Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So you're born again... But will you walk with Jesus in white? Part 3

The white robes of the Fifth Seal martyrs (Rev 6:9-11)
We have been learning about what is necessary to win the glories of the ages to come. How important it is to remain stedfast in our confession and testimony! Our next passage for consideration views newly martyred saints out of the Great Tribulation.

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying,"How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

These martyrs “had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.” They remained stedfast in their confession, even unto death! These, examples for each one of us, died for their faith and were therefore accordingly given white robes. Holding firm to our confession in the face of torture and deadly persecution is the most difficult work of all, yet is rewarded with the highest honors.

Will the examination of your works at the Judgment Seat of Christ merit such honor? There is still time to live a life worthy of reward! The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews has this advice for each of us in light of the many examples of faithful endurance presented to us in the scriptures (Christ being the ultimate exemplar):

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2)


A multitude of individuals coming out of the Great Tribulation arrayed in white robes (Rev 7:9-17)
Many Gentiles will be saved during the tribulation and the majority of these will die as martyrs. They will be the objects of special persecution by the world ruler. Much like the Jews of World War II, they will be hounded to death. Their stedfast resolve to not worship the beast will be a death sentence: “[The false prophet] was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Rev 13:15). The result will be multiplied thousands of martyrs (see John Walvoord, op. cit., p 146).

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hand… Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "

At first blush, and upon a careless reading, one may get the impression that the robe represents nothing other than the positional, eternal forgiveness of Christ that was made possible by His sacrificial death. Yet there are several, very strong reasons to dismiss this understanding as premature.

First, let it be noted that every single instance of the white robe thus far in the Revelation text is found couched in the language of works and merit. Remember, those at the church at Sardis had to be found worthy in order to walk with Jesus in white by shunning defilement and victorious endurance until the end. Also, those at the church of Laodicea were counseled to “buy” white garments. And the martyrs of the Fifth Seal, upon their deaths for the word of God and their stedfast testimony, were given white robes. We learn that this multitude, in the text being considered, consisting of many nations, were “clothed with white robes.” Why are we going to expect that they received theirs any different than has been determined for the rest?

Second, this group from the nations are martyrs themselves as the text clearly states. Make note that “these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation.” Their deaths were testimonies unto Christ, whereof they faithfully endured until the end. They overcame unto death, thus fulfilling the requirements to walk with Jesus in white.

Third, the scene at hand pictures these saints, whose testimony unto Christ was sealed with their blood, with palm branches in their hands. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia states that palm branches are “connected with the idea of triumph and victory” (ISBE, Vol IV, pg 2236). It goes on to state how that Simon Maccabaeus entered the Akra at Jerusalem after its capture, “with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel” (1 Macc 13:51). These martyrs had victoriously endured their persecutions and trials. This now was a time of profound triumph, afforded by their faithful confession of Christ in the midst of great tribulation, where they have been honored by sharing in Christ’s glory!

Lastly, and most importantly, the martyrs themselves both “washed their robes” and “made them white.” This is something that they, themselves did! The Reformed traditions always try to protect God’s glory and sovereignty by noting that it is God alone who saves, thus it is only God who washes one unto forgiveness, and this apart from anything that the lost does (even exercising faith!). But in this context it is incontrovertibly shown that it is the martyrs themselves who do the washing and making! The theology of the Traditionalists should prevent them from perpetrating their tragic mistakes with regard to the ‘garment’ texts. But it doesn’t.

Obviously this type of literary construction (where the martyrs are working in cooperation and fellowship with Jesus) is to be distinguished and contrasted with verses such as this one found elsewhere in Revelation: “[Jesus] loves us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev 1:5). The distinctions here are easily noticed by the careful reader of Revelation. On the one hand Jesus “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” This was His action alone that He alone receives the glory for. Yet on the other hand the martyrs shed their blood by remaining stedfast in their confession and were found arrayed in white garments which they, themselves had “washed” and “made” white in the blood of the Lamb. And for such deeds as these they are worthy of glory!

Since we have ruled out the idea that these martyrs are dressed in white solely because of the salvation they received as an absolutely free gift, we must grapple with what the text does mean. As in the other instances, we must consider the garments as the expression and culmination of the martyrs’ preparation for glory while here on earth. With that firmly in mind we see that their Christian practice that capacitated them for the superlative glories in the kingdom evidenced itself in participation in the sufferings of Christ (which the blood of the Lamb represents) that they shared in. By faithfully enduring persecution for their confession and dying for Christ they actively kept themselves undefiled, overcoming in victorious perseverance. They thus prepared to share in the glory of Christ by first sharing in His sufferings.

Such an idea as this is not foreign to the text of scripture. For example Paul states:

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God; and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom 8:16-17)

By mere virtue of the fact that one is a child of God (simply by believing in the name of Jesus, cf. Jn 1:12) he is an heir of God. But being a joint heir, or co-heir with Christ in the coming kingdom is conditioned on suffering with Him. Co-heirship is contingent on co-suffering with Christ so that we may be co-glorified! For Jesus, there was no crown without the cross (see Lk 24:26; Heb 12:2). This is the same for those who are to be His companions, those who partake of His glory. Unless one suffers with Christ, he will not be glorified with Him. Peter also states:

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Pt 4:12-13)

To endure in one’s faithful confession of Jesus Christ in the midst of persecutions and trials is to share in Christ’s sufferings, where the reward for doing so is being “glad with exceeding joy.” Remember in the parable of the talents that the two servants who maximized the potential which was given to them by increasing the money allotted to them 100% were blessed by entering “into the joy of [their] lord” (Matt 25:21, 23). These servants were allowed to participate in the peculiar joy belonging to their lord. This is the same as the parable of the Wedding Feast. The joy is that particular joy of Christ, and unless one is prepared, he will not be privileged to share in it. Lastly we are met again with the words of Paul:

… I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ… that I may know Him… and the fellowship [or sharing] of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the [out]-resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me… I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:7-14)

Paul wished to participate in the sufferings of Christ, conforming his life to Christ’s obedience wherein He died on the cross, so that he would, by any means that he could manage within the limitations of his body, attain to the out-resurrection (Gk: eksanastasis) from the dead. Paul, along with anyone else who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, already knew that he would be resurrected unto life (see Jn 11:25-26). Everyone who simply believes in the Lord Jesus Christ will be resurrected (Gk: anastasis). But only those who persevere suffering with Christ will attain to the out-resurrection (Gk: eksanastasis) from the dead. Re-read God’s gallery of heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11. Notice that the characters in this passage faithfully work their deeds of righteousness with the superlative rewards of glory in the forefronts of their mind. To illustrate what Paul desired (the out-resurrection from among the dead), consider Hebrews 11:35b: “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.” Indeed, Paul suffered all things, sharing in Christ’s sufferings and death, so that he might obtain a better resurrection, the “out-resurrection.”

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

Are you willing to suffer affliction, esteeming the reproach of Christ, for the purpose of being found worthy of glory in the coming kingdom? Brothers, “Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility” (Col 2:18). The minimalization of the great incentive of rewards, wherein its motivations are essentially neutered by all strains of Lordship Salvation advocates, will lull those thereby decieved into slothful complacency. It is nothing but false humility that disobeys Christ's command to store up treasures in heaven.

Joseph Dillow sums it up best: In the Calvinistic Lordship “view, all who are Christians will be rewarded, and some more than others. Thus, they have created a version of Christianity where complete commitment is optional and not necessary. All that can be lost is a higher degree of blessedness, but all will be blessed. Could it be that this happy ending has lulled many into thinking they can continue their lukewarmness with no eternal consequences to pay?” (The Reign of the Servant Kings, pg 23).

(to be continued...)

100 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

"Joseph Dillow sums it up best: In the Calvinistic Lordship “view, all who are Christians will be rewarded, and some more than others. Thus, they have created a version of Christianity where complete commitment is optional and not necessary. All that can be lost is a higher degree of blessedness, but all will be blessed. Could it be that this happy ending has lulled many into thinking they can continue their lukewarmness with no eternal consequences to pay?” (The Reign of the Servant Kings, pg 23)."

Completely not true. See the exhortations of MacArthur, and Piper, see the writings of Spurgeon and the Puritans challenging, exhorting those who profess Christ to live completely for His glory.

Isn't it funny how that other times you note that Calvinists seem to rob people of their assurance because of the lack of fruit; now you say they lull people into lukewarmness? Well, which is it? You can't have it both ways.

Now, concerning the out resurection in Phil. 3 - not all are in agreement with your interpretation that they were looking to suffer more in order to get a better resurection in this passage; rather, they see that Paul may have been talking about experiencing resurection power in regards to victory over sin, as per Eph. 1:15-23.

December 19, 2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Thus, they have created a version of Christianity where complete commitment is optional and not necessary."

Again, where is the consistancy here? First you say that L/S Calvinists demand upfront totall commitment, now you say, "Thus, they have created a version of Christianity where complete commitment is optional and not necessary."

December 19, 2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Further more being "born from above" (regeneration) supplies the power for all Christians, and enables ALL Christians to walk in His power through whatever adversity He chooses each individual to go through. See Acts 1:8. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the focal point throughout the Gospels and Acts. The Holy Spirit communicates ALL of the benefits of Christ's crosswork to ALL Christians. Being His Temple is the fulfillment of Christ's crosswork on this side of the grave. The Holy Spirit moves the saint inevitably toward Christ-likeness. This includes having been delivered from slavery to sin and into service (slavery) to God. See Romans 6.

In short: there is NO two class system for Christians.

December 19, 2007 3:06 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Your focus in the post was mostly on those coming forth through the tribulation. What of the saints who live(d) their lives throughout right here in the western hemisphere? Where will they stand in relation to wearing white?

December 19, 2007 4:02 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

I'll be gone most of the day tomorrow, 12/20. See you on the 21st.

December 19, 2007 6:10 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Apart from the Pre-Tribulational noise I can hear in the background, I agree.

December 20, 2007 1:18 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Hey Antonio

You said: "First, let it be noted that every single instance of the white robe thus far in the Revelation text is found couched in the language of works and merit."

Rev. 7:13-17
"Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."

I'll take issue with your statement, because this passage doesn't use works and merit as it's framework. First, look at the fact they made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. I realize you try to unhitch this phrase from Rev. 1:5, but I think you do it injustice if you do. Because it's a beautiful picture of people coming to Christ and allowing Him to take away every stain, blemish and imperfection in their "robe" instead of trying to do it all themselves as you would have them do.

Then second, look what happens to those people who have washed their robes in the blood of Christ. They are before the throne of God. They serve Him day and night in His temple. God spreads His tabernacle over them. They no longer hunger, no longer thirst. The sun won't beat down on them or any heat. The Lamb (Christ) will be their shepherd. he will guide them to springs of the water of life. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

So if the washing of the robes is their righteousness, their works that they have done all on their own, then you have them earning the favor of God. And you have those who have not given their lives for the sake of Christ not being guided by Christ to the water of life, not having His protection, still hungering and thirsting.

Third, this passage says nothing about reigning with Christ, only serving Him. It says nothing about receiving a crown, but it says Christ will guide them and be their Shepherd.

So you're case for this being a works/merit passage in reference to these robes is flimsy at best. I don't see it.

That should be enough to chew on for now.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

December 20, 2007 9:49 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

You said: "These, examples for each one of us, died for their faith and were therefore accordingly given white robes."

Rev. 19:8
"It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."

So are the white robes the reward or do they represent the righteousness of our lives here on earth?

Now for a separate but related questions.

Rev. 5:9,10
"And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."


What did Christ's death accomplish according to this passage? His blood purchased men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Did His blood purchase every person on the earth? The passage doesn't say it purchased every person.

What did God do with these people that Christ purchased? He made them to be a kingdom and priests. And they will reign upon the earth.

How many of them will reign on the earth? The passage doesn't limit the quantity to a certain number. It says that He has made them which refers back to the men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation which he purchased.

So does everyone that Christ purchased with his blood reign on earth? That's what the passage appears to say.

So does everyone reign with Christ? Or only those who do good while here on earth? Or maybe, everyone who is purchased for God will do good.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

December 20, 2007 12:19 PM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

Revelation 3:5
"He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."


So who will wear white? He who overcomes. What else is assured for the one who overcomes? His name will be in the book of life, it won't be erased. And Christ will confess his name before the Father and before His angels.

There are several directions we could go from here, but I want to stay down the road of "he who overcomes". What else do we know about the one who overcomes?

Revelation 21:1-8
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."


He inherits all those things...the new heaven, new earth...God will be among them...God will wipe away every tear...no more death, mourning, crying, pain...be able to drink from the spring of the water life without cost. And he will be God's son.

What's contrasted with the overcomer? The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderer, immoral person, sorcerer, idolater and liars.

What happens to them? They'll be in the lake of fire, the second death.


----------
So in your system, there's the overcomer and the one who doesn't overcome and their in heaven just at different levels. And then there are those who will be in the lake of fire. Is that a fair assessment?
----------

But what else do we learn about the overcomer?

Revelation 2:7
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God."


He gets to eat from the tree of life. What will that do for him? Gen. 3:22 says that if Adam and Even ate from the tree of life they would live forever, so they would have eternal life, right? So maybe this is another way of saying that the overcomer will have eternal life? I think it's fair to say because look at this verse:

Revelation 2:11
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death."


If he won't be hurt by the second death, then he must have eternal life, right?

Revelation 2:17
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it."


Then he also will get some of the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written on it which only he knows.

Revelation 2:26
"He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;"


He'll have authority over the nations.

Revelation 3:12
"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name."


He'll be a pillar in the temple of My God. He won't leave the temple. And then Christ will write 3 names on him, the name of God, the name of the new Jerusalem, and His new name.

Revelation 3:21
"He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."


And he will also be granted to sit down with Christ on His throne. Which reminds me of this passage from Ephesians 2: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

Reigning with Christ is linked with being made alive by Him, salvation.

1 John 5:1-5
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?


So how do we have victory? How do we overcome the world? Faith. Faith is the victory. Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. So faith and being born of God are linked. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Our faith in Christ is what overcomes the world. So all these things about the overcomer in the book of Revelation (which has the same writer as 1 John) is true about the one who has faith in Christ.

This is a lot to think about. I'm sure you'll have lots of points of contention and this comment is getting long. So I'd better stop here. But there's lots more to say, but I'll wait for your reply/rebuttal.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

December 20, 2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Ten Cent,

It is MUCH EASIER to rifle off questions than to give those questions satisfactory answers. This series, so far, is eleven pages in 12 point font. It represents alot of my time.

Why don't you pick out of all these things you have written the one that you would like answered the most. Then, if you are satisfied with my answer, we can move on to another. Otherwise, you can re-direct.

I really don't want to spend hours and hours sufficiently answering each one of these very good questions.

Thanks,

Antonio

December 20, 2007 2:14 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Matt,

I just want you to know that pre-tribulation rapture is taught very strongly and clearly in the olivet discourse.

Thanks for your support. I will be answering another question on your list probably tonight.

Antonio

December 20, 2007 2:15 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Ten Cent -
"So how do we have victory? How do we overcome the world? Faith. Faith is the victory. Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. So faith and being born of God are linked. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Our faith in Christ is what overcomes the world. So all these things about the overcomer in the book of Revelation (which has the same writer as 1 John) is true about the one who has faith in Christ."

Well said! Very well said!

December 20, 2007 2:25 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio,

I've just read the post again. Outside of your mention of the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are sons, there is no more mention of God the Holy Spirit or His work in the believer. Again the Holy Spirit communicates ALL of the Benefits of Christ's crosswork to ALL Christians. As 10 Cent points out the end result is that ALL the redeemed are a kingdom and priests unto God. Nobody misses out here.

December 20, 2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

There simply is NO two classes of Christians - some being overcomers while others are not. No, not so.

December 20, 2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

This is the very definition of a Christian this side of glory. Period. The outflowing rivers of living water, the Holy Spirit, is THE halmark of the Christian, yea, ALL Christians.

December 20, 2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

Fair enough. I think my last comment gives you a snapshot of my thinking. So there's no surprises. I'm not trying to blind side you.

Here's the first question: Does every Christian (believer) overcome?

What I'm trying to figure out is if you believe that every Christian overcomes, just in different degrees. Or if you believe that not every Christian will overcome. I think I know what you'll say, but I'll let you answer.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

December 21, 2007 5:38 AM  
Blogger Believer Bill said...

Ten Cent,

Just a spectator here, but thank you for your biblical post. I was hoping someone would take that position on the "overcomer" issue. I believe that is the best explanation that comingles the responsibility of man and the grace and glory of God.

BL

December 23, 2007 4:48 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas!

Mark

December 23, 2007 5:29 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Ten Cent

Concerning your post December 20, 2007 12:19 PM

Rev. 5:9,10
"And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."



Your comments:

What did Christ's death accomplish according to this passage? His blood purchased men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Did His blood purchase every person on the earth? The passage doesn't say it purchased every person.

What did God do with these people that Christ purchased? He made them to be a kingdom and priests. And they will reign upon the earth.

How many of them will reign on the earth? The passage doesn't limit the quantity to a certain number. It says that He has made them which refers back to the men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation which he purchased.

So does everyone that Christ purchased with his blood reign on earth? That's what the passage appears to say.


I agree with your summation of Rev 5:9,10 concerning the redeemed (purchased) spoken of there. But I would not want someone to come to the wrong conclusion that the blood of Christ was not for any other reason then those for whom Christ redeemed.
Redemption having to do with forgiveness of sins Eph 1:4; 1 Cor 1:30

Only the ones in Christ have redemption, for they have been saved from the bondage of sin IN Christ!

1 Cor 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

Eph 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption
through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,[a] the forgiveness of sins.

Heb 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come,[a] with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy
Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this
reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

The redemption of the body is yet to take place.

Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

The redemption is based upon the propitiatory work that Christ accomplished upon the cross. To think that Christ propitiatory work was only for the redeemed would be false. For scripture clearly states that propitiation was made for the WHOLE world not just for those who would believe 1 John 2:2.
Jesus was the ransom for ALL men. Ransom 1 Tim 2:6 The change of preposition in 1 Tim 2:6, where the word antilutron, a substitutionary “ransom,” is used, is significant. There the preposition is huper, “on behalf of,” and the statement is made that He “gave Himself a ransom for all,” indicating that the “ransom” was provisionally universal, while being of a vicarious character.
Vicarious = Taking the place of another person; substitute. Endured, suffered, or performed by one person in place of another: as, vicarious punishment..

Ex 29:33, and of the blood which God gave upon the altar to make “propitiation” for the souls of the people, and that because “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev 17:11, and “ it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life” (RV).
Man has forfeited his life on account of sin and God has provided the one and only way whereby eternal life could be bestowed, namely, by the voluntary laying down of His life by His Son, under divine retribution. Of this the former sacrifices appointed by God were foreshadowings. Vines


Retribution= deserved punishment for evil done.

Because of the propitiatory work of Christ on the cross in which He was a ransom for ALL makes possible the gift of eternal life that is offered freely to EVERYONE who desires to partake.

Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever DESIRES, let him take the water of life FREELY.

Sin is no longer a barrier between God and man that’s because the blood was shed for everyone!
blessings alvin

December 27, 2007 7:44 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Just some thoughts on Overcomers. This is a subject I need to do allot more study on.
I see in 1 John 5:4 that everyone born of God overcomes the world. We see in John 16:33 Jesus said “I have overcome the world. We see in 1 John 5:4b And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Also 1 Cor 15 tells us some more about the victory that all believers will experience.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”[g]
55 “ O Death, where is your sting?[h]
O Hades, where is your victory?”[i]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I see this telling us that since the victory is ours over sin and death therefore we should be steadfast abounding in the work of the Lord. But this is not automatic but something we must do.
This is how I see the Overcomer of Revelations as something we are called to do but is not automatic. To say that everyone overcomes in Christ is true but to say that everyone overcomes in their experience is a real stretch. First I would like to say something about “our faith” as stated in 1 John 5:4. I believe every believer has the potential to be a overcomer in their experience. It’s by faith that we are born into the body of Christ which makes us an overcomer IN Christ. But it’s the walk of faith that makes us an overcomer in our experience. This verse tells me of this fact. Romans 1:17 Romans 1:17
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
The object of faith does not change that being Jesus Christ. As the believer reckons themselves dead with Christ and alive unto God they are assured of the victory in their experience. So “even our faith” brings the victory of the Overcomer of Revelation’s. But it’s only as we walk by faith is this victory possible. I believe scripture clearly shows all believers are overcomes in Christ but not all believers overcome in their experience. This can be easily shown from scripture. Here are a few observations:

I can’t see where anyone would think that the one’s that were getting drunk at the Lord’s table were overcomers in their experience.
1 Cor 11: 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[a] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[b] body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many SLEEP (Koimaomai). 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
Note: the word here for sleep is only used for believers who sleep in Jesus.
The Overcomers as in Revelation are not ones who have forgotten that they were cleansed from their old sins as in 2 Peter 1:9 but are ones that experience an abundant entrance 2 Peter 1:11.
You could also say that they are not saved as by fire 1 Cor 3:15.
Just a few thoughts’s for now.
Blessings alvin

December 27, 2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio,
You have really got me thinking!
I never noticed that in Hebrews 11:35b.

There really is a lot to work through on this. Ten Cent's comments bring some challenge to my mind on your ideas of these passages and I honestly am not sure what to make of it all.

I am glad to have read this and your other two articles. It is really great to see you bringing all of this out for discussion. I think it is very healthy. You are a blessing.

December 29, 2007 10:37 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rose,

in your thinking, which one thing in Ten Cent's comments do suppose gives brings the most "challenge" to your mind?

Tell me and I will answer it.

Antonio

December 29, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten Cent,

you ask:

Here's the first question: Does every Christian (believer) overcome?

Definitely not!

Here is a list off the top of my head:

) Christian people's faith (such as Hymenaeus and Alexander) "shipwrecked" (1 Tim 1:18-20)

2) Christians going "astray from the truth" (such as Philetus) (2 Tim 2:17-19)

3) Christians going "astray from the faith" (1 Tim 6:20-21)

4) Christians "wander[ing] from the truth" (James 5:19)

5) God's "righteous one" who has the possibility of "shrink[ing] back" and God having no pleasure in him (Heb 10:38-39)

6) Galatian Christians who lose their faith in Christ for grace and rely upon the flesh and law, who severed themself from Christ (Gal 5:2)

7) Galatian Christians fallen from grace (Gal 5:4)

8) Galatian Christians liable to judgment (Gal 5:10)

9) The Spirit "explicitely says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4:13) (You cannot fall away from something that you were not once in)

10) Christians denying the faith and therefore are "worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim 5:8)

11) Christian widows "turn... aside to follow Satan" (1 Tim 5:14-15)

12) I see Demas (2 Tim 4:10), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Tim 1:15), and a number of unnamed people (2 Tim 4:16) abandoning Paul for wordly ambitions.

13) Christians who are "in opposition" who are in a "snare of the devil" and are held "captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim 2:24-26).

Can we also mention Saul and Solomon of the O.T.?

Antonio

December 29, 2007 8:46 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

you ask:

Here's the first question: Does every Christian (believer) overcome?

Definitely not!

Here is a list off the top of my head:

) Christian people's faith (such as Hymenaeus and Alexander) "shipwrecked" (1 Tim 1:18-20)
========
Hymenaeus and Alexander - they were false teachers. There is no way to say that they were saved. At one point they may have offered a false profession in order to get in the door, as it were, in order to do their wicked work of leading people astray. While in the church they were protected from the full ravages of Satan. Their being delivered to Satan is like what we see in Matthew 18 where the unrepentant person is to be treated as an unbeliever. Outside the church the unrepentant ones are subject to the full ravages of Satan. While there they will learn not to blaspheme, repent, and come to true faith in Christ.
=========
2) Christians going "astray from the truth" (such as Philetus) (2 Tim 2:17-19)
======
Again, false teachers, doing the work of the devil, hence showing their true colors as other than true believers. Those whose faith was overthrown by their false teachings were those whose faith was shallow, not true saving faith.
==========
Christians going "astray from the faith" (1 Tim 6:20-21)
===========
Going astray, first off, is impossible for true beleivers. Some who profess faith can and do forsake their profession. They wander from the truth they once professed, showing they were never regenerate in the first place.
========
4) Christians "wander[ing] from the truth" (James 5:19)
======
Again, not true believers here; merely those who held loosely to correct truth, those whose faith was not of a commital quality. In verse 20 the fact that that one is called a sinner indicates that they were not saved in the first place. To turn such a one back would save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
=========
5) God's "righteous one" who has the possibility of "shrink[ing] back" and God having no pleasure in him (Heb 10:38-39)
========
Look at the context here: That one drawing back is not a true believer. See how that one's faithlessness is compared to those with true faith in Hebrews 11. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. To think that a faithless one would stand among the redeemed is wrong. The church *IS* comprised of believers and false believers alike. Those in Hebrews who were tempted to draw back into Judiasm were being challenged with this letter.
========
6) Galatian Christians who lose their faith in Christ for grace and rely upon the flesh and law, who severed themself from Christ (Gal 5:2)
========
The Galatians did not lose their faith. They were bewitched, but Paul corrected them. There is no sign that they continued in their bewitchment. There is no reason to think that ultimately the did not go on to be overcomers.
==========
7) Galatian Christians fallen from grace (Gal 5:4)
=====
"you who attempt to be justified by law"... "I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind;" AND HERE IS THE KEY "...but he who troubles you shall bear his judgement, whoever he is..." Those who attempt to be justified by law, false teachers, are the ones fallen from grace. Paul had confidence that the church as a whole would staighten out and fly right.
=======
8) Galatian Christians liable to judgment (Gal 5:10)
======
The false teachers are in view here. See above.
=======
9) The Spirit "explicitely says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4:13) (You cannot fall away from something that you were not once in)
========
False professors will fall from their professions. It is not the mark of a true believer to follow deceitful spirits. 1 John is clear on that.
=======
10) Christians denying the faith and therefore are "worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim 5:8)

11) Christian widows "turn... aside to follow Satan" (1 Tim 5:14-15)
=========
Again, it is evident that you have little regard for the "Born from Above experience. 1 John is clear that we have an anointing, an unction from "the Holy One". That wich is born of God overcomes the world, no if's and's or but's.
=========
12) I see Demas (2 Tim 4:10), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Tim 1:15), and a number of unnamed people (2 Tim 4:16) abandoning Paul for wordly ambitions.
=====
"if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him"... IOW, no regeneration has taken place. See John 17:3.

13) Christians who are "in opposition" who are in a "snare of the devil" and are held "captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim 2:24-26).
======
"those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, SO THAT THEY MAY KNOW THE TRUTH,... and escape the snair of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will"
Clearly unsaved people are mentioned here.
==========
Can we also mention Saul and Solomon of the O.T.?
========
Saul, no indication the Spirit did anything for him other than prepare him for kingship. Solomon seemed to repent. See the book of Ecc.

December 30, 2007 4:38 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mark, brother, your answers to my points show that you will go to no ends to bolster your doctrine of perseverance by the inclusions of multitudes of assumptions.

No one can have their faith shipwrecked who first did not have faith to begin with!

No one can go "astray from the truth" unless he first was in the truth.

No one can go "astray from the faith" unless he first was in the faith.

No one can "wander from the truth" unless first he was in the truth.

You can't "shrink back" unless you were first forward, and the context is clear that he is warning the "righteous one".

You cannot be "severed from Christ" unless you first were abiding in Him.

You cannot "fall from grace" unless you first are in grace.

You cannot "fall away from the faith" unless you were once in the faith.

You cannot "deny the faith" unless you were once in the faith.

You cannot be "worse than an unbeliever" and be an unbeliever at the same time.

You cannot "turn aside... to follow Satan" unless you were once on track.

Speaking to "beloved brethren" and those of whom it is said, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously" (James 4:5), he says:

"Adulterers! Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4)

Said of Saul:

Prophecy:
1 Sam 10:6
6 Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
NKJV

1 Sam 10:9
9 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.
NKJV

Saul was regenerate.

Furthermore, shall we not include the sin unto death and Annanias and Saphira? Surely they did not overcome as well.

To conclude, Mark, everywhere you have to shamelessly introduce secondary assumptions into these passages to keep from falsifying your perseverance theology.

Antonio

December 30, 2007 5:17 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, secondary assumptions? I am not operating from the assumption that faith can happen in a puntiliar moment that can be gone back on; hence, all these verses and situations I considered with you are clearly talking about apostates; not true believers. Unlike you, I believe regeneration means something. God intended to bring about a people, overcomers, who, unlike those under the Old Covenant, WILL go on to God's intended end - Christ-likeness. They WILL go on to show forth the praises of Him Who has called them out of darkness, and into His marvelous light. The ARE a royal priesthood and a holy nation, here and now. Where people under the Old Covenant failed, due to the weakness of their flesh, under the "I Wills" of God in the New Covenant, people WILL overcome as a testament to God's power through the life transforming work of the Holt Spirit. We are NOW conveyed into the Kingdom of His Son, and under His rule. We are NOW in God's family and shall exhibit His family traits. See 1 John.

Regards,
Mark

December 30, 2007 5:53 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 30, 2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

IOW, you can't look at all the prophecies in the OT concerning the New Covenant, and the verses that allude to it in the NT and come away saying that there is such a thing as a Christian who is not an overcomer, else the New Covenant is no improvement over the Old.

In my opinion Annanias and Saphira were not regenerate. A few verses later we notice that no one dared join the believers after this episode, and yet God continued to add believers to the number; all indicating that Annanias and Saphira merely joined themselves to the believers w/o actually believing.

December 30, 2007 6:12 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Zane Hodges' views of the New Covenant are similar to mine. I just ask that we be consistent with what the Bible teaches about it. Regeneration is a New Covenant blessing. Regeneration = changed lives.

December 30, 2007 6:16 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Saul was regenerate."

I disagree. If he were he would have served as a type of Christ, as David did. David, though an adulterer and murderer yet confessed and repented, thus illustrating that contrite heart God was so intereseted in. See Is. 66:2b. The New Covenant provides for one to have such a heart as we see in Jeremiah 32:39-41. Also, David sought forgiveness, and was granted it - another blessing of the New Covenant - while Saul sought it and we see no indication he obtained it.

December 30, 2007 6:25 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

We will once again reach an impasse. I do not want to come off as a trouble maker. This is my last comment.

Antonio, I wish you and yours all the best. We are just too different in our approach.

Again, all the best.

Goodbye.

Respectfully,
Mark

December 30, 2007 6:37 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio, what Ten Cent says in his comment from December 20, 2007 1:49PM about Revelation 2:7 and 2:11 ... for starters. It is hard to see that 'being hurt by the second death' could mean anything other than a lack of eternal life - or "hell." and so I think all the things he brings up from revelation in respect to the overcomer are a bit challenging. :~)
Thanks.

January 01, 2008 9:53 PM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Happy New Year Antonio,

Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to this discussion. Holidays are a busy time. I trust the season has drawn you closer to Christ. It's a great time of year.

OK, now on to the discussion at hand in which Mark has already been in the throws. I'm going to surprise you and agree with you. Mark is assuming lots of things. Of course, what he is assuming I would believe to be right on. And I would say that you have to assume lots of things too. I won't answer your list point by point. I'll leave at this. Even if we "assumed" you are correct in your view with all the Biblical characters that you've listed, the Bible doesn't say whether or not they overcame. So just as much as I would have to assume they did overcome, or would assume they had not believed in Christ to begin with, you would have to assume that they didn't overcome. Unless, of course, you had some special revelation that I don't have.

But let's continue with the assumption that you're correct in your view and not every Christian will overcome. Because Rose brings up my next argument.

Hopefully you won't accuse me of not engaging your last response. It's just that I think that it takes us down an imaginary road where we all have to make a lot of assumptions. And I'd like to try to deal with concrete passages. Revelation 2:11 is pretty concrete, isn't it?

If I don't overcome, will I be hurt by the second death?

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 02, 2008 6:27 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ten Cent, according to Joe D Faust of Kingdom Baptist church, if you don't overcome, you would spend the Millennium in hell and then be let out afterward.

But I dont think Antonio believes that.

God Bless

Matthew

January 02, 2008 7:54 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ten Cent, let me quote Joseph Dillow:

"Their reward is tha they will not be hurt by the second death (Rev 2:11). It is very emphatic in the Greek, a double nagative (ou me) is used. This expression is used to express categorical and emphatic denials. (The second death evidently refers to the lake of fire). Of course, no believer will be harmed by the second death so how is this a reward for overcoming? He is simply saying that, even if they take your physical life, they can never touch your eternal destiny."

'The Reign of the Servant Kings', p.555

January 02, 2008 8:10 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Matthew,

Are you agreeing with Dillow or just quoting him?

Because, from his quote, it sounds like he's saying that it's just a reminder to the believers who will undergo persecution that they are secure. Instead of a reward statement conditioned on whether or not they overcome.

And if that's the case, can we apply the same logic to Rev. 3:5?

So in Rev. 2:11, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death." God is saying, don't forget, no matter what, if you're a believer, your eternal destination is secure.

And In Rev. 3:5, "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." God is saying, don't forget no matter what, if you're a believer, you'll be clothed in white.

I don't know Matthew. Doesn't ring right with me. You have to start with a certain set of beliefs and read them into the passage to come to that conclusion. The statement certainly appears to be conditional. If you overcome, then the second death will not hurt you. Which would imply that if you don't overcome, then the second death will hurt you.

And if you say that this passage is not conditional, then why would the other passages be conditional?

So let me summarize. If you say that Rev. 2:11 is unconditional, I think you have to make all the other "overcomer" passages unconditional, so then in Rev. 3:5 all believers walk in white. And if you say it is conditional, then you have all believers overcoming because no believer will be hurt by the second death.

The latter statement I believe to be the better position. Makes more sense to me. Especially in light of other scripture like 1 John 5:1-5.

Hopefully I didn't make that more confusing then it should be. Let me know if I need to clarify.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 02, 2008 9:16 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ten Cent, perhaps you might want to consider reading Joseph Dillow's book 'The Reign of the Servant Kings'? That way you can examine his logic for yourself.

January 02, 2008 10:25 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten Cent,

Marks assumptions are not only wrong, they fly in the face of the specific words USED in each of those passages, Ten Cent, as I have aptly shown.

Also, it doesn't help the perseverance position that it can stipulate all manners of ills in the life of the believer as long as at its immediate end he repents. This is "you are only as good as your last at bat" theology, and not true "perseverance". What happened to all this talk about regeneration producing all kinds of things?

Too, we know that "overcoming" is defined for us, so we can obviously test the character of the people's lives we find in the Bible, what is said of them, against said definition. Overcoming is a life characterized by keeping oneself unspotted from the world, not soiling one's testimony, and confessing Jesus, identifying yourself with Him at any cost.

Saul was regenerate as the language shows of him, yet we know of his life and death.

Furthermore, cross reference

1 Tim 1:19-20
"some... concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

with

1 Cor 5:5
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

You are being mighty premature about leaving this area of perseverance, which has much more to do with the overcoming passages then these very simply understood passages you bring up. There is plenty to discuss, Ten Cent, concerning the Bible's obvious teachings that perseverance in faith and works is not promised in the life of the believer, but that one must, by acts of the will and earnest endeavor, and appropriation of the Holy Spirit to enact one's divine nature, be sanctified.

What again is your biblical proof that Christians persevere in their witness, confession, identification with Christ, faith, and works? Let us hear it, by all means! For I have given BIBLICAL proof to the contrary, incontrovertible, yet Mark has liberally, and gratuitously imported a myriad of ad hoc explanations that fly in the face of the texts themselves.

The following is directly concerning your latest objection.

Taken from Zane Hodges, the Gospel under Seige:

Both promises [Rev 2:11 & 3:5] are best understood as examples of "litotes" [pronounced lie - TUH - teez]. "Litotes" [see Bullinger's 'Figures of Speech Used in the Bible'] is the name for a figure of speech in which a positive idea is stated by negating its opposite. We use it all the time in everyday speech.

Some examples may help: "that test was no snap" (meaning, "the test was hard"); "this suit sure isn't a bargain (= "this suit's expensive"); "he couldn't solve it to save his life" (= "he's completely stumped"); "you aren't the first to make that mistake"); (= "lots of people have made the mistake"; Hebrews 6:9 - "God is not unjust to forget your work..." (in context = "God will remember and stand by your").

One frequent feature of litotes is that the negative statement is so obviously true ("God is not unjust") or so clearly exaggerated ("you are not the first") that the positive idea easily suggest itself ("God is fair") or "many others preceded you"). Such is the case in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5.

The first century hearer or reader of Revelation, who knew John's doctrine,
knew that no Christian was in danger of the second death or of having his name erased from the Book of Life (see John 4:13, 14; 5:24; 6:37-40; etc.). Thus it was self-evident (obviously true) that a Christian would "not be hurt by the second death" or that Christ would "not blot out his name from the Book of Life." Litotes is thus suggested. A postitive idea is implied.

What is the positive idea implied in 2:11? Verse 10 gives us some direction: "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the
the crown of life (emphasis added). The overcomer will have a superlative, "crowning" experience of life in the age to come. So much so, in fact, that to say he is not "hurt by the second death" is an enormous understatement. Life far beyond the reach of the second death is implied. To say it another way (using litotes), the overcomer is certainly not among those who are "saved... through fire" (2 Cor. 3:15)!

What is the positive idea implied in 3:5? This time direction is offered by the closing words of the vers: "but I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels." The overcomer will posess a glorious name which is highly honored before God and the angels. To that that the Lord will "not blot out his name from the Book of Life" is an enormous understatement. A name
far above such disgrace as that is implied. To say it another way (again using litotes), God will certainy not "blot out the remembrance" of the overcomer "from under heaven" (cf. Ex. 17:14)!

Finally, let it be observed that the titotes in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5 fit the indefinite and spiritual character of all the promises to "overcomers." In each of these promises we catch only a glimpse of the reward that is offered. Each reward is deeply attractive. The inspired text deliberately leaves us wanting to know more."


Furthermore, Ten Cent, your remarks against the overcomer statements are directly at variance with the texts themselves!

It is YOUR assumption and importation that has caused you to reject my interpretation that has as its strengths THE TEXTS THEMSELVES in their WORDS.

You see, the overcomer passages have to do with WORKS and not FAITH. They have to do with REWARD for works and MERIT and do not talk AT ALL about justification salvation.

My interpretation takes these passages at face value, while you must disrupt the words themselves by your gratuitous importation of adhoc secondary assumptions into the text, in order to salvage the indefensible doctrine of perseverance theology.

The overcomer passages talk about merit, works, and rewards. Not grace through faith.

Antonio

January 02, 2008 11:37 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

Maybe I'm reading into your last comment, but it sounds a little heated. Not sure what I said to get you riled up, but whatever it was, I'm deeply sorry. Not my intention, I assure you.

I'm not exactly sure how I'm "leaving this area of perseverance." And I don't know where I've made remarks against the overcomer statements." And it's not my intention to support perseverance theology.

The reason I didn't engage your last comment was because the way I read those passages will be based on my presuppositions, as it will with you. You think that your interpretation is the plain reading, but those passages don't tell us if they've believed in Christ and they don't tell us if they turn back to Christ at the end of their lives there is a lot to assume. So you have no way of knowing whether or not any of them walk in white or not, which is the point of the original post, right? So rather than getting imbedded in a discussion that won't sway either of us, I thought it prudent to move on.

In my last comment to you, I asked a question, to which you replied with a quote from Hodges. I'll assume your saying that your answer is "no", I won't be hurt by the second death even if I don't overcome.

Let me ask you one more question. And I've asked you this before in different words, but here it goes again. How much do I have to overcome before I am an overcomer?

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 02, 2008 1:28 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Question: using Christ as THE standard, how is it determined who is an overcomer.

January 03, 2008 5:37 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

That's an even better question, Mark. It was where I was heading with my question.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 03, 2008 6:09 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten Cent and Mark,

I don't see any problem here with a review of a regenerate Christian at the Judgment Seat of Christ, who at the time of spiritual birth was imparted the divine nature, given everything that pertains to life and godliness, along with exceedingly great and precious promises so that he can be delivered from the lusts in the world, to determine if he overcame or not.

It doesn't sound like a hard process!

Maybe you can enlighten me to where you want to go with this question, as I could probably ask my son, or you could ask your children, what they would think on the very same question, and you would get a good answer.

Ask them, how would Christ determine who is an overcomer or not?

I will do that tonight with my oldes (13 year old) son, and I will type what he says in this comment thread tonight.

Antonio

January 03, 2008 2:37 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, I think you are missing the point of the question that was posed to you.

Bottom line:

Even my most Dispensational commentary, "Believer's BIBLE COMMENTARY" by William MacDonald, Edited by Art Farstad, states that an overcomer, mentioned throughout Revelation 2-3 is a true or genuine believer, as opposed to a non-overcomer which is an unbeliever who will be hurt in the second death.

Again, Overcomer = true believer; anything else (those who do not overcome) are unbelievers, and were never regenerate. So far my observation is that only FGT, representing a very small percentage of Christians, would say that nonovercomers were actually Christian.

January 04, 2008 4:49 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

MacDonald points out that the fact that they overcome shows that a work of God the Holy Spirit is on display in their lives. I quote - "In general, an overcomer in the NT is one who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (1 John 5:5), in other words, a true believer." He goes on - "Thus an overcomer in Ephesus may be one who shows the genuiness of his faith by repenting when he has backslidden from his first love... This does not imply that they are saved by overcoming, but that their overcoming proves the reality of their conversion experience." - From the notes on Revelation 2:7, page 2356.

January 04, 2008 5:07 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark
"Again, Overcomer = true believer; anything else (those who do not overcome) are unbelievers, and were never regenerate. So far my observation is that only FGT, representing a very small percentage of Christians, would say that nonovercomers were actually Christian."

What percentage of Christians must hold to a doctrine before we conclude that it is true?

50%? 60%? 65%?

Is it really legitimate to do theology by opinion poll?

In any case, your conclusion fails to consider the fact that among professing Christians (as opposed to true Christians) those who believe in perserverance are in a minority.

Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Arminian commentators would all agree that believers can fail to overcome.

Naturally, I believe that these people deny the Gospel in their rejection of eternal security. However, you cannot ignore the fact that there is a huge body of theological literature that holds that believers can fail to perservere. Reformed people do not have a monopoly on theology and Biblical studies.

As regards Evangelical Premillennial theology, there is a tradition of Overcomer/ non-Overcomer theology that goes back as far as the mid-19th century.

I would refer you to G.H. Pember, Robert Govett, Jospeh Seiss and Georgen N Peters. In the early to mid-twentieth century you might look to G.H. Lang, Erich Sauer and Watchman Nee. Of course, unlike most modern Free Gracers, they held to the Partial Rapture view. However, you will find a distinct theology of a punitive judgment seat and eschatological consequences for failure in the Christian life.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 04, 2008 5:11 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

In conclusion: a non-overcomer is a false professor whose true colors shine through in the end; whereas an overcomer will display the regenerating work of the Spirit in his/her life by overcoming.

January 04, 2008 5:13 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

What percentage of Christians must hold to a doctrine before we conclude that it is true?

50%? 60%? 65%?

Is it really legitimate to do theology by opinion poll?
==========
I point htese things out to illustrate the novelty of your position. That means you compare unfavorably to historic standings, which is dangerous ground.
========
"In any case, your conclusion fails to consider the fact that among professing Christians (as opposed to true Christians) those who believe in perserverance are in a minority."
=========
How so? My commentary collection is pretty vast. I do not share your observation.
========
"Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Arminian commentators would all agree that believers can fail to overcome."
========
You, yourself have denounced Arminian and Catholic Theology; now you hold them up as authorities?
=========
"Naturally, I believe that these people deny the Gospel in their rejection of eternal security.
=====
Bingo!
========
"However, you cannot ignore the fact that there is a huge body of theological literature that holds that believers can fail to perservere. Reformed people do not have a monopoly on theology and Biblical studies.

As regards Evangelical Premillennial theology, there is a tradition of Overcomer/ non-Overcomer theology that goes back as far as the mid-19th century.

I would refer you to G.H. Pember, Robert Govett, Jospeh Seiss and Georgen N Peters. In the early to mid-twentieth century you might look to G.H. Lang, Erich Sauer and Watchman Nee.
=======
How would these people be regarded in today's circles as far as being sound doctrinally?
========
" Of course, unlike most modern Free Gracers, they held to the Partial Rapture view. However, you will find a distinct theology of a punitive judgment seat and eschatological consequences for failure in the Christian life."
======
Again, most would hold these as unsound theologians. Do they represent mainstream views? If not, that can be dangerous.

January 04, 2008 5:29 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

What is at stake here is the very definition of Christianity, John 7:38; and the fact that ALL Christians are being conformed to the image of His Son. ALL Christians have been conveyed into the Kingdom of His Son, and are indwelt by His Spirit and are led by Him.

Christ-likeness, while not automatic, is inevitable.

January 04, 2008 5:38 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

'Do they represent mainstream views?'

A few hundred years ago, Reformed theology was not very mainstream. Even Lutherans thought Calvinism was dangerous radicalism in the 17th century.

Mark, you have a big problem when it comes to this argument from majority views.

You cannot make an argument from historical theology without taking into account the views of historical writers.

You may not agree with the early church fathers on a lot of things, but if you want to consider the history of theology, you must pay attention to their views.

You may hate Roman Catholicism, but you cannot forget the fact that The Catholic tradition of theology is alive and active.

Wayne Grudem thought Catholic theology was significant enough for him to give references to Catholic systematic theologies at the end of each chapter of his own.

If you read a great Reformed commentator like JC Ryle, you will find that he refers to commentaries from the church fathers, Roman Catholics, Wesleyans and High Anglicans.

My basic point is that it is not the case in the slightest that the majority of theologians have held that all Christians are overcomers.

The majority of theological traditions hold that Christians can fail to perservere and be lost.

Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, Calvinists are in the minority in their doctrine of perserverance.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 04, 2008 5:44 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

The doctrine that you are propagating leads people to trust in their works for their sanctification. It does not point people to Christ, to trust in Him do what He has promised.

Ephesians 5:25,26
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless."


Why did Christ die?
To sanctify the church which is cleansed by Christ by the washing of water with the word.

Why did He sanctify the church?
To present to Himself the church in all her glory.

Will the church be perfect?
It will have NO spot or wrinkle or ANY SUCH THING. She will be holy and blameless.

If there is a chance that a true believer will fail, than you have God's purpose for the church failing.

Jude 1:24
"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."


So God is able to keep us from stumbling and to make us stand in His presence blameless and with great joy. But in the system that you're propagating, He won't exert that power.

1 Cor. 1:4-9
"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."


Jesus will confirm them (us) to the end, blameless. But in the system that you're propagating that doesn't hold true, because if I fail to overcome, I won't be blameless and God won't be faithful.

This is why it's problem to determine if someone overcame or not. All Christians are suppose to overcome. You appear to have these grand scales as it were, where my good is in one side and the bad is in the other and if the good outweighs the bad, then I overcame. Or it's set up so that I have live perfectly or I won't be the one who overcomes. It's Roman Catholicism without the fear of losing your eternal life.

Here is the great hope.

Romans 6:22,23
"But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Freedom from sin -> salve to God -> sanctification -> eternal life (which is in Christ Jesus)

The system you are propagating puts people's hope in their works and not on Christ who has freed them from their sin. It has people working for their own righteousness instead of resting in His. It has people fighting tooth and nail against an enemy they have no hope of defeating by themselves, an enemy who has already been defeated by their Savior.

So as I stand as a regenerate Christian before Christ at the Judgment Seat I won't hear, "depart from me I never knew you", but rather, "enter the joy of your master."

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 04, 2008 6:37 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

You still never answered the question. Was it not as easy as you thought?

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 04, 2008 6:39 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"A few hundred years ago, Reformed theology was not very mainstream."

Coming out of the Reformation they were indeed mainstream. Luther held that faith was a life changing encounter with God, Matthew.

January 04, 2008 7:41 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Ten Cent, I agree that Antonio did not answer the question.

January 04, 2008 7:43 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Luther held that faith was a life changing encounter with God, Matthew."

Correct. But it is not clear that he believed that all believers would perservere. Luther was equivocal on the matter. The Lutheran church that followed him rejected eternal security and final perserverance.

I agree that the Free Grace position on overcoming is rare in the history of theology.

However, it combines elements that are widespread.

Free Grace agrees with the minority position (Calvinism) that believers are eternall secure.

Free Grace combines this with the Non-Calvinist majority position that believers can fall away.

While this combination is novel, the idea that all Christians are overcomers is rejected by all professing Christians except for Calvinists.

On the subject of perserverance you are in a minority, Mark.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 04, 2008 8:01 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"On the subject of perserverance you are in a minority, Mark."

Only within Classic Dispensational circles, Matthew.

Actually, Luther held that faith and the Spirit have departed that one who persists in sin.

January 04, 2008 8:07 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

But we are digressing. As Ten Cent and I have pointed out the very definition of Christianity is at stake here.

January 04, 2008 8:09 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"As Ten Cent and I have pointed out the very definition of Christianity is at stake here."

Maybe it is.

The problem is that you cannot use arguments from history or numerical figures to establish this.

The majority of those in both history and the world today who profess Christianity have a very different idea from it than yourself.

You want to argue against the Free Grace position using a majoritarian argument? Fine.

Why dont we apply it to justification?

Do we not find that the early church fathers had no idea whatsoever of the imputed righteousness of Christ?

Do we not find nothing in church history about forensic justification until Luther showed up?

The majority of those who profess Christianity reject the idea that man is saved by faith alone.

Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox agree that we are saved by both faith and the ordinances of the church.

Where is church history moving?

In the 19th century, many Anglicans began to see that the Protestant idea of justification was foreign to the history of theology prior to Luther. They began to move in a Catholic direction.

The Lutheran churches have largely come to agreement with Roman Catholics about justification.

Many of the churches that once embraced Calvinism are now entering dialogue with Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

Many of the leading lights in Evnagelical scholarship are adopting NT Wright's New Perspective on Paul which views the classic theory of justification by faith alone as eisegesis that was sparked by the peculiar historical circumstances of the Reformation.


Just as you argue that Free Grace theology is a novelty peculiar to Twentieth-Century Dispensationalism and which is only embraced by a minority, the same arguments can be applied to your Calvinism.

Only a small percentage of those who profess Christianity and only those prior to the Reformation have embraced your theology.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 04, 2008 8:22 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Why dont we apply it to justification?

Do we not find that the early church fathers had no idea whatsoever of the imputed righteousness of Christ?

Do we not find nothing in church history about forensic justification until Luther showed up?"
=========
Matthew, the early church fathers did indeed have a problem with foresic justification. Some were heretics while others did not encounter the departure from this truth head on; either because it was not prominent enough so as to escape their notice. The same was so with the Deity of Christ issue. It simply did not show up on many of the church father's radar screen until after the Roman persecutions. That was one reason for the silence.

January 04, 2008 8:33 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

So you agree that what is in the balances here is the very definition of Christianity?

January 04, 2008 8:42 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Depends what you mean by that.

January 04, 2008 8:45 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

The Christian is God the Father's showcase to all of creation of what He, through the agency of God the Holy Spirit, Whose ministry is defined in the New Covenant, of which Christ, God the Son is the Mediator, can do in taking dead, lost slaves of sin, and transform them into the image of His Son, while making His temple within said previously dead slaves of sin.

January 04, 2008 9:46 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Something I wrote before:

Lordship Salvation (Lordship Calvinism) has a peculiar doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. It states that all true Christians will persevere (and grow) in faith, faithfulness, and obedience until death. This doctrine states that sanctification is inevitable in the life of the believer. In this theology, all will receive a “Well done, good and faithful servant” by Christ. All will receive the Kingdom as an inheritance; all will reign with Christ; all will be presented before Him blameless.

Yet the Bible and its authors are much more realistic than that. Holiness is never presented in Scripture as being taken for granted in Christians. We find many passages demanding our sanctification, and warnings against apathy and retrogression. Perseverance is never guaranteed in the life of the regenerate one. The believer is admonished, encouraged, warned, and motivated by rewards to endure in the faith until the end. The Bible explicitly entreats the will hundreds of times with commands to pursue holiness.

The writers of the New Testament were under no illusion that perseverance of the saints was inevitable. They understood the necessity of vigilance, determination, and consecration. Significance in this life that would transect into eternity is promised to the Christian saved by grace through faith who submits himself to the demands of discipleship. Purpose and meaning are offered to God’s children; the abundant life is laid out before them! Furthermore, the conditional honors of co-heirship of and co-reigning in the Kingdom of God are obtainable. The victorious Christian will be presented 'blameless' before Christ at His coming.

Yet anytime that man is faced with true responsibility there lies a possibility of failure, and such is the case with the born-again Christian.

Throughout the Bible we see that our posture before Jesus at His coming is contingent upon our actions here on earth. For example:

1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Confidence and the absence of shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ is conditioned upon a perseverance in a dynamic and intimate fellowship with Jesus.

Often men and women wonder what God’s will is for their lives. Let me tell you what God desires of His children: sanctification (1 Thess 4:3). Experiential sanctification is a co-operation between man and God. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Paul says (Phil 4:13). It is Paul willing and doing, and it is Christ giving the strength; it is a co-operation. If something is a co-operation by definition and one of the parties fails in their responsibilities then the desired result will not be accomplished.

From pulpit and commentary we often hear that the Scripture’s designation of “blameless” is the portion and lot of all who are truly Christians. Does this contention line up with the plain reading of Scripture? Let us take a look:

Col 1:21-23
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight -- if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Perseverance in the faith is required to be presented holy, blameless, and above reproach at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Do not confuse this with losing one’s salvation! It is impossible to do so!

Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is referring to man’s final salvation! “Words like ‘holy,’ ‘blameless,’ and ‘above reproach’ do not require the sense of ‘sinless’ or ‘absolutely perfect.’ Men can be described in all these ways who are not completely sinless [see 1 Tim 3:10; Titus 1:6, 7]” (Zane Clark Hodges, The Gospel Under Siege, p 90-91).

Cross-reference this passage with a text that comes 5 verses later:

Col 1:28
Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect [mature] in Christ Jesus.

Paul preaches, warns, and teaches for the purpose of presenting Christians as mature before Christ.

“[Paul] seeks to bring men to that matured experience of holiness which will enable them to be presented acceptably to God. When they stand on review before Him [at the Judgment Seat of Christ] their lives ought to meet with His approval (see also Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor 5:10). But this approval can only be achieved, he cautions his readers, if they hold firmly to their faith in the Gospel and do not allow new ideas and doctrines to move them away from fundamental truths (1:23)” (Hodges, p 90)

1 Thess 3:11-13
Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Paul prays for the Thessalonians to “abound in love to one another and to all” so that the Father may establish (confirm) them blameless in holiness at Christ’s coming.

1 Thess 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul prays that God would sanctify the Thessalonians, and prays that they would be preserved blameless before Christ at His coming. Why would Paul pray for something that is inevitable? It is the subjunctive language of request! God has His role in the sanctification process and man has his own.

1 Tim 6:11-16
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

Paul commanded Timothy unto perseverance so as to be without spot and blameless at Jesus Christ’s appearing

The last verse is befitting for a conclusion:

2 Peter 3:14-18
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation -- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

We read in 1 Cor 4:2 that “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Diligence is required for the Christian to be “found” by Christ without spot and blameless at His coming.

This passage reminds us of a very poignant parable of Christ:

Matt 24:45-51
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Note Peter’s last comments, which will be excellent to conclude with:

“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Peter knew that the “beloved” Christians were not guaranteed perseverance and that 1) falling from steadfastness and 2) being led away with error were real possibilities, so he warned them! Lastly he commands that his readers “grow” in their faith.

Peter’s words here hardly sound like one who is convinced of the Perseverance of the Saints! He warns his readers from falling and commands them to grow! Pointless if their endurance in the faith is guaranteed.

What John, Paul, Peter, and Jesus have warned us about in the previous passages, I warn to you now:

Pursue holiness. Consecrate yourself. Be diligent in sanctification. Lest you be found by Christ at His coming in unfaithfulness and shrink back in shame.

PS: I didn't forget the question. My son said he would write something tonight, lol.

Antonio

January 04, 2008 6:47 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Furthermore, 10 cent,

you wrote:
----------
The doctrine that you are propagating leads people to trust in their works for their sanctification. It does not point people to Christ, to trust in Him do what He has promised.
----------

Please tell me how my position does this. You comment is terribly off the mark and betrays a misunderstanding on a fundamental level of Free Grace theology. Such a statement could never be leveled by a person who was fair to the FG position.

Antonio

January 04, 2008 6:51 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark
"The Christian is God the Father's showcase to all of creation of what He, through the agency of God the Holy Spirit, Whose ministry is defined in the New Covenant, of which Christ, God the Son is the Mediator, can do in taking dead, lost slaves of sin, and transform them into the image of His Son, while making His temple within said previously dead slaves of sin."

Leaving aside the issue of the Christian's relation to the New Covenant, I would say that all Christians are a showcase to creation.

All believer's will be glorified and deified in the kingdom. They are a display of God's love and grace toward sinful man.

Overcoming believer's are also a showcase of God's grace in giving men and women the power by the Holy Spirit to live a victorious life.

The failed Christian may also be said to be a showcase in that their place in glory is a sign to creation of God's grace in saving sinners without regard to their works.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 05, 2008 3:17 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, I have a good idea what you are going to write in your next comments.

January 05, 2008 3:17 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Yes, I have my answer about the very definition of salvation being different between two systems.

I am going to be at work and doing erands today.

Short answers is all I have time for right now...

Perseverance, which is actually moving forward in Christ-likeness is inevitable. In that it is not automatic means that God has appointed means. Acts 2:42 - "continue steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, in prayers" - see also Eph. 4:11-16.These are all God's means for bringing us along to Christ-likeness, or sanctification. The desire to partake in these comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. The work done in the participation in these is done by the Holy Spirit, see 2 Cor. 3:18. The end result of these (sanctification, being brought along in Christlikeness) is done by the Holy Spirit. All of these workings of the Holy Spirit were purchased for us by Christ in His crosswork. See John 3:3-8; Titus 3:3-7.

January 05, 2008 6:46 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark

Here is a question for you.

"The end result of these (sanctification, being brought along in Christlikeness) is done by the Holy Spirit. All of these workings of the Holy Spirit were purchased for us by Christ in His crosswork. See John 3:3-8; Titus 3:3-7."

A Christian lady has a stressful morning getting her children ready for church. After the service, she meets another lady who gets her into a long tedious conversation.

After finally getting out of the church with her family, the lady whispers 'stupid bitch' under her breath.

At the cross, did Christ purchase the power for this lady to avoid whispering a nasty comment under her breath and thinking a wicked thought?

January 05, 2008 9:14 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew, sin happens in believers. They can be overtaken in faults, Gal. 6:1. There is a struggle against the flesh, Gal. 5:17. There is sin to be confessed, 1 John 1:8-9. The saints are to rally around those overtaken. The word is to be used to correct, reprove, and instruct in righteousness. The church is to administer discipline where necessary. We are to pray for those in sin.

Matthew, you'll notice that I pointed out Acts 2:42 and Ephesians 4:11-16 as some of God's appointed means for sanctification.

Then there is the inward conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. Question - have you ever been tempted to sin only to have that urge over ruled by a desire to please the Lord? Other times, after having sinned, has your heart smote you, knowing full well you have just grieved the indwelling Holy Spirit? Did you not have peace until you confessed your sin? That's all the working of the Holy Spirit.

January 05, 2008 4:54 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew, did Miles Stanford ever read "Reign of the Servant Kings"?

http://withchrist.org/mjs/reign.htm

January 05, 2008 6:31 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, he did. Miles Stanford said some silly things on occasions.

You should read his dreadful comments on the Sermon on the Mount in 'Pauline Dispensationalism.

God Bless

Matthew

January 06, 2008 1:16 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, you have not actually answered my question.

The born-again believer mutters a curse under her breath.

Would our Lord have provided the power for her to avoid doing that through His work on the cross?

January 06, 2008 1:18 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark, you have not actually answered my question.

The born-again believer mutters a curse under her breath.

Would our Lord have provided the power for her to avoid doing that through His work on the cross?"
========
YES!

P.S. I must yield the computer to my son throughout this day as he has a massive report to work on for school. Hope to see you soon.

January 06, 2008 9:34 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I hope your son does a good job.

Okay. So Christ died to secure the believer a power she does not always apply.

Sanctification is won by Christ, but it's experimental realisation depends upon faith and surrender of the will.

God Bless

Matthew

January 06, 2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Sanctification is won by Christ, but it's experimental realisation depends upon faith and surrender of the will."
===========
Philippians 2:12-13 (Darby Translation)
Darby Translation (DARBY)
Public Domain


12So that, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

13for it is God who works in you both the willing and the working according to [his] good pleasure.

January 06, 2008 3:39 PM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

You said:
"Please tell me how my position does this. You comment is terribly off the mark and betrays a misunderstanding on a fundamental level of Free Grace theology. Such a statement could never be leveled by a person who was fair to the FG position."


Here's what I said:

"The doctrine that you are propagating leads people to trust in their works for their sanctification. It does not point people to Christ, to trust in Him do what He has promised."

Notice that I said "the doctrine". This is aimed at your teaching about how we have to work to wear white. This is NOT a wholesale, blanket statement regarding Free Grace theology. So, yes, I can still be fair to the FG position and take issue with a doctrine that you're upholding. I'm taking great pains to not attack a system or denigrate anyone.

If you read my post, I pointed out Ephesians 5:25,26 which talks about why Christ died. It was so that we, the church, would not have any spot or wrinkle (the negative), and that we would be holy and blameless (the positive).

Would unfaithfulness be a spot or wrinkle? Would we be holy and blameless if we were unfaithful, if we didn't overcome? Or is this something that Christ hoped would happen if He gave up His life for us?

I Thess 5:23,24
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."


What is Paul telling the Thessalonians? "Hopefully you'll follow Christ and abide in Him so that He can sanctify you. And you might be sanctified partially, but try hard enough and you'll be presented without blame at His coming." No, He says that He will bring it to pass. It will happen.

You said:
"Throughout the Bible we see that our posture before Jesus at His coming is contingent upon our actions here on earth."

Does this statement direct people to Jesus and what He has done for us or does it direct people to their works and what they have to do before Jesus comes?

You said:
"Pursue holiness. Consecrate yourself. Be diligent in sanctification. Lest you be found by Christ at His coming in unfaithfulness and shrink back in shame."

I say:

Romans 6:21-23
"Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."


In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 07, 2008 10:22 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, Mark, I believe those Bible verses.

January 07, 2008 11:21 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio,

Earlier Matthew said this: "Ten Cent, according to Joe D Faust of Kingdom Baptist church, if you don't overcome, you would spend the Millennium in hell and then be let out afterward.

But I don't think Antonio believes that."
========
Could you please let us know your position on this?

Mark

January 08, 2008 3:26 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

IOW, how,and why do you differ with Faust? Please be specific in drawing the line of your differences.

January 08, 2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

How can those of us on the outside be sure that Faust's conclussions aren't the logical outcome of your own views?

January 08, 2008 9:24 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, seeing as I brought Faust up rather than Abtonio, I will anticipate his answer.

Although I have not read Faust's books, I have read his replies to critics.

The difference between Hodges/ Dillow and Faust is that Faust takes references to fire in connection with the judgment seat of Christ literally. He refuses to accept that this language could be metaphorical.

In contrast, Dillow and Hodges do not view the 'outer darkness' as a location, but rather a metaphorical description of the sorrow of saints who have been excluded from eschatological privilege at the judgment seat of Christ.

Some of Faust's views arise from his commitment to the absolute inerrancy of the King James Bible.

I have not read his book, so maybe if I read it he might satisfy my objections to his idea, but I rather doubt it.

I think his view is dependant on accepting a Partial Pre-Tribulational Rapture, which I do not accept.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 08, 2008 9:38 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You might want to visit the Kingdom Baptist church website, Mark.

January 08, 2008 9:39 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

From what I can tell of this conversation Mark has agreed with Matthew on this point:

Sanctification is won by Christ, but it's experimental realisation depends upon faith and surrender of the will.

... or am I missing something?

BTW, Matthew, just because Mark's views are in the minority does not make them wrong. :~)

January 08, 2008 1:27 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio,
I think this is a good challenge by Ten Cent (since you asked me to point out what I thought were the substantial challenges):

How much do I have to overcome before I am an overcomer?

I don't think you did answer that question. The question is similar to that posed to those who look to works for assurance - "how much is enough works to show that I am saved?" So it is the same question - just applied to a different area.

What is your answer? :~)

January 08, 2008 1:32 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten Cent,

Blessing comes through obedience. One must keep Christ's commands in order to walk with Him in white.

Now does this lead "people to trust in their works for their sanctification"?

Correctly understood, one relies upon the Holy Spirit, the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, having all things that pertain to life and godliness, and exceedingly great and precious promises, to do the works that will be rewarded.

Fundamentally, in the Free Grace position, one must look to Christ for enablement to persevere in his confession and identification with Him.

The car is tuned, running at peak performance, gased up and ready to go. But the Christian must be deliberate and intentional in driving the car.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength"

I must rely upon Jesus for sanctification, but unless I am deliberate and intentional with the application of the unlimited grace that He provides to me, I will not be sanctified.

All Christians have the same opportunity and advantage afforded to them by the riches of Christ Jesus. But not all pursue sanctification by appropriating them.

Your assessment that FG doctrine has the Christian's focus on the flesh, himself, and his works, is completely errant.

The FGer's focus is heavenly, it is set on intimate companionship with Christ, winning the prize, and it is upon the joy set before us.

Antonio

January 08, 2008 1:51 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

1 Thess 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul prays that God would sanctify the Thessalonians, and prays that they would be preserved blameless before Christ at His coming. Why would Paul pray for something that is inevitable? It is the subjunctive language of request! God has His role in the sanctification process and man has his own.

You quote Romans 6.

Read again Romans 6:1-10. It describes positional blessing of having died to sin in Christ that we might no longer be slaves to sin.

But read 6:11 "...Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul says that in light of our positional identification with Christ in his death and resurrection, we are to RECKON ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God in our EXPERIENCE. He furthermore goes on to say that we must stop allowing sin to REIGN in our mortal bodies. He is telling Christians this!

Christians, in Christ, are freed from their sins. But in their experience, they could allow it to reign in their mortal bodies, thus being slaves of it.

Solution? Know your heavenly position and apply it to your experience!

But what would happen if you don't?

You won't be sanctified.

After telling them to reckon themselves dead unto sin, and telling them by doing such not to let sin reign in their body, he tells them to stop presenting their members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present ourselves to God, experientially, as being alive from the dead, and present our members as instruments of righteousness to God!

God has done his part! In Christ, we are dead unto sin and alive unto Him. We have been freed! But we must apply that freedom, so to speak. The chains are off, but we must walk out of the prison through the open doors.

Why would a freed prisoner wish to stay in prison?

I guess ask the Israelites who were redeemed by God with a mighty hand out of Egypt who nevertheless wished to return there.

Antonio

January 08, 2008 2:04 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rose and Ten Cent, this is what my 170lb, 6 ft tall 13 year old son said in answer to your question:

"To achieve the status of an overcomer is to do as the scripture informs us Rev ch 2,3 until the second coming or the end of our life. We must hold fast what we have till Jesus comes, 2:25 and keep his works till the end, 2:26. We have to be watchful, 3:2. We have to keep his word and not deny his name, 3:8. We must keep his command to persevere, 3:10."

I would add, if one does these things he is an overcomer. Now there will be degrees of overcoming as some of the parables instruct us. But to overcome, one must persevere in His confession and identification with Christ until the end.

Jesus will judge how well we did with that which had been entrusted to us. To the degree that one overcame he will receive commensurate honor and glory.

Those who did not overcome, by failing to persevere until the end, failing to keep Christ's works until the end, failing to hold fast, failing to persevere in their confession, and failing to keep Christ's words, will not receive any reward promised to the overcomers, nor will he walk with Jesus in white.

Antonio

January 08, 2008 2:14 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mark,

don't we know that equal ultimacy is the logical conclusion of Calvinism?

Sub-comers (the non overcomer) will not inherit the kingdom, but he will be there. Entering the kingdom is a free gift received through faith in Jesus. Inheriting the kingdom is won by faithful perseverance until the end.

Matt,

Faust does not believe that unfaithful believers will be in hell, as in the lake of fire. He believes that they will be in Gehenna, which will be on the earth (or in the earth) able to be viewed by the faithful (Is 66:24).

Antonio

January 08, 2008 2:21 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Furthermore, Rose.

Imagine three individuals who were formerly employed by, let's say, Costco Wholesale. They used Costco as a place for employment while they went to college.

Person #1: Discharged his duties with integrity. Kept his mouth shut. Worked hard. Was promoted to supervisor. Kept the principles and rules of Costco. Resigned, giving his notice.

Person #2: Discharged his duties. Was at times sloppy with his work. Was at times lazy in his work. Didn't always guard and maintain the principles and rules of Costco. Resigned, giving his notice.

Person #3: Was neglectful in his duties. Argumentative, harrassed others. Was caught fighting and was suspended. Was caught stealing and was fired.

Persons #1 and 2 were overcomers. Person #3 did not overcome.

If we were to transfer this over to the spiritual realm, we would say that 1 and 2 were overcomers but will be rewarded based upon the degree of their faithfulness. #1 will recieve a "well done" but #2 will not, being half-baked, yet he is an overcomer, nevertheless. #3 failed to overcome and will not inherit the promise, will not receive a "well done", but will receive rebuke for his unfaithfulness.

Antonio

January 08, 2008 2:32 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Antonio, being a KJV-Inerrantist, he would have to say that was hell, because the KJV applies the term 'hell' to that place.

'Hell' is a word of English, not Hebrew or Greek origin anyway.

January 09, 2008 12:31 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio,

Matthew 19:16-29 - The story of the rich young ruler - "have eternal life", "enter into life","enter the Kingdom of heaven", "enter the kingdom of God", "be saved", "inherit everlasting life" are all used interchangably; and they all come together when we "come follow [Him]", verse 19:21. Also seen in verse 29 is the cost.

Bottom line: looking at Matthew's account of the Great commission, 28:18-20, being a believer and a disciple is one and the same. They cannot be separated.

January 09, 2008 4:57 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, my answer to Matthew from Phillipians 2:12-13 is key. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but notice that it is written that He works in us "to will" and to do His good pleasure. IOW, there is a drive in the heart to pursue the things of God, Christlikeness. It is much like an athlete in the sport of his love - he longs to train, putting in long hours worth of workouts, in order to be the best he can be at contest time. It is a drive in his heart to train. To miss a workout feels horrible because the drive to train is deep in his heart. So it is in the verse before us in Phillipians 2:12-13, the drive to be more Christlike is in the heart. It will necessarily be there due to the Spirit's indwelling/moving/leading us onwards towards God's intended ends for ALL Christians. The disconnect between you and I is how we view the New Covenant in relation to the Christian. I believe it to be for Christians here and now as well as for the Jews in the future.

I shall be away the rest of the day today as Karen and I begin the awful task of signing my dad up for medicade. Hope to see you all tomorrow.

January 09, 2008 5:15 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

You said: "I would add, if one does these things he is an overcomer."

And your son and cited Rev 3:8, keeping His word as something we have to do to overcome.

Have you kept His word, Antonio? I know that if you're anything like me, human, and I believe you are, then you and I have a hard time answering that question. I look at this verse from James:

James 2:10
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."


And then my mind starts running, have I offended God's law? Or have I kept His word? And if I'm honest, I'll say "no." Because as James clearly points out, if I stumble in one point, I'm guilty of all. And then I apply that to what you're saying. I have to keep His word to be an overcomer, yet I have trouble keeping His word. I don't do it perfectly. And I would suspect that you don't either. Even though it's our desire to be obedient and to keep His word.

So then, I ask, what if you're right. Overcoming is not assured, then what. Well, that's a lot of weight on my shoulders. Because the overcomer passages don't talk about degrees of overcoming. And if keeping His word is how I overcome, then I've already pointed out how I, for one, am not an overcomer. And it would be utterly impossible for anyone to overcome. Because if we offend in one part, we're guilty in all.

OK, so let's assume there are degrees of overcoming. So if I overcome in the smallest of ways, then I'm an overcomer, albeit a lowly one.

1 John 3:23-24
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.


So His commandment is that we believe. Then if I believe, I have obeyed at least one of His commandments. So then I have overcome at least in the smallest way and I would then be an overcomer. Which means every believer is then an overcomer and every believer will walk in white. And it would be impossible for any believer to not overcome.

So if we look to ourselves to overcome, you have one of two outcomes. Either no one can overcome and no one will walk in white. Or everyone will overcome and everyone will walk in white.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 09, 2008 5:57 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

This is what the one who overcomes receives:

• God grants to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God. (Rev. 2:7)
• Will not be hurt by the second death. (Rev. 2:11)
• Give some of the hidden manna, a white stone, a new name. (Rev. 2:17)
• Authority over the nations. (Rev. 2:26)
• Clothed in white garments. (Rev. 3:5)
• Will not erase his name from book of life. (Rev. 3:5)
• Name confessed before the Father and His angels. (Rev. 3:5)
• Will be a pillar in the temple of My God, and won't go out from it anymore. (Rev. 3:12)
• Name of My God written on him. (Rev. 3:12)
• Name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem written on Him. (Rev. 3:12)
• Christ's new name written on him. (Rev. 3:12)
• Granted to sit down with Christ on His throne. (Rev. 3:21)

And then, the kicker for me, if these are not enough, is Rev. 21:7.

Revelation 21:1-8
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."


The one who overcomes inherits "these things".

What are "these things"? What does the overcomer inherit according to this passage?

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 09, 2008 7:46 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

In pondering some of "soldem's" comments I get to wondering something: if Christ is the standard for overcomers, who then could be considered an overcomer?

Also, I do not know of a single Christian who has not gone through, or is not going through, a tremendous trial. The "if" we suffer with Him is actually a given. To separate Christians into two catagories at the point of Romans 8:17 ( overcomers versus nonovercomers) is not suggested here. In Romans 8:16 we see the beginning of a powerful encouragement for all Christians, for all true Christians do suffer. The flow of thought takes us right on through to verse 39. Contained therein is verse 37 - "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us". Let us not forget that Christ intercedes for His people. Verse 35 is a pretty inclusive list of the realities Christians face in this life. Verse 36 shows how that Christians are considered the dregs of the earth. That is especially painful when coming from loved ones.

Overcomers? Only in Him. Conquerors? ALL Christians.

January 10, 2008 5:00 AM  
Blogger Soldem said...

Antonio,

Here's a quote for the Zane Hodges quote from your comment on Jan, 2.

"The first century hearer or reader of Revelation, who knew John's doctrine, knew that no Christian was in danger of the second death or of having his name erased from the Book of Life (see John 4:13, 14; 5:24; 6:37-40; etc.)."

I think we can all agree to this, can't we. And can we agree that what defines a Christian is faith in Christ?

Now, can you tell me who is hurt by the second death according to the Rev. 21 passage I quoted above?

1. Cowardly
2. Unbelieving
3. Abominable
4. Murderers
5. Immoral persons
6. Sorcerers
7. Idolaters
8. All liars

You are a Christian, are you not Antonio? According to the definition above, you have believed in Christ and therefore you are a Christian. I have no reason to doubt that.

Have you ever lied?

If you have, then your part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. That is, according to Rev. 21. It does say "ALL liars", doesn't it. But you're a Christian, you won't be hurt by the second death. The plain reading of this passage says that you will. It doesn't make an exception. It even separates out "unbelieving" from the rest of this list. Those who don't have faith in Christ will have their part, and so will liars, murderers, etc.

You might say, this list is describing a non-Christian, an unbeliever. Then I would say all Christians will overcome. And so then you won't be hurt by the second death. How do you I get to that conclusion. Because I know that I have lied. I know that there are still times when I lie, even as a Christian. And if all liars have their part in the second death, then I rightfully deserve my place with them.

But I won't be hurt by the second death. Why? Because I've overcome. I've overcome through Christ. In the context of Rev. 21 there are two groups. One group overcomes and inherits the things talked about in that passage, and the other group has their part in the second death. There is NO middle ground.

And if you find a middle ground it is because your theology demands it be there even if it's not stated. And you ruin the beautiful picture that is painted for us of a benevolent God Who readies His bride and fulfills His promise of Emmanuel, God with us. He will dwell among us and we will be His people. He's the one, bending down as it where, to wipe away the tears from our eyes. Not because we've lost rewards and we're sad, but because He's wiping away sadness all together. Sadness came in to the world through Adam and Eve and it leaves the world through the hand of God. Who inherits this? Who inherits death being abolished, and mourning, crying and pain. Who inherits the first things passing away? Who inherits God's tender touch? Is that only reserved for the ones who managed to be righteous on this earth? To keep their garments unspotted? How can you keep your garments unspotted anyway? You wash them in the blood of the Lamb. It's not about us keeping a clean record. It's about God cleaning our record.

I don't know about you, but if I have to depend on myself at all to overcome my cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderous, immoral, idolatrous, lieing heart, I'm in big trouble. But if I can look to Christ and know that I have overcome in Him. And that sin no longer has a hold on me...what freedom. The beauty of Christ is that there is no longer any condemnation for the believer. Not in this life. Not in the next.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

January 10, 2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 12, 2008 8:22 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

Question -

Let us say there was a person who, since the very moment he came to believe Jesus' promises for eternal life, lived a life in total obedience to The Father. His meat was to do his Father's will, and he was always about his Father's business. This was so for many years.

One day though he fell into temptation and lay with a woman not his wife, and died during this adulteress affair.

1) would this disqualify him from being considered an overcomer?

2) Wouldn't that mean that one cannot know for sure that they are an overcomer until they are on their deathbed, just minutes away from death?

January 12, 2008 8:25 AM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

I have taken this discusion over to BC blog.

January 12, 2008 8:46 AM  
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January 14, 2008 3:12 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

I had to be the 100th commenter.
Antonio, brother,
I think I tend to view this more similarly to how Ten Cent does in his last comment. We overcome through the blood of the lamb, not by being the best that we can be. I do , however, see that there are those in the church who are blessed to have suffered with Him - and that being far more than ridicule at school - but actually having been killed for the name of Christ.

I think we have to be faithful in that which the Lord has entrusted to us and we will be rewarded. I am also aware that there is a possibility of being "ashamed before Him at His coming." I am not sure how it all fits together, but I do not believe that there will be lasting sorrow when we are with the Lord and this life is over - *IF* we are his own through faith in Christ.

January 17, 2008 11:56 AM  

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