Bible Teaching aimed at helping you enjoy the Scriptures which are the Word of GOD!
Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*
Man has been so unfaithful to the covenant God made with him after the Deluge of Noah’s day that he no longer believes God will keep His end of the deal.
I’ve written here before about the Noahic Covenant God made with man after the great Deluge 1656 years after Adam.
That covenant provided assurance to man that God would not curse the ground as he had done under Adam, and neither would He ever again destroy every living as He did in the deluge.
Since that time, but especially in the last many years, all of mankind has failed to live up to its end of this covenant, which is, briefly comprehended : (1) eat meat, but not blood (don’t be or become a vegetarian) ; (2) execute murderers (capital punishment) ; and, (3) be fruitful and multiply (have plenty of children).
These provisions are not burdensome, and they are not optional.
The first is a change of diet. This no doubt altered the culture of man to a great extent. Because the Deluge was God’s judgment for man deeply involving himself with demon spirits, resulting in the corruption of the genetic code of the race, we suspect that the alteration of diet from herbs and grains to also include meat is significant on a number of levels.
For instance, it certainly reminds man that blood must be shed to give him life, and that is a reminder of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, Who is our life. Again, it likely has a relationship to the forbidden communion with demons that marked the era prior to the deluge. It is not mere coincident that vegetarianism – the forbidding of meat – travels as a companion with the demon religions of the east. Both Hinduism, which explicitly teaches the divinity of man , and Buddhism are obvious examples. These religions mark a departure from the covenant with Noah, and the rest of us, by God.
An addition to this alteration of diet was the forbidding of “bloods.”
The second is capital punishment. This provision forms the basis for human government, because “by man” was the murderers sentence to be carried out. Men needed to organize themselves civilly in order to carry out this sentence. This provision was an alteration from the time prior to the flood. In that era (dispensation), God marked Cain and forbade his execution. Nonetheless, violence filled the earth. Therefore, the change was needed in order for God to carry out his pledge.
The third final provision of this covenant was a carry-over from the previous dispensation, and that is a command to be fruitful, and multiply: to fill the earth.
Now man is obliged to hold and advance these three principles. It’s not a huge agenda. Nevertheless, we are seeing a constant and driven tendency to dismiss them all.
First, vegetarianism and dietary restrictions on meat-eating is a growing phenomenon. I have little doubt that this tendency is producing more and more illegal communion with demon spirits, even those who so commune may not realize it. When I was a college student, listening far, far too intently to my professors, I discovered late in my college years that I was accumulating, unthinkingly, a stash of demon-inspired literature, including the works of Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and more contemporary successors, who likewise repackaged teachings of the demon-inspired, such as Madame Blavatsky and others.
For more than 25 years now, when I meet a vegetarian convert, I elucidate from them their views on capital punishment, abortion, and marriage. It’s nearly unanimous to them that abortion is up to the woman, that capital punishment should be outlawed, and that there is an over-population problem on earth. Even they become surprised when I can predict their views.
Why is this? Demon-inspired teaching. They don’t even realize it themselves, because to a one, they are ignorant of the Scriptures.
Second, capital punishment for first-degree murder has been under siege for a very long time. In the early 70′s the US Supreme Court banned it. Today, there are perhaps only 25% of nations that practice capital punishment for murder. Even then, many of these have laws on the books, but the practice is so infrequent as to be non-existent. There is no country in Europe that will execute a murderer.
In so doing, these states relinquish the God-given basis for their existence, and will reap accordingly. In our day we are seeing states come into existence and terminate at such a rapid pace that we cannot even track them. This entire scenario is due in a large part to ignoring the simple basis God has laid down for man’s self-rule.
People argue the value of execution to reduce murder, it’s effect on violent crime and so forth. But the base reason for the commandment to all nations from God is that man is in the image of God. So far gone are the western nations that once held the Bible as the standard of truth that to even discuss this premise is seen by them as folly.
Third, we have the hostility of modern man to everything related to being fruitful and multiplying, thus filling the earth. This hostility is shown in many ways: populations control, support and advancement of abortion, and the destruction of marriage.
The evidence is overwhelming that man has been hostile to the arrangements God made after the Deluge. God signified His side of the bargain by putting a rainbow in the sky, which rainbow can be seen from time to time throughout the world. In addition to the symbol of His promise to not destroy all life as He once did, God also promised the permanence of the seasons.
So unfaithful has man been to his side of these arrangements that now, he suspects God to be unfaithful to his own. “Professing to be wise,” man has become a complete fool, turning to serve the creation instead of the Creator, and running headlong into male and female homosexuality. It is as if man attributes his own unfaithfulness to God, and no longer trusts Him to superintend His own creation. It is so outrageous now, that the chief science adviser to the President of the United States announces that man must discharge metals into the atmosphere to ward off the destruction of the cycle of regular seasons!
Running headlong into national apostasy, the formerly Christianized Western world says to the Lord Jesus Christ, in effect, “We will not have this man to rule over us.”
Indeed, the fear of God is no longer upon the hearts of these nations, including our own. They rush to destruction. They fail to heed the long-standing counsel of God.
One might well ask if there is any hope. Well, that depends upon where you have placed your hope. If you have placed your hope in this world, you have trusted a shaking reed that will only pierce through your hand. Fear and trembling will come upon you like the labor pains of a delivering mother. On the other hand, if you have placed you hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who loved you while you were yet his enemy, and Who died for you, then look up, and be of good cheer, for you redemption draws near: the resurrection of your mortal body.
For the Lord Jesus will one day have his enemies in derision. He will break them into many pieces like a clay pot with a rod of iron that issues from his hand. Those broken clay vessels will be pieced together like Bizarro characters while those who have received Him and trusted Him will reign with him, gloriously fashioned like He is, in His glorious, resurrected body.
If Jesus Christ is not risen, we are of all men most foolish, having discarded the hopes of this present evil age, which exalts God’s enemies. But Jesus Christ IS risen out from the dead, declared by God in power to be the Son of God. This gives an otherwise disquieted heart the kind of peace which passes all understanding.
I received Christ, and therefore eternal life, in 1975. When 1976 rolled around, Jimmy Carter was running for President, it was the Bi-Centennial, and the Cincinnati Reds were the “Big Red Machine.”
Carter more or less shocked the country with his declaration that he was a “Born Again Christian.”
My little world got rocked at that time because I was President of the student body of the university I attended. The campus newspaper decided I was news because I was being baptized as an adult.
At that very time, the Lord called me away from the life of a politician, despite having a warm invitation to pursue that career by the Governor of Nebraska. Ever since that time, I have been somewhat of a student of the correct relationship a Christian – including a Christian preacher – should maintain with respect to temporal government.
The Leaven of Herod.
The first problem with temporal government for the believer is the “leaven of Herod,” about which the Lord warned. While it is not the only leaven – there are two others: of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees – it is a peculiar one, for it is a teaching that improperly weds the believer to the world system.
These three leavens have “leavened the whole lump,” just as foretold in the the parable.
The directive that we are to be in the world, but not of the world, is difficult to navigate, but by grace through faith , the Spirit of God will lead us through.
The leaven of Herod is the teaching that we need to be part of the world’s political system in order to be faithful before God. It teaches that God wants his people to occupy important positions of leadership in the world system. It teaches that it is the agenda of God’s people to ” make the world a better place.” It teaches that the greatest good for the greatest number is the guiding principle of Scripture.
The Lord warned us to beware of this leaven, but we also know that it has successfully leavened the whole lump. It is now a matter of personal governance to be faithful in the matter of avoiding this leaven.
God Provides Human Government.
Because we are in an age, designed by God, wherein he tolerates much evil-doing in order to, in his mercy, allow the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ to reach his enemies, many overlook God’s superintendence not only of His creation, but of the affairs of men.
Rest assured that God will do all that is necessary in this present age to hold up the dispensational framework necessary to afford that proclamation. Part of that framework involves the “ powers that be” – human governments – which are ordained of God in order to secure God’s purpose. Nothing escapes His planning and arrangement.
On occasion, this is a very difficult concept to accept and hold. We know from Scripture “the whole world system” lies in the hands of the evil one. But holding the thought of God’s superintendence of the age, His planning of the ages, and the consideration that these ages are framed by the Word of God , with the expressed purpose of revealing the Lord Jesus Christ to an unbelieving world – finally visibly – and at the same time understanding the heavenly conflict against that disclosure, is required for Christians to be effective witnesses and soldiers in that conflict.
I had thought I was finished with the matter of the doctrinal errors and heretical behavior of Bob Wilkin, Zane Hodges, Bob Bryant, and others who hold the banner of the rapidly declining Grace Evangelical Society (GES).
To briefly summarize the latest position of the GES – regarded by very many, including me, to be a false “gospel” – is that the minimum content of saving faith is that “Jesus is the guarantor of eternal life.”
This position has been taken and held by Zane Hodges since at least 2001. It has been increasingly advanced by the GES in their conferences and papers since that time. In 2005, Bob Bryant advanced the position at the annual national conference in a “workshop.” At that time, the leader of the GES – and now heretic – Bob Wilkin said that Bryant’s position was not the position of the GES.
Why is it a heresy? I have dealt with that question elsewhere, but the short version is because “guarantor” has replaced the Biblical term “Christ, the Son of God.” Hodges’ position has distilled down to this much: that someone can fail to believe or deny the following, and still have eternal life:
Since that time, however, not only has it become the position of GES – an organization doctrinally dictated by Hodges – but the mainstay of its doctrinal push. As this heresy has began to preoccupy its focus, more and more brothers and churches have abandoned the GES, substantially marginalizing it.
Today, the GES is busily attempting to eliminate all public discussion of its errors – on their part because it is losing plenty of mind-share and support – but in a larger sense because those who foist such errors never want a public forum where the work of conviction can take place.
Conviction is that work of the Holy Spirit that brings men to their personal awareness and responsibility for sin. All Christians are also free and commanded to bring about conviction of others. Indeed, in certain instances they are commanded to. This is, essentially, the work of prosecution. When your brother sins against you, the Bible teaches, it your responsibility to go privately to him in order to bring him to conviction. The hope at that point is to win him, but the commitment from the outset is to prosecute him as is necessary until he turns from the sin, or the church turns from him. This process applies to sin against an individual.
But when matters are NOT personal, but public, it is the work of the man of God to bring the offender or offenders to public conviction. This is a large topic for another day, but just know this: it is completely unbiblical and non-Christian to maintain a public forum where this conviction becomes impossible.
It is the content LEFT OUT by the “faith statement” of the GES that has now troubled so many. There are those to whom I have spoken who have taken a “middle ground” position, holding that someone may indeed be born again, and yet not concluded that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, or is the Son of God, but that they will most certainly not deny either of those truths, but come to them, or else they were never truly saved.
This becomes what I claim to be the “Doctrine of Doctrinal Persistence.” It’s a trap. It is a similar error to the reformed position which holds that “true faith” will work. It’s a slight modification, that “true faith” will come to certain later conclusions.
This is a potential trap that, if not avoided, will lead to an unhealthy position that will no doubt hinder the faith of others.
“Fundamentalism” has taken a serious beating by people to whom faith is not serious.
In fact, we hear about “fundamentalists” of every stripe – Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Christians – as a pejorative, meaning, essentially, someone who is non-sensical, fanatical, and anti-social.
On the other hand, if we hear that a baseball coach, or a football coach is focused on “fundamentals” we consider him prudent, right-minded, and properly focused.
In the Bible, there are a collection of “fundamental truths” – predominately concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ – that are sometomes singled out. It’s a risky business, to be sure, to single out certain truths as “fundamental” unless the Bible does it for us.
I’m a bit surprised at how poorly my brothers understand about how to deal with a heretic. It could be there is too little shepherding to go along with their teaching, and the lack of “laboratory” experience is paralyzing – even crippling – them.
I am up against being sorely misunderstood – not that I will allow that to deter me – in the matter of the Hodges-Wilkin-Bryant-Niemela (HWBN) heresy, which is sometimes known as the “Crossless Gospel,” as dubbed by Tom Stegall (a brother of like mind and like background with me – we were each formerly in the Roman Catholic Organization (RCO)), a pastor in the Milwaukee area.
To the believer, faith is not now what it once was.
That simple truth is so basic – indeed so fundamental – that one wonders how this simple idea has escaped the consideration of so many of God’s people.
An enemy has done this!
adjusts our viewpoint. It takes our thoughts from the past to the present.
Due to my position with respect to Robert Wilken of the GES, and the conclusion that he is a heretic – a schismatic person – I considered that it would provide useful background to publish this email exchange I had with Zane Hodges shortly after the 2005 GES conference.
While at the conference, I appealed to Wilkin in connection with a workshop conducted by Bob Bryant. I attempted to draw the attention of others to this problem, including Dr. Elliot Johnson and Rene Lopez, but I consider that I was pretty much alone in being outraged at Bryant’s position, and, as I look back on it, his devious behavior that decorated it.
While Wilkin did not at that time simply tell me that Bryan’s position was also his (and Hodges), he emphasized that it was merely “a workshop” and that it thereby did not represent the position of the GES.
Subject: GES Conference Workshop, 2005
I have some few things to write to you about, and the better part of them will be in an email or emails to follow.
This one is about something very disturbing to me that came from two of the final workshops of the conference earlier today.
The first workshop – and the one I attended – was conducted by Bob Bryant, and was named “Eternal Security: Do you have to Believe It?” Frankly, I thought the premise posed a useful exercise, and was a reinforcement of 1 John 5:10-11.
But in the course of the session, Bob ticked off a few doctrines that he was not addressing – the Deity of Christ, the resurrection, and maybe a couple of other truths – and disposed of them as not saving truth. I interrupted him to say, “Do you mean necessary but not sufficient?” He refused to answer that in the affirmative or negative, but more or less told me to shut up, perhaps more politely.