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)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Revelation 20:6 -- Answering the Challenge of Eschatological Traditionalism

The doctrinal position that states that all true Christians will reign with Jesus Christ is in grave error. It functionally serves to neuter the greatest of motivations to pursue sanctification and intimacy with Christ: rewards and accountability. Recently, someone who takes the position that all will be basically the same in the kingdom of God for church age saints, proclaiming that all will reign with Christ, wrote, “I've noticed that preachers of [rewards theology] have a real problem explaining this Scripture away: 'Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years' (Rev. 20:6, NASB)."

We will deal with this verse in its context in this article (which is an excerpt from a paper I did in seminary where I wrote a commentary on Revelation chapter 20). I need to learn how to do footnotes in my blogs. So until then, I have to put my footnotes in the text itself.

The Reigning of the Overcoming Saints
Rev 20:4-6
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
(The italics is the NKJV translator’s addition)

Our attentions are now turned from Satan in the bottomless pit to the third heaven. Many commentators find two groups of people here. The author of this commentary only finds one. Verse four contains a very complex sentence that is awkward in English because of its word order in the Greek.

--[For those grammatically challenged, please skip ahead to the next paragraph]--
According to the diagramming of this author, verse 4a has 3 coordinate main clauses: (1) “I saw thrones and the souls” (2) “They sat” and (3) “Judgment was given to them”. The second coordinate object of the first clause, “the souls,” is further modified by two subordinate clauses. The first subordinate clause is a perfect genitival participial phrase, acting adjectivally, “of the ones having been beheaded.” This subordinate clause is further modified by two prepositional phrases: (1) “on account of the testimony of Jesus,” and (2) “on account of the word of God”. The second subordinate clause modifies the substantival participle, which is the first subordinate clause (“of the ones having been beheaded”). This second subordinate is a relative, adjectival clause, using the third person, plural relative pronoun οιτινες, which is translated “those who”. This relative clause has two coordinate predicates: (1) “(those who) neither worshipped the beast nor his image,” and (2) “(those who) did not receive the mark”. The object of this last predicate, τα χαραγμα (= “the mark”) is further modified by two prepositional phrases: (1) “upon the forehead,” and (2) “upon their hand”. The second coordinate main clause, “They sat” is modified by the prepositional phrase, “upon them” (the antecedent of this plural demonstrative pronoun is “thrones”, which is the first of two coordinate objects of that clause.

The word order that would make sense to the 21st century English reader would be this: “And I saw thrones and the souls of the ones having been beheaded on account of the testimony of Jesus and on account of the Word of God, and who neither worshipped the beast nor his image and did not receive the mark upon the forehead and upon their hand. And they sat upon them [thrones] and judgment was given to them” (Author’s translation).

What is said about this one group of people, who died martyr’s deaths, is that they “came to life” and co-reigned with Christ for the thousand years. The NKJV translates εζησεν (3rd person, plural, aorist, active, indicative) as “lived”. In the context, however, it would be better translated as an ingressive aorist, “came to life,” since bodily resurrection is mentioned in verse 5a. (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 559)

What is unmistakable in this passage is the meritorious heirship of these martyrs. It was on account of their faithful testimony to Jesus Christ and their ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for it that they were given the reward of co-reigning with Christ in the kingdom. “The faithful martyrs of the Great Tribulation are rewarded with a share in Christ’s royal power.” (Zane C. Hodges, Grace in Eclipse (Third Edition), (Irving: Grace Evangelical Society, 2007), 82). This is not to be the privilege of every born-again believer who enters the kingdom, but of those Christians who overcome by perseverance and endurance in their Christian life, and the trials and hardships associated with it (see Rev 2:26-28; 3:21).

The unsaved dead were not resurrected, did not “come to life” (the same ingressive aorist is used here as in verse 5) until the end of the Millennium. They are waiting in Hades for their opportunity to make their case before God at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:13).

“This is the first resurrection” has given some people problems. There not need be any. The simplest explanation can often be the best. The “first resurrection” is a term denoting the final destiny and existence of all believers in the same way the expression the “second death” designates the ultimate eternal fate of all unbelievers. The first resurrection does not imply chronology, per se. The example of the martyred saints comes after the resurrection of the raptured church saints and far after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the first in terms of quality, priority, and preference.

We find in Rev 20:6 one of seven Beatitudes found in the whole book of Revelation. We must note the other six:

Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (KJV). This blessing is pronounced upon those who “hear…and keep” what is found written in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (KJV). John says blessed are the martyrs who die for Christ, for “their works follow them”. See also the previous verse which declares, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev 14:12).

Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (KJV). Joyful is the person who “watches,” keeping his testimony.

Revelation 19:9 “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (KJV). The marriage supper of the Lamb is for the overcoming Saints who will be co-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom and will co-reign with Him there. It is the celebration of the overcomers. Not all Christians will be attending this feast (see Matt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30). Those invited to this intimate feast are those who were granted to wear “fine linen, clean and bright” (Rev 19:6), where we learn in the very next verse the reason that they are honored by such: “the[ir] righteous acts” (19:7).

Revelation 22:7 “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (KJV). A blessing is again pronounced upon the one who guards and keeps the sayings contained in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (KJV). The saints who perform the commandments of Christ are they who will be rewarded (blessed) with the right to the tree of life, and entrance through the honored gates into the city (rather than through the common entrances).

What is evident from examining these Beatitudes is that they are all conditioned upon works of some kind or another. They enunciate rewards and honors based upon the merits of the works done by the saints. This observation will be important as we consider the Beatitude found in Rev 20:6.

Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he who has part [a portion] in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (NKJV). As we noted above, the martyrs who died for the testimony of Christ and the Word of God were rewarded a share in Christ’s reign in the kingdom. As we have also observed, the Beatitudes in Revelation depict blessings being pronounced upon fulfillment of conditions of works. In like manner, John now declares the happiness and joy of those who have a “part in the first resurrection.” Not only are they blessed, but these people are sanctified (Greek: a[gioj), set apart for priestly service and royal authority.

It would be wrong to read these words in a vacuum. The text need not be construed as saying that certain people simply “take part” in the first resurrection. On the contrary, John’s vivid statements must be read against the background of our Lord’s parable of the minas [Luke 19:12-16] and against the background of all the other Scriptures already noted [see 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 2:26-27; 3:21]. What we have here is co-heirship with Christ. In this splendid sphere of existence which is called “the first resurrection,” there are those especially blessed because they have a portion, an inheritance, there. And that inheritance or portion is described as an immortality which entails priestly and kingly duties. (ibid. 82)

The word for “part” [better translated: portion] in Rev 20:6 is the Greek term μέρος. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament Scriptures, called the Septuagint, we have this term used of a portion of inheritance: Proverbs 17:2 “A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part [or a portion] of the inheritance among the brethren.” In Daniel 5:7, we have Belshazzar stating that anyone who could interpret the writing on the wall that “rulership shall be given unto him: a third part [Greek: μέρος] of the kingdom” (Author’s translation from Septuagint Greek), using the term to indicate a share in authority in the kingdom (see also Dan 5:16, 29 for similar usages of μέρος). This word is also used by the Prodigal Son when he asked for his inheritance ahead of time: “And the younger of them said to his father: ‘Father, give me the share [μέρος] of the wealth that is to become mine.’ So he divided his assets between them” (Luke 15:12). (Ibid., 81. Translation is that of Zane C. Hodges).

In context, then, we have those saints who, through their merit, receive a kingdom, cf. “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Tim 2:12). It is in such a way that Jesus Christ Himself has received His kingdom: “Jesus… 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 12:2). What an application this should have for us in the Christian life: “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” (Heb 12:1). To finish the race set before us is to receive the crown, the symbol for kingly authority. Who could forget the words of Paul?

1 Cor 9:24-27
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

The “second death” has no power over these overcoming saints. The expression used here in Rev 20:6 is an example of the figurative language called litotes, which is “an understatement or negative statement to express an affirmation.” (Roy B. Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation, 156). What is being said here is that far be it from being touched by the second death, these overcoming individuals will be priests and kings in the Millennium.

End excerpt

From the whole context of Revelation we learn that those who will co-reign with Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God are those who have merited such by loving righteousness and hating lawlesseness, enduring until the end. The whole New Testament speaks of the conditionality of the superlative glories and honors available to the saint in the coming ages.

One need only take off the blinders of tradition to see them...


Blogger Antonio said...

The other article, as promised, is coming. I have done some study on it yet have not begun to write it. I had this one available so posted it first.

Enjoy, and I hope that you find it instructive and edifying.

Your fg host,


April 11, 2008 4:14 PM  
Blogger mark pierson said...

There were times when Jesus did not walk in certain places because people were out to kill Him. He did teach us not to cast pearls before swine, one of the conequences being that they would rend us. Paul accepted being let down a wall in a basket to escape death.

Many a first and second century Christian ran forward to die during the Roman persecution, only to turn back at the very last second. Then it was up to the "confessors" to determine whether or not to accept these back into fellowship.

Bottom line: The Lord Himself determines the specific individuals who will die for Him. No person can determine that direction for themselves. He steers the lives of His people as He wishes; and, yes, some will go to their death for His cause, the Gospel.

April 12, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Good paper Antonio! I agree!! I like the way you contrasted the two groups:
The simplest explanation can often be the best. The “first resurrection” is a term denoting the final destiny and existence of all believers in the same way the expression the “second death” designates the ultimate eternal fate of all unbelievers.

I also believe that litios is being used as Zane has pointed out.


April 12, 2008 1:31 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

This is a little off subject but the resurrection is part of it. I’ve been still trying to win my Mormon friend to the Lord. I came in one night and he was watching the movie “The Spartans.” The part that was playing was the part where they were in Athens at the Areopagus, and they were talking about what the gods had said. In fact they were quoting what their gods had said. As I was watching it, what came to my mind was Paul in Acts 17 declaring to them the true God. It took me a couple of days just studying that passage and meditating on it before I came back to my Mormon buddy and told him what his movie had reminded me of, and went onto introduce him to the One true God. In the past he had told me I needed to read the book of Mormon to get a fuller picture. I went on to explain to him the superiority of the Bible, and that it wasn’t of any private interpretation but men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. And that the 66 books were in complete agreement without any contradictions. I went on to explain one of the most powerful evidence of the Bible was the prophecies, and that no other book has prophecies. Anyway I left him with much to consider. But while I was studying Acts 17 I came to these new conclusions. That the repentance there has to do with a dispensational change. That God had overlooked this ignorance of His person in the past but was now calling for all men to repent. In the past I held to repentance being a turning from sin, and having to do with temporal judgment. But after studying this chapter I’ve concluded that repentance here has to do with a change of mind about who God is, because there will be a final judgment of righteousness. It’s consistent with my belief about the final judgment not concerning sin as sin but of works. Only righteous people will make it into heaven, and that being clothed with the righteousness of Christ. It’s also interesting here that the resurrection of Jesus is proof that there will be a resurrection of the just and the unjust. In the past I thought that the resurrection of Jesus being the eighth sign was mainly for the purpose to believe in Jesus as the Christ. But as I read this verse v31 I see that the resurrection is also a powerful proof of not only will all men be judged by Jesus because they will be resurrected just as sure as He was. Here is how the Majority text reads:
Acts 17:30,31 So then the times of ignorance overlooked God, but NOW He commands men all everywhere to repent, BECAUSE He has appointed a DAY in which He is going to judge the world in RIGHTEOUSNESS by a MAN whom He appointed, having given PROOF to all, by raising Him from the dead.
I see this as not only giving proof of Jesus resurrection and that He will sit as Judge but also all peoples resurrection to judgment. Of course the believers resurrection will be a Bema judgment concerning rewards and loss of rewards. So I see a two edged sword here concerning the proclamation of the resurrection first and foremost to prove Jesus is the Christ, and that everyone must repent because they will be resurrected concerning righteousness.
Antonio if I’m thinking wrong on any of this straighten me out buddy!!!Ha!Ha!
I'm not only "grammatically challenged" I'm challenged on all fronts,,,,ha! ha!

Ps. I know your real busy so you can drop me an e-mail sonetime if you want.

April 13, 2008 5:35 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...


Acts 17 has to do with temporal judgment of sin. Paul is telling them to turn from their sin of idolatry.

I wrote 7 articles on this one passage.

Here are the links:

Acts 17 Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Alvin, I hope that these articles are instructive to you and all who peruse them. In some ways, i consider these 7 articles a Magnum Opus of mine.

Please let me know what you think. You wanted my opinion on Acts 17, these 7 articles speak volumes on that very passage.

Your fg friend, where repentance is a determination to turn from sin, and is to avert temporal wrath for sin, as a step in the direction of harmony with God,


April 13, 2008 7:41 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...


these two articles by Zane Hodges will be helpful as well concerning Acts 17:

2 Peter 3:8
2 Peter 3:9


April 13, 2008 7:42 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Thanks Antonio, I'll study these and get back with you. I in no way believe that repentance is a condition for eternal life, and the ONLY condition being "to believe Jesus promise." I believe that repentance only has to do with harmony with God! Repentance toward God, faith toward Jesus the Christ.
Just clarifing my belief.


April 13, 2008 8:42 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

Thanks for straightening me out! I found your words here very good!

Next, in support of the fact that this is the day of the Lord, notice the phrase “He will judge the world”. The word "world" doesn't fit the "final judgment" scenario (unless someone believes that there will be such a day for ALL men contrary to John and Revelation). The final judgment will be only for unbelievers at the Great White Throne judgment, not the whole “world”. Believers do “not come into judgment”, because they have already “passed from death unto life”. Too, it is the world (the physical earth and its inhabitants) that will be judged in the Great Tribulation of the “Day of the Lord”.
The word “world” does fit with the judgments that are sure to come during the Great Tribulation. For it is during this time that God will mete out his wrath upon the world and its inhabitants.

The universal command to repent that Paul exhorts upon his Athenian hearers is Paul's version of "flee from the wrath to come."
In essence, Paul is saying to the Athenians in Acts 17:30-31:

"Turn to the one true and living God whose judgment can begin at any time and put faith in His Son who is the Executor of His judgment" (see Rev. 5).
We have already disccused it in this response thus far, but I would like to remind you that the Athenian’s idolotry would significantly impair the consideration of Christ’s exclusive claims. Paul knew this and issues the command accordingly, using the universal command to repent with a secondary specific purpose for the Athenians to abandon their idolotry in consideration of Jesus Christ and His gospel promise.

Very good Antonio!!! I mistook "a day" as the final judgment. I see now that isn't possible because of what you pointed out about the world. I'm sure I've studied this before in Zane's book "Harmony With God" I've just about wore out the book! Just goes to show I need to review.

blessings alvin

April 14, 2008 1:25 AM  
Blogger J. Wendell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 14, 2008 2:49 AM  
Blogger Mr. X in God's army said...

From what I know of Lou Martuneac I would be worried for your wife. This is a man steeped in hatred. It wouldn't surprise me if he picks women to target because he feels they are inferior and will be bullied into believing his warped theology. I've looked at this guy's blog, and I have to say that if he is a Christian, he's not walking with the Lord. It may take contacting his family or work in order to get him some help so he will stop using the Internet and blogs to bully people. This is a man who obviously has some very deep issues and needs professional help. I guess all we can do is pray for him and hope that he gets the help he needs.

April 14, 2008 8:39 AM  
Blogger Diane said...


You did it again!!! Another great article to help clarify.

Thank you friend. I'll continue to follow your blog.

One of your many fans,

April 14, 2008 7:58 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Perreault said...


Your interpretation of Revelation 20:6 fails to uphold certain key and clear Scriptural truths:

1. CLEAR TRUTH: All believers have a part in the first resurrection (Jn. 5:25-29, 6:28-29, 39-40; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:20-23; 1 Thess. 4:14-16, 18; Rev. 20:4-6). This expressly and obviously includes carnal believers (1 Cor. 15:22, 51; 1 Thess. 5:4-11).

2. CHRIST'S PROMISE: No believe will be hurt by the second death (Rev. 2:11, 20:6).

3. CONTEXT: The throne-sitters and judgment-getters of Revelation 20:4 (“and judgment was given to them”) are seen to be the returning and victorious armies (Rev. 19:19) of Christ, particularly and especially His bride the church (Eph. 1:1, 4, 18, 4:4; Rev. 17:14, 19:7-8, 19:19-20:4; cf. 1 Cor. 6:2-3).

4. COMMON ACTIVITY: “Judgment” (Rev. 20:4) is a privilege and responsibility of kings (1 Cor. 6:2-3, cf. 1 Kings 3:16-28, Prov. 16:10, 20:8).

5. CROSS-REFERENCES: Other Scriptures besides Revelation 20:6 declare that all blood-bought believers, and especially church-age “saints” (1 Cor. 1:2) in Christ (1 Cor. 6:2-3; Rev. 1:5-6, 5:9-10; cf. 1 Pt. 2:5-7,9).

6. CONSIDERATION OF ISSUES INVOLVED: I could list many, many more Scriptural truths regarding this, most of which I have already detailed in my study “The Reign of the Priest Kings”, located in the documents section of my blog.


April 17, 2008 10:14 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Perreault said...


To clarify, point 5 should read:

5. CROSS-REFERENCES: Other Scriptures besides Revelation 20:6 declare that all blood-bought believers, and especially church-age “saints” (1 Cor. 1:2) in Christ, will judge/reign with Christ (1 Cor. 6:2-3; Rev. 1:5-6, 5:9-10; cf. 1 Pt. 2:5-7,9).

April 17, 2008 10:18 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

One need only take off the blinders of tradition to see them...amen

April 18, 2008 1:01 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

I've listened to Jody Dillow's message about 3 times now, I keep falling asleep about half way through. I don't agree with him on what it means to "endure to the end will be saved." I agree with Zane on that one, that it is speaking about the end of the Tribulation and the one who endures to the end will be physically saved to go into the Millennium. And on Jodies "dual entrance" meaning I'm yet to come to a conclusion. Although I do see the difference between an entrance and an abundant entrance. I was a little disappointed that they let a 5-point Calvinist be one of the main speakers. But I thought it was good when he was asked, "what is the content of faith one must believe?" His answer wasn't very convincing. There are many things we can believe about Jesus that doesn't save. But I guess the content of faith isn't that important when you have been zapped. It's all in there somewhere "Merry Christmas."


April 22, 2008 8:28 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...


Jody got me thinking in a good way. It was very good for me to look at these passages from the Sermon on the Mount from a different perspective. I don't agree with his new position, but there is some merit in it and it is a good reminder that more study must be done on these passages.

To correct you, good buddy. Jody Dillow is not a 5 point Calvinist. He is only 3. He believes in unlimited atonement and denies perseverance theology.

Your friend,


April 22, 2008 10:30 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...


Maybe you weren't referring to Jody with the 5 point Calvinist comment? If you were not, who are you referring to?

April 22, 2008 10:31 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

Sorry I wasn't clear on that! It was Nathan Holsteen but I really liked his sense of humor,,,Ha!Ha! He gave the talk on John Calvin. I can't see how anyone can say that John Calvin believed in faith alone in Christ alone, when he was trusting in his Catholic baptism. To me it's clear that what Calvin gave with one hand he would take away with the other. Also with Nathan when asked about faith he insinuated that it was a gift. Maybe I'm reading more into what he said then I should. Maybe he's one of those confused Calvinist (four pointer)but we know, that dog can't not only hunt, but point to the truth Ha!Ha!


April 23, 2008 2:38 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Antonio, I did really enjoy Zane's two messages on the Gospel of John being written to the unbelieving community at Ephesis. And explaining the last discourse was to prepare Jesus disciples for His death and resurrection. I also found it very interesting the contrast between the way Jesus died proving He was the Christ and the way Socrates died. Which would have been well known to the unbelieving community in Ephesis. Zane’s message was full of little gems including the information about John’s education. His message drove me to learn more about the level of education at Ephesis at that time and to study some of the writings.


April 23, 2008 4:08 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Bob Wilkins message on "The Gospel" extending from Genesis to Revelations ( 1 Cor 15:3,4 according to the Scriptures) I believe was right on the mark!
goodnight! Have a great day!

April 23, 2008 4:39 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Antonio and Alvin... and my other friends...

I spent a number of hours today rereading "Revelation 20:6 -- Answering the Challenge of Eschatological Traditionalism"

I was on top of the world AGAIN!!!
That's the way I learn.... by reading over and over and over, looking everything up. It was such a blessing!!!

I did have some questions, but my grandkids are trying to get to my computer, so the questions will have to wait.
But I did want to quickly weigh in on what Alvin and Antonio were talking about.... the GES Conference.

It was GREAT learning!!! I've been listening to Thursday's messages by Bob Wilkin, Dan Hauge, and Bob Bryant... the ones I missed because of having to leave the conference early. WOW! What important subjects were covered. AWESOME, IMPORTANT CONTENT!!!
Bob's message on the Gospel is a MUST study for all "Bereans" who are serious about the truth. It is one of those truths that will open the Bible up in a whole new way.... just like understanding the distinction between justification and sanctification did!

I'm in the middle of listening to John Neimela's Thursday's message. I always learn from him, too.

Always enjoy checking in on my friends. Hope your days continue to be filled with the joy of the Lord!
Time to give up my computer now!

Your "older" friend,

April 24, 2008 6:41 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

Bob's message on the gospel was certainly a paradigm shift for me. I went to all the verses that the word was found (online Bible) and took out the problem passages and set them aside. Then I went back and listened to Bob's talk again. Then went back to the problem passages. And guess what they were no longer a problem. I don't believe that Gospel is used as a technical term for believing in Jesus for eternal life but is a broad term that can include much more. It was an eye opener on "Gospel" in Galatians being not only justification truth but sanctification truth. We know that Paul's bullseye was always "believing in Jesus for eternal life" because that's what he clearly stated as the pattern. The "mystery of the Gospel" was the clincher for me because we know that Abraham heard the gospel showing that gospel is a much broader term then what I once believed. Of course I believe the mystery of the gospel was Jew and Gentile in One body.
And just as Antonio I’m still mulling over the two entrances that Dillow talked about. I do see the difference between an “abundant entrance” as spoken of in 2 Peter 1:11 and the entrance of one that has forgotten his sins (2 Peter 1:9) were taken care of and not living in light of that fact. Which simply could mean he was not properly evangelized which Wilkins shows is more then “just believing in Jesus for eternal life but includes baptism (discipleship training).
Anyway lots of food for thought.

Blessings alvin

April 25, 2008 7:35 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

WOW!!! Guess who I just heard? You!! I was pleasantly suprised, you talk as great as you write!!! With much love and grace!!! I didn't get to listen to all your talk yet but that's a great book to talk about "Six Secrets of The Christian Life" by Zane. I'm going to listen to all of it later tonight. That's exciting listenting to my new friend, I'm sure you will teach me much!

blessings alvin

April 25, 2008 8:41 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

I’ll be really embarrassed if that is a different Diane but if I was a betting man I’d bet the ranch that was you ha!Ha! If I had a ranch that is!!!

Wonderful talk!!! What’s so great about it is you’re so transparent. I’ve read that book probably a dozen times and agree with it whole heartily. I think I came to it thinking all right here are the “six secrets” now I can get a real handle on this Christian life. But the main thing I needed always to keep in mind is it’s a supernatural life, other words God is at the controls. He has to give my dead body life! And I need to keep transparent before Him by removing the veil when I come into His word. I just need to keep in mind I’m a work in process and not get to discouraged. It’s great to know that the new you which is created in Christ Jesus is there so the potential is there and some day will be completed. When we see Him face to face we will be like Him.

Blessings alvin

April 26, 2008 4:21 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Alvin,

YES, that was me.... the one stammering and stuttering all the way through!!! You can tell I'm not a public speaker! But the content of that book... "Six Secrets of the Christian Life... The Miracle of Walking With God" is just so good and so scriptural. I liked the way you put it the best....

"...it's a supernatural life, other words God is at the controls. He has to give my dead body life! And I need to keep transparent before Him by removing the veil when I come into His word. I just need to keep in mind I’m a work in process and not get to discouraged."

Thank you for your kind words.

Keeping the veil off when we come to the mirror of scripture is KEY. Too many Christians are veiled... not WILLING to hear from God (even though they THINK they are), but are hanging on to their traditional beliefs no matter what!!!

Also, I liked what you had to say about Bob Wilkin's message on the gospel. Isn't that an EYE OPENER!!! AWESOME!!!
I just stand in awe that God keeps opening up His Word to me. And it's all there for us to see in His Word if we open our eyes to see.

If anyone is reading this who has negative feelings against GES or Zane Hodges, I challenge you with the love of Christ to take another look. You needn't fear being pulled into something that is error as long as you are a Berean and check it out. God will protect you if you come to His Word with an honest and open heart to hear Him. It is SO REWARDING and SO SATISFYING!!! GES teachers give us the freedom to examine everything they teach in light of the scriptures. No arm twisting with them!

I think everyone should listen to Bob Bryant's message, too, if they really want to know if John is an evangelistic book. The name of his message is... "The Search for the Saving Message Outside of the Gospel of John." He presents it in a very unique way. Anyone who wants to be a Berean on this subject needs to check it out.

And of course.... Zane Hodges' 2 messages..... "In the Upper Room (John 13-17) with Jesus the Christ".... AND.... "Miraculous Signs and Literary Structure in the Fourth Gospel."
I relistened today to both of Zane's messages. I must admit, at the conference he was WAY over my head. He is such a scholar, and I knew that what he had to say was worth checking out. But because I learn slow, I needed to go over those tapes again and again. He's made his case very well that John was most likely and primarily written to unbelieving Jews, and that it IS an evangelistic book. Honestly, I don't know how anyone can hear all that evidence and still come to the conclusion that it was primarily written to believers, and primarily Gentile believers. Those who hold that view have yet to prove their point to me, and I'm willing to listen.
I have read one book from authors I respect who say differently, but I think their evidence is flawed. It was the book, "The Disciplemaker." I enjoyed reading it and I did learn from it, but I just think they fell short in proving their point for the PURPOSE of John.

I could go on and on sharing the blessings of what I'm learning, but Antonio may be saying right now....... "Hey..... you forgot what the subject matter was on this posting." Actually Antonio, I've been studying that too right along with the GES messages. And I'm still going over all of it... this article you've posted and the 4 articles that came before it. It's AWESOME!!! Keep writing, and I'll keep checking it out and God will keep teaching me through you.

Thank you to all of my dear "new" friends on this blog. It's such a joy to hear from you.

All because of HIS wonderful grace,

April 26, 2008 2:49 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio and the rest of my friends.

I'm meeting with a free-grace pastor this coming week who believes a person can believe you can lose your salvation and yet be saved. He believes eternal security is a doctrine that one does not need to believe in order to be saved. But has to do with discipleship teaching. He made this comment in one of his e-mails to me: I agree with Bob Wilkins that it is the birth right of every believer to know with certainty that one is eternally secure.
To me this insinuates that one can be a believer but yet have never known that he was eternaly secure.
I believe that one MUST believe in Jesus as the Christ in order to be saved. This is to believe that Jesus has guarenteed your eternal destiny. That you will never hunger, that you will never thirst. That no one can take you out of His hand and that He will never cast you away. That you will never come into a judgment that will determine wether you go to heaven or hell but that you have passed from death into life. I believe as Jesus told the Samaratan women that "if you knew the gift of God" that she MUST know the gift of God. And that the living water which Jesus offered one drink and she would never thirst. I believe to believe in Jesus as the Christ as she did that He guarenteed her eternal destiny. Or else she would thirst again, which Jesus told her would never happen.
I would appreaciate your prayers for this meeting, that he might come to the knowledge of the truth on this suject which I believe is the most important subject there is.

blessings alvin

I also would appreaciate any of your thoughts.
Also this mans belief on 1 John 5:13 is that these believers had lost their assurance. Which I believe is a direct contradiction of 1 John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

April 28, 2008 2:01 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

I know I've been off subject quite abit, but I'm sure you have been chewing on Dillows message about the two kinds of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. So I thought I would get your thoughts on my thoughts,,,Ha!Ha!

One of Dillows scriptures that he makes his main assumption from is Matt 5:19,20 that a person can be in the Kingdom but not great as in a abundant entrance.
Matt 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Antonio if we follow Dillow's reasoning here that one is in the Kingdom but is not called great in the Kingdom and apply this same reasoning with Matt 18:1-4. Jesus there speaking to His born again disciples about greatness in the Kingdom. Jesus seems to imply two conditions for this greatness. That is being converted and become as little children will be greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

Matt 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven? 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven, 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
(Convert streho > to turn one's self)
Your thought's?


April 28, 2008 4:44 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Alvin,

Good questions!!! I'll be looking forward to hearing Antonio's (and others) response. I'm going to be doing some thinking and reading on your questions today.

Right now I'm getting ready to leave so don't have much time, but just wanted to comment about your eternal security question and meeting with your pastor friend. This is a topic close to my heart because I have lots of friends who are in the "Assembly of God" Church. They don't believe in eternal security.

I believe that assurance IS BELIEVING. The moment a person passes from death to life he KNOWS his eternal destiny is settled. In my thinking back when I was saved I KNEW that I was going to heaven when I died because of Jesus... John 3:16.
But LATER as I was on a trip with some young people from YFC, a young Nazarene girl was discussing the subject of loosing your salvation. At that time I remember thinking....... hmmmmm? I wonder if you can? I wasn't worried that I could loose MY salvation, but I didn't know enough to say it wasn't possible. So I've come to the conclusion (...that may be the wrong word...) that having assurance and believing in the DOCTRINE of eternal security are 2 different things. There's a LOT of DOCTRINE regarding that subject that I didn't yet know, but I knew I was going to heaven when I died. So I think lots of people get saved (HAVE ASSURANCE) that they're saved based ONLY on their faith in Jesus, and THEN get confused because of bad teaching.
Then there are those who NEVER had assurance. THEY are the ones who are not saved.

This is just a QUICK reply without being careful with what I said. I'll check back later and make corrections to my WRONG response.


A friend,

April 28, 2008 8:15 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

Thanks for your reply and prayers.
I believe a person MUST believe in Jesus as the Christ to be born of God. That is that He guarentee's their eternal destiny. My best friend is a young Indian man who had assurance that he was saved. But his assurance was in all the wrong things. He spoke in tongues and considered that as evidence that he was born of God. But he clearly rejected eternal security and strongly held to you could lose your salvation and go to hell. He finaly realized that he could not go on living with the thought that he could lose his salvation. In this struggle he said that God had revealed to him eternal security. It seemed as the beginning of the turning point was when we were on a one hundred mile bike ride. As we were climbing a big mountain we were having a discussion on 2 Tim 2:11-13. And it was over the word "disown" which was in the Bible I had given him, the NIV. Shame on me for giving him such a terrible Bible! I took out my little KJV Bible which had the softer word "deny" which he was over joyed to see. The rain ended our biking trip at seventy miles. The tent I brought had sprung a leak on his side. He woke up in the middle of the night soaked. So not only had I given him a lousy Bible but had brought a lousy tent. But thank God the Son had broken through the clouds and a new day was dawning for my Indian friend. He now knows he is eternaly saved and is a strong voice for eternal security.

blessings alvin

April 28, 2008 10:08 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Alvin, what a WONDERFUL story!
What a wonderful blessing for you!!!

Your friend's assurance was placed in the wrong place.... not Jesus alone. He was still depending on works. There's lots of people like him. So deceived! That's so sad.

GES has helped me understand that a person can not be saved if he has NEVER believed in eternal security. But I think we might be wise to be careful how we approach these dear people BECAUSE they become defensive and THEN are not open to hear us. Even lots of free gracers who believe in eternal security are fighting against us on this one.

I kind-of think this way...
The DOCTRINE of eternal security is NOT understood at the moment of faith, but the CONCEPT is!!!
The *DOCTRINE* includes ALL the scriptural understanding as to WHY we are eternally secure. The concept just says.... my eternity is forever safe with God because of Jesus. SETTLED!!!

So I think it's a little easier to get someone to listen to us if we approach it that way. I personally prefer not to approach them by saying you must believe in ETERNAL SECURITY to be saved. But that's only because I think they're thinking of the DOCTRINE... not the concept.
It's like the word GOSPEL. People THINK "gospel" is ALWAYS referring to the saving message. But we've learned it's not. So we need to be careful how we approach them in order to get them to listen and understand. After we get them to that place where they understand the concept, THEN we can use the words.... ETERNAL SECURITY. Just a thought, but maybe I'm wrong.

Been praying today for your meeting.

Rejoicing in Jesus,

April 28, 2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

Agreed my friend! I think we have agreed on this in the past that the essence of eternal security is in verses like John 3:16. And that the doctrine is a much broader concept. You said it very well by comparing it to the word gospel. And in the past I have come at people with the doctrine, like my young Indian friend. Good thing we have a chance to learn from our mistakes because I have made many.

Well off to work, thank you for your prayers. Also this pastor is suppose to show me a contradiction in the GES statement of faith. He said that it was a poor choice of words they used. When I find out I'll let you all know so we can mull over it,,Ha!Ha!

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!
alvin goodnight!

April 28, 2008 4:01 PM  
Blogger Diane said...


Something came to my mind as I was spending some time today reading a commentary from a Bible teacher I've loved for years, and God has used him in my life to grow me and bless me. YET as I was reading from his commentary I realized that he was wrong on some of his teaching. He's got some Lordship leanings on some of the New Testament passages that he's teaching on... YET he strongly calls Lordship Salvation heresy. I love this teacher!!! But he lived during a different time when a lot of this free grace teaching that we're getting today was not as much in the forefront as it is today. As I thought about it, I think this man will receive lots of rewards in heaven for his faithfulness to teaching the Word of God. Not because he was right in everything, but because he was faithful and (I believe) honest and open with God to the best of his knowledge at the time. He always emphasized the crosswork of Christ in everything he taught.... Old or New Testament. We've probably all grown under teachers who (looking back) were not correct on some of the passages they taught.

Do you think there is a difference in God's eyes between the Christian teacher who is teaching faithfully the Word (yet not seeing everything as clearly as we're coming to see it)... and the Christian teacher who refuses to consider the text when confronted with the information?
I guess what I'm trying to say is this. .... Are Bible teachers who are wrong on some of their theology --(but not on how to be saved)-- going to loose rewards because they were wrong? Or does it have more to do with living up to the knowledge that you have at the time? I'm thinking of those Christians who are making it their goal in life to ATTACK the truth when presented with it. I'm thinking of those who are attacking GES and Zane Hodges particularly. Some teachers are wrong only because they've never been taught anything else. Their eyes haven't been open to some of these great truths yet.

I would be interested to know your thoughts on that. Especially in light of what we're studying here in this post... co-reigning with Jesus in the Kingdom.

Thank you.


April 29, 2008 9:56 PM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...


One thing I DO know is that I'm so thankful it will be the Lord & not me deciding! What a mess if it were up to me. Prasie His Name for the wonderful grace of Jesus!

April 30, 2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

AMEN David!!!

April 30, 2008 7:56 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

I like the way Zane answered one of the questions in the GES conference. He said when he first started teaching Seminary they told him the three most useful words in the English language were "I don't know."
One thing I do know is that the Bible gives a very serious warning about teaching.
James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

I would agree with David! Also I would say to all of us that have been teachers or are teachers we will all need grace and mercy. Because we have all been wrong on some teachings at some time or another. I believe the heart will be the real determining factor on whether we did it in ignorance or not. I believe that Zane and Bob have been a great example of ones who teach but yet are willing to say publicly as Bob has said that "he had to repent on his view of repentance." I believe that is the right spirit and heart for a teacher.


May 01, 2008 2:05 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Alvin,

You and David are right. God looks at the heart. All of us are learners (or should be). It's a matter of being open to God.

Isn't it great waking up each morning as a believe in Jesus Christ and knowing that our future is glorious!!!

All because of Him,

May 01, 2008 8:17 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

Amen to that! I don't know of anything greater then to know that your eternal future is secure in His hands. This knowledge brings joy in the Lord every new day! Even in times of sorrow there is an inner joy that bubbles up and over flows and all that you can say is praise the Lord!!!


May 01, 2008 10:48 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Antonio, Calvin's quote has been authentically confirmed at the Moor.

May 01, 2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

Good job putting Calvin in context!


May 01, 2008 9:19 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

AMEN Alvin!!!

I'm thinking a lot about this subject of reigning with Jesus Christ. I can't find the words to express my excitement!!!

Please forgive me. I don't mean to monopolize your blog. But I do enjoy meeting friends here on your blog who also are excited about ruling and reigning with Jesus in His Kingdom.

I was listening to Jody Dillow's message from the GES Conference yesterday. I heard him at the conference, but because I take everything in slowly, and because some of you were talking about his message, I relistened to the CD. Alvin has some very good questions and insights I thought.

I love Jody's book..... "The Reign of the Servant Kings!" I'm intrigued by his new insights, although I'm not sure if he's right or not on those particular passages that he spoke on? He sure is making me think, and I appreciate that very much. I'll have to relisten again and again. I hope you, Antonio will have some insight into this after he studies it out. The one place I'm having a little trouble is in Matt. 5:20.
Jody's saying that "enter" in this verse is "entering with GREATNESS in the Kingdom"... not "getting in." He may be right because of the context, but I wonder why it would be worded that way... "you will by no means ENTER the Kingdom of heaven.?" That terminology keeps me still uncertain. But understanding never comes quick for me.
I found it interesting that Jody thinks that the righteousness talked about in verse 20 is NOT the imputed righteousness of Christ, but speaking about actual life style. OK.... I've probably got everyone thinking Jody's teaching entrance into the Kingdom by WORKS! NO.... HE'S NOT SAYING THAT. But I need to go back and study it again because now that I'm writing this out, I see that I haven't yet put the pieces together. So hold your thoughts about Jody's position. I've left you up in the air, and that's not fair to him. I just need some refining on his position as to WHY he says what he does, and WHAT he means by what he says. Maybe someone can help clarify?

In a workshop Jody did.... (I THINK it was his workshop, although I might be getting the 2 sessions mixed up.) Hmmmm?
He says (paraphrased)... Penalty for sin will keep us from hell, but it will not get us to heaven. The Mediator must not only suffer for man, but He must also OBEY for him. Jesus fulfilled the law. He was obedient to death. I never heard that before. That was new to me.

OK, I'm doing now what I shouldn't do. I'm pulling out pieces of Jody's message without context. So PLEASE don't throw him overboard until you listen to his tape. He pulls everything together scripturally. He believes that a person is given eternal life by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, but that life style (obedience to Christ) gets us an entrance of greatness (REWARDS) in the Kingdom.

Antonio, if I've totally blown what Jody said, feel free to delete this post from your blog. I'm typing as I think, but I think my thoughts weren't too together tonight.

I look forward to hearing from you again on the subject of ruling and reigning with Christ in His Kingdom, and perhaps you can clarify what I said so inadequately.

Antonio, I'm so thankful for you.

All because of Jesus,


May 01, 2008 9:39 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

As you all know I'm not really to fond of Calvin but I do believe that everyone should be taken in context.

Hi Diane, you got me thinking again on Dillow. I'm going to listen to him somemore tonight. I'm excited about all the new things I have learnt from listening to the GES conference. Lot's to chew on uh!!! Also excited to hear what Antonio will say about it. I highly respect his insight and feel he carefully weighs things, and has a wider knowledge of the Scriptures to draw from.
The free-grace pastor here had a funeral this week so had to postpone the get together.


May 01, 2008 10:07 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

duh! (private joke too all of you who are wondering!)

Oh... I'm sorry your meeting with your pastor friend got postponed!
But God's timing is always best!
Let us know when you do finally get to meet with him.

Talking about the GES Conference...
I'm actually sitting here at my computer typing this with ear plugs in my ear (IPod) listening to another GES speaker....
AND before that I was making copies of individual speakers from the conference on a CD to be taken to my daughter and family who live on a catamaran in the Caribbean. Just an adventure they're on for 2 years.
I thought it would be good for them to be listening to a GES CD while sailing around the Atlantic!

I'm so glad God gave this grandmother something to do in her spare time!!!


May 01, 2008 11:09 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Diane

I'm returning from listening to Dillow, but did not get very far before all kinds of problems bombarded my little brain! Help! Help!
Matt 5 taken in context
1. The kingdom at that time is being offered to Israel on condition of repentance and belief in the King.
2. The law is in effect in that dispensation.
3. The disciples that Jesus were speaking to were born again but were told unless their righteousness exceeded the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they would not enter the Kingdom of heaven. So this entrance has to be speaking of an abundant entrance.
4. The law had to be kept and taught to be GREAT in this Kingdom.
5. The ones who did not keep the law and taught others not to keep it were in the Kingdom but were least there.

In studying these passages I draw upon Col. Ken Yates teaching having to do with sons (huios) of God in Matt 5:9. And also Zanes teaching on the law being in effect in the Kingdom. But I find myself with more questions then answers.


May 02, 2008 12:15 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

When ever Dillow said that Scripture implied of a future entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven in the context of works, he said it was speaking of an abundant entrance as in 2 Peter 1:11. This would be God’s expectation for every believer as implied in Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. But we see in Matt 5:19 this is not always the case because some who are in the Kingdom of Heaven are called least. They are called least because they have broken the commandments and have taught others to do like wise. This fact that they are in shows evidence to the freeness of the gift of eternal life which brings regeneration. Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.
Over and over the Scriptures show that eternal life really is a gift you can take freely. But I believe what keeps many from taking that living water is because they are convinced that it isn’t free. That would just be too easy, they would say!


May 02, 2008 3:46 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hey Diane would your son-n-law and daughter like to adopt me? I think I could handle sailing around the Atlantic on a catamaran. But come to think about it somemore I think I might have nightmares of a great white shark chewing my boat in half, and then spitting me out.
I better settle instead for my jacuzi and rubber ducky, much safer!!

Off to work, have a great evening!

May 02, 2008 3:31 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Alvin..... That's sooooooooooo funny!!!
I forwarded your comment to my daughter. They'll get a kick out of it.

I'm enjoying reading your insights into Jody's messages. One thing I do appreciate about this discussion.... He's putting his thoughts out there for all of us to check out. I'm waiting on Antonio, Bob Wilkin, Zane Hodges, and others to give insight also. After I hear all the different possibilities, I will be able to examine more carefully the intended meaning. Maybe this will be one that will leave me wondering, but usually the meaning comes together for me if I'm patient and listening with an honest and open heart before the Lord.

I can't help but think about Bob Wilkin's new understanding of Acts 13:48. He held one view for a long time, but when he was presented with a problem with that view he reconsidered it. Now he holds a new view that makes even better sense. He also did that with "Repentance" as did Zane Hodges. I think that Jody Dillow is like Bob and Zane in that respect. He's presented what he thinks the passage is saying after much study, and I'm quite confident that he will consider all the evidence that comes before him. That's the way it should be for all of us believers. Put it out there for all of us to examine. THEN after we study, we can see how all the pieces come together. That's the way it should be, and that's why I love GES. God is faithful to teach us.

Alvin.... you sure have different hours from most of us. I noticed that you're posting in the early, early morning hours.

Thanks for making me think.

A free grace friend,

May 02, 2008 9:21 PM  

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