26 – To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Legalists often accuse those who believe in security of the believer of being too lax on sin. But one can hardly legitimately accurse us of that, because we know that God poured out his wrath for our sins on his Son who bore them in his own body on the cross. He was judged for our sins by his Father. Jesus really did pay all of our sin debt at Golgotha. God can now deal with all believers as his children without condemning them to hell for their sins.

Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Believers have been eternally set free from concern of eternal separation from God in a lake of fire. They are incapable of leading sinless lives because they are still carnal in the flesh, but they can live a life void of fear of committing any sin that would send them to hell. God is satisfied with his son’s sacrifice for all their sins. A saved man or woman who believes they can commit a sin that will cause God to send them to hell does not in any way comprehend the depth of God’s love and, as such, are not made perfect in love.

I John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

When we continue in his word after we are saved, we learn we are eternally delivered from punishment in a lake of fire forever, and it sets us free to grow in our love for him, for we realize we were saved by his love for us, not by our love or service to him.

I John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us.

Titus 3:3-7 – For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. [4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Many of God’s children never learn to serve God in the love he transplanted in them, by coming to understand the love that is manifested in his Son. They do not continue in the word long enough to grasp the grace that is in his Son.

I John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us.

As a result they never present themselves to God as living sacrifices. Some try to offer themselves to God as someone surrendering to an enemy who had smashed them on the battlefield. They live tortured lives in a prison camp trying to find some way to please their captor sufficiently to get better treatment and food. They never really learn to worship God, because they threat him as a jailor, not as one who has set them free from condemnation so they can serve him freely, not in fear. We were saved to give glory to God by our service to him. The “therefore” in Romans 12:1 refers back to the last verse in Romans 11.

Romans 11:36 to 12:1 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. [1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Your service in the local church is your spiritual act of worship to God.

Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

Ephesians 5:26,27 – That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 265A

March 5, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law – Part 13

Galatians 4:4,5 – But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, [5] To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The question that one needs to address is this – Was I redeemed from under the law? If your answer is “no,” then you need to be redeemed by accepting the blood of Jesus as the full price for your eternal salvation. If your answer is “yes,” then why do you think you need to go back under it as God’s adopted son to maintain your salvation you received as a gift from your new Father?

John 3:6,7 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Galatians 3:3 – Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Did Christ redeem you from the curse of the law? If your answer is “yes,” then why do you want to go back under the curse?

James 2:10 – For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Galatians 3:10-14 – For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. [12] And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. [13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:[14]That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Has God’s schoolmaster, the law, taught you how great a sinner you are in your failure to keep all of it? Once you came to Christ as your only hope, why do you now need to go back under it to learn the same lesson that you must have a Savior?

Galatians 3:24-26 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

If you have redemption and forgiveness of sins (plural), through his blood, does Jesus have to be crucified over and over again every time you sin (singular)?

Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Ephesians 1:7 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

How long is your saved soul sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit of God?

Ephesians 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Are the saved soul and the carnal body changed and united again on the day of redemption?

I Corinthians 15:50-52 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Have many of the things from Luke 21:24 & 25 already happened, are happening, or are about to happen?

Luke 21:11,24 – And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. [24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (What does Scripture indicate we should be doing now?)

Luke 21:28 – And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Is our redemption by his blood eternal or temporary?

Hebrews 9:12 –Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

I Peter 1:18,19,23 – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [23] Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Revelation 5:9 – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 265B

March 8, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to the Recaptured by the Law – Part 14

John 14:1-4 – Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

In order to grasp the significance of meanings in these three verses, one must be aware of the context in which they are found. Jesus had just finished a dialog and a sequence of experiences with 12 men who had faithfully followed him for more than three years. The dialog and experience had made a cut in their faith by disrupting their pre-conceived idea of what the Messiah would do in establishing his earthly kingdom. After his departure he did not want them to lose faith in him as Messiah.

John 13:18 to 14:7 – I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

This was the first shock! One of the 12 was going to be guilty of betraying the Messiah they had followed for more than three years. If he was truly the Messiah how would it be possible for him to be betrayed – Would God allow such a thing? How could Messiah bring in the kingdom if he was betrayed?

[19] Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

Then he advises them of the reason he is telling them in advance. He wants them to continue to believe in him after it happens, and the fact he told them in advance should reinforce their belief, because only God had that ability of looking inside men and knowing what they were going to do in the future, just as he knew the heart of Judas, and how faint the hearts of the 11 would grow when he was on the future cross of his betrayal.

[20] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Jesus was telling them when men received the word he had given them, they were receiving him, and when they received him they were receiving the Father who sent him, because his Father gave him the words he spoke. He made this clear in John 12:49 – “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”

[21] When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

His spirit was likely concerned about the effect his being lifted up would have upon the faith of the eleven who would not betray him. This could be the reason behind his emphasis on the power he would leave behind in the words he had spoken to them in John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

[22] Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. [23] Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. [24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. [25] He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? [26] Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

The Passover lamb had not been partaken of at this time. The sop Jesus gave Judas was hard crusted bread dipped in charoseth, which was what we would call a crushed fruit and spice dip today. It was an appetizer for the lamb which was to follow. Judas never partook of the Paschal Lamb or the fruit of the vine that came after the charoseth.

John 13:27-29 – And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. [28] Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. [29] For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

There were only two reasons that a man could leave after the charoseth – To get something that the host had forgotten to get for the Passover Meal, or to give something to the poor. Judas, being treasurer, was the logical one to be sent out for either one of these tasks, so the disciples would have thought nothing about his going out.

[30] He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. [31] Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. [32] If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. [33] Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

This was also a great shock to the 11 disciples after the departure of Judas. Their master of more that three years, who they had followed, waiting patiently for him to bring in his kingdom at any moment, suddenly tells them he is going away and they will no longer be able to follow him. They were stunned!

[34] A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Up to this time these 11 had primarily been identified as his followers because men could see Jesus leading them, but now, after saying he is going away, he commands them to love one another like he has loved them, so that those seeing this love will identify them as his disciples, even though he is no longer physically present among them. The same is still true today in his churches.

[36] Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. [37] Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Oddly enough, Peter’s statement contained the answer to his question. The only way Peter could follow him where Jesus was going was by way of his own physical death, but none of them understood that at the time except Jesus.

[38] Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Peter is often severely criticized for his fulfillment of the words of Jesus, but at least he followed him, which is more than many of the other believers did and, quite frankly, they all said they would follow him to death in Matthew 26:35 – Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

We began this exposition of John 13:18-38 as a prelude to the context of John 14:1-7. In these 21 verses, Jesus has delivered a series of revelations to his disciples that are enough to shake their faith in him as the Messiah sent by God. They had followed him for more than three years, expecting him to suddenly proclaim himself as the Messiah and King of Israel, then overcome all opposition by his miraculous powers, and give them administrative positions in his new Kingdom. But his statements made it plain he was about to leave them, and they could not go where he was going until some future date.

So, he continues his discourse, in verse 1 of Chapter 14, and gives them assurance that he is going away for their benefit to prepare places in the Kingdom for them and, when the time is right, he will return and take them to his Father’s house. He wants them to continue their faith in him by believing the promises of his word. He does not want their believing hearts to be troubled. I implore you to remember that he is addressing his first local church of 11 men, whose treasurer is in the act of betraying him. All of the 11 listening to him were saved and had been baptized by John before he called them out to be his first church. All of the 11 had stayed with him faithfully for more than three years. These are specific promises made to them as his faithful followers!

[1] Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. [4] And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. [5] Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? [6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Where is his Father’s final house in which the faithful are to live according to his promise to these 11 faithful church members? What is his Father’s house?

It is on the New Earth under the Heaven of the final Age. It is the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:1,2 – And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Who will live in the holy city, new Jerusalem, on the new earth, for all of eternity? Do works play any role in “where” one lives in heaven?

Revelation 22:12-14 – And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. [13] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [14] Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Who will live outside the city and walk in the light of it?

Revelation 21:24 – And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 266A

March 12, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law – Part 15

Ephesians 2:8,9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

John 3:7 – Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Many men and women try to worship God, but are not able to worship him! Why?

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

They do not have his indwelling Spirit in them, never having accepted Paul’s testimony.

Acts 20:21 – Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many saved men and women try to worship God, but their worship is not acceptable! Why?

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

They have been born again and God’s Spirit indwells them, but they do not worship him according to the truth of his word in the assembly where it tells them to worship.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Ephesians 5:26,27 – That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

I Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

I Timothy 3:14,15 – These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: [15] But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit AND IN TRUTH.

How can a saved person worship God IN TRUTH in a church that teaches you can lose your salvation if you don’t produce enough good works?

Galatians 3:2,3 – This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

How can a saved person worship God IN TRUTH in a church that teaches you don’t receive the Holy Spirit, until AFTER you are baptized?

Acts 10:47 – Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Paul would never have written I Corinthians 1:17 if water baptism was part of a saving gospel!

I Corinthians 1:17 – For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

A saved man or woman cannot please God unless they walk in truth.

III John 3-4 – For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. [4] I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

A saved man or woman cannot worship God unless they obey the ordinances in truth.

I Corinthians 11:1,2 – Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [2] Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

II John 1:4 – I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Ephesians 1:18-23 – The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 266B

March 15, 2006

Escaping by Grace, Only to be Recaptured by the Law! Part 16

Spiritual gifts were childish things compared to growing in the love of God.  They vanished away like the things of our childhood, but God’s love never fails, ceases, or vanishes away, as revealed in his perfect (completed) word.  It was completed to teach the saved to love.

I Corinthians 13:8-13 – Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. [11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. [12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

I Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The Charity (Love) described here is a love experienced in Christ by growing in the awareness of the truth one has in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, the completeness a saved man or woman has in him.  Some never come to understand it, never feeling completely free from the condemnation of God for the condition under which one is born.

Romans 3:10 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

John 5:24 –Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and SHALL NOT come into condemnation; but IS PASSED from death unto life.

Colossians 2:9,10 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Some saved men and women obtain the “rest” of Jesus in Matthew 11:28, but then fail to find the “rest” of security in Christ in 11:29, and never fully recognize how free from God’s condemnation they have been set by the grace that in Christ.  They spend their remaining days in fear God will remove his salvation from them, and remain under the heavy burden of the law, rather that serving Christ in love for the price he paid for them to set them free from hell.  They continue to carry the very heavy burden of perfectly keeping the law’s yoke of burden and never come to experience the lightness of Christ’s burden yoke.

Galatians 3:24-26 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Are you justified by faith in the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus, or must you add to it after you have trusted in Christ in order to maintain your salvation?  Are you God’s spiritual workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, still trying to help God keep you saved by works?  Were you created in Christ Jesus so you could do good works for rewards, or do your works keep you in Jesus?

Galatians 3:1-3 – O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

John 6:63 – It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Ephesians 2:8-10 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Is God’s grace sufficient to keep you saved, or must you work to keep your salvation?

II Corinthians 12:7-9 – And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Romans 7:19 to 8:4 – For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. [1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

You cannot walk after the Spirit unless you have been given the Spirit.  That is why one MUST the born again.  It is not the flesh of man that is born again, it is a birth of his spirit.  One does not start in the Spirit and then add to his new birth by works generated by the carnal mind of the flesh.

John 3:6,7 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again.

Will God’s grace ever impute a sin to saved men and women that would send them to hell?

Romans 4:4-8 – Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. [6] Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, [7] Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. [8] Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The scriptures, his word, quickens those who believe what it testifies, that he has ascended back to heaven, and sets in heaven to continuously intercede for them, never allowing any sin to be imputed to them that would separate them from the love of God in him.

Romans 8:38,39 – As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. [37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:39,40 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Hebrews 7:25 – Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

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