• Regeneration

    by Published on 12-23-2017 09:40 PM     Number of Views: 25 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration

    Before and After Regeneration

    THE MIND OF MAN is his organ of thought. Through it he is equipped to know, think, imagine, remember, and understand. Man’s intellect, reasoning, wisdom and cleverness all pertain to the mind. Broadly speaking the mind is the brain. Mind is a psychological term whereas brain is a physiological term. The mind of psychology is the brain of physiology. Man’s mind occupies a large place in his life because his thought easily influences his action.

    Before Regeneration

    According to the Bible the mind of man is unusual in that it constitutes a battlefield where Satan and his evil spirits contend against the truth and hence against the believer. We may illustrate as follows. Man’s will and spirit are like a citadel which the evil spirits crave to capture. The open field where the battle is waged for the seizure of the citadel is man’s mind. Note how Paul the Apostle describes it: “though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10.3-5). He initially tells us of a battle—then where the battle is fought—and finally for what objective. This struggle pertains exclusively to man’s mind. The Apostle likens man’s arguments or reasonings to an enemy’s strongholds. He pictures the mind as held by the enemy; it must therefore be broken into by waging war. He concludes that many rebellious thoughts are housed in these strongholds and need to be taken captive to the obedience of Christ. All this plainly shows us that the mind of man is the scene of battle where the evil spirits clash with God.

    Scripture explains that before regeneration “the god of this world (had) blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God” (2 Cor. 4.4). This verse concurs in what the other verse just quoted said by declaring here that Satan holds on to man’s mind by making it blind. Some people perhaps may consider themselves extremely wise in their ability to advance many arguments against the gospel; others may take for granted that unbelief is due to dullness of understanding; but the truth in both cases is that the eyes of man’s mind have been covered by Satan. When firmly held by Satan the mind of man becomes “hardened”; man “follows the desires of body and mind (as) children of wrath” and so “is estranged and hostile in mind” because “the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God” (2 Cor. 3.14; Eph. 2.3; Col. 1.21; Rom. 8.7).

    Upon reading these various passages we can see clearly how the powers of darkness are especially related to man’s mind, how it is peculiarly susceptible to Satan’s assault. With respect to man’s will, emotion and body, the powers of evil are helpless to do anything directly unless they first have gained some ground therein. But with man’s mind they can work freely without initially persuading man or securing his invitation. The mind appears to be their possession already. The Apostle in comparing men’s minds to an enemy’s strongholds seems to imply that Satan and his wicked spirits already have established a deep relationship with the minds of men, that somehow they are using them as their bastions in which to imprison their captives. Through man’s mind they impose their authority and through the mind of their captives they transmit poisonous thoughts to others so that these too may rise up against God. It is difficult to estimate how much of the world’s philosophy, ethics, knowledge, research, and science flow from the powers of darkness. But of one point we are certain: all arguments and proud obstacles against the knowledge of God are the fortresses of the enemy.

    Is it strange to behold the mind in such close proximity to the authorities of wickedness? Was not the sin which mankind first committed that of seeking the knowledge of good and evil, and that at the instigation of Satan? Hence man’s mind is especially related to Satan. If we were to peruse the Scriptures carefully and to observe the experiences of the saints we would discover that all communications between human and satanic forces occur in the organ of thought. Take, for instance, Satan’s temptation. Every temptation with which he entices man is presented to his mind. It is true that Satan often uses the flesh to secure the consent of man, yet in each instance of enticement the enemy creates some kind of thought by which to induce the man. We cannot separate temptation and thought. All temptations are offered us in the form of thoughts. Since the latter are so exposed to the power of darkness, we need to learn how to guard them.

    Prior to regeneration man’s, intellect obstructs him from apprehending God. It is necessary for His mighty power to destroy man’s arguments. This is a work which must occur at the hour of new birth—and it does happen then in the form of repentance. The original definition of repentance is none else than “a change of mind.” Man in his mind is at enmity with God; therefore God must alter man’s mind if He would impart life to him. In his unregenerated state man has a darkened mind; at his regeneration it undergoes a drastic change. Because it has been so united with the devil it is vital for man to receive from God a change of mind before he can receive a new heart (Acts 11.18).

    After Regeneration

    But even following repentance the believer’s mind is not liberated totally from the touch of Satan. As the enemy worked through the mind in former days, so today will he work in the same manner. Paul, in writing to the Corinthian believers, confided that he was “afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11. 3). The Apostle well recognizes that as the god of this world blinds the mind of unbelievers so will he deceive the mind of the believers. Even though they are saved their life of thought is as yet unrenewed; consequently it remains the most strategic battleground. The mind suffers the onslaughts of the powers of darkness more than any other organ of the whole man. We should realize that satanic spirits are directing special attention to our minds and are attacking them unrelentingly—“as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning.” Satan did not assail Eve’s heart first but rather her head. Similarly today, the evil spirits first attack our head, not our heart, in order to have us corrupted from the simplicity and purity which is towards Christ. They fully understand how it is the weakest point in our entire being, for it had served as their fortress before we believed and even now is not yet entirely overthrown. Attacking the mind is the easiest avenue for them to accomplish their purpose. Eve’s heart was sinless and yet she received Satan’s suggested thoughts. She was thus beguiled through his deception into forfeiting her reasoning and tumbling into the snare of the enemy. Let a believer accordingly be careful in his boast of possessing an honest and sincere heart, for unless he learns how to repulse the evil spirits in his mind he will continue to be tempted and deceived into losing the sovereignty of his will.

    Paul continues by telling us from whence this danger comes: “if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted” (v.4). The peril for the Christian is to have false teaching injected into his thought life so as to lead him astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. These are the works the “serpent” is perpetrating today. Satan has disguised himself as an angel of light to lead saints to worship with their intellect a Jesus other than the Lord, to receive a spirit other than the Holy Spirit, and by these to propagate a gospel other than the gospel of the grace of God. Paul pronounces these to be nothing else than the deeds of Satan in the Christian’s mind. The adversary translates these “doctrines” into thoughts and then imposes them upon the mind of the Christian. How tragic that few appreciate the reality of these activities! Few, indeed, who would ever think that the devil could give such good thoughts to men!

    It is possible for a child of God to have a new life and a new heart but be without a new head. With too many saints, the mind, though their heart is new, is still quite old. Their heart is full of love whereas their head is totally lacking in perception. How often the intents of the heart are utterly pure and yet the thoughts in the head are confused. Having become saturated with a mishmash of everything, the mind lacks the most signal element of all, which is spiritual insight. Countless saints genuinely love all children of God, but unfortunately their brain is stuffed with a hodgepodge of theories, opinions and objectives. Quite a number of God’s best and most faithful children are the most narrow-minded and prejudice-filled. Already have they decided what is the truth and what truth they shall accept. They reject every other truth because these do not blend in with their preconceived notions. Their head is not as expansive as their heart. Moreover, there are other children of God whose mind can conceive no thought whatever. No matter how many truths have been heard they can neither remember nor practice nor communicate them to others. These have certainly heard a lot, yet they possess no ability to express any of it. For many years they have received truths, but not even a little can they supply for the needs of others. Perhaps they may even brag how full they are of the Holy Spirit! What creates such symptoms is an unrenewed mind.

    Man’s head damages people more than man’s heart! Were believers to learn how to distinguish the renewal of heart from the renewal of head, they would not commit the mistake of believing in man. Christians ought to realize that even one who maintains a most intimate fellowship with God may nevertheless unknowingly have accepted Satan’s suggestions in his mind, which consequently precipitate errors in his conduct, words and viewpoints! Aside from the plain teaching of the Bible no man’s words are entirely trustworthy. We must not live by a man’s words just because we admire or respect that man. His utterance and conduct may be most holy but his thought may not be spiritual. What we therefore observe is not his speech and behavior but his mind. Were we to believe, because of one’s life conduct, that what a worker says is God’s truth, we would then be making man’s word and demeanor our standard of truth instead of the Bible. History is strewn with innumerable cases of sanctified saints who propagated heresies! The simple explanation is that their hearts were renewed but their minds remained old. We will undeniably acknowledge that life is more important than knowledge. Indeed, the former is a thousand times more consequential than the latter. Nonetheless, after some growth in life it is essential to seek the knowledge which proceeds from a renewed mind. We should see how urgent it is for both heart and head to be renewed.

    If a Christian’s mind is not renewed his life is bound to be lopsided and narrow. Work becomes nigh to impossible for him. The popular teaching nowadays stresses that there should be love, patience, humility and so forth in the Christian life. These traits of the heart are highly significant, since nothing else can replace them. Even so, can we regard these as meeting all our needs? They are important but not inclusive. It is equally vital for a person’s mind to be renewed, enlarged and strengthened. Otherwise we shall witness an unbalanced life. Many hold that spiritual Christians should not be common sensical, as though the more foolish they are the better. Now except for the fact that such spiritual believers live a little better than the rest, they have no other usefulness and cannot be entrusted with any work. To be sure, we do not advocate worldly wisdom and knowledge, because God’s redemption does not call for employing our former sin-stained mind. But He does desire it to be renewed as is our spirit. God wishes to restore our thought life to the excellent state it had when He created it so that we may not only glorify God in our walk but may glorify Him in our thinking as well. Who can estimate the multipled number of God’s children who, due to neglecting their mind, grow narrow, stubborn and obstinate, and even sometimes defiled. They fall short of the glory of God. The Lord’s people need to know that if they want to live a full life their mind must be renewed. One of the reasons why the kingdom of God lacks workers today is because too many cannot undertake anything with their head. They neglect to seek its renewal after they are saved and hence permit their work to be obstructed. The Bible declares emphatically that we must “be transformed by the renewal of our mind” (Rom. 12.2)
    by Published on 07-23-2017 01:23 AM     Number of Views: 202 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration

    The Regeneration of Man

    Why must a sinner be born anew? Why must he be born from above? Why must there be a regeneration of the spirit? Because man is a fallen spirit. A fallen spirit needs to be reborn that it may become a new one. Just as Satan is a fallen spirit, so is man; only he has a body. Satan’s fall came before man’s; we therefore can learn about our fallen state from Satan’s plunge. Satan was created as a spirit that he might have direct communion with God. But he fell away and became the head of the powers of darkness. He now is separated from God and from every godly virtue. This, however, does not signify that Satan is non-existent. His fall only took away his right relationship with God. Similarly, man in his fall also sank into darkness and separation from God. Man’s spirit still exists but is separated from God, powerless to commune with Him and incapable of ruling. Spiritually speaking, man’s spirit is dead. Nonetheless, as the spirit of the sinful archangel exists forever so the spirit of sinful man continues too. Because he has a body his fall rendered him a man of the flesh (Gen. 6.3). No religion of this world, no ethics, culture or law can improve this fallen human spirit. Man has degenerated into a fleshly position; nothing from himself can return him to a spiritual state. Wherefore regeneration or regeneration of the spirit is absolutely necessary. The Son of God alone can restore us to God, for He shed His blood to cleanse our sins and give us a new life.

    Immediately the sinner believes in the Lord Jesus he is born anew. God grants him His uncreated life that the sinner’s spirit may be made alive. The regeneration of a sinner occurs in his spirit. God’s work begins without exception within the man, from the center to the circumference. How unlike Satan’s pattern of work! He operates from the outer to the inner. God aims first to renew man’s darkened spirit by imparting life to it, because it is this spirit which God originally designed to receive His life and to commune with Him. God’s intent after that is to work out from the spirit to permeate man’s soul and body.

    This regeneration gives man a new spirit as well as quickens his old one. “A new spirit I will put within you”—“That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Ezek. 36.26; John 3.6). The “spirit” in these passages has God’s life in view, for it is not what we originally possessed; it is accorded us by God at our regeneration. This new life or spirit belongs to God (2 Peter 1.4) and “cannot sin” (1 John 3.9) ; but our spirit, though quickened, may yet be defiled (2 Cor. 7.1) and in need of being sanctified (1 Thess. 5.23).

    When God’s life (which can equally be called His Spirit) enters our human spirit, the latter is quickened out of its coma. What was “alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4.18) is now made alive again. Hence “although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness” (Rom. 8.10). What we are given in Adam is a spirit made dead; what we receive in Christ at regeneration is both the dead spirit quickened and the new spirit of God’s life: the latter, something Adam never had.

    In the Bible God’s life is often labeled “eternal life.” “Life here is zoe in Greek, denoting the higher life or spirit life. This is what every Christian receives at his regeneration. What is the function of that life? “This is eternal life,” prayed Jesus to His Father, “that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17.3). Eternal life means more than mere future blessing to be enjoyed by believers; it is equally a kind of spiritual ability. Without it no one can know God nor the Lord Jesus. Such intuitive knowledge of the Lord comes solely upon receiving God’s life. With the germ of God’s nature within him, an individual can ultimately grow into a spiritual man.

    God’s aim in a regenerated man is for that man by his spirit to rid himself of everything belonging to the old creation, because within his regenerated spirit lie all the works of God towards him.
    by Published on 06-04-2017 12:18 AM     Number of Views: 120 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration,
    3. Calvinism

    Whoever Does Not Believe Will Perish

    The Bible declares that the Lord Jesus died for all. If a person does not believe in the Lord Jesus, will he perish?

    Answer:

    “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died” (2 Cor. 5.14). The “one” here is Christ. The “all” whom He died for are all men. Now it may appear from this, therefore, that even though a person does not believe in the Lord Jesus, he should not die. Yet in John we read that “he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God” (3.18). What can be said about the righteousness of God and His way of operation?

    Let us look into this matter:

    “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20.28). “Who gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2.6). What is the difference between “many” and “all”? The “many” in the first passage includes all who believe, and the Lord Jesus has died for all the many who believe in Him. The “all” in the second passage refers to all men, for whom the Lord Jesus has prepared a ransom. The “for” in Matthew carries in it the idea of substituting, while the “for” in 1 Timothy conveys the idea of providing. With respect to the believers, the Lord Jesus has died to substitute His death for their death as well as to provide for them a ransom. With respect to sinners, however, His death has provided for them a ransom, though it does not serve to substitute for their death. Hence the scope of substitution before God is limited.

    The words “one died for all” in 2 Corinthians 5.14 means to say that one had died on behalf of all. It means that the death of the Lord Jesus has provided sufficiently for the use of all men. So far as provision is concerned the death of the Lord Jesus is for all men so that all may have the opportunity to be saved. Only for the believers would the word “substitute” be used.

    “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world” (1 John 2.2). Christ is the propitiation for the unbelievers as well as for the believers. But again the meaning here is not substitution, but provision. The salvation of God has already been prepared. When you receive it you then will be reckoned by God as being one among the “many”. Christ died on behalf of all men, since His death has made provision for all men; but it cannot be taken to mean a substitution in death for all men. If anyone does not believe, he will perish. This is man’s responsibility before God.

    “I may observe once for all, that in the usage of these two words, as applied to our redemption by Christ, all is the objective, many the subjective designation of those for whom Christ died.” Henry Alford, The Greek Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), Vol. I, p. 206.
    by Published on 05-22-2017 10:30 PM     Number of Views: 325 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration,
    3. Old Man Crucified

    The Conflict between the Old and the New

    It is essential for a regenerated person to understand what he has obtained through new birth and what still lingers of his natural endowment. Such knowledge will help him as he continues his spiritual journey. It may prove helpful at this point to explain how much is included in man’s flesh and likewise how the Lord Jesus in His redemption deals with the constituents of that flesh. In other words, what does a believer inherit in regeneration?

    A reading of several verses in Romans 7 can make clear that the components of the flesh are mainly “sin” and “me”: “sin that dwells in me . . . , that is, in my flesh” (vv. 14,17-18 Darby). The “sin” here is the power of sin, and the “me” here is what we commonly acknowledge as “self.” If a believer would understand spiritual life he must not be confused about these two elements of the flesh.

    We know the Lord Jesus has dealt with the sin of our flesh on His cross. And the Word informs us that “our old self was crucified with him” (Rom. 6.6). Nowhere in the Bible are we told to be crucified since this has been done and done perfectly by Christ already. With regard to the question of sin, man is not required to do anything. He need only consider this an accomplished fact (Rom. 6.11) and he will reap the effectiveness of the death of Jesus in being wholly delivered from the power of sin (Rom. 6.14).

    We are never asked in the Bible to be crucified for sin, that is true. It does exhort us, however, to take up the cross for denying self. The Lord Jesus instructs us many times to deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Him. The explanation for this is that the Lord Jesus deals with our sins and with ourselves very differently. To wholly conquer sin the believer needs but a moment; to deny the self he needs an entire lifetime. Only on the cross did Jesus bear our sins; yet throughout His life the Lord denied Himself. The same must be true of us.

    The Galatian letter of Paul delineates the relationship between the flesh and the believer. He tells us on the one hand that “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (5.24). On the very day one becomes identified with the Lord Jesus then his flesh also is crucified. Now one might think, without the Holy Spirit’s instruction, that his flesh is no longer present, for has it not been crucified? But no, on the other hand the letter says to us to “walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh” (5.16-17). Here we are told openly that one who belongs to Christ Jesus and has already the indwelling Holy Spirit still has the flesh in him. Not only does the flesh exist; it is described as being singularly powerful as well.

    What can we say? Are these two Biblical references contradictory? No, verse 24 stresses the sin of the flesh, while verse 17 the self of the flesh. The cross of Christ deals with sin and the Holy Spirit through the cross treats of self. Christ delivers the believer completely from the power of sin through the cross that sin may not reign again; but by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in the believer, Christ enables him to overcome self daily and obey Him perfectly. Liberation from sin is an accomplished fact; denial of self is to be a daily experience.

    If a believer could understand the full implication of the cross at the time he is born anew he would be freed wholly from sin on the one side and on the other be in possession of a new life. It is indeed regrettable that many workers fail to present this full salvation to sinners, so that the latter believe just half God’s salvation. This leaves them as it were only half-saved: their sins are forgiven, but they lack the strength to cease from sin. Moreover, even on those occasions when salvation is presented completely sinners desire just to have their sins forgiven for they do not sincerely expect deliverance from the power of sin. This equally renders them half-saved.

    Should a person believe and receive full salvation at the very outset, he will experience less failure battling with sin and more success battling with self. Rarely are such believers found. Most enter upon only half their salvation. Their conflicts are therefore mainly with sin. And some do not even know what self is. In this connection, the personal condition of the believer plays a part before regeneration. Many tend to do good even before they believe. They of course do not possess the power to do good nor could they be good. But their conscience seems to be comparatively enlightened, though their strength to do good is nevertheless weak. They experience what is commonly called the conflict between reason and lust. Now when these hear of God’s total salvation they eagerly accept grace for release from sin even as they receive grace for forgiveness of sin. Others, however, before believing, harbor pitch-black consciences, sin terribly, and never intend to do good. Upon hearing of God’s whole salvation they naturally grasp the grace of forgiveness and neglect (not reject) the grace for deliverance from sin. They will encounter much struggle over sin of the flesh afterwards.

    Why is this latter case so? Because such a re-born man possesses a new life which demands him to overcome the rule of his flesh and to obey it instead. God’s life is absolute; it must gain complete mastery over the man. As soon as that life enters the human spirit it requires the man to leave his former master of sin and to be subject entirely to the Holy Spirit. Even so, sin in this particular man is deeply rooted. Although his will is being renewed in part through the regenerated life, it is still tied to sin and self; on many occasions it bends towards sin. Inevitably great conflict will erupt between the new life and the flesh. Since people in this condition are numerous, we shall pay special attention to them. Let me remind my reader, however, that this experience of prolonged struggle and failure with sin (different from that with self) is unnecessary.

    The flesh demands full sovereignty; so does the spiritual life. The flesh desires to have man forever attached to itself; while the spiritual life wants to have man completely subject to the Holy Spirit. At all points the flesh and spiritual life differ. The nature of the former is that of the first Adam, the nature of the latter belongs to the last Adam. The motive of the first is earthly; that of the second, heavenly. The flesh focuses all things upon self; spiritual life centers all upon Christ. The flesh wishes to lead man to sin, but spiritual life longs to lead him to righteousness. Since these two are so essentially contrary, how can a person avoid clashing continually with the flesh? Not realizing the full salvation of Christ, a believer constantly experiences such a struggle.

    When young believers fall into such conflict they are dumbfounded. Some despair of spiritual growth thinking they are just too bad. Others begin to doubt they are genuinely regenerated, not aware that regeneration itself brings in this contention. Formerly, when the flesh was in authority without interference (for the spirit was dead), they could sin terribly without feeling any sense of sinfulness. Now new life has sprung up, and with it heavenly nature, desire, light and thought. As this new light penetrates the man it immediately exposes the defilement and corruption within. The new desire is naturally dissatisfied to remain in such a state and longs to follow the will of God. The flesh begins to contend with the spiritual life. Such battle gives the believer an impression that housed within him are two persons. Each has its own idea and strength. Each seeks victory. When the spiritual life is in ascendancy the believer is most glad; when the flesh gains the upper hand he cannot but grieve. Experience of this kind confirms that such ones have been regenerated.

    The purpose of God is never to reform the flesh but to destroy it. It is by God’s life given the believer at regeneration that the self in the flesh is to be destroyed. The life God imparts to man is indeed most powerful, but the regenerated person is still a babe—newly born and very weak. The flesh long has held the reins and its power is tremendous. Furthermore, the regenerated one has not yet learned to apprehend by faith God’s complete salvation. Though he be saved, he is still of the flesh during this period. Being fleshly denotes being governed by the flesh. What is most pitiful is for a believer, hitherto enlightened by heavenly light to know the wickedness of the flesh and to desire with full heart victory over it, to find himself too weak to overcome. This is the moment when he sheds many tears of sorrow. How can he not be angry with himself, for though he harbors a new desire to destroy sin and to please God his will is not steadfast enough to subdue the body of sin. Few are the victories; many, the defeats.

    Paul in Romans 7 voices the inner anguish of this conflict:

    I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate . . . For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. (vv.15-23)

    Many will respond to his cry of nearly final despair: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (v.24)

    What is the meaning of this contention? It is one of the ways the Holy Spirit disciplines us. God has provided a whole salvation for man. He who does not know he has it will not be able to enjoy it, neither will he be able to experience it if he does not desire after it. God can only give to those who believe and receive and claim. When man hence asks for forgiveness and regeneration, God surely bestows it upon him. And it is through conflict that God induces the believer to seek and to grasp total triumph in Christ. He who was ignorant before will now seek to know; the Holy Spirit will then be afforded a chance to reveal to him how Christ has dealt with his old man on the cross so that he may now believe into possessing such triumph. And he who possessed not because he sought not will discover through such battle that all the truth he had was merely mental and consequently ineffectual. This will stir him to desire to experience the truth he only mentally had known.

    This strife increases as the days go by. If believers will proceed faithfully without giving in to despair, they will incur fiercer conflict until such time as they are delivered.
    by Published on 02-04-2017 02:50 AM     Number of Views: 160 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration

    Overcoming the Accuser

    In view of what we have said we can now turn to face the enemy, for there is a further aspect of the Blood which is Satan-ward. Satan’s most strategic activity in this day is as the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12.10) and it is as this that our Lord confronts him with His special ministry as High Priest “through his own blood” (Heb. 9.12).

    How then does the Blood operate against Satan? It does so by putting God on the side of man against him. The Fall brought about a state of affairs in man which gave Satan a footing within him, with the result that God was compelled to withdraw himself. Man is now outside the Garden—beyond reach of the glory of God (Rom. 3.23)—because he is inwardly estranged from God. Because of what man has done, there is that in him now which, until it is removed, renders God morally unable to defend him. But the Blood removes that barrier, and restores man to God and God to man. Man is in favor now, and because God is on his side he can face Satan without fear.

    You remember that verse in John’s first Epistle—and this is the translation of it I like best: “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.”∗ It is not exactly “all sin” in the general sense, but every sin, every item. What does it mean? Oh, it is a marvelous thing! God is in the light, and as we walk in the light with Him everything is exposed and open to that light, so that God can see it all —and yet the Blood is able to cleanse from every sin. What a cleansing! It is not that I have not a profound knowledge of myself, nor that God has not a perfect knowledge of me. It is not that I try to hide something, nor that God tries to overlook something. No, it is that He is in the light and I too am in the light, and that there the precious Blood cleanses me from every sin. The Blood is enough for that! . . .

    ∗1 John 1-7: Marginal reading of New Translation by J. N. Darby.

    Since God, seeing all our sins in the light, can forgive them on the basis of the Blood, what ground of accusation has Satan? Satan may accuse us before Him, but, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8.31) God points him to the Blood of His dear Son. It is the sufficient answer against which Satan has no appeal. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that shall condemn? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:33-34). Thus God answers his every challenge.

    So here again our need is to recognize the absolute sufficiency of the precious Blood. “Christ having come a high priest . . . through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption” (Heb. 9.11-12). He was Redeemer once. He has been High Priest and Advocate for nearly two thousand years. He stands there in the presence of God, and “he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2.1-2). Note the words of Hebrew 9.14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ . . . cleanse your conscience.” They underline the sufficiency of His ministry. It is enough for God.
    by Published on 12-21-2015 03:23 AM     Number of Views: 307 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration,
    3. LDS/Mormons,
    4. Trinity

    I am a Christian. I was born-again as in John 3.7,16 Jan. 2001 and given eternal life right at that moment (John 3.15, 17.3). I can never lose salvation (John 10.28), and I go to the highest heaven of which there is only one heaven anyhow which is the New City in the New Earth (Rev. 21) where heaven and earth come together.

    The only new earth that fits this description is Mars for various many reasons as the old earth is left without the sea, but the new earth will also be without the sea as disclosed in Scripture (Rev. 21.1). And John viewed the New City from a great high mountain, mount Olympus, the largest mountain in the solar system. Hugh Ross, a scientist, has come up with over 800 variables for life to exist on another planet, but there are only 10^24 planets in the universe, so it is impossible for life to exist on another planet. Mars would have to be greatly terraformed for humans to live on it. Also, if 1% of the population goes to the highest heaven in Mormonism, there, again, are not enough planets in the universe. This is an easy enough mathematical calculation, and it holds true whether you start from Adam 4004 BC or from 1830 in Joseph Smith's time.

    Paul said "But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another." (1 Cor. 7.7) "For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven" (Matt. 22.30). I don't see any couples in heaven when people die. I don't see, thus, billions of spirit babies.

    I find these verses disagree with Mormonism greatly. The word of God is pure and unchangeable. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24.35, Mark 13.31, Luke 21.33). That being the case, the 66 books of the Bible have not been corrupted and remain perfectly preserved. So anything that contradicts it would not be true.

    I believe in the Trinity. One way to understand this without using Scripture is to provide an analogy since Mormons will often say the Bible is true but only to the extent that Joseph Smith says it is true; then no verse can be relied upon to help Mormons according to Mormons since they will just change it on the fly if they are corned. There is no cornerstone of truth.

    So imagine if you will a piece of paper. And on this piece of paper is a stick figure with legs, feet, circle for head, and arms and hands. Let's give this figure consciousness. In viewing his surroundings he will just see lines since his world is just width and length. He will see different colors in those lines; or he might see a 2 dimensional square or 2 dimensional shapes. They keep changing colors as an actual 3 dimensional cube with different colors on each side keeps rotating. God is showing you one side, then another side, and yet another side when you read about the Father, the Son and the Spirit (analogous to a 3 dimensional triangle, but don't get caught up in the analogy), yet all 3 are God so you can say 1/3+1/3+1/3=1. God doesn't need more sides than 3 so He only shows us 3 sides. We can't speculate beyond what He has revealed.

    A God who is infinitely greater than us stands to reason we can't see Him as He fully is in additional planes (God the Father is spirit, none can see spirit), but He can show us the sides of Him (Jesus entered His creation and Holy Spirit came to indwell the regenerated spirit of a saved person). And that's what He does with His Triune Being. Before the foundations of the world God's 3 Persons of One Being, One Substance, existed before time and space. There was nothing but God. Out of His glory He created us. He already had glory and perfection in His 3 Persons. This God is so much different than the Mormon god who once was a man. As God is, man may become; as man is, God once was according to Mormons. The law of eternal progression is a false law. This is bringing God down to our level of understanding and mistaken perception at that which leaves something to be desired.

    So, in conclusion, I don't see materials or intelligences beside God out of which He created, nor does God have a creator, for God is the uncreated Creator before time and space. He creates out of Himself. Man did not always exist in some pre-existing form alongside God. And that's the difference. Which God trumps the other? I believe God of the Bible wins out by proving His existence by the Trinity which is a superior concept or idea of God than simply God being an exalted man. Besides, salvation is not by works lest anyone should boast. Hindus believe the ultimate Creator is Brahma. Muslims believe in the uncreated Creator also except that he is not the God of the Bible. Even the Devil knows God is the uncreated Creator but that can't save him, nor you. There must be a relationship founded upon the new birth.

    Likewise, the god of Mormonism can't be true either, because God always existed alone from everlasting, and because Jesus died for the sins of the world that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3.16). To receive eternal life is not by works lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2.9). Works flow from the new life, as a new creation of God, but they do not have the power to gain salvation or lose it. Grow in that new life once born-again to walk by the Spirit in our spirit. First you need to be born-again. Mormons have never been born-again by the Spirit of God.
    by Published on 07-08-2015 07:39 PM     Number of Views: 412 
    1. Categories:
    2. Regeneration,
    3. Calvinism

    1 Tim. 4.10 says "God is the Savior of all men, specially those who believe". Since both Christians and Calvinists agree that this verse does not refer to universalism, can we determine which is the correct gospel of salvation? Of course. That's what the word of God is for to discern the spirits and prove all things.

    If as Calvinists believe God is merely only the protector and sustainer on earth though not from Hell in the first half of the sentence then the second half of the sentence makes no sense, because those who believe are a subset who come from all those whom God is the Savior of as indicated by the word "specially". Therefore, "Savior of all men" cannot stop short of God's glory by being merely only a sustainer, but must include salvation from Hell as well if the condition is met by believing.

    Therefore, since "God is the Savior of all men" doesn't refer to universalism but does apply to all people, it must pertain to the fact that God provides prevenient grace, that is, sufficient grace to us all to have the free choice. That is the context of the overall passage too.

    Praise the Lord!
    Amen.

    Therefore, a now ex-Calvinist after 26 years as a Calvinist can be saved. How? By repenting of Calvinism. Instead of pridefully on a pedestal with his idol of Total depravity delusionally declaring like a robot he was irresistibly selected, he came to the cross as a helpless sinner, having received the gift of repentance and faith by searching God out with all his heart and soul, to receive the Lord Jesus as Savior to be regenerated (i.e. born-again, initial salvation, new birth, new creation). If you are to be saved this is how God will receive you. He will not receive you with the hard heart of a Calvinist. No true Calvinist has ever been born-again.

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