Eternal Security - once saved, always saved?
offers the best explanation I have seen anywhere of why this dangerous
teaching doesn't hold water. This commonly held belief simply isn't true.
Christ did his part on the cross, but our salvation is conditional upon us doing our part also.
This is “Part 1” in a series of very important Bible study lessons on a very controversial subject taught by many churches called Once Saved Always Saved. It is also called eternal security, unconditional security and goes by several other names. Can a Christian after being saved ever do anything that will cause them not be saved? There are certainly so many in the church today that say this is impossible. This is certainly a difficult subject found in the Bible and one that has caused much debate for many Christians. As you can tell I do not intentionally avoid controversial subjects in my Bible lessons. I try to talk about the important subjects and the relevant God kind of things that are on everyone’s mind at one time or the other. But, I want to make sure that when I talk about a subject, I try to do it from a balanced Bible perspective and that I do not ignore any related subjects or scriptures in order to embrace a part of the truth that I like more. I like to confront religion and religious minded people directly with the Word of God. I do not intentionally ignore the hard sayings that the Bible contains. I obviously am still learning new things everyday, so I might be able to add more to a topic later, but I just talk about the things that I’ve learned up until this point in time and that is the best that I can do. I have heard this philosophy of “Once Saved, Always Saved” being taught in many Christian circles and denominations. I often wondered about it, why it seemed to me not to be totally accurate truth being taught. I heard the argument for eternal security and it seemed like a very legitimate good one on the surface. The Bible tells us that the payment of sin was an all inclusive one-time act of Jesus (Heb 9:26). Therefore, what sin could I possibly commit that was not already covered under the blood of Jesus for me to lose my salvation and I could at first not think of any. Until one day I read a verse in the Bible that talked about a new kind of sin that I had never seen before. This sin was called the “Sin Unto Death” so I started studying the scriptures for a clearer understanding of this topic and this lesson was the beginning of what I found.
Today’s topic is Once Saved Always Saved vs. the Sin Unto Death! It is a modern Bible debate of the scriptures. What does it all mean? Is there a Sin that a Christian can commit to cause them not be saved anymore? What we must realize is that if there is just one sin that you can commit to lose your salvation then we need to know about it and how to avoid it. You see in some Christian denominations it is taught as “Once Saved, Always Saved!” Meaning that there is not any sin of any kind or any human action that a man or women can commit to go to hell after being saved. After studying the Bible, I would not want to be in that person’s shoes on judgment day if that is really what they believe. Too many Christian use the Bible and certain verses as a justified license to commit sin and that is not a good interpretation of what God said. I believe in the eternal power of the blood of Jesus and I believe that Jesus died on the cross once for all people and for all sins, past, present and future. I believe that there are no more sacrifices for sin that is required to pay for any past or future sin. However, to say once saved and always saved means that man no longer has any free will rights or future choices or decisions to ever make to stay saved and that forces us to ignore a vast portion of the New Testament that teaches us that we have responsible actions to follow. This type of thinking causes man to have no future accountability and no further responsibilities after becoming a Christian. Where in the Bible does it ever say that man loses his right to choose or make decisions? Where in the Bible does it say that a man will never be judged for what he has done on the earth? That type of thinking does not fit the complete image of God or the Bible in any form or fashion. God never makes our decisions for us. God never chooses or forces your destiny. God will never control your thoughts. God will never stop you from doing anything either right or wrong.
If you closely read and study the Bible, it speaks of an ongoing and a continual process of salvation. Salvation is spoken of in the terms of something that clearly has a beginning or starting point. For example, Jesus said in John 3:3 that “you must be born again”. This spiritual birth described by Jesus was exactly like a natural birth and it represents a starting point for your new spiritual life and growth process. If something like being born again has an observable beginning, then it must also have an observable ending termination point with a specific process of stuff in the middle. Is this too complicated for you? Do you understand processes?
Let’s talk briefly about the imedded process of being a Christian from inception to termination. You see in the Bible we are told to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Php 2:12). Does that not sound like a process to you? We are also commanded “to run the race” (Heb 12:1, 1 Cor 9:24). Isn’t every race a process with a stated ending after a beginning? We are told to “fight the good fight” (1 Tim 6:12). Have you ever watched a boxing match? Do they not start every match with a bell and then go through to the number of predetermined rounds if each boxer survives that long? That sure sounds like a process to me. Then we are told to “Hold Fast to what you have been given until Jesus comes back” (Rev 2:25). If it is necessary to “Hold on” to what Jesus has given to us, then that is also a stated process that can be lost. All of these verses imply an ongoing process and a continuing effort to contend for a good and a positive outcome. They also imply the possibility of someone losing, quitting, or giving up. Any race will always have a winner and a loser, Any race will always have people who finish and some that quit. A fight also has a winner and a loser. A fight can also have a person who throws up his hands and says “no mas” or “I give up”. To work out your salvation implies a job with an expected outcome attached to it, like a paycheck. If at any time you give up and do not finish the job or work are you still entitled to the pay? Then that verse in Revelation 2:25 that Jesus is speaking to the church and telling them to “hold fast on to their salvation until I come back”. You see salvation is a gift that we have been freely given, yes? If I gave you a Rolex watch, couldn’t you throw it away? You see any gift given is dependent upon the receiver holding on to it and taking care of it in order for the gift to be kept safe. If you have to hold on to your salvation then you can lose your salvation, you can throw it away intentionally, you can treat it casually and even accidently lose it. Any gift from God a man or a woman has the right to reject it or walk away from it at any point in time. People never lose their right to choose and they will always have the ability and power to reject salvation. The Bible is a very tricky book to understand. You see it says so many things in so many different ways that you have to be very careful on what you base your theology. You cannot take just a small part of the Bible and make that the complete truth. It might be only a small part of the truth and you have exalted it to be the complete truth. That is what I believe people who teach “Once Save, Always Save” have done. So what is this “Sin Unto Death”? In 1 John 5:16 God gives us some information that is difficult to understand. Let’s go through what this verse says and talk about it:
1Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto dath: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
God is obviously talking about the subject of sin. Sin is usually defined as “missing the mark” and the mark is doing the right thing no matter what it costs. But, in this verse there seems to be two different types of sin being discussed. One is a normal sin and the other is called a “sin unto death”. What is the Bible definition of death? I think that most Christian people think naturally and define death to be when someone’s body just ceases to function. But, you also have to keep in mind that the Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). In that verse God is talking about two kinds of death using a single reference. One type of death is physical or natural and the other type of death is a spiritual death. You see there is a spiritual death that is simply defined as the separation from God. The human spirit will never cease to exist but it may not exist within God’s family unit. Let’s continue reading in 1 John so we can see the definition of sin:
1Jn 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
This verse starts with the definition for sin, saying it is anything that you do that is unrighteous. That includes a tremendous number of possible things, doesn’t it? This verse ends in a contradictory statement to what I just quoted in Romans 6:12 that the wages of all sin was death. In Romans it clearly teaches us that the “wages of sin is death”. Wages are what you normally receive for doing good works at a job. However God is using this concept to teach the consequences of sin as an inverse negative. We have a paradox given to us in 1 John 5:17 that is truly a mystery. God clearly teaches that there are sins that are not unto death. What we have is a major interpretation problem brewing or we could also view it as a misunderstanding based upon our ignorance of the subject. The only logical way to resolve the conflict is to understand that one verse is talking about both physical and spiritual death and the other verse is just talking about spiritual death. The “sin unto death” is a referenced spiritual death that separates that individual from God spiritually speaking. We are told in 1 John 5:16 to only pray for those that are committing the sins that are not unto death, but for those that have committed the sin unto death, it does not do any good to pray for them God says. I also want to emphasize that John was writing about Christians in this verse context calling them spiritual brothers. This sin unto death is not used in relation to non-Christians even though they are technically already spiritually dead not having been born again. I do hope that you are beginning to understand the difference between these two types of sins being contrasted. If not let’s review an example of the types of sin not unto spiritual death:
1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
We are looking at a Bible example of a sin not unto death and trying to see what God says about it. In this verse found in 1 Corinthians 5 you can read about a man that is committing fornication and sin by taking his father’s wife and sleeping with her. God tells us very clearly that this action is a sin, but yet He does not say that it is a sin unto to spiritual death, yet the man is still handed over to Satan to be killed a physical death as we can read in the next verse:
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
The man was handed over to Satan by Paul for the destruction of his flesh. Did you know that Satan had that kind of power and access if you sin? This is certainly an example of death, but it is only a natural physical death and not a spiritual eternal separation from God. God still says that the man’s spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. What we can see is that the man’s sin resulted in him going to heaven early and he didn’t have a long extended life here on the earth. That is what sin does to you, it opens the door to Satan and it shortens your life here on the earth. But, notice the difference, he was still potentially saved so this was not the sin that was mentioned earlier called the sin unto spiritual death. Are you seeing it? Let’s examine some other New Testmanet scriptural examples concerning those who have comitted this sin unto death:
Heb 10:29 Of 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?
In this verse in Hebrews we can see an example of the “sin unto death”. It speaks of someone who was once saved, but now they have changed their directions and speak against God. They appear to disdain the shed blood of Jesus in the new covenant, and God says that they have actually trample on or walked over the Son of God like He was their defeated enemy. The blood that they once thought was holy they now call unholy and what they use to esteem they now despise. This verse speaks of someone who was clearly once saved and now has turned back to what they use to be. This is extremely sad to me, but people will always have the freewill right to go back into the darkness and leave the light of God. Here is another verse that reveals men on the earth can castaway what God has given to them:
Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
You can see fairly clearly reading throughout this chapter in context and this verse in particular that it says that people can purposefully “cast away” whatever has been given to them. I tried to talk about this concept earlier, when I said if I came and gave you a Rolex watch, you could choose to not keep it and even throw it in the garbage. It really depends upon how much you value what is given to you. If someone has no confidence in God or the blood of Jesus saving them then that could also result in that person losing their salvation. Look back up in this chapter at another verse in context on the subject of drawing back:
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Finally, in this verse God talks about some people who were once saved but now they have “drawn back” into perdition. To “draw back” means to quit or stop running or to not finish or complete the process that I talked about earlier. It speaks of them entering back into the state of “perdition” which means a state of “loss” or “ruin”. All of these terms are speaking about someone who was once saved, but chose to depart God and go another foolish way. It is impossible to draw back into perdition if you were not saved free from perdition. This is not rocket science you just have to see what the Bible says on the subject. Can a believer draw back from their salvation? According to God they can!
So what is this “sin unto death”? I believe that the only sin that will result in you not making it, is the one where you willfully and intentionally say “I do not want you God anymore”, “I do not want to be saved and you are not my Lord, Jesus”. If you do this and say this guess what, God will not make you go to heaven and He will let you go to hell. God will always allow you to choose your destiny right up until your very last breath that you breathe here on this planet. After you leave this planet your choice has been made and there are no more chances to change. There is a lot more in the Bible on this subject and I could give you personal testimonies of people, but I am running very long so for now I think I will end this lesson with a restatement of the Christian process that you are in right now:
What are we Christians suppose to be doing right now? Here are 4 things:
Part 2 on the subject of “Once Saved, Aleays Saved”, “Eternal Security”, or “Unconditional Security” of the believer after salvation. I will continue to talk about this subject today in greater detail giving you a new perspective on the subject that I call the introduction of the unpardonable sin. Does an unpardonable sin exist? Can a Christian commit this sin and even lose their salvation? In the first lesson on this subject I contrasted the teaching of some churches that is often called the doctrine of “once saved, always saved”, to a new but clear reference found in the Bible of what God calls the “Sin Unto Death”. In that lesson I taught that God instructs us not to even pray for a person that has commited this type of Sin Unto Death. If you did not read this first lesson, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start your reading with “Part 1” and then continue forward to today’s lesson.
So what is the “Sin Unto Death”? As you recall from Part 1 of this series I determined that man still possessed a free will choice and that they could decide at any point in time not to be saved. This action would result in their rejection of the saving grace of God. That which God has given to them for free can be freely given back to God at any time. People will never lose the right to choose between good and evil, God and Satan, light and darkness even if it is an extremely stupid choice to make the wrong decision. I do not think that the people who teach “once saved, always saved” have taken this reality into account. They simply want to rely on the divine omnipotence of God to make all of their choices and decisions for them but God just does not do this. There are several references in the Bible that indicate people must strive and contend for the faith (Jude 1:3). That there is a struggle and an armed conflict raging in the spiritual realm (2 Tim 4:7). We have a spiritual enemy doing all that he can to deceive us and cause us to turn back to our previous ways. There are numerous scriptures that clearly inform us that people are not once saved and then can never make the choice to go back to their old life styles. For example:
Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
This verse in Hebrews is another prime example of someone who was saved by the shed blood of Christ and who has now wilfully chosen to go back to sin. Wilfully displays a choice of their freewill. This verse describes a Christian that has learned the truth of God’s Word, but now decided to ignore it. I gave you another verse in the last lesson and it was interesting to see that this person was described as someone who has trodden or walked on the Son of God in verse 29. This is a common Bible term that is used for when someone defeats an enemy. So to this person, Christ is no longer their savior, but has become their enemy. When a person turns back to this old way, you can read here in vese 26 that there is no more sacrifices that can save them. This verse says that they had accepted the one true way to God but have now turned away from the truth and as a result have lost their salvation without any hope for salvation. That is a clear definition to what an unpardonable sin is. God clearly tells us that there is only one sacrifice for our sin, not two, three or more. Christ died one time on the cross, so do not take it lightly, thinking that it is OK to walk away from Christ and that you can come back whenever you like. This is the sin unto death that God is speaking of.
Here is a new problem that I was recently introduced to. One persons tried to explain away all of these verses in Hebrews 10 as not applying to Christians because they said this book was only written to the natural Jews or the Hebrews. Wow, people can become so deceived, can’t they? How ignorant do you have to be to not see this book was written to church? That means it was written to me! That means the scriptures apply to me. If you used their logic then the book of Timothy only applies to Timothy and we should it ignore it also. Using their logic the book of Romans was only written to the people in Rome so we should iginore that one also. I could go on and on like this through every epistle in the N.T. and explain each of them away using some ignorant human reasoning. I’ve seen this type of behavior by Christians and even seminary graduates repeatedly. Whenever they do not want to embrace a truth as being applicable to them, they say it was written to someone else. Heaven help them to see the truth!
THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
Now is the time to get into my new main subject verse that is very important for you to understand. Here is another key verse of scripture that has great significance to our subject of eternal security and to what I have been teaching on subject of the sin unto death. The Eternal Security Extreme Grace message is based solely upon the theory that there are no sins that are possible for a Christian to commit that will cause them to lose their salvation. I mean that would be a radical message, if that is what Jesus believed. However since Jesus didn’t even believe that I think I will not write off His words to believe in a false eternal security. Look here in this verse in Matthew, and see that Jesus is speaking and that He says some things that are very hard to accept for my Grace teachers so they have to ignore them or explain them away:
Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Apparently, according to what Jesus just said there is at the least one sin that will not be forgiven of anyone that commits it. If you did not understand that this was an all-inclusive statement that leaves no one out, then you are not reading it correctly. This verse would have to apply to all Christians as well as to all non-Christians equally since Jesus did not qualify the target audience. Jesus informs us that there are a whole bunch of different kinds of sins and blasphemies that will be forgiven a man or a woman on this planet. But, Jesus then says that there is one that will not be forgiven any man or any woman at any time and that is when they blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Therefore, if there is just ONE SIN that is unforgiveable, then salvation is no longer unconditionally secured, but has been transformed by definition to a conditional salvation. Remaining saved would then be totally dependent upon you not commiting the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. That clearly changes salvation to an unsecured CONDITIONAL event! So let’s define this word blaspheme, using the Strong’s:
From G989; to vilify; specifically to speak impiously: – (speak) blaspheme (-er, -mously, -my), defame, rail on, revile, speak evil.
Obviously, according to this definition, blasphemy is the spoken words of a person, that are directed against the character of God. As you can see it implies that God’s character and nature is good and yet I hear men constantly speaking of Him in terms of being an evil being. I would be very careful with what you say about God, after reading this verse. If you walk about speaking of God as being evil or being the reason for evil you do not understand the Bible and are in jeopardy of being guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God. I heard people speak of God being responsible for the 9/11 attacks of the terrorists and that to me is blasphemy. I have heard people claim God is responsible for the earth quake in Haiti, and that to me is also blasphemy.
Satan uses whatever he can to try to deceive you. I have been guilty of this in the past. Because of my ignorance of the Bible, Satan used my ignorance against me to his advantage when I was young. I remember when I was a kid growing up in church, a traveling minster came into the church and spoke. I do not recall everything he was talking about, but I do know that he spoke about the “unforgiveable sin”. Later in my life, as I was getting close to 21 years old, I was faced with a very hard set of circumstances. I was recently married and my father fell unconscious in his living room. It appears later that we found out that he had a stroke. They rushed him to the hospital and he lay there for a few days still unconscious. Now my father was a preacher a big part of my life. He went to Bible school and had a church that he was the pastor of and seemed to me to be doing the right things. One day as I drove by the hospital I was very discouraged and down about the situation and I said out loud “if this is the kind of God you are, I don’t want anything to do with you”. You see we had many Christians praying and God was not appearing to answer. What I did not know was all of the things that God had tried to do months earlier to get my father to change and fix the problem that was causing these results. My father either out of pride or rebellion did not heed the warning given to him by a great man of God that tried to help him. My father was sitting in a Bible class with this man one day and God showed the teacher that my father was going to die. God told the teacher what to say to him and asked my father to come see him privately to talk about it. This man prayed for my father in public, but did not tell anyone what he saw or what God said. Months later this same man spoke at my father’s funeral service. God put the responsibility of what happened to my father in my father’s hands and my father chose to ignore it as being unimportant. You do realize that God leaves your destiny up to you and you alone?
So now the years went by and Satan used the fact of what I said to God to convince me that I had committed the unpardonable sin against God. Satan used the words of a minster from my childhood to convince me that I could no longer by saved. Ministers need to learn to be careful what they say to who. If they are not careful they can affect someone just as easily negatively as they can positively. There were times that I thought of suicide and had a desire to just end it all. But, thank God for His mercy and His grace! You see later in my life I had another situation come up that I had no other place to turn, but to God. In crying out to God for help I started to seek Him to know Him better and to see if I could still be saved. I learned from my mother that God had tried to help my father months before he died in that Bible class. So it was not God’s fault that my father died. So even though I blamed God for it, it was because of my ignorance of the situation that caused me to say what I did to God. God as a result did not hold it against me and God could still and did forgive me. One night with my wife, after I had been seeking for more of God, God came upon me and then filled me with His Spirit on the inside. This was a manifestation of His Spiritual divine power like I had never experienced before or since. God solved Satan’s plan of deception with an experience that left no doubt in my mind that God was real and that He was on the inside of me and I belonged to Him. I now knew for sure beginning that night that I had not committed the unpardonable sin and that God cared about me personally enough to prove it. So I cannot guarantee you that God will do for you what He did for me in the exact same way. Rarely have I ever seen God do the same exact thing twice in the precise same way. However, God knows how to reach you if you are interested in being reached. If you believe in God, like I did you have half the battle won. If you want more of God and are truly hungry and thirsty for more of His Spirit, you are on the right path to allowing God to work in you, however He sees fit to make Himself real to you. God is sovereign and God is omnipotent. But, God will not override your will or your choices. God will remain hidden, until you make the choice to seek Him diligently.
So I gave you a mini version of my testimony and I usually do not talk about me in my blogs. My blogs are not about me! However, I think my experience might be able to help someone so I included it in hope that the right people would find it.
1Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
If you are concerned that you have already committed the unpardonable sin, but are questioning it and reading this blog, you probably have not. Satan is very tricky, he definitely uses what you do not know to hurt you and deceive you any way that he can. Satan uses your thoughts against you. He puts doubts and thoughts in your mind to mislead you into destruction. Be hungry for the truth! Seek God with all of your heart! God will not let you down, He actually wants to show you how real He is.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
There will always be a choice set before you as long as you are on this earth in the flesh. God will never take your ability to choose away from you. You can choose to obey Him and His Word or select to go your own independent way. This verse in Romans clearly says that you still have responsibility and the choice to make and this verse was specifically written to Christians. There is still a “sin unto death” and this is also called by the synonymous title of the “unpardonable sin” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew. If you still do not understand what these are you should go back and reread these lessons and look up every scripture in your own Bible and study them more until you get them on the inside of you. I’m not through with this subject because God says many more things in His Word that we need to know about it. So I will continue “Once Saved Always Saved” in the future. God Bless!
Part 3 in the series of lesson on the subject Once Saved Always Saved and what others have called unconditional eternal security. If you have not read all of the lessons from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1“. Today is a response to a reader’s comment, who thinks that I know nothing about sheep in the Bible among other topics that I may get into later. However, this man wanted to chastise me for not following his steps of hermeneutical Bible study. He claimed that I clearly did not know what I was talking about when I taught on Predestination and Once Saved Always Saved, because He had figured out the magic formula for Bible interpretation. However, this man failed in one minor detail, he gave me no Bible verses for his method of interpretation so therefore I categorically reject his methods completely. You can read from my other Bible lessons how I interpret scriptures based on other scriptures found in the Bible. This is called letting the Bible interpret itself. There are many basic laws of interpretation given to us in the Bible and I am totally guilty of following these the best that I know how to do. So you can find many blogs on my methods of Bible interpretations so go and read them and learn. Any man can invent rules for Bible interpretation and that is the problem with most of them that you find on the internet. The Bible says that no scripture is of any private interpretation and this is what most people are guilty of. Today’s lesson will be an obvious example of how two people can read the same scriptures and get two opposite interpretations and why. You see all you have to do is ignore certain key words in these next verses and you can get the exact same interpretation that he gave me. However, if you try to do it correctly and pay attention to every word you come up with a major difference in perspectives. Here are some of the Bible verses that this man said I do not understand:
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
In this chapter of John and John is one of my favorite books of the Bible which I have studied more than any other except maybe Genesis, I find a very interesting set of statements being made. This man said that these verses prove that people are “once saved and always saved” by God and can never lose their salvation because that is just what it says. However, if you look very closely and examine the wording and context that is not what it says at all. Sheep are of course symbolic of people in this chapter. The sheepfold is the symbolic world that we live in. Jesus is of course the Chief Shepherd that is in charge of all of us sheep. These verses start with the statement that “My sheep hear my voice”. So right there we learn the first lesson. Not everyone is “His” sheep. You do not have to qualify the noun “sheep” with the adjective “My” if all sheep can hear His voice. Do you get it? So let me ask you a simple question, are you one of His sheep? How can you tell if you are one of His sheep? Is it just because you say you are? I believe our current President proves that is a lie in his actions every day. Saying you are a Christian does not make you a Christian ever. You might recall in the book of Acts that some men came up to a demon possessed man and said “In the name of Jesus that Paul preaches come out of him”. However, the demons said to them “Paul we know and Jesus we know but who are you” and they made them sorry that they confronted a being more powerful than they were (Act 19:13-15). These were examples of men who were not His sheep, but tried to act like it anyway. So you either are one of His sheep or you are not one of His sheep! What is it that determines this fact? It really is not that complicated, if you can hear His voice then you are, if you do not hear His voice then you are not. So let me ask you this, do you hear His voice? I know for certain that I hear His voice on a daily basis, what can you say about this? So the first thing that you learn is not everyone is His sheep and then only His sheep can hear His voice. So let me ask you this, if someone speaks and you are not paying attention do you ever miss what is said? My wife accuses me of this every now and then. She says something and I am sometimes distracted or not paying attention like I should and I miss what was said. Has this ever happened to you? Just because you can hear does not mean that you heard. This is proved every day in church. People sit in the congregation listening to the preacher and I would guess that only a small handful actually hear what is being said and understand it. So hearing is not the complete answer given here, I believe it takes more than just hearing. You can learn this from the Parable of the Sower when Jesus taught on the 6 types of soil, 3 types of soil produced some fruit and 3 types did not produce any fruit. But, they all heard the same words of the sower who was planting the seeds. So obviously there is much more involved than just hearing. Do you get it?
So the next statement that Jesus makes is “I know them and they follow me”. So if you hear His voice Jesus says “He knows you”. However, then He says “They follow me”. Uh oh? Is that another potential problem? What if they don’t follow Him or His voice? Do sheep ever have a “freewill” choice of whether they follow the Shepherd or ignore the Shepherd’s voice? I mean come on, do people ever lose the right to choose? You see you clearly do still have a choice to make even after becoming one of His sheep. There is a clear implied meaning given to us here in this verse that sheep still have choices to make even after being saved out of this crazy world. I mean come on and think a little bit with your brain! If they choose to follow Jesus they can choose not to follow Jesus also. The only way that this would not be possible is if God tied a rope around the neck of every one of His sheep and then dragged them wherever He went whether they wanted to go or not. That would be forced “predestination” and forced “eternal salvation”. Does God forcibly enforce His will upon all Christians and all people in the world? There are many confused Christians who think that He does. If this is the type of God that you serve then you are highly deceived and very ignorant. God is not forcing any of His sheep to follow Him. If you know anything about being a good shepherd, they always walk ahead of their sheep calling to them and the sheep normally follow them. The sheep are therefore highly trustworthy of their master that He is not going to lead them to the wolves. However, sheep do still have a choice not to follow. Once Jesus told this story found in the Bible that is very relevant to our current subject today about sheep:
Luk 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Is Jesus talking about sheep in this parable? I don’t think so! Jesus is again using sheep as an example of people. However, it is very clear and self-evident that sheep can wander off and away from the voice of the shepherd that was guiding them. This tells me that Jesus the Great Shepherd is not in complete control of everyone on this planet and what they do. Any sheep at any time has the choice or chance to walk away. Do you get this concept? This is called “FREEWILL”. These are saved people who have walked away from Jesus’ voice and no longer are able to hear it. Do you GET IT? Of course Jesus says any good shepherd will leave the 99 and go and look for the 1 that is LOST! So here we go again. Does this mean the shepherd when He finds this lost sheep drags him kicking and screaming back to the flock by force? If you think it does then you again do not know the loving compassionate merciful God who allows His sheep to do as they will. Sure a sheep could wander off accidently and be totally glad to get back to the safety of the flock and the shepherd. But, still people are not sheep, they are people and they can do what they want, when they want, to who they want at any time. If a sheep wanders off and commits suicide there is no getting that sheep back even if the shepherd wants it back really bad. If while away from the safety of the shepherd a wolf comes and eats that sheep, it is also gone forever. These are basic sheep principles of shepherds and their flocks. People want to think that God is in control of everything, but if this was true and God is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Almighty, He would have never let one of His sheep get lost in the first place. In this parable, it is clear that a sheep got away and the shepherd did not know about it until He stopped and counted and said I only have 99 and I started with 100 so one got lost. Wow, what do you do with people who ignore what the Bible says for their version of reality? It sure makes it difficult if you can’t see the words that written on the pages, doesn’t it?
Let’s further examine the emphasized subject in verses 28 and 29 of John 10 that we were looking at first. If you can see, then you can understand that both of these verses are about the Power of God vs. the power of Satan. Both of these verses say that God is able to keep those that have chosen to follow Him. Remember that choosing to follow was an important prerequisite to the next two verses. So the next two verses are only applicable if you continue to follow by your freewill choices. As long as you are with the shepherd you are clearly SAFE and no one including Satan can come and force you away. This would be the opposite of forcible salvation; it would be called forcible damnation. If it is illegal for Satan to force you to hell, guess what it would be illegal for God to force you to go to heaven. This MUST be a two way street that goes both ways and the only determining factor which way you go is by your own choice of continuing to follow your faithful Shepherd.
So did we learn anything today? I bet my commenter didn’t hear a thing that I said and that is really a sad state of the world that we live in. My Bible says “Whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”. It is almost impossible to get a blind man to see. What you must determine is a basic question; do sheep still have any freewill choices to make in the real world after being saved? Can they do what they want rather than do what God says? Before you answer this question you should go and read your Bible and see if there are any people in there who God said not to do this and they ignored it and went and did it anyway. There is Balaam, there is all of natural Israel, there is even Moses who God said speak to the rock and he hit it instead. There are too many examples in the Bible of people disobeying God’s voice. Why did God pick sheep as a type or symbol of people in the world? You should study more about sheep and learn how they are a picture of people. For example, sheep are pretty dumb animals, I have to admit that and that speaks a lot for God’s opinion on what people think in the world. You should be smart enough to first see that God’s intelligence is so far above your intelligence that it is barely comparable to a man vs. a sheep. So having said that your opinion is worthless! What you think about the Bible is totally irrelevant! There is no significance to your thoughts unless they become God’s thoughts. So what have we learned about sheep today?
These are the basics found in these verses about sheep in the Bible.
You of course can disagree with what I just said and ignore the facts if you
want to. But, please do not write me any more ignorant comments about my
lack of understanding of the Bible and go pull the plank out of your own eye
before you try to take the speck out of mine.
Part 4 in the series of basic Bible lessons about an old religious philosophy labeled as “Once Saved Always Saved” theology. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go start reading with “Part 1“. The “Once Saved Always Saved” teaching has been in existence for well over 60 years so it is not a new Bible teaching. However, this old religious philosophy has recently been transformed into a more modern Grace extreme theological message called Eternal Security or Unconditional Security or even Unconditional Eternal Security. This has become a very popular message found on the internet and it is taught in many churches today. Christians buy into the message simply because it proclaims a universally safe no fail no fault approach to being a Christian. It makes being a Christian so ultra-simple. However, the message of Unconditional Eternal Security (U.E.S.) completely ignores the fact that there are any spiritual enemies still left in the world that are now trying to deceive or defeat us. The message of U.E.S. has total disregard for the fact that God gave to everyman freewill to choose to depart from their salvation at any time. It ignores any further Christian responsibility to remain a Christian or to live a holy Godly lifestyle. This teaching lumps every type of sin into a common category of all-inclusive forgiveness and makes them all irrelevant, inconsequential and removed from the equation of either the initial salvation process or the continued salvation process. In fact it technically denies there are any processes defined to salvation at all. They claim that by the removal of their sins by the shed blood of Jesus that God now provides us each with eternal security without any further attached conditions. These types of Christian believers think they have no further accountability thus denying the existence of any future judgments from God. They further deny human responsibility to do anything to remain saved. In other words in their minds their salvation was a onetime decision point event on the timeline of their life on this earth and that this one event has now guaranteed them eternal security with God forever. Since they have already accepted Jesus they assume that there are no further decisions to make, no more scriptures to learn, no need to hear from God, no need to listen to God, no need to be taught by God, no need to be led by the Spirit of God, no need to grow up spiritually and I could go on and on. All of this human reasoning allows them to live independent from anything else that God has declared in His Word on any subject. To me that logic does not make any sense and to base my eternal security upon anything so obviously shaky would really scare me.
I still run into this popular belief more frequently than I would like. This modern teaching of Unconditional Eternal Security is just a new type of the older extreme Grace message called “Once Saved Always Saved”. These teachings have departed from a balanced truth approach to Bible interpretation moving into the false realm of extremism simply by leaving out the other subjects that they do not agree with. These Bible teachers take only specific scriptures of truth found in the Bible that they like to see to base their message explaining away all the other verses of a conflicting nature. But, the problem remains that there will always be more than one or even two truths found in the entire Bible and we are required by God to take into account all of the stated truths given to us in the Bible so that we can know that we are preaching what God actually thinks of the subject of eternal security. Rather than give you all of the verses that these Grace preachers so love to exclusively teach on, I am simply focusing on in this series, what else the Bible says about subject of eternal security so we can see that God says there is more to being a Christian than just us getting saved once in our lives. I’m going to start today’s lesson talking about a subject called Christian Responsibility.
GOD’S DELEGATED CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY AFTER SALVATION
Unconditional eternal security is a belief that is based upon the irrelevance of man’s future actions. U.E.S. believes what a man does is independent from the process of their continued salvation. This type of belief removes the obvious freewill participation of the man from any further relevance. It also is a belief that proclaims that a man has no given responsibilities from God to do anything. Maybe we need to stop here and define the word “responsibility” to give us an equal foundation. How you view the definition of responsibility might be completely different to what I see it to be. Here is a definition that I found easily on the internet:
Here are three dictionary definitions for the word responsibility. I agree with every one of them and I understand them. But, do you understand them? On Facebook recently one of my friends posted a sign on their wall about something that I really liked. So I took the sign and put it on my wall and here is what it said. It said “I’m only responsible for what I say; I’m not responsible for what you understand”. Did you notice the word “responsible in that sign message twice? That is exactly what I am discussing here today. That saying from Facebook shows us I have a responsibility for what I say and you have a responsibility for what you hear. According to the Bible, God will hold me personally responsible for what I say when I teach, so I’m very careful what I teach. However, you are now also responsible to learn, but not to just learn what I said but more importantly to understand what I was saying. Any parrot can be taught to say anything repetitively, but the bird will never understand the words that he speaks. Don’t be a parrot type of Christian; learn to understand what is being taught and this will cause the knowledge to never be taken away from you.
Using the definitions of the word “responsibility” can you think of anything in the New Testament that God has spoken to you that reveals you as having any responsibility? Look at the first definition. It says you have to deal with something as a duty or a job. Has God left anything here on the earth for you to deal with? You bet He has! The second definition states that you will have accountability for having done something or take the blame for having failed to do something. Is that applicable for any Christian going forward? If you do not understand the coming judgment of God then you do not yet understand your God given responsibility and your accountability for doing it. Number three is also important to see. It states there was given some task assignment along with the authority to accomplish that job. How does that apply to us as a Christian, let me show you:
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Here is delegated authority given to the church from Jesus personally. The key word in this verse is the first Greek word translated as “power’. This word is mistranslated and should have been translated as the English word “authority”. This Greek word G1849 means “delegated influence”. Real authority can only be transferred or given to anyone by a higher authority. Since God is the highest authority this means He has the right to give us some of His authority. Anytime anyone gives away part of their authority they have now delegated their responsibility to them from which they will be now held accountable. For example, every police officer of a city is held accountable to uphold the laws fairly for that city. Therefore the police officer has been given direct responsibilities from a higher authority. If they fail to uphold the laws of the city then they will face the consequences for their failure. This is the exact same concept being transferred to us by God in the verse in Luke 10:19. You have been given responsibilities by God the highest authority and you will be held accountable for not doing them. In other words Christians have been given specific gifts, talents, tasks and assignments and these are not optional, but rather our God given responsibility to fulfill or they will not get done. Let’s talk about some more of our Christian responsibilities:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Let’s begin our thought process on responsibility by considering how we got saved. Did we have any responsibility in the entire process of our initial salvation? We should know that we began the process by hearing someone preach about Jesus. We continued the salvation process by believing what we heard about Jesus or we ended the process by not believing and then walking away from Jesus’ salvation offer. However if we choose to believe what was being preached the process continues. For example we believed that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He died for our sins and that He was raised from the dead and we conintue on the path to being saved. Next, we must confess Jesus as our Lord and according to Romans 10:9-10 and God says we are now saved! So how did we just get saved? It was a process! In this process of initial salvation there are three realms of delegated responsibility that must be present and working together. First the preacher was given the responsibility by God to preach the Gospel to us or we will not hear it. Second the unsaved person was given the responsibility to hear, believe and confess or they will not begin to be saved. Finally, the Holy Spirit has the responsibility to confirm the Word of God spoken by drawing the unsaved individual to God and then to come into the spirit of the unsaved person after they have heard, believed and confessed. Clearly “initial salvation” is a multi-step and a multi-responsibility process. Any one party could fail in the process and there would be no salvation. Of course God will never fail you, so that is not the weak point or the weak link in the process. However, the human factors that are participating can always fail. Humans will always be the weak link in the initial salvation process.
I firmly believe that we must determine how we were saved in order to determine how we will remain in the state of our salvation. In other words what got us into God’s grace will continue to be exactly what keeps you there. If initial salvation and continued salvation are both mutually exclusive from each other that would represent a new scriptural inconsistency. Ephesians 2:8 states that we are saved by Grace through faith. Therefore salvation was conditional upon us believing in the finished work of Jesus with our faith. Then in Romans 10:9-10 God says we must not only believe that God raised Jesus from the dead but we also must confess Jesus to be our Lord. If we are required to do something like believe and to confess in order to be saved then that makes our initial salvation clearly conditional upon our faithful obedience. If our initial salvation is conditional upon our obedience then by direct association our continued salvation must also be conditional upon our continued obedience or God would be very inconsistent. Do you understand my logic so far? Ephesians 2:8 told us that our faith was a factor for our salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says we must continue to walk by our faith and not by sight after becoming a Christian. Therefore faith is still an ongoing factor for being a Christian. If continued salvation is only the responsibility of God like U.E.S. teaches, then initial salvation must also have been the full responsibility of God and that is clearly not the truth given to us in the Word of God.
The belief of unconditional eternal security after conditional salvation replaces the concept of any further human responsibility for continued salvation and places the full responsibility solely upon God. However God was clearly not the only factor for our initial salvation, so God just cannot be the only factor for our eternal security. If God was the only factor involved in our initial salvation then everyone would be saved today since 2 Peter 3:9 says God is not willing that any should perish. That however is another clear erroneous doctrine of many Bible teachers that want to believe in the invented concept called “Universal Salvation”. However when we study the Bible correctly we must balance more than one truth and see that just because God’s will is for everyone to be saved, that does not mean that everyone is saved. Clearly even Jesus taught us that people will be in hell with the story of the rich man in Luke 16. Clearly Jesus taught us that there will come a division between the sheep on the right hand from the goats on the left hand (Mat 25:32) and those not in His sheepfold will be lost and cast into the fire (Mat 13:40).
From my understanding and belief in a conditional salvation which is dependent upon my faithful obedience, participation and full acceptance causes me to believe in a conditional eternal security also based upon my further obedience, participation and acceptance. Otherwise we would all be saved by our willing participation but now kept safe independent from our participation by divine sovereign control. That type of belief would be completely illogical to me and very inconsistent with what I have observed in the scriptures. If man has no further responsibilities after his initial salvation then God has taken something away from him that he had before he was saved. If this is now missing from man, how can we claim we ever had it to begin with? Let’s examine the subject of continued Christian responsibility after salvation observing a basic truth taught to us in Romans:
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
We need to begin to understand that we have been given the responsibility as a Christian to remain a Christian. In order to do this we must begin to find our responsibilities given to us by God. Here in this verse God says my children are ONLY those that are led by my Spirit. Is that you? Did you know that this being led by the Spirit of God was a conditional requirement for your continued salvation? This verse was written to Christians and not to unsaved people. Did you hear what I just said? People sometimes simply don’t want to go to hell so they will get saved thinking that is all that is required to keep them from hell, but that is clearly not what God teaches us in His full balanced Word. This verse in Romans displays two separate divisions of people. The two divisions are those that are led by God and those that are not led by God. We can restate this truth by saying it includes those that are His children and those that are not His children. Therefore getting saved and not being led by the Spirit of God defines to us a new state of potential loss. Do you see how conditional your salvation can suddenly become? Today very few Christians understand this concept of even how to be led by the Spirit of God much less to be able to hear and obey Him. But, suddenly in the Grace unconditional eternal salvation message this being led by the Spirit of God to be His child becomes a non-issue. I don’t see it that way. God clearly places responsibility upon Christina to be led. If you do not know how to be led by the Spirit of God I have a Bible series of lesson on this subject “Understanding How to Be Led by the Spirit of God”. Let’s go examine some words spoken by Jesus on the subject of responsibility:
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus said I will look at some and say to them “depart from me for I never knew you” and these were clearly people that thought they were saved and were even calling Jesus their Lord and thought they were doing many righteous good things that we see people in many churches do today. Do you understand that? I mean use your brain and think with me for a moment. Jesus is not talking to people who were in the bars, the night clubs and the strip joints of the world. God certainly does not know those types of people, no Jesus was talking to people who thought they were doing good things for God and they did not understand they needed to be led by the Spirit of God in what they did. In other words what they did for God they did independent from God and thus they failed to qualify for their continued salvation. In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus was not talking about people or to people that never got saved! These are clearly people who got saved but went no further with their continuing salvation process to learn how to be led by God to become His child. Let’s look at the following verses in the context of those that Jesus was speaking to saying depart from me to find why they are being instructed to leave:
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Read these verses very carefully for they are talking about two types of saved Christians again. These two types of Christians are being compared and separated from each other in these verses. You can try to explain them away as being saved people versus unsaved people but that is not what is being stated. Both types of people had houses built and both heard the same Word of God. These are two types of Christians. First there are those that heard the Word of God and do what they heard and then second there are those that heard the Word of God but ignored what they heard. Both of these people had to sit in the same church services to hear the same word of God being taught. The wise man in this description is stated to be the doer of the word of God and the foolish man is he that is destroyed because he chose to only hear. If you cannot see the stated Christian responsibility given to you in these verses, of Romans 8:14 and Matthew 7:24-27 to become a doer and a follower of what God has said to you by His Word and His Spirit then you are deceived greatly. God has placed conditions upon your continued Christianity and your continued salvation. I could give you many other scriptural salvation conditions but I’m only going to end this lesson with some verses written directly to the church in Revelation spoken to us by the Lord Jesus:
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
I just gave you seven verses from Revelation chapters 2 and 3 written to the church telling us that we must “overcome” something or someone in order to receive something else from God. What does that teach us? Any time that God promises you something and then tells you what you must do to qualify for it that changes the promise of God to a conditional requirement that is based upon your successful participation. Let’s get the definition for this word translated as the English word “overcome” in order to understand what it means. Here is the definition from the Strong’s:
From G3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively): – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.
Do you understand what subdue means? It means you have an enemy opposed to you. Do you understand what conquer means? It means you have a responsibility to win. Do you understand what “prevail” means? It means you can fail if you do not learn what you are doing. To be defeated as a Christian is as simple as you doing nothing. You are guaranteed failure for your lack of participation. The easiest way for any evil to prevail, is for good people to do nothing to prevent it. Do you know what “get the victory” means? It means God expects you to be a winner. To “overcome” clearly denotes responsibility to be victorious over your enemy and you will be held accountable if you do not do this.
What exactly is there left for us in the church to overcome if Christ has overcome it all already? I think that is a very excellent question that is being ignored by Christian Grace teachers of unconditional eternal security. Clearly we have just been given a major conflict with the belief for unconditional eternal security for all the church if we have anything left to overcome in order to qualify. God tells us repeatedly in these verses that we are to overcome in order to qualify for the participation of any further gifts. This is clearly God’s delegated responsibility that makes God’s gifts conditional. Several of these verses make it sound like even our salvation depends upon us being an overcomer. Read them closely for yourself. For example Revelation 2:7 says if you we overcome we get to eat from the tree of life. What would be the opposite of that truth? Would that be to eat form the tree of death if you don’t overcome? Uh oh? That is a potential problem isn’t it? Read Revelation 3:12 and see what God says to those that overcome He will give His name meaning to those that do not overcome He will not. Then understand that one name that is given to these overcomers is the name of the New Jerusalem and this is identified to be His bride in Revelation 21. Clearly if you do not overcome you are not His bride. If we don’t overcome, then Jesus implies we cannot eat from the tree that gives us life, we cannot be His bride, and we cannot have His name. This is really not that complicated, but it is an unexpected problem for those that believe in U.E.S.
Clearly to me our continued salvation and eternal security is not independent from our future decisions or actions. To me it is very self-evident that our continued salvation is totally dependent upon our continued faithful participation and obedience to God’s Word and His Spirit for the rest of the process of our salvation to make us overcomers. These truths that God gives us in the Bible make the reality of eternal security to be a completely conditional divine proposition. I only gave you a few great examples of continued Delegated Christian Responsibility after salvation. I could give you many others, but I believe I made my point and will move on to another topic that you need to understand in the next lesson in this series that I call the Deception Factor.
Part 5 in the series of Bible lessons on the very popular misconception called Unconditional Eternal Security (U.E.S.) previously known as Once Saved Always Saved (O.S.A.S). We have covered a lot of information found in the Bible and if you have not read this series from the beginning I might suggest that you go and start with “Part 1” first. In the last lesson I talked about the ongoing Christian Responsibility revealed in the salvation process that is clearly laid out for us by God in the Bible. God uses several metaphorical comparisons to describe our salvation to be like a process, like us having to fight a good fight (1 Tim 6:12, 2 Tim 4:7) or running a marathon type of race (1 Cor 9:24, Heb 12:1). Both of these symbolic types represent our participation in set contests with competing opponents that are attempting to take from us our victory. Clearly these examples give us the established truth that we can lose or fail or quit the contest. Both of these competitions were clearly defined processes of endurance and not simply a onetime salvation event where we start and automatically win like many of the U.E.S. teachers want us to believe. Both process examples have clearly defined beginnings, followed by many middle steps of conflict and struggle with a set well-defined ending. Both examples are processes governed by defined rules of engagement to help guide the outcome but yet not to determine the outcome. In other words, neither process has a pre-determined victor of the fight or the race. In either of these types of contests any of the individuals competing can always grow tired or weary and quit or give up and fall short of the desired initial expectation for victory. Do you start a race to lose it? Do you start a fight to be defeated? In any fight you might just believe that you are the winner from the start, right up until the point in time that your opponent hits you hard and knocks you down. If you believe today that you are running a fixed race or fighting a fixed fight that you have already won, then you are clearly not very familiar with realities of fighting or racing. I really hope and pray that you understand these really basic Bible concepts that God is using to teach us.
Today I am going in a totally new and different direction on the subject of Unconditional Eternal Security using a series of new subjects that I will introduce and connect together to teach the subject of the contribution of the “Deception Factor”. Today’s lesson will be primarily focused on the potential role and effects of deception in the ongoing process of our salvation and how we are warned by God to avoid it. However, it will take me familiarizing you with and reviewing other prerequisite subjects to get us to where we need to be to understand how deception is such a major factor to why we do not have eternal security. Let’s start by first knowing that we have an enemy.
THE REALITY OF YOUR SPIRITUAL ENEMY
The subject of deception is specifically tied to the requirement that a deceiver must exist and be present, willing and able to deceive or deception is a non-issue for every Christian. If no deceivers exist, then no deception is presented as being possible. Was that just way too obvious? Therefore I need to focus on the existence of a deceiver using the Bible. I am going to introduce you to the existence of the primary deceiver who is also known as Satan. From Satan comes every other deceiver, so if I can prove his existence in the Bible it should be easy to transition that others exist also. Using my Bible program I searched for the key word “deceive” and found multiple verses on the subject. Satan is described as the individual spirit responsible for deceiving the people of the whole world in Revelation 12:9, Revelation 13:14 and Revelation 20:10. The whole world would be an all-inclusive statement not omitting any nation of people. Remember what I just said! Therefore, Satan qualifies to be the deceiver by definition from God’s Word. Does Satan still exist in the world today? If you said YES, then you are on the right track. If you said no, then you do not understand that Revelation 12, 13 and 20 has not happened yet and only by studying God’s Word can we understand that God says Satan is still present to deceive people in EVERY nation. I just said that again didn’t I? Now, let me ask you do you still exist in the world today? I think if you are reading this Bible lesson you must say YES again. Therefore by God’s definition you have the potential to be deceived because the deceiver is still present here with you. Also notice something new that you have not connected yet to the subject. You see God teaches us in the New Testament that the church is a new “Holy Nation” of people (1 Peter 2:9). However that still makes everyone in the church a potential candidate for deception because we are clearly defined to be a nation. Now do you see why I emphasized Satan deceiving the nations? If Satan is the deceiver of the nations, then we in the church are still the potential victims of his deception by our association to God’s definition of a nation. The Bible is not that hard to see things if you can put them together correctly.
If you did not know it, the Bible declares that every Christian still has a spiritual enemy. The enemy of the church is named Satan. Technically Satan was God’s enemy before he was our enemy but I won’t go there today. Just understand that God’s enemies are now our enemies by covenant relationship. There is an old proverb that says the enemies of my enemies are my friends and conversely the friends of my enemies are also my enemies. Jesus taught us a similar variation of this proverb in Mark 9:40 saying “He that is not against us, is for us”. This Bible fact of the existence of a spiritual enemy is declared repeatedly in the Bible both directly and indirectly (James 4:4). We are first introduced to our enemy as a symbolic serpent in Genesis 3:1 and he continues through the Bible in many forms using many names, descriptions and titles all the way to the last mention in Revelation 20:10. Satan is described as a spiritual opponent that is arrayed against us trying desperately to defeat us. Many Christians have left me comments about Jesus’ outstanding victory over Satan (John 16:33, Col 2:15). They have concluded from these verses that Satan was completely defeated at Calvary thus Jesus rendered him to be a defeated insignificant or trivial factor going forward. However that is just not all of what the Bible says about Satan, the people on the earth including the church, Christians and their role with resisting Satan and many other statements of truth.
Jesus also taught us that Satan was the ruler of a kingdom (Mat 12:26). Jesus further taught us that Satan still had power (Luke 10:19). Understand that this stated kingdom of Satan was not the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, but a new separate dominion taken from man. We learn this fact by observing what Satan told Jesus during the 40 day temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:5-6). If you go read Luke 4 closely you will see Satan offering Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him. Satan told Jesus that these were given to him and since we are not told in the Bible that God gave them to Satan, they must have been taken from Adam. You see according to Genesis 1:26 Adam was given dominion over all the earth by God yet we see Satan claiming to have control of it in Luke. One of the first indirect mentions of this kingdom of Satan is also found in first book of the Bible in Genesis 1:16. On the fourth day of creation God sets the moon (the lesser light) to rule the night and the sun (the greater light) to rule the day. This verse was a highly prophetical statement using hidden symbolic information for the coming of the Son of God into the world. This verse predicts the coming of Jesus into the world on a precise timeline and reveals to us one reason why Jesus has come. The moon in this verse is symbolic of Satan, the Sun in this verse is symbolic of Jesus, the night is symbolic for the kingdom of darkness and the day is symbolic for the Kingdom of Light. Furthermore, the “4th day” of creation is also symbolic for the time of the coming. Jesus just so happens to come into the world after four days from Adam using God’s definition of a day from 2 Peter 3:8. If you do not understand the significance of this information I have a more complete teaching on the subject called “Understanding Night and Day”.
Jesus came personally into Satan’s kingdom of darkness being born of a virgin to bring us light (John 8:12). However this was not external light, but rather internal spiritual knowledge. God’s plan was never to take over Satan’s kingdom of darkness or even to take it back into the light or to establish a rule over it here on the earth; no the plan of God was more precisely to create a new pathway out of Satan’s kingdom for all of those in the dark world that would believe on Christ. The light of God’s day and this new kingdom of God would be formed internally in every believer. This way the light of God would be present in every believer but still separate from the darkness of this world that still remained in Satan’s control. God was in effect creating a new separate Kingdom of God that never existed before apart from Satan, his angels, his kingdom and He was offering all those on the earth the blessed opportunity to come out of their darkness to live in the light of God forever for free through His shed blood. That was a very quick overview of some new things that you have probably never heard taught before and I do not have time to explain them all fully today. However, go through the N.T. and see how many times this kingdom realm of darkness or night is mentioned and then observe the scriptures that say Christians are now in the light of God’s day. Let me give you a couple of the key verses that may help you to understand:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Jesus is being described as the one that has delivered us from the “power of darkness”. There are three basic things that you need to grasp immediately from this incredibly important verse. First, the kingdom of darkness still exists and has not been eliminated. Second, notice that this kingdom of darkness still has power. Then third, notice we that are saved are not in this dark kingdom anymore having been translated into the Kingdom of Light by Jesus. This verse clearly implies that those that are not saved are still in the kingdom of darkness where some spiritual force of power still rules over them. Clearly there is a distinction between two separate spiritual kingdoms of existence being stated in this verse. These two kingdoms must still exist concurrently or this verse is a lie. Clearly the kingdom of darkness still has great power and influence or no one in their right mind would still be in there right now. Also understand by implied inference if anyone has come out from this kingdom of darkness by their freewill choice of salvation, then by the definition of antithesis, they can also potentially return back to that darkness by another freewill choice. I pray you understood everything that I just said to you. It was all extremely important. Let me give you another great verse that contains vast knowledge about this kingdom and this enemy:
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Read this new metaphorical case closely, because God gives us another example of a spiritual contest between opponents with an implied winner and loser outcome. To wrestle an opponent is a paradigm process that is very similar to boxing or racing. In this verse in Ephesians you can see that just because Christians are not in the darkness this does not mean we are not still in a spiritual war of opposition with the darkness or the rulers of that kingdom. Who rules the darkness? Clearly this verse is another reference to Satan and his angelic followers as I mentioned earlier. Clearly from this information we can see that these spiritual individuals still exist along with their kingdom if we are currently wresting against them. There is absolutely no way that you can teach that Satan is a non-factor for any Christian today if you correctly balance these verses with the other verses that the exclusive U.E.S. Grace teachers want to focus on.
If defeated Satan had no more power or influence to do any harm to a saved Christian, then why are there so many warnings given to the church in the Bible to the contrary? A truly defeated enemy would have no such supremacy, weapons, ability or present any further risk, but an enemy that still has power and ability to do Christians harm must still be a major danger if we do not know how to counteract his plans and attacks. This spiritual war subject is not my main topic today and I have other lessons that you can go and read about how to be a victorious child of God. Just realize that God has given you the potential for victory by Jesus’ victorious actions and accomplishments but now it is your God given responsibility to enforce the victory and to become the overcomer like I introduced you to in the last lesson. Let’s change to a brand new subject called “Patterns”.
DIVINE GOD PATTERNS
If you learn anything from me today, please learn how God uses divine design patterns throughout the Bible to teach us. I’ve already described to you three direct patterns of process in today’s lesson. One was a race, one was a fight and one was a wrestling match. These were all recognizable patterns of contests with opponents, rules, a beginning effort, a struggle, endurance, and an anticipated end. Let’s get into what a pattern is using additional specific examples. How would we define a pattern? A pattern is normally a set of design templates and instructions used to prepare or to create a new copy of an existing original. The actual copy can be totally different in appearance while being completely similar in design, concepts and principles. That was of course my definition, but did you understand it? Using my 3 metaphorical examples of contests, they appear to be radically different types of games on the surface but yet they all share a set of design pattern concepts that make them joined together with many common similarities. That is exactly what pattern usage produces; copies of an original working model.
Let me give you an example of a natural pattern application on the earth. Patterns are used in sewing extensively and they allow the seamstress to turn out multiple new original creations that can be perceived to be similar to the original by observing the design pattern characteristics but not by necessarily observing the materials selected or the individual options being tailored or customized. There is just a general rule of life that it is always easier to copy a working original piece than it is to create something completely new. I learned this concept in programming computers. Working code reuse is always faster and more productive than new code creation. The creation of any original functional piece of work will always take significant trial and error to produce a great product. It took Edison literally hundreds and hundreds of attempts to create a light bulb that worked. But, now they can be copied very quickly and cheaply by the use of his patterned design. Have you ever asked yourself why Adam was made in the image and the likeness of God in Genesis 1:26? Do you understand that Adam was made from the direct pattern of God, his creator? God took a working design and repeated the process to make a man. This was a very significant example of the wisdom of God being displayed. When God made man, God knew that He was coming to the earth as a man so why not make the man from a pattern of Himself an already working viable component?
Understand that the reuse of any design pattern is just a small part of the complete creation process. Natural pattern usage only comes into play somewhere between the initial steps of conception, the design and before the full implementation. Almost every defined process and pattern can be viewed as interchangeable concepts to some extent. For example, any repetitive process producing a positive result can be viewed as a repetitive design pattern implementation and vice versa. I really try not to get too technical in my Bible studies to allow everyone the opportunity to understand the concepts. I try to leave out technical words and phrasing but I have been teaching you the subject of patterns and have had to introduce you to some new ideas to think about. So hang in there and learn what you can about patterns.
Let’s talk briefly about another earthly natural pattern. Any positive process is like making a cake. A cake could be created using great trial and error like Edison making a light bulb. However if the baker wants to forego the learning curve they can go and find an existing working recipe with the exact steps and ingredients used to create a great cake and in a short time they have a copy of one through the use of a known pattern. Therefore the original cook must have recorded or documented the set of specific ingredients and recipe preparation instructions that must be followed exactly in order to recreate the original design, texture, taste and quality. If you do it right the outcome is great and if you miss one ingredient or step then it will probably be a great failure.
So why am I talking about processes and design patterns, templates, sewing, light bulb and cake recipes so much? Patterns are what God used in the creation of our world to teach us about Him and spiritual things we cannot see. For example, the Bible teaches us that all of the hidden qualities of God are clearly seen in the things that He has made (Rom 1:20). This means that what we can observe on the earth around us was from a designed pattern of what already existed in heaven previously and these things reveal God to us. It is also why we need to learn about the concepts of patterns to see what will be coming soon in the future. What we soon realize is something that God teaches us in Ecclesiastes is very relevant to everything we can observe around us. God says “the things that have been are the things that shall be again” (Ecc 1:9). Ecclesiastes and Romans both explain to us that God uses divine design patterns to teach and to recreate the things we can observe. God took working spiritual realities and used their patterns to create our natural world. God then teaches us that these natural things will again be used as patterns for the new spiritual things that will occur again. Let me show you another verse about patterns in the Bible to help you better understand:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Here we have God describing to us that the things given to Moses on the earth were simply patterns for pre-existing unseen things already found and bound within heaven. In this verse, the original spiritual things created by God in heaven were clearly greater or more significant than the temporary natural things created by the hands of men on the earth. However these temporary natural things given to us by God on the earth also provide us a view into the existence of the spiritual things that we have never seen or experienced. You can clearly see that God gave Moses patterns to use for everything. These patterns will again be used in the design for the coming new heaven and the new earth. Patterns are so very important in the Bible that I should probably do a more complete series on the subject. For now try to understand the existence of patterns is a prevalent reality throughout the Bible. Using our knowledge of divine patterns, we can easily learn about many of the unseen spiritual things found within our past, our present and our future.
There are actually many different ways to name or title a Biblical pattern process using synonymous terms. Some call them similarities, similitudes, resemblances, likenesses, patterns, types or shadows and I even have labeled them by all of those descriptions in my past lessons. I believe that a natural type or a shadow from the Old Testament was usually given to us by God to help point us to a New Testament spiritual reality. For example, Jesus told the Jews to search their scriptures because in them they thought they had eternal life and then Jesus said these were just the words that testified of Him (John 5:39). But, yet you cannot find the direct mention of the name of Jesus, or the direct person of God in the flesh unswervingly mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures anywhere in obvious plain sight. Since I have studied the Bible for many years I can now see Him in almost every chapter, but that is not how I started. God’s use of patterns, similarities, types and shadows were just one of the wise methods of concealing Jesus in the characters and stories of others that are plainly revealed in the surface text. I pray that you are beginning to understand the concept of patterns and how they apply to our Bible study because that is exactly where we are going next in this discussion of U.E.S. Let’s begin to ask are there any patterns found in the Old Testament for U.E.S.?
ARE THERE ANY UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY PATTERNS?
If you examine the design pattern of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis 2 and 3 you should be able to find Jesus and the church. I will use the pattern of Adam and Eve to help establish and confirm the false reality of the Unconditional Eternal Security teaching. When God created Adam did God make him to be unconditionally and eternally secure? It is very obvious to me based upon the Word of God that Adam was never created perfect or secure since he sinned, failed and fell willingly into the disobedience of God’s Word. Whatever security that Adam thought he possessed, was suddenly completely lost. If Adam was created with “freewill” to sin, to make mistakes and even to depart from the perfect way and will of God, then how can you or anyone else possibly believe that a Christian now does not have the same pattern of choice? What about Adam’s wife Eve? Was Eve created so that it was impossible for her to be deceived? Again it is extremely obvious that the Bible says Eve was deceived (1 Tim 2:14). I am talking about patterns found within creation to see if there are any ways that are still possible for the church to fall away from the Grace of God. Were Adam and Eve created in the extreme Grace of God? I believe they were. They were created without sin, lacking nothing and placed in a near perfect world to live in. Could it have gotten any better than that? However in this great state of Grace, could they still make the wrong choices, of course they did. I hope you are using your brain today to see what I’m saying to you. How are we any different from Adam today in the church? If Adam could depart from Grace then you can depart from Grace!
Let’s back up before the creations of man and ask what about Lucifer’s status in heaven! Did God create the perfect archangel Lucifer with unconditional eternal security? According to Ezekiel 28:15 Lucifer was created in a perfect state yet sin was still found to be in him. Did this sin matter to God? If we observe his destiny in Revelation 20:10 you will understand that even perfect Lucifer is revealed to have no unconditional eternal security when he is cast into the lake of fire. Clearly perfection with no sin is not a statement for possessing security. Where exactly in the Bible can we find anyone with the pattern of Unconditional Eternal Security? Can you find me just one? I’m talking about someone other than the church that you just think is unconditionally eternally secure! If the church is eternally and unconditionally secure then there must be an existing pattern for this somewhere else in the Bible or it is not true for the church either. How can I say that? And why is this even important? It is simply critical because God tells us to establish every word of truth using at the least two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16). If we cannot find two witnesses that confirm unconditional eternal security as a divine pattern then the modern Bible teachers trying to teach us U.E.S. fail God’s requirement. Now do you understand the importance of patterns?
WHAT ABOUT JESUS?
I have searched the Old Testament and I could not find any man starting with Adam that possessed eternal security here on the earth. Adam never lost his freewill to depart from God’s ways or plan and this pattern repeats to every man born from Adam. If you can find me even one man in the O.T. that God said could not ever fail, then show me the verse. Ok, I’m about to blow your religious mind with a new question to think about. Was Jesus Christ born in the Old Testament? If you are an intelligent and observant Bible student, you already know that Jesus was born a man under the law of the Old Covenant (Gal 4:4). Now let me ask you this radical question was Jesus Christ unconditionally and eternally secure as a physical man? You see I believe that even Jesus possessed the freewill capability for failure, and many religious people will laugh and call me a heretic fool for that belief. However, if Jesus had no potential for failure or sin then God becomes a liar. The Bible says Jesus was tempted in every way just like we are but yet He was without sin (Heb 4:15). The only reason that Jesus was without sin was because He chose to be without the sin as a direct act of His freewill. You see if it was impossible for Jesus to sin, then He was never tempted like you or I. Are you tempted? Have you ever been tempted? Do you fail or have you ever failed? If say yes then you are potentially just like Jesus and Jesus was potentially just like you. Otherwise He would not be able to identify with our weaknesses or our plight. We clearly saw already reading in Luke 4 that Jesus was tempted, but he did not give into the temptations of Satan. This is where Jesus succeeded where Adam failed.
Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Jesus is revealed in the Bible to be the God that became a man exactly like you and I. This was a major paradox and stumbling block to why natural Israel did not accept Him. They knew the Bible says God is not a man (Num 23:19). However they made the major mistake of taking one isolated truth and then ignoring all the others that God is still powerful enough to become a man if He chooses by exercising His freewill. This is the danger of separating one verse and thinking that it is the entire truth. That is an extremely bad and dangerous approach to interpreting the Bible. Do you understand what I am trying to say? I am claiming that the God of creation who created everything has now become an intimate part of His creation and this changes everything. What God was not, God became by His design. Therefore, God as a man was no longer a perfect being incapable of failing or sinning. I did not say God failed or God sinned I just said He had the potential to do that or He was not exactly like us as the Bible has declared. You are going to have to make up your own minds on what you believe; I cannot do that for you. You read the Bible and do the research and the study and see if Jesus was incapable of failure and see if He possessed Unconditional Eternal Security and then notice that even Jesus died on the cross and I believe He went to hell for 3 days to pay for my sins so I would not have to go there. I don’t call that eternal security, do you? Let’s shift our focus and establish Adam as a defined pattern for Jesus and this may help us reaffirm that Jesus was not infallible while in the flesh.
THE HIDDEN PATTERN OF JESUS IN ADAM
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Why exactly, is Jesus called the “Last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45? I think that is a very great question. God by direct name association has just linked Jesus Christ to the first created man Adam. This is just a very tricky way of God saying my man Adam was a set design pattern for my Son Jesus to come. This is the beginning of the reality that if Adam could have sinned, then Jesus could have sinned but yet didn’t. However, notice that both Adam’s still died. So they obviously both did possess at least one direct equal characteristic and we will find there are many more if we look for them. I find this study of Adam and Jesus as repeated patterns fascinating. It has great potential for many overlapping truths. Let’s go for another witness to what I am teaching that Adam was a pattern for Jesus:
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Romans 5:14 emphasizes this pattern usage point again to us even more clearly. The Bible says that Adam was a created pattern of the man Jesus to come. We already observed in Genesis 1 where Adam was defined to be a pattern for the creator spiritual God originally, so this is just a further perpetuation of the same God pattern to the physical God. Look up the Greek word definitions and study these verses to understand what concepts are being revealed to you. The Greek word translated as “figure” means a die as struck. Do you understand what a die is? A die produces an exact image of the same print repeatedly. It is a modern copy and paste concept found in the computer design paradigm. The original printing press created by Gutenberg was a die concept for printing one page of the Bible over and over. We soon realize that God did a copy paste of the spiritual type of Himself into the natural form of Adam, which is then transferred as another copy and paste into the combined God man named Jesus. This verse in Romans clearly teaches us that we should be able to look at the man Adam in Genesis and see Jesus and this is exactly what Jesus said we would find if we searched the scriptures looking for Him. Moses wrote down God’s words about Adam, but God’s words were more about Jesus than Adam. The two Adam’s were simply patterns for each other. I believe God created the first Adam already knowing the second Adam was coming to save the day. This is exactly why God did what He did in Genesis 2 and 3 with the first man and his wife.
Let’s stop here briefly again and consider that if the first Adam had a wife does that reveal that the last Adam (Jesus) has a wife also as a defined part of the pattern? Most definitely He does. I have a much more complete Bible study on the subject called the “The Bride of Christ Revealed”. Therefore, I am not going to repeat any of that information in this lesson. If you do not understand the church position as the bride then please stop and study to find that truth and establish it in your heart because it is essential to our pattern discussion today about U.E.S. I will simply say the church is definitely the Bride of Christ and we are the ones that are united in eternal marriage covenant in Revelation 19. Where I am going is that if Adam’s wife was capable of being deceived then the Lamb’s wife is also capable of being deceived by direct pattern association. Pretty simple yet very difficult to find if you do not understand patterns.
THE ROLE OF SATAN AND DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH
In the Grace message of eternal security there is a belief that Satan has no further influence or power over a believer to cause them to ever depart from their salvation. The belief popularly states that Christians have been sealed with eternal security and thus Satan is no longer a factor to deceive them anymore. Let me stop there and say that if you currently believe that you can never be deceived then you are clearly already deceived into believing a lie from Satan. What exactly is deception? How can we define it as it relates to the church? I believe deception is believing in something that you think is true that actually is not true. It is like my picture on this paragraph of the fish caught with a decieving lure. The fish believed what he was eating was good food, but it turned out to be something deadly to him. That is exactly the definition of deception for a Christian also. Clearly no Christian in their right mid is intentionally caught seeking to find lies. I believe that every easily deceived Christian is just presented the lie either intentionally or unintentionally by other well meaning ignorant Christians and they look attractive so they end up swallowing them and are caught like the fish. Let’s take into account a scripture that has far reaching implications attached to it for our current subject discussion. You will notice that in this next verse that Jesus is speaking, thus we have God in the flesh stating something very important that we must need to know. Therefore, pay close attention to the words of my Lord and Savior:
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
We have to totally write this statement of Jesus off if we want to believe in unconditional eternal security after our salvation. In order to teach security we must conclude that we are smarter than Jesus and that Jesus did not know what He was talking about when He warned us about not being deceived. We either have to call Jesus a liar or we have to explain the verse as being non-applicable to people in the church today. If you read the context of the statement Jesus was asked by the disciples to teach them of the signs of His coming and the end of the age. Therefore the rest of the statements in this chapter are the answers of God in the flesh concerning the end of the age that we live in today. Who are the people that Jesus is speaking of to not become deceived if not us? Many people have tried to creatively explain it away as the Jews before salvation only, but they were not yet living in the last days so that makes no sense to me. Since we in the church who know the truth are the people now living in the last days before His soon return then I believe that Jesus was certainly speaking about us and to us as those that can be deceived. If we are these potential people that can be deceived, what are the consequences for being deceived? Are there any consequences for being deceived? There must be at least a possibility for us to lose our salvation from this warning from God or there would be no need for a warning from God to be given. Do you understand what I just said?
Why warn people not to be deceived if it is impossible for them to be deceived like the eternal security teachers try to teach us? It makes God look very stupid when you teach eternal security. Of course people can easily twist the scriptures to say this information in Matthew 24 does not apply to us because Jesus was only talking to His Jewish disciples. That is just so easy to do. Let’s just ignore the words of Jesus as being not for everyone, but only for a select few that heard them personally! We could do that type of reasoning with every verse in the Bible. Is that a smart way to interpret the Bible and the words of God? I really do not believe that is a valid approach to correct Bible interpretation. In interpreting every verse of the Bible we must always inspect the words that are spoken, observing the target audience they are directed to, while simultaneously finding the context of all of the subjects being discussed. First understand that these words in Matthew were spoken to more than just a few Jews. These select Jews that were hearing are defined directly to be our founding church fathers so they must apply to the rest of the church by direct association since we are now a part of the same body of Christ that they were included in. If you try to separate us from them, then we are a new body of Christ, a separate or different believer set from what they were and that really sounds like a scary belief to put your faith in. These words were spoken in the time context of future prophetical events and not current events, so they must also apply to us and the times that we live in right now. Finally, since these words spoken by Jesus do not state any target audience they must apply to everyone that reads them as a universal statement of truth. If you want to see the truth in the Bible you will see what I am saying is correct, if you do not want to see the truth, then nothing that I say will change your mind.
If Satan and his deception were no longer factors for our further continued salvation, there would be no need to mention Satan again in the New Testament after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Many modern Bible teachers like to teach the total defeat of Satan by Jesus at Calvary, however if that was actually true we would not see that Satan was so heavily involved in attacking heaven in Revelation 12 and trying to take over the earth in the other chapters of Revelation. The total defeat of Satan and the removal of his power is clearly not the reality of the text found in the Word of God. In fact Satan is mentioned more times in the New Testament than he ever was displayed plainly in the Old Testament. Why is Satan mentioned more frequently throughout the New Testament and especially in the book of Revelation than any other parts of the Bible? There hast to be a reason for this! I personally believe we find Satan in the New Testament to learn of his ways and his future plans so we are not found to be unaware. I believe that Satan is much more than a non-factor on the earth in the church age and that he is clearly revealed to be the direct enemy and opposing spiritual force to the church. His power and influence over the people on the earth are still quite evident and great. His power to deceive people including even Christians is still as great now as it always has been. This power of deception must be applicable for Christians or we would never find any verses in the Bible like these written to the church:
1Co 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
These are all commandments of instruction from our God written to the church and each of them contains direct delegated responsibility for believers not to be deceived. Do any of the verses tell you that God will not ever allow you to be deceived? I do not believe God would warn you if it was His responsibility to save you from it. These warnings were not written to unsaved people. Do you see what these verses say to you over and over? What is the central theme for every verse? Every verse contains a cautionary statement from God that says “Do not be deceived”. If the church could never be deceived to lose their salvation from this deception then these verses become pointless and irrelevant commandments and should be viewed as only misplaced suggestions. To believe in eternal security we must ignore these verses or conclude these verses to be non-applicable to us. Either approach is failure to adhere to the truth which always results in a Christian being deceived. These are not lies from God and we must see them to be clear notices to us Christians. I did not go through the entire New Testament and give you every verse that I could have. I only provided 6 or 7 verses to offer you more than enough witnesses to the truth that the church can still be deceived after initial salvation by many different methods. If you cannot see this fact then you are in denial. I will end this lesson with an example of deception that occurred in the N.T. church:
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Peter is writing some very important words to the church about certain former saved church members. The wording in these verses is very significant if you do the research and study. God is speaking concerning certain people that “knew” righteousness. Jesus of course is our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30) and He is even called the “Sun of Righteousness” in Malachi 4:2. The term to “know” righteous is a sexual Hebrew description of the relationship that exists between a husband and his wife. The people in the church are in covenant relationship with Jesus the bridegroom making them His bride. God is saying these people were once an intimate part of my wife that I knew and they have departed from me. God clearly says it would be better for them to either stay or to have never been married to him than to leave their salvation to fall back into the darkness. Why is that? It is because they will remember for an eternity their mistake that they made and only they will fully understand what they missed while they are in hell. Lucifer is going to understand this better than anyone. He experienced the goodness of God more than anyone in the church and while he is in hell for and eternity he will constantly be tormented for his mistakes. These are patterns that teach us we do not have unconditional eternal security.
God calls the people who leave their salvation pigs and dogs. Just as dogs return to their own vomit and the pigs to the mire this is the same result that Christians experience when they return to their previous filth and love it. Clearly this is an example of deception being victorious over those that were saved. Clearly these Christians did not heed the repeated warnings from God not to be deceived and are now suffering the consequences. These are words that were written to you. Are you receiving them? I could give you several more examples of this in the Bible, but I really have gone too long in this lesson.
THE FALSE SECURITY OF THE UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY DOCTRINE
I have systematically covered several subjects in today’s lesson connecting them together to help establish the fact that a Christian can be deceived. We started with the concept that we have an enemy. This enemy is described to be Satan the deceiver. A deceiver is simply labeled that because he deceives people. This is really not that complicated. Sure the unsaved people in the world today are clearly deceived, but they don’t read the Bible and these words of warning not to be deceived were not written to them. Therefore, the use of this weapon of deception by Satan is still actively targeted at the people in the church to take them from the church and the truth. Based upon this information alone the doctrine of unconditional eternal security is revealed to be a major false teaching that should be recognized as another way that is designed to deceive you. Do you understand the danger of the U.E.S. teaching? U.E.S. promotes a false sense of security that we have to do nothing to stay saved or to keep from being deceived. It allows Christians to let in whatever they come across without the fear of any consequences. Fear is not always a negative emotion to avoid. God created real fear for you to learn how to avoid something that is not necessarily positive or beneficial for you. If you do not fear gravity and jump off a tall building you will soon be dead. I am really not talking about fearing the devil as in being terrified of his power. The Bible clearly teaches the fact that the Greater One is in us. However, that does not mean that you do not respect his ability like you should respect the power of gravity. These are just basic Christian life lessons to help you understand that you have an enemy and this enemy is not your friend, he has powers and abilities, and he is trying to take you out and down.
Finally, I talked a lot about Bible patterns. This is a very important Bible study concept repeated in practically every chapter of the Bible in some form. Fully grasp this concept and it will change your Bible study habits. Look for confirming patterns of truth in the Bible. For example, I showed you scriptures that teach us that Adam was a pattern of Jesus. This was technically so radical that I could not fully teach everything on that one subject because it could turn into a series of lessons by itself. However I gave you enough information that should help you to learn about Jesus from the pattern of Adam. See what Adam had or was given by God before the fall and this will be a pictured view into what Jesus will end up with minus the evil, the sin and the rebellion. Adam had one wife and Jesus will end with only one wife. Very simple yet profound truths.
The pure existence of human freewill dictates that we view every one of God’s covenants with conditional application. In other words if we choose to remain in the covenant we are good, but if we choose to leave it then we are screwed. What I am saying is if God comes and makes a covenant with you, God is not the problem, you are. You can become your own worst enemy when you believe a lie. Just as natural Israel departed continuously from God’s covenant as a pattern for the church, the church also has that same opportunity to fall away. If the recipient of God’s Grace satisfies the stated requirements and conditions they remain in the relationship with God’s Grace. If they choose to disobey willfully and depart from God’s extended gift of saving Grace then they are lost without a chance for absolution. Learn today that what you do going forward, matters tremendously. Learn to have respect for your enemy and stay deep in the Word of God so that you are not deceived by him. Your salvation is not completely up to God. Sure He will be there for you and help you and will never leave you or forsake you. But, your continued salvation is more up to you than anyone else so that you do not get deceived and decide to leave God or forsake Him. You have a major role in the ongoing process of your salvation to remain faithful, to endure and to overcome.
The last sentences say it all. "Your salvation is not completely up to
God. Sure He will be there for you and help you and will never leave you
or forsake you. But, your continued salvation is more up to you than
anyone else so that you do not get deceived and decide to leave God or
forsake Him. You have a major role in the ongoing process of your
salvation to remain faithful, to endure to the end and to overcome. "
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