Monthly Archives: March 2012
Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Security Versus Satan’s Factor of Deception! Part 5!
(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 5 in the series of Bible lessons on the very popular misconception called Unconditional Eternal Security (U.E.S.) previously known as Once Saved Always Saved (O.S.A.S). We have covered a lot of information found in the Bible and if you have not read this series from the beginning I might suggest that you go and start with “Part 1” first. In the last lesson I talked about the ongoing Christian Responsibility revealed in the salvation process that is clearly laid out for us by God in the Bible. God uses several metaphorical comparisons to describe our salvation to be like a process, like us having to fight a good fight (1 Tim 6:12, 2 Tim 4:7) or running a marathon type of race (1 Cor 9:24, Heb 12:1). Both of these symbolic types represent our participation in set contests with competing opponents that are attempting to take from us our victory. Clearly these examples give us the established truth that we can lose or fail or quit the contest. Both of these competitions were clearly defined processes of endurance and not simply a onetime salvation event where we start and automatically win like many of the U.E.S. teachers want us to believe. Both process examples have clearly defined beginnings, followed by many middle steps of conflict and struggle with a set well-defined ending. Both examples are processes governed by defined rules of engagement to help guide the outcome but yet not to determine the outcome. In other words, neither process has a pre-determined victor of the fight or the race. In either of these types of contests any of the individuals competing can always grow tired or weary and quit or give up and fall short of the desired initial expectation for victory. Do you start a race to lose it? Do you start a fight to be defeated? In any fight you might just believe that you are the winner from the start, right up until the point in time that your opponent hits you hard and knocks you down. If you believe today that you are running a fixed race or fighting a fixed fight that you have already won, then you are clearly not very familiar with realities of fighting or racing. I really hope and pray that you understand these really basic Bible concepts that God is using to teach us.
Today I am going in a totally new and different direction on the subject of Unconditional Eternal Security using a series of new subjects that I will introduce and connect together to teach the subject of the contribution of the “Deception Factor”. Today’s lesson will be primarily focused on the potential role and effects of deception in the ongoing process of our salvation and how we are warned by God to avoid it. However, it will take me familiarizing you with and reviewing other prerequisite subjects to get us to where we need to be to understand how deception is such a major factor to why we do not have eternal security. Let’s start by first knowing that we have an enemy.
THE REALITY OF YOUR SPIRITUAL ENEMY
The subject of deception is specifically tied to the requirement that a deceiver must exist and be present, willing and able to deceive or deception is a non-issue for every Christian. If no deceivers exist, then no deception is presented as being possible. Was that just way too obvious? Therefore I need to focus on the existence of a deceiver using the Bible. I am going to introduce you to the existence of the primary deceiver who is also known as Satan. From Satan comes every other deceiver, so if I can prove his existence in the Bible it should be easy to transition that others exist also. Using my Bible program I searched for the key word “deceive” and found multiple verses on the subject. Satan is described as the individual spirit responsible for deceiving the people of the whole world in Revelation 12:9, Revelation 13:14 and Revelation 20:10. The whole world would be an all-inclusive statement not omitting any nation of people. Remember what I just said! Therefore, Satan qualifies to be the deceiver by definition from God’s Word. Does Satan still exist in the world today? If you said YES, then you are on the right track. If you said no, then you do not understand that Revelation 12, 13 and 20 has not happened yet and only by studying God’s Word can we understand that God says Satan is still present to deceive people in EVERY nation. I just said that again didn’t I? Now, let me ask you do you still exist in the world today? I think if you are reading this Bible lesson you must say YES again. Therefore by God’s definition you have the potential to be deceived because the deceiver is still present here with you. Also notice something new that you have not connected yet to the subject. You see God teaches us in the New Testament that the church is a new “Holy Nation” of people (1 Peter 2:9). However that still makes everyone in the church a potential candidate for deception because we are clearly defined to be a nation. Now do you see why I emphasized Satan deceiving the nations? If Satan is the deceiver of the nations, then we in the church are still the potential victims of his deception by our association to God’s definition of a nation. The Bible is not that hard to see things if you can put them together correctly.
If you did not know it, the Bible declares that every Christian still has a spiritual enemy. The enemy of the church is named Satan. Technically Satan was God’s enemy before he was our enemy but I won’t go there today. Just understand that God’s enemies are now our enemies by covenant relationship. There is an old proverb that says the enemies of my enemies are my friends and conversely the friends of my enemies are also my enemies. Jesus taught us a similar variation of this proverb in Mark 9:40 saying “He that is not against us, is for us”. This Bible fact of the existence of a spiritual enemy is declared repeatedly in the Bible both directly and indirectly (James 4:4). We are first introduced to our enemy as a symbolic serpent in Genesis 3:1 and he continues through the Bible in many forms using many names, descriptions and titles all the way to the last mention in Revelation 20:10. Satan is described as a spiritual opponent that is arrayed against us trying desperately to defeat us. Many Christians have left me comments about Jesus’ outstanding victory over Satan (John 16:33, Col 2:15). They have concluded from these verses that Satan was completely defeated at Calvary thus Jesus rendered him to be a defeated insignificant or trivial factor going forward. However that is just not all of what the Bible says about Satan, the people on the earth including the church, Christians and their role with resisting Satan and many other statements of truth.
Jesus also taught us that Satan was the ruler of a kingdom (Mat 12:26). Jesus further taught us that Satan still had power (Luke 10:19). Understand that this stated kingdom of Satan was not the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, but a new separate dominion taken from man. We learn this fact by observing what Satan told Jesus during the 40 day temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:5-6). If you go read Luke 4 closely you will see Satan offering Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him. Satan told Jesus that these were given to him and since we are not told in the Bible that God gave them to Satan, they must have been taken from Adam. You see according to Genesis 1:26 Adam was given dominion over all the earth by God yet we see Satan claiming to have control of it in Luke. One of the first indirect mentions of this kingdom of Satan is also found in first book of the Bible in Genesis 1:16. On the fourth day of creation God sets the moon (the lesser light) to rule the night and the sun (the greater light) to rule the day. This verse was a highly prophetical statement using hidden symbolic information for the coming of the Son of God into the world. This verse predicts the coming of Jesus into the world on a precise timeline and reveals to us one reason why Jesus has come. The moon in this verse is symbolic of Satan, the Sun in this verse is symbolic of Jesus, the night is symbolic for the kingdom of darkness and the day is symbolic for the Kingdom of Light. Furthermore, the “4th day” of creation is also symbolic for the time of the coming. Jesus just so happens to come into the world after four days from Adam using God’s definition of a day from 2 Peter 3:8. If you do not understand the significance of this information I have a more complete teaching on the subject called “Understanding Night and Day”.
Jesus came personally into Satan’s kingdom of darkness being born of a virgin to bring us light (John 8:12). However this was not external light, but rather internal spiritual knowledge. God’s plan was never to take over Satan’s kingdom of darkness or even to take it back into the light or to establish a rule over it here on the earth; no the plan of God was more precisely to create a new pathway out of Satan’s kingdom for all of those in the dark world that would believe on Christ. The light of God’s day and this new kingdom of God would be formed internally in every believer. This way the light of God would be present in every believer but still separate from the darkness of this world that still remained in Satan’s control. God was in effect creating a new separate Kingdom of God that never existed before apart from Satan, his angels, his kingdom and He was offering all those on the earth the blessed opportunity to come out of their darkness to live in the light of God forever for free through His shed blood. That was a very quick overview of some new things that you have probably never heard taught before and I do not have time to explain them all fully today. However, go through the N.T. and see how many times this kingdom realm of darkness or night is mentioned and then observe the scriptures that say Christians are now in the light of God’s day. Let me give you a couple of the key verses that may help you to understand:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Jesus is being described as the one that has delivered us from the “power of darkness”. There are three basic things that you need to grasp immediately from this incredibly important verse. First, the kingdom of darkness still exists and has not been eliminated. Second, notice that this kingdom of darkness still has power. Then third, notice we that are saved are not in this dark kingdom anymore having been translated into the Kingdom of Light by Jesus. This verse clearly implies that those that are not saved are still in the kingdom of darkness where some spiritual force of power still rules over them. Clearly there is a distinction between two separate spiritual kingdoms of existence being stated in this verse. These two kingdoms must still exist concurrently or this verse is a lie. Clearly the kingdom of darkness still has great power and influence or no one in their right mind would still be in there right now. Also understand by implied inference if anyone has come out from this kingdom of darkness by their freewill choice of salvation, then by the definition of antithesis, they can also potentially return back to that darkness by another freewill choice. I pray you understood everything that I just said to you. It was all extremely important. Let me give you another great verse that contains vast knowledge about this kingdom and this enemy:
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Read this new metaphorical case closely, because God gives us another example of a spiritual contest between opponents with an implied winner and loser outcome. To wrestle an opponent is a paradigm process that is very similar to boxing or racing. In this verse in Ephesians you can see that just because Christians are not in the darkness this does not mean we are not still in a spiritual war of opposition with the darkness or the rulers of that kingdom. Who rules the darkness? Clearly this verse is another reference to Satan and his angelic followers as I mentioned earlier. Clearly from this information we can see that these spiritual individuals still exist along with their kingdom if we are currently wresting against them. There is absolutely no way that you can teach that Satan is a non-factor for any Christian today if you correctly balance these verses with the other verses that the exclusive U.E.S. Grace teachers want to focus on.
If defeated Satan had no more power or influence to do any harm to a saved Christian, then why are there so many warnings given to the church in the Bible to the contrary? A truly defeated enemy would have no such supremacy, weapons, ability or present any further risk, but an enemy that still has power and ability to do Christians harm must still be a major danger if we do not know how to counteract his plans and attacks. This spiritual war subject is not my main topic today and I have other lessons that you can go and read about how to be a victorious child of God. Just realize that God has given you the potential for victory by Jesus’ victorious actions and accomplishments but now it is your God given responsibility to enforce the victory and to become the overcomer like I introduced you to in the last lesson. Let’s change to a brand new subject called “Patterns”.
DIVINE GOD PATTERNS
If you learn anything from me today, please learn how God uses divine design patterns throughout the Bible to teach us. I’ve already described to you three direct patterns of process in today’s lesson. One was a race, one was a fight and one was a wrestling match. These were all recognizable patterns of contests with opponents, rules, a beginning effort, a struggle, endurance, and an anticipated end. Let’s get into what a pattern is using additional specific examples. How would we define a pattern? A pattern is normally a set of design templates and instructions used to prepare or to create a new copy of an existing original. The actual copy can be totally different in appearance while being completely similar in design, concepts and principles. That was of course my definition, but did you understand it? Using my 3 metaphorical examples of contests, they appear to be radically different types of games on the surface but yet they all share a set of design pattern concepts that make them joined together with many common similarities. That is exactly what pattern usage produces; copies of an original working model.
Let me give you an example of a natural pattern application on the earth. Patterns are used in sewing extensively and they allow the seamstress to turn out multiple new original creations that can be perceived to be similar to the original by observing the design pattern characteristics but not by necessarily observing the materials selected or the individual options being tailored or customized. There is just a general rule of life that it is always easier to copy a working original piece than it is to create something completely new. I learned this concept in programming computers. Working code reuse is always faster and more productive than new code creation. The creation of any original functional piece of work will always take significant trial and error to produce a great product. It took Edison literally hundreds and hundreds of attempts to create a light bulb that worked. But, now they can be copied very quickly and cheaply by the use of his patterned design. Have you ever asked yourself why Adam was made in the image and the likeness of God in Genesis 1:26? Do you understand that Adam was made from the direct pattern of God, his creator? God took a working design and repeated the process to make a man. This was a very significant example of the wisdom of God being displayed. When God made man, God knew that He was coming to the earth as a man so why not make the man from a pattern of Himself an already working viable component?
Understand that the reuse of any design pattern is just a small part of the complete creation process. Natural pattern usage only comes into play somewhere between the initial steps of conception, the design and before the full implementation. Almost every defined process and pattern can be viewed as interchangeable concepts to some extent. For example, any repetitive process producing a positive result can be viewed as a repetitive design pattern implementation and vice versa. I really try not to get too technical in my Bible studies to allow everyone the opportunity to understand the concepts. I try to leave out technical words and phrasing but I have been teaching you the subject of patterns and have had to introduce you to some new ideas to think about. So hang in there and learn what you can about patterns.
Let’s talk briefly about another earthly natural pattern. Any positive process is like making a cake. A cake could be created using great trial and error like Edison making a light bulb. However if the baker wants to forego the learning curve they can go and find an existing working recipe with the exact steps and ingredients used to create a great cake and in a short time they have a copy of one through the use of a known pattern. Therefore the original cook must have recorded or documented the set of specific ingredients and recipe preparation instructions that must be followed exactly in order to recreate the original design, texture, taste and quality. If you do it right the outcome is great and if you miss one ingredient or step then it will probably be a great failure.
So why am I talking about processes and design patterns, templates, sewing, light bulb and cake recipes so much? Patterns are what God used in the creation of our world to teach us about Him and spiritual things we cannot see. For example, the Bible teaches us that all of the hidden qualities of God are clearly seen in the things that He has made (Rom 1:20). This means that what we can observe on the earth around us was from a designed pattern of what already existed in heaven previously and these things reveal God to us. It is also why we need to learn about the concepts of patterns to see what will be coming soon in the future. What we soon realize is something that God teaches us in Ecclesiastes is very relevant to everything we can observe around us. God says “the things that have been are the things that shall be again” (Ecc 1:9). Ecclesiastes and Romans both explain to us that God uses divine design patterns to teach and to recreate the things we can observe. God took working spiritual realities and used their patterns to create our natural world. God then teaches us that these natural things will again be used as patterns for the new spiritual things that will occur again. Let me show you another verse about patterns in the Bible to help you better understand:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Here we have God describing to us that the things given to Moses on the earth were simply patterns for pre-existing unseen things already found and bound within heaven. In this verse, the original spiritual things created by God in heaven were clearly greater or more significant than the temporary natural things created by the hands of men on the earth. However these temporary natural things given to us by God on the earth also provide us a view into the existence of the spiritual things that we have never seen or experienced. You can clearly see that God gave Moses patterns to use for everything. These patterns will again be used in the design for the coming new heaven and the new earth. Patterns are so very important in the Bible that I should probably do a more complete series on the subject. For now try to understand the existence of patterns is a prevalent reality throughout the Bible. Using our knowledge of divine patterns, we can easily learn about many of the unseen spiritual things found within our past, our present and our future.
There are actually many different ways to name or title a Biblical pattern process using synonymous terms. Some call them similarities, similitudes, resemblances, likenesses, patterns, types or shadows and I even have labeled them by all of those descriptions in my past lessons. I believe that a natural type or a shadow from the Old Testament was usually given to us by God to help point us to a New Testament spiritual reality. For example, Jesus told the Jews to search their scriptures because in them they thought they had eternal life and then Jesus said these were just the words that testified of Him (John 5:39). But, yet you cannot find the direct mention of the name of Jesus, or the direct person of God in the flesh unswervingly mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures anywhere in obvious plain sight. Since I have studied the Bible for many years I can now see Him in almost every chapter, but that is not how I started. God’s use of patterns, similarities, types and shadows were just one of the wise methods of concealing Jesus in the characters and stories of others that are plainly revealed in the surface text. I pray that you are beginning to understand the concept of patterns and how they apply to our Bible study because that is exactly where we are going next in this discussion of U.E.S. Let’s begin to ask are there any patterns found in the Old Testament for U.E.S.?
ARE THERE ANY UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY PATTERNS?
If you examine the design pattern of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis 2 and 3 you should be able to find Jesus and the church. I will use the pattern of Adam and Eve to help establish and confirm the false reality of the Unconditional Eternal Security teaching. When God created Adam did God make him to be unconditionally and eternally secure? It is very obvious to me based upon the Word of God that Adam was never created perfect or secure since he sinned, failed and fell willingly into the disobedience of God’s Word. Whatever security that Adam thought he possessed, was suddenly completely lost. If Adam was created with “freewill” to sin, to make mistakes and even to depart from the perfect way and will of God, then how can you or anyone else possibly believe that a Christian now does not have the same pattern of choice? What about Adam’s wife Eve? Was Eve created so that it was impossible for her to be deceived? Again it is extremely obvious that the Bible says Eve was deceived (1 Tim 2:14). I am talking about patterns found within creation to see if there are any ways that are still possible for the church to fall away from the Grace of God. Were Adam and Eve created in the extreme Grace of God? I believe they were. They were created without sin, lacking nothing and placed in a near perfect world to live in. Could it have gotten any better than that? However in this great state of Grace, could they still make the wrong choices, of course they did. I hope you are using your brain today to see what I’m saying to you. How are we any different from Adam today in the church? If Adam could depart from Grace then you can depart from Grace!
Let’s back up before the creations of man and ask what about Lucifer’s status in heaven! Did God create the perfect archangel Lucifer with unconditional eternal security? According to Ezekiel 28:15 Lucifer was created in a perfect state yet sin was still found to be in him. Did this sin matter to God? If we observe his destiny in Revelation 20:10 you will understand that even perfect Lucifer is revealed to have no unconditional eternal security when he is cast into the lake of fire. Clearly perfection with no sin is not a statement for possessing security. Where exactly in the Bible can we find anyone with the pattern of Unconditional Eternal Security? Can you find me just one? I’m talking about someone other than the church that you just think is unconditionally eternally secure! If the church is eternally and unconditionally secure then there must be an existing pattern for this somewhere else in the Bible or it is not true for the church either. How can I say that? And why is this even important? It is simply critical because God tells us to establish every word of truth using at the least two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16). If we cannot find two witnesses that confirm unconditional eternal security as a divine pattern then the modern Bible teachers trying to teach us U.E.S. fail God’s requirement. Now do you understand the importance of patterns?
WHAT ABOUT JESUS?
I have searched the Old Testament and I could not find any man starting with Adam that possessed eternal security here on the earth. Adam never lost his freewill to depart from God’s ways or plan and this pattern repeats to every man born from Adam. If you can find me even one man in the O.T. that God said could not ever fail, then show me the verse. Ok, I’m about to blow your religious mind with a new question to think about. Was Jesus Christ born in the Old Testament? If you are an intelligent and observant Bible student, you already know that Jesus was born a man under the law of the Old Covenant (Gal 4:4). Now let me ask you this radical question was Jesus Christ unconditionally and eternally secure as a physical man? You see I believe that even Jesus possessed the freewill capability for failure, and many religious people will laugh and call me a heretic fool for that belief. However, if Jesus had no potential for failure or sin then God becomes a liar. The Bible says Jesus was tempted in every way just like we are but yet He was without sin (Heb 4:15). The only reason that Jesus was without sin was because He chose to be without the sin as a direct act of His freewill. You see if it was impossible for Jesus to sin, then He was never tempted like you or I. Are you tempted? Have you ever been tempted? Do you fail or have you ever failed? If say yes then you are potentially just like Jesus and Jesus was potentially just like you. Otherwise He would not be able to identify with our weaknesses or our plight. We clearly saw already reading in Luke 4 that Jesus was tempted, but he did not give into the temptations of Satan. This is where Jesus succeeded where Adam failed.
Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Jesus is revealed in the Bible to be the God that became a man exactly like you and I. This was a major paradox and stumbling block to why natural Israel did not accept Him. They knew the Bible says God is not a man (Num 23:19). However they made the major mistake of taking one isolated truth and then ignoring all the others that God is still powerful enough to become a man if He chooses by exercising His freewill. This is the danger of separating one verse and thinking that it is the entire truth. That is an extremely bad and dangerous approach to interpreting the Bible. Do you understand what I am trying to say? I am claiming that the God of creation who created everything has now become an intimate part of His creation and this changes everything. What God was not, God became by His design. Therefore, God as a man was no longer a perfect being incapable of failing or sinning. I did not say God failed or God sinned I just said He had the potential to do that or He was not exactly like us as the Bible has declared. You are going to have to make up your own minds on what you believe; I cannot do that for you. You read the Bible and do the research and the study and see if Jesus was incapable of failure and see if He possessed Unconditional Eternal Security and then notice that even Jesus died on the cross and I believe He went to hell for 3 days to pay for my sins so I would not have to go there. I don’t call that eternal security, do you? Let’s shift our focus and establish Adam as a defined pattern for Jesus and this may help us reaffirm that Jesus was not infallible while in the flesh.
THE HIDDEN PATTERN OF JESUS IN ADAM
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Why exactly, is Jesus called the “Last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45? I think that is a very great question. God by direct name association has just linked Jesus Christ to the first created man Adam. This is just a very tricky way of God saying my man Adam was a set design pattern for my Son Jesus to come. This is the beginning of the reality that if Adam could have sinned, then Jesus could have sinned but yet didn’t. However, notice that both Adam’s still died. So they obviously both did possess at least one direct equal characteristic and we will find there are many more if we look for them. I find this study of Adam and Jesus as repeated patterns fascinating. It has great potential for many overlapping truths. Let’s go for another witness to what I am teaching that Adam was a pattern for Jesus:
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Romans 5:14 emphasizes this pattern usage point again to us even more clearly. The Bible says that Adam was a created pattern of the man Jesus to come. We already observed in Genesis 1 where Adam was defined to be a pattern for the creator spiritual God originally, so this is just a further perpetuation of the same God pattern to the physical God. Look up the Greek word definitions and study these verses to understand what concepts are being revealed to you. The Greek word translated as “figure” means a die as struck. Do you understand what a die is? A die produces an exact image of the same print repeatedly. It is a modern copy and paste concept found in the computer design paradigm. The original printing press created by Gutenberg was a die concept for printing one page of the Bible over and over. We soon realize that God did a copy paste of the spiritual type of Himself into the natural form of Adam, which is then transferred as another copy and paste into the combined God man named Jesus. This verse in Romans clearly teaches us that we should be able to look at the man Adam in Genesis and see Jesus and this is exactly what Jesus said we would find if we searched the scriptures looking for Him. Moses wrote down God’s words about Adam, but God’s words were more about Jesus than Adam. The two Adam’s were simply patterns for each other. I believe God created the first Adam already knowing the second Adam was coming to save the day. This is exactly why God did what He did in Genesis 2 and 3 with the first man and his wife.
Let’s stop here briefly again and consider that if the first Adam had a wife does that reveal that the last Adam (Jesus) has a wife also as a defined part of the pattern? Most definitely He does. I have a much more complete Bible study on the subject called the “The Bride of Christ Revealed”. Therefore, I am not going to repeat any of that information in this lesson. If you do not understand the church position as the bride then please stop and study to find that truth and establish it in your heart because it is essential to our pattern discussion today about U.E.S. I will simply say the church is definitely the Bride of Christ and we are the ones that are united in eternal marriage covenant in Revelation 19. Where I am going is that if Adam’s wife was capable of being deceived then the Lamb’s wife is also capable of being deceived by direct pattern association. Pretty simple yet very difficult to find if you do not understand patterns.
THE ROLE OF SATAN AND DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH
In the Grace message of eternal security there is a belief that Satan has no further influence or power over a believer to cause them to ever depart from their salvation. The belief popularly states that Christians have been sealed with eternal security and thus Satan is no longer a factor to deceive them anymore. Let me stop there and say that if you currently believe that you can never be deceived then you are clearly already deceived into believing a lie from Satan. What exactly is deception? How can we define it as it relates to the church? I believe deception is believing in something that you think is true that actually is not true. It is like my picture on this paragraph of the fish caught with a decieving lure. The fish believed what he was eating was good food, but it turned out to be something deadly to him. That is exactly the definition of deception for a Christian also. Clearly no Christian in their right mid is intentionally caught seeking to find lies. I believe that every easily deceived Christian is just presented the lie either intentionally or unintentionally by other well meaning ignorant Christians and they look attractive so they end up swallowing them and are caught like the fish. Let’s take into account a scripture that has far reaching implications attached to it for our current subject discussion. You will notice that in this next verse that Jesus is speaking, thus we have God in the flesh stating something very important that we must need to know. Therefore, pay close attention to the words of my Lord and Savior:
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
We have to totally write this statement of Jesus off if we want to believe in unconditional eternal security after our salvation. In order to teach security we must conclude that we are smarter than Jesus and that Jesus did not know what He was talking about when He warned us about not being deceived. We either have to call Jesus a liar or we have to explain the verse as being non-applicable to people in the church today. If you read the context of the statement Jesus was asked by the disciples to teach them of the signs of His coming and the end of the age. Therefore the rest of the statements in this chapter are the answers of God in the flesh concerning the end of the age that we live in today. Who are the people that Jesus is speaking of to not become deceived if not us? Many people have tried to creatively explain it away as the Jews before salvation only, but they were not yet living in the last days so that makes no sense to me. Since we in the church who know the truth are the people now living in the last days before His soon return then I believe that Jesus was certainly speaking about us and to us as those that can be deceived. If we are these potential people that can be deceived, what are the consequences for being deceived? Are there any consequences for being deceived? There must be at least a possibility for us to lose our salvation from this warning from God or there would be no need for a warning from God to be given. Do you understand what I just said?
Why warn people not to be deceived if it is impossible for them to be deceived like the eternal security teachers try to teach us? It makes God look very stupid when you teach eternal security. Of course people can easily twist the scriptures to say this information in Matthew 24 does not apply to us because Jesus was only talking to His Jewish disciples. That is just so easy to do. Let’s just ignore the words of Jesus as being not for everyone, but only for a select few that heard them personally! We could do that type of reasoning with every verse in the Bible. Is that a smart way to interpret the Bible and the words of God? I really do not believe that is a valid approach to correct Bible interpretation. In interpreting every verse of the Bible we must always inspect the words that are spoken, observing the target audience they are directed to, while simultaneously finding the context of all of the subjects being discussed. First understand that these words in Matthew were spoken to more than just a few Jews. These select Jews that were hearing are defined directly to be our founding church fathers so they must apply to the rest of the church by direct association since we are now a part of the same body of Christ that they were included in. If you try to separate us from them, then we are a new body of Christ, a separate or different believer set from what they were and that really sounds like a scary belief to put your faith in. These words were spoken in the time context of future prophetical events and not current events, so they must also apply to us and the times that we live in right now. Finally, since these words spoken by Jesus do not state any target audience they must apply to everyone that reads them as a universal statement of truth. If you want to see the truth in the Bible you will see what I am saying is correct, if you do not want to see the truth, then nothing that I say will change your mind.
If Satan and his deception were no longer factors for our further continued salvation, there would be no need to mention Satan again in the New Testament after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Many modern Bible teachers like to teach the total defeat of Satan by Jesus at Calvary, however if that was actually true we would not see that Satan was so heavily involved in attacking heaven in Revelation 12 and trying to take over the earth in the other chapters of Revelation. The total defeat of Satan and the removal of his power is clearly not the reality of the text found in the Word of God. In fact Satan is mentioned more times in the New Testament than he ever was displayed plainly in the Old Testament. Why is Satan mentioned more frequently throughout the New Testament and especially in the book of Revelation than any other parts of the Bible? There hast to be a reason for this! I personally believe we find Satan in the New Testament to learn of his ways and his future plans so we are not found to be unaware. I believe that Satan is much more than a non-factor on the earth in the church age and that he is clearly revealed to be the direct enemy and opposing spiritual force to the church. His power and influence over the people on the earth are still quite evident and great. His power to deceive people including even Christians is still as great now as it always has been. This power of deception must be applicable for Christians or we would never find any verses in the Bible like these written to the church:
1Co 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
These are all commandments of instruction from our God written to the church and each of them contains direct delegated responsibility for believers not to be deceived. Do any of the verses tell you that God will not ever allow you to be deceived? I do not believe God would warn you if it was His responsibility to save you from it. These warnings were not written to unsaved people. Do you see what these verses say to you over and over? What is the central theme for every verse? Every verse contains a cautionary statement from God that says “Do not be deceived”. If the church could never be deceived to lose their salvation from this deception then these verses become pointless and irrelevant commandments and should be viewed as only misplaced suggestions. To believe in eternal security we must ignore these verses or conclude these verses to be non-applicable to us. Either approach is failure to adhere to the truth which always results in a Christian being deceived. These are not lies from God and we must see them to be clear notices to us Christians. I did not go through the entire New Testament and give you every verse that I could have. I only provided 6 or 7 verses to offer you more than enough witnesses to the truth that the church can still be deceived after initial salvation by many different methods. If you cannot see this fact then you are in denial. I will end this lesson with an example of deception that occurred in the N.T. church:
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Peter is writing some very important words to the church about certain former saved church members. The wording in these verses is very significant if you do the research and study. God is speaking concerning certain people that “knew” righteousness. Jesus of course is our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30) and He is even called the “Sun of Righteousness” in Malachi 4:2. The term to “know” righteous is a sexual Hebrew description of the relationship that exists between a husband and his wife. The people in the church are in covenant relationship with Jesus the bridegroom making them His bride. God is saying these people were once an intimate part of my wife that I knew and they have departed from me. God clearly says it would be better for them to either stay or to have never been married to him than to leave their salvation to fall back into the darkness. Why is that? It is because they will remember for an eternity their mistake that they made and only they will fully understand what they missed while they are in hell. Lucifer is going to understand this better than anyone. He experienced the goodness of God more than anyone in the church and while he is in hell for and eternity he will constantly be tormented for his mistakes. These are patterns that teach us we do not have unconditional eternal security.
God calls the people who leave their salvation pigs and dogs. Just as dogs return to their own vomit and the pigs to the mire this is the same result that Christians experience when they return to their previous filth and love it. Clearly this is an example of deception being victorious over those that were saved. Clearly these Christians did not heed the repeated warnings from God not to be deceived and are now suffering the consequences. These are words that were written to you. Are you receiving them? I could give you several more examples of this in the Bible, but I really have gone too long in this lesson.
THE FALSE SECURITY OF THE UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY DOCTRINE
I have systematically covered several subjects in today’s lesson connecting them together to help establish the fact that a Christian can be deceived. We started with the concept that we have an enemy. This enemy is described to be Satan the deceiver. A deceiver is simply labeled that because he deceives people. This is really not that complicated. Sure the unsaved people in the world today are clearly deceived, but they don’t read the Bible and these words of warning not to be deceived were not written to them. Therefore, the use of this weapon of deception by Satan is still actively targeted at the people in the church to take them from the church and the truth. Based upon this information alone the doctrine of unconditional eternal security is revealed to be a major false teaching that should be recognized as another way that is designed to deceive you. Do you understand the danger of the U.E.S. teaching? U.E.S. promotes a false sense of security that we have to do nothing to stay saved or to keep from being deceived. It allows Christians to let in whatever they come across without the fear of any consequences. Fear is not always a negative emotion to avoid. God created real fear for you to learn how to avoid something that is not necessarily positive or beneficial for you. If you do not fear gravity and jump off a tall building you will soon be dead. I am really not talking about fearing the devil as in being terrified of his power. The Bible clearly teaches the fact that the Greater One is in us. However, that does not mean that you do not respect his ability like you should respect the power of gravity. These are just basic Christian life lessons to help you understand that you have an enemy and this enemy is not your friend, he has powers and abilities, and he is trying to take you out and down.
Finally, I talked a lot about Bible patterns. This is a very important Bible study concept repeated in practically every chapter of the Bible in some form. Fully grasp this concept and it will change your Bible study habits. Look for confirming patterns of truth in the Bible. For example, I showed you scriptures that teach us that Adam was a pattern of Jesus. This was technically so radical that I could not fully teach everything on that one subject because it could turn into a series of lessons by itself. However I gave you enough information that should help you to learn about Jesus from the pattern of Adam. See what Adam had or was given by God before the fall and this will be a pictured view into what Jesus will end up with minus the evil, the sin and the rebellion. Adam had one wife and Jesus will end with only one wife. Very simple yet profound truths.
The pure existence of human freewill dictates that we view every one of God’s covenants with conditional application. In other words if we choose to remain in the covenant we are good, but if we choose to leave it then we are screwed. What I am saying is if God comes and makes a covenant with you, God is not the problem, you are. You can become your own worst enemy when you believe a lie. Just as natural Israel departed continuously from God’s covenant as a pattern for the church, the church also has that same opportunity to fall away. If the recipient of God’s Grace satisfies the stated requirements and conditions they remain in the relationship with God’s Grace. If they choose to disobey willfully and depart from God’s extended gift of saving Grace then they are lost without a chance for absolution. Learn today that what you do going forward, matters tremendously. Learn to have respect for your enemy and stay deep in the Word of God so that you are not deceived by him. Your salvation is not completely up to God. Sure He will be there for you and help you and will never leave you or forsake you. But, your continued salvation is more up to you than anyone else so that you do not get deceived and decide to leave God or forsake Him. You have a major role in the ongoing process of your salvation to remain faithful, to endure and to overcome. Thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible. If you have questions or comments feel free to leave them. God Bless as we continue to learn to grow in His Grace.
Once Saved Always Saved and Eternal Security Versus Man’s Responsibility! Part 4
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 4 in the series of basic Bible lessons about an old religious philosophy labeled as “Once Saved Always Saved” theology. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go start reading with “Part 1“. The “Once Saved Always Saved” teaching has been in existence for well over 60 years so it is not a new Bible teaching. However, this old religious philosophy has recently been transformed into a more modern Grace extreme theological message called Eternal Security or Unconditional Security or even Unconditional Eternal Security. This has become a very popular message found on the internet and it is taught in many churches today. Christians buy into the message simply because it proclaims a universally safe no fail no fault approach to being a Christian. It makes being a Christian so ultra-simple. However, the message of Unconditional Eternal Security (U.E.S.) completely ignores the fact that there are any spiritual enemies still left in the world that are now trying to deceive or defeat us. The message of U.E.S. has total disregard for the fact that God gave to everyman freewill to choose to depart from their salvation at any time. It ignores any further Christian responsibility to remain a Christian or to live a holy Godly lifestyle. This teaching lumps every type of sin into a common category of all-inclusive forgiveness and makes them all irrelevant, inconsequential and removed from the equation of either the initial salvation process or the continued salvation process. In fact it technically denies there are any processes defined to salvation at all. They claim that by the removal of their sins by the shed blood of Jesus that God now provides us each with eternal security without any further attached conditions. These types of Christian believers think they have no further accountability thus denying the existence of any future judgments from God. They further deny human responsibility to do anything to remain saved. In other words in their minds their salvation was a onetime decision point event on the timeline of their life on this earth and that this one event has now guaranteed them eternal security with God forever. Since they have already accepted Jesus they assume that there are no further decisions to make, no more scriptures to learn, no need to hear from God, no need to listen to God, no need to be taught by God, no need to be led by the Spirit of God, no need to grow up spiritually and I could go on and on. All of this human reasoning allows them to live independent from anything else that God has declared in His Word on any subject. To me that logic does not make any sense and to base my eternal security upon anything so obviously shaky would really scare me.
I still run into this popular belief more frequently than I would like. This modern teaching of Unconditional Eternal Security is just a new type of the older extreme Grace message called “Once Saved Always Saved”. These teachings have departed from a balanced truth approach to Bible interpretation moving into the false realm of extremism simply by leaving out the other subjects that they do not agree with. These Bible teachers take only specific scriptures of truth found in the Bible that they like to see to base their message explaining away all the other verses of a conflicting nature. But, the problem remains that there will always be more than one or even two truths found in the entire Bible and we are required by God to take into account all of the stated truths given to us in the Bible so that we can know that we are preaching what God actually thinks of the subject of eternal security. Rather than give you all of the verses that these Grace preachers so love to exclusively teach on, I am simply focusing on in this series, what else the Bible says about subject of eternal security so we can see that God says there is more to being a Christian than just us getting saved once in our lives. I’m going to start today’s lesson talking about a subject called Christian Responsibility.
GOD’S DELEGATED CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY AFTER SALVATION
Unconditional eternal security is a belief that is based upon the irrelevance of man’s future actions. U.E.S. believes what a man does is independent from the process of their continued salvation. This type of belief removes the obvious freewill participation of the man from any further relevance. It also is a belief that proclaims that a man has no given responsibilities from God to do anything. Maybe we need to stop here and define the word “responsibility” to give us an equal foundation. How you view the definition of responsibility might be completely different to what I see it to be. Here is a definition that I found easily on the internet:
- The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something.
- The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
- the ability or authority to act or decide on one’s own, without supervision
Here are three dictionary definitions for the word responsibility. I agree with every one of them and I understand them. But, do you understand them? On Facebook recently one of my friends posted a sign on their wall about something that I really liked. So I took the sign and put it on my wall and here is what it said. It said “I’m only responsible for what I say; I’m not responsible for what you understand”. Did you notice the word “responsible in that sign message twice? That is exactly what I am discussing here today. That saying from Facebook shows us I have a responsibility for what I say and you have a responsibility for what you hear. According to the Bible, God will hold me personally responsible for what I say when I teach, so I’m very careful what I teach. However, you are now also responsible to learn, but not to just learn what I said but more importantly to understand what I was saying. Any parrot can be taught to say anything repetitively, but the bird will never understand the words that he speaks. Don’t be a parrot type of Christian; learn to understand what is being taught and this will cause the knowledge to never be taken away from you.
Using the definitions of the word “responsibility” can you think of anything in the New Testament that God has spoken to you that reveals you as having any responsibility? Look at the first definition. It says you have to deal with something as a duty or a job. Has God left anything here on the earth for you to deal with? You bet He has! The second definition states that you will have accountability for having done something or take the blame for having failed to do something. Is that applicable for any Christian going forward? If you do not understand the coming judgment of God then you do not yet understand your God given responsibility and your accountability for doing it. Number three is also important to see. It states there was given some task assignment along with the authority to accomplish that job. How does that apply to us as a Christian, let me show you:
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Here is delegated authority given to the church from Jesus personally. The key word in this verse is the first Greek word translated as “power’. This word is mistranslated and should have been translated as the English word “authority”. This Greek word G1849 means “delegated influence”. Real authority can only be transferred or given to anyone by a higher authority. Since God is the highest authority this means He has the right to give us some of His authority. Anytime anyone gives away part of their authority they have now delegated their responsibility to them from which they will be now held accountable. For example, every police officer of a city is held accountable to uphold the laws fairly for that city. Therefore the police officer has been given direct responsibilities from a higher authority. If they fail to uphold the laws of the city then they will face the consequences for their failure. This is the exact same concept being transferred to us by God in the verse in Luke 10:19. You have been given responsibilities by God the highest authority and you will be held accountable for not doing them. In other words Christians have been given specific gifts, talents, tasks and assignments and these are not optional, but rather our God given responsibility to fulfill or they will not get done. Let’s talk about some more of our Christian responsibilities:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Let’s begin our thought process on responsibility by considering how we got saved. Did we have any responsibility in the entire process of our initial salvation? We should know that we began the process by hearing someone preach about Jesus. We continued the salvation process by believing what we heard about Jesus or we ended the process by not believing and then walking away from Jesus’ salvation offer. However if we choose to believe what was being preached the process continues. For example we believed that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He died for our sins and that He was raised from the dead and we conintue on the path to being saved. Next, we must confess Jesus as our Lord and according to Romans 10:9-10 and God says we are now saved! So how did we just get saved? It was a process! In this process of initial salvation there are three realms of delegated responsibility that must be present and working together. First the preacher was given the responsibility by God to preach the Gospel to us or we will not hear it. Second the unsaved person was given the responsibility to hear, believe and confess or they will not begin to be saved. Finally, the Holy Spirit has the responsibility to confirm the Word of God spoken by drawing the unsaved individual to God and then to come into the spirit of the unsaved person after they have heard, believed and confessed. Clearly “initial salvation” is a multi-step and a multi-responsibility process. Any one party could fail in the process and there would be no salvation. Of course God will never fail you, so that is not the weak point or the weak link in the process. However, the human factors that are participating can always fail. Humans will always be the weak link in the initial salvation process.
I firmly believe that we must determine how we were saved in order to determine how we will remain in the state of our salvation. In other words what got us into God’s grace will continue to be exactly what keeps you there. If initial salvation and continued salvation are both mutually exclusive from each other that would represent a new scriptural inconsistency. Ephesians 2:8 states that we are saved by Grace through faith. Therefore salvation was conditional upon us believing in the finished work of Jesus with our faith. Then in Romans 10:9-10 God says we must not only believe that God raised Jesus from the dead but we also must confess Jesus to be our Lord. If we are required to do something like believe and to confess in order to be saved then that makes our initial salvation clearly conditional upon our faithful obedience. If our initial salvation is conditional upon our obedience then by direct association our continued salvation must also be conditional upon our continued obedience or God would be very inconsistent. Do you understand my logic so far? Ephesians 2:8 told us that our faith was a factor for our salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says we must continue to walk by our faith and not by sight after becoming a Christian. Therefore faith is still an ongoing factor for being a Christian. If continued salvation is only the responsibility of God like U.E.S. teaches, then initial salvation must also have been the full responsibility of God and that is clearly not the truth given to us in the Word of God.
The belief of unconditional eternal security after conditional salvation replaces the concept of any further human responsibility for continued salvation and places the full responsibility solely upon God. However God was clearly not the only factor for our initial salvation, so God just cannot be the only factor for our eternal security. If God was the only factor involved in our initial salvation then everyone would be saved today since 2 Peter 3:9 says God is not willing that any should perish. That however is another clear erroneous doctrine of many Bible teachers that want to believe in the invented concept called “Universal Salvation”. However when we study the Bible correctly we must balance more than one truth and see that just because God’s will is for everyone to be saved, that does not mean that everyone is saved. Clearly even Jesus taught us that people will be in hell with the story of the rich man in Luke 16. Clearly Jesus taught us that there will come a division between the sheep on the right hand from the goats on the left hand (Mat 25:32) and those not in His sheepfold will be lost and cast into the fire (Mat 13:40).
From my understanding and belief in a conditional salvation which is dependent upon my faithful obedience, participation and full acceptance causes me to believe in a conditional eternal security also based upon my further obedience, participation and acceptance. Otherwise we would all be saved by our willing participation but now kept safe independent from our participation by divine sovereign control. That type of belief would be completely illogical to me and very inconsistent with what I have observed in the scriptures. If man has no further responsibilities after his initial salvation then God has taken something away from him that he had before he was saved. If this is now missing from man, how can we claim we ever had it to begin with? Let’s examine the subject of continued Christian responsibility after salvation observing a basic truth taught to us in Romans:
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
We need to begin to understand that we have been given the responsibility as a Christian to remain a Christian. In order to do this we must begin to find our responsibilities given to us by God. Here in this verse God says my children are ONLY those that are led by my Spirit. Is that you? Did you know that this being led by the Spirit of God was a conditional requirement for your continued salvation? This verse was written to Christians and not to unsaved people. Did you hear what I just said? People sometimes simply don’t want to go to hell so they will get saved thinking that is all that is required to keep them from hell, but that is clearly not what God teaches us in His full balanced Word. This verse in Romans displays two separate divisions of people. The two divisions are those that are led by God and those that are not led by God. We can restate this truth by saying it includes those that are His children and those that are not His children. Therefore getting saved and not being led by the Spirit of God defines to us a new state of potential loss. Do you see how conditional your salvation can suddenly become? Today very few Christians understand this concept of even how to be led by the Spirit of God much less to be able to hear and obey Him. But, suddenly in the Grace unconditional eternal salvation message this being led by the Spirit of God to be His child becomes a non-issue. I don’t see it that way. God clearly places responsibility upon Christina to be led. If you do not know how to be led by the Spirit of God I have a Bible series of lesson on this subject “Understanding How to Be Led by the Spirit of God”. Let’s go examine some words spoken by Jesus on the subject of responsibility:
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus said I will look at some and say to them “depart from me for I never knew you” and these were clearly people that thought they were saved and were even calling Jesus their Lord and thought they were doing many righteous good things that we see people in many churches do today. Do you understand that? I mean use your brain and think with me for a moment. Jesus is not talking to people who were in the bars, the night clubs and the strip joints of the world. God certainly does not know those types of people, no Jesus was talking to people who thought they were doing good things for God and they did not understand they needed to be led by the Spirit of God in what they did. In other words what they did for God they did independent from God and thus they failed to qualify for their continued salvation. In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus was not talking about people or to people that never got saved! These are clearly people who got saved but went no further with their continuing salvation process to learn how to be led by God to become His child. Let’s look at the following verses in the context of those that Jesus was speaking to saying depart from me to find why they are being instructed to leave:
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Read these verses very carefully for they are talking about two types of saved Christians again. These two types of Christians are being compared and separated from each other in these verses. You can try to explain them away as being saved people versus unsaved people but that is not what is being stated. Both types of people had houses built and both heard the same Word of God. These are two types of Christians. First there are those that heard the Word of God and do what they heard and then second there are those that heard the Word of God but ignored what they heard. Both of these people had to sit in the same church services to hear the same word of God being taught. The wise man in this description is stated to be the doer of the word of God and the foolish man is he that is destroyed because he chose to only hear. If you cannot see the stated Christian responsibility given to you in these verses, of Romans 8:14 and Matthew 7:24-27 to become a doer and a follower of what God has said to you by His Word and His Spirit then you are deceived greatly. God has placed conditions upon your continued Christianity and your continued salvation. I could give you many other scriptural salvation conditions but I’m only going to end this lesson with some verses written directly to the church in Revelation spoken to us by the Lord Jesus:
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
I just gave you seven verses from Revelation chapters 2 and 3 written to the church telling us that we must “overcome” something or someone in order to receive something else from God. What does that teach us? Any time that God promises you something and then tells you what you must do to qualify for it that changes the promise of God to a conditional requirement that is based upon your successful participation. Let’s get the definition for this word translated as the English word “overcome” in order to understand what it means. Here is the definition from the Strong’s:
From G3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively): – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.
Do you understand what subdue means? It means you have an enemy opposed to you. Do you understand what conquer means? It means you have a responsibility to win. Do you understand what “prevail” means? It means you can fail if you do not learn what you are doing. To be defeated as a Christian is as simple as you doing nothing. You are guaranteed failure for your lack of participation. The easiest way for any evil to prevail, is for good people to do nothing to prevent it. Do you know what “get the victory” means? It means God expects you to be a winner. To “overcome” clearly denotes responsibility to be victorious over your enemy and you will be held accountable if you do not do this.
What exactly is there left for us in the church to overcome if Christ has overcome it all already? I think that is a very excellent question that is being ignored by Christian Grace teachers of unconditional eternal security. Clearly we have just been given a major conflict with the belief for unconditional eternal security for all the church if we have anything left to overcome in order to qualify. God tells us repeatedly in these verses that we are to overcome in order to qualify for the participation of any further gifts. This is clearly God’s delegated responsibility that makes God’s gifts conditional. Several of these verses make it sound like even our salvation depends upon us being an overcomer. Read them closely for yourself. For example Revelation 2:7 says if you we overcome we get to eat from the tree of life. What would be the opposite of that truth? Would that be to eat form the tree of death if you don’t overcome? Uh oh? That is a potential problem isn’t it? Read Revelation 3:12 and see what God says to those that overcome He will give His name meaning to those that do not overcome He will not. Then understand that one name that is given to these overcomers is the name of the New Jerusalem and this is identified to be His bride in Revelation 21. Clearly if you do not overcome you are not His bride. If we don’t overcome, then Jesus implies we cannot eat from the tree that gives us life, we cannot be His bride, and we cannot have His name. This is really not that complicated, but it is an unexpected problem for those that believe in U.E.S.
Clearly to me our continued salvation and eternal security is not independent from our future decisions or actions. To me it is very self-evident that our continued salvation is totally dependent upon our continued faithful participation and obedience to God’s Word and His Spirit for the rest of the process of our salvation to make us overcomers. These truths that God gives us in the Bible make the reality of eternal security to be a completely conditional divine proposition. I only gave you a few great examples of continued Delegated Christian Responsibility after salvation. I could give you many others, but I believe I made my point and will move on to another topic that you need to understand in the next lesson in this series that I call the Deception Factor. Therefore, thanks for your time in studying the Bible today and I pray that you learned something that will be a blessing to you. Until next time if you feel like leaving me a comment, please do that. If you want to find me on Facebook and be my friend you are welcome to do that also. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading and studying in this series, you may continue to “Part 5“.