Jesus prophesied the complete Christian experience. (Matt. 11:29) "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." Yoke has two definitions: #1) The center of the balance bar on a set of scales. The scale is tilted toward sin before salvation but when you accept Jesus as your Saviour (salvation) the scale is set on the balance point and there is no sin against you. #2) It is a double yoke. It takes two to pull in a double yoke; the Holy Spirit and you. You are the weak ox and the Holy Spirit is the strong ox but you must pull together as one. "learn of me". (John 14:15-26 esp. V.17-18, 20-21, 23 & 26) The Holy Spirit is your teacher as you study the Bible and learn of Jesus so you can pull more of your share of the load.
THE WHERE: The Holy Spirit lives and works in all three parts of the Christian soul. (Rom. 8:9) The new Christian’s personality has a new “tenant” right there (Phil. 2:13) in the God place (Phil.2:5 keywords: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus) using God’s Word to guide and re-program the Christian’s conscience unto all goodness, righteousness and truth so the Christian can become more like Christ as time passes. (2Tim. 3:15-16) The only source from which to obtain information about the Holy Spirit is the Holy Bible. What else can be trusted?
The word backslide is not used in the New Testament. Please read these scriptures-> (Gal. 4:9 keywords: turn ye again: defined: Strong's #1994: to revert, turn about again; 2Tim. 4:4 keyword: turn away their ears: Strong's #654: turn away or back, pervert; Tit. 1:6-14 esp. V.14 keywords: that turn from the truth: defined: Strong's # 654: turn away or back, pervert; & 2Pet. 2:20-22 esp. V.21-22 to turn from the holy commandment Strong's #1994: defined: to revert, turn about again) But to (turn away) from God is used to describe a situation or state of being and there is plenty of that in the New Testament. SO:
(Prov. 14:14-16, Jer. 3:6-8 & 8:5, Hosea 4:16-19, 2Ki. 17:1-18 esp. V.15 & 18 keywords: none left) Backslide is simply a very handy Old Testament word used to describe a New Testament situation or state of being. If you want to see an aftermath please see the article THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE BLASPHEMED located in the menu of this commentary! It was a heartbreaker for me because he was one of my best friends since childhood.
(John 3:3 & 1Pet.1:23) You must be born again (beget into a new life) by the word of God (Titus 3:5-7) by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:8-14 esp. V.9) There is no possibility of obtaining salvation through the teaching of organizations that deny Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit.
(John 3:1-8, 1Pet. 1:23 & Acts 4:10-12) A person, any person, cannot backslide (turn away) from where they never were. Examples: Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc. and by a person simply repeating the correct words spoken by a preacher or a witness (Acts 8:15-24 & Eph. 1:12-14) but there is no personal effect or knowledge of salvation in the person's soul.
I know it happens and I have also seen the aftermath of that. I praise God that He inspired me to tell that dear friend the truth. I explained to him how he was under God's drawing, explained God's drawing and encouraged him to keep going to church. One and one-half years later he called me from another state and was bubbling over with joy that he had actually gotten saved; "Jim, thank you for telling me the truth." was the last thing he said during that call. If you wish to know the complete explanation concerning God's drawing, please see the one article commentary Breath of Life on this website.
Read what Jesus said; (Matt. 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven---Many will say to me in that day, have we not prophesied in thy name?---and in thy name done many wonderful works?---And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you.”
(Eph. 2:8-10) Good works alone will not get you saved! What in the world could we possibly do that would cause God to owe us salvation? You must be born again through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9) and (Eph. 2:22) you must be a habitation (dwelling place) of God through the Holy Spirit when you die in order to go to heaven.
(1Tim. 1:5-6 & 5:15 and 2Pet. 2:20-22) a Christian can turn away from God. It is absolutely absurd to believe God will let a person into heaven (2Tim. 2:15-21) who doesn’t love God enough to even learn about God and Jesus. (Matt. 25:1-13 esp. V.8 keywords: our lamps are gone out then Rev. 3:13-18) Remember the lukewarm bride? (Acts 1:16-20) Look at Judas; (V.17) he was one of the twelve and had obtained his part of their ministry. Of course Judas didn’t have the Holy Spirit at the time Judas betrayed Jesus; none of the twelve had the Holy Spirit.
(John 16:7) They didn’t need the Holy Spirit because they had Jesus and they had the power of choice. (V.20) “Let his habitation (dwelling) be desolate (waste) and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick (superintendent in charge) let another take.” It is obvious Judas lost his place (bishoprick) with the disciples, lost his earthly life and was sent to live in a desolate place; which was not heaven so it must be hell since there are only two places to go after death. (John 12:6) Judas was a thief and selling Jesus' life for thirty pieces of silver was Judas’ choice.
(John 17:12) Jesus said “those that thou gavest me I have kept and none of them is lost (destroy fully, perish), but the son of perdition (damnation)." How can it be made more plain? God knew what would happen and that’s why the scripture was fulfilled but God did not "make" Judas betray Jesus. Judas chose to be lost when he “turned against” Jesus and sold Him! (Matt.24:44-51; Luke 11:24-26; & 2Pet. 2:20-22) These scriptures are a few of the many that say there is a turning away (backsliding) from God.
Read (Rev. Ch.1-3) and you will see a description of the “spiritual status” of seven types of churches and the people in them. Many people were in deep trouble through disobedience, ignorance and being lukewarm toward God. (Rev. 1:20) The seven churches are the seven candlesticks. (Rev. 2:4-5 esp. V.5 keyword: candlestick) Jesus threatened to remove the church (candlestick) at Ephesus. A whole church! GONE! Read these>(Matt. 5:1-20 esp. V.14-16) The church is the light of the world (V.16) and is supposed to let its light shine before men by their good works and cause them to glorify God.
(Rev. 2:1-7) Obviously, the church at Ephesus was a dimming light (V.4-5) because they were in the process of falling out of 'first love' with Jesus and were not (Mark 12:30) serving Jesus with all their heart. It had become a 'ho-hum' love and service!
Please read the article Who is The Holy Spirit on this commentary if you haven't already read it. The Holy Spirit is Jesus living in the soul of His Christians and if there is nothing to hold the light it is gone for good. (Rev. 3:5) Jesus can remove a man's name from the book of life and that obviously will not occur unless the Holy Spirit has departed from that person. (Rev. 3:15-16) Jesus spues (projectile vomiting) out people who are lukewarm. You have to have been a Christian to turn away (lukewarm) from God! Good grief! Would Jesus spue them out in some remote, back corner of heaven to fester there like an unholy boil? I reckon not!
(2Tim. 3:1-17) Many Christians and churches today are like these Paul warned Timothy about. (V.5) "Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." Form is defined: Strongs #3446: semblance and denying is defined: Strongs #740: to contradict, disavow, reject abnegate: abnegate internet definition: to renounce or reject something desired or valuable: synonyms are: renounce, reject, refuse, cast aside, forsake, turn ones back on. The power of what? The power of the Holy Spirit to change lives! The power to have passion for Jesus and His cause! The power to learn God's Word, the Holy Bible! The power to be holy! The power to be obedient!
(V.16) The Bible is the only source for doctrine (teaching), reproof (rebuke, convict), correction (straightening up again), and instruction (training, disciplinary correction) in righteousness so (V.17) “that the man of God be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Isn’t that wonderful? God, through His Holy Spirit, (John 14:23-26 esp. V.26, 1Cor. 15:34, Eph. 3:4-6, Phil. 1:9-11, 1Pet. 2:2 & 2Pet. 3:18) will teach us to INCREASINGLY do better (grow) through His word. (1John 1:7 thru 2:2) We can make it and through Jesus’ blood we can beat (Heb. 12:1) the sin which doth so easily beset (thwarting a racer) us. Praise God!
The doctrine of eternal security regardless of sin: The eternal security teaching, commonly called “once in grace always in grace”, regardless of sin is not a scriptural teaching. (Gen. 3:1-17 esp. V.9-11) The devil, Satan, perverted what God had said to Adam and Eve when they fell from their position in the presence of God in the Garden of Eden. (V.1) The devil, that serpent, muddled up God's words. (V.4) The serpent contradicted God's statement (V.5) and then the serpent gave what God said a whole new meaning.
It is the same perversion of scripture (Luke 4:1-13 esp. V.11 Satan added; "lest at any time" and put "in their hands" in the wrong place) the devil tried to use on Jesus during Jesus’ forty day temptation by the devil in the wilderness. The devil, Satan, slightly changed the scripture from (Psa. 91:11-12) which altered the meaning of the scripture by applying it to the wrong circumstances which would have caused Jesus to tempt God by showing off (pride). (Deut. 6:16 & Acts 5:5-10 esp. V.9 keyword in both: tempt) Jesus used scripture to defeat Satan's plan to cause Jesus to commit physical suicide by perverting the scripture.
(2Cor. 11:13-15) EXAMPLE: Read the biography about the life of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple founder, who led hundreds of his followers into murder-suicide in his agricultural commune in the South American nation of Guyana on 11-18-78. Jim Jones started right but, (1Tim. 3:5-7) surely with the devil's help, he gradually 'abnegated' to being horribly wrong in the end.
The same methods Satan used in the three events above still work very well today in false teaching concerning eternal security (once in grace always in grace) and predestination (both are discussed below). (Luke 4:1) Just like Jesus was in the wilderness; (2Cor. 4:4 and 11:13-15) we Christians truly live in a wilderness of sin, temptation and false teaching that homes in on selected scriptures to fit what they want to, or are deceived to, believe. (Heb. 6:4, 2Pet. 1:9-10 & 2:20-22 and many more) And they never mention other scriptures that contradict what they want to believe.
The most radical version of eternal security regardless of sin teaches that the soul and body are separate which is true and they teach the flesh is evil no matter what it does. They also teach the born again soul is good no matter what it does. With that they conclude that it doesn’t matter what the evil body does because it will die but the “pure” eternal soul will be saved. They are here where I live and I have contended with them concerning their belief. I, MY WIFE AND A CLOSE FRIEND HEARD WITH OUR EARS a pastor tell a married, lay preacher under him, if he had to, to take $100-150 in cash and go to a brothel in a larger nearby town.
A more moderate version of the eternal security regardless of sin teaches that after you have sinned enough God will make your body die but your soul will still go on to Heaven. They teach that God does not break covenant (Psa. 89:34) which is the truth. Then they leave out (Rom. 1:31) and neglect to teach that man does break covenant. With that omission they teach once an individual is in covenant with God then God is bound by that covenant regardless of what the individual does.
A broken covenant is broken, period. (James 1:12-15) There are lots of Christians throughout the Church who want to sin but are afraid to; then here comes the “once in grace always in grace, eternal security teaching that permits sin” that offers them a way to sin without cost. I have heard a mega-church preacher preach on TV that; "once a Christian sins enough God will just take them on to heaven because they aren't worth anything here"! He preached it on three different shows before I stopped watching him.
Their prime thought is: “I’ve got to die anyway so it don’t matter if God kills me a little early; it’s worth it to do what I want to do and still get to go to Heaven.” It makes one start to calculate HOW MUCH. Hummmm, if one is allowed five murders and I only commit four; I can stay here and use up all of my fornications but one; then I’ll start stealing. The concept is foolish!
One scripture used to bolster the eternal security teaching regardless of sin is (Rom. 7:1-25). This whole chapter appears to be in direct conflict to all the rest of Paul’s writing in which he promotes sinlessness, holiness, spiritual growth and grace and it appears to approve of sinning with the body because the soul (self) serves the law of God while the flesh (human nature with its frailties and passions) serves the law of sin. A practicing Jew who had accepted Jesus as Saviour would understand all of this much better than a Gentile because Gentiles, then and now, were never under the Jewish, Mosaic, law.
(Rom. 7:1-20) Paul writes about the one person aspect of marriage “and they two shall be one” but if the husband dies she is freed from that union but any other separation is adultery. (V.4-5) Paul is obviously explaining when a racial Jew experiences the salvation event their husband, the Jewish Law, dies and they (V.4) "should be" married to Jesus. It is an analogy that compares a Jewish physical marriage to the spiritual marriage of when a Jew leaves the Jewish Law (dead husband), embraces Jesus as Saviour (new living betrothed) and becomes a born again Christian.
(V.6) Paul writes that the Law is dead and through a living relationship (salvation) we serve in the newness of spirit (life). In this one sentence Paul had written Read these scriptures: (Hebrews 9:1-28 esp. V.1 keywords: first covenant and V.15 keywords: new testament: defined: covenant, contract, agreement thru 10:39) what he would later explain in painstaking detail to every Hebrew (Jew) in the world.
The Law was a Holy Law but it was an impersonal, impossible law to keep since it had no (Gal. 3:21 keywords: given life) “living forgiveness in it.” Think: (V.7-20) For effect the Law placed men in a state of sin rather than in a state of righteousness. (Gal. 3:24) The Law was a schoolmaster that was intended to bring the Jewish nation as a whole to Jesus.
(Matt. 26:47-67 key: the Jewish religious hierarchy & 27:25 keyword: all) The Jewish nation rejected Jesus (Luke 24:44-53 & Acts 2:1-41) but individual Jews did accept Jesus and they founded the Church (1Cor. 6:11) in which Jewish believers (Acts 10:9-45 esp. V.45) and Gentile believers (non-Jewish bloodline) are sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:7-17) and are (V.15) adopted (V.16-17) and become the children of God (Eph. 2:8-19 esp. V.11 keyword: Gentiles and V.19 keyword: household) in the household of God. (John 14:18) It is a personal relationship, to each of them, to you and to me!
(V. 21-24) Then Paul writes about the law of the inward man (soul). Paul had been born again (salvation) and it delighted him but his soul was at war with his members, the outward man (body), and Paul was wretched about it. This next verse, (V.25), is a hinge for the eternal security teaching that permits sin. Remember (V.23 keyword: warring).
(V.25) “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind (soul) I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh (human nature with its frailties and passions) the law of sin.” Now read (Rom. 6:1-23 esp. V.6-7 and 12-16) in your Bible at this time and then we will come back to (V.25: the hinge) again.
(Rom. 6:1-23) Paul had explained: in (V.6) that, for effect, our (2Cor. 5:17 keywords: "a new creature" defined: creation "in Christ") old state of being is dead and as a new creation in Christ "we should (an act of will, to press hard, make narrow) not serve sin". (V.7) In the death of our former state of being (lost) we are "freed from sin" by salvation.
(V.12-16) (V.12) "Let not sin therefore reign (to be king of) in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (V.13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (V.14) For sin shall not have dominion (to rule over, to have power over, to be lord of) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (V.15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."
(V.16) "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience (compliance, submission) unto righteousness (being just in the eyes of God)?"
(Rom. 7:25 again) Through Holy Spirit inspiration Paul is simply expressing his personal feelings of failure, wretchedness, and frustration concerning the war (Remember? warring) all Christians fight in our spiritual war with (1John 1:15) the world, (1Cor. 6:8-10, Gal. 5:19-21 & Col. 4:2-10) the flesh (2Cor. 11:13-15) and the devil. Paul desperately wanted to live sinless because he loved Jesus and wanted to please Him but, just like all Christians, he could not live sinless.
Paul might as well have been writing about me and about you and that makes me understand a Bible writing, suffering, church planting, firebrand, like Paul and to love him. He is truly our brother in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(V.25 one more time: keyword: intercession) "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Paul knows his only hope is through Jesus Christ because Jesus is living within him as the Holy Spirit. Jesus is his intercessor. Paul is writing about grace without saying the word. BUT:
(Heb. 4:14-16) (V.14) Paul did say (write) Jesus is our great high priest in heaven so "let us hold fast our profession (acknowledge, confession, appeal, assent)". (V.15) Jesus, our great high priest, can be "touched (to have compassion for) with the feeling (to have sympathy for) of our infirmities (feebleness, frailty, weakness)" because he was in all points (desire) tempted (to test, scrutinize) like as we are but Jesus did not sin.
(V.16) "Let us therefore come boldly (frankness) unto the throne (seat of power) of grace (graciousness of manner or act, favor, gift, joy, liberality, pleasure), that we may obtain (to get hold of, receive) mercy (compassion), and find grace to help (aid, succorer= someone who gives help in time of need, distress or difficulty) in time (timely, suitably) of need (want, desire)." SO: In (Rom. 7:25) Paul had personalized what he said in (Heb. 4:14-16) and NO (Rom.7:25) DOES NOT GIVE CHRISTIANS THE FREEDOM TO SIN!
As you have seen above when a person accepts Jesus as Saviour through the born again experience (Rom. 8:15-16 esp. V.15 keywords: Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father: Abba is defined: much more intimate than Father; based on ancient Aramaic Hebrew Semitic language Abba means Daddy) that Christian person is adopted into the family of God. ***God's family has rules which are a moral code, a code of conduct and a work ethic as is presented in the scriptures.***
Some people preach and teach that God does not take back His gifts such as (Eph. 2:8-9) the gift of salvation (Acts 2:38) and the gift of the Holy Spirit. BUT: (Heb. 6:4-6) God's word says that teacher or preacher is a liar because these people fell away and cannot renew themselves again. Since that renewing is impossible the Holy Spirit is obviously gone (Rom. 8:9 keywords: Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his) and the person is no longer a child of God because he or she refused to conform to the rules governing God's family. AND:
Some people preach and teach (Rev. Ch. 1-3) is not part of prophecy. BUT: (Rev. 1:3-5 esp. V.3 keywords: the words of this prophecy & V.5 keywords: from Jesus Christ) (Rev. 1:8-11) Jesus started talking, He introduced Himself and named the seven churches to whom this book would be sent. (Rev. 1:19) "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. (Rev. 1:19) Jesus had started His prophecy.
In all seven churches Jesus said He knew their works. (Rev. 2:1-7) The church at Ephesus had left their first love and needed to get back to doing their first works or Jesus said He would remove their candlestick out of his place except they repent. (Rev. 1:20) The candlestick is THE CHURCH ITSELF! If they didn't repent they might go on the way they were but it would be a church in name only because Jesus would no longer claim it! Can you name any of today's churches or denominations that blatantly (done openly and unashamedly) accept and even ordain Biblical sin?
(Rev. 3:1-5 esp. V.1 keywords: art dead) In the church at Sardis some or most of the people had imperfect works. Jesus told them to overcome their imperfections or He could and would blot their names out of the book of life which means Jesus can and will take back the gift of salvation because of imperfect works.
(Rev. 3:15-16) Jesus said He knew the works of the church of the Laodiceans and they were neither cold nor hot and were lukewarm. Jesus said He would spue (to vomit, projectile vomiting) them out of His mouth. Do you think Jesus is going to spue them out in some back corner of heaven where they will stink, fester and rot? Of course not, don't be ridiculous. Preachers and teachers and anybody else who say Jesus can't or won't take back the gift of salvation are calling Jesus a liar. Repent, admit you are a liar and have called Jesus a liar. BECAUSE:
(Rev. 22:18-19) (V.18) "For I testify unto every man (Strong's #3956: the whole, all, as many as, whosoever) that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." If a person suffers the plagues given in Revelation means he/she has missed the catching away of the church! (V.19) "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life,"
The saddest circumstances that come out of the teaching that God can't or won't take back His gifts of salvation and the Holy Spirit are that individual Christians or a whole congregation can become unenthusiastic, half-hearted, leisurely, indifferent, lethargic, lukewarm servants to God just like Ephesus, Sardis and the Laodiceans.
They have set aside (Rev. 2:1-5) their passion (first love), set aside (Rev. 3:1-5 keywords: and art dead) their responsibility to do good works (Rev. 3:14-17, James 1:12-16 & John 2:15-16) and fallen in love with the world and its ability to entertain and enchant (Heb. 11:25 & 1John 2:17) temporarily (Rom. 14:10-13 esp. V.13 keywords: "that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall (snare) in his brother's way") (V.10-12) but there is a judgment coming. (2Tim. 2:24-26 esp. V.26 keywords: snare of the devil) The devil will use false teaching to lead Christians away from God (2Cor. 11:14-15) any way he can!
JUST REMEMBER: (2Tim. 2:15) "Study to show thyself approved" and (2Tim. 3:16) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
ALSO REMEMBER: (Luke 4:8-11) Satan perverted the scripture when he tempted (tested) Jesus. (1Pet. 5:8) He seeks to devour (swallow, consume) you and me, (2Cor. 11:13-15) he can transform himself into an angel of light and he has his own ministers who can appear as ministers of righteousness. SO, (1Cor. 12:31) covet (Strong's 2206 internet: to burn with zeal, to desire earnestly, to exert one's self for) earnestly (Strong's 1972: eager longing, strong affection) (1Cor. 12:10) the gift of discerning of spirits (Gal. 1:7) SO YOU CAN PREVENT THE DEVIL FROM USING YOU TO PERVERT (change, corrupt) THE GOSPEL!
(Gen. 3:4-5, 1Chron. 21:1-17, Job. 1:6 thru 2:9, Luke 22:31, John 8:44, 1Cor. 1:9-13 & 3:1-4, 1Cor. 11:14 & Rev. 12:9) The devil, Satan, is a deceiver, a provoker, a destroyer, a liar, a divider, the father of liars, a murderer and can transform himself into an angel of light. He whispers sweetly; "You are exactly right, here it is right in the Bible, don't back up an inch or you'll be letting God down."
The teacher or preacher or individual Christian thinks; "Wow! This is what that scripture means! I know I'm right and I won't back down (zealousness for the wrong teaching is born)! PRESTO! WE HAVE THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER DENOMINATION, OR THE DIVIDING OF AN ESTABLISHED DENOMINATION, OR THE DIVIDING OF AN ESTABLISHED CONGREGATION, OR THE DECEPTION OF INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS.
When have you heard a complete sermon or a complete teaching session concerning Satan and his works? HAS THE CHURCH FORGOTTEN OUR GREATEST ENEMY? Who do you think helped the uproar that resulted in denominations? Why do you think some denominations permit Biblically forbidden sin to be an accepted Christian activity? Read the three-article series Satan: A Study Guide and Teaching Manual on this commentary and ask your preacher some questions. Then watch his face turn red! Maybe it will help him start studying like he should have been doing!
No, you cannot do good works to cancel out sin or to make God owe you heaven. (John 10:30 & 20:28) As a Christian you work for Jesus/God through the Holy Spirit according to the instructions given in God’s Holy Word because you have a personal relationship with Jesus/God and because you love Jesus/God and want to serve Him. (John 14:21) It is called passionate obedience based on love.
(Rev. 3:19-21) JESUS SAID; (V.19) "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (V.20) Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (V.21) To him that overcometh (subdue, conquer, prevail, get the victory) will I grant to sit with me in my throne." Overcome what? SELF, SATAN AND THE WORLD!
Think about this: in the above paragraph JESUS SAID; "be zealous": (Rev. 3:19 keyword: zealous) The Strong's internet definition, #G2206, is: to burn with zeal in the pursuit of good, to desire earnestly, to strive after, busy one's self about him, to exert one's self for one. Read these scriptures>(John. 1:1-4 keyword: Word, Col. 1:15, Heb. 1:2-3 keyword in both: image, 1John 1:1-2 keyword: Word) (1Tim. 3:16) "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh," (1John 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Remember the definition of zealous above; busy one's self about him, to exert one's self for one. Do you understand the required depth of our service to Jesus-the Word/God? Do you see how foolish is the statement "God don't take away His gifts!" What about when a Christian throws God's gifts back into God's face by refusing to conform to: ***God's family has rules which are a moral code, a code of conduct and a work ethic as is presented in the scriptures.***
NOTE: For a complete examination of the seven churches in the Book of Revelation see the last eighteen articles in the commentary God, Satan and Man: The Relationship on this website. END OF NOTE. Some say these seven churches are different 'church ages' and they go to great lengths to 'prove' that line of thought. BUT: There were at least 31 churches in existence in 70AD (ask the internet for a map of the churches in existence in 70AD) so why did Jesus select these seven as subjects for His prophesy- (Rev. 1:19) "hast seen (past), which are (present) and shall be (future)"?
Obviously, because they were types of churches, types of sub-groups in some of the churches and types of individual Christians in all of the seven churches. AND all the other churches that were in existence at that time fit someplace in the pattern of the seven churches given in Jesus' prophecy.
Common sense tells us that if there was some church, somewhere that was different than the seven given surely Jesus would have included that church in His warning prophecy to us and for us. If you will look closely and scripturally at today's worldwide denominations and individual churches you will see that every church, every sub-group in some of the churches and every individual in every church until now will fit someplace in this prophecy. (Rev. 1:1-5 esp. V.3 keywords: this prophecy) John introduces Jesus as the origin of the prophecy (Rev. 1:10-11) (V.11) Jesus names the seven churches.
(Rev. 1:12-17) John describes Jesus in all His glory (V.17) and the magnificence of Jesus caused John to faint but Jesus brought John out of his stupor. (Rev. 1:18) Jesus identifies Himself for the second time by stating the reality of His death and resurrection and that He possesses the keys to hell and death (Jesus took them away from Satan- See the Jesus commentary, the article; Jesus Takes The Keys To Hell and Death). (Rev. 1:19) Jesus assigns John to write and (Rev. 1:20) Jesus starts speaking His prophecy.
WHAT COULD BE MORE PLAIN TO THOSE OF YOU WHO SAY THE SEVEN CHURCHES ARE SOMETHING ELSE AND NOT PART OF THE PROPHECY? THE SEVEN CHURCHES ARE PART OF THE PROPHECY!
Why did Jesus take such a personal interest in pinpointing so much, so directly at, and directly to the seven churches with His voice? (Rev. 19:7) "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. It is personal to Jesus because the Church is Jesus' betrothed.
Read this scripture for your life>(Mark 4:1-10) Jesus told the multitude the parable of an unidentified sower who sowed some unidentified seed on the ground. (V.4, 5-6, & 7) In three situations the things of the world prevented the seed from producing fruit. BUT: (V.8) In the fourth situation the seed "fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundred". (V.9) "Then Jesus said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
(V.10) Obviously most of the multitude had left, but "they that were about him with the twelve (disciples) asked of him the parable (a similitude of common life conveying a moral)." Their request fits perfectly with (Matt. 7:7-11) (V.8) "For everyone that asketh receiveth: and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
(Mark 4:11-20) And Jesus explained to the interested people; (V.11-12) "Unto you is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without all these things are done in parables. That seeing they may see but not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted (revert, turn about again), and their sins should be forgiven them."
Converted: Internet Strong's #1994 at www.godrules.net Look it up and draw your own conclusions! Obviously, they that were without didn't put forth the passionate dedication, effort and struggle to ask seek and knock and they had left Jesus behind without seeking the meaning of His words! Once in grace always in grace?
(V.13-20) (V.14) "The sower soweth the word (Strong's # 3056: the thought, reasoning, utterance, the Divine Expression i.e. Christ)." Then Jesus explains what causes a Christian produce no fruit; (V.15) this type lets Satan steal the word that was sown in their heart, (V.16-17 esp. V.17 keyword: root) this type don't have depth of faith in Jesus (root) to depend on Jesus to bring them through affliction or persecution one way or another, (V.18-19) this type let the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and lust of other things be worth more than what Jesus requires. To these three types Jesus and what He expects (fruit) just aren't worth the trouble. (V.20) This type is willing to produce fruit for Jesus to the best of their ability.
(John 15:1-6) (V.1) Jesus is the true vine; you already know His identity. (V.2) Describes spiritual growth through the Word and the Holy Spirit. Each Christian is a branch of the true vine. (V.3) Christians are clean through salvation according to the Word. (V.4) Abide in Jesus and Jesus abides in Christians and without Him Christians cannot bear fruit. Abide/abides is defined: Strong's #3306: to stay in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy: continue, dwell, endure, remain. (V.5) Without Jesus we can do nothing. (V.6) If a person won't abide in Jesus he is cast forth, withers and is burned. Once in grace always in grace?
Some preachers and teachers ignorantly argue that Jesus came only to the Jews (Israel) and what Jesus said to them doesn't count considering the Church (Christians)! What fruit could an unsaved Jew produce that would matter to Jesus? That would immediately give rise to the assumption that an unsaved Jew could "bear fruit of himself" and work his way to heaven which is another ignorant lie.
Paul wrote: (2Cor. 11:2) "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused (betroth: defined: enter into a formal agreement to marry, a pledge, a contract) you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste (clean, innocent, modest, perfect) virgin (a maiden, implying an unmarried daughter) to Christ." (Rev. 19:7 keywords: for the marriage of the Lamb is come (time to) and his wife hath made herself ready) And Jesus will not accept a bride who has not made herself ready. THE CHURCH IS NOT YET MARRIED TO JESUS!
(Heb. 10:19-25 esp. V.19 keywords: brethren and by the blood of Jesus ) Paul wrote to the church (Heb.10:26-31) (V.26) "For if we sin wilfully (voluntarily, willingly, of one's own accord) after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (V.27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery (a waiting for, expectation) indignation (anger, vexation), which shall devour the adversaries. (V.28) He that despised Moses law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:"
(V.29) "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden (insult, outrage, treat contemptuously) under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified (to separate from profane things and to dedicate to God), an unholy thing, and done despite (insult, outrage, treat contemptuously) unto the Spirit of grace?"
(V.30) "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance (revenge, punishment) belongeth unto me, I will recompense (penalty), saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge (to discern one thing from another) his people. (V.31) It is a fearful (dreadful, terrible) thing to fall into the hands (Strong's 1315: to handle thoroughly, lay violent hands upon, kill, slay) of the living God."
Those same gentile preachers and teachers mentioned above say; "I'm not under Law (Jewish); I'm under grace and I don't have to be afraid about my works anymore!" Gentiles were never under Jewish Law!
BUT Paul wrote: (Phil. 2:10-15 esp. V.12) "WORK (I effect by labor, achieve, bring about) OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR (terror, reverence) AND TREMBLING (anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfil his duty)." Think about it!
Go to Voice of the Martyrs on the internet, get their free subscription to their publication and you will see a view of what it must have been like when the apostles were founding the first churches because even now these Christians are today risking and sometimes giving their lives to meet the same challenges.
Eternal Security regardless of sin OR WITHOUT WORKS WHICH IS ALSO SIN is a heretical teaching. THIS IS HOW BACKSLIDING OCCURS: (Rom.1:1-32) (V.1-5) Paul establishes his apostleship. (V.6-7 keywords: called to be saints) Paul establishes his brotherhood relationship with the Christians (V.6 "the called of Jesus Christ") at Rome to whom he is writing. (V.8-13) The Rome church has a well known, good reputation and it appears that Paul had never been to the church at Rome.
(V.13-16) Paul declares his intention to preach when he gets to Rome. (V.17-18) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Paul is obviously referring to God’s truth.
But then (V.19-20) Paul said God had shown these people the invisible things even to God’s eternal power and Godhead so these people are without excuse. It is well known during this “Church Age” that God only reveals His secret things of scripture to Christians through the Holy Spirit. It is obvious God, through the Holy Spirit, stayed with them long enough and revealed enough to them so they didn’t have an excuse for their actions.
(V.21) When these people knew God (they had obviously been saved) they refused to glorify God and were not thankful. They listened to their own imaginations instead of what God said until they lost the light of God’s word and their hearts (souls) were darkened.
(V.22) “Professing (affirming) themselves wise they became fools.” (V.23) Then they started their own way of worshipping images made like men, birds, animals and critters (idolatry). (V.24 keywords: God also gave them up: key: they went into sin in violation of God's word and despite the Holy Spirit's efforts) God will not force anyone to love, respect and worship Him. Love must be given by choice according to values and they made the decision to follow the lust of their own hearts (souls) and they dishonored their own bodies between themselves (fornication).
(V.25) “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped (venerate, adore) and served (minister to) the creature (created thing) more than the Creator (maker).” (V.26) "God gave them up to vile (disgraced) affections (passions): for even their women did change the natural (instinctive, physical) use into that which is against nature (native disposition).”
(V.27) "And likewise (in the same way) also the men, leaving the natural (instinctive, physical) use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly (shame), and receiving in themselves that recompense (return correspondence) of their ERROR (go astray, deceive, seduce, to cause to roam from safety, truth or virtue) which was meet (necessary)."
(V.28) “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (rejected castaway) mind (soul) to do those things which are not convenient (becoming).” (V.29-31) Then Paul wrote a list of their sins and (V. 31) one of those many sins is they are covenantbreakers (treacherous to compacts).
They had to have been in covenant with God before they could be covenantbreakers. (V.32) “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy (deserving) of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure (feel gratified with) in them that do them.” The scripture “but have pleasure in them that do them” is obviously talking about the sins mentioned in this chapter.
THINK! (V. 26-27) “even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman,” Since the acts are against nature and these people have pleasure in them that do them plus the definition of ERROR (go astray, deceive, seduce, to cause to roam from safety, truth or virtue) it is obvious there is a “recruitment, seduction, rebellion and deception” because, according to God’s word, (V.26-27 people are not by nature born to commit homosexual acts.
(Rev. 19:7 keywords: who hath made herself ready & 21:7 keywords: he that overcometh shall inherit all things shall be my son & V.27 keywords: and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever maketh abomination, or maketh a lie) We have seen by scripture that Jesus will reject a bride who is dirty with sin. (Rom. 1:28) "And even as they did not like to retain (relation or condition, recognition, full discernment) God in their knowledge (to become fully acquainted with), God gave these Christians over to a reprobate mind (rejected, castaway soul) and obviously the Holy Spirit left them at that time.
(Matt. 4:19 keywords: lusts of other things & Mark 12:30 keyword: love the Lord thy God----) These Christians in the church at Rome simply did not love God enough to care about being in God's family (Heb. 6:4-6 keywords: to renew them again unto repentance) and God will not let them repent!
A complete study of homosexuality is given in the commentary "Sin in Church" in the article "The Devil: The Deception Principal".
(Eph. 1:5) Predestination: Another non-scriptural teaching that goes hand in hand with “eternal security regardless of sin” is that certain pre-selected individuals are predestined (scripturally and commonly called predestinated) to be saved and all other people are predestined to be lost. This predestination teaching concludes that free choice does not matter! If that teaching is the truth what is the point in having TIME, EARTH, PEOPLE, JESUS, CHURCH-------GOOD GRIEF, NONE OF IT WOULD BE RELEVANT ANYWAY!
God is not stupid or wasteful. He would have just created those few people with all the attributes He wanted them to have and saved Himself all the bother and saved His Son Jesus a horrible torture and death! Think about it! You want someone to love you because of who you are and what you are.
God is the same way; (Gen. 1:26) we are created in His image. If God had created us to automatically love Him it would be no different than a pop up toaster or a gumball machine; activate the lever and "I love you" pops out. HOW RIDICULOUS! Love is not love unless it is given by a reasoning, emotional personality with the power to choose.
Yes, this teaching of predestination, this perversion of scripture does sound ridiculous but it must be addressed because it is a current belief by some churches. The only time predestinate (determine before) is used is in (Rom. 8:29-30) and predestinated is used in (Eph. 1:5 & 11). It is obvious God predestinated Jesus to be the centerpiece of the salvation process. It is also obvious God predestinated a Church. That is all these scriptures say! Read them carefully for yourself and pray for God's enlightenment!
THE TRUTH IS: #1 (John 12:32) Jesus said; “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw ALL men unto me.” #2 (1Tim. 2:3-6) (V.3-4) It is God’s will to have ALL men saved (V.5) through Jesus (V.6) who gave himself a ransom for ALL.
Why make Jesus die a horrible death on the cross if certain individuals (made in God’s image) are going to be saved without a choice and all the rest (made in God’s image) are going to hell without a chance? (1John 4:8) God is Love; it is spelled L-O-V-E not C-R-U-E-L. #3 (2Pet. 3:7-18 esp. V.9) The Lord is long suffering not willing that ANY should perish.
Of course God foreknows who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost; but we don’t; He is God, He knows everything, He created all of it but (John 3:16-18) He does not force anybody to be saved and (Rom. 10:8-13) He does not refuse salvation to anyone who repents of their sins and accepts Jesus as their Saviour!
THE WHOLE BIBLE IS ABOUT CHOICES! (Matt. 23:24) "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." If anyone is still straining at the predestination gnat see if you can swallow this predestination camel. If predestination was true any or all people could do whatever they wanted to because the things God calls sin wouldn't count! Duuuhhhhh!
(Rom.12:1-2) "Brethren it is your reasonable service to present your body a living sacrifice, be not conformed (fashion self according to) to the world, but be ye transformed (metamorphose) by the renewing (renovation) of your mind (soul)." Think about the slow, painstaking work done by a caterpillar, a worm, as it metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. IT TAKES THE LIFETIME OF THE CATERPILLAR!
This scripture means Christianity, after the salvation event, is a process of spiritual growth (change into something more beautiful to God), through the Holy Spirit, by God's Holy Word. Do you realize that as a Christian you are a work in progress?
(Luke 11:9-13) If you do want to be closer to God you have to "ask" (pray correctly with praise). You have to "seek" (search for answers and worship). You have to "knock" (make physical efforts); pray, read the Bible and study, attend organized Bible study and ask questions of more knowledgeable Christians; learn to listen and check in your Bible if what you hear is truth. (Matt. 22:37) And do these things with the passion of love. (Acts 1:1-3 esp. V.3 keyword: passion) Think about the terrible agony Jesus suffered because He loved you enough (passion) to give His life so you could get saved. You could obtain nothing yet Jesus gave you everything!
Getting closer to God requires all of you because to "ask" is emotional (soul), to "seek" is intellect (thinking), and to "knock" is physical (making an effort). This has nothing to do with being saved. You are either saved or you are not saved. You either have the Holy Spirit or you don’t have the Holy Spirit. This is about a Christian developing a closer, stronger relationship with God through the Holy Spirit according to God's Holy Word.
(Heb. 9:14-15 & 1Pet. 3:21) At salvation the conscience is cleansed and ready to be reprogrammed by God’s word if you are willing to study that word and find out what it takes for you to please God and that takes time, actually the rest of your life. Jesus does not take leftovers, back seat, or second best. Why should He? (Phil. 2:6-8 & Col. 1:10-23) Jesus gave His best; (Matt. 13:23) why shouldn’t He get our best? What does your conscience say right now?
(1Cor. 3:11-15 esp. V.15 keyword: fire: defined: lightening) Yes, there is a judgment of works by fire (lightening) BUT how close do you want to get to the fire AND how many works are enough to just barely get by? (Heb. 6:4-6 & Rev. 20:10-15) Are you a spiritual gambler gambling on your forever home? As for me (Matt. 25:13-30 esp. V.21) I would rather hear "enter thou into the joy of the Lord".
This commentary is about getting in grace and staying in grace. God is right there within you because (Eph. 2:22) Christians are a habitation of God through the Holy Spirit, but do you REALLY WANT the responsibility of knowing Him?
Be truthful with yourself: What is your faith, value, passion, allegiance and will? Think about this; God expects to use your eyes, your feet, your voice, your hands; everything you are: are you willing to say; “use me, send me, I’ll do it, I want to do it for you Lord because I love YOU?” The Bible is full of people who made choices. CHOICES! What are yours? What do you want to do? A CHOICE!
THE WHERE: (1Cor. 2:10-13) It is obvious the battleground/workplace of the indwelling Holy Spirit is in the soul (self-inward man) of Christians.