This was at Radio Liberty, and hopefully will be again: http://www.radioliberty.com/withoutrevival.htm. I’m posting it here so the work won’t be lost.
WITHOUT REVIVAL THE PEOPLE PERISH
Why the Present Church Doctrine
Makes Revival Unlikely
Richard H. Strand, Ed.D.
WITHOUT REVIVAL THE PEOPLE PERISH
Why the Present Church Doctrine Makes Revival Unlikely
THE NEED FOR REVIVAL AND ITS DIFFICULTY
Dr. Stanley Monteith, host of many radio and internet hours on Radio Liberty.com, usually ends his program by asking the audience to pray for revival and for his ministry. He has stated that the only hope for saving America from destruction in the near future would be by revival. I think God will let Satan destroy America unless we can get back on God’s side in Satan’s war with Him. Many individuals need to revive spiritually but are unaware of it because many of today’s Protestant pastors do not teach congregations that they need to stop sinning. For the last fifty years in America that idea has simply been ignored – which is a way of covering up the need for it. For that reason the revival that is necessary to save America is very unlikely; it will require a lot of help from God and a lot of prayer from us because God will not help us unless we ask for it.
There are many deceptions that are keeping revival from occurring. The western world has been brainwashed and blinded to the need for revival. This is occurring in churches and in all the other major organizations that are in control of what people think and supposedly “know.” We are all living in an illusion created for us by the enemies of God.
Are those enemies affecting what the church teaches? “Dr. Stan” also repeatedly mentions that the message and the music of the church have been changed in the twentieth century – and it is not for the better. The purpose of the treatise you are reading is to explain in considerable detail how and why the message has been changed.
Before God ends the history of the earth his enemies plan to destroy the American civilization we have known. The destruction of the earth in “the day of the Lord” will be by God’s unilateral action; but the destruction of America is being implemented by deliberate actions of men who are led by the serpent who deceived Adam and Eve. God is allowing Satan to rule over us until or unless his “born-again” believers start following Him instead of the devil. As God says, they need to “humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)
THE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH
The reader should patiently bear with this complex exposé of how and why we are being told things which are not true. Unless we understand how and why that is happening we will not know who our enemies are and what we must fight against to be on God’s side. And unless I can tell you the truths of the Gospel that are being concealed or covered-up by the brainwashing we have all received we will remain blind to the deceptions and continue on in the illusion to our doom.
For 50 years churches have avoided teaching about the consummate importance of living righteously and what will happen to Christians who fail to do so. Christians used to be told they could go to hell if they sinned, but not anymore. One of the church’s reasons for not doing that today is that it is being too “negative” about the gospel and using “scare” tactics instead of preaching only about God’s love for sinners. So they throw out the baby with the bath water. But there are several other reasons also, which we shall see.
The Apostle Paul’s writings contrast drastically with the doctrine most Protestant churches proclaim today that has been created mainly by using some of his statements. A mass revival will be impossible in America unless churches again teach the basic truths that have been omitted and concealed in the last two generations. The most essential truth is that believers who willfully, deliberately continue to sin against God and his commandments will not go to heaven; they will end in that “negative” destination that no one wants to talk or hear about.
BELIEVERS CAN GO TO HELL IF THEY CONTINUE TO SIN
BUT THE CHURCH DENIES IT
Believers can still go to hell for continuing to sin. Although the penalty for sin is death, we should realize that it means both physical death and hell. The term “the second death” is a euphemism for hell, because it really means eternal life in hell instead of heaven.
There are innumerable warnings about hell in the Bible which are not being taught to us anymore. There are four passages especially that hit the target directly. Hebrews 10:23-39 is the most frightening and direct about what will happen to Christians who keep sinning because they do not think they can stop or have given up trying. But three other very direct and compelling warnings that can be seen easily are in Galatians 5:19-21, First Corinthians 6:7-20, and Second Thes. 1:7-12. It would be well worth your time to study those three yourself and realize what Paul is saying to Christians today. We will study the Hebrews passage together.
The chapters containing all those verses were written to believers who should have stopped sinning but did not seem to care. Today they do not care because pastors tell them that no one is perfect and we will all sin after we are saved but will not be punished for it by going to hell any more.
The intense and passionate passage by Paul to his Hebrew converts (Hebrews 10:23-39) warns believers they will go to hell if they sin willfully after they have received knowledge of the truth. Some of his scary statements say there is “no more sacrifice for sins…” and “The lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living god.” Jonathan Edwards probably got the idea for the theme and title of his most famous and effective revival sermon from that last statement.
The four references named above and the numerous implied warnings that accompany almost any reference to sin, disobedience, not obeying or not keeping the commandments are omitted, skipped over, or glossed over by pastors today. That is the reason pastors have almost completely stopped talking about sin, except as something for which believers have been forgiven!
How could the fact that believers will go to hell for sinning be denied and all the verses that disagree be ignored even though hell is taught throughout the whole Bible as the penalty for sin? God certainly would not change his mind about it just for our generations, but the church says he did. People believe their churches and the doctrine sounds wonderful so they do not see the Biblical discrepancies. They have been indoctrinated. They do not even want to read and try to understand anything that disagrees with what they have “learned” and therefore “know” is true. This has happened to pastors as well as their congregations. They have been taught this new doctrine along with a few verses that seem to validate it but are cited out of their context or simply misinterpreted.
This paper presents the truths that are being systematically hidden by “the church.” It is interesting to note that most of the pastors are sincerely unaware that they are hiding anything or that they are lying to their congregations. When I give a pastor any quotation that he omits from his sermons because it disagrees with his church doctrine he tries to rationalize it away if he can. But he cannot do that very often so he reacts by simply telling me that my conclusion about it is wrong. He will never admit that he cannot tell me how those words of the Bible could be wrong and could be interpreted to agree with his doctrine. He simply cites or recites the quotations his church or denomination uses to explain the conclusion their doctrine has made about the subject, but he will not even discuss the contradictory quotation I have shown him.
In other words, a pastor simply ignores the quotations I give him, but he still thinks he is sincere and is telling the truth. That is how Satan controls what people think. He makes them think they are correct and are telling the truth when they are actually lying without knowing it. They have not created the lies they are telling; they are simply believing and then repeating the lies that the devil invented. They are sincerely wrong but they “know” they are right. Like Satan himself, they appear as angels of light instead of darkness.
BELIEVERS CAN LOSE THEIR SALVATION
BY WILLFULLY KEEPING EVEN ONE SIN
The four passages listed above say that we must obey Christ’s gospel – not simply believe it. God does not want, or expect, or allow us to commit even one sin after we are saved, but Christ will forgive us for any and every sin that we do if we are born-again believers and we are trying to get free from every sin that we know we are committing. If we are truly born-again believers Christ knows we really want to get rid of the sin and are trying hard to not commit even a single one against him. But if that is not true of us and we are only playing church, he will not forgive us. Christians need to know that!
It is important that you see the whole controversial passage in Hebrews 10 so you will not be misled by dissimulating churchmen who tell you Paul is only talking about evil people who are committing the unpardonable sin that some describe as despising Christ, resisting the Spirit, and renouncing the gospel stubbornly and vindictively.
Here is the entire Hebrews 10:23-39, with the verses in superscript. The verses we need to understand most are underlined and cannot be rationalized away or applied to others.
23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26for IF WE SIN WILLFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth. here remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him that hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the lord shall judge HIS PEOPLE. 31it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living god. 32But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36FOR YE HAVE NEED OF PATIENCE, that, after ye have done the will of god, ye might receive the promise. 37For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Do you see evidence of any wicked people in the group Paul was talking to in that text? An honest answer would have to be NO. There is no possible clue there that would indicate it. Paul is not talking to evil, vindictive people but only to his fellow believers; and he even includes himself when he starts with “If we sin willfully…” So the argument some churches use to apply this text to people other than ordinary believers is ridiculous.
The truth is that a “willful sin” can be any sin, single or multiple, that is done deliberately against the Holy Spirit and the person intends to keep doing it instead of stopping it. He may even keep confessing it, hoping that Christ will forgive him, but he has for some reason lost interest in continuing to resist or fight against it. If he does continue it and never in earnest fights to try to stop it again, he will be condemned as the passage says.
This is a complex passage to understand. That is why it so easily confuses people. The following are two parts of its own context to show what Paul had in mind about his fellow believers or future believers who might commit willful sin:
Verse 26. If we sin willfully … here remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. That means that Paul is thinking of believers who have been confessing one or more sins but if they have not succeeded in stopping one of them they might finally give up trying to stop it, which means they could keep committing it until they die or the Lord returns. They would be doing it deliberately, willfully because they know better (they have knowledge of the truth) but stop trying to fight it. Therefore their confession after they stopped trying to conquer their sin would not be accepted by Christ. He would not forgive them. Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross would not apply to them any more.
Verse 36. For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of god, ye might receive the promise. To have need of patience in trying to do the will of God says you should continue battling Satan and not lose your confidence in your ability to get rid of your sins. You then are doing the will of God even if you do not succeed immediately in resisting some temptation, and you will be rewarded by heaven as God promises. Incidentally, this is an example of Paul using heaven as the reward for doing the will of God. It is not wrong to work to be rewarded by heaven. That is what all the apostles did.
I told you it was a difficult passage to understand. That is what makes it Satan’s trump card. To make it as simple as possible, WE MUST TRY TO STOP ALL OUR SINS. If a person does not want to get rid of a sin badly enough to stop it or keep trying to stop it he is sinning “willfully” and he will not be forgiven for it even if he keeps confessing it all his life. The reason for that is that if he confesses it while he continues to enjoy the pleasure of it his confession is not sincere. Confession is only meaningful if the person knows he is doing something wrong and keeps trying to stop it for the Lord. In other words, he feels remorse and is repenting, turning away from it. Why would Christ forgive people for doing something that they do not repent of and are not trying to stop? That would be forcing his way upon people.
Since Paul describes a willful sin as unforgivable I believe it is what tradition calls “the unforgivable sin.” Theologians have varying descriptions, some needlessly complicated. Here are the words of Jesus that I believe apply to it: “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:32) In several other places the Bible includes works and life style in the terms “communication” or “words.” I believe that is the case here. Sinning willfully without repentance is a word or a work against the Holy Spirit that shall not be forgiven.
The church doctrine says everyone will sin until they die and also that all their present and future sins are forgiven – which are untrue statements. They are hurting congregations tragically. They are convincing them that they do not need to try to stop every sin. So thousands and possibly millions are probably committing the unforgivable sin of not trying to stop a sin which the Holy Spirit tells them to stop but they prefer to continue it! Satan certainly must love what he has been able to do to the church!
To obey Christ and keep obeying Him is an absolute requirement. We must obey the Holy Spirit’s quiet voice reminding us of Jesus’ teachings. God expects his children to live righteously after believing in Christ and being forgiven for all the sins they are trying to stop. He does not expect them to keep sinning – but most of our churches do. They have chosen to teach only “positive” things, many of which are lies, that they think support the false doctrine they have been taught; so they are actually preventing many members from doing the things they must do to be saved from hell!
If we break one of the commandments of God (even if we do not do it “willfully”) we are still guilty of all, and we are condemned for it even before we confess it; but if we confess that sin and in our hearts promise God we are still trying to keep all his commandments instead of breaking any of them, Christ will forgive us. But he will not forgive us if we are not trying to stop whatever sin we know we have. We do not remember or have never been told we can use the free gift of his righteousness and divine power to get rid of our sins.
The Bible gives clear direction that we are not allowed to keep any sins in our life or we will not go to heaven. That should make us want to keep fighting against sin instead of committing the unforgivable sin of deliberately ignoring our sin and thus quenching or grieving the Holy Spirit and never really repenting about it.
THE GREAT PERSONAL AND NATIONAL DANGER OF THE
OCCULT MOVEMENT INTO THE NEW WORLD ORDER
Because God was pushed off his throne in America by government, by the sins of the people and by the apathy of the church which would not fight against the Supreme Court’s antichristian agenda or theologians and seminaries that were changing the Gospel message, God will probably allow America to be destroyed. Our enemies can use whatever means they have, such as nuclear shoulder-firing missiles that are here ready to wreak havoc on cities or to shoot down jet airliners. One plan is to wait patiently for the right time and then hit seven major cities on the same day. Our intelligence agencies and those around the world know of that plan. We also have given our nuclear technology and financial aid to build factories and munitions against us by Communist countries that we pretend are not our enemies. Our leaders are doing everything to build up our enemies and incite an attack without personally getting tried for treason. They probably even know the names of many of the terrorists who are here – probably even the ones with missiles – like they knew all those who hit The Twin Towers with jet planes on 9-11. They announced them to us two days after the attack!
The behind-the-scenes elite rulers of our country and some of our most distinguished puppet leaders are committed to put America under a New World Order dictatorship which they think can result from killing many people in America and other countries, destroying America’s infrastructure and creating chaos in society. But not quite enough people are ready to allow it peacefully. Occult societies have prophesied for years that it will take three world wars to accomplish it; America is evidently starting the third one. The first two were caused and participated in for the same purpose but there were a few important people who would not allow the League of Nations or the United Nations to take complete control.
Most of the leaders of the one-world movement are members of organizations such as Skull and Bones, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the Council on Foreign Relations which is a front for Cecil Rhodes’ secret Roundtable Groups, the Masons, the Theosophists, the New Age groups, and others. World government is the goal of all those organizations and many other secret societies here and abroad because their spiritual leader is Lucifer (Satan). That is why their meetings are usually secret. He and his human helpers do everything secretly except to appear in public as “angels of Light.” They are all led by the spirit of Lucifer, that fallen angel. Luciferians have omitted his name from Isaiah 14:12 in most Bible versions to keep him hidden.
According to its own documents the purpose of the United Nations is to eliminate Christians and Christianity and all monotheistic religions as well as nationalities, private property and the middle classes in the world. Those are the chief threats to dictatorships and especially to Satan and his planned kingdom on earth. Intellectual and financial elite groups of people who are ruling the world today follow Lucifer because he gives them wealth and power and they are committed to his dream of a one-world government that he and his antichrist will someday control – at least until Christ comes and puts them down and down!
The American leaders of this movement keep the United Nations here and implement and finance its agenda. They want their elite group or its descendants to acquire all the kingdoms of the world which Satan offered to Jesus. My hope and prayer is that America need not be the chief partner in this crime. There are many other nations that were never Christian and they are logical ones to mastermind this prophesied disaster. America was not put in that role by our God who prophesied it. America was chosen by occult Satan worshippers with the occultist dream of ruling the world by rebuilding the lost city of Atlantis with incredibly high technology that makes total control of the population possible. I would like American leaders to abandon that dream by kicking the U.N. out. That could happen if we could have a revival that would awaken enough of God’s people who could effectively protest what is happening.
Our American courts have legalized the anti-Christian agenda of the United Nations and our government will continue to secretly push for ecumenical religions that are acceptable in the occult Novus Ordo Seclorum – the New Secular Order – whose motto is on the Great Seal\of the United States, and on all our dollar bills under the pyramid and all-seeing eye of Horace (Satan) who is the God we supposedly “trust.” President Bush said we worship the same God as the Muslims! Where did he arrive at that conclusion? He and his father are still loyal members of the same secret fraternity that put that symbol of the ancient religions on the back of our Great Seal in 1782.
People will be forced to believe in the religion(s) of the “New Age,” “The Age of Aquarius” and “The Beast” prophesied in the Bible. Even before we know who or what the Beast is, many will die by starvation under the cashless monetary system and the smart cards or embedded chips that we are being taught to accept. They will monitor our actions to be sure we are not anti-government “terrorists.” In the Patriot Act terrorists are people who disagree with government actions such as the war. Our Attorney General said criticism of it aids and abets terrorism, which can be punished severely. We are already living in a “soft dictatorship.”
WE THE PEOPLE AND OUR CHURCHES ARE TO BLAME
God has prophesied this almost in detail because of his omniscience, but He is not causing it. It is all being done by Satan and his helpers who are fighting against God. And God is not controlling Satan. He allows him the free reign that God’s people are allowing. So Christians are responsible for what is happening and will happen to them. God does not force us to do what he hopes we will do. He is sovereign but he wants us to remain responsible for what we do instead of being like slaves or marionettes.
We are blameworthy because all our sin has given Satan the man-power that he now has, and also because most churches and most of their audiences or members have never fought against any of the projects of Satan’s human henchmen. We have let them ban God, prayer, and the Ten Commandments; legalize abortion, homosexuality and pornography; allow illegal immigration and crime and immorality of every kind; and develop and implement a world government. By not being Christian soldiers like we should we are letting our leaders destroy morality and Christianity by legal and illegal means and by wars that have all been deliberately caused to bring about the empire on earth which Satan has been working for since Nimrod and the Tower of Babel.
God will not immediately annihilate the world along with the empire that is being built by our foreign aid and our troops, and Satan evidently believes he can make it last forever if we will give him enough help and power to keep defeating God’s plans for us. I think God still has a spark of love for America but he cannot keep blessing us at the present time.
The churches have cooperated with Satan and have never mentioned or fought against any of this evil deception and conspiracy against God and Christianity. So they have unwittingly put themselves on Satan’s team fighting against God. Most churches support the idea of a one-world government because of their education. They think it will allow them to evangelize the globe. They have not read the globalist literature that says that religious, political and economic globalism will not allow spreading the Gospel when it has full control of nations. All world empires or world government movements throughout history have been inspired and empowered by Satan, as stated by Merrill F. Unger’s The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary under “Lucifer” on pg. 787.
BEING SAVED AND BEING ELIGIBLE FOR HEAVEN ARE DIFFERENT
BUT THE CHURCH THINKS THEY ARE THE SAME
Now returning to the doctrine of “the church” we will discuss first the basic reason that it changed the doctrine of salvation that Paul wrote about. In Paul’s writings “being saved” and “being accepted into heaven” are two different phases of what is today called salvation, and they do not both occur at the time of conversion. The idea that salvation includes God’s acceptance of us into heaven with eternal life does not jibe with Paul’s belief and experience. He felt that he had a lot of work to do to get ready for heaven after he had been saved. To him and all the other apostles getting ready for heaven was a lifelong process full of a lot of work for Christ that they all did with the hope and the promise of glory. Heaven was never felt to be a foregone conclusion which is being taught today in most Protestant churches. That mistaken view is now fixed in concrete and almost removed from argument by the concept of “the eternal security of the believer” from H.A. Ironside’s little book.
I have not found any Biblical evidence for eternal security. The closest is in Romans 8:38-39 where those who live righteously in the Spirit cannot lose Christ’s love. Even in his book Ironside quotes Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man will see God.” and he surmised that the many fruitless believers who did not do that were not truly “born again” or “saved” – they only thought they were. So “conservative” churches today admit that only truly born-again believers have that security, and they are sad about that. But many churches make no distinction, and all Christians are said to have “eternal security” by most of the mass media Christian programs. And few churches emphasize holiness any more.
BEING SAVED INSPIRES US TO WORK TO BECOME RIGHTEOUS
SO WE CAN BE ACCEPTED INTO HEAVEN
Before he encountered Christ, Paul found followers of Jesus the Nazarene who he thought were criminals and had them tortured and put to death. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees who was undoubtedly the type to whom Jesus said, “Your father is the devil.” Later he did not mind calling himself the worst of sinners.
After Paul was saved by the supernatural encounter with Christ on the Road to Damascus he immediately started to live righteously by following everything the Lord told him to do. He stopped his sins and sacrificed everything he had, which most people will not do, in order “to win Christ,” to become “perfect” enough to be “resurrected from the dead” and have eternal life in heaven. He said “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Wouldn’t you call that “work” with the goal of heaven in mind? He was not just living like he had been, which is what most Christians do today because most pastors do not tell them to live like the saints that God wants them to be.
It would be very educational for you to read his testimony about how and why he worked so hard. Study it in Philippians 3:8-14 where he clearly states that he worked not in his own righteousness but in the righteousness that he gets by his faith in Jesus. In other epistles you will remember he called it a race or a wrestling match against principalities and powers. That was the work which he says that all God’s children are called and ordained to do. They are “good works.” God will not accept believers in heaven who do not serve him by doing work for him. And the work that God wants us to succeed in most is the work of fighting off Satan – his temptations and his plans to capture all the souls he can for his own kingdom.
FAITH AND WORKS ARE BOTH NECESSARY,
WHICH IS DENIED VEHEMENTLY BY THE CHURCH
As was just revealed to you, faith and works are both necessary for the second phase of what is now called salvation – but virtually no one is being taught that or believes it. That teaching stopped about the time that the Supreme Court invented the separation of church and state doctrine (copied from Russia and Germany) and the church did nothing to encourage or motivate their members to fight or protest that drastic change in the legal, moral or ethical standards of America.
Today’s churches think salvation is a single event that includes being saved and being permanently assured of going to heaven. And it supposedly occurs when one is “born again” in “conservative” churches or when one is “converted” or “accepts Christ’s forgiveness” in “liberal” churches. Paul’s generation or the apostles at the time of Jesus did not think that way. They knew that going to heaven would take work and that being born again made it possible to become righteous and be accepted into heaven, but it did not complete the process for them. They had work to do!
The most important reason for the change in doctrine by the modern church is a misunderstanding of Paul’s many statements against using works to gain salvation. In all his writing about that in reference to salvation he was talking about the phase before people become required to do “good works.” It is a radical error to apply that idea to the phase in which Paul worked hard to get to heaven. His doctrinal statement in Ephesians and his own testimony both plainly say that works are required after one is saved and is en route to heaven.
In all his epistles he tells believers all the work they must do, assuming that they know it will have to be done to be accepted by God. Being justified by believing in Christ and even by Christ dying for their sins is only the beginning of their need for justification. The completion of the process comes from successfully doing the work that God requires. So denying the need for work is the first major error in the doctrine that has been created for the church to teach.
The churches emphatically keep insisting that no work is necessary or appropriate as preparation for going to heaven – but it is. They even have the theory that it is not only unnecessary and useless but it is wrong to want to do any work to try to merit, deserve or earn heaven. They get that idea from Paul saying God does not want them to boast about being saved, which, as you remember, is only the first phase of salvation – not the phase of preparing for heaven. They say one’s only desire must be to simply love Jesus or God; otherwise it is selfish and sinful because one is hoping to be rewarded with eternal life instead of just accepting it as a free gift. That supposedly hurts God’s feelings by not giving him total credit for doing it all by himself. God does not do it all by himself because he needs us to be responsible for it so we are still human beings instead of God’s puppets or patsies.
The Bible does not say that to work to go the heaven is wrong or unnecessary. That completely distorts what Paul did and what he says in his epistles or in his doctrine itself. Paul was obviously motivated to do work because he wanted to go to heaven. He loved Christ better than his life itself, but he also wanted “to be resurrected” so he could be with Him in eternity. Do you still feel that is a wrong motive to have?
WE MUST DO GOOD WORKS THAT ARE CLEAN AND PURE
IN PREPARATION FOR HEAVEN
If you read Ephesians 2:8-10 which is Paul’s classic “faith alone saves us” doctrine you will see that the church disagrees with two concepts that are stated positively there by Paul: (1) that Paul’s meaning of being saved does not include being accepted into heaven; and (2) that ‘good works” must be done to be admitted there but not to be “saved.”
Here is what Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are his workmanship, we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. And all his epistles tell us that the only way we can do good works and be accepted by God is by living in the Spirit of that second birth as God’s child and using the righteousness that God gives us to do all the work that we do. If we do not do those works of righteousness in the spirit of Christ Jesus that he created us with, we will not go to heaven.
The word “ordained” means something we shall do for sure, and being saved has already occurred, so works are required for going to heaven, which is Paul’s second phase of salvation, The reason we must wait till we are saved to do them is that before we have received the Spirit none of our works are “good works” that God will accept as worthy of heaven. They are dirtied by some lust of the flesh, the world, or the devil. They need to be clean and pure spiritually in order to be the “good works” that this verse is about.
Referring to Paul’s testimony in Philippians 3:8-14 again, if we do those works of righteousness that God requires we will be growing to become perfect like Christ, which is what Paul said he was trying to do. He was not quite certain he was “perfect” yet but he keeps “following after” it and pressing “toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” In other words, God and Christ called him and saved him to do that very thing. The NIV states “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” For that statement, the KJV talks of “apprehending and being apprehended” but that is not so easily understood. (Phil 3:12)
PAUL KEPT ALL THE COMMANDMENTS AFTER HE WAS SAVED,
BUT CHURCH DOCTRINE SAYS THE COMMANDMENTS
ARE TOO DIFFICULT, OBSOLETE AND UNNECESSARY
After Paul was saved on the Damascus Road he kept the laws of God, which he always referred to as righteous even when he was complaining about them in various epistles. He kept the commandments of the Lord so he did not sin. Sin is simply the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) and Paul did not transgress anymore because he stopped sinning. The church has completely missed that in the Bible. They actually believe the opposite, which is that he did not get free from sin and he did not keep the commandments. They get that idea from their doctrine, and by misinterpreting Chapter Seven of Romans.
How was he able to not sin? He repeatedly tells us how to stop sinning in his epistles. He simply “lived and walked” (behaved) in the spirit of his new life in Christ instead of living in the flesh and slavishly following the Law. He explains it thoroughly in Romans 6 and 8. But in Romans 7 he says that it is virtually impossible in his humanity (in the flesh). The church mistakenly uses Chapter 7 to show that it is impossible for humans to do! That is the same way they misinterpret his other most important concepts. They do not read any further to find out what he means!
Notice how they commit that same error of ignoring the surrounding context in reading Romans 8:1. That is a verse that many people memorize. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The churches do not mention the meaning of the second part after the first comma. They simply say the verse applies to any Christian, but it doesn’t. Who are the believers who are not condemned? The answer is obvious in his statement; they are only the believers who are in Christ and walk (live) after the Spirit. They are the ones who are being led to heaven by Christ and the Holy Spirit who are in them. The ones who keep walking in the flesh are condemned unless they change. Did you ever know that before? I didn’t until I began to see it while I was writing a book of sermons called Be Ye Therefore Perfect.
The Romans 8:1 verse is always used to convince all believers that the old laws of God do not apply to Christians anymore! That is a lie on two counts: The verse only applies to those who walk in the Spirit; and the old laws do still apply to all believers. That will be explained in a minute.
If you think every believer walks “after” or “in” the Spirit, why did Paul have to keep exhorting all his fellow believers to do it? He knew that many people need to do it consciously and deliberately because it does not always happen by simply being born again. The church doctrine evidently assumes it does or they would not use the verse the way they do. In other words they keep failing to understand what Paul means and what he does. It is not difficult to understand him, but they choose to believe their doctrine about what he says.
Here was the goal of Paul’s sacrificial working for the Lord: “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:9-10) If a person does exactly what Paul did to make sure of heaven, he is simply staying in God’s will for his life by obeying the Spirit and the commandments of the Lord in anticipation of being rewarded with eternal life or possibly other rewards in heaven. That is precisely what the Holy Spirit tells every Christian to do – and what the church does not want people to do because of their doctrine that despises work which in any way relates to salvation.
But because of Paul’s criticisms regarding the difficulty of keeping the Mosaic Law in many passages about not needing to do any “works of the Law” to be saved, the pastors were taught that the law was abandoned instead of being revamped by Jesus in the New Testament or New Covenant. They like to think that Paul said all believers are “not condemned by the law” anymore. And they like reading that the old Law was the “ministry of condemnation” and the New Covenant contains the “ministry of righteousness” which the Law could not be because the Spirit of the new birth is the only thing that can bring life and righteousness. They assume that the New Covenant has no law in it. They are happy to live in the illusion that they can therefore keep sinning if they wish and not suffer the penalty of sin. The pastors did not “discover” that idea on their own because it is not in the Bible.
Believers who successfully live in the spirit instead of the flesh ask Jesus to help them mortify the flesh and die to their sins, like he died for their sins on the cross. So they stop sinning because he answers all their prayers. In that way they are able to follow his commandments in the Spirit with no difficulty. Saint John writes, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3) And he repeatedly states that we are not born again or will not go to heaven unless we obey them.
However, the church makes another wrong inference about the same issue. They say that to obey all the commandments is impossible (which the quotation from John has just disproved for you). They say Christ is the only person who could ever do it perfectly and God will only accept perfection, so we might as well not try. By that logic they then tell us we have to depend on Christ to fulfill the law instead of us having to do anything about it. They know we are all sinners, so they assume that God has to forgive us so he can consider us to not be sinners if he wants us to come to heaven! When I state it that way, it sounds as absurd as it really is – but that is what the church believes.
They simply do not understand the New Birth with Christ in us so that what seems impossible occurs all the time because Christ is God, like his Father. They are both in each other, and in us, and Christ promises to answer our every prayer if it is in his Father’s will for us. If we pray for strength of will to stop sinning, we will receive it. Paul and the apostles all knew that was true so they kept praying without ceasing (like Paul tells us to do) and they were able to keep the commandments as the Bible proves they did. Please see Revelation 14:12 for that proof.
The church is dead wrong to say that human beings have to keep sinning, because all our sins disappear when we are in the spirit. If we stay that way most of the time our “old man” that Paul said we all have trouble with will become very manageable.
Another bad stretch of the imagination by many preachers is that God is supposed to have finally made the commandments obsolete because we all sin and could not obey them. Paul had rightly said that the “old law” was “inferior” to the New Covenant because it could not bring righteousness like the Spirit of God does. But he also said that the law was always “righteous” in itself, the same as King David said. Paul was not being inconsistent or contradictory, but the church does not want to understand what he writes most of the time. They want to assume Paul meant something that agrees with their doctrine.
The New Testament law is the same as the “old” Law, in new clothing. Rom.3:21 says, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” In other words, it is the same behavior the law was written to motivate and which the prophets had implored people to obey. But we follow the spirit of it instead of the letter because it is translated for us by Christ, who is the mediator of the new covenant. We become ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor. 3:6). As the obvious example, Christ says it is adultery if we “look upon a women” who is not our wife to lust after her.
So when Paul said he assumed the Old Law “is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13) he was saying that it was transformed by the words of Christ and is now obeyed in the spirit instead of the letter. So it is not a coincidence that living “in the Spirit” is the way to obey it which he continually exhorts people to do. When we obey it we are following Christ as the shepherd of our souls leading us to heaven by his own words which the Holy Spirit reminds us of – which still are the commandments of his Father, because Christ only said what his Father commanded him to say.
Christ makes it very clear in several scriptures that his words are actually still the commandments of his Father, because as he keeps saying, he is in the Father and the Father is in him. And he said to Philip, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” (John 14:10; see also verses 23-24.) Incidentally here you can see how he uses speaking words and doing works as synonyms.
Pastors neglect to discuss anything they read in the Bible that they want to omit, so they do not quote God’s statement about the New Covenant when he said, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their heart.” (Heb. 8:10) He certainly did not abolish them or eliminate eternal punishment for breaking them – which the church says he did.
People must still obey God’s Law in the so-called Age of Grace. If they don’t they are sinning and Paul believed their punishment may be even greater than that of the Israelites – although Paul seemed to be speculating about the extra amount of punishment. (Heb.10:28-29) I cannot imagine hell being any worse than the way the Bible describes it. But at least he is saying believers who sin deserve more punishment!
Christ said, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:17-18) He expects us to obey it. The church completely changes the meaning of that by saying the crucifixion uses Christ’s righteousness to substitute or atone for our unrighteousness which supposedly fulfills the law and shelves it as only a memory of things past. That is not true. God accepts the great sacrifice of his Son and he gives us positional sanctification in anticipation of our good behavior and good works after our new birth, but he makes us still keep the commandments or lose our salvation.
So the church is very wrong to teach that we are not required to obey the laws of God anymore or manifest righteousness or holiness in our lives on earth. They assume we can wait till we get to heaven where they think God will accept us because he “forgets” that we are sinners! God does not forget anything and he cannot allow sinners in heaven which would give them eternal life there. He made that decision when he created Adam and why he had to kick him out of the Garden and let him die on earth and also let his eternal soul experience “the second death” in hell.
The word forget in that usage means the same as we do when we say “I forgive you and will forget that you did that to me.” We do not forget either. If we do we are stupid; so if God does he is also stupid! “Forget” is used as “an expression” rather than a fact. But the devil states it as fact in this case to keep Christians sinning so they will be in his kingdom instead of God’s. As Paul said about Christians sinning: “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 unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16) And John said, “He that commiteth sin is of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
How very wrong it is to teach that believers do not need to keep obeying God’s laws! The church today says the fulfillment of the law happened solely at Calvary by Christ’s death and by God forgetting our sins; but Paul tells us it happens only with our cooperation while we abide in Him and He abides in us. “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4) What kind of righteousness was it? – The righteousness of the law. Believers help Christ fulfill the law of God because we walk after the Spirit which teaches us and empowers us to obey the law and stop sinning so we can go to heaven.
That is the exact way that Romans 8:1 is misinterpreted. The church is saying that both the freedom from condemnation and now the fulfillment of the Law came by Christ’s death and we had nothing to do with either of them. But the truth is that they both occur the same way, by believers who walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh doing what God wants them to do. In other words, they occur because of something believers do with the personal help of Christ’s Spirit in them, rather than by God alone without any cooperation from believers. To walk in the spirit requires action which makes it another work of righteousness that believers must do but many fail to do.
THE GREAT NEED TO TEACH PEOPLE TO BE RIGHTEOUS
BY BECOMING SANCTIFIED IS ALMOST OMITTED
Churches now do not teach much of what God wants people to know. Most of them concentrate on trying to evangelize and enlarge their ministry and their local churches. Of course evangelism is a major mission of the church, but the other major purposes of Scripture have been almost abandoned, which are “for doctrine [including how to avoid false doctrine], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may BE PERFECT, thoroughly furnished unto all GOOD WORKS.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) As I see it the church is even abandoning the teaching of doctrine – at least the doctrine that is found in the Bible! All they teach is their own man-made version of doctrine, which is actually false doctrine that the church should actually be exposing instead of using.
Teaching people to be righteous and “PERFECT, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” is the ministry of sanctification of the believers. Jesus told us specifically to “BE YE PERFECT, as your Father which is in heaven in perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) He was not kidding or teasing us. He meant for us to stop sinning and become righteous.
You probably remember that Paul said to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) He does not mean that you should work for your salvation, because he told us that does not require any work – so we cannot boast about how good we are. Your salvation by first becoming saved is by God’s grace alone. But you work out your salvation in order to go to heaven, which is the second phase of salvation and is called sanctification.
It is the process of becoming righteous and holy like the Lord. Another meaning is becoming cleansed from sin. I like to think of it as becoming a saint, which is a root word of sanctify. You work to grow exactly the way the Lord tells you while he and the Holy Spirit live in you. He is telling you to obey everything he says so you can meet heaven’s righteousness requirement. That is how he leads you to heaven. If you skip that process you do not get there.
To become a Christian is relatively useless to a person or to God unless the believer learns to be righteous, which is the only reason that God saves him. To be righteous and pursue holiness is the fulfillment of our calling as a Christian. Unless we are in the process of growing to be righteous like Christ, which means sinless and virtuous, instead of sinful and evil, we will not be admitted into heaven where no sinners are allowed.
But most churches have virtually abandoned that ministry of the church. Their present doctrine says that believers are righteous enough as they are, and none of us is or can be perfect. Have you ever heard anyone say that? You probably say it yourself, because that is what we have all been taught.
The question that churches should be asked is Paul’s question to the Corinthian believers: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Cor. 6:9) Too many Christians are not doing righteous things that make them grow toward perfection and become eligible for heaven. Instead of that they are doing the opposite, which is sinning “just a little bit!”
The foolish idea that believers can keep sinning while they are supposed to be different and better than others and are on their way to heaven is being taught to almost everyone either didactically or by implication. No wonder so many people do not want to become Christians. It is not that Christians are thought to be hypocrites, but that many are hypocrites!
The theory that we can keep sinning is based on two false beliefs that can only be inferred from scriptures taken out of their own context and with only meager and farfetched support from other indirect statements in the Bible. One false belief is that God’s commandments were too difficult to be obeyed so he had been wrong to expect it and he finally stopped requiring it so at least some people he has chosen will be able to come to heaven. The other false belief is that Christ’s death to forgive believers of their sins eliminates their responsibility for bad actions which lead everyone else to hell.
Think about that! The first belief denies God’s omniscience and sovereignty and the second one denies his justice. Could you have created a doctrine as absurd as that? I believe that Satan’s followers who are empowered by him to tell magnificent lies are the only ones clever enough to lie like that and make whole generations of pastors and congregations believe that the Bible says those things.
Many pastors actually joke about the sins we will still commit and say that we can expect Christian business men to sin a lot! Others say that they cannot understand how God can forgive us so in his mind we are not sinners; but they say we should certainly thank and praise God. Some even say that we really are not sinners anymore! We should tell Satan that he is wrong to accuse us of it!
The statement the Bible makes that is used to support that idea is that God does forgive “all our sins” But to Paul, Peter, and the other apostles “all” simply means all the sins that we have committed and those we confess, repent of, and keep working and praying for ourselves and each other to avoid. But the current belief is that “all” means all past, present and future sins.
There is no Scripture that ever says “past, present and future” so that is simply wishful thinking. Here is God’s word about what he would do in the New Covenant: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:12) God is saying he will forgive the sins they have committed, but will expect them to not commit any more because only two verses before that he said, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” (Heb. 8:10) That means the believers will obey him in their present and future lives instead of sinning against him. He did not plan to forgive “present and future” sins – so he doesn’t. He is not fickle or stupid.
The truth is that God does not forgive sins in advance; we are still totally responsible for continuing sins or new sins, and we must work to stop them by using the divine power Christ gives us through communion and prayer with him. We also must sincerely tell him we are very sorry to have sinned against him again and we will try as hard as we can to stop it. If we say and do that, we will be forgiven. That is “confessing” and “repenting” of a sin that God wants us to eradicate. We must earnestly desire what God wants for us or we have not been born again.
If all our sins had been forgiven why does First John 1:9 tell us to confess them in order to be forgiven? God’s forgiveness by Christ’s death does not eliminate our responsibility and possible punishment for them. How could anyone in his “right mind” say it does? But the church does! They do not understand that the resurrected Christ must forgive our present and future sins that we confess because they were not forgiven in advance by the crucifixion.
Most pastors today think that accepting Jesus makes you righteous automatically or “naturally” without you having to do anything about it. You do not need to deliberately lift a finger to become more righteous than you become by simply accepting Christ. That is why the church is essentially skipping the ministry of sanctification, or paying only some lip-service to it each week to make the messages sound relevant to most of the congregation. Many people get tired from only hearing about bringing people to Christ instead of helping them grow and solving their spiritual problems.
Because Christians today have learned those mistaken theories they do little to manifest righteousness or holiness in their lives. Actually most of them do not even want to be saints who God created them to be and which is the purpose of sanctification. They think they would be stuffy and be shunned for appearing to be holier than others. They actually may be shunned because worldly people may not enjoy them as friends anymore. If they are saints of God they are in the world but not of the world. But true saints of God are humble; they are never sanctimonious, self-righteous or “holier than thou.” They know that only by God’s grace were they chosen and regenerated with God’s spirit in them and are becoming righteous by the help of the Lord who is in them.
To not understand that righteousness must be manifest in a believer’s life is a very tragic error of the churches and their members. No one seems to understand what Saint John says: “He that doeth righteousness is righteous” (1 John 3:7) and the only people who will have the right to be in heaven are those who do righteous things because they are becoming sanctified and sinless by obeying the commandments of the Lord. That is heaven’s admission requirement, and God will not change it. Unless a believer is trying “to keep himself unspotted from the world” (Jas. 1:27) the gates of pearl will remain closed to him.
Believers must grow by working all their lives to develop a Godly character. It is not optional in the curriculum of being a Christian, but the average church today hardly mentions it! You can only discover that extremely important truth by reading the Bible yourself.
The church implies that it is all right to skip that process which theologians call “experiential sanctification” as distinct from the “positional sanctification” that God gives people when they first become one of his children. The church does not tell them it de-emphasizes sanctification but tells them they already have enough righteousness to go to heaven. That is not true and believers do not know that they are missing out on the most important thing the church can and should do for them after they have been reborn.
The church assumes that you do not need to experience actual freedom from sin. You can remain a sinner until you reach heaven, because God has supposedly already thought of you as being free from sin. If you do try to work to stop sinning they will probably ridicule you; but after saying that all work to deserve heaven is filthy they say that if you do some good service to God it could improve your status with God in heaven so you can receive some special awards or praise! That is certainly not consistent.
So no one even expects you to be successful in living up to God’s standard of perfection in your attempt to stop sinning. They expect you to sin as long as you live. They keep saying we are all sinners and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. It is in our DNA. They still tell you to try to stop sinning but they do not tell you how important it is and how to be successful at it.
If you believe the church and do not try hard to stop all your sins, God will not accept your confession at the end of your life for those sins you did not keep trying to stop. That means you were “willfully” keeping some sins you did not want to lose. (Heb. 10:21) And you do not even realize you are doing it because you are deceiving yourself by singing praise songs to prove that you love God. John says the only way to prove that is to keep his commandments. (1 John 2:4. 2:5, 3:24. 5:3) That is what you would have stopped doing. You would lose your mansion in the sky.
The church is dreadfully wrong. If you wait till you die to be sanctified you cannot be admitted to heaven. God is not going to sanctify you all by himself because he holds you responsible for your character. You have to grow to become like Christ as you “work out your salvation” while he lives in you. It cannot happen when you have died, because all that happens after that is the judgment to see who has made it and who hasn’t.
God first consecrates you for his sacred purpose and gives you “positional sanctification” by seating you in the heavens with him, expecting that you as his child will do what your Father tells you and thus become sanctified. He believes you are going to be a good child, but you are still going to have to prove it to Him. When you are in heaven you become ultimately sanctified so your spirit in heaven can be joined to your resurrected body “in the last day” and live in heaven permanently with your heavenly Father. But that will not happen if you have not obeyed God to become sanctified while you were living on earth. You will simply be a lost sheep that Christ could not rescue from the lures and booby traps of Satan.
You will have lost out on that crucial second phase of salvation because the church has made it a minor part (actually an optional part) of its curriculum. They have not taught you to be righteous because they believe you have already been justified to be there and your behavior cannot change that. And they think the Holy Spirit teaches the believer all he needs to know. That is true for some Christians today – probably many of the older folks who learned it better. But I believe the majority of Christians today need to be revived or resuscitated because they are not committed to keeping the Lord’s commandments – they only think they are. It takes work which churches tell them is wrong.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO STOP SINNING?
THE CHURCH SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.
We must follow Jesus and fulfill the righteousness of the law by living and walking in the Spirit that he gives us. Christ came to fulfill the law of God and to cleanse us of sin. Paul shows us that Christ does both of those things but only with our cooperation. We help cleanse ourselves by following Christ’s example and his leadership as he abides in us and we abide in him. ”God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV) Christ is in us, giving us his own righteousness to use – if we will use it!
The cleansing from all sin has to come through our own obedience to the commandments of God – because all sin is simply disobedience or transgression of the laws. Christ forgives all the sins we commit while he abides in us and we abide in Him, and we must confess those sins until we get cleansed. If we cannot stop a sin with his divine help (which I seriously doubt) we confess it and he forgives us at that time but we still keep trying to stop it until we die.
Paul and all the apostolic writers continually warn us but our churches seldom tell us to avoid all sin, turn away from all sinful thoughts, keep the commandments of Christ or follow his teachings or sayings. Those are equivalent ways to stop sinning and grow toward perfection and Christ-likeness. Unless we do things like that God cannot accept us into heaven where we will live with saints who did them.
Christ sacrificed his life for our sins and he expects us to sacrifice our sins for his life eternal. Paul says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) That is his plea for us to help Christ cleanse and sanctify us.
The reason most of us do not present our bodies as a living sacrifice, or sacrifice our life of sin to gain eternal life, which the Bible tells us to do, is that the church is not telling us to do it with any urgency. They might read or write that verse to us, but it is with tongue in cheek, because they believe everyone will keep sinning no matter how hard they try to stop it with human will power – and they are right. Sin is too much fun. For most people it is what they want most in life. Much of their entertainment is full of sinful thoughts. That is why Christ tells us to lose our life to save it, and Paul tells us to mortify the flesh and make it die daily. Christians should do that or he would not have told the Galatians, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24) In saying “they that are Christ’s” he means all born again believers, but to most Christians those are just words to listen to rather than something they should do. And the church is not helping them do it.
In Romans chapters six and eight he tells us how to follow such directions successfully. All we have to do is to live and “walk in the spirit instead of the flesh.” God gave us a new spirit so we would live in it instead of just having it available to use while we keep living in the flesh.
The church fails to teach us to walk in the Spirit because they prefer to assume anyone who is born again does that “naturally” without having to be told. That removes their responsibility to teach it. If it always comes naturally Paul would not have needed to rebuke the Galatians for not living in the spirit and to exhort everyone else to do it. It usually does not happen “naturally” today. Believers must do it deliberately. The power of the devil and the sin in their life is too great to depend on believers to hear and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The best motivation would be to tell them they will probably go to hell if they do not do it. But the church would not say that even as a last resort. They want to keep their church messages all “positive” and talk only about a loving God instead of one who punishes people so severely. They would be hard pressed to convert many “seekers” to a God who does that! So they keep that truth hidden.
FOLLOWING CHRIST BY OBEYING HIM IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN,
BUT THE CHURCH NOW THINKS IT HAS A LESS TROUBLESOME WAY
My main concern is that many people who think they are Christians are being led down the primrose path by their churches because they are not being fed the proper food from the Bible. Therefore they are not following Jesus and obeying him as Lord by doing what he tells and teaches them to do to become righteous and be on the right road to heaven.
The most important verse in the Bible is that Christ says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) He is the only “way” to heaven. Following him by believing in him and doing what he teaches you to do is the only way to get there and it is also the only thing that can revive faith and make it active again. Faith without works is dead and obedience to the Lord is the work that he requires.
But most churches say that we do not need to do work of any kind even including the work of following Christ. A person is almost excommunicated if he mentions doing work for the Lord to go to heaven. They keep saying that to “believe” or “have faith” in Jesus or to “have the Son” is all the obedience and “work” required. They fail to explain that to believe, have faith or have Christ really mean to have him in your life so you believe everything he tells you to do and you follow him by doing it. Unless you do that your belief is only a worthless intellectual acknowledgement of Christ that will do none of the things that your faith should do for you, such as giving you his righteousness and leading you to heaven.
THE CHURCH ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO NOT DO ANY WORK
BECAUSE THEY SAY IT IS NOT REQUIRED,
AND HUMAN WORKS ARE LIKE FILTHY RAGS
SO IT IS ACTUALLY WRONG TO WORK TO GO TO HEAVEN
The belief that righteous works and a righteous character are not required any more is a very stupid theory. Those who believe and teach it do not understand God’s need for us to be responsible for our actions. God did not let Adam have eternal life, or the Israelites, or millions of other people whom he condemned to hell for disobeying him – so he is not going to change late in the history of the world and let a few of “his people” get by without obeying him and his moral laws. The basic Ten Commandments are absolutely necessary if there is going to be any paradise. That is why no sinners can be allowed in heaven. And other laws are necessary as well. The Ten were only a starter set. Christ in his teaching adds others and also expands the literal meaning of the Ten to include one’s thought life.
Who wants to live in a Paradise with people who had lied, cheated, stolen, hated, coveted, murdered and were brutal in committing all kinds of crimes but were allowed in there simply because they loved Jesus? But that is the belief of the modern church about anyone who is “saved.” His sins are simply forgiven and no change in his behavior is required before he goes to heaven. God supposedly will simply prevent him from doing those things when he gets to heaven, which would be done without his cooperation or knowledge by simply giving him an incorruptible body.
I cannot imagine a logical human mind creating such a theory .I think it had to be done by the prince of darkness. The sinners would not recognize themselves or their friends and relatives in heaven. They could not even enjoy heaven because their character would be so different that they would have to lose all memory of who they were on earth or they would be psychotic, with split personalities. They would be totally out of place, and the saints would certainly know it because the sinners would have no true stories that they could relate about themselves and the way Christ answered all their prayers.
God surely did not change the requirement of righteousness in life to agree with that doctrine of the church. That would mean we would come to heaven with our robes of righteousness dirty, which will not happen. We still have to wash our robes like the maidens in Revelation 22:14 did as they waited for the Lord to return.
The NIV translates Revelation 22:14 as Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. In the KJV to wash their robes means to do the commandments. In both versions it is an action that we must do; not something that Christ did for us at Calvary. It means that we must live and act to become clean and pure as we approach the Holy City. Christ gives us his righteousness so we will have the ability to do that. But we are the ones who must do it. The way we get cleansed or washed is by doing what Christ teaches us and the Holy Spirit reminds us to do.
Becoming clean and pure is the most important good work for God that you were created “in Christ” to do. It is not optional, and Christ’s death does not do it for you but gives you the right and the possibility of doing it yourself with Christ’s personal help and guidance. So it is still solely by God’s grace that you are able to do it.
The church’s doctrine deliberately does not mention – either to agree or disagree with – any of the ideas I am quoting or explaining. It simply goes ahead to say that all works done by human beings are basically unrighteous because everybody sins in the very process of doing them.
Paul did not say and certainly did not mean that, because it is patently false. His statements all deny it when they are seen within their context or compared with other statements on the subject by other scriptures by him or other writers; but his personal testimony certainly proves it conclusively. All of Paul’s works were “good works” rather than filthy rags because he did them in the Spirit of Christ’s righteousness that was in him by faith and because he lived in the Spirit. To be a real Christian is a spiritual experience, not a continuation of a life in the flesh.
Today’s doctrine is an apostasy that we are learning everyday from the media and from most of our churches because they still think of believers as ordinary human beings who only have “human nature” instead of the fact that they should be living in a new “spiritual nature” if they have been truly born again. Only the lives of the apostles and a few biographies of true believers show or describe how they behave and it is different from most Christians. They demonstrate that they have the fruit of the Spirit as they do work for the Lord and they do it because they think God requires it of them in order to keep faith with Him.
The church soundly reprimands anyone who tries to work to make sure he will be accepted into heaven – like Paul did. Criticisms by the church are many. The main criticism has two meanings: The person is said to have a “doctrine of works” that the church disdains and he must therefore not believe that we get to heaven by “grace” alone! The fact is that the person does not have a doctrine of works, but he does think that he must cooperate with God’s grace in order to go to heaven – and that is good, rather than bad.
Besides being falsely accused of having a doctrine of works leading to salvation here are several other hurtful criticisms that I personally have had to cope with and forgive people for thinking about me:
The person who works supposedly discredits or diminishes God’s grace and sovereignty by thinking God needs our help to make us sinless and get us into heaven. TRUTH: God will not do all our work for us or exempt anyone from doing it. He needs to keep us responsible for our life and work. If not we would be like his puppets or slaves instead of free.
The worker is said to diminish the importance of Christ’s crucifixion because the church thinks his death for our sins is all we need to go to heaven because God gives us positional sanctification and seats us in heaven. TRUTH: We do have positional sanctification, but many other Scriptures say that we must also be righteous in reality to be in heaven. John defines a righteous person by saying “He that doeth righteousness is righteous.” (1 John 3:7) “Positional sanctification” is like a provisional credential, it works until our actions prove or disprove that we deserve it. We must be manifesting at least some “experiential sanctification” to maintain our “position” with God in the heavens.
The worker supposedly puts his human will at the center of “salvation” instead of God’s will. The church feels that human will has nothing to do with salvation and it all happens completely by the grace of God. Believers are not supposed to have to do the good works that Paul talks about – they become optional. Christ’s death on the cross exempts us from that responsibility. TRUTH: God made humans responsible for what they do, and he is not going to change that for any reason. He wrote the commandments to stop disobedience and a myriad of Scriptures say we must still obey them to go to heaven. It takes will power as well as Christ’s divine power in some cases to break sinful habits and thereby obey the commandments.
The worker probably feels he has a right to boast of his good works like the Pharisees did. FACT: God expects us to work for heaven but one cannot boast because he is not sure he will be “perfect” enough to get there. Paul’s caution about boasting only applies to working to be “saved” and to acquire the Holy Spirit and Christ inside of us who gives us the ability to work for heaven and be successful. We still must work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling because we might fail by stopping our work or dropping out by continuing to sin without remorse. There is nothing to be proud about except having Christ in us.
The worker is wrong to not understand the presumed fact that all his works of righteousness are like “filthy rags” to God, which means they are worthless for being saved or going to heaven. FACT: They are only “filthy rags” before being saved. After receiving the Holy Spirit the works we do in the Spirit are the “good works” that God requires. If we try to do good works in the flesh we will fail because they are the “filthy rags.”
In relation to criticism number 5, Paul worked all his life to go to heaven by using the righteousness that God gives us by our faith in Christ instead of our own human righteousness. (Phil. 3:9) That is the only way that human works can be worthy of heavenly reward. By and large the church fails to acknowledge that possibility and calls all works “filthy.”
By seeing the many criticisms churches can make against doing works you can understand why so few people are motivated to become righteous. Who wants to be chastised for being wrong about what one believes and does? Such criticism would make you believe you are not welcome in the church.
THE CHURCH IS TEACHING A DEAD FAITH INSTEAD OF A LIVING ONE
The best proof that the church is wrong to say works are useless to go to heaven is the truth that James said about works, which no one has been able to deny from Scripture or from logic. He says that “faith without works is dead” – it is no faith at all. If you do not do any work to apply your faith to your life you are proving that your faith is useless to you. And Saint John says it much more fervently and in many different ways. Here is a very important statement he makes about it: “He that sayeth, I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4) Many who call themselves Christians lie that way. They “have faith” but by not doing what Christ tells them to do with their faith, which is to at least obey the commandments, it is useless and cannot cause any of the things to happen that the Bible says do happen if one has faith.
By applying his faith to his life, Paul’s faith gave him Christ’s righteousness which he used to do the work that opened the Pearly Gates for him, and it did the same for all the saints. Hopefully that will be true for us. If he had not used that faith to do that work he knew he could never expect to “see the kingdom of God.” That expression is always used by Paul and other apostles to mean having eternal life in heaven.
The churches are teaching us dead or dying faith because they keep telling us to not do any work to go to heaven. And they are angry at people who keep trying to do that after being told not to. That is not the doctrine of Paul or Martin Luther, or John Wesley, or anyone who used the Scriptures correctly. They all knew that working could not get us “saved” but they knew we might go to hell if we kept sinning, which the church now denies. And to keep from sinning requires watchfulness and fighting against temptation all the rest of our lives, which is work!
That is one reason that convinces me that some of Satan’s followers invented and propagated this doctrine. Another reason is that it was developed by using Scriptural words and omitting or rationalizing away conspicuous passages that refuted it. That is the typical thing that deceivers do with important documents like the Bible and the Constitution; and the father of all deceivers is the devil. The leadership roles in seminaries, universities or other influential Christian organizations or churches are being taken by enemies of God and Christianity who talk like great Christians. They are seldom discovered because they are expert liars and their true allegiance is secret. It is only by their fruit that you can know them.
THEORIES ABOUT WORKS AND THE LAWS OF GOD
HAVE CREATED AN ABSURD DOCTRINE
THAT DEGRADES THE CHARACTER OF GOD
This little section puts together some of the rationale for the theories the church has created and compares them with the truth of the Bible.
The church does not exhort believers to obey God anymore because they created their false theory that we can go to heaven without doing any work. Then they developed numerous criticisms to censure people who do work to go to heaven. That all came from an inaccurate interpretation of Paul’s writings. They say he believed in a salvation that included assurance of eternal life in heaven, whereas he knew better. He knew that he would have to do good works to go to heaven – which he did with much self-sacrifice all his life.
The church says that no one but Jesus was ever able to obey all the commandments and God expects every jot and tittle to be obeyed. Therefore they think it is impossible for men and women to do and Christ had to do it for them by paying the death penalty for their sin. So now they just tell you to love Jesus and His Father and do nice things to please them. They know that to obey even one commandment takes work, and they think such work is in vain, so they reserve messages about that for nonbelievers. They say that believers can wait patiently until they are in heaven to obey them. They supposedly will never be punished for disobeying.
They believe we must all keep sinning until we die, but John states many, many times that we must not sin at all. Here are just two examples; “He that is begotten of God keepeth himself and that wicked one toucheth him not” (1 John 5:18) and, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (I John 3:9) So we can actually get rid of any and all sins the Holy Spirit tells us we have.
In regard to the New Covenant or New Testament, which they think has no law in it, they think God failed for centuries because no one (or few people) seemed able to keep all his commandments and he sent them to hell. So God finally established a New Covenant that did not contain his laws and he sent Christ to die as a substitute for all sinners who came to believe in Him which makes them “children of God.” They would not have to obey any commandments anymore because, as a Substitutionary atonement, Christ’s death revoked the commandments as well as canceling their sins. If they choose to obey him some of the time it would be nice and God would be pleased, but that is optional rather than being required. But the church warns everyone to not expect to keep all the commandments because that is considered a “doctrine of works” which supposedly denigrates God’s character by diminishing the importance of his grace and of the crucifixion. They say grace and works are not compatible, which is simply another of their ludicrous ideas that we have not discussed in this paper.
Every time I try to explain what they believe, I say to myself, “How ridiculous!” The postulates in their doctrine should be enough to throw up some red flags to a thinking person for sure. Most pastors probably do see them but they downplay them by saying, “How wonderful God is! His thoughts are not our thoughts because they are so much better than ours!” Then they think no more about the absurd things their doctrine is implying about God.
Most Christians have accepted everything without protest because what could be nicer news than they are being taught? They do not think of how the new theories degrade the character of God. Now all descendants of Adam and Eve who believe in God’s Son can eat the forbidden fruit and God tells them they can keep eating it and enjoy disobeying God; he will ignore what they do just for the generations after Christ because God now loves everyone and wants some of them to be able to come and live with him whether they are sinners or not! He was wrong to have punished Adam and Eve and all the others that he sent to hell in the first place because of the impractical rules he wrote that no one can obey! And it is a shame that he did not think of sending Christ long before he sent so many people to hell, but he is too proud to want to admit he was wrong.
Is that the kind of character that God has – or the kind of “character” he is? Or is he sovereign, omniscient, absolutely correct in everything he does and entirely just? The doctrine I just described is refuted by all the Scriptures, so it cannot be God’s truth. Let us now review some of his truth that the church keeps denying.
The whole purpose of becoming born again is to give us a chance to live life anew without sinning against God because we obey the commandments. That is the way to heaven, and our new Spirit along with Christ and his righteousness are given to us to make it happen.
And in planning the New Covenant, God said he was going to forgive some of our iniquities, but he was also going to write his laws in our hearts and minds so we would be his people and we would obey those laws. They have not been revoked, but the church believes they have.
He made Christ the mediator of the New Covenant so Christ implemented that plan for God. In order for us to have a totally clean record of sinless-ness when we were ready for heaven, Jesus had died for any sins we committed before we were saved, and as God he still has the right to forgive some that we have difficulty stopping after we are saved. In that sense he does forgive all our sins. Then by living in us he observes all our deeds and words and teaches and empowers us to stop sinning so we can go to heaven while he also keeps records on us in his Lamb’s Book of Life. How awesome, marvelous, gracious, loving, and just our God is!
In other words Christ in us (not his death on the cross) makes us able to do what everyone thinks is impossible, which is to obey his commandments and become sinless like he is. That is how he becomes the shepherd of God’s flock of sheep leading them to heaven.
That is also why HE IS the WAY to live and the way to heaven, the TRUTH we must know and do, and the LIFE he created us to live, which we do live if we know those truths about Jesus. If we die before becoming “perfect” his Father will accept us into heaven because he knows our heart is right and we will keep obeying him. We will be the saints of God that he created us to be in our new birth.
We will have been maturing to become like Christ for however long we live, and we will be considered sinless because we will have learned how to resist temptation as we learn to obey whatever commandment his Holy Spirit reminds us of. It all takes work, but it is our life, rather than having to do works that are added onto an otherwise busy life. When we get to heaven we will continue obeying and will have an incorruptible body to make our work of obedience easier because we are not then having to fight the devil and our fleshly appetites or lusts. The devil will have lost his toe-hold on us.
By the church telling us Christ’s crucifixion makes it possible for us to go to heaven without us needing to do any work to become righteous so we can be accepted there, they are denying the true gospel that is taught in the Bible and are substituting their own man-made gospel which is as false as false can be. They are not just making a little mistake.
HOW WE CAN OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS
AND THEREFORE STOP SINNING
As he had promised, God sent the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit into believers to keep his laws in their hearts and minds. So we obey them not explicitly by the letter of the law, but by doing what Christ and the Holy Spirit tell us to do! If we fail by not listening to that inner voice or not sincerely trying our best we can receive the same penalty for sin that Christ came to prevent. He allows us to confess sins while we work hard and pray for his help to resist every temptation that we have. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)
That is the way James tells us to stop sinning so we can go to heaven. Not yielding to temptation whenever we are tempted to disobey it is how we keep every commandment the Lord tells us to keep, which assures us of eternal life. God does not tempt or “try” us but he lets the devil do it to build our character. The apostles always kept themselves out of his clutches because of the promise of heaven. (1 John 5:18) And we must do the same. But if we fail to resist all our temptations in some area of our life and simply continue to sin in order to feel the pleasure of it, and then confess our sin without having worked hard to stop it, our confession will not be accepted because we are willfully disobeying God. (Heb. 10:26) And Paul feels our eternal punishment should be extremely severe for having “done despite unto the Spirit of grace.” (Heb. 10:29)
Christ says the commandments should guide our whole lives, not just to keep us free from sin. This was true in his life and he tells us to do the same thing. That is in John 12:49-50 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 0And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. Do you remember reading that amazing statement that God’s commandments guided every part of Christ‘s life, his works and his words, and that is everlasting life? He is telling us that so we, as children, sons and daughters of God ourselves, will live the same way, I have written a little book on how to do that. It is entitled Do Only What the Lord Tells You to Do.
In John 14 Jesus says essentially the same thing. He tells us to live the same way that he does – we, God, and Christ must all live in each other; and we must keep God’s commandments. In that way, which Paul calls living in the Spirit, we obey all the commandments of him and his Father. If we do not obey, Christ says he and his Father will not even come to dwell with us in Spirit. That means we cannot even be born again and receive the Spirit of a new life unless we desire with all our heart to keep his commandments. And in Matthew (Matt. 7:24-27) he tells us we must follow his teachings and sayings, which are also his Father’s commandments (John 14:21, 23 and 24), or our house will fall and great will be its fall. We will have built it on sand.
In other words, Christians should live by saying and doing what the Lord wants and tells them to say and do – to the very best of their ability. That means staying in his will for our lives by listening to the Holy Spirit whether we are awake or asleep. That takes some “doing” or “work.” But Christ pulls half of our load because we are yoked to him.
If we are chemically or physically “addicted” so that Christ’s divine power cannot help us stop it he would surely forgive us for it. But I do not believe any addiction is greater than his power to help us overcome it in answer to our sincere work and prayers. When psychologists say people are addicted to alcohol for example, all that means to me is that they will always be tempted; but it does not mean they will always keep drinking. So addiction to alcohol or drugs is the same as for any other sin, because we will always be tempted to sin – but we do not need to yield. To yield or to resist are both voluntary actions that we do. If it is involuntary because of some physiological condition, I still think it can be overcome by a believer with work and prayer because God is still there to let us partake of his divine power.
The solution to not sinning is simply to not yield to temptation and that is a life-long process for anyone but we can succeed. However we must learn to stay away from temptation by guarding our thoughts, avoiding all tempting situations and praying for God’s help to replace our thoughts with better things if a temptation comes that our own actions did not create. It is not as difficult as we are told.
Our body will probably realize that we will not die if its lusts are not gratified, so our inner old man can be crucified by our will, as Paul tells us. If he does not die completely God will forgive us because we have been following Him and his commandments whole heartedly and will never be rebellious like we once were. As Paul says, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” (Rom. 6:17) His readers had stopped sinning by learning to obey wholeheartedly. We must do the same and in the same way, which is to obey Christ who is our Lord as we live with his Spirit in us.
Read Psalm 119 and learn how important King David thought the Word of God and the commandments are in cleansing us from sin. He loved the commandments, which he said were God’s law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, judgments, and commandments. He “hid them in his heart” by memorizing them and meditating on them day and night.
A good way to use that idea today is to memorize Christ’s commandments and some of his teachings or sayings that relate to your sins, and when you start to think, look, or listen to anything tempting turn away and recite and meditate upon one of the passages you have learned. That fortifies your resolve to keep your commitment to the Lord to nip such things in the bud. Your thoughts initiate your sins. If you cannot apply a verse to the particular sin at that time, just pray that he will immediately strengthen your resolve to think about him instead of about the thought that you were beginning to indulge.
In summary, the Spirit of Christ “gives” us his “righteousness” by his crucifixion which first paid for our former sins as part of our salvation. That also gives Christ the right to forgive any sins that we find difficult to stop even with his help. If we are born again we acquire access to the mind and spirit of Christ, because he and his Holy Spirit come into us to communicate with us, to answer all our prayers, and thereby empower us to stop sinning by obeying whatever he tells us. In that way Christ “fulfills” the Law like he said he would, instead of “destroying it” – but he does it with the help of our obedience.
HOW THE CHURCH MISCONSTRUES THE ROLE OF THE CRUCIFIXION
Christ died on the cross for us so his Father would forgive us for the sins we had committed before being saved or that we confess if we commit any after we are saved, until we can stop sinning entirely or die before completing the task. He does not forgive sins that we are not trying to stop. And there are some sins we never commit because we obey some commandments easily and naturally, especially if we have been saved. But it is ironic that some unsaved people obey more of them than many Christians.
Because Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins, his Father gives us “positional sanctification” and a seat in heaven and expects us to retain it by stopping the sins that crop up in our lives. In our new birth he gives us Christ and the Holy Spirit to abide in us and help us obey the commandments, which is the way Christ keeps his promise to fulfill the righteous laws of God. His Father had given him the right to forgive some of our iniquities. Then the new birth gives us a new life to live “right” by obeying the commandments and getting cleansed from any and all sins that would keep us out of heaven. That is how Christ in us, with the help of the Comforter who is also in us, leads his sheep to the heavenly pasture.
Christ tells us to remember him in the Communion which is to include the memory of his crucifixion. That is to purge our conscience and remind us to stop lusting and live righteously. (See 2 Peter 1:1-13, quoted near the end of this section especially vs. 9.) Christ wants us to die to our sins, like he died for them. Also, Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” In the process of serving the living God we will be stopping our sinful worldly life and doing good works of righteousness that God has ordained for us to do. (Eph. 2:10) He wants us to be able to work righteously for him, which we can only do with the Spirit inside telling us what to do instead of us working for self-aggrandizement. So our conscience gets purged in different ways by remembering the crucifixion.
Those are the truths about the crucifixion. But instead of teaching those, the church doctrine incorrectly says the crucifixion has fulfilled and thus eradicated the law for us so we do not have to obey it anymore. The way they teach that is by saying that God’s forgiveness of all our sins includes all past, present, and future sins, with no strings attached. So the “future” sins were supposedly all forgiven in advance so we would no longer be accountable for disobeying the commandments!
Can you see how unjust that doctrine is? Think of the millions of people who have been condemned to hell for not obeying the commandments, and now God has supposedly stopped requiring that for “his people” living today so they can go to heaven without obeying them! God would never do something like that!
So being accepted into heaven is now supposedly the result of simply having our sins forgiven by Christ as he paid our penalty, instead of us having to follow Him as the living Lord. The church says we have met heaven’s righteousness requirement without having to do anything and we do not even have to be judged for our actions! In some miraculous way we skip that end-time requirement or pass it with flying colors even though we are still sinners!
The church says we have a less important judgment around the Great White Throne where our works supposedly are judged to see if we deserve any special rewards. I have not investigated that belief. Dr. D. James Kennedy insists that there are not two judgments – there is only one for everyone. What do you think?
We no longer need to watch out for any danger on the straight and narrow way that has pitfalls and thickets to fall into. In fact the way is now broad, and well paved. The way it is often stated is that no sin or no amount of sin can send us to hell or “make God love us less!” We have eternal security from the time we say “Yes” to Jesus!
So the church says the crucifixion alone puts all children of God from now on into heaven because God wants at least some of his children to be able to come there! That is one of the reasons the teaching of righteousness (sanctification).is not emphasized. Therefore the only requirement for going to heaven is to “believe in Christ,” love and worship him and his Father, confess our sins in general without naming or describing any of them and we can expect God to cleanse us supernaturally of all unrighteousness and give us eternal life in heaven. That sounds biblical but it is 180 degrees away from the truth of the Bible.
The present doctrine is the wrong way to get to heaven. The truth is that we must become personally sanctified and righteous by working toward developing our character to match that of the Lord. He comes to live in us in Spirit to help us accomplish that. We do what he tells us to do, because we have made that commitment to him. That is the commitment Paul says he is “persuaded” that God will keep “against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12) That is how the Lord leads his sheep to heaven. We follow him and he guides us to avoid any thickets or any of the devil’s booby traps. We can still fall and be lost if we stay living in the flesh and “doing it my way” a la Frank Sinatra. We need to live in the Spirit, using the mind and spirit of Christ who is in us, so we will have sense enough to repent and also avoid or escape all temptation to sin which Paul says we can do. (1 Cor. 10:13)
In the following extended passage Simon Peter completely refutes the church’s doctrine that Christ’s forgiveness of sins gets us to heaven without us having to do anything with our life. His statements also disprove today’s doctrine of eternal security. He says if we stay free from sin and develop virtues by working to be accepted into heaven we cannot fall – otherwise we probably will. Peter will keep reminding people to do those things until he dies because that is the way we can assure ourselves of being accepted. Please read 2 Peter 1:1-13. Here are the key excerpts in the passage with their verses numbered:
3 … his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 … that … ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; … knowledge; …
6 … temperance; … patience; … godliness; 7 … brotherly kindness; … and … charity.
8For if these things be in you … ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9But he that lacketh these things is blind … and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10Wherefore … give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
The church should be putting us “always in remembrance of those things” but
they are not doing it. “Those things” in Peter’s marvelous short summary include:
We are called to be saints who are godly, and virtuous.
We partake of God’s divine nature and stop lusting and sinning.
We develop a virtuous character in addition to stopping our sins.
That makes us fruitful for the Lord.
If we do not do those things we are blind and have forgotten that we have been
purged from our old sins (our past, not our present or future sins) which Christ
wants us to remember he died to remove from our record.
If we diligently do those things it will make our calling and election sure and we
will never fall – so we could fall if we do not do those things.
And we shall have an abundant and joyous welcome into heaven, the everlasting
kingdom of our Lord and Savior. That says he wants us to work to deserve
heaven. What do you think of that?
Doesn’t that say much of what I have been saying in this document? Remember, it is the Word of God rather than my ideas.
So that extended citation supplies many of the points in the gospel which have been totally omitted by the doctrine of the church today. And look at the “works” that Peter says we must do in order to go to heaven! That is the idea we find hardest to believe because of what we have been taught about works.
SHOULD WE DE-EMPHASIZE THE COMMANDMENTS
BECAUSE WE ARE IN THE AGE OF GRACE?
The following references are all from the New Testament, or the Age of Grace.
Revelation 22:14-15 says: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Those are not my words. They are Christ’s or his angel’s final teaching words in the Bible. This is the Bible’s concluding summary of the whole subject we have been discussing and it asserts that keeping the commandments is the only way to pass God’s final exam and be admitted into heaven for eternity.
Also in Revelation, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12) They would not have gotten there without keeping the commandments. And we are supposed to be the saints that will follow them there.
And in John’s Gospel chapter 14 Jesus says three times that he will come to dwell or abide in believers only if they love him and keep his commandments. To encourage and empower us to become righteous and sinless by obeying God’s laws is the reason God sent him to earth to teach and later to die for us. When we are born again Christ comes into us and the Comforter will remind us of whatever Christ told or wants to tell us to do so we can obey Him. And Christ in us answers all our prayers and empowers us to obey. He actually will tell us what to do if we ask him directly. But none of that happens without us desiring to obey and then actually doing it. And if we do not obey we simply have changed trains and boarded one that has the wrong engineer and is traveling to a disastrous destination.
Here are some words excerpted from John 14: 13-15, 21-26:
13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
23 ,,, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
26 …the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
y commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he t loveth me shall be That means that people will not even be born again to start on their journey to heaven unless in their hearts they are committed to obey everything that the Holy Spirit says, because they love him that much. John says the same thing many times in different ways in his epistles. Did you learn that in Sunday school in the last fifty years?
For one and a half centuries after the Constitution was written pastors preached sermons about the necessity of obeying Christ and living righteously in order to be “sanctified” or holy and go to heaven. The main arguments the church uses for not emphasizing that today is that God no longer requires it and a human being cannot change his behavior and keep it righteous by his human will, so it is futile to tell him to do so.
That is only true if it is by his human will alone. But the church forgets that believers are able to live in the spirit and have Christ in them doing what the passage above says, namely, that Christ will manifest himself to us and will answer all our prayers, which empowers us to successfully do anything he tells or expects us to do if we desire or ask him to help us. That means we can keep his commandments with no trouble. And if we do not do that we will be back in the devil’s kingdom in which we were first born. Remember what Paul said: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13) And if you are led by the Spirit you are the sons of God and can do anything your father tells you to do, because the Spirit of Christ in you lets you partake of his power.
From the beginning of his journey to heaven Paul listened and heard the Spirit – as anyone who is truly “born again” can do – and the Spirit tells all born again believers to do righteous work for the Lord so they can be accepted and live eternally with Christ and their heavenly Father.
But many people do not listen to that still, small voice after awhile because they are listening over the din of the church which tells them that they are wrong to try to become as righteous or holy as that, because that would make them proud; and also, Christ has already made them righteous and they would be dishonoring him by belittling his free gift. And we are not to try to get rid of all our sins, because we supposedly cannot do that. If we use our human will power the church says we have the wrong motive and it will be in vain. We must trust Christ to take care of our sin problem by his crucifixion, otherwise we will be doing it selfishly hoping to get something for doing it and not realizing that it is the gift of God and is totally free; that would be discrediting God’s grace. So perhaps we should just forget it and keep living in the flesh, in the comforting illusion the church doctrine creates for us.
Aside: By editing this paper several times I have repeated myself redundantly by saying the same thing in different words in the different sections of the paper. I thought that was bad and have tried to correct it; but as a professional teacher I now think it is fine, because repetition is one of the best ways to learn something; and what I am talking about is very difficult to grasp at first reading because it is completely opposite to everything we have been taught. So I will leave it repetitive because I am not working for an award as a journalist. All I am after is approval from Christ and he is the one who is telling me what to write and how to write it.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE MORAL BREAKDOWN
The church’s misinterpretation of the Bible is a major reason for the moral breakdown we see within and outside the church and the fact that Satan has been continually winning the “culture war” in America. A revival under such conditions is virtually impossible because there is no way to get it started. Churches do not think it is necessary and it does not fit their evangelistic agenda. The only way it could happen would be if the churches started to teach what the Bible says instead of only what they say it says. People will not listen to ordinary citizens about this because nearly everyone has been thoroughly indoctrinated with lies instead of enlightened with truth, so they cannot “hear” the truth anymore because it seems incredible.
Paul’s epistles and those of James, John, and Peter plainly refute the lies I have mentioned even though the core of the church’s false doctrine originated from Paul’s writings about the futility of trying to work for our salvation. He was correct about everything he said of course, but some theologians (probably not Martin Luther) distorted Paul’s and Luther’s doctrine by failing to use Paul’s many statements and those of others that clarify the meaning. The excerpted verses the church uses in their presentation often conceal the meaning by ignoring context that surrounds and explains it.
Paul and Luther said “The Just Shall Live by Faith” and “Faith Alone Saves Us” which is 100 percent correct. But the seminaries have indoctrinated the pastors in a perversion of that belief so we no longer have to be just, righteous or holy or to live by the faith that saves us. We only need to believe it without letting it change our lives, because that requires work for us to do. We can use a little of our faith to do something nice to make God happy, but even that is supposedly not necessary for admission to heaven. If we think it is, we are belittling God’s grace!
THIS HORRIBLE SITUATION IS MAN-MADE.
IT WAS NOT CREATED BY GOD
It is my opinion that this cheap counterfeit doctrine of the 20th and 21st Centuries has been created and taught publicly by members or fellow travelers who follow the occult spiritual hierarchy of the ancient religions which rules the world. The human followers led by the demonic hierarchy all work behind the scenes and infiltrate the top leadership positions of all our major organizations. We know only some of their names because of their secrecy. As the Bible says we can only know them by their fruit, not by their words. Satan is their God and is still the prince of this world, and the doctrine that is now in most churches puts myriads of people into his kingdom without anyone’s knowledge or consent.
Why don’t the believers or their pastors realize it? Satan is a deceiver and so are all his helpers! Some of his cults and societies are so secret that if members reveal anything about their ceremonies or the true motives behind their public actions they will die gruesome deaths at the hands of other members. The visible groups in the societies are only fronts for the hidden leaders who are deep into the devil’s occult programs.
Religion has been only one of the many branches of our society that have all been infiltrated, deceived and brainwashed by the enemies of God and country. The government, the financial institutions, the entire educational system and the mass media are others. America stopped being educated and free many years ago and it is the job of people who know this to spread the word to as many people as possible.
One way which could help Christians revive and start really living for Jesus would be to use two books I have written and other materials to teach them how important it is for their eternal destiny. This paper you are reading would be another good resource. That is the kind of information they are not getting that would allow Jesus back into their lives as their Lord and would resurrect their dead faith with the help of the Holy Spirit of God.
Most Christians realize they still sin in one way or another but they do not care because no one is telling them they are obeying the devil instead of God. “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 unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:15) Paul stated many times that the penalty of yielding to the devil’s temptations is the same for believers as for non-believers and obedience to Christ is the only way to righteousness and heaven. First it was Christ’s obedience and now it must be ours as we grow to become like Him.
If we can get enough people to understand this who can be active and spread the word to others who have the power to change things – especially to some church leaders who still “have ears to hear” or church members who have influence – we will have some hope of saving the country. And God promises to help us if we pray for his help.
God will not destroy America before he destroys the world. Many people think the Bible predicts that but it doesn’t. Our own leaders are destroying America and even killing many of its people in various ways that most people do not realize, such as man-made diseases and vaccinations, water fluoridation, food additives that are poisoning us, and drugs that are doing the same. Our top leaders are usually patsies or figurehead rulers for the undercover spiritual hierarchy and the various deceptive societies and organizations but they still know what they are doing. They have been inciting the coming war which will hit America as well as the Middle East and they have even been training the enemy troops and munitions manufacturers and financing the enemy countries because the war(s) will result in many kinds of devastation that would make the dictatorial control of the world seem like the only answer.
Government officials have plans to protect themselves in deep underground bomb shelters with hospital facilities and vaccines and medicines against radiation and man-made diseases etc., but they will not spend a dime of our money for those things or any Civil Defense plans to protect even some of the citizenry. The leaders evidently want to cause chaos which is now beginning to happen with the invasion of illegal immigrants. They are pretending that the coming war will only happen in the Middle East and will be only a short war with bombing excursions that will have few casualties on our side. They know they are planning to keep troops in many countries for years as they build the one-world empire that the New World Order needs, but they will not tell us of those plans. Satan is their spiritual father but most of them do not believe they will all be cast into hell with him after a few years of success in their awful venture.
Prayer and a religious revival to bring God back as the real power behind our government is the only thing that could possibly get us out of the horrible bind we have created by our ignorance and apathy about what the Bible says and what the enemies of God have been doing in churches and most other organizations and government agencies in all countries. We have not been watching, praying and avoiding false doctrines as the Lord told us to do.
Thank you for reading and hopefully really “hearing” what I have said here. If you think it is important please pass this along to others as a service to them and to God and your country. It is complex and I would say very deep reading, but is not really difficult to understand if people can open their mind to read it, rather than wanting to judge the writer which is what they have been taught to do when he disagrees with “common knowledge.”
But this document is especially difficult to believe because everyone in America has been in an environment of misinformation from their education, churches, and media. My hope is that it will teach some of them about the secret conspiracy against God and how it is deceiving them. But many people will let what they read go in one ear and out the other without remembering its arguments except that I disagree with everything they believe and think they know, so my arguments must be wrong! They will probably stop reading shortly after they start.
That is the power of brainwashing and why revival is not going to come easily even to save a lot of Christians from hell. We who know the truth will need God’s help which he may not be able to give us this late in the game because the sins of all the Christians have kept the devil dealing the cards with the Lord’s permission and the church does not even think a revival is needed!
May God bless you and keep you safe under his wings.
Richard H. Strand
8924 Camino Real
San Gabriel, CA 91775
See Index of Centered Headings below.
INDEX of CENTERED HEADINGS
THE NEED FOR REVIVAL AND ITS DIFFICULTY 2
THE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH 3
BELIEVERS CAN GO TO HELL IF THEY CONTINUE TO SIN BUT THE 3
CHURCH DENIES IT
BELIEVERS CAN LOSE THEIR SALVATION BY WILLFULLY KEEPING 5
EVEN ONE SIN
THE GREAT PERSONAL AND NATIONAL DANGER OF THE OCCULT 7
MOVEMENT INTO THE NEW WORLD ORDER
WE THE PEOPLE AND OUR CHURCHES ARE TO BLAME 9
BEING SAVED AND BEING ELIGIBLE FOR HEAVEN ARE DIFFERENT 10
BUT THE CHURCH THINKS THEY ARE THE SAME
BEING SAVED INSPIRES US TO WORK TO BECOME RIGHTEOUS 10
SO WE CAN BE ACCEPTED INTO HEAVEN
FAITH AND WORKS ARE BOTH NECESSARY, WHICH IS DENIED 11 VEHEMENTLY BY THE CHURCH
WE MUST DO GOOD WORKS THAT ARE CLEAN AND PURE 12
IN PREPARATION FOR HEAVEN
PAUL KEPT ALL THE COMMANDMENTS AFTER HE WAS SAVED 13
BUT CHURCH DOCTRINE SAYS THE COMMANDMENTS
ARE TOO DIFFICULT, OBSOLETE AND UNNECESSARY
THE GREAT NEED TO TEACH PEOPLE TO BE RIGHTEOUS BY BECOMING 17 SANCTIFIED IS ALMOST OMITTED
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO STOP SINNING? THE CHURCH SAYS IT IS 21 IMPOSSIBLE
FOLLOWING CHRIST BY OBEYING HIM IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN, 23
BUT THE CHURCH NOW THINKS IT HAS A LESS TROUBLESOME WAY
THE CHURCH ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO NOT DO ANY WORK 23
BECAUSE THEY SAY IT IS NOT REQUIRED, AND HUMAN WORKS ARE
LIKE FILTHY RAGS SO IT IS ACTUALLY WRONG TO WORK TO GO TO HEAVEN
THE CHURCH IS TEACHING DEAD FAITH INSTEAD OF A LIVING ONE 26
THEORIES ABOUT WORKS AND THE LAWS OF GOD HAVE CREATED 27
AN ABSURD DOCTRINE THAT DEGRADES THE CHARACTER OF GOD
HOW WE CAN OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS AND THEREFORE STOP 29 SINNING
HOW THE CHURCH MISCONSTRUES THE ROLE OF THE CRUCIFIXION 31
SHOULD WE DE-EMPHASIZE THE COMMANDMENTS BECAUSE WE ARE 34
IN THE AGE OF GRACE?
CONTRIBUTING TO THE MORAL BREAKDOWN 36
THIS HORRIBLE SITUATION IS MAN-MADE. IT WAS NOT CREATED BY 37