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“With What Body Do They Come?” - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 9th January, 2014 @ 04:36:56 AM

The question quoted in 1st Corinthians 15:35 is from a hypothetical foolish questioner. It is implied the questioner is a skeptic, nevertheless, the apostle Paul, answers him according to his folly.

Our foolish skeptic asks, concerning the resurrection of the dead – apparently mocking – “How are the dead raised, and with what body do they come?”

The answer is deep, extensive, and mysterious.

We can assume that the skeptic comes from the school of the Sadducees, who believed in neither angels or the resurrection of the dead . There is also no doubt that this school of thought extended to Gentile thinking, as Israel, evil or good, has ever functioned as God’s first born in the world for better or worse. At the forefront of every movement toward or away from God, there will be Jews at the forefront.

1. Paul begins his answer by pointing out what we know of death from the natural world, in the illustration of seeds. He points out the germ of life planted into the ground first dies, and then is embodied by God into a more useful and “glorious” body that he gives it.

A seed does not look like the fruitful plant that follows, and yet it happens persistently, and dependably. Who could argue that one should not plant a seed, because it’s “resurrection” makes no sense? Indeed, the simplest agrarian understands this, and the skeptic depends upon its truth to live. There’s some resurrection right there. Not only does the seed die when it’s planted , (“seed” truth as taught by the Lord) but a body is given to it that is fitting for its fruit-bearing, as it pleases God.

2. But Paul goes a on further. to teach things concerning earthly and heavenly bodies. First, he tell us there are four kinds of flesh: man, beats, fish, and birds. Surely this categorization can help us better understand the natural world, but that is not the main point. The main point is that God has invented diverse flesh to embody diverse creatures. This, therefore, allows for yet another sort of flesh for the resurrection body.

Those familiar with Biblical numbers might seize on the fact of four as fitting the natural world as we experience it. The same familiarity would lead to the addition of one other, making five, as evidence of His grace.

There is another kind of flesh not referenced in this passage, but in Jude that is there translated “strange flesh,” more accurately meaning “flesh of different kind (heteros).” In this passage, the Sodomites who came after the angels visiting Lot, are said to be “departing” after “strange flesh.” They didn’t want Lot. They didn’t want his sons-in-law. They want to “know” the angels. Some would object to this notion, rightly pointing out the truth, that angels are spirits.

However, the fact that they are spirits does not negate that, when they visit man to minister, as is their function, they are provided with man (not woman) looking bodies that are provided for them. These bodies are called oikoterion. This word is used in Jude 6, translated “habitation,” as it is in 2 Corinthians 5:2 by Paul to describe his resurrection body, which is (poorly) translated “house,” even though it is at the root of the word.

This wonderful truth is thereby obscured to us, but it is plain enough to see if we scrutinize it. In short, the “angels that sinned” not only wandered out of their principality in the heavenlies, but set aside the heavenly bodies allocated to them (their oiketerion) for visiting the terrestrial scene. Instead they sought to (and did!) corrupt the genetic code of mankind by mysteriously “knowing” the daughters of Adam 120 years before Adam’s death, and 846 years before the great deluge. Noah, being justified (by faith) AND having been preserved in his genetic code, was therefore qualified to “re-father” the human race, and did so after the deluge.

Therefore, as we read in verse 40, there are both terrestrial (earthly) and celestial (heavenly) bodies. Since the Scriptures were written, stars and planets have been called “heavenly bodies” in the English language. Interestingly, this figure of speech probably arose from a wrong reading of this passage, or, more sinisterly, a twisting of it to obscure the blatant truth that Paul declares unequivocally: there are material, spiritual, heavenly human bodies. And the first human one is Christ Jesus.

The physicality of the resurrection body is one of the first things the Lord addressed with his disciples. I used to walk about in public parks and other thoroughfares when I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s, to attempt to talk to strangers about the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, sometimes I think people prefer talking about some things to total strangers, people they think they will never see again. I would get around to asking them if they believed Jesus Christ was alive today, having been raised from the dead.

Religious people, especially Roman Catholics, would almost always agree He is alive, having been raised. Then I would ask, “In a body, that you could touch and feel?” Almost invariably, they would say no, that He was raised spiritually, whatever that meant, but they would deny his physical presence. (No wonder, with the ridiculous hokem they and others, such as Lutherans, are taught about a wafer becoming human.)

At that point I will take them to Luke 24:39 where the Lord tells them clearly that he is material, able to be handled, and not a mere spirit. In Greek thinking, “spiritual” is opposite of “material.” In the Scriptures, “spiritual” is either the opposite of “natural” or “carnal” – sin impacted. Therefore, there is no conflict when talking about material spiritual bodies, which do exist, and which will exist more by an order of magnitude sometime in the relatively near future, after the resurrection of the dead.

Lastly to this point, Paul gives an analogy. The glory of the heaven is greater than the glory of the earth. Furthermore, just as the light emitting from the sun, moon and stars vary in intensity (glory) – indeed even stars differ from one another in that very way – there will be varying glories of resurrection bodies in resurrection.

3. Finally, the apostle writes his coup de grace concerning this grand subject , the resurrection of the body. As the seed is planted in it’s form, and a body pleasing to God given to it, so is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption: a seed is buried in the ground and corrupts, as does the body once dead. And just as that seed is embodied by a plant in newness of life, so shall resurrection be. Sown in dishonor. The frailty and decomposition of our elemental bodies if sad and fast. Yet, raised in glory!

Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. You see, there are two kinds. Natural, corresponding to the earthly, in contrast to a spiritual body, corresponding to the heavenly. There IS a spiritual body.

There two bodies correspond to their progenitors: the natural, to Adam, who was composed from the earth and made alive, and the spiritual to the LAST (not second, as some say) Adam, Who gives life. One the object of life, the other the Giver. The natural man came first, then the spiritual. The order is important, and prophetic. The natural comes first, then the spiritual. This macro fact of Adam and Jesus Christ is presented to us to understand that so shall it be in the life of every believer. It is the natural that is sown or planted, and the spiritual that is reaped. This is the applicable microcosm for every believer, and Paul teaches it with more detail, from a different perspective, elsewhere.

And what is exactly is reaped? Resurrection bodies that differ in glory, just as the sun, moon, and stars differ in glory. As we have once, now, borne the earthly (Adamic) image, we shall, in resurrection, bear the image of the heavenly, the image of our Lord Jesus. As John the apostle writes, we shall be like Him.

4. Paul closes disclosing a mystery . Mysteries are replete in the New Testament, and whenever one is referenced we do well to pay special heed. A “mystery” is not at all as some would teach: an inscrutable truth that one cannot comprehend. It is very different as a matter of fact: it is a secret that is revealed. There is a natural tendency by all of us to want to know a secret, and yet, strangely, when they are revealed in Scripture, somehow we pay little or no attention.

This particular mystery is that is revealed herein is the great mystery of what is now commonly referred to as the “Resurrection and Rapture” of the blessed dead. It is also sometimes known as the “First Resurrection.” The revealed secret here is that death is not necessarily required for the translation into a spiritual body, because not only must corruption put on incorruption, but mortal must put on immortality.

Therefore, the resurrection of the dead will also be accompanied by the translation of the living. In a moment, the twinkling of an eye, the smallest noticeable particle of time. Death’s sting will be conquered by those remaining alive and being translated into directly into glorified resurrection bodies, and death’s victory will be conquered by those who have died, and are resurrected in the same glorious, spiritual, heavenly bodies.

This same truth is declared more particularly in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18

 

Living Near the Days of Lot. - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 27th December, 2013 @ 07:49:50 AM

When waiting for someone to arrive, you may begin to wonder when they will. You may ask, “What did he say before he left?” or, “Did he say He’d be here by now?” or, “Is he late?”

I’m applying this to the Second Coming, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ from heaven. What the church of the Thessalonians was waiting for. What everyone should be waiting for.

What DID He say before He left? A great many things, too many to cover here. The first thing He said about the subject was to not let your heart be troubled . As I write this, my heart is very troubled about very many things. I am troubled about my job, my family, my church, my friends, my city, my country: MYSELF.

But the Lord says not to be, at least with respect to His departure and return. He said He’s going to prepare a place for me, and that there is plenty of room, and if there wasn’t He’d say so, AND He said that He will come again, to receive me to Himself. That means we will both be moving. He from heaven, me from earth. As Paul told the Thessalonians, we’ll be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and ever be with Him.

Comfort one another with THESE words .

Did He say He’d be here by now? Well, no He didn’t. Be careful you do not overlook what He said, and conclude differently. You will be in danger of saying, in your heart , “my Lord delays His coming.” The next thing you know, you will be beating the Lord’s servants. You can do that a number of ways, but mainly that’s done these days with wagging tongues. Especially female tongues by the way. Men go about it differently. More coldly.

But never mind those. They can no longer be reached anyway, their cold hearts hardened against their brethren especially, unable anymore to find comfort in the Scriptures, and so clutching the fleeting lies the world offers them. Am I saying the love of many is growing cold? Not yet cold enough; not yet many enough.

But didn’t the early church think He was coming right back? Perhaps many of them did, but they got wrong about a lot of stuff, just as the Bible says. The apostle Peter wrote fairly late in his ministry that the brethren needed to be mindful of ONE THING : a day with the Lord is as 1,000 years, and 1,000 years is as one day. That’s time-tested truth right there. Something to ponder, to consider, to meditate. And to discover.

As I said, He said a great many things. But one thing He said was that as it was in the ‘days of Lot,’ so shall it be in the day of His apocalypse.

We’re beginning for the first time in modern history to see the “Days of Lot.” Beginning to mind you. In the days of Lot, in Sodom, homosexuality was not merely widespread, but was the entirely dominant culture. Lot had learned to tolerate it. Righteous Lot – justified Lot – as he is named in Scripture.

Abraham was on the outside. He was living in a tent, he and his extremely large household.

All generations reading the Bible since the Lord’s ascension into heaven have been able to learn that His return would be marked by the “days of Lot,” and the “days of Noah.” The “days of Lot” is a phrase targeted to believers, as Lot was most certainly one of us. Lot first pitched his tent toward, then lived in, and became a city councilman in Sodom. he had to be dragged out by angels, kicking and screaming. His wife was dragged out too, but her heart was there. Remember her?

Lot’s sons-in-law (perhaps the only heterosexuals left in Sodom) and married daughters, were consumed in the fire from heaven (uranium fire) that wasted Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain.

But what was Sodom? It was a community of depraved persons who were so sexually driven after another kind (strange) of flesh – the heavenly bodies used by angels when they appeared first to Abraham, and now to Lot and his neighbors – that they besieged Lot’s house like a pack of jackals, seeking to gratify themselves sexually with the angels who visited.

When Lot addressed them , and said “brethren, do not act so wickedly,” they turned on him, as your dog in a pack would actually do.

Even San Francisco, Paris, or Lincoln, Nebraska is not yet this.

These days are coming. Who would have thought it would come as quickly! I am surprised at the rapidity of the societal decline, and I saw it starting up in this specific way in 1972. The rapidity at which society, including Christians, are accepting rampant homosexuality is stunning.

The days of Lot are not upon us today, December 2013. But they look to be upon us very soon. Remember those days mark Jesus actual apocalypse, His appearing (“unveiling”) to the whole world.

It is BEFORE that time the Lord begins his descent from heaven, assembling the “synagogue on high” of His own in the air, to commence the awesome and fateful judgment seat whereby all our works will be tested, as by fire, to discover a rewardable remainder. And then to enjoy the city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

The city Abraham looked for …

Abraham wasn’t in Sodom. He had fellowship with the Lord Jesus, and interceded on behalf of Lot , who “vexed” himself every day with the behavior of the wicked persons who surrounded him.

Abraham was separate, sanctifiable, useful to God. It’s possible. It’s not too late.

It’s not too late because Jesus is not late. He’s patient, long-suffering, waiting for men to come to knowledge of the truth.

But He’s coming swiftly. And soon.

Forsaking the Assembling: A Fresh Look at Hebrews 10:25 - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 1st November, 2013 @ 04:08:49 AM

Hebrews 10:24 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.

In the middle of 2009, I noticed something interesting about this verse. It has to do with the italicized phrase above (KJV) “the assembling of ourselves together.” This is the translators’ rendering of the Greek compound word  “episunagoge” – higher synagogue – a word found only one other place in Scripture:

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

There’s more than just some language parallels between these verses. There is a contextual parallel in that each verse follows the presentation of this word with a reference to the Second coming of the Lord Jesus as, first, “the day approaching,” and, second, “the day of Christ is at hand.”

Therefore, the association of the “synagogue on high” with the “approaching day of Christ” is firmly established.

So what exactly is this “synagogue on high?”

In order to understand this well, we need to know that God’s view of synagogue and church has ever been about the assembling of His people and not about any physical structure. What became the synagogue to the Jews in their captivity was reminiscent of their assembling together in Jerusalem as a single congregation when they were free to do so, and had a temple. Therefore “synagogue” like “church” has a base meaning of “assembly,” just as the the translators above did catch, as “assembling … together” and “gathering together” intimate.

So what is in view here is not, as so many say, “go to church” (even though that is Biblically something to do), but is an admonition to not disregard an important doctrine that impacts our hope “as the manner of some is.”

You see, even the first century believers tended to lose the truth, contested but not lost on the Thessalonian church, and that truth was that we would be assembled in the heavens at the coming of the Lord Jesus, to be assessed at the judgment seat of Christ .

Historically, as it turns out, Christians DID abandon the truth of our assembling on high prior to the Lord’s return, and, although this truth was recovered in the early 19th century revival of it in Europe, the focus of it has remained something grasped by very few believers. Despite the fact that every believer dead or living will experience this assembly, unhappily so many will be surprised at what takes place, and perhaps even more ashamed during this time.

It is the case that Christians should have a faith that is future facing, as we learn in the following chapter , but that future-oriented view needs a focus, and that focus is the great assembly, and ensuing assize that attends it.

 

God’s Guarantee In Question? - Comments (2)

Printer Friendly Category: Applied,Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 9th April, 2009 @ 10:21:18 PM

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.

Christians and Temporal Government. - Comments (3)

Printer Friendly Category: Applied,Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 12th January, 2008 @ 04:30:20 AM

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.

A “Doctrine of Doctrinal Persistence?” - Comments (2)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine,GES: Hodges, Wilkin, et.al.
Author: John Malone
Date: 16th October, 2007 @ 03:51:55 PM

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:

  • That Christ died for our sins, and rose again, according to the Scriptures;
  • That Jesus is the Son of God;
  • That Jesus is Divine;

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.

Beneath the Fundamentals. - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 18th September, 2007 @ 01:13:46 PM

“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.
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