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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why Should We Witness?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why should I witness?" Several reasons should come to mind. First, because Jesus commands you to: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," (Matt. 28:19). Also, Ezek. 3:11 says, "and go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not..."
Second, you must witness because you love the unsaved (if you don't, you should). The most loving thing you can do is present the gospel in hopes of bringing others to salvation. Galatians 5:22 lists love as one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is love's nature to give. Take for example John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." Love gives, and if you have only a small portion of His love, you will want to give to others.
Third, witness because it is a wise thing to do. Prov. 11:30 says, "...he who is wise wins souls." Now, I know I am not a very wise person. But, since God says I'll be wise to win souls, or try to, then great, let me at it. I want to be wise in God's sight.
Fourth, witness to keep people out of hell. Hell is a terrifying place of utter anguish and eternal separation from God. Those who are not saved go there. Witnessing is an attempt to keep them out of hell.
Fifth, witness because it pleases God and brings glory to His name.
And finally, witness so they may find the love and fellowship of God (1 John 1:3), the greatest of all treasures. I can think of no greater gift than salvation. It frees the sinner from sin, it delivers the lost from damnation, and it reveals the true and living God to those who don't know Him.
The angels of heaven rejoice greatly when anyone passes from judgment into salvation (Luke 15:10). Shouldn't we as Christians rejoice too? Shouldn't we weep over the lost? Shouldn't we ask the Lord of the field to send laborers into His harvest (Luke 10:2)? Certainly! The salvation of others is the goal of your efforts. The love of God is your motive. Is there anything greater? So, give.

Why Should We Witness?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why should I witness?" Several reasons should come to mind. First, because Jesus commands you to: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," (Matt. 28:19). Also, Ezek. 3:11 says, "and go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not..."
Second, you must witness because you love the unsaved (if you don't, you should). The most loving thing you can do is present the gospel in hopes of bringing others to salvation. Galatians 5:22 lists love as one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is love's nature to give. Take for example John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." Love gives, and if you have only a small portion of His love, you will want to give to others.
Third, witness because it is a wise thing to do. Prov. 11:30 says, "...he who is wise wins souls." Now, I know I am not a very wise person. But, since God says I'll be wise to win souls, or try to, then great, let me at it. I want to be wise in God's sight.
Fourth, witness to keep people out of hell. Hell is a terrifying place of utter anguish and eternal separation from God. Those who are not saved go there. Witnessing is an attempt to keep them out of hell.
Fifth, witness because it pleases God and brings glory to His name.
And finally, witness so they may find the love and fellowship of God (1 John 1:3), the greatest of all treasures. I can think of no greater gift than salvation. It frees the sinner from sin, it delivers the lost from damnation, and it reveals the true and living God to those who don't know Him.
The angels of heaven rejoice greatly when anyone passes from judgment into salvation (Luke 15:10). Shouldn't we as Christians rejoice too? Shouldn't we weep over the lost? Shouldn't we ask the Lord of the field to send laborers into His harvest (Luke 10:2)? Certainly! The salvation of others is the goal of your efforts. The love of God is your motive. Is there anything greater? So, give.

Is Suicide Forgivable?

A preacher once related his experience at a Hindu funeral of someone who committed suicide. The pundit conducting the service stated that those who commit suicide have lost all chance of forgiveness. The preacher marveled how even a Hindu pundit could get such a revelation of truth. First of all I question whether that is really a truth, and secondly how much that pundit really knows about Hinduism.

There is one sin that is unforgivable – blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31, 32). 1 John 5:16, 17 also speak of a sin unto death. The context of 1 John suggests that John has in mind apostasy as being that sin unto death, for which there is no forgiveness (cf. Heb 6:4-6; 10:26). It is difficult to say exactly what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, but I believe it is the same sin as apostasy. In any case, neither passage implies that suicide is the unforgivable sin.

Suicide however is unique in that it is difficult to repent of it after committing it. This raises the question of whether repentance is necessary for forgiveness. It is necessary for forgiveness in the sense of reconciling broken fellowship with God (Isa. 59:1, 2). Confession of sins and repentance are necessary to maintain an open relationship with God, not to maintain salvation. The context of 1 John 1 is fellowship with God (vs. 3). But as long as we are in Christ, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us of all sin (vs. 7) whether or not we repent. We should confess our sins if we desire an intimate walk with God, but even if we do not, our salvation is not affected. Thus suicide is forgivable.

The real question is not whether suicide will prevent one for going to heaven – it will not. Only unbelief will (John 3:18). It is whether a genuine Christian will commit suicide. I personally do not believe that they would but in the rare event that they do, it will not deny them of heaven. What ultimately determines whether we go to heaven is whether we were in Christ.

What is "The Church"?

Just what is a "church?" Strong’s Greek Dictionary, #1570. ekklesia, a calling out. (1b) Ekklesia, from ek, "out of," and klesis, "a calling…" So the church is those whom God has CALLED OUT to be His "called out ones," hence, Jesus said, "So the last shall be first, and the first shall be last [sorry, don’t have time to explain this unique statement of our Lord]: for many be called, but few chosen." I will take the time to explain this second statement, however.

Notice that the "called" and the "chosen" cannot be the same group, as one is "many" and the other is "few." God has given us a general statement as to whom He has called and whom He has not called. We already know the number of those called is "many." Now we will see the two general classifications of those called:


"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many [some, but not many] wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

But God has chosen the foolish things [many translations do not insert the word "things" in these verses] of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence" (I Cor. 1:26-29).

So we see that God calls MOSTLY those who are: weak, base, despised, nothings! Are we to believe that God is going to build a SPIRITUAL ARMY of Sons and Daughters by which He will conquer and SAVE THE WORLD?

Hard to believe, isn’t it? I think we can all agree that there is a great deal of work to be done with and to these "nothings of the world" whom God is calling to such a formidable, once-in-an-eternity task!

But of the "many called," we are told, "few are chosen" (Matt. 20:16). Why is that? God has intended it to be such. We are given the parable of the "sower of seed" where much of the seed fell by the side of the tilled soil, and the birds ate it; some had no depth and withered in the sun; still more fell among thorns and were chocked, but some fell upon good soil and produced much fruit. Many seed are sown, but few seed produce good fruit. "Seed" we see everywhere in the Church; "fruit" of God’s spirit is more rare. These few have the added designation of:

"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev. 17:14).

These are the "very elect" who cannot be deceived any longer by the Great Whore, "Mystery Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots, and the Abominations of the earth."

One more important verse regarding our calling, that I will cite out of the Concordant Literal New Testament because I believe they translate the Greek aorist tense properly, whereas the King James uses the past tense:

"Now we are aware that GOD [it is unfortunate that the King James leaves out "God" even though it is in the manuscripts. Most translations do put "God" in this opening phrase. Things don’t just ‘work’ together without GOD doing the ‘working’] is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are [being] called according to the purpose that, whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand, also, to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be Firstborn among many brethren. Now whom He designates beforehand, these He calls [not ‘called’ as all are NOT YET called, it is the aorist tense] also, and whom He calls, these He justifies, also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also" (Rom. 8:28:30).

Now, pay attention: All which God foreknew, He then designates beforehand (He hand-picks them, if you will). And therefore, since He has already designated them beforehand, when they are born in whatever generation God designates; He then calls them. Now it is true that God calls MANY OTHERS whom He has NOT designated to be "conformed to the image of His Son" AT THE TIME that each generation appears in history.

There are many more "called" in each generation than are actually, "chosen" to be conformed to the image of His Son at that time.

All that are not chosen will be in the second resurrection/white throne judgment/lake of fire. These will go the "broad way into destruction" from which they will await judgment at the great white throne. But, those which God foreknows and designates beforehand, He definitely does call, but these designated ones GO ON to be JUSTIFIED AND GLORIFIED. They are not just the "called," but the "called AND CHOSEN" which will go on to glorification in service with Christ, as the manifested Sons and Daughters of God, in the Kingdom of God, to bring the rest of heaven and earth to SALVATION!

When Jesus says that,

"Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord… Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity" (Matt. 722-23),

He is not speaking of a minority but a majority. The "many" NEVER means the minority!

We will see it conclusively proved from God’s Word that the majority in the Church today are going the "broad way," and not the "straight and narrow way." And I am not just preaching to the choir when I say that only a "FEW" will be in the first resurrection and rule and reign with Christ, I am speaking to all the church and to myself as well. I know these aren’t the "soft" words that tickle people’s ears, but what I am telling you is a "hard saying" of the Scripture that is absolutely true. Jesus Christ Himself said that "THE MANY" must "DEPART from Me." Jesus doesn’t "know" the many, in a spiritual relationship, because they are too carnal to be spiritual.


Let me first state that there is an order in the process of being called to Sonship. First you are called, and then you are chosen from among the called. And we have already learned that the "chosen" are also the "few." Quite frankly, not unlike a casting call. Many are called to come to the casting rehearsal, but only a relative few will be chosen for the actual performance. Which are you? I will not be your personal judge, however, as we progress in this series, you will be confronted with dozens of Scriptures by which you can JUDGE YOURSELF by the aid of God’s Spirit.


Actually there never was a year "0"—there was "1" B.C. and "1" A.D., but no one apparently ever thought of a year "0" for the starting point of our Common Era (anno Domini, The Year of Our Lord). But then again, Jesus was not born on what would have been year zero anyway, do to the fact that Jesus was born a few years BEFORE our A.D. or Common Era which means Christ was born B.C. or (BEFORE Christ). (My friend, the late Dr. Ernest Martin, wrote a book entitled The Birth of Christ Recalculated, which will straighten this all out for your). But, anyway, as our Lord was growing up in His father’s carpentry shop, there already existed a Church of God in Judea, headquartered at the temple in Jerusalem.

The church headquarters in the wilderness was a portable Tabernacle. When they settled the promised land, it was given to Solomon to build a fabulous permanent temple in Jerusalem. It went through various reconstructions, one of which was by king Herod. It was Herod’s temple that existed at the time of Jesus’ ministry. And as we have already clearly seen, Jesus Christ did not speak many kind words toward the leaders of the church of God headquartered in Herod’s temple, in Jerusalem, in the first century AD.


Perhaps you never thought of Jesus going to Church, but He did. The first time that something is mentioned in Scripture, it is often very instructive. Although it was the habit of Jesus to attend local synagogues during His life, the first time the Scriptures mention Jesus going to the temple as a adult is in Matt. 21:12:

"And they came to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to CAST OUT them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And He taught, saying unto them, ‘Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the House of Prayer? But ye have made it a DEN OF THIEVES [Gk: ‘burglars’ cave’].’ And the SCRIBES and CHIEF PRIESTS heard it, and sought how they might DESTROY HIM: for they feared Him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine" (Mark 11:15-18).

What a revelation of the church of God we have in these three verses!

Jesus was so angry with the leaders at the temple for turning it into a money-making flea market, that he:

"cast out them that sold and bought in the temple"

"overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and seats of them that sold doves"

"suffered no one to carry vessels [of merchandise] through the temple"

Jesus said that they "made the House of Prayer a DEN OF THIEVES"!

Say, did you notice that they were buying and selling "…in the Temple?" Do you think that just maybe this has anything to do with the fact that,

"…NO MAN might BUY OR SELL, save he that had the MARK OR THE NAME OF THE BEAST, or the NUMBER OF HIS NAME" (Rev. 13:17)?

We will cover the Mark of the Beast in a later installment.

But this is all ancient history, isn’t it? The modern Church of God has not been turned into a "den of thieves" has it? Were the High priests and Scribes, going against the law of either their own religious beliefs or of Rome? No. No, they weren’t. So they were not "thieves" according to the Church or the Roman government. But were they thieves, nonetheless? Yes, they were, Jesus Christ SAID THEY WERE THIEVES, a whole "DEN OF THIEVES"!

At least the modern Church of God is not a "den of thieves," is it? I’m sure not all; you can be the judge:

One of the major factors in the Reformation was the disdain over the practice of the Church selling INDULGENCES. The American Heritage College Dictionary, "indulgence n. 6. Roman Catholic Church The remission of temporal punishment still due for a sin that has been sacramentally absolved."

Make no mistake about it:

"For the love of money is the [Gk. ‘a’] root of all evil" (I Tim. 6:10).

Before the Reformation, it was thought by some that one could practically "buy" one’s salvation.

Jesus "CAST OUT them that sold and bought in the temple." Is there, "buying and selling" going on in the Church today? Excuse me…does a cat have a tail?

Now don’t think that I am against money. Jesus Himself used money in his ministry (but he never sold in the temple, neither did He ever collect a penny in tithe money).

I couldn’t count the number of e-mails I have received in response to my article on tithing being unscriptural under the new covenant, in which they ask how they should pay their church utility bill if the people don’t tithe? I tell them to pay it with a check backed by money in the bank. All those interested in paying the utility bill should contribute voluntary offerings of money for that expense. This is not difficult. But no one under the New Covenant is obligated by law or conscience to pay ten percent of their salaries to a church! People under the Old Covenant, likewise, were not under law to pay ten percent of their salaries to the Levites. And, Yes, they did have money back then.


After Jesus THREW OUT those who "bought and sold" in the temple, did they ever return? Not only did they return to the temple after Christ’s resurrection, but they also came into the very Church, which Jesus said HE WOULD BUILD. The whole temple system in Jerusalem was so utterly corrupt that they corrupted the people of Jerusalem and Judea as well.

In and around 70 AD the armies of Titus surrounded Jerusalem and there was an awful slaughter. You can read of these horrible events in the writings of Josephus. But even before the temple with its corrupt religious system was demolished, it had already spread its ugly tentacles into the Church which Jesus built.


Jesus Christ said,

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [a movable stone], and upon this rock [Christ, the immovable boulder] I will build MY CHURCH; and the gates of hell [Greek: hades, the unseen realm of the dead] shall NOT prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

What did Jesus mean that the "gates of hades would not prevail against it?" This word "prevail" was translated from the Greek word katischuo and it means, "to overpower." It is used but one other time in Scripture and here we shall see exactly what this word means:

"And they [the chief priests] were instant with loud voices, requiring that He [Jesus] might be crucified. And the voices of them of the chief priests prevailed… And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they CRUCIFIED Him…" (Luke 23:23 & 33).

The chief priests "prevailed" [katischuo] by putting Jesus Christ TO DEATH. But Jesus said that the "gates of hades [realm of the DEAD] will not prevail [katischuo] against it." In other words, His Church would NEVER be overpowered to death.

And so, the Church that Jesus Christ built is still around today.

On Pentecost, Jesus Christ came back to His disciples just as He said He would. He came back as the Comforter. Jesus said that they absolutely could NOT receive the Comforter until He went away. Why? Because Jesus Christ IS THE COMFORTER, but not in the flesh, but in THE SPIRIT!

It was on Pentecost that the first members of the Church of Christ received the Holy Spirit Comforter, just as He symbolized to them when He blew on them, showing that He Himself would come to them in spirit by the will of God. Now for the first time, His disciples were truly converted, baptized in Holy Spirit, possessing the mind of Christ, lead into all Truth (Jesus) by the Comforter—Jesus was NOW BUILDING HIS CHURCH!

"But the Comforter [Greek, parakletos, also called the Consoler, and in I John 2:1, Advocate in KJV, and Entreater in the CLNT] which IS the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).

The Advocate or Entreater in I John 2:1 IS the parakletos, The Comforter or Consoler of John 14:26 IS the parakletos,. and we are told that it is Jesus Christ Himself. Furthermore, the "Holy Spirit" that is said to come AS the Comforter is also Jesus Christ,

"Now the Lord IS that Spirit: and where the Spirit OF THE Lord [Jesus Christ] is, there is liberty" (II Cor. 3:17

Should Christians Observe the Sabbath

Good question, considering how prevalent among Christian churches is the custom of getting together for a Sunday service. As usual, the question we must ask is, “What does the Bible say?” And yes, the Bible does prescribe taking one day a week, “the seventh day,” as God did, for a “Sabbath.” It is most important to understand that the word “sabbath” is a hebrew word that means “a rest.” A day of rest was to follow six days of work. It actually had nothing to do with going to a worship service. but the key question is for whom is, or, more accurately, was the Sabbath prescribed?

“What does the Bible say?” That is always the “bottom line,” but the answer must be understood in light of to whom the Bible is speaking. Scripture says that in the spectrum of human history, there are three, and only three, basic groups of people: “Jews, Gentiles, and the Church of God” (1 Cor. 10:32). Each part of God's Word is written to one (and sometimes more than one) of those categories of people. As I like to say, it's all about pronouns.

In Isaiah, for example, the pronouns representing those addressed by God (“you,” etc.) refer to Israel, not to Christians. But in Ephesians, the pronouns refer to Christians, those born again of the spirit of God, something that was not available to Old Testament believers, who lived prior to the death and resurrection of Christ. Most folks readily see that, but what about the Four Gospels? Jesus was not speaking to Christians, because there were no Christians until the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. That is the first time anyone was “born again” of God's spirit, His “incorruptible seed.” And there will be no Christians after the “Rapture.” As such, today's “Administration of the Secret” (Pentecost until the Rapture) is the most unique time in history.

As the Messiah, Jesus came to Israel, and his message was specifically to them. Certain parts of it, e.g., Luke 6:38 (“Give, and it shall be given to you...”), are pertinent to us today, but most of what he said is directly regarding Israel, and based upon what is written in the Old Testament, which is all they could understand. That which was specifically addressed to Israel was superseded or changed in the Church Epistles, which are written specifically to Christians. “Oh,” some people say, “you're placing the words of Paul above the words of Jesus.” No, the Church Epistles are also the words of Jesus, as per Galatians 1:11. The question is: to whom was Jesus speaking?

The Church Epistles, and Ephesians to the most pronounced degree, speak of “the Secret” (mistranslated “Mystery” in most versions, if not all). The Greek word musterion meant “secret,” that is, something that can be known and communicated from one to another (as opposed to a “mystery,” which no one understands). Ephesians 3 is clear that this Secret was not even conceived of in the Old Testament or Gospels period, but hidden in God until He revealed it to Paul. The Secret was that there would be a new group of people--not Jews and not Gentiles--people who would be “born again of incorruptible seed,” whose salvation would be unconditional and assured. That is good news!

The Greek word oikonomia appears nine times, and is best translated “administration,” that is, a way in which God relates to mankind, the “rules and regulations,” if you will, for the people on earth during a particular time. Let the record show that God is very clear in His communication to people about what He expects from them in each administration. This is much like presidential administrations in the USA. When a new president is inaugurated, some things remain the same and other things change, depending upon his decisions as to how things will be during his presidency. Then people choose whether or not to adhere to the rules.

It was during the administration of the Law (Exodus 20:1—Acts 1:26) that Jesus first came to the earth to Israel. He was born, lived, died, was resurrected, instructed his disciples about the coming gift of holy spirit, and ascended to heaven. That is why he kept the ceremonial requirements of the Mosaic Law by observing the Sabbath, being baptized in water, etc.

We are now living in the fifth administration (Acts 2:1—2 Thess. 3:18 / Gentiles, Jews, & Christians), which Ephesians 3:2 calls the administration of God's grace and 3:9 calls the administration of this Secret. It began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) with the outpouring of the gift of holy spirit on all who believed in Jesus as the risen Lord and ends with the gathering together (“Rapture”) of the Church to meet the Lord in the air.

In the meantime, the understanding and application of many critical subjects that definitely affect the quality of one’s Christian life, and which Christians have debated for centuries, hinges on an understanding of the administrational way in which God relates to mankind—to whom is what written? For example:

Exodus 20:8-11
(8) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
(9) Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
(10) but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
(11) For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

OK, pronouns. Who is the “you”? It cannot be referring to Christians, because there were no Christians then. Clearly, the Sabbath was prescribed for Israel. But isn’t there something in the body of Scripture addressed to Christians that says we should go to church on Sunday? Well, that would be primarily Romans through Thessalonians, and actually there is something about the Sabbath—once, and only once:

Colossians 2:16 and 17
(16) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
(17) These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
In Colossians, the “you,” of course, is those born again of God’s holy spirit, for whom no such Sabbath observance is ever prescribed. In fact, the above verses are saying that there is no such thing that is relevant to the Church, the Body of Christ, Christians. Do the Church Epistles say that Christians should get together with others and sing, praise, worship, pray, minister, share financially, hear the Word, etc.? Absolutely. But there is no prescribed day—or way.
Consider this: if Christians are to keep the Sabbath, should they not keep the whole Law? In Galatians 5:3, Paul says just that, substituting circumcision as the part of the Law in question. Take a good look at verses 1-15 in order to get the whole context, and to see what Paul (writing by revelation) thinks about Christians being put under any part of the old Mosaic Law. If we are to keep the Sabbath, what about animal sacrifice to worship God? That can get costly.
The epistle to the Hebrews was one of the earlier epistles, and was written primarily to ex-Jewish Christians (which all the first Christians were), many of whom were still clinging to their old ways. In Hebrews 7-10, God works hard to show them that the Mosaic Law was no longer applicable, for example: (7:18 and 19) “The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless, (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God;” (9:9 and 10) “[The Tabernacle was] an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order;” (10:1) “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—and not the realities themselves…” Amen.
Some Christians who do not understand the administrations in Scripture and who thus believe we should observe the Sabbath, etc., cite Matthew 5:17-19, where Jesus said that he had not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. First, to whom was he speaking? Jews. The Mosaic Law never did have anything to do with Christians. A key phrase in what Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 is that nothing would disappear from the Law “until everything is accomplished.” Jesus did accomplish everything he needed to relative to the Levitical Law, and that’s why it is no longer in effect. Today, we have no Temple, no Levites, no Aaronite priests, no animal sacrifices, etc. For both Jews and Gentiles, adhering to Romans 10:9 is the way to salvation.

In closing, perhaps you are aware that a good number of Christians today are arguing about whether “the Sabbath” should be observed by believers meeting together on Saturday or Sunday. This needless conflict would evaporate if they understood that (a) the word “sabbath” means “rest,” and (b) neither day pertains to Christians as a special day, because for believers in the Administration of the Secret, every day is special.

The argument is fruitless anyway because, based upon the consensus of Church historians, it cannot be definitely determined just when and why the early Church came to observe what we call “Sunday” (“the first day of the week”) as the day to gather together for fellowship, prayer, teaching, etc., rather than what we call “Saturday,” which was when Israel observed the Sabbath.

For the record, rest is a godly principle, so that’s what I’ll do now.

Why is Jesus Name So Important?

Isa 30:27 (NIV) See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.

What's In A Name?
Gen 17:5 (NIV) No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC): "In Bible times a person's name stood for the person--and represented him and his characteristics."
1 Sam 25:25 (NIV) May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name--his name is Fool, and folly goes with him.

Gen 27:36 (NIV) Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times."

God's Word
Mat 1:21 (NIV) "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus [Yeshua, Hebrew for 'salvation'], because he will save his people from their sins."

Acts 4:12 (NIV) "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Rev 19:13 (NIV) He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

Phil 2:9-11 (NIV) ... God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.

Ps 138:2 (NIV) I will bow down... and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

NIV Study Notes: "God's name... is a symbol of [His] nature, character, and person... The name of the Lord is the manifestation of His character... it is synonymous with the Lord Himself."

In this study we will focus on what "the name" means in this sense. This may be a new insight to many present-day Christians, but was second nature to first century Jews--and even Pagans.

As a means to get the most out of this study, substitute nature, character, or spirit when you come across the name, and the meaning should come into better focus. The name is not mere syllables, words, or sounds, but is God's nature, Spirit, and presence.
John 12:13 (NIV) They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"...

Where God Is
2 Chr 6:6 (NIV) But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there...

1 Kings 8:29 (NIV) "May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place."

2 Chr 7:16 (NIV) "I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."

Heb 1:3-4 (NIV) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

NIV Study Notes: "To Jews a name stood for the full character of a person in all he was and did."

The Name In Us
Col 1:27 (NIV) ... God has chosen to make known this mystery, which is Christ in you...

1 Cor 6:11 (NIV) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Acts 2:21 (NIV) "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

John 14:26 (NIV) "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

1 Cor 6:19 (NIV) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?...

In The Name, In The Spirit, In The Nature Of Jesus?
Isa 11:2-3 (NIV) The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of council and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord--and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eye, or decide by what he hears with his ears.

John 14:13-14 (NIV) "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

John 16:23-26 (NIV) "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete... In that day you will ask in my name..."

Oswald Chambers: "'... In my name,' i.e., in My nature. Not--'You shall use my name as a magic word,' but--'You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.' 'That day' is not a day hereafter, but a day meant for here and now."

Inner Reality Consistent With Outer Form
John 15:16 (NIV) "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

Luke 10:17 (NIV) ..."Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

Acts 3:6,16 (NIV) Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." ... "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see."

Ps 20:7 (NIV) Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord...

John 17:11-12 (NIV) "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled."

Mat 18:20 (NIV) "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Recognition Of The Name
John 5:43 (NIV) [Jesus] "I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him."

Acts 5:41 (NIV) The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

John 15:21 (NIV) "They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."

1 Pet 4:14 ,16 (NIV) If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

In our society, we aren't jailed, beaten, or killed (at least presently) for having the nature of Christ "in us", even though our brethren in other parts of the world are experiencing these physical tortures (Heb 13:3). But every Christian is destined to suffer because of the struggle that the Name--in us--creates against the flesh (1 Thes 3:3, 1 Pet 4:1, Heb 12:4, Rom 8:22-23). The lower nature will not submit to God and must be whipped, jailed, and put to death. The painful tension we experience as we struggle to avoid sin and follow Christ is no less "for the sake of the Name" than the physical suffering that we may also yet endure.
Col 3:17 (NIV) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Just Using The Words?
2 Cor 10:7 (NIV) "You are looking only at the surface of things."

John 7:24 (Phi) "You must not judge by the appearance of things but by the reality!"

It is a shame to do something in the name--with the inner character and power of Jesus--and not give Him outward credit for it. But even worse is to adhere to the outward form when the inner reality is missing: to give God credit he doesn't want!
Acts 19:13-17 (NIV) Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [One day] the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.

BKC: "The words 'in my name' are not a magical formula which enable the user to get his will done."

Using The Lord's Name "In Vain"
Ex 20:7 (NRS) [The third commandment:] "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name."

Deut 18:20 (NIV) "But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say... must be put to death."

If "the name of Jesus" is spoken flippantly--not in the nature, character, or Spirit of Christ, submission, understanding, and fear of God--then the name of the Lord Jesus is used "in vain".
Deut 5:11 (NIV) "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

Misuse Of The Lord's Name Will Get Worse
Jer 23:25,27 (NIV) "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!'... They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship."

Mat 7:22 (NIV) "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'"

Ps 139:20 (NIV) ...your adversaries misuse your name.

Mat 24:5 (NIV) "For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."

Rev 13:6 (NIV) He [the Beast] opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

Luke 21:8 (NIV) He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them."

Bless The Name (Baruch Ha Shem)
Mat 6:9 (NIV) "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name...'"

1 Chr 16:10,29 (NIV) Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice... Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Prov 18:10 (NIV) The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Ps 5:11 (NIV) But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

2 Tim 2:19 (NIV) ... God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

John 20:31 (NIV) But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Here is one of the most profound Scriptural Truths that you will ever learn. GOD is the originator and Creator of the entire universe and everything that is in it! GOD is responsible for the entire universe and everything that is in it! And to say otherwise in both unscriptural and foolishness.

There are only three possibilities as to why things are the way they are;

Why there is evil and tragedy in the world;

Why people do evil things to other people;

Why the innocent must suffer at the hands of the wicked;

Why people are born with debilitating defects;

Why the whole world lies in spiritual darkness and paganism;

Why billions live and die without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ their Creator and Saviour;

Why men are often tortured by providence and nature itself which operates completely and independently apart from any man.

When we understand these things we will understand the lake of fire and second death, and a thousand other things that happen in our lives today as well as in the lives of all humanity since Mother Eve!


ACCORDING TO ATHEISTS: The human race is the byproduct of a blind, unintelligent, accidental, evolutionary process started billions of years ago by a humongous cosmic BIG BANG. Therefore NO HIGHER POWER is responsible for anything. If anyone believes this, then the Scripture speaks to YOU when it says:

"The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘There IS NO God’" (Psalm 53:1).

ACCORDING TO CHRISTENDOM: The human race and angelic messengers are the perfect creation of an all-wise, all-powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable, untrickable, unfoolable, intelligent, and loving GOD. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad: God’s first and most perfect specimen created out of the combined intelligence, power and wisdom of a perfect God, was a great spirit archangel they call, Lucifer. (Incidentally and Scripturally, "Lucifer" was never a proper noun or name for anyone)!

The Christian teaching is that before God ever created the first man, this perfect archangel whom Christians call Lucifer, went bad! He was perfect but he turned bad! He turned into a bad angel (excuse me, archangel). Did God create him to turn bad? No. Did God know that he would turn bad? No. Did God wish that he hadn’t turned bad? Yes. But was there anything God could do about it? No. Why did God’s first and greatest creation to that time, malfunction? How can a PERFECT creation by a PERFECT Creator ... malfunction? "Houston ... WE HAVE A PROBLEM"! God doesn’t have a problem; Christendom has a problem. And it is the BIGGEST single problem in all Christendom! It is huge. It is this very Satanic LIE that has given birth to the most evil doctrines on the face of the earth in the history of the world!

According to this Christian theory [hypothesis], the very first thing that The Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Creator God made, not only malfunctioned, but turned into a DAMNABLE, DIABOLICAL DEVIL! This devil has ever since, relentlessly wreaked havoc on every facet of God’s creation which will consummate with a lake of fire that will continue to insanely torture most of the human race for all eternity! Salvation is pictured as God’s nearly vain attempt to salvage but a few from the grasp of this colossal cosmic experiment gone amok! God’s Spiritual Frankenstein Monster has turned on Him and His children. And it has already been predetermined that Satan will be the final Victor when all the marbles are counted. Not a pretty picture. This is the god that the world of paganism is supposed to put their eternal confidence in! A god who cannot or will not protect his own children from this cosmic wolf in sheep's clothing. (Small "g" intended). And you think I am too hard on the doctrines of Christendom? You have no idea.

Hence it is Satan that is supposedly responsible for introducing evil into the world. Satan supposedly chose to disobey God and therefore we also must choose, on our own, by our own power, as to whether we will follow and obey Satan; or follow and obey God. This is the Christian position on this matter of good and evil.

ACCORDING TO GOD AND THE SCRIPTURES: Don’t get me wrong, Christendom did not originate this theological problem (Satan did); they merely continue to parrot the original author. Satan LIES! Yes he does. He is a LIAR, and the FATHER of lies and he has ALWAYS been that way since his CREATION (John 8:44). Satan was NOT "Lucifer" (a supposed perfect archangel) from the beginning; Satan was "Satan" from the beginning. Satan is an EVIL creature. He has been an evil creature from his very creation. Satan is not the result of a Godly experiment gone wrong! Satan is functioning PERFECTLY as God’s adversary. Satan is essential to the purpose and salvation of the whole human race. That is why God created him in the first place.


According to Christendom, Satan created himself. He was supposedly a perfect archangel and then CHANGED HIMSELF INTO A DEVIL. Is this Scripturally true? Who created Satan?

You are of your FATHER the DEVIL [the GREAT DRAGON, OLD SERPENT, the DEVIL, and SATAN {Hebrew for Adversary -- I Pet. 5:8} Rev. 12:9], and the lusts of your father ye will do... He was a murderer FROM THE BEGINNING, and abode not in the truth [from the beginning], because there is no truth in him [from the beginning]. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar [from the beginning], and the father [the beginner] of it" (John 8:44).

"Now the SERPENT was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD GOD had MADE..." (Gen. 3:1) God "made" this serpent which TALKED with Eve as an articulate, intelligent, creature. Satan did not possess this serpent of the field, Satan was this serpent! Satan doesn’t possess snakes! Satan himself was CREATED A SERPENT. Even Paul acknowledges that it was "the SERPENT" that deluded Eve, and not some other creature possessing a snake (II Cor. 11:3).

"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" (Gen. 3:15).

This serpent that shall bruise the heel of Eve’s seed (singular seed -- Christ) is clearly Satan the Devil who also has seed, "thy seed." Jesus said, "You are of your father the Devil...?" (John 8:44). Satan the Devil has "seed"; he is a "father": a father has children and followers of like nature. No literal snake ever produced a seed that bruised the heel of Jesus. Snakes do not "eat dust" but Satan dines on mankind "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour [Greek: (lit. or fig.) gulp entirely, swallow up] I Pet. 5:8). And he seeks to devour mankind who are "dust" of the earth ("...for dust thou art...." Gen. 3:19).

"By HIS SPIRIT He hath garnished the heavens; his HAND has FORMED THE CROOKED SERPENT" (Job 26:13). God garnished the heavens by His SPIRIT, because they are a thing of great glory, beauty, and splendor. But the crooked SERPENT God formed by His "hand" -- at ARMS LENGTH. Thus indicating it was something necessary, but not of His HEART AND SPIRIT! Satan is called "the crooked serpent." This word crooked comes from a Hebrew word that is not translated "crooked" anywhere else in the Bible. The word in Hebrew is bariach, and it means "a fugitive," Strong’s #1281. And "fugitive" is from the Hebrew word nuwa, Strong’s #5128, among its several meanings are: "to [go] up and down," and "to and fro," and to "sift." Remember that God names things according to what they are and what they do:

(A) "And the LORD [is this a high enough authority for everyone?] Said unto SATAN [not a heretofore archangel], Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, ‘From going TO AND FRO in the earth, and from walking UP AND DOWN in it" (Job. 1:7 and 2:2).

It is the "crooked [fugitive] SERPENT" SATAN who goes "TO AND FRO" and "UP AND DOWN" in the earth! God created Satan for this purpose.

(B) "And the LORD said [is this a high enough authority for everyone?], Simon, Simon, behold, SATAN [not a heretofore archangel] hath desired to have you, that he may SIFT you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).

It is the "crooked [fugitive] SERPENT" SATAN who "SIFTS" men like wheat! God created Satan for this purpose.

"Behold, I have created the smith [that’s me] that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for His work, and I have CREATED THE WASTER TO DESTROY" (Isaiah 54:16).

["waster" -- Hebrew: shachath, decay, ruin, batter, cast off, corrupt, destroy, lose, mar, perish, spill spoil -- UTTERLY WASTE, #7843, p. 115, Strong’s Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary].

God created the "WASTER," not the archangel who later supposedly became Satan, but from the BEGINNING God said He created "The WASTER" and He created him "TO DESTROY" Now then, WHO’S role is it to "destroy" the flesh of man so that the spirit may be saved?

"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one UNTO SATAN for DESTRUCTION of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (I Cor. 5:4-5).

It is SATAN who was created from his very beginning to be "the WASTER to DESTROY" men’s flesh (carnal mindedness) so that they learn not to blaspheme (I Tim. 1:20). Satan started with Adam and Eve and he isn’t finished YET!

"And no marvel [Gk: to wonder with ASTONISHMENT]; for Satan himself is transformed [Gk: meta schematizo, transfigure -- to change the outward form or appearance, to make GLORIOUS] into an ANGEL OF LIGHT" (II Cor. 11:14).

I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you, though you have not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there none beside Me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do ALL [even the creation of evil and even the creation of Satan] THESE THINGS" (Isaiah 45:5-7).

Satan is evil, God created evil, God CREATED SATAN!

"He that commits sin is of the DEVIL [Gk: Adversary, Satan] for the Devil SINS FROM THE BEGINNING. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the WORKS of the Devil" (I John 3:8). So was it AFTER a supposed "Lucifer archangel" metamorphosed into Satan that he sinned, or did Satan the Adversary sin "from the BEGINNING?

Can the high priests of Christendom ever get anything Scripturally correct? They cite Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 (I will write a paper on these two chapters in the near future) as proof that Satan was once a perfect and glorious archangel.

They claim that a PERFECT AND GLORIOUS LIGHT-BRINGING ARCHANGEL CHANGED HIMSELF INTO SATAN THE DEVIL, whereas we just read in the divine, inspired, infallible Word of God that contrariwise, it is SATAN THE DEVIL WHO HAS TRANSFORMED HIMSELF INTO A PERFECT AND GLORIOUS ANGEL OF LIGHT! The Scriptures teach the diametric opposite from what Christendom is teaching. But it is mandatory that they teach this lie, because it is mandatory that they deny every Scripture that says GOD CREATED EVIL or EVIL CREATURES! It doesn’t fit their theology. They must find a way that allows God to torture billions of people in fire without being evil Himself or even responsible for doing so. The origin of sin and evil must be placed on the creature rather than the Creator. This way the creature is responsible for everything and the Creator is responsible for nothing!

And so it is stated that men CHOOSE to go into the lake of fire and suffer eternal pain, and God’s hands are tied by a doctrine that Satan has planted into the hearts of all men everywhere. An idol of the heart of such magnitude that men will DIE to preserve it. Deceived humanity has perceived this idol to be of the greatest value of anything that can ever reside in the heart of man including the Holy Spirit of God!

And just what is it, specifically, that gave this fictitious archangel the ability to metamorphose himself into a devil? Which thing also then permits God to torture humanity eternally in fire, without it being His fault? Which thing also empowers man with the ability to thwart the VERY WILL OF GOD ALMIGHTY?


Here it is, the magical source of man’s imagined deity. It is, of course, "HUMAN FREE WILL." Or, as in the case with Satan, "SATANIC FREE WILL." And just what is human and satanic free will? It is a fictitious power that Satan and all humans imagine they have, which gives them the power to make choices that have NO CAUSE. Do not mistake what I have said. Choice is not the power to MAKE choices. We all have that power. Choice is a power of the brain, mind, and spirit. It is a logical functioning mechanism. Even a sophisticated computer can "make choices" based on other data at its disposal contained in its memories. But making choices is not ... I repeat is NOT, judging, determining or selecting something BASED ON NOTHING!!!

The first edict of the physical universe is "CAUSE AND EFFECT." There cannot be an effect anywhere in the universe, on earth, in a laboratory under strict controls, or in the mind of a human being that does not have A CAUSE! It is axiomatic! It is not debatable! It is a LAW OF GOD! And therefore, the most lawless of all lawless conceptions possible is that man can make choices and decisions that are NOT BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE BY EITHER INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL CAUSES AND FORCES!!! It is, in fact, an attempt at nihilism of the very laws of physics. And so theologians, philosophers and the world’s greatest wisdom thinkers would have us believe that free will is a power even greater than God Himself, seeing that even God does not think things, or create things from NOTHING! God does NOT operate the universe by decisions based on nothing and therefore having no cause.

"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who works [Greek: ‘is operating’] ALL things after [after what? His ‘free’ will?] ... After the COUNSEL of His own will" (Eph. 1:11)!

Nor does God create things out of NOTHING:

"...IN [Greek is ‘in’ not ‘by’] Him [Christ] is ALL CREATED, that in the heavens and that on the earth..." (Col. 1:16).

"For OUT [the Greek is ‘out’ not ‘of’] of Him and THROUGH Him and FOR [Greek is ‘for’ not ‘to’] is ALL" (Rom. 11:36).

So creation is "IN Christ," but "OUT of God." Not, out of "nothing." The universe consists of the things of God’s already eternally existing SELF. God is SPIRIT (John 4:24). And what is matter but invisible spiritual power and energy?

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that THINGS which are seen [physical matter] were not made of things [were they then made of nothing? NO] which DO APPEAR" (Heb. 11:3).

There it is. God made everything out of things that DO NOT APPEAR [invisible things] not out of things that do appear [physical things], and this is because GOD HIMSELF IS INVISIBLE!

"Now to the King of the eons, the incorruptible, INVISIBLE, only, and wise God..." (I Tim. 1:17).

God follows His own spiritual laws. "Free will" sounds like a marvelous and magical thing -- it is rather, however, the god of stupidity. It is the height of man’s foolishness and human wisdom. It is both ungodly and unscriptural! It is an affront to the Sovereignty of God. Man and Satan are not deities that can operate independently of the Creator! The theory is a hoax, a farce, a sham. Its only reality is as an IDOL OF THE HEART which will be burned out of every son whom God scourges.

Of course all theologians are quick to point out that man does not possess total free will. Man's will is obviously limited we are told. Oh really? So it is "limited free will" that Satan and all humans possess is it? Does no one ever bother to question the contradictions of Christian doctrine?

"Iimited, a. restricted," Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary, page 963.

"free, a, without restriction," Webster’s Twentieth Century dictionary page, page 682.

Does everyone know the meaning of the word "contradiction?" Only Satan could convince otherwise intelligent people that they have a "limited" -- restricted, "free" -- without restriction "will." For sure man has a will, however, it is anything but FREE!

"For it is GOD which works in you both to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

"To will" requires a "work" of GOD! We all choose as we choose because there are things and forces and situations by the millions beyond anyone’s control that CAUSE US TO CHOOSE AS WE DO! It matters not that you cannot see or feel the cause. It is there and it does its work on you. And when causes make you choose, then that particular choice could not have ever been otherwise. God is the great CAUSE of all there is. I know Christians by the hundreds of millions deny it and deny God's Word that teaches it. That unbelief and lack of faith, however, does not change the facts of God’s Word or the laws of physics.

Can You Lose Your Salvation?

If it is possible to lose your salvation, then what must you do in order to keep it? I've asked this question many times of those who deny eternal security and have received different responses. But they all, essentially, can be categorized into two areas: "Remain faithful," and "Be obedient." Whichever position is taken, both are dependent upon man's faithfulness and ability.

Now, I am trying to be careful here in drawing conclusions because I do not want to be mistaken in how I represent the "other" side. But I cannot help but wonder that if our salvation depends upon us remaining faithful and or being obedient, then are we not keeping our salvation by being good? That's right, by being good and risking works righteousness?

Please understand that I am not saying this as an accusation. I am only asking the questions and expressing my concern. Again, if a person says he stays saved by remaining faithful and or being obedient to God, then isn't he saying that he is maintaining his salvation by being good? It is a good thing to be faithful to God. It is a good thing to obey God. But is this how we are saved or stay saved? Does our salvation rest in anyway on how good we are?

For me, this is dangerously close to works righteousness. Also, this "maintaining salvation" teaching is the same as that held by the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormon church, and the Jehovah's Witnesses churches (among others). Of course, I realize that just because false groups teach the same thing doesn't mean the teaching is wrong. Still, I can't help but wonder if something is amiss. And, there is another problem.

James 2:10 and Gal. 3:10
James 2:10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." Gal. 3:10, "For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.'” A further concern I have is that if anyone were to try and maintain his salvation by being faithful/good, is he then required to keep the whole law?

I believe that those who seek to remain faithful and obedient to God in order to stay saved would say that they are not trying to maintain their salvation by their works, their faithfulness, thei obedience, etc. At least I hope not. But, isn't a law an instruction given by God that has a punishment for disobeying it? God commands everyone everywhere to repent, Acts 17:30. In Exodus 20, God commands that we believe in him. Can it be said that the command to believe and repent are laws since disobeying them has penalties? Do you see the problem?

A confession
I'm not a very good Christian. I know my treacherous and sinful heart. If my salvation were dependent in any way upon my faithfulness or obedience, then I'm in trouble. I would never claim that I was able to remain faithful enough or do enough good to maintain my position with God. I just can't go there. Instead, I rely totally on him to keep me, not me to keep myself.

All that I am and all I need is found in the work of Christ. Even my ability to believe is God's work (John 6:28-29). My believing has been granted to me by God (Phil. 1:29). And, I believe because I was appointed to eternal life (Acts 13:48). Should I then stand before God and man and say that I am keeping my position with God by my own faithfulness? This is something I can never claim.

That is why I ask people who believe they can lose their salvation and are seeking to maintain it by being faithful, if they take credit for their believing. If they say yes, they are boasting. If they say no, then I ask them what makes him think that if God who granted that they believe (Phil. 1:29), appointed them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), chose them before the foundation of the world for salvation (Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Thess. 2:13), predestined them (Rom. 8:29-30), and said he will lose none (John 6:39), we'll let you them slip through his fingers when he said it was his will that those who believe would not be lost and would be raised on the last day (John 6:37-40)?

So, how would you answer the question if you believed that you could lose your salvation? What must you do to maintain it?

Prayer in Faith, or God's Will Be Done?

The Difference Between The "Prayer Of Faith" and "Thy Will Be Done"
Mark 11:24-25 (NIV) "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

John 14:12-14 (TEB) "I tell you the truth: whoever believes in me will do the works I do--yes, he will do even greater ones, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father's glory will be shown through the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it."

Commentary On Mark 11:24 & John 14:14 by C.S. Lewis:
"How are these astonishing promises to be reconciled:

(a) With the observed facts?

(b) With the prayer in Gethsemane, and (as a result of that prayer) the universally accepted view that we should ask everything with a reservation, 'if it be Thy will'?"

Mat 26:39 (NIV) [Jesus in Gethsemane] "Yet not as I will, but as you will..."
James 4:15-16 (Jer) The most you should ever say is: "If it is the Lord's will, we shall still be alive to do this or that." But how proud and sure of yourselves you are. Pride of this kind is always wicked.

"As regards (a) no evasion is possible. Every war, every famine or plague, almost every death-bed, is the monument to a petition that was not granted... They have sought and not been granted. They have knocked and the door has not been opened."
"But (b), though much less often mentioned, is surely an equal difficulty. How is it possible at one and the same moment to have perfect faith... that you will get what you ask... and yet also prepare yourself submissively in advance for a possible refusal? If refusal is possible, how can you have simultaneously a perfect confidence that what you ask for will not be refused? If you have that confidence, how can you take refusal into account at all?"

"I'm not asking why our petitions are so often refused. Anyone can see in general that this must be so. In our ignorance we ask what is not good for us or for others, or not even intrinsically possible. Or again, to grant one man's prayer involves refusing another's. The real problem is... not why refusal is so frequent, but why the opposite result is so lavishly promised?"

"1) These Scriptures are the worst possible place at which to begin Christian instruction... You remember what happened when the Widow started Huck Finn off with the idea he could get what he wanted by praying for it. He tried the experiment and then, not unnaturally, never gave Christianity a second thought. We had better not talk of the prayer of faith as "elementary". It is a truth for very advanced pupils indeed. It is a coping stone, not a foundation. For most of us the prayer in Gethsemane is the only model. Removing mountains can wait."

James 4:3 (NIV) When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

"2) We must not encourage in ourselves or others any tendency to work up a subjective state which, if we succeeded, we should describe as "faith", with the idea that this will somehow insure the granting of our prayer. We have probably all done this as children. But the state of mind which desperate desire working on a strong imagination can manufacture is not faith in the Christian sense. It is a feat of psychological gymnastics."
"How or why does such faith occur sometimes, but not always, even in the perfect petitioner? My own idea is that it occurs only when the one who prays does so as God's fellow-worker, demanding what is needed for the joint work. It is the prophet's, the apostle's, the missionary's, the healer's prayer that is made with this confidence and finds the confidence justified by the event... The colleague of God is so united with him at certain moments that something of the divine foreknowledge enters his mind. Hence his faith is the "evidence"--that is, the evidentness, the obviousness--of things not seen."

1 Jn 5:14-15 (Phi) We have such confidence in him that we are certain that he hears every request that is made in accord with his own plan. And since we know that he invariably gives attention to our prayers, whatever they are, we can be quite sure that what we have asked for is already ours.

"A far inferior degree of faith is, I hope, acceptable to God. Even the kind that says "Help thou my unbelief" may make way for a miracle..."
"As the friend is above the servant, the servant is above the suitor, the man praying on his own behalf. It is no sin to be a suitor. Our Lord descends into being a suitor, of praying on His own behalf, in Gethsemane. But when He does so--the certitude about his Father's will is apparently withdrawn."

John 15:14-17 (Jer) "You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants any more, because a servant does not know his master's business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learned from my Father. You did not choose me; no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name."
John 15:7-8 (NIV) "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."