Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
A friend of mine with whom I often speak regarding matters of the Gospel recently left me a false gospel tract entitled “Saving Faith,” written by the late A.W. Pink and distributed by an outfit called “Chapel Library.” He was aware that the tract did not comport with the gospel, and let me know that there was a group distributing it outside at a local event called “Speed Week.”
The tract was one of the most virulent repudiations of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I have ever read, with an attempt to substitute Pink’s false gospel.
Following are some of the quotes from that tract (in italics), as well as my comments (in bold parenthetical form):
Perhaps the reader is already a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet that, in and of itself is not proof he has been born again and is journeying to Heaven.
(My comment: STOP. RIGHT. THERE. Anyone who has trusted in Christ alone as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. So, why would Pink reject what the Bible says about how to have eternal life? We will never know his motives, but following are some of his false, unbiblical arguments)
“Among the chief rulers also many believed (not simply ‘about’, but) on Him.” Ah! but note what immediately follows: “but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43) – what a proof that they were utter strangers to a saving work of God in their souls: yet they were “believers” in the Lord Jesus!
(My comment: there are varying degrees of boldness in public identification with Christ, at various times among believers. This does not mean that the believers in Christ that Pink references do not have eternal life. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite: John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:)
There is a faith in Christ which is saving, and there is a faith in Christ which is not saving. Possibly, the reader says, “But I know that mine is the former: I have seen myself as a lost sinner, realize I can do nothing to gain acceptance with God, and have put my trust in the finished work of His Son.”…
Dear friends, others who were equally sure as you are now in Hell! Suffer us to enquire, Have you tested your faith by Scripture? Have you taken the trouble to ascertain whether your faith is accompanied by those evidences which are inseparable from a saving faith?
(My comment: Here again, Pink rejects the only basis for assurance of eternal life – dependence on Christ’s righteousnes – and tries to replace it with good old fashioned fruit inspection)
Have you been saved from pride, from covetousness, from murmuring? Christ died not to procure the pardon of our sins and the taking of us to Heaven, while our hearts still remain clinging to the things of this earth.
(My comment: Pink suggests here that those believers who cling to the things of this earth lack eternal life. The Bible says otherwise. Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. This was written to believers, and it means that it is God’s will that we not be worldly. But, it is not presented as a requirement for, or necessary consequence of eternal life.)
Saving faith necessarily involved the renouncing of our own sinful “lordship,” the throwing down of our weapons of warfare against Him, and the submitting to His yoke and rule. And before any sinful rebel is brought to that place, a miracle of grace has to be wrought within him. Saving faith consists of the complete surrender of my whole being and life to the lordship of Christ: “they first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Cor 8:5). Have you? Have you?
(My comment: the Bible repeatedly refers to eternal life as the gift of God. Saving faith does not require surrendering any, or all, of one’s being and life to the Lordship of Christ. Faith entails trusting in Christ alone as Savior. The verse that Pink cites, out of context here, has to do with liberality in financial sacrifice for the Apostle Paul’s ministry, not for the receipt of eternal life.)
I don’t know if A.W. Pink ever believed in Jesus as his Savior. His false gospel, presented in the referenced tract, would lead people away from Christ.
But, in this I am confident: whether or not Pink is with the Lord, he would now beg you to disregard the false gospel that is presented in his “Saving Faith” tract and believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior.
If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel
JohnWI – praise God for His tender mercies. So happy you found sound doctrine. So happy for us all.
David J. Busciglio – you are really fortunate to have a church home to fellowship with like-minded believers. Pink is just wretched…
David, Tell Yankee, John from Milwaukee says hi! If it wasn’t for Yankee, I may of still been confused and hopeless, or committed suicide. Thank God I heard the clear gospel from Yankee and a few others, and no longer look at myself for assurance, but rest in the assurance of His finished work on the Cross, for me!
David, it does seem like there are way more people who agree with the seemingly endless counterfeits than those who understand and believe the gospel.
We are thankful for everyone who has found their way to this ministry.
Outstanding refutation of Pink’s abhorrent/ ghastly false gospel and wonderful defense of the one and only gospel of grace/God’s freely offered gift if eternal life. Long ago rested my faith in the merits of Jesus alone, but except for my own local body of believers (Calvary Community Church in Tampa), feel as if I’m on an island separated from all others. Blessing to find the few Christian websites that still stand for the truth and boldly refute the LSFG heresy.
Lordship turns out to be faith in faith and word of faith heresy.
Zapruder, Amen brother! I can sense your passion on this issue! I am the same way, since I have been delivered from this perversion and the light of the glorious Gospel of the simplicity that is in trusting Jesus Christ (GOD OUR SAVIOR) alone.
Zpruder, yeah, “saving faith” is often just another name for works for salvation. That is definitely the case in the tract by Pink.
I’m so sick of this “saving faith” nonsense. The Bible says nothing about different *types* of faith, one “kind” of faith that saves and one “kind” that doesn’t. “WELL DO YOU HAVE THE SAVING KIND OF FAITH, BROTHER?” What the heck does that even mean? I tell you what people really mean when they say that – they mean works for salvation. Nonsense. Horrific teaching. It’s not about some “type” faith that’s the issue, it’s the OBJECT of your faith that’s the issue. If it’s not on Christ alone and HIS work to save you, and you are instead relying on YOU having works, you are rejecting the free gift that is by grace (Romans 11:5-6). Simple as that.
Johninnc – yes! We have to mark and avoid him, and others don’t want to because they love what he says (Why is beyond me…)
Kate, my feelings had me tied up in a knot, and I got to the point where I figured I was lost if what all of them were saying was true. Thank God for His precious Word.
RAS – so true. It is a dizzying merry-go-round, but it’s because they are getting their information from the author of confusion. And they don’t realize all the contradictions and the end result of their theological viewpoint. Every now and then some will hear, and it’s truly a huge blessing. Seems like very few want to hear. More and more seem to be stopping their ears like those Pharisees and religious crowd in Acts 7.
This right here…
“Anyways, again, feelings are never a good indicator of what God has said is true. I believe God’s Word over my feelings any day.”
I went through many years relying on my “feelings”, and I am sure many here can relate.
Yes, I am careful to call Spurgeon a heretic.
“…without the doctrine of regeneration and repentance that has nothing but intellectual knowledge without volition and emotion. That you should run from!”
First off, Spurgeon’s “doctrine” (he being a 5 pointer) has no place for volition. Of course this is where the double talk begins and it becomes God given volition through God given faith leading to a God given intellectual understanding of how to take proof text out of context that leads to an emotion attachment to the “Doctrines of Grace” i.e. the doctrine of God’s “true” elect.
The guy might as well said “get your doctrine (in line with his) set first before even thinking that God has given you life”.
It’s a merry-go-round they love and want you to ride with them as the first deny volition, intellect, and emotion and then appeal to all three. Truly dizzying.
Johninnc, as you say, ‘seemingly innocuous’. Hobbs and Jasonc64, I don’t know if they’re aware of their manipulation, but instead of trying to understand what the Scriptures say, they truly are wresting it to their destruction (and others).
Jason knows of the one in a group on FB who wasn’t comfortable with Spurgeon being listed as having false teaching.
He said, “ I would be careful calling Charles Spurgeon a heretic. Its the decisionism without the doctrine of regeneration and repentance that has nothing but intellectual knowledge without volition and emotion. That you should run from!” (I don’t have to translate for you all here).
I never could bear that type of manipulation. Certain teachers do it. They’ll say things like, ‘a sincere student of the Word will understand what I’m saying’, etc. In other words, agree with me, or you’re not sincere nor a student of His Word. It’s not the straightforward manner of someone who is gifted as a teacher, who is willing to aptly lay out God’s Word and trusts the power of it. Instead they have to explain it by their way of understanding with no backing up with like Scriptures as a witness to what they’re teaching.
Anyways, again, feelings are never a good indicator of what God has said is true. I believe God’s Word over my feelings any day.
The only Biblical grounds for assurance that one has eternal life is by believing and resting on the promise of eternal life, or believing the record God has given about His Son, on the basis of His person and finished work alone (John 5:24; 1 John 5:11; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). The one thing that all false doctrine has in common is the belief that eternal life can be attained by, or confirmation that one has eternal life can be perceived or verified through, one or more of the 5 physical senses, whether it be a feeling, emotion, baptism, speaking in tongues, eating a wafer, drinking wine or one’s faithfulness, perseverance or good works (Jude 1:17-19). That is the Devil’s game.
The hymn “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” has the line: “when darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace”. Back then, music was not emotion driven.
Jason, thanks for mentioning the reference from “The Gospel” booklet. It is very good advice.
Hobbs, you make a good point.
When LS advocates say it is quite clear, it often involves interpretations that would make the Bible contradict itself.
And one thing the Bible is clear on is eternal life. I am reminded of what Ron Shea said on p. 25 of the booklet:
voices from heaven
bolts of lightning
Not to mention what the Bible says about testing the spirits. Feelings do not always line up with the Word. They “may be the whisperings of Satan”.
Actually, when I hear a ‘free’ grace person say ‘The Bible is quite clear’, what follows is usually affirming in some way.
When I hear a Lordship Salvationist say ‘The Bible is quite clear’, I immediately run for cover! As do most Christians really, if only they knew it. You can get so used to the bondage you end up thinking it’s spiritual to feel that way.
Then there’s the oft used ‘The Bible is quite clear’.
‘The Bible is quite clear that my understanding is the correct one.’ 😉
Holly, I, too, wish that people would pray about it, and look at other scriptures to see if that is what He is really saying.
Unfortunately, some people come here with the sole intent of poisoning others with their false doctrine. They are deceived and deceivers. They begin with a seemingly innocuous question, and then follow up with loaded phrases like “anyone can see,” or “it’s clearly obvious,” or “there is no other possible conclusion.”
These sound like closing arguments from an attorney – in many cases, the devil’s advocate.
Johninnc – I get troubled when people try to put their ‘take’ on something as proof of salvation and insist that what they believe it means is what it indeed is saying and won’t reason with another on what Scripture is saying. I wish they’d pray about it, and look at other Scriptures to see if that is what He is really saying.
I don’t want to do that myself, I want to carefully handle Scripture.
I like how your friend shared and agree, adding besides a Jewish audience, it was Jewish disciples who Jesus was preparing for His ascension to the right hand of the Father. He didn’t want them to be troubled.
I too looked up the original language and besides just the primary meaning of Peace, Eirene is believed to be taken from a primary verb meaning ‘to join’ or to ‘set at one’. (Just as your friend mentioned). I am thankful for His Word. When I’m not at peace (as the world sees it), I am at peace with the Father.
I found it interesting that it’s the same word Jesus used to rebuke the Pharisees who would not hear (Lk 19). Jesus said if they had known the things that made for their peace — if they had recognized the day of their visitation… but they didn’t and now it was hidden from their eyes. They could have been made whole or set at one with the Father.
For the disciples, I believe He’s pointing them forward to what is ahead. (The chapter starts with ‘let not your hearts be troubled’) and again in the verse Jesus is King shared.
He assures them He is going to prepare a place for them (they are already clean). He is going to send them the Comforter, the Spirit of truth which the world doesn’t understand (vs. 17, 19, 22, all seem like a similar way of contrast to verse 27 ‘not as the world gives’). And context shows us that Comforter is once again spoken of as someone who will teach them and bring His Word to their remembrance, these things make for a believer’s peace (if we’re in the Word and walking in the Spirit).
There is a particular peace, and that is reconciliation to the Father. Which comes because of belief in what God says, never because of our ‘feelings’ because they are not dependable, nor are they infallible. Feelings lie.
There is a man of Peace at the end. I imagine many will believe they are experiencing a unique peace. But it doesn’t make it truth.
chas, it was a she, but she will be happy to know that it was helpful.
Thanks for posting your friend’s message. I think he nailed it.
Please tell your friend that his essay comforted me a great deal. It reminded me of something I never should have let slip from my mind; that my peace with God depends on what Jesus has done for me, not on whether I “feel” it or not. (Feelings of peace have been in rather short supply in my life lately.)
Please note: I received a very helpful e-mail from a good friend that should clear up some of the misconceptions about the meaning of John 14:27 that were introduced in recent comments here. Following are some excerpts:
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
To whom is it written? To Jews who traditionally said “Peace” when leaving one another. A wish/blessing for prosperity and well being–a state, not a feeling.
What is the meaning of the word in original language? The word for peace, eirene, refers to a “wholeness”. It is a state, not a feeling. Jesus says “my” eirene. Jesus isn’t giving them His “feelings” of wholeness but His state of wholeness. (Note in John 12:27, Jesus says His soul is “troubled”.)
What is the context? Jesus telling them that He was returning to the Father. He immediately follows up the verse with “Let not your heart be troubled…” So he was NOT giving them an absence of troubled heart or a “feeling”. It is our choice to believe that we are in a state of peace with God and thereby not let our heart be troubled.
***What is the plain grammatical meaning? “Jesus is King” twists the grammar of the sentence to claim that “as” (not “as” the world gives) is an adjective modifying the noun “peace” and then runs off on various arguments that he can “feel” this special kind of peace, that unsaved people can’t “feel” it, that this special “kind” of peace that he “feels” gives him assurance. The word translated “as” is an ADVERB. It modifies the VERB “gives”. Adverbs answer how, when, where, why, or to what extent–how often or how much (e.g., daily, continually).
So Jesus GIVES us peace in a different way than the world gives us peace. He does not give us a special “feeling” of peace on which we base our assurance. The unsaved can have a “feeling” of peace just like believers can have a “feeling” of peace. The difference is that only believers have Jesus’ peace (a state of wholeness/oneness with God) given as Jesus gives it (eternally through faith in His death for our sins, burial, resurrection).
My comment: I agree completely. We have peace with God through Christ Jesus. We do not have to “feel it” for assurance of eternal life, nor should we try to gain, or corroborate assurance of eternal life through feelings. It is Satan, not God who wants us to look to ourselves and our feelings for assurance. God’s word does not contradict itself. It does not tell us to seek assurance through feelings, it tells us that our basis for assurance is having believed His testimony concerning His Son.
The many times Jesus says, “verily, verily, I say unto you”, it is the equivalent of God said so. John 5:24 is one of these times. The Word qualifies with “truly” not our faith but Itself.
Job did not always feel peace, but he confessed that his Redeemer lives. He knew he had peace objectively although he did not feel it.
Jesus is King, we understand your point.
There is nothing new in your latest comment.
This is my last response to you on this topic – this is getting repetitious, and your attitude has become confrontational.
We have allowed you to express your point of view. We are done here.
Please do not attempt to post any more comments on this topic. They will not be posted.
Hollysgarcia – Thank you again for your thoughtful reply.
As far as “going through hard times,” I stated earlier that the lack of the distinct peace that Jesus mentioned doesn’t dis-prove our salvation. If we don’t “feel that peace,” it simply means we are not receiving it at that time. When I go through hard times, the peace the Lord gives me is always stronger. His peace is what helps me get through
hard times. Maybe you’ve never felt it, but I certainly have.
It’s not what I think scripture is saying; it’s what Jesus clearly said. I could also say the scripture doesn’t specifically say “because God said so,” but we do glean from scripture that emphatic truth.
I think it’s quite clear and emphatic that when Jesus is referring to His (My) peace that it is unique in comparison to the “peace” the world offers. I don’t see how the text could possibly be understood any other way. And, “feeling” that distinction is the only way we would know the difference. Peace is in fact a feeling. If it isn’t, then what else is it?
So, Jesus is clearly saying we can feel that difference between His peace and the peace of the world. And, if believers can only be the ones who feel that peace, it has to be proof. There is no other conclusion other than denial of that emphatic truth. John might not like it, and he might not want to post it, but it’s the truth.
I find John and Holly’s comments pertaining to this discussion helpful. 1 John 3:20 helps me, because my heart can condemn me.
Just to be fair also, I sometimes don’t post all the posts someone posts. I will oftentimes try to reason with them in an email. It’s not for me, but for them. Maybe they have escalated a bit and I’d rather not bring that to my other readers, but to give them a chance to consider everything. It’s not because they disagree, but because what they are bringing I may not feel lines up with His Word, and in the end I’m responsible for what gets posted and what someone else may take to heart.
So is Johninnc responsible for what Jack Weaver started here, not to Jack so much as to the Lord and His Word. Whenever we teach it’s an awesome responsibility, one we should undertake in fear and trembling (Isaiah 66:2). So, I respect anyone’s right to limit or not post my post on their blog.
Jesus is King, not sure whether we’ve met before, but I’ve known John a long time. He usually has a good reason for disallowing comments, and typically it’s because someone insists on their way of thinking and/or maybe starts using labeling etc. and it then becomes a foolish argument.
I will say that I don’t see Scripture saying what you are saying. I don’t mean to offend or upset you. I know I’m His, but I can depend on it because of what is written in His Word.
If the Word said, you can know you are saved because you will feel peace, then I would believe it, but that’s not what the Word says. I think John laid it out well. I’m not saying (and I don’t think he is) that you won’t feel peace, but I will tell you that we go through hard times and what then? (If we don’t ‘feel’ that peace)?
So, I think for Johninnc, he’d probably rather stick to the written Word vs. subjective opinions, and although we may think the Word is implying that, it is not what it says. Why do we need reminded that He has not given us a spirit of fear? Why did believers need reminded that perfect love casts out all fear? It’s because we can be in fear. And if being in peace was some kind of an indicator if we were saved, then I guess the many years I went through my husband’s terminal illness while juggling a business, 8 kids and all sorts of difficulties, I might not have gauged myself to be saved. I am thankful I knew I didn’t lean on my own understanding but I trusted in the Lord and His promise of eternal life by belief in Him.
hollysgarcia – Thank you for your input.
But, John apparently didn’t post my last response to his reply. So, you are only seeing a lopsided discussion. I understand feelings come and go. But, when the distinct feeling of peace that Jesus spoke of is present, it is without a doubt further assurance that I belong to Him.
If only a saved believer can experience this distinct feeling of peace, then it can only be further evidence.
Also, I’m not saying that lack of the “fruit” of peace that Jesus describes dis-proves our salvation. But, you just can’t argue that while that peace is there that it isn’t in fact an additional assurance that we are His. It just is.
Good answers John and I’m in agreement.
I know that what I feel is nice, but feelings come and go. But what He promises is true and His truth remains. His Word is always true, because He is not a man that He should lie. The interesting part is that we need to continue in His Word to continue to bear fruit. We need to abide in the Vine for the same reason. We need to add to our faith in order to not be barren or unfruitful (obviously we can be unfruitful). So looking to any fruit might be proof we are not abiding, or not continuing in His Word, or not in fellowship, but is not proof as to whether we possess eternal life. The fact that we believed God’s Word is proof that we possess eternal life because He said so.
Jesus is King, this is the last response I intend to add on this topic, because we have now both thoroughly expressed our views.
I don’t personaly think that Jesus was telling us that the peace that we feel is unique. He told us the peace that we have is unique.
I also don’t personally believe that the inner witness of the Holy Spirit is a witness to us that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16 says that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, not to our spirit. I believe the witness is to God, when we pray (see verses 15 and 26).
Ephesians 1:13-14 promises eternal security, not continual assurance.
If we can know we have eternal life, based solely on God’s promises, we don’t need anything else for assurance.
John – Thank you for your thorough reply.
I’m not implying that the peace of the Lord is automatic. We must yield to the Holy Spirit in order to maintain that peace. What I’m saying is that Jesus is clearly letting us know that this peace we do feel is unique. It is unique to “only” saved believers. So, when we do have this peace that comes from the Holy Spirit, it can’t be anything but a form of assurance, because non believers can’t experience it.
My salvation was an event that happened at a certain point in time. I don’t have to go back and remember that event every time I lack assurance. At the time I was saved, I received the Holy Spirit who is with me forever. I can always lean on the Holy Spirit in order to gain peace and assurance. I don’t have to consciously remember my conversion experience every time I need assurance. The Holy Spirit Himself reminds me that I am His as well. Eph 1:13-14, Romans 8:26.
Jesus is King, assurance comes directly from God’s word, and is based solely, and distinctly, on having believed in Jesus as Savior. This can be a source of great peace for Christians. However, God’s word does not tell us to get assurance from our feelings of peace.
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Notice that Jesus is telling them not to be troubled. This is a great verse to remember whenever we are feeling troubled. But, it does not guarantee that we will always feel at peace. Jesus is saying not to be troubled. The choice is ours. If Christians were to automatically feel at peace all of the time, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to have said anything here. It would just happen.
There are Christians who are anxious much of the time, about all sorts of things.
There are Christians who quit believing (see Luke 8:13), who therefore no longer feel assured of eternal life based on God’s word, even though they still possess eternal life. So, the attendant “feelings of peace” would probably not be a mainstay of their lives.
God’s word tells us that as Christians, we have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Jesus promises us that. God’s word also tells us that we can have assurance of eternal life. God’s word does not promise that we will have assurance all of the time, or even keep it throughout our lives.
There are likely also people who have believed false gospels, who have made peace with those false gospels, and therefore may have false feelings of peace that they mistake for assurance of eternal life.
Bottom line: Assurance of eternal life comes from belief in God’s promise of eternal life to anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior.
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Feelings can come and go. If someone is relying on feelings to bolster their assurance of eternal life, and those feelings aren’t there one day, it would then serve to undermine assurance.
John- Why? Assurance is assurance. If this fruit of peace is a distinct assurance that Jesus said He would give me, I’ll take it. Our distinct peace as Christians flows from the gospel.
Jesus is King, that’s an interesting question. We have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
I would caution people against trying to draw assurance from feelings of peace. Our assurance should come from knowing that we have believed in Jesus as Savior.
Hi everybody- I had a question. Isn’t Jesus saying that the peace He gives us as Christians can be distinguishable from the peace of the world in John 14:27? Can’t we personally know and feel this distinctive peace of the Lord vs. the peace of the world? I know I can. How is that fruit inspection?
Holly, I think I know the book you’re thinking of. That endorsement–which shocked me–came some time after Missler had moved to Idaho and more-or-less cut ties with CCCM.
Chas, interesting insights on Missler. I didn’t get into him enough to know those things, and glad I didn’t. Later when I heard of some concerns by a few, that’s when I found out about his slide into some things. I don’t know if it was always there and just got worse, but I remember someone telling me some years back that he and his wife had favorably reviewed a book of a pastor that dealt with talking to his dead son. I can no longer recall the pastor’s name. Regardless, the worse to me is how they miss the obvious conclusion to their legalism.
Very interesting Chas! I still have many of Missler’s studies on MP3 and used to listen to them often. I was drawn to his “the other side of things” and I agree, he seems very strong on eternal security on the tapes. I think that his “the other side of things” prevented him from being a good expositor of scripture that does not deal directly with eschatology. He was strong on Israel/Church and pretrib/premil but I don’t find it hard to believe that he strayed toward LS.
Holly and Phil…
Missler was a complex man. Highly intelligent, he was naturally adept at coming up with “the other side of things” in his critical thinking, which sometimes led him astray. Nowhere was that more evident than in his Bible teaching.
In my CCCM days I attended Missler’s Monday night studies in the Fellowship Hall, beginning right about the time of his Isaiah study (approx. 1976 or ’77). He seemed to be very OSAS in those days. I remember him answering a lady’s question during a Q&A after one of his 90 minute studies. The lady was very confused about eternal security (as many of us were), and Missler was quoting John 10:28 and 29 about being in God’s hands. Speaking of himself, he said, “Jesus says no one will take me out of His hand, or out of the Father’s hand. I see two hands there, see?” He cupped his hands, putting them together. “God says that no man will take me out of His hands. Well, I’m a man, and that means I can’t take myself out of His hands.” The lady offered a few “but what abouts”, but Missler kept bringing her back to John 10. Because of that, I believed he was firmly OSAS, at least at that time.
What attracted me to his studies initially was his in-depth approach to eschatology, which led to his unwavering support of Pretribulationism. He really was able to sort things out and refute not only Postribulationism, but Amillenialism, Historicism, Preterism and all the other “isms” that didn’t make sense. But things took a turn to the legalistic side as the years wore on. Missler began gradually to emphasize “devotion” to God as a sign of “real” conversion. I don’t recall exactly when this began. It was subtle at first, as error’s entry into teaching usually is. By the time of his Hebrews study (1979 or so), the legalistic bent was becoming distinctly noticeable to me. It seemed to coincide with his worsening business troubles. Once very successful–he drove a Ferrari 308 as his daily driver– he proudly announced before a study one night, “I sold the Ferrari!” Apparently some Christians in his circle had been hounding him about owning such an expensive car. There was also an earthquake in Big Bear that ruined his home. Then there was a drawn-out lawsuit against his company. While keeping those at his study informed about his situation, he mentioned several times that he wondered if God was “trying to tell me something” by all the bad things that were happening. I can’t be sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he interpreted the adversity as a signal that he was being too “one-sided” in his view of salvation, and sought to “balance things out” as some claim we must. That’s a guess, of course, but it’s an educated guess. Anyway, because I was put on the night shift at my own job, I could no longer attend weekday studies at CCCM.
Missler was into the numerology thing back then, but not nearly so deeply as in his Koinonia House “full-time ministry” days. He would occasionally mention a couple of rabbinical techniques of grouping Hebrew letters and what a few of the groupings seem to mean, but only as a passing curiosity. He emphasized that the techniques should never be used to determine doctrine, let alone contradict what was plainly taught in Scripture. Apparently, he abandoned that wisdom later. A brilliant man, it saddens me to see his teaching deteriorate so badly, especially toward legalism. So many have been confused about salvation by the un-biblical ideas that Missler succumbed to and taught. Besides that, his doctrinal flaws discredit the Pretrib view in the eyes of some. But in retrospect his career provides us with a valuable lesson on how human intellect can distort doctrine when that intellect is given too high a place. As Missler would say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
Jason78CLT – thank the Lord you heard the works based gospel and recognized it. It’s difficult to find churches that are faithful to the clear message. Praying that you might find fellowship near you. Many of us have experienced this many times over sadly.
Phil that’s interesting. Yes, my sister and brother-in-law were teaching Missler’s tapes on eschatology in the late 80’s. I didn’t really grab ahold of him, but later in life saw him doing Bible code and the like. I didn’t know that about his three tenses of salvation, interesting way for him to put a different spin on it.
I’ve seen people explain it as being saved from the penalty of sin (past), being saved from the power of sin (through cooperation in the present) and being saved from the presence of sin forever (future). I hadn’t known that about Missler, but he had a number of screwy things including associations and his wife really did.
chas, they say if you keep trying to fit the puzzle pieces together the picture will become clearer. I used to listen to Chuck Missler because he seemed so knowledgeable on futurist eschatology. But I started becoming suspicious when i found out his past connections with Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel, and this broken record “three tenses of salvation” theology that he hammers on. Missler said that a person who has trusted Christ as Savior and is eternally secure needs to life it out through sanctification and glorification, and if the person didn’t then he was some sort of bastard son.
I have heard a grace only teacher really praise Missler, but they need to hear all he has to say. Just because someone is a popular teacher doesn’t make them right.
I’ve been out of town on vacation recently, so I haven’t been keeping up here. So, I’d like to welcome our new visitors here to this Oasis of God’s gift of free grace and eternal life! Hope you all will stick around.
Thanks for the info on J.D. Farag. The name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it. I’d forgotten about his link to Calvary Chapel. Unfortunately, there are quite a few CC pastors who don’t get it. Chuck Smith was one of them. (He also projected a very likeable image.) I used to attend services at CCCM several times a week back in the ’70s, and I was never sure from day-to-day whether I’d be fed a message of “God’s unconditional love” on the one hand, or “you’re only secure as long as you abide” on the other. The “confessing Jesus publicly” requirement is pretty much “evangelical” boilerplate, isn’t it? The more I learn of evangelicalism, the more fundamentalist I get.
Greg Laurie, who taught at CCCM every Monday, was one of those pastors who would often make me feel as though I wasn’t a real Christian if I wasn’t out on the street merrily passing out tracts at least some of the time. There was always something about him that made me uncomfortable but I couldn’t quite place it. Given his pro-ecumenical, pro-Rick Warren leanings these days I guess that discomfort may have been the Lord’s warning to me. But even with all that, CCCM was much less oppressive than the RCC. Maybe that’s why I put up with the confusion for so long; for all its shortcomings it was far better than nuns, priests and Jesuits.
John 6:47, agree. Total doublespeak.
johninnc – What you describe with that bragiphonie is very common in churches today, especially those involved in the ecumenical movement. They’ll try to dance around “controversial” theological subjects like eternal security but turn around and says that if a person has a supposed conversion but has no love for the things of God, then we have every reason to doubt the veracity of their salvation. It’s pure doublespeak. Anytime a pastor is unclear on the Gospel, chances are very good that they are believing wrong about the Gospel.
Jason78, welcome and thanks for your question.
Your experience should have been enough to convince me that this church should be avoided.
But, I picked a random “testimony” from their website, and it reflected a very confused understanding of how one receives eternal life.
I would stay away from the place.
we attended Central Church Of God here in charlotte nc for a few weeks. the preaching seems to be somewhat free grace but this past sunday was a big time works salvation message from the senior pastor loran livingston. whats funny is that in a previous sunday message he said he believed in eternal security in a youtube video, which prompted us to attend in the first place. anyone heard anything about this Central Church Of God?
Veronica, the late Jack Weaver marked Laurie as a false teacher years ago. We agree with your assessment.
What are your thoughts on Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in SoCal? Before I got saved, I used to attend his crusades and thought I got saved because I made a commitment to follow Jesus. Now that I am saved from simply believing in Jesus Christ as Savior, I think we need to expose Greg Laurie. He is a Lordship Salvationist, his false gospel message doesn’t save and is deceiving thousands of people that attend his crusades. We should mark him and avoid him too.
(Link removed by administrator)
Chas, JD Farag is an Arab Calvary Chapel pastor who ‘almost’ gets it right but still adds the confessing Him publicly (without addressing John 12:42-43).
Truthfully, I haven’t found much I want to watch in videos for the reasons you cited.
Tom Mono, How well put regarding the RC church. I’ve addressed some of it with friends who are in it, they can’t answer why because they’re not encouraged to know the Bible.
Those who do are trained generally by Catholic Apologists who are the same type of proof-texters as Calvinists. They don’t ‘hear’ the Word, nor do they tremble at it (Is 66:2)
Johninnc – smh – sadly so true > hurry up and believe a false gospel…
JohnWI, I also listened to Jimmy a little, and thought Haan was understanding of grace too, but have no idea really since I haven’t listened to either one of them for years and years.
Many of them (like Howse) are willing to compromise to get their books, names etc. out there. And we see what happens to them. If their gospel wasn’t corrupted before it is now…
Catholics barely fail to do anything that the NT doesn’t warn us about. Repetitive prayers? Check. Long fancy garments? Check. Abstaining from meats and marriage? Check and check. Calling spiritual leaders father? Check. Works required for salvation? Check. They even call their priests an ‘alter christus’ meaning literally ANOTHER Christ.
It’s crazy to me that a professing Christian who thinks that the way of salvation is even kind of by faith could look at Catholic bigshots as being remotely acceptable to quote approvingly on a Sunday morning about ANYTHING. Ok sure jesuits did a good job spreading their false gospel.
As Jesus said:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
They were teaching weird Catholic spiritual practices and approvingly quoting “Saint” Ignatius of Loyola. Why not just preach Kabbalah and pull out the ouija board while you’re at it??
I’m not a conspiracy theorist but even a lazy historian would have to agree that Loyola effectively hindered our gospel.
I’ve been reading more of this book by Pink and it’s horrifying. The bottom line is that they apparently hold to hardcore works salvation with a weak Calvinistic facade of grace at that church so why not praise the Catholics? Unbelievable that they hide their real convictions until repeatedly pressed and fool plenty of good people into serving them.
They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
John and Holly…
I don’t follow J.D. Farag, so I’m not familiar with him. The videos that I have been finding about the Jesuits are staunchly anti-Jesuit, which is fine. The Jesuits have evil roots and have done much evil. It’s just that some of the well-meaning people exposing the Jesuits seem to get into a mentality that leads them to attribute every evil move in world history since the 16th Century to Jesuit machinations. Then when these exposes touch on something the lecturer disagrees with, they seek a Jesuit link to it. The two longest videos I’ve found so far are by people who champion the Reformation. I suppose that’s to be expected, since they’re refuting RC-ism and its Counter-Reformation, but as a consequence they also hold to Augustinian eschatology. Because of that, they disagree with futurism (which is the foundation of premillennialism and Pretribulationism), and so relegate futurism to Jesuit influences. One of them even cited Dave MacPherson’s malicious nonsense about Darby in support of their anti-Pre-Trib diatribes. What’s worse, another result of their unquestioning devotion to the Reformation is a strong Calvinist streak with its inevitable LS view. Oh, and they also are rabidly KJV-only.
Such mis-informed views about futurism, Darby, Calvin and LS etc. leads me to wonder about the veracity of their research on the Jesuits, although, to be fair, their documentation on the Jesuits is much more thorough than their “research” on the other subjects they touch on. It’s just beginning to look to me like they extrapolate way too much. I know the Jesuits are evil, but they’re not the devil. They just work for him.
johninnc – Yes, both are LD teachers. Brannon teaches that true believers won’t “practice” the sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. And Jimmy DeYoung teaches repent of sins for salvation.
JohnWI, I am not comfortable with Brannon Howse, with or without his connection to John MacArthur. According to some of our more discerning commenters, both Brannon Howse and Jimmy DeYoung are LS.
Another person who uses the ABC’s for salvation, is Jimmy DeYoung. I use to listen to him quite a bit in the past, notice I said in the past. He had the television show called Day of Discovery, with Mart De Haan and I respected DeHaan, but I am not sure were he is coming from now, since he is on Brannon Howse’s show, World View Weekend. Brannon Howse use to be a big follower of John MacArthur, but a friend of mine said Brannon is distancing himself from John MacArthur. Not sure on that. Maybe some one as more knowledge on that and Jimmy DeYoung. I know Jimmy DeYoung is good friends with the pastor of the Jerusalem Assembly, Meno Kalisher, who had Paul Washer come and speak in their church. I wrote an email to Meno asking him about allowing Paul Washer to speak in his church, and he said he was a great man of God.
Holly, these prophecy sites that teach LS are like “hurry up and believe a false gospel before its too late.”
Chas and John, there is a ‘respected’ pastor, J.D. Farag. Super likable and seemingly humble. He teaches prophecy and the people love him over on FB, you see his prophecy updates frequently.
He also teaches the ‘ABC’ method of salvation, C being Confess/Call upon the name of the Lord. I emailed him once about this, but he doesn’t exactly want to hear. I was pleased when one of the women who has been troubled in the past in loadship brought up one of his sermons as being troubling. It was on Eph 5:5-7, and it was entitled ‘Doubting your salvation’ (and no it wasn’t about reassuring them they possessed eternal life if they believed God’s testimony of His Son).
He uses the childhood song, ‘if you’re saved and you know it then your life should surely show it’. And he tells his flock that this is what Paul is saying too. (I was waiting for him to say SHOULD). But no, he means if your life doesn’t show it, you are NOT SAVED.
I will not take teaching from one who teaches another gospel, but some want to hear what’s going to happen at any cost and how can someone who doesn’t have the truth of the gospel straight guide you in other doctrinal matters?
Tom Mono, it’s interesting that Wayne Grudem was an elder and professor at a Seminary in town (I attended the church for years and took some classes from the Seminary both). Both became ecumenical but likely not from their viewpoint. The people they are willing to quote and hold up over the Word of God amaze me. They had the author of the book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the church years back (Eric Metaxas). They LOVE quoting Bonhoeffer, their ME-ism doctrine has them imagining themselves as not only pastors but spy’s, prophets and martyrs… According them it was just an ‘internet rumor’ that Bonhoeffer denied certain things that would make him an antichrist.
People want to ‘systemize’ theology, yet they do it with outside sources that don’t believe in the Deity or physical/literal resurrection of Christ? The admire the adventures and teaching of the Jesuits as if something to emulate.
So sad people don’t see if they did once believe, they are bewitched into thinking they can finish in the flesh. Or somehow grow by listening to these false gospels.
chas, you are right. There are people who don’t even get the gospel straight who teach on all sorts of biblical matters.
Speaking of Jesuits, it’s really gotten thick out there. Lately I’ve been encountering a lot of talk about the Jesuits and their agenda, how it continues to this day. As an EX-Catholic, Jesuit history interests me because I want to be able to get a grip on church history in order to recognize and counter distortions of it when I run into Catholics online spouting RCC propaganda. (Been doing a lot of that the last few days.)
Anyway, though it’s possible to find lengthy videos containing a lot of good info exposing the Jesuits, there can be a lot of noise on the channel. For instance, some of the lecturers insist that the Pre-trib Rapture, Premillennialism and even Biblical Futurism itself are “Jesuit inspired”, which is total nonsense. It seems nobody gets everything they talk about right. Ya can’t be too careful.
tommono, welcome and thanks for your comment.
Your depiction of the pamphlet with the message from A.W. Pink is apt. It is a wicked perversion of the gospel.
I have prayed for the assistant pastor.
I just met with an assistant pastor of my old church that I quit going to because they never seemed to preach that salvation was by faith alone and the pastor started quoting Jesuits and Calvinists in the sermons. The assistant pastor handed me this book! He was very light on details but he basically affirmed that they line up with Francis Chan, Wayne Grudem, and this book. Wicked! It’s unbelievable that they pervert the gospel like this and can’t tell the difference between this and the real gospel.
I hope that assistant pastor is saved – I liked the guy – but man I wouldn’t bet on it after reading what’s in this book.
johninnc – Yea, I don’t think Jesus meant work in any meritorious sense on our part.
I could also see it as us receiving the full work of Christ when we believe. When we believe, we are credited with the righteousness of Christ or with His “Works” or “Work.”
Or, because Jesus finished the work, He (God) can now begin “working” in believers. There seems to be many ways to look at John 6:29 from a non meritorious stand point and in harmony with Romans 4:5.
Jesus is King, I think the comment linked below may help:
Could someone please explain the seeming contradiction between John 6:29 and Romans 4:5? Why does Jesus seem to imply that believing is a work, yet Paul says that believing is not a work?
Brad, we are told to redeem the time, so I think the reminders of the imminence of the rapture and the fragility of our lives are to keep us motivated to use our time wisely.
Yeh, Christians were always the persecuted ones going all the way back to the Apostles. For instance the Bible has been targetted by many for removal over the years and yet, all their efforts ultimately failed and it remains the best-selling book in history. God preserving His Word for us and our posterity.
I actually wasn’t aware of the doctrine of imminence. But still that could mean 5 years from now or 300. I suppose God’s interest in telling us it could happen at any moment, without giving us a date, is to motivate us to win souls quicker?
Brad, agree that the gospel message is Satan’s primary target. There is a lot of difference in doctrine between Calvinists/Wesleyans/Roman Catholics/Mormons/Jehova’s Witnesses and so on, but they all get the gospel wrong.
Regarding timing of the rapture – when people set dates, they are inherently denying the doctrine of imminence. The Bible teaches that the rapture is imminent. If someone sets a date, they are saying it can’t happen before that date. Therefore, they are denying imminence.
It is kind of like “rear view dominionism,” which is the teaching that the world used to be largely Christian. The Bible doesn’t teach that most people prior to 1950 would accept Christ.
Hey everyone, I hope you’re all well. Haven’t posted here in a while but have just been thinking.
As many of you know well – most, if not all, religous groups in this world who call themselves Christian get various doctrines in the Bible wrong (depending on the group) that are non-essential to entering Heaven.
On that point of non-essential-to-salvation Biblical doctrines; a Calvinist may be correct in one doctrine, while a Mormon may be incorrect in the same doctrine. A Catholic may get a doctrine right while a Presbyterian may get that same doctrine wrong. Just using those as examples.
The ONLY doctrine in the Bible that is ESSENTIAL to going to Heaven is, of course, the doctrine of salvation: God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ ALONE apart from ALL works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Now, with all of this in mind; I’m not going to name the false groups in the world who claim to be Christian, we know who they are, but what is one thing they ALL have in common? Getting the Biblical doctrine for salvation wrong! Whether by corrupting it, ignoring it, refuting it or being led away from it. That is the one guaranteed common strain amongst every single one of these false groups.
But when it comes to non-essential-to-salvation Biblical doctrines, some groups get some right and others get some wrong, but there would be no 100% commonality amongst them ALL for this.
Now as most of you know, Satan’s biggest interest regarding humanity is to make sure that people never trust the Biblical (God’s) plan for their salvation, so that is where he focuses the majority of his time and efforts – on leading/keeping as many people as possible away from true Biblical salvation, found only in Christ and instead into one of his many different false plans for a false salvation resulting in a false hope.
In contrast to this; Satan doesn’t care nearly as much if one particular false group believes stealing isn’t a sin, while another false group does; because that doctrine (purely as an example) is non-essential to a person’s entrance into Heaven.
To conclude my point: ALL groups falsely calling themselves Christian ALL commonly get the ONLY Biblical doctrine that is ESSENTIAL for entrance into Heaven wrong, but these SAME groups will vary greatly on their correct/incorrect stances on other non-essential-for-salvation Biblical doctrines.
This begs the question: why the 100% consistency of incorrectness amongst all of these false groups with the ONLY essential Biblical doctrine for entrance into Heaven, but not with ANY other Biblical doctrine? One may see the clear answer to this question: Satan’s greatest interest in regards to humanity (keeping people unsaved) is heavily at play here across the board, so the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the Biblical plan for salvation) is under constant attack by Satan in all places and groups. Thus, the existence of the many false groups in the world who wrongfully call themselves Christian, knowingly or unknowingly.
The Bible tells us that only few will enter Heaven and the rest will be going to Hell. We see this prophecy playing out in part with the thousands of false groups wrongfully calling themselves Christian, while getting the only doctrine necessary for salvation (and thus becoming an actual Christian in God’s sight) wrong in their own unique or shared ways.
The Biblical definition for being a Christian (Biblically synonymous with being saved) is someone who has trusted Jesus Christ alone as their Savior, apart from ANYTHING or ANYONE else; therefore the Biblical definition for a false group who wrongfully call themselves Christian is a group who does not believe in God’s Biblical plan for salvation and instead believes in one of Satan’s many false plans for a false salvation instead.
On a completely unrelated topic; the Bible tells us that only God knows the time when the rapture will happen and therefore it is impossible (according to God’s will) for anyone else to know it. Why are there so many people in the world trying to decode Biblical prophecies or using other various methods to find out information that the Bible itself says only God knows? Surely if God wanted humanity to know when the rapture would happen it would have been clearly written in the Bible, as the Bible is God’s book for humanity to learn everything we need to know about Him and His creation. Am I missing something?
All the times I was insensitive to sin and the needs of others do not have any bearing on where I spend eternity and only caused needless worry. What a relief.
John 6:47, LS is all about self-inspection/inspection of others of one sort or another.
johninnc – Indeed. The ONLY difference between a saved person and a lost man, REGARDLESS of what sins they commit, is one person believed the Gospel and the other one didn’t. THAT’S IT. No amount of works prove anything. And Lot sure didn’t feel bad about his sin if he was feeling good in Sodom.
John 6:47, agree.
See article linked below, number 12:
What they are saying is that if you do not feel more sensitivity to sin, you might not have eternal life. So, one’s assurance of eternal life has to come from feeling more sensitivity to sin, rather than from having believed the gospel. This is Lordship “salvation.”
The people that misuse Hebrews 12:8 will doubletalk and say “Well it’s not a standard for everybody else to use, but it’s for you and you personally. Only you and God know if you’re being chastised.” And it easily leads to “The difference between a saved person doing x sin and the lost man who does that same sin is the saved person won’t feel good when they sin.” Which then leads to a full-blown “You can’t do XYZ and still be saved because true Christians will do (fill in the blank).” It’s a red flag that they are loading the Gospel with works through the back door.
John 6;47, Great question, because I was thinking the same thing, when I heard Hank Lindstrom, who I trust because of his clear gospel, use that same verse. It kind of seemed like a way that people could start looking at them selves and questioning if they were in Christ by whether or not they were being disciplined. Johninnc, your answer helps a lot!
Great question John 6:47, and great answer Johninnc.
As a parent, there is correction for all my 8 children. Some would feel I didn’t really correct them, and so I can definitely see how this get’s misused and abused by some as a proof text for salvation. Completely agree John.
johninnc – Thanks for the help!
John 6:47, I think the point of Hebrews 12:8 is that God chastens His children out of love and wanting what is best for them. And, I think that God chastens (disciplines) all of His children. The extent to which people respond to chastening differs, and people who respond most appropriately will become the most disciplined, and perhaps most fruitful and most rewarded.
johninnc – So if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying that the point of Hebrews 12:8 is not lack of chastisement = unsaved, but rather, all believers will get chastised? And yes, I agree that using chastisement as an indicator of salvation is backdoor fruit inspection.
John 6:47, this is a great question.
God chastens (trains, provides instruction to) all believers, not just disobedient or rebellious believers. All believers.
People respond to this discipline in a number of ways, some of which are appropriate and some of which are not. The most disciplined Christians are the ones who respond the most appropriately to discipline.
One of the primary means through which God disciplines people is through scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
John 8:31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
I think there is the danger that one could look for assurance of salvation from the extent to which he feels chastened. That is, if one reads Hebrews 12:8 and he doesn’t feel sufficiently chastened, he might question his salvation. This could lead to a self-absorbed search for signs of being chastened by God, or even people imagining or concocting evidence of chastisement to provide assurance. This is much like self-inspection of spiritual fruit as evidence of salvation. It leads nowhere.
The only assurance of eternal life must come from having believed in Jesus as Savior.
I have a quick question:
Some people use Hebrews 12:8 to prove that chastisement is proof of salvation. I know that works cannot prove whether someone is saved or lost, but I’m really struggling to explain this verse. Thanks!
The thing that’s sad, is Pink is Calvinist but basically fits just as well into the AOG/Arminian/Pentecostal branch of the false gospel in the loadship department. They literally think they can keep themselves. They claim they believe He keeps them, yet they declare you must do this or that to stay saved, or to not ‘walk out of His hand’ or to not ‘forfeit your salvation’.
Very sadly for me a friend, a daughter of a friend of mine who passed away last year is now buying into this destructive gospel, calling me ‘hyper grace’ (knowing that is not true), and the saddest thing was I warned her mom about the pastor her daughter is now taking teaching from. Her mom agreed, yet kept him as a friend. Now her daughter is deceived… pray for her please.
Jesus is King, no matter who is answering you, when they’re using analogies to explain Scripture, ask them to show you a few plain Scriptures that support what they say.
We can be barren and unfruitful (2 Pet 1:5-9), but need to add to our faith. I think the important thing is we realize that we need to abide in the Vine and we need to continue in His Word if we want to grow in Him.
Sam, I agree completely. There is nothing but bad news and despair in Pink’s false gospel.
If pinks Gospel was correct nobody would be saved.If these guys believe their own teaching thry could never have any peace with God.
Jesus is King, yeah, I don’t know what he means.
I try to not get too literal with the imagery in the parables. I think the point was to say that something that has sprouted (become alive) can fail to grow and can even stop believing.
I think that Jesus mentioned those represented by soil 2 as having sprung up as a metaphor for having received life. I don’t think that requires believing that once a person believes and receives eternal life that he will necesarilly begin to grow. It is God’s will that we grow, but it is not automatic.
As to Jesus “growing” in believers, I wouldn’t put it that way.
All believers are immediately indwelled by the Holy Spirit, but that is different than being filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit requires walking in the Spirit, which again, is not automatic.
I hope that helps.
johninnc – Ok, thanks for your insight.
I’m guessing my Pastor means limited growth like the “springing up” of the seed in Luke 8:6, but I will need to ask him. I don’t think he means a new Christian will automatically begin growing in God’s word daily or anything. I think he just meant any limited growth.
It’s hard to imagine anything living but not growing at least to an elementary degree. If something living never grew at all, it would die. If Jesus is living in us, isn’t Jesus always growing? 2 Tim 2:13
Jesus is King, thanks for your questions and comment.
We know from scripture that the fruit of the Spirit comes from walking in the Spirit. This is shown in opposition to the lusts of the flesh that arise when a Christian is not walking in the Spirit. And, we know from scripture that walking in the Spirit is not automatic for Christians. It is shown as a choice.
Galatians 5:25: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Similarly, growth is shown as not being automatic for Christians, but is rather something that would occur from studying scripture and avoiding false doctrine.
2 Peter 3:18: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
All Christians have spiritual life, but growth is not guaranteed. People represented by soil 2 in the parable of the sower are a good example:
Luke 8:6: And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
You asked: Is growing in Christ the same thing as fruit?
I think that Christian growth and fruit of the Spirit are closely related, and overlap. But, I don’t think they are exactly the same. One can experience Christian growth by studying scripture with God’s approval in mind. And, one manifests fruit of the Spirit by walking in the Spirit.
The key is that neither is automatic in the lives of believers, and neither should be looked to for evidence that we, or someone else, has eternal life.
My Pastor said a Christian won’t always bear fruit, but that we will grow, because living things always grow, and we have eternal life in Jesus. Any thoughts?
Is growing in Christ the same thing as fruit?
I understand the Lordship Salvation. I don’t agree with that. I asked my Pastor about it and if we will all have fruit as Christians. He said not necessarily but that “All living things grow.” He said if I have eternal life in Christ Jesus, then I am alive, and I will grow. I believe him.
Chas… exactly! These people love to hear themselves speak, they don’t tremble at God’s Word evidently, and in fact in favor over their proof texts I think they cast His Word behind their backs (Psalm 50:16-17).
One thing I notice a good majority of the time, is when you ask for the gospel, they refer you elsewhere instead of simply sharing. Or they’ll copy and paste from their favorite reformed preacher/teachers.
I find it strange that people love to have it so, but there really is a carnal temptation to 1) call yourself after other men or 2) finish/prove yourself in the flesh, and this causes them to be puffed up against others because 3) they think of men above what is written. And that’s assuming they’re carnal believers, and worse, they may not know Him at all.
One thing I find very bothersome is those who call them ‘brother’ when they know they have a false gospel. If you haven’t fellowshipped with them when they had believed the right gospel, how can you somehow know they are ‘brother’?
Keith, Good observation, it seems to me that they do really expect that sort of mystical infusion of Grace, similarly to Augustine’s conversion story and also they expect a Pilgrim’s Progress type perseverance in order to ‘enter in’.
Johninnc, it is absurd, I can’t always reflect on the childhood story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. They’re just blind.
Notice how they definitely believe it is a ‘process’ which they contribute to. Election is cumulative?
Arthur “Diotrephes” Pink did not show any grace. So much for all his talk of grace(s). I remember Holly posting that he died a bitter, isolated man.
How does one “cultivate the Christian graces”, grace being simply the unearned–uncultivated, unmerited, undeserved–favor of God?
Once again we see a vivid example of the flesh doing its best to become “spiritual”. I guess we can thank Pink for that much. It seems to be a mark of every form of legalism to regard God’s grace as something to be attained by some action on our part. “How do I get that goo ya call grace?”
In other words, unless you have taken the way of the transgressor and learned your lesson the hard way, the Calvinist does not believe that you are saved. The way of the transgressor is hard but not necessary. Simply believing the testimony suffices.
It seems like a common thread in the Calvinist “testimonies”, plans of salvation or assurance of the elect is that one must have some sort of extra-biblical experience or fanciful discovery that he is a sinner, that Christ died for him as one of the elect, etc. In other words, it is not enough to believe these things from the testimony of scripture itself. This would require the Calvinist to place himself on the same level as everyone else, and this is something his pride will not allow him to do. The Calvinist upholds scripture only insofar as it supports or substantiates his “conversion experience”. In the first century, John the apostle wrote his epistles to counter the same type of Gnostic heresy which continues today in a different form.
Holly, what absurd arguments these guys make!
And, I agree that to favorably quote people who teach false gospels is a really bad idea.
John WI, I completely understand. They preach a spirit of fear, Praise God for His Word.
Pink says that it takes time (and about seven of his major errant points) to know whether you are the elect:
How may I know I have understood the gospel and that I am elect?
First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced.
Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition.
Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope.
Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me – a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ.
Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it.
Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness.
Seventh, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end. Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative. ~A .W. Pink
JohnWI, we are grateful that you finally heard the gospel in its purity and understood the difference between the gospel and the many false gospel substitutes to which you were previously exposed!
And, we are grateful that you are part of this ministry.
Great Article John and follow up comment especially poignant.
A.W. Pink was one of those theologians I added to my heretical libraries because my pastor quoted him favorably. After all if he liked him and was my pastor, surely I should strive to follow him. It’s why it’s such a pet peeve of mine when people quote others favorably without at least a warning (if they known of their errors).
Pink is so well loved by these types that they have a ‘Real men read (love) Pink’ facebook page.
One of the ‘quotes’ says, ‘to argue against the partiality of grace is suicidal’. I shake my head in disgust. This is a veiled threat — ‘Don’t you dare argue against double predestination or you’ll end up in hell, and you caused it’.
They spend all day and night arguing the tenets of a faulty foregone conclusion.
One of their little ‘memes’ says, “To say that ‘Faith’ is the cause of the ‘New Birth’ is to put the ‘Cart before the Horse’. Faith is not the cause of the New Birth but the consequence of it.
Johninnc, I remember many years ago, I had a nervous break down, from listening to so many LS, Reformed, Calvinist (did not know what that meant back then) preachers and reading there books. Reading AW Pinks booklet, which put me into the psych ward, cause I didn’t want to live.
I am so thankful to God that I heard the true Gospel, through Yankee Arnold, and trusted Jesus Christ alone, as my Saviour. I am so thankful for this website also. There are very few people I listen to now, and only after I find out were they stand on the Gospel. So much of the Bible comes into focus when we understand the Gospel!
Proverbs 14:12 is the first verse I ever came across that specifically steered me out of legalism years ago. Its application to LS is spot on.
Keith, good, concise summary!
The problem with Pink’s theology can be summed up by a single verse:
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way of death”
chas, I had never delved much into Pink’s theology, but knew him to be awry on the gospel. The tract to which I referred in the article was fairly extensive. The sole purpose of the tract was to contradict the gospel.
Phil, I’ve always thought the concept of reforming a false religion to turn it into Christianity was a bit suspect.
AW Pink is typical of other reformed, whether Calvinist or Arminian; what they are saying is that a person can’t simply accept the gospel message; he must also make himself presentable to God with a changed life, one involving repentance (their wrong definition) and perseverance. In other words, the false gospel of working your way to heaven.
Reformed theology seems just kind of a re do of Catholicism without all the smoke and ceremonies, but it still has the faith plus working your way to heaven that Catholicism had. I kind of wonder, what got reformed in the reformation other that getting rid of the papacy and the bishops?
Hi Veronica and welcome. Many of us came out of lordship salvation, faith plus working for salvation doctrines,,like Billy Graham, John MacArthur… I live in the world HQ of Church of the Nazarene, KC, and have attended services a couple of times in the ’90s. The first time they had this pulpit pounding evangelist preaching to the congregation causing uncertainty about their salvation, quoting Luke 6 about Lazerus, and to come forward. He said at one point something like, “don’t trust in that old salvation; just slip up here and get saved again”. I heard a Nazarene say he had not been keeping up on his tithing, and he was trying to pay his “back tithes” like they were his back taxes. I had this one tract from Nazarene Publishing Co. it was very legalistic and Armenian in its salvation message. I don’t blame you for not wanting to keep attending their churches.
Don’t feel alone, I, like you, cannot find a church..so far they all turn me off or are preaching error in one form or another. This Oasis of grace here, EXp, is my fellowship and church and where I feel at home..and there are others that feel the same way here.
It is such a great relief to have the false doctrines of these prominent self-righteous “paragons” of evangelical thought exposed for the lies that they are. Many thanks, John.
A.W. Pink is one of the people that Chuck Missler would quote from time-to-time during his prophecy studies back in the day at CCCM, although I don’t recall Missler ever using Pink as a reference when he talked about basic things like salvation. (Missler did appear to me to become more legalistic about “dedication” as his business enterprises fell apart and he entered so-called “full time ministry”.)
Fortunately, I never found the time to delve into Pink’s work on my own. For some reason I was always a bit leery of his work. Now I know why.
Thank you for the welcome and prayer. This is a great website, it has been really helpful! 😃
Veronica, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I have prayed for you to not be troubled by false doctrine and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus.
I don’t think it is wrong for you to not want to attend a church that teaches doctrine that contradicts the gospel.
Awesome article, so thankful to God that He took me out of the false doctrines, I was a victim of Lordship Salvation and Armenianism for about 10 years. I heard the true gospel at the end of last year through Pastor Ralph Arnold and I believed and now I have the full assurance of salvation based on God’s promises. Before I got saved, I have been attending the church of the nazarene with my mom but they teach all these false doctrines. For 10 years I thought I was saved but I wasn’t. I spoke with my mom about leaving and preached the true gospel to her but she won’t believe it. She believes she needs to live a good holy life to go to Heaven. I have been in search of a biblical church, I live in Riverside, CA. If anyone knows a good church around my area I would truly appreciate it. I hardly attend church anymore and when I do it’s because my mom wants me to take her and I don’t want to attend that church anymore. That denomination makes people self-righteous, I can help expose them. Please pray for me, I feel so trapped, my mom thinks I’m falling away cause I won’t attend the church as much anymore but everytime I do I end up confused so I read God’s word and listen to Ralph Arnold or Hank Lindstrom to listen to sound doctrine. But I have shared the true gospel with family and friends. 🙂
Sonetimes I do feel sad when I tell my mom and she gets angry. Am I wrong for wanting to leave, I don’t consider myself a member of that church anymore.
Sorry for the long response, it’s something that’s been in my mind for a while.
Cheryl, thanks for your encouragement. I pray that the article will reach many through your Facebook page.
Excellent article. I have posted it to my facebook page. God bless.
Dori, it is good to hear from you.
Thanks so much for your prayers!
After reading this, I can only say how thankful I am that you, and the few others who do, are putting the Truth out there for all to see.
Praying for you, and the many who will find the Gospel and believe after reading your posts and the Bible.
I’ll be the first to reply to my own article.
I could be mistaken, but I think the only use in the New Testament, of the word “ah” (which Pink seems to use repeatedly in his false gospel), is used by scoffers.
Mark 15:29: And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,