A Salvation Trinity

In 2 Timothy 2:15 we read that God has a special interest that we develop the ability to correctly divide the Bible:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

“Divide” here is the Greek ὀρθοτομέω, orthotomeō, meaning, “to make a straight cut . . . to dissect correctly”. Dissecting Scripture correctly is a key hermeneutical skill that keeps us out of error, error that comes from misapplying sections aimed at one target to something else.

No topic requires this careful division more than that of “salvation”. Entire opposing denominations have sprung up around seemingly contradictory Scriptures on the nature of God’s redemptive work in man. Are we saved the moment we trust Christ, or does that merely launch a process of salvation that is not completed until we die? Is salvation forever, or can you lose it because of subsequent sin? Is salvation a free gift or do you have to work hard to obtain it?

Two verses will serve to demonstrate the problem:

  • Rest in free salvation without working –> “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Work super hard with anxiety to complete salvation –> “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

One of the key insights Bill presents in his seminar resolves this beautifully, focusing us on a division in Scripture that many in the church have missed. Once you slice it straight and apply each Scripture to the “thing” it is aimed at, it makes perfect sense. Besides clearing up a lot of confusion, it also represents much of the conviction that undergirds the training aspects of the ministry, specifically his homeschooling program ATI (Advanced Training Institute). [Entire article as PDF:  salvation_trinity.pdf]

Me, Myself, and I

Evangelical doctrine has long held to the foundational doctrine of “The Trinity” when it comes to describing the nature of God. While He is One God, looking more closely we find He is three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three are seen in the Baptism of Jesus:

  • “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

That would explain the references to “we” and “us” during creation:

  • “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil . . .” (Genesis 3:22)

While man was never supposed to be “like God” in ability to decide good and evil, God did make us in “His image” and, it turns out, like Him in also being composed of three distinct “persons”. This trinity is shown clearly in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:

  • “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Spirit and soul and body, with the Greek conjunction “kai” – “and” – separating the words in the original.

Since Paul prayed for each part separately it stands to reason that the way in which each part is to be saved may differ. And thus there will be throughout Scripture passages aimed at how the spirit is saved which, if we attempt to apply to the soul’s salvation, will leave us confused. So also with the salvation of our body – strange doctrines arise if we apply passages dealing with that to the two parts of our invisible “inner man”.

The “persons” of our “shadow trinity” talk to each other, just as we have seen the Persons of the Godhead do. Here is an example of David’s spirit reasoning with his soul as they together try to survive a crisis:

  • “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalms 42:5)

Here his spirit speaks tenderly of his soul, that person which he calls his “darling”:

  • “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.” (Psalms 22:20)

In fact, any time we “talk to ourselves” in our thought processes, different parts of our being are adding input, lobbying for control. Each “person” values different things, brings memories and principles to the table. The more of the whole person that is “on board” with the final decision, the more peaceful and assured we are.

Dividing Soul and Spirit

Not a few theologians continue to insist that the invisible inner man is just a single part with two different Bible names. Those same theologians find themselves having to deal with enormous contradictions in Scripture. So it is time to sharpen our thinking – and our hermeneutics – to solve some of these problems.

And speaking of “sharp”, it takes a sharp knife to dissect a biological specimen, and it takes a sharp mind to separate the function of our soul from our spirit. But God has given us the tool to do it with:

  • “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

It appears that God specifically is eager that we learn to separate soul from spirit, and God’s word, wielded by the Holy Spirit, will do that for us.

Three Different Worlds

The reality of God’s creation is that one universe is in fact an overlay of a number of different realms, worlds that coexist yet never touch. And we are built to live in several of them simultaneously:

  • Physical World – our body moves in the world of atoms and chemicals and the laws of physics. For that we have 5 senses that keep us apprised of what is going on. When we have problems with our body a medical doctor can help.
  • Spiritual World – here is the world of God, angels, demons, the “religious” world or even the world of witchcraft or the occult. We are given 5 senses here as well. With them we hear good spirits or bad, see the light, taste that God is good, feel His touch, smell the stench of a corrupt heart. Our conscience is an expression of those senses, a tool to detect – without external input – how things are going over there. There are laws here as well, laws that God has written out in the Bible as well as carved into our spirit for reference (Romans 2:15). When the spirit is sick, people seek out a “spiritual advisor” like a pastor, preacher . . . or priest . . . or shaman.
  • Psychological World – the Greek word translated “soul” is ψυχή, psychē or psuche (the “y” and “u” are both correct) from which we get psyche, psych . . . psychology. Yes, psychology is the study of the soul. This is the mental world, the world of emotions, feelings. Mathematicians know some of the laws that hold sway there, laws of logic and the mind that function independently of any law of physics. There are other laws of the soul, laws of relationships, for example, that we must respect or suffer the consequences. When the soul is hurt we go looking for a counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist . . . or a better mathematician to untangle our logic.

The NT uses the Greek word for “psychological” – ψυχικός psychikos – except that the KJV translators did not really know what to do with it. So they translated it “natural”. Many Bible commentators replace “natural” with “soulish”, which is fine, except that it is a made up word. “Psychological” carries some unfortunate extra-biblical baggage, but since it best carries the purpose of this Greek adjective, we will use it.

Here is “spiritual” – πνευματικός pneumatikos from “pneuma”, spirit – and “psychological” in the same verse:

  • “But the natural (psychikos) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually (pneumatikos) discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

So we can see a clear division in this verse between spirit and soul. In other places it is not always as plain, specifically when our inward man is being discussed without distinction of parts. That is where we must get the knife out.

The Phases of Salvation

The Bible and the universe in general is full of trinities – threes -and the ways of God in redemption are an example. Evangelical theology has long acknowledged that salvation found in Jesus is accomplished in three distinct ways. The old preachers used to tell us:

  • Past: We WERE SAVED from the Penalty of Sin
  • Present: We ARE BEING SAVED from the Power of Sin
  • Future: We WILL BE SAVED from the Presence of Sin

And it is easy to see a clear connection to the three persons of our being:

  • Our SPIRIT was made alive the moment we trusted Christ, His Spirit indwelling us. This salvation cannot be lost, it is unchanged by any subsequent successes or failures on our part.
  • Our SOUL is being saved throughout our lifetime on earth, being reclaimed from the sinful personality that defined us previously. In reality, there are two “souls” in the believer, two “persons” – the “old man” and the “new man”, one built on this present life, the other on the world to come.
  • Our BODY will be saved, redeemed at the final resurrection.

It is interesting that while Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5:23 that God wants to save spirit, soul, and body, he elsewhere acknowledges that only two of those actually fully belong to Him, now: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Our spirit is already His and cannot ever be lost, and every believer’s body will be resurrected, no missing parts, on that final day. But how it will be with our soul, how much of that we let Him reclaim, THAT is something that is still in doubt. Our choices and obedience in this life will result in eternal rewards or loss, all of that still being determined.

Let’s focus on each part of our being and it’s salvation more closely.

Spiritual Discernment

Besides being our window to the spiritual world the spirit has a special role in understanding what is going on in the heart. This allows us to truly know others, and they us:

  • “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:11)

The only way we know what another person is thinking is by our spirit discerning their spirit. Like a flashlight into their being. Here is another Scripture to highlight this thought:

  • “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 20:27)

This could suggest that God uses our spirit to examine our heart, or that our spirit is a gift from the Lord to see the inward parts of others. Bottom line is that the spirit reveals the heart. Bringing us back to Hebrews 4:

  • ” . . . the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

To know our spirit is to know us. It is possible that the dividing point of soul and spirit described in the passage is what generates our thoughts. Put another way, our thoughts are nothing else but the ongoing discussion between soul and spirit documented earlier.

We can only know others – and specifically the Lord – through our spirit. A damaged spirit renders a person insensitive. While he is fully capable of reading physical data – words, facial expressions, body language – he cannot discern the thoughts and motives of others because we know them through our spirit. To highlight an example Bill gives, a man overcome by a spirit-damaging sin like pornography can easily become a child abuser, overcorrecting for rebellion and stubbornness when the child may be simply tired or confused. The father’s spirit has lost the ability to tell. The same man may well damage his marriage. Men often complain that their spouses are incomprehensible, since women will often say something verbally which is not what they mean, in some cases meaning exactly the opposite. It takes all the faculties a man has, specifically listening with his spirit instead of just processing her words with his mind, to navigate those treacherous rapids.

Here are verses that deal with that past tense settled, permanent salvation of our spirit:

  • “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:2)
  • “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” (Rom. 8:23-24, ESV)
  • “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Timothy 1:9)
  • “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

Eternal Security

Consider this verse:

  • “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9).

This provides the simplest explanation of “eternal security”, the inability of a saved person to ever be lost. If you can’t sin, you can’t lose your salvation. Strangely, however, the same author in the same book says that we all sin:

  • “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)

The only explanation is that the “new man”, the new creation based in the spirit, is incapable of sinning, while the “old man”, our old nature, based in the soul, has ongoing sin problems. As the “old man” is replaced with the “new man” as the latter grows, we will – practically – sin less and less. Bill highlights this in his diagram in the Basic Seminar on the “exchange” of the old heart with the new one.

  • “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Two beings, two personalities, two minds, two wills, two sets of emotions. Two souls in one body, an old and a new. James speaks of the ensuing battle:

  • “A double minded (δίψυχος dipsychos, literally “double-souled”) man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)

Our job is to see to it that the “old soul” gets weaker and weaker by being not fed, and that the “new soul” is able to reclaim all of the territory previously held by that old nature now officially “reckoned” dead.

The Spiritual Battle For the Soul

Like the physical world, the spiritual world is occupied by beings, beings with names and personalities and powers and shapes and capabilities. It is a literal world stranger and more wonderful than all the imaginations of philosophers and science fiction writers.
Angels live there:

  • “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” ( Hebrews 1:7)

So do Satan and his minions, demons, whole hierarchies of powerful creatures that we, stunningly, are supposed to wrestle and fight:

  • “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)

These weapons for this fight are not physical – or psychological, for that matter – but spiritual, obtained and wielded by our spirit:

  • “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [σαρκικός sarkikos, physical, of the body], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

We interact with spirits on a regular basis. They come knocking, visiting our subconscious being, making suggestions, teaching us facts and ways of thinking. Some are good, those of good men or the Holy Spirit or even other spirits under His control. Some are bad, trying to deceive us, get us to embrace lies so we will get entrapped in evil.

  • “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1)

Those spirits – and that includes the spirits of living men under satanic influence – can look like angels, godly men, full of glorious light:

  •  “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

So we need to be on our guard. When we hear ideas from the spirits of preachers or teachers, or when thoughts present themselves to us in our heart from that invisible world, we must challenge each one that is trying to pass the barrier between our spirit and our soul. To be more specific, not every thought that comes into our mind is our thought – some come from us, but some come from the Lord and some from the devil, planting ideas, whispering to our inner man. We need to interrogate every thought and only let it in if we can verify that it is ultimately sourced under the authority of Jesus. Again ” . . . bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). John says it most clearly:

  • “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3)

If we do not do this and indiscriminately let everything find a home in our heart, our soul, we run the real risk of giving the devil a piece of our mind, a piece of real estate inside us to operate from:

  • “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (τόπος topos, a “spot”) to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

The verses quoted imply, by the way, that when we are angry we lose control of our spirit for a time, a time when the Enemy can sneak some of his weapons past our defenses and set up shop. The guard was down for just for a few minutes, but there may be lifelong consequences. That fact was also highlighted by Solomon:

  • “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)

Bill has a powerful diagram on strongholds – castles – that Satan will set up in our soul, our mind if we let him. If we have failed and surrendered a piece of our soul to the devil in a fit of careless rage or other failure, we have authority to turn humbly to the Lord, confess our sin, and ask Him, in the name and based on the shed blood of Jesus, to reclaim surrendered ground. Perhaps this process – of the Lord stepping in to heal us, take back soul “territory” that was lost to the Enemy – is what David was referring to when he said:

  • “He restoreth my soul.” (Psalm 23:3)

Soul Life

The word psuche (or “psyche”), Greek for “soul”, is translated “life” many times in the NT. Examples:

  • “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life (psuche), what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life (psuche) more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matthew 6:25)

From this it is clear that our present life is intertwined fully with our “soul”. The soul is then the sum of our experiences, memories, emotions, dreams, plans for life, learning . . . relationships . . . personality. The “me” that others know. In this sense animals have souls, although they have no spirit.

The word for “soul” in Psalms 42:5 – “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” – is the Hebrew word “nephish”, clearly part of our invisible man. Same word used often for animals:

  • “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (soul, “nephish”) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:24)

The makeup of kingdoms of living things can be summarized as follows:

  • Human Kingdom – Body, Soul, Spirit
  • Animal Kingdom – Body, Soul
  • Plant Kingdom – Body

As such our present “soul” finds many aspects ending when this life ends:

  • “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life (soul, “psuche”) dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. ” (Acts 20:24)

Paul is telling us that he is willing to shed his hopes, dreams, ability to enjoy and influence this present life, build memories, relationships, all to see Jesus objectives furthered. He was willing to lose his soul in the context of this present life to gain Jesus approval. And this is exactly what Jesus says to us all:

  • “He that findeth his life (soul, “psuche”) shall lose it: and he that loseth his life (“psuche”) for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

To save our “psuche” life is to preserve our mind, memories, hopes, aspirations, relationships. All of our being which is built on things of this life will end, when life ends. Thus only that part of our soul that has been built on a life foundation that NEVER ends will survive. The preservation of our “soul” is then the transfer of our personality from being built on this sinful life to being built on eternal things, on the Savior and His Kingdom, plus those hopes, dreams, relationships, emotions that spring from that invisible reality.

What is clear from this is that, unlike our redemption from the penalty of sin when we received Christ, this salvation will take a lifetime to accomplish, and there is, unlike the first, no guarantee of complete success.

Paul speaks of a salvation that is guaranteed and one that may be lost in the following passage:

  • “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

There is a foundation, and that foundation is Jesus Christ. On this foundation each of us is constructing a house – our “soul house”, our life house. Note the multiple references to “work”, our work. We have the power to build materials in there that burn or that don’t burn – up to us. The house made up of mostly wood will be well occupied in this life, happy, comfortable, built with much less cost and effort than the poor soul next door that can only afford a relatively small shack of marble, gold and silver. One day, though, “The Fire” comes roaring through the neighborhood. The big wooden house gets destroyed – “lost” – while the small house next door goes on as though nothing happened.

Interestingly, though one house is “lost” and one “saved”, the owners are themselves both “saved”, although one “by fire”, meaning he lost everything. Of course this highlights the fact that all Christians will be in heaven, although those that lived only for this life will lose that “reward” which Paul mentions. What is that reward? I suspect it will be having a permanently better state in eternity. A bigger “soul”, perhaps?

Nobody will be sad in heaven, but perhaps some will be happier than others. By analogy, say four individuals are standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon: a fully sighted man, one who is “red-green” colorblind, one that is “blue-yellow” colorblind, and one who is fully colorblind, shades of gray. Which individual will be unhappy as they gaze across all that wonder? No one will be unhappy – all will be delighted, never forget it. Yet the more sighted ones know what the less capable ones are missing. Color IS an advantage . . . in this context, a reward.

This salvation of our soul, our “house”, is surely the salvation Paul had in mind when he said:

  • “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

Or when he asks us to to save ourselves and others:

  • “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

Or James when he similarly urges Christians to work on Bible memorization, knowledge to see their own souls saved:

  • “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21)

Here Paul actually refers to both phases of salvation:

  • “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10)

This is most plain. We were saved by Jesus, and because of this we are being saved by Jesus.

Present Continuous

Here are some more verses that highlight the continuing nature of the salvation of our soul. An explanation of Greek grammar will help. The Greek has a couple of different tenses to express the action of verbs:

  • “Aorist” or “Punctiliar” Tense: it happened, happens, will happen. Says nothing fancy, doesn’t mean “once for all” . . . just “happen”.
  • “Continuous” Tense: continued, ongoing motion. Was happening, is happening, will be happening. This precludes a conclusion, a terminus to the action.
  • “Combined” Tense: it happened, but with continuing results.

The important thing is that we need to add the sense of “-ing” to our English when “present continuous” tense is used in the Greek. With this as background, consider the following verses which contain “continuous” tensed verbs:

  • “(You are) receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9))
  • “But according as He who did call you [is] holy, ye also, become holy in all behaviour, because it hath been written, ‘Become ye holy, because I am holy;’” (1 Peter 1:15-16, Young’s Literal Translation)
  • “For the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us–those being saved–it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, YLT)
  • “But if within the sphere of the light we are habitually ordering our behavior as He himself is in the light, things in common and thus fellowship we [the believer and God] are having with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps continually cleansing us from every sin.” (Wuest’s translation of 1 John 1:7)

Such verses cause entire denominations to reject the permanency of salvation. Now it should be clear that these Scriptures simply focus on a different part of our being than the already permanently, fully saved part.

Work to Rest

Salvation is spoken of as “rest”, and by now we should all be expecting to find that rest expressed in phases, past, present, and future. The day we rested in Christ we, like the Children of Israel poised on the East side of Jordan, ready to enter the Promised Land, were given the irrevocable title deed to all the rest, the inheritance that God’s grace has bought for us. But the Israelites discovered that that which belonged to them still had to be “possessed”, fought for, subdued. There were enemies, even giants in the land. Before they could “rest” they had to “work”, and how much rest they enjoyed was largely determined on how effective the fight was. And this remains the lot of the believer in Jesus in exactly the same way:

  • “For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:8-11)

Unbelief will keep us from getting this practical job done. If we do not believe that “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6), we will circle our wagons around what we can see and “count on” in this life and live for the here and now. If we DO believe that He loves us and sees us and that “he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”, then we will “not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:7-9)

And is it not stunning that the conclusion of the Hebrews 4 discussion on labor and rest resolves into the discussion of the difference, the “dividing asunder of soul and spirit”. The Lord sees us as we are, notes the difference between what He created in us – the spirit resting in Jesus – and what we are practically where work remains to be done – a soul to be possessed. And He tells us to take courage and get busy so we not miss any of all that Jesus bought for us with his precious blood.

Resurrection of the Body

Last, and perhaps least, let’s focus on the salvation of the body. Our physical bodies need saving from the decay that sin has brought, but it is clear that this did not happen when we trusted Christ, nor is it happening now as we become more like Jesus. No, this is all in the future. The following lengthy passage is key to understanding this:

  • “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
  • There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
  • So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:35-45)

The current body is seen as a seed to be planted. When so done, the body will one day rise up just as the plant springs forth from the seed. And just like the seed the new thing emerging looks completely different from the seed that went into the ground. So much so that it is frankly impossible to predict exactly what you are going to get. Some large seeds produce low plants, like pumpkin seeds do. Sequoia Redwood seeds are tiny, yet “resurrect” into the largest trees on earth. Coconut seeds are large and produce a large tree, and so on. Each of us will have our future physical glory determined by God and unrelated in part, at least, to the size of the splash we make on earth with our spirit and soul.

It is also interesting to note that the character of the new body will be different, as required by the new environment it will be living in. He calls the current body “soulish” (natural), but that body will be “spiritual”. Our souls define our earthly life, as noted. There we will be living spiritual lives, forever.

Peter focuses on that future salvation, which gives us courage to live for the world to come as though nothing else matters . . . because it doesn’t:

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

And again, looking for future grace:

  • “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” (1 Peter 1:13)

That day will seal us forever as we are, all work of salvation ended. What is then will continue to be so, unchanged, forever and forever:

  • “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” (Revelation 22:11)

What a motivation to rest in Jesus for forgiveness of our sins, then to “get busy” and make sure we conquer all of our souls for Him, practically entering the rest of a life grounded on His daily help and promises. We are looking for that day when all work will cease, and we will be like Him and with Him through the endless ages of eternity, saved spirit, soul, and body.

Back to Bill

We have spent some time clarifying this particular perspective for the simple reason that failure to understand this division results in many wrong perspectives of all that Bill’s ministry has sought to do. The intensity with which God describes the expected effort on our part to see His will done in our soul, our “life” is expressed in the intensity and urgency of much of what Bill motivates for. His homeschooling program, the “Advanced Training Program”(ATI), is unparalleled in its intensity, discipline, expectations. Families rise before dawn to study the Scriptures to be “approved unto God”. Young children learn Greek, learn math and science from the Bible, many older ones eschew college and plug in to Christian service, all learn discipline in all areas of life. The seriousness with which this is pursued has led to the accusation that Bill is teaching “salvation by works”, of being preoccupied with gaining the favor of God by living a perfect life instead of by faith in Jesus.

From the preceding study we now know that though we are saved by faith to a salvation that is full and free and permanent, God expects us to then get suited up for an intense and consequential battle that we will engage in the rest of our lives. We are not raising our children to “make it” in this life. Instead we want to see them trust Christ as Savior, then to “save their souls”, their lives for Jesus, as well to train them to be highly effective foot soldiers in the battle of the Kingdom of God. They need to lay down their lives as necessary to gain treasures in heaven that no one can take away and that pay dividends forever. On the other hand a loss here exceeds the value of the entire world.

The clearest expression of the purpose of the ATI training program is found in a section of Scripture that is almost completely ignored by the modern church. While I can recall hearing a single message on this passage from any other preacher in my lifetime, it forms the cornerstone of ATI:

  • “And beside this, giving all diligence,
    add to your faith virtue;
    and to virtue knowledge;
    And to knowledge temperance(self control);
    and to temperance patience;
    and to patience godliness;
    And to godliness brotherly kindness;
    and to brotherly kindness charity (love)
    For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” (2 Peter 1:5-10)

On the surface this passage appears to fight everything that Evangelicals believe about salvation. But this no longer bothers us, right? We have learned that as long as we “slice it straight” a section like this that challenges our simple orthodoxy is our friend.

  • We hear “Faith plus nothing!” in order to please God. Yet this tells us “Faith plus Virtue plus Knowledge plus Self-Control plus Godliness plus Brotherly Kindness plus Love” pleases God.
  • We hear “You become godly by resting in Jesus, a gift!” Yet this says “Giving ALL diligence, add to your faith . . . Godliness”. The implication is that if we are not super focused, we will miss out on Virtue, Godliness, and Love.
  • We hear “God picked you, His love will never change”. Yet this says we must “give diligence” to make our “calling and election (choosing, selection) sure”. Implying we could lose His choice of us, the “election” we are to make sure.
  • It even suggests that if we do not climb on and keep climbing this ladder of character growth, we will actually forget that we were ever saved. A wasted life. Stalled growth = loss of everything, at least as far as our life is concerned.

So to fulfill this mandate Bill developed ATI. As an expression of this purpose every student will remember the “Faith Journal”, “Virtue Journal”, and “Knowledge Journal” which young people complete and then get recognized at one of the annual conferences.

Most parents drawn to the program are impressed with the Bible focus. Indeed, every aspect IS Bible with all other topics as “Unit Studies” springing from the verses being considered. Parents joining ATI are often burdened with the lateness of the hour, the nearness of eternity, the need to focus our lives exclusively on the objectives of the Savior in the time we have left. Thus they are drawn to a training program which is a “boot camp” for future soldiers, trained from birth for one purpose, and one purpose only. This discipline objective is clearly taught in Scripture:

  • “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3)

Now, some young people going through such training have grown up to rebel against the purpose ATI was created for. I recall a recent article by a disgruntled ex-ATI student called, “Stolen Dreams”. It was the cry of some coming out of ATI who felt themselves unprepared to be successful in life, unable to see their dreams realized. Instead those dreams were stolen, as they saw it, by the misguided objectives of their parents through wasted years in ATI.

To apply what we learned here, young people were being trained to “lose their life (soul)”, but, leaving this objective, now are seeking desperately to make up for lost time and “save their life (soul)”. I get it and they are right; ATI is designed the other way, to lose our own dreams to see Jesus objectives fulfilled. Like the Israelites of old, having not seen the “promised land”, they weary of the desert and just want to get back to normal life in Egypt.

I doubt any ATI parent feels they have done it all right; some of us have felt like total failures at times. But the conviction remains that the regret felt now over “Stolen Dreams” of the soul will pale to insignificance compared to the regret felt when standing before Jesus sometime in the next few years, looking at ashes left from the wooden delights of this life with few precious things actually laid up in heaven. It is so worth the effort.

Each of us must decide what values we will pursue, what materials we will use in building our house, be that our own life or the “house” which is our family. Maybe ATI will be part of that for you as it is for some of us. Regardless, we hope we all are now very aware that it is not the start that matters, and definitely not the trials of the middle of the race, but the end of the course that matters so incredibly much. Bill has lead the way in encouraging us to lay down our souls for Jesus so we may recover them to life eternal. Perhaps a few more will catch the vision, and come along.

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121 Comments

  1. rob war rob war
    November 1, 2015    

    If this is what Bill is teaching, you are falling into the heresy of modalism and well as a host of others. The overriding attitude is that for 2000 years, “churches” have gotten it wrong and it takes Bill Gothard to straighten it out. I’m not sure if you realize what you are really saying which is the same thing that a number of heretics and false teachers have done through the centuries, which is everyone has gotten it wrong or teaching it incorrectly and now I’m on the scene to set the record straight. If Bill attempted to “divide” the understanding of the trinity and then extrapolate it into making man a triapate being like God that has conflicts between spirit, soul and body then you are implying that God has conflicts too. Do you really realize what you are saying here? Didn’t Bill ever check or investigate what previous priests, bishops and theologian have discussed and harshed out in the first 800 years of Christianity or was it all lost until Bill came along? If your back up is that Bill is not a “theologian”, you are incorrect here because Bill is a theologian and went not just to Wheaton college with a BS and Masters degree but a Dr of theology.

  2. Moderator Moderator
    November 1, 2015    

    This article cited many Scriptures as a basis for the positions taken. It probably would be good to direct your attention to them, first of all. At whatever point the opinions of even a majority of theologians take precedence over the words of Scripture, we are in trouble.

    And you are likely aware that, even as highlighted in the section, theologians are divided into a variety of camps on understanding this vital topic. We believe this to be the correct interpretation, and so have highlighted and supported it.

    And to be clear, Bill had no input on this particular piece. It was sent to him, but he never commented on it.

    • rob war rob war
      November 1, 2015    

      Then how do you really know that your position is correct if all the others are likewise quoting scripture and following sola scriptura? Your quotes from scripture don’t support your position any more than what you are saying that the Bible doesn’t support the other ideas and teaching in this area.

      • Moderator Moderator
        November 1, 2015    

        That would be answered in the article.

        “13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:for they are foolishness unto him:neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2)

        Not everyone who is “sola scriptura” or quotes the same has the “mind of Christ”. Jesus does not have two minds, just one. There are not many interpretations . . . there is just one. So our job is to submit our minds to the Holy Spirit so we can correctly discern that mind with our spirit. Those that do so will start thinking alike. “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Phil. 2) Paul is so focused on this that he says “one mind” basically twice.

        Theological degrees and study of original languages and the sacred writings of others appeals to the the soul. While there is a place for that, “knowledge puffs up” (1 Cor. 8:1), explaining why there are so many proud theologians. Makes a person “soulish”, natural. It is a dangerous trap. This article explains the reasons for this.

        • Karen Karen
          November 11, 2015    

          It’s interesting that in 1 Corinthians 2 St Paul says, “but *we* have the mind of Christ”, in context meaning himself together with the other apostles, presbyters, deacons and members of the Church as a unified corporate entity with Christ as its Head. He does not say, “but *I* have the mind of Christ, because the Spirit gives me new revelation as an individual believer.” Accordingly, it has been historically understood within the Church that only those ordained within the Church in succession from the Apostles and who maintain their relationship as faithful members within those communities and with its teaching handed down can expect the Holy Spirit to guide them as a corporate group such that they may authoritatively pronounuce true doctrine (i.e., true interpretation of Scripture) where confusion has been sown. This is why when public heresies such as Arianism arose and were promoted by errant bishops, the bishops met in council together (after the pattern given in Acts 15) to listen to arguments pro and con the Arian position and trust God to give them discernment of the truth as they prayerfully searched the Scriptures *together.* In this way, the truth of Christ’s full Deity was preserved for posterity through the Nicene Creed as being true to the revelation of Jesus Christ vs. Arianism. The Arian heresy persists to the present day, however, in groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, showing that those severed from the historic Christian tradition can easily read Scriptures through their own erroneous presuppositions and come up with a wrong interpretation.

          Aside from the fact that it is unsupportable based on its own presupposition, “Sola Scriptura” as a doctrine has shown itself to be a misnomer even in the mouths of its most ardent supporters: in practical application, it is always “the Scriptures as interpreted by some individual or some group”, who may or may not be proven to have been led of the Holy Spirit in their interpretation. Apparently, those ignorant of historic Christian doctrinal history are frequently doomed to repeat its mistakes!

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 11, 2015    

            Thank you for the comment, Karen. I do not see the need to restrict the “we” beyond the group of “all believers”. If you have a specific reason from the passage for doing so, please present it. We would see it to be the same “we” as in this preceding verse:

            1 Corinthians 2:12

            “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”

          • Karen Karen
            November 11, 2015    

            I was pointing out that “all believers” here has a concrete historic context that excludes self-appointed Bible teachers not accountable to the Apostles and the presbyters appointed by them (and, by extension, those ordained in succession from them who hold to the same faith and practice), and it excluded those professing a “Christ” and/or a “gospel” not in line with the fully apostolic practices and teaching (much of which was passed on orally and only part of which was eventually recorded in the New Testament). This “traditioning” of Christian faith and practice within a living community means we can’t properly understand the Scripture’s teachings apart from seeing how they were applied and understood by the earliest Christian communities (which requires a) that we are in a present day community of believers that has a concrete, historic continuity of faith and practice with those early communities or b) we do some serious research using sources available (much more abundant today than for most of the past millennium thanks to continuing archeological and historic research) into how the faith was taught and practiced in continuity from the time of the early church through the church of the martyrs and beyond in those first few centuries A.D.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 11, 2015    

            We would respectfully disagree. “Believers” are those indwelled by the living Holy Spirit as a result of the “new birth” at salvation. That new creation, “new man” thinks like God does, which is why the believer, walking in the “Spirit”, judges all things, yet can be judged of no-one. The pitfall for the believer remains the “old man”, the unregenerated individual that is supposed to be dead, but still lurches around, grabbing the controls (we need a Christian version of “Inside Out” to show all that visually). When we die, the “old man” will vaporize leaving only the new being created to be and look like Jesus behind.

            You appear to come from a church tradition that weighs “apostolic succession” and such heavily, something we simply do not find in Scripture.

        • rob war rob war
          November 11, 2015    

          You cannot support your claim, even from scripture that there is “one” interpretation. The Bible supports a number of interpretations and often times there is even overlap in them. There are allegory, topology, literal or face value all over the place. There is no support whatsoever for the “one” interpretation view that Bill has used as his hallmark of his teaching. Bill’s ideas and interpretation are not found in the earliest Christian writings, they are not found in Catholic and Orthodox teaching and they are not found even with the early Protestant reformers. Likewise, you can’t back up your claim that if we were just “lead by the Spirit”, one would read the Bible and come to the same conclusions that Bill has had with his “one” interpretation. If you use that secondary argument, then you are implying that Catholic, Orthodox and early Protestant reformers are all wrong and Bill is the correct one.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 12, 2015    

            2 Peter 1:20-21

            “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

            No private interpretations, just one, the original. One guy wrote it:

            “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

            No, they are not all right. In fact, most are wrong. The way to life is so very narrow . . . No big tent . . . Very few find their way in.

  3. Karen Karen
    November 12, 2015    

    There is nothing in how you are interpreting and applying what the Apostle Paul says here about himself and the community of believers he is addressing that is not completely subjective and the product of circular reasoning–unless you relate it to what the historic Church I described has always believed and taught. You choose not to do that, and I am telling you that by the authority of the same Apostle Paul you quote (2 Thessalonians 2:15 & 3:6, Galatians 1:8, etc.), I am obligated to deny your interpretation has any authority for a true Christian today whatsoever. Saying the Holy Spirit has inspired your interpretation does not make it so.

  4. Carol Carol
    November 12, 2015    

    “2 Peter 1:20-21
    “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
    No private interpretations, just one, the original. One guy wrote it:
    “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
    No, they are not all right. In fact, most are wrong. The way to life is so very narrow . . . No big tent . . . Very few find their way in.”

    I would also agree that on many teaching from Bill there are different understandings of the scriptures he used to support his “principles”. To say that any understanding other than Bill’s is not the “original” or “Right” interpretation seems very egotistical on Bill’s or your part. Any church that would teach the same idea and have their pastor or religious leader be the one who is giving this “true or new revelation” would also be categorized the same.
    I saw this as my family traveled and we were hosted by many different churches. By Bill’s teachings on music they were sinners from Hell because they were calling up demons by their praise music, they would have no success in their businesses and their families would be attacked by Satan because the young people were listening to CCM music everyday as they went to public school. Yet what I saw were people deeply in love with the Lord who were praising Him with their whole heart. Their lives were full of scripture and works that showed evidence of their relationship with Christ as is written about in James. Seeing this is what started my journey into seeking what the bible really says about all these things I was told were the only right way to live a “Godly and Christ pleasing life”. I don’t have to conform to one man’s view of a “Godly life” to be pleasing to the Lord! (this is my testimony!)

    But for his teachings to be completely followed there must be instruction like this (only one “true understanding” of a passage and that is only from the one who is giving the teaching) to dissuade followers from questioning one set of understanding of any scripture used. I am not bashing Bill just stating my opinion and view on this subject.

    There are many God loving, Jesus following, Love showing Christians who don’t follow Bill’s “principles” and they are not looked down on by God. Their fruit is evident and the aroma is pleasing to the Lord. They will be going to heaven and they are living a life that points others to Christ and His work on the Cross. My life can cause others to seek the lord and I don’t have to do what Bill says is the “right” way to live. The Holy Spirit is living in me and I live my life knowing that and showing God’s love to others.

    You are always right in pointing others to read and seek out the Lord in His scripture but if you tell them that one man or teacher has the ultimate understanding of all those scriptures and that have to have all his books and publications to truly know and follow the word of the Lord is wrong and almost setting that teacher up as a God which is very much against scripture. We don’t have to agree on all biblical subjects but I will not sit and let others be pulled into teachings from a man who would try to say he has the only “true” understanding of God’s word.
    Thank you

    • Moderator Moderator
      November 12, 2015    

      “To say that any understanding other than Bill’s is not the “original” or “Right” interpretation seems very egotistical on Bill’s or your part. ”

      Yes, I get that. And just for the record, if Bill claims God’s authority for declaring CCM evil he is stepping outside of his role. That is not where we are going with this. Bill is not the standard we are shooting for. Rather, he represents a consideration of Scripture that is correct in use, purpose, practice. If he meditates on Scripture and obtains an insight he presents it to others who, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, like the Bereans, search it out to see if it is so. The test is without consideration to whether it “works”, or how many other folks teach the same thing.

      The key is that EVERY believer is on an equal footing in this respect. Clearly, some are more mature than others . . . and as they speak the Holy Spirit will witness to spirits of others, in harmony with Scripture, that this is the truth. That was the great appeal of Bill in his seminars in the decades gone by. Simple believers immediately recognized the Voice of the Shepherd, the Author of Scripture in the things being presented. They embraced it and followed it . . . following Jesus, or at least that was the purpose. Some followed Bill, bad mistake. The difference is shown when things get rough and the “thing” embraced starts to look like a big mistake. Those that followed Bill bail and blame him . . . those that followed Jesus drop back to what He told them . . . and get the energy to see it through.

      • Carol Carol
        November 12, 2015    

        I am sorry but I beg to differ on this issue. Those who came to his seminars and desired to be a part of his programs were drawn to Bill’s teachings on scripture. That is why they followed him. As so many people have documented and shared better than I can, those that would challenge Bill’s teachings with scripture are met with comments like, It’s not “Bill it’s God’s word”. Or, “Bill is just using scripture so if you don’t agree you must be rebelling from the Lord”. That is basically saying, without using the exact words, that Bill is the only one who can tell you what these bible verses mean and if you don’t agree it’s God you are disagreeing with. Parents around this country were told that following these 7 basic principles would bring results, Godly children. It would bring harmony to their home life and business. Even now as he tries to rebuild a following he is touting “total success”. I won’t go into the whole prosperity gospel thing here which this is soo close to being in the same category, but he has to give a reason to follow his particular teachings or there is none who will. There has to be incentive so he has to show that his way is the “best way” the only right way to please the Lord. These loving families thought they were following the Lord but were following the teachings of a man who made claims for the results that they honestly were seeking for. My parent’s had every good and Godly intent to try and keep us close to the Lord. They felt that the results being spoken of were what they wanted for their children. Because of that they fell in line with the request that all girls wear skirts at all times that came down almost to their ankles. They had to commit to getting all of us up at 5 am so we could have a bible study before my father had to go to work, all these things that were taught by Bill, through his curriculum and employees, were taught as being the actions that would bring the results (Godly children and family) promised. Did he have a verse for every point he made? Yes. Did that make it the “right” way to understand that scripture? Not necessarily but he had to have them believe that it was or his teachings have no reason to be followed. I don’t mean to keep going on but I hope you see what I am saying.

        Ask Tim J about the whole music thing and he will attest to what Bill teaches as he follows it hook line and sinker. It was touted as the reason teens would fall away from the Lord and the story of how the missionary was asked by a tribal person why they were summoning spirits when they came back to the mission filed with CCM music. I am sure I don’t have to remind you about the basic seminar as you have been to way more of them than me. Bill’s teachings with IBLP were not drawing people to Love the Lord they were drawing people into a promise of results with his appropriate teachings being followed. That is my main point in all of this. And from what is on his current site the same method is being used again, a promise of success if you just follow these simple steps. I don’t even understand success in what? Everything? We all know that is not true, the only person who was a success at everything was Christ.

        • Moderator Moderator
          November 14, 2015    

          “I don’t even understand success in what? Everything? We all know that is not true, the only person who was a success at everything was Christ.”

          What do you make of this? Seems fairly unqualified . . . “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:3)

          “Parents around this country were told that following these 7 basic principles would bring results, Godly children. It would bring harmony to their home life and business.”

          That SOUNDS a lot like what we are promised about salvation in general . . . Jesus and His wonderful plan for our lives . . . About His servants and their households always ending up on top, glory . . . Blessing. Following your logic, a lot of folks are bailing on Jesus for the same reasons. Saw one on RG just recently . . . Laughing at those of you that are so violent in jettising Bill and his promises yet see no irony in not doing the same with Jesus. How do you respond to that?

          • rob war rob war
            November 18, 2015    

            Bill’s teaching which he claims if one follows will give that person “success” in their life which usually implies financial success. This is very similar and close to the Word of Faith/prosperity Gospel teachers that promote the same sort of ideas. But both them and Bill call success on material terms. The “abundant” life that the Bible does mention isn’t defined as material things. Even Bill’s new name was changed from prayer to power. It’s all about power to Bill. It isn’t about having a relationship with a loving God as one’s Father. It’s about what God will do for me and if one follows Bill’s principals and rule, then they will have success, power etc etc etc. The property people have the same message, if one just names it, claims it, you will have success in material things. There use to be a video on IBLP web site called One Accord. In the video, Bill open with the line that people will follow the God they think is most powerful. That is an incredible admission. So according to Bill, people don’t turn to God because of love, truth, forgiveness, emptiness, they follow God because of power that God will give them. This is so contrary to 2000 years of Christian teaching. Only in America, does one find this sort of teaching.

          • Carol Carol
            November 18, 2015    

            Seems like you are again putting Bill in the same position as God.
            “That SOUNDS a lot like what we are promised about salvation in general” – NO. Salvation doesn’t promise complete success in all I do because I have it. It promises life eternal with Christ and Complete forgiveness of my sins that is needed for that life. He does talk about following him and Love your neighbor as yourself. And in those times he doesn’t say so that you will be a success or that you will get anything. He is letting us know that if we do these things it is showing that we Love him and want to follow him. (our actions show our faith as in all of the book of James )He is not making a promise of prosperity.

            ” Laughing at those of you that are so violent in jettising Bill and his promises yet see no irony in not doing the same with Jesus. How do you respond to that?” Bill is not God! He can say what he wants but he can’t promise that if someone just does what he has laid out that all will go well and that they will have “success” in all areas of their life. God can make promises and Fulfill them at his will. Bill can’t. I am not here trying to put anyone down but I am trying to point out that God is the one who will choose to bless and when, even the Israelite’s thought they knew what God’s plan was but they were wrong. To try and teach that everything going well with me is because I have followed a list of dos and don’ts just the way the “Bible” says and that if you don’t have success and children who follow God, or a failed marriage is because you didn’t follow the 7 steps right and you have hidden sin is just not seen in scripture. Maybe you can please outline where you can see this plainly laid out for all of us? I am sure you would use everything Bill has taught. Can you find anything other than what comes from IBLP and it’s teachings to show that this is what the bible is trying to get all of us to see?
            I am so glad I am free of judging others based on their circumstances. I did this all the time as a teen and young adult because we had to help those people see what hidden sin was still in their hearts or maybe they had troll dolls and rock music in their house that was hindering their “success” since we could all see that they were not having success in their life.
            Can you see where I am going with this? I am doing my best to make my point in a clear yet respectful manor and I hope that is coming across but from your comments and responses it seems like you and Bill are very close to the prosperity Gospel teachings and I just don’t see that in scripture.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 19, 2015    

            Rob and Carol: I quoted a Scripture that if we do this “thing”, EVERYTHING we do will prosper. Stunning statement, is it not? The responses seemed to imply that does not matter. Please address this before moving along.

            Obedience and things going “well” with us are clearly linked . . . in fact, based on OT law that is presented in the NT as fact:

            “2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Eph. 6)

            See, Scripture DOES say exactly what Bill is repeating. Keep the commandments and you will live long and things will go well for you.

            And, yes, we all follow the God we think is the most powerful. The Jesus told us – His friends – that this was exactly the motivation we are to have:

            “4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12)

  5. rob war rob war
    November 12, 2015    

    I have no clue why you are quoting St. Peter and his comment about “private” interpretation of scripture. That verse would certainly fly in the face of receiving “rhemas” as Bill is promoting in his new ministry. The Bill’s interpretation of scripture is “private”, not official with any type of established Church. That is what St. Peter is referring to, not that there is “one” interpretation.

    • Moderator Moderator
      November 12, 2015    

      The “private” interpretation is every man’s opinion . . . and that includes, I suppose, Bill’s as well as any of the ecclesiastical fathers you favor. The interpretation is only valid if it matches what the Author of that passage meant. It is as simple as that. To discern that you need the “mind of the Author”, also known as “the mind of Christ”. THAT is the goal for each of us, not spending immense amounts of time pondering how many authorities and of what importance line up on this side or that. So . . . since I included Bill in the list of people unqualified to offer up a “private” interpretation, are you understanding a tad more where I am coming from? It still remains that the “one mind”, the “group think” that is the result of actually having the One Holy Spirit indwelling and directing us is the goal God is after. And those that have it will find others that also have it . . . for they have the “mind of Christ”.

      • rob war rob war
        November 12, 2015    

        One discerns the mind of the author by reading those early Church Fathers that were direct disciples of the apostles and then their disciples after them. It has nothing to do with trying to figure out in modern thinking and times what the original intent of the apostles were and those that authored the Bible adn then come up with some mystical “mind of Christ” and then turn around and claim that was the original intent.

        • Moderator Moderator
          November 13, 2015    

          Now that would be true if that mind of God was understood by the mind, the soul. In that case a secular scholar with right resources could process through that intent. But it is not – it is not “soulish” but “spiritually discerned”. The spirit, we read, cannot be understood by the unsaved, un-reborn – but like the wind is unintelligible.

          John 3:8

          The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

          • rob war rob war
            November 13, 2015    

            You are not at all giving answers that are addressing any of my questions. It is not a matter of secular scholars digging through old documents from the first 800 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. The writings and teaching of the earliest disciples are readily available to all to read and one can see by reading them that Bill’s teaching does not at all line up with what the early Church taught. Your view that this is all due to secular scholars shows bias and false assumptions which hide the truth. This has nothing to do with secular scholars. Bill often refers many times in his teaching to “1st Century” Christians but he is nothing near what “1st Century” Christianity really is and taught. He is playing up on fantasies not reality to impress the gullible that have no clue here.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 13, 2015    

            “Bill’s teaching does not at all line up with what the early Church taught” I just have to disagree with you. But perhaps you want to elaborate briefly on what you mean. I don’t want to sully the thread by diverging to far. Regardless, this topic involves HOW we correctly understand the Mind of Christ, vs. what conclusions we are led to. You are so mistaken in alleging that we have the writings and teachings “readily available” from those early disciples and apostles. You readily acknowledge that we have not a single word that they wrote, being reduced to hundreds of years of copying for the earliest we have. We have literally about a dozen literal words of Jesus even recorded (He preached in Aramaic, not Greek), and that again through the Xerox machine of repeated copies. We feel good about what we think was said, but who knows?

            I took a NT course at a Christian University the first semester I was there. It was an unhappy experience. You see, with the principles of lower but especially higher criticism the “experts” we were studying concluded that we could not in good conscience believe that ANY Gospel was in fact a single document authored by a Matthew, Mark, Luke or John – all of them varying forms of oral tradition handed down, then written down by some scribe hundreds if not thousands of years after actual events . . . happily SOME of Paul’s writings were deemed authentic, although not all. These were the smart ones, the ones you presumably trust to “lead you into all truth”.

            Contrast this is a living Holy Spirit that indwells the believer . . . today. Today, the very Author of all of that sits next to a child of God and begins to teach him or her what He said and meant. There is no delay, there is no confusion, He speaks, we hear Him. See the point? How much superior is that to all of the research on dusty old manuscripts and opinions of all kinds of imperfect people. THAT is how we know the Scriptures – the rest is just varying degrees of conjecture.

          • rob war rob war
            November 14, 2015    

            Really? It is not too hard at all and there are a number of great books out there that summarize what was taught in the early Church and anyone can easily get and read and if one does, it isn’t hard to see that there is nothing that Bill Gothard teaches found there. The Didicade is one of the earliest books, written during the apostles times and it is a quick read and it definately does not teach things like “umbrella of protection” and all the rest. Now you want to because of some “bad” experience in some college course down play even trying to look at and understand early Christianity, then all you have done is painted yourself in a corner because all this material is easily gotten on a kindle and is readily available for anyone to read. Your phony anti-intellectualism is blowing smoke. I would suggest to you to get “Against Heresies” by St. Iraneaus, The Didicade, “Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin, The Four Witnessess” etc. If you have caused yourself due to some “bad” experience in some college class years ago to isolate yourself then all you have done is hurt yourself do to it.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 15, 2015    

            So let’s ponder Didicade for a minute. At http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/didache.html I read this:

            “Since it was discovered in a monastery in Constantinople and published by P. Bryennios in 1883, the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles has continued to be one of the most disputed of early Christian texts.”

            Most disputed?! And this is the sort of thing that you consider a solid rock on which to build your understanding of Scripture? Instead of countering my point, you just made it. I need a ROCK to base my faith on. The LIVING Word of God, God breathed, literally breathing as we read it, enlightened by the Author will do that for me. Those whose faith is based on dusty manuscripts have old, cracked, dusty faith, if it may even be called faith. Since faith is always in a person, trusting a person, instead of what is believed as a result of that person. In the case of the dusty manuscripts, your faith is in the scholars that provide it to you and give you analysis on what they think it means.

          • rob war rob war
            November 16, 2015    

            The web site you have just quoted is run by a Gnostic and it features gnostic material and puts them on equal footing with the Bible and then blends them altogether. If this is what you are using as your reference, you haven’t done your homework well because you had to turn to a committed gnostic to find questions about it authenticity. The rock of the Bible that you profess to follow so much and feel that Bill is most true to in his teachings cannon was not finalized until 397 AD. It’s sad that you had to turn to such a web site because then you can turn around and question a number of accepted early works by non-heretical Church Fathers. Didicade is accepted by Orthodox and Catholic as being authentic and is not gnostic.

      • Moderator Moderator
        November 16, 2015    

        This is sort of a “smear campaign”, right, trying to link a muted confidence in the Didache with that awful “Gnosticism” we all hate but hardly can define? The quote I lifted out was from Jonathan Draper, “70th Dean of Exeter in the Church of England”. Don’t know anything about him other than that he appears to be a scholar well regarded in the Church of England. Is he a “gnostic”? Are you then denying that good people disagree on the authenticity let alone the dating of this writing? I am not a complete idiot on ancient writings . . . I think you are not being honest with your professed confidence. I mean, evolutionary scientists have so little to work with in ascertaining that happened millions of years ago, lots of conjectures, theories, disagreements . . . to the point that paleontologist Collin Patterson chalkengesd his colleagues in an address back in 1981 (http://www.arn.org/docs/odesign/od171/colpat171.htm) to tell him one thing about evolution they knew to be true. The fact is that very little of the foundation of evolution is agreed upon by the experts, interpreting the ancient record . . . Yet they all – including Patterson – profess confidence in the conclusions. Just like you are doing . . . Very little is known about sources that you cite, almost nothing is universally accepted by qualified people. You end up “taking it by faith”, I guess, faith that most experts didn’t mess up.

        Vs. my attestation that the Author of the now destroyed autographs is telling me what He said. If what I profess is true, that is so much, worlds better than what you are trying to rely on. I have backed it up with Scripture itself, the Bible telling us how to understand what God said. I find nothing about church fathers and dusty manuscripts in there . . . Do you? You made that part up, I allege.

        Point out the error of my ways.

        • rob war rob war
          November 18, 2015    

          When someone mixes in a list a number of gnostic writings which this person did do as equal to or on par with accepted authentic Christian works, not making a distinction then they are promoting heresies and errors that have already been condemned. You are probably not aware but there are a number of progressive Christians, especially found in the Anglican Church that want to push for and include previous rejected heretical writings. I think your motive was to question the authenticity of the Didiache. That is just one early work I mentioned but your so called proof was to use someone that promotes gnostic and rejected writings along with accepted orthodox Christian writings. Can’t have it both ways.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 19, 2015    

            There, now . . . let’s focus on “orthodox Christian writings”. How do you know something is “orthodox”, valid? Is it by the consensus of people you like, theology you prefer, or is it somehow objective? Catholic, “Orthodox” scholars come up with a list that is very different from my list. Their brains are no better than mine, although you might suggest that their sources are better. But I can find plenty of scholars who support my “orthodoxy” based on a knowledge of available sources.

            I allege that the Holy Spirit is the ONLY objective means of establishing “orthodox”. He has only one (1) opinion on what the passage He wrote means . . . and, from Scripture, it is clear that He communicates that to us provided that we are “spiritual” and not “carnal” or “natural” (soulish).

          • rob war rob war
            November 20, 2015    

            You again want to appeal to the Holy Spirit but fail to recognize that the Holy Spirit already spoke through early Church leadership and counsels and it was those early Church leadership and counsels that determined what is heretical and what is true, what constitute the canon of scripture that you claim to love so much, trinity, dual nature of Christ (fully God and fully man) trinity etc etc etc. Whatever so called list you think is correct and “lead” by the Spirit is blowing smoke and nonsense.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 21, 2015    

            Whatever the Holy Spirit revealed to early believers He will continue to reveal to His children alive today. Such doctrines of truth come straight out of Scripture. That is the beauty of the priesthood of all Christians that has NOTHING to do with inherited grace or wisdom . . . a priesthood sort of like “Melchisedec” that goes straight up to Jesus without anyone else in between for every believer.

            “20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” (1 John 2)

  6. Dan Dan
    December 12, 2015    

    You have asked:

    How do you reply to the implication in the section that we can lose our calling and election . . . and that if we work really hard, we will never fall? Here it is again:
    “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” (2 Peter 1:10)

    My simple response to your question is this: no I do not believe that I or anyone else can “loose” my salvation. I fall back on the statement of Jesus in John’s Gospel:
    “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

    This being said there are a couple of issues that I see:
    1) If someone does fall away or walk away from Jesus were they ever “saved” in the first place. Frankly, this is a little above my pay grade so I am happy to leave this on in the hands of Jesus to decide.
    2) The verse in 2 Peter 1 does suggest that someone can “loose” their salvation, so what do we do with that? First there are plenty of people who use this as a proof text for belief that we can “loose” our salvation. Our Armenian brothers are in this camp. My counter is that 2 Peter (see chapter 2) is in part a warning of false teachers who will lead this specific flock astray. Chapter 2 suggests that this was on Peter’s mind as he wrote this letter. As such, the “working hard” that you refer to is not so much about salvation but about the here and now. Some suggest, and I think they have a valid point, is that the emphasis is on me, making my election sure, for my own way of thinking rather than making my election sure from God’s view point and my place with Him in eternity.

    Given what Peter says in chapter 2 about false teachers, I cannot say I know with absolute conviction exactly where the boundaries are that define a false teacher. There are plenty of characteristics that we can talk about but identifying a false teacher as if he or she were standing in a police lineup would probably be impossible. My sense is that a false teacher is one that looks good, sounds good, but one has to be very careful about following them because they can so easily manipulate people and truth to their own purposes. I am not going to declare Bill a “false teacher” in the sense that Peter would identify him as such. However, I think he walks right up to that line and looks over the edge.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 12, 2015    

      So what do you feel about the different phases of salvation, that we can “lose” one but not the other? “Saved” can be “Saved so as by fire”, life saved, life work – that “house” – lost? The word “soul” is translated “life” quite often . . . and we can most definitely lose that, in fact, we are commanded to do so. A godly, required way to “lose” our “soul” . . . and, based on other verses, something that we will also lose involuntarily if we do not diligently work to “make our calling and election sure”.

      Bottom line, I agree with your statement. I believe in “eternal security” without reservation. I just want to see if you accept at least part of the understanding put forward here which puts some teeth into our responsibilities as believers, that things we still are able to lose are serious, things that will make us cry when we stand before him just prior to entering eternal bliss.

      • dan dan
        December 12, 2015    

        I think we need to separate two factors: 1) salvation and 2) sanctification. Most of us accept the requirement of grace for salvation. Sort of seems pretty basic. To be accepted into an eternal relationship with the god of the universe seems just a little too far for most of us to reach by ourselves. Sanctification, however is a different matter. There are a whole lot of us that effectively tell God, “no worries here mate, I’ve got this part covered”. And God responds back “how is that working for you?”

        Having said this, I have no problem believing that I do have a responsibility for my sanctification. However, I also believe that God is still far more capable of transforming my life than anything I can do on my own. Since you seem to like 2 Peter, let’s use his own words: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”. There is a photo that I use a lot for an illustration. It is of an infant holding onto the finger of an adult while the adult is holding the finger of the infant. From the child’s point of view she is hold his hand. But in reality, the adult is the one that provides the strength and is doing the heavy lifting. So who holds who? They both do.

        So that is what I think, somehow I have a feeling there is a sermon coming my way.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 12, 2015    

          Nah, no sermon. What you call “sanctification” the Scriptures use the term “salvation” for, repeatedly. Just a different part of our being, our mind, will, emotions, our earthly “life” in the psychological sense, dreams, hopes, aspirations . . .

          He holds us, thus we hold Him. Just the same, there are clear responsibilities that we have . . . including a forceful “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. That is not relaxing, “let go and let God”, right? At least not immediately, maybe not until we pass into Eternity. Else . . . why the trembling? What are we afraid of? We have slipped into a “flowery beds of ease” scenario, call it “grace”, and then wonder why we, sons of the living God, end up with debilitating problems that shred us, our families, our churches, our nation.

          • Dan Dan
            December 13, 2015    

            Just what are these responsibilities and how do you execute them… if I may ask?

            Your statement about “let go and let God” I think is a reference to cheap and easy grace. Cheap grace we generally understand as sin, do what you want, and let grace cover it all. I think most of us would agree that this is no grace at all.

            While I have no idea where the saying came from, nor does anyone else, it is most quoted in the context of 12 step programs. I am very confident that anyone involved with these programs would strongly disagree with your assessment. In this context “letting go and letting God” is the idea that some hurts are just to painful and the impact so great that we cannot, on our own, heal the wound and put the mess back together. For example, for a few years I was part of a team that took a 12 step program into a local prison. The guys we worked with understood this phrase to be anything but an all out total trust in a sovereign God. For the most part, they were in prison because they as the abused, become the abuser. While in prison all support systems – family, church, community, society, everything- had abandoned them. They had one last “friend” who could help – Jesus Christ. They clearly recognized that He was their last and only support for hope and healing. So when they “let go and let God” they are articulating absolute trust. Frankly, most of us on the outside should do more of … letting go and letting God.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            “Just what are these responsibilities and how do you execute them… if I may ask?”

            Let’s start there:

            “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13-14)

            We are responsible to work out our own salvation. Imperative. Like 1 Peter 1:16, “Be(come – present continuous) ye holy, even as I am holy”. God has set the standard, we are to “give all diligence”, get busy and add to our faith virtue . . . and to virtue knowledge . . . and so forth. So . . . if that is the task, the responsibility, then let’s do it. Sounds like a fight, sounds like it will take effort, skill . . . how do you read it?

            “Let go and let God” can be a very good thing or a very bad thing. When quoted in a context where God has an action item for us, it could be an expression of irresponsibility, failure to engage our will, our faculties to see it done. Or, it could be expecting to find the grace we need from God to do the impossible. Noah had a mandate and resources . . . but he still had to build it. The “it” is our practical salvation, sanctification, our “state” if you will . . . our “standing” is settled in heaven through the cross and cannot be added to or subtracted from.

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            Thank you, however I was hoping for something a little more personal to my question of “Just what are these responsibilities and how do you execute them… ” I am fine with “this is none of your business” but please don’t quote me chapter and verse. I’ve read these already. I am interested in your own application.

            You write: So . . . if that is the task, the responsibility, then let’s do it. Sounds like a fight, sounds like it will take effort, skill . . . how do you read it?

            Yes, clearly scripture does give me responsibilities. I certainly have a role to play in my sanctification. However, were does my ability to participate come from? Read the text of which you quote: 2 Peter 1:3-4: 3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

            Paul echos the same sentiment in Phil 1 (your quote of chapter 2 follows): He who began a good work in you will perfect it….

            Paul also echos the same idea in Romans 7: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

            So yes, I do have responsibility but it is abundantly clear that my ability to carry out my responsibilities is also of Him. This too is grace.

            Finally, every time you quote Paul in his letter to the Philippians – “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”, you seem to put a period at the end. There is none. The rest of the sentence confirms exactly what Paul and Peter both say… “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

            As I have said in earlier comments, it does no good to extract a single verse out from the surrounding context unless you want the text to say what you want it to say. Extract a few words and lines, string them all together and you can make scripture to say anything you want it to say.

            So you can work your tail off all you want and beat yourself up because you are not and never will be perfect. A paraphrase if I may from one of Bill’s favorite heroes: “I have learned the secret… not resting in my own faithfulness, but resting in the arms of Him who is always faithful”. – Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. And from another favorite of your boy Bill – “Don’t wrestle, just nestle” – Core Ten Boom. I pray you will find this rest for your own journey.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            “So yes, I do have responsibility but it is abundantly clear that my ability to carry out my responsibilities is also of Him. This too is grace. “

            Of course, Dan. At some point that is “platitudes”, because it doesn’t mean anything to most people, practically. I mean . . . a Christian is overwhelmed and fails, weak will, weak strength, whatever. One fails, one does not. The GRACE, promises available, God working is not the issue, is it? So . . . why does one fail and the other overcomes? “He that overcometh” in Revelation. Calvinists might tell you it is just because . . . just because God favors one, or just because He NEEDS the other to fail to accomplish some greater good. Do you believe that? So . . . your turn . . . you tell me, given all those common “great and precious promises”, why so some “lack these things” and “forget that they were purged from their old sins” (paraphrase from memory)?

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            You state:
            Calvinists might tell you it is just because . . . just because God favors one, or just because He NEEDS the other to fail to accomplish some greater good. Do you believe that? So . . . your turn . . . you tell me, given all those common..

            I must tell you, I know a lot of seminary trained Calvinists and not a one of them would agree with your assessment of them. Furthermore, every-time you quote Bill’s definition of grace… desire and power to do God’s will… you are referencing the West Minister Confession of Faith (at one time Bill actually gave credit to this document, saw it posted on his website), which as you probably know, or should know, was largely written by reformers.

            More to come

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            Calvinists – the honest ones – will admit that there is no way for God to force people to be saved, overwhelming their will, and not have the power to keep them from sinning at all. Which leaves the clear problem I referred to. WHY does God allow people to sin – presumably more blows on the Savior, hanging on the cross – when He could stop them, let them live free and happy? We are left with: Because it fits His bigger plan . . . or . . . because He just likes some people more than others.

            The Westminster Confession is mentioned in Moderator comments attached to one of the topics in the Grace section. It was not left out of the main document for any nefarious reason. That “reformers” created that definition does not surprise, since, again, they of all people understand Grace as a “power”, a force, precisely correct. The difference remains on whether our will is engaged prior to grace having its intended effect. Scripture is clear that grace may be “failed of” and “fallen from”, our fault. If this were not true, all those who believe in “irresistible grace” are duty bound to become Universalists . . . small wonder that heresy is sweeping through the evangelical church in these last days.

            Thanks for your comments, Dan, BTW. Your sincere interest is appreciated.

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            You write:

            So . . . why does one fail and the other overcomes?

            Are you referring to the often repeated pattern of failure, temporary success, followed by failure, etc?
            Maybe you would be so kind as to give me an example of what you mean.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            This verse: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy . . . ” (Jude 24)

            Let’s stay theological. If He is ABLE to keep us from falling, why do we fall, ever?

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            Ok, then tell me to what end Jude is referring too? You are quoting a doxology which has clear implications to the text. I am happy to respond but you need to tell me what kind of “falling” you refer.

            Also, my Calvinists would still vehemently disagree with your characterization. Honest or not.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            Fair enough on the Calvinists. We disagree.

            Falling is “falling” . . . falling into sin, embracing sin, loving sin, ignoring Jesus, breaking His commands in a sinful lifestyle. Any type of “falling” that you can imagine that Christians go through, temporary or long term, the later leaving them to be “saved so as by fire”, 1 Cor. 3:15.

            “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10) I don’t want to fall. What are these responsibilities I have so I will “never fall”?

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            You write:
            The difference remains on whether our will is engaged prior to grace having its intended effect. Scripture is clear that grace may be “failed of” and “fallen from”, our fault. If this were not true, all those who believe in “irresistible grace” are duty bound to become Universalists . . . small wonder that heresy is sweeping through the evangelical church in these last days.

            I think your understanding of Calvinism in general is woefully inadequate. Frankly, obscenely so. Also, Calvinism and the theological precepts that accompany it, is probably on the wane, has been for a few generations. Dispensationalism is more the norm so I don’t understand how you can blame Calvinism for your so called heresy movement. A couple of generations ago Calvinism was the norm.

            Two additional questions:

            1) Can you tell exactly what the heresy is that is “sweeping through the evangelical church; and
            2) On what basis do you proclaim that we are in the last days and how close do you think we are?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            I shall regret this . . . but

            1) My take on “Calvinism”: http://www.corduan.com/calvin_poem.html Calvinistic “fatalism” still undergirds the majority view within the church, even dispensationalists (and “we” invented dispensationalism . . . where I go). Fatalism says that I do things because God says I will, no other reason. I have engaged with enough of Calvinism to feel that I understand it well. That remains the cornerstone, regardless. God always gets what He wants because He makes it happen.

            2) The heresy, as I stated, in Universalism. My take: Forward in http://www.corduan.com/human_destiny.pdf

            I trust you can satisfy yourself on my perspectives without us descending in the pit of endless debate on either topic.

            Last days? These are the last days because John said so: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18)

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            You write:

            Falling is “falling” . . .

            Again, if you are going to quote a text, you need to stay within the context of the text. You are asking a question based on the book of Jude and then categorizing falling as any kind of falling. You are making a grand generalization based on a specific text which is inappropriate use of the Biblical text. Jude is very specific about who and and what he is referring to.

            Again, you cannot lift a verse out of its clear context and string it together with other lines of scripture. Doing so means you can make the text say anything you please. This can easily lead you into heresy which you seem to hate. This is how heresies get started in the first place.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            I don’t think Jude is too confusing, but we can drop that. Focus on the other verse, the one in 2 Peter 1 . . . if I do _______, I will never fall. You, as a Bible scholar, tell me what ______ is. I want to not fall.

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            Again you write:
            Calvinists – the honest ones – will admit that there is no way for God to force people to be saved, overwhelming their will, and not have the power to keep them from sinning at all. Which leaves the clear problem I referred to. WHY does God allow people to sin – presumably more blows on the Savior

            Also you write: Fair enough on the Calvinists. We disagree.

            This is important and I think you need to realize you are labeling a wide swath of believers, those that have written such well regarded documents as the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is the inspiration for Bill’s definition of grace, as being stupid, illogical, unbiblical, heretics or at least heretical, or in some way leading the body of Christ down a path to some kind of destruction. I implore you, based on what knowledge of their teachings? Apparently you believe you are an expert in all things Calvinistic but as you describe them and their teaching, I doubt any of them would recognize the descriptions you use with such abandon. At least not the ones that I know. Your website declares a high value for fact rather than speculation. I am wondering if we can be a little more respectful of those whose shoulders we stand upon. You may chose to disagree with Calvinism in general or with specific points. Plenty of people do, but those that do, generally do so with careful analysis and circumspection – facts as they see them (Biblical interpretation in the least).

            In addition, a careful student of history will note that John Calvin had an enormous impact on the current scientific and industrial economy that we enjoy today. To be so dismissive of them, seems to me as rather arrogant and I this is counter to the view you might wish to portray yourself.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 14, 2015    

            And the problem we encounter is that “Calvinism” is not confined to John Calvin. Yes, men I respect deeply, like Charles Spurgeon, were “Calvinists”. But, interestingly enough, Spurgeon was known to pray – maybe in a weak moment: “God save the elect, then elect some more.” I think he was inwardly on to something.

            My controversy is with “fatalists”. Fatalism is a primary constituent of Catholicism (courtesy of Augustine), Islam, and an host of other religious perspectives. Basically the “Fates”, whatever they are called, make us do things that we think we are doing. It is an affront to the overarching principle of “Personal Responsibility” in Scripture, results in so many blatant contradictions and unrighteous conclusions. Even a child would know this cannot be.

            Anyway, I suspect we have batted that back and forth enough. I am not telling you to drop it, but I suspect we will get nowhere. I have much respect for individual “Calvinists” and, from what I can tell, little in common with those who call themselves “Arminianists”. So . . . maybe Calvinism with some common sense is where I am at?

            And as I stated, it is a crime to believe that God can make people get saved against their will and not be a Universalist. Meaning that God loves some, but never loved others. Agreed?

          • Dan Dan
            December 14, 2015    

            You write:

            My take on “Calvinism”:… “fatalism” still undergirds the majority view within the church

            Ok, forgive me if I am not understanding you correctly. This is no minor theological issue but in my view, also gets to the heart of this entire blog. If I understand you correctly, you are equating Calvinism and universalism. While I would be 100% in agreement that universalism is a heresy, to equate this and Calvanism, any of the writings of the great reformers, and covenant theology in general is itself a heresy. Luther, Calvin, on down to present day reformers like RC Sproul and to a lesser extent John MacArthur would puke if you labeled them as universalist.

            Let me say frankly, you are certainly free to develop your own opinions about anything you want. However, you (nor I) are free to develop our own set of facts and lessons from history to develop those opinions.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            I am equating the two only inasmuch as they are both based on confusion on the “Sovereignty of God”. The Calvinist believes that Sovereign God can save anyone He chooses, and He only choose some. The Universalist believes that Sovereign God can save anyone He chooses, and He loves and chooses all. Have I misstated, from all your know? I know there are other ancillary aspects, but am I right in what I said?

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:
            It is an affront to the overarching principle of “Personal Responsibility” in Scripture, results in so many blatant contradictions and unrighteous conclusions. Even a child would know this cannot be.

            If you are saying that scripture cannot teach both election and personable responsibility… that even a child would know this cannot be true…. well then, then there are a whole lot of very well respected theologians, from the early church fathers down to the present day, that strongly believe both. Yes, the Bible does teach election, cover to cover. Does it teach personal responsibility, yes, cover to cover.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            “Yes, the Bible does teach election, cover to cover. Does it teach personal responsibility, yes, cover to cover.”

            Sorry, Dan. Yes, you have hit the nerve. That is theological mumbo-jumbo. In logic (I have a BS in Mathematics) a proof can never lead to an absurdity, or the thing is proven false. Absurd is two opposites being true at the same time – the inner angles of a triangle cannot all add to exactly 180 degrees and simultaneously add to 270 degrees, not with the same assumptions. It is logically impossible for God to be responsible for me choosing Him and me be responsible for choosing Him. There is one responsible “bottom line”, one will that prevails. God cannot say that He “would have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4) – θέλω thelō, want, desire – and simultaneously not want some to be saved. That is an absurdity. At the very least, He cannot lie, we being told twice in Scriptures that this is impossible. And failing to save some makes Him a liar if He can, and says He wants to, but doesn’t.

            Great men are not always wise. “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Luke 10:21)

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:

            I don’t think Jude is too confusing, but we can drop that. Focus on the other verse, the one in 2 Peter 1 . . . if I do _______, I will never fall. You, as a Bible scholar, tell me what ______ is. I want to not fall.

            Well, I don’t think it is particularly confusing either but we need to agree upon the type of “falling” and the text before we can have an honest dialog about. So let me gather some thoughts and through them over the fence to you based on the 2 Peter text. I have a early get up in the morning.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            How about this verse – is this plain?

            “12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10)

            I don’t want to fall because of sin, temptation. Fall into temptation. You are starting to confuse me, not sure what you are after.

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:
            These are the last days because John said so: “Little children, it is the last ….. (1 John 2:18)

            In this context you are agreeing with the early church which believed in the imminent return of Christ. Without researching it, I am fairly confident Paul, Luke and all the other New Testament writers all believed in the imminent return of Christ. However, we must also balance scripture with scripture. I often hear friends talk about how close we are to the second coming. Most tell me something like “all of the prophecies have been completed so any day now”. If we do not consider all of the Biblical narrative on any given subject we can easily fall into bad theology, heresy, false expectation, etc.

            So let’s consider the words of Jesus and His take on His own second coming: Matt 24: 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (World = ethnos or every ethnic group of people). How do you read this in light of the imminent return or in the preceding verses (4-13)?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            I believe His return as been imminent the second He left us to return to heaven. I mean, if 1,000 years is as one day, it has been a couple of days, not quite. He IS almost here.

            The better focus in Matthew 24 is in the following verse 15:

            “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) . . . then let him . . .”

            Strange, isn’t it? Jesus is speaking to the disciples and slips in a special word . . . for us, those that are reading. That would have excluded those still alive then. Why? Because the “Abomination of Desolation” was fulfilled for all intents and purposes back in the days of the Maccabees, Hanukah time, when Antiochus Epiphinanes desecrated the temple. But since Jesus was talking about future events, that couldn’t be it. The ones alive then thought they saw it fulfilled when the temple was desecrated by the Romans just a few years later. But, see, Jesus is including some celestial signs for the sun and moon and stars not even then fulfilled. So, for us, the “readers”, we realize that the REAL fulfillment is yet future. The Gospel has been spread around the world, even Paul said so, so there is no other delay:

            “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Romans 10:18)

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:
            The better focus in Matthew 24 is in the following verse 15:

            I appreciate the fact that you seem to want a certain theological purity in our world. However, we cannot take a text and emphasize one part at the exclusion of the other. This specific text is a whole, not a group of independent parts. Yes, you are correct that the second come was imminent the second he left. And yes abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel is relevant. However, we are not free to ignore vs 14 which clearly ties His second coming will coincide with every ethnos, every tribe and people group having access to the Gospel. The reason this is a critical component is that right now 25%-30% (depending on how one is county) of our world’s population has no access to the gospel. This should give us something to think about, something to consider when we are making decisions on how to use our time and resources.
            There is a tendency, I find, for some evangelicals to get all excited about the second coming. Rightly so, however we need to consider all of the Biblical narrative rather than hand select those verses that appeal to our personal social, political, and moral view points.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            We could have saved ourselves this round, Dan. I addressed the “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations” with Paul’s comment . . . that it was already done, in his day:

            “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Romans 10:18)

            We can argue the science that this could not have been true, but Paul states that everyone heard, and hence everyone was able to believe. Personally you end up with a scientifically impossible situation, based on the criterion your are applying … the Gospel would need to be preached to babies in the womb, EVERY one, the mentally retarded, the deaf and blind . . . the ones on life support, unconscious. So . . . whatever the criteria that Jesus was looking to, Paul was confident it has already been met.

            I fear we are getting lost a tad . . .

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:

            Focus on the other verse, the one in 2 Peter 1 . . . if I do _______, I will never fall. You, as a Bible scholar, tell me what ______ is. I want to not fall.

            Give you my best shot… 2 Peter is addressing his fear or concern for false teachers entering the fellowship of this particular flock. 1 Peter speaks to suffering and persecution. Chapter 3 gives us a lesson on what false teachers can and will do. In this context, Peter is addressing the tendency of ourselves to follow after teachers and those that may look good, sound good, feel good, but in the end they lead us down a path of destruction.
            I think he gives us the formula, if there is such a thing. Chapter 1: 3-4 gives us his clues on how to guard against the influence of false teachers. Without getting overly detailed they are:
            1) Understand we have already been given everything we need;
            2) Understand His promises:

            So there can be a lot of personal application in here. Some will want to develop a laundry list of do’s and don’ts but Peter does not do this. He reminds us that we already have everything we need and that everything else can be based on what He has already promised us. The point being, I think Peter is telling us to be on guard and to make our election sure – make sure we understand where our security lies, make sure we understand His promises, make sure we have our election well understood. The analogy I would use is that of a small child who asks Jesus into their hearts. Does a 5 year old fully understand this? Hardly. But as they grow, physically, emotionally, and spiritually they will be faced with tests of life. Peter is asking us (or the growing child) to make sure they understand who they are in Christ Jesus. This simple truth will see us through.
            I think this is what got Job through his test. He had a clear understanding of who he was as a child of God. it was this knowledge of the basic character of who God is, how he related to Him, and his place in the world that got him through.

            Answer your question?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            False teachers are nowhere in view here! We need to read what it SAYS. This has to do with our Christian pathway, our walk. The promises begin, the light that shines before, but without “diligence” there will be no results – we have to run the path He shows us.

            How can you so quickly bypass that lovely list of ordered, sequential 8 character qualities? Where does that prominent list fit in your exegesis? You reduced “make your calling and election sure” to an understanding . . . but Peter says “DO these things”. What are we to “DO”? What are you applying “all diligence” to because of what you read here?

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:

            False teachers are nowhere in view here! We need to read what it SAYS. This has to do with our Christian pathway, our walk. The promises begin, the light that shines before, but without “diligence” there will be no results – we have to run the path He shows us.

            Well, not sure what version of the Bible you are reading in my my version there is a chapter 2. In case your bible is missing this page, the first verse goes like this:
            But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. So yes, we need to read what is says, like the second chapter.

            Also you are quoting from Hebrews (I assume)which is not talking about false teachers. Also, there is no comma at the end of “we have to run the path he shows us…” a simple reading of the Hebrews text will reveal its subject matter. Just in case, this is what it says:
            “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.”
            So once again, we see the person of Jesus as the solution to our flagging faith.

            Also, I am not ignoring your 8 beautiful character qualities. Just figured you knew them pretty well without me quoting them to you. But sense you asked, let’s be clear, it is because of what Jesus has already done for us, that we can and should make these activities a life long practice.

            So what is your point?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            Since those “false teachers” are nowhere in view in chapter 1, I see no reason to try to make the entire book about that. It is really about what is in that chapter – not falling, completing the task, the “path” He laid out for us, adding to our faith virtue, and so forth. False teacher will waylay us, knock us off course.

            Regardless, I see admonitions that if “these things be in me and abound”, I will not be unfruitful. Also if I do “these things” I will never fall. That is what I want. How can that be my lot, as declared by 2 Peter chapter 1? Practically. As pointed out in the other bounce, you DO know what falling is. You allege to have seen it spectacularly in others. How, based on 2 Peter 1, do we avoid that?

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You write:

            I addressed the “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations” with Paul’s comment . . . that it was already done, in his day:

            I lost you on this one. If you are referencing Jesus statement in Matt 24 about preaching to every ethnos that is a future tense. Paul never said he preached to or reached everyone. Not sure what Paul’s comment has to do with babies in the womb. In Acts 19 he writes: “10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord”, is this what you are referring too?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            Yes, that was what I was referring to . . . and then the end will come. I quoted the following:

            “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Romans 10:18)

            That says the Gospel had already penetrated the entire earth in his day.

            I am trying to point out the absurdity of trying to make “everybody hears the Gospel” the standard of Christ’s return. I listed some extreme people groups that that is simply never going to be true for. Fair enough?

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            You state:
            I am trying to point out the absurdity of trying to make “everybody hears the Gospel” the standard of Christ’s return.

            No this is not fair enough. First you quote Paul and his quotation of Isaiah an again fail to take the full context into account.

            Jesus clearly equates the availability and preaching of the gospel to the entire world, (world = ethnos) as a requirement before HIs return. He is not saying everyone has to believe, but at least have the ability to hear. You can call this absurd all you like but I fear you only degrade the very words of our Lord Jesus.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 15, 2015    

            And you would be degrading the words of Paul. We can’t do either, right, for the words have equal authority? Paul said the message had gone worldwide. And you know the truth of what I said – the absolute standard of ‘all people’ is impossible, other than by a miracle. Is that what you are proposing?

            Addendum:

            THIS is a miracle:

            Revelation 14:6

            “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people”

            As is this:

            Revelation 1:7

            “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

            Every person who has ever lived seeing Jesus at the same time is a crazy miracle. Short of something like that, there is no natural way to reach every living person alive at any given point. Even if you imagine a radio broadcast, what of the deaf? Person to person, what of babies in the womb, the brain dead, those in comas, the profoundly retarded . . . I appreciate the crazy extremes, but either it is “every person” or it is something general, like “around the globe”. And that standard has already been fulfilled, long ago.

          • Dan Dan
            December 16, 2015    

            You write:
            “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Romans 10:18)
            That says the Gospel had already penetrated the entire earth in his day.

            OK, I need you to hummer me a little. Are you saying, that based on this verse in Romans, that the gospel had penetrated, or had in some way been transmitted to the entire world by the time Paul wrote these words – somewhere what 50-60 AD? Simple yes or no would be fine. Just want to make sure I understand you correctly.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 16, 2015    

            Yes, that is what it says. So, those fanning out touched “all the earth”, to the “ends of the world”. I believe what Holy Scripture says, even if I am not sure how it happens to be true. It is, however, an answer of Scripture to Scripture, one that says that the Gospel would penetrate that far (whatever it means), the other saying it had in fact done so. The only way this could not be true is of the Bible is fallible.

  7. Dan Dan
    December 15, 2015    

    You write:
    I don’t want to fall because of sin, temptation. Fall into temptation….

    I think Paul and Peter were addressing very different facets of the Christian life. Peter was addressing our tendency to be led astray by false teachers. Paul is addressing our tendency to be led astray more on a daily basis of struggling with sin and temptation. The former is more long term, and later more short term. While they both may have the same end, we error in putting both into the same context. I also like Paul’s warning: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”. I find that many who develop a laundry lists of do’s and don’ts have a tendency to make their personal list a standard for moral living. Then we wonder why the fall so catastrophically. Their faith was is in their list and not in the Man. Paul summed it up the best: who will deliver me from this body of death… Jesus …. Paul identifies a person not a list as the point of his strength.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 15, 2015    

      So you DO know what it means to fall! “Fall so catastrophically”. Now, does your Bible tell you that God is able to keep you from falling, whatever you meant there?

      • Dan Dan
        December 15, 2015    

        You write:
        So you DO know what it means to fall! “Fall so catastrophically”. Now, does your Bible tell you that God is able to keep you from falling, whatever you meant there?

        The point here is that “falling” can carry a variety of meanings. We can fall in the sense that we back away and deny our faith, we can fall in the sense that we sin (a rather routine event), we can fall in the sense that we are disqualified from ministry. There are a lot of “falling”. And yes, my Bible does tell me God is able to keep me from falling. Heavy emphasis on the person….God can keep me from falling….

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 15, 2015    

          Good. So if God is able to keep me from falling, and that applies to all individuals who claim that term, how come some fall, even “spectacularly”?

          • Dan Dan
            December 15, 2015    

            Well your question suggests that some fall and others do not. My guess though is that we can agree upon one thing for sure – the basic bent of man is to sin and this will only be fully remedied in heaven. So your question, I think, gets to the issue of sinless perfection – can we, on this side of heaven reach such a state and if not, why not?

            Without getting into a full essay let me suggest an idea – we do not use the tools or the person that is available to us. John writes to the church (believers) of Laodica – “…opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me….” This suggests a level of intimacy, and a relationship of trust. fact is, many of don’t really trust the Lord with our secrets and hurts. Jesus said …It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.. (Matt 912-13). While the immediate application is physical sickness I think a strong case can be made for emotional health as well. James also writes – confess your sins one to another and ray for each other so that you maybe healed…” Why equate sin and healing unless someone is sick? We so often focus on the physical healing of Jesus ministry, but I think we often forget the emotional healing of his ministry as well. A man with leprosy is abandoned and rejected by his community, left to take total care of himself and Jesus does the unthinkable – He touches the man. Broke every moral code of the day and…. touched him. Something the man would not have had since he was banished – a simple physical touch.

            So an example from my days in prison: a young boy of 10 is homosexually raped by an older adult male. Prior to this he was sexually abused by an older teenage girl and prior to this he father was dropping moon shine into his milk to get him to sleep at night. Do we really believe that this guy coming to faith in Jesus is going to immediately heal the wounds of all of that trauma? Of course not. Does Jesus want to heal the scares left by being raped at the age of 10, I would sincerely hope so. So here is my simple answer to your question – we don’t trust God, our “abba father” with our most painful and intimate secrets and wounds. I know a young man, well two actually, who lost their mothers to cancer when they were quite young. The oldest was maybe 12-13 when his mother died. The older I know very well. He grew up in the church and made a profession of faith when he was very young. Today, he is angry at God, angry at his father, and just plain angry. His current life style would break the heart of his mother. He has broken off all contact with his family. Does God want to heal that broken heart? I am absolutely convinced that he does. Will it take time? Will it take some kind of intervention? Of course. it will probably take years of love and kindness to fully heal the hurt. Maybe not even on this side of heaven. Did he fall even catastrophically? Sure, does God want him back, sure.

            I don’t mean to be too wordy here, but I think a large part of your question comes back to this simple thing called trust. Can we trust him with our most intimate fears, hurts, wounds, etc.. I think a large part of “falling” happens because we just do not want to trust. Job was the great example of this: “though he slay me, yet will I trust him”. Job had every reason to deny his God and “fall away”. But he continued to trust. And herein is the miracle of Job.

          • Dan Dan
            December 16, 2015    

            You write in the intro
            Work super hard with anxiety to complete salvation …

            Just curious, what does the words of Jesus – For my yoke is easy and my burden is light – mean to you?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 16, 2015    

            “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” means just what is says, it is a thrill to push on for Jesus as long as we are doing it for Him.

            What does “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” conversely mean to you?

            Even better, What does this mean? “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb. 4:11) THAT is a conundrum, right? Work hard to rest, rest in Jesus rest? That has both sweating and relaxing in it . . .

          • dan dan
            December 16, 2015    

            One more question if I may: You use the word”anxiety? In your intro, why this word and what are the implications?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 17, 2015    

            “You use the word ”anxiety”? In your intro, why this word and what are the implications?”

            The verse:

            “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12)

            You focus exclusively on the next verse, but you need to focus here first.

            Fear: φόβος phobos; – fear; alarm or fright:— be afraid, +exceedingly, fear, terror.
            Trembling: τρόμος tromos; a “trembling”, i. e. quaking with fear

            That feels like anxiety. Is there any other way to slice it?

  8. Sandy Sandy
    December 17, 2015    

    “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” means just what is says, it is a thrill to push on for Jesus as long as we are doing it for Him.

    Smh, Alfred – that’s NOT what it says!

    Something that’s easy, not burdensome says nothing about being a “thrill” (that’s one of your quirky Bill-words) or not. It says what it says, but you can’t just re-define words and read something else into it, even “pushing on” is a stretch, IMHO.

    You are steeped in Gothardisms to the point you don’t even recognize the actual meaning of simple words any more.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 17, 2015    

      Well, Sandy, then how to you deal with the Scripture we are debating about “laboring” to enter that rest, or to have “fear and trembling” as we work? I know what the Bible says. As long as you can call the following “easy and light” – and there is a way you can – I am fine with it:

      “23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?” (2 Corin. 11)

      • Sandy Sandy
        December 18, 2015    

        Here we go with apples and oranges – I’m talking about Jesus’ “yoke” and you’re bringing up Paul’s life experiences. Jesus’ yoke would be common to all believers while life experiences obviously are not. So no, I’m not going to call what you listed “easy and light” because they’re one person’s life experiences – not the easy and light yoke Jesus was talking about for all believers. He never said our experiences would be easy or light.

        Paul listed a bunch of things he’d been through and survived by the grace of God, and in fact stated that he was boasting foolishly, as if any of that demonstrated his own strength or superiority. His whole point had nothing to do with everybody’s life needing to be hard like his was to be “worthy” (which is where I think you’re coming from), but that in his own weakness, hardships, and difficulties, Christ’s strength and sufficiency became all the more apparent. You implied merit in such sufferings; I think he was saying there was none in even the most extreme experiences themselves, but rather in Christ alone. He also gave the distinct impression that a relationship with Jesus was worth more than anything he ever had to endure.

        All that as opposed to Jesus’ “yoke,” which would be common to all believers. What’s really required? What do we HAVE to do? What does He want from us?

        To define how many inches of calf or thigh or shoulder or collarbone is acceptable to show in public? Nah – that’s definitely a cultural thing.

        To diligently study the scriptures to figure out if it’s okay to enjoy the delights of bacon or have a tuna sandwich for lunch? Nah – He provided them all for nourishment and to enjoy.

        To “take a stand” for Him by asking an owner to change the music in his own restaurant? Nah – that’s the kind of thing that makes people think Christians are rude and uppity; I doubt Jesus did that when he went to eat at Zacchaeus’ house. (And what exactly are those “standards” even based on?)

        So WHAT are believers called to do? I think the answer’s so simple it’s hard to accept. Jesus himself said that the greatest commandments were to love God and others. And not just that, but that ALL THE LAW hinged on these.

        I’m a pretty simple-minded person, and I believe that everything required of us is right there – to love God and other people. There are hard situations, hard applications, and hard life experiences, but I think it all boils down to that. When I evaluate myself I don’t evaluate in terms of how many times or how far I stepped over the line of some Gothard-style regulation, but in terms of whether I honored the One who gave His life for me … how I represented the love of Jesus to this needy world. When I say I’m a sinner and fall short of “the mark,” that “mark” to me is a gracious, loving, and perfect Lord, not a “mark” where I score only a 37% on a checklist of dos and don’ts.

        Back to the yoke – I think Jesus was simplifying things for us … saying all He really wants from us is love and devotion … saying the “rulebook for life” is only two sentences, not 22,000 pages. I think He was not only telling what He wanted from us, but also indicated what He DIDN’T require – the burden of pre-occupation with rule-keeping and regulations that would take our focus off Him.

        As far as laboring to enter rest, I see that as having a strong desire/diligence toward obedience, not a works-based salvation. (KJV language is quite different than how we use words today, btw, but no debate, please.) And what I understand about working out salvation with fear and trembling is to pursue spiritual maturity with all diligence, seriousness, and care.

        I’m no theologian and my understanding may be simple. But this I know: My salvation hinges on what Jesus has DONE, nothing I can or have to DO. That He would care for me is beyond imagination or reason. What is my response? Living by a rule book, or striving diligently to be single-purposed in love for Him and my neighbors?

        Go ahead and re-define and blast away. Cast me into the lot of ordinary, by-the-seat-of-my-pants-eh-skirt, less than victorious or successful Christian. (There’s a Gothard term for us sub-optimals, I just can’t remember it right now.) If I were easily offended or had little patience with you, I sure wouldn’t still be here.

        • Dan Dan
          December 18, 2015    

          Sandy,

          Since they insist on making up their own rules of biblical exegesis and interpretation there is no reason to expect any kind of reasonable discussion here. Don’t get frustrated, it is just the way Bill thinks. By making up his own rules he can make the Bible say anything he wants it to say. Which as you and I understand, is pretty much what he does all of the time.

      • Dan Dan
        December 18, 2015    

        Once again I appreciate your willingness to keep responding. However I am going to have to cut off this line of inquiry. I mean you no disrespect in any way nor do I wish you any ill will. But I must say, you are breaking all of the major rules of Biblical exegesis and analysis. Thus you can make the bible say most anything you want it to say. You are consistently lifting single or multiple verses completely out of the context in which the writer set them and coming to conclusions that are either totally off base or materially at odds with the writer’s intent. Sandy and the others are trying to engage you in reasonable conversation and without at least a common understanding of the rules we will always be “butting heads. This has always been an issue with Bill and it appears it still is and maybe more so. Therefore, there is no reason to continue any kind of biblical or theological discussion.

        Therefore, we can now add two more values or operating principles to the ones we have already established:

        1) Thirty plus years to seriously (using this word very loosely) seek reconciliation after trying to destroy Tony with his family, local leadership, and whatever national leadership that was listening qualifies for your definition of “diligence” within the biblical context. You said the same thing basically when you said Bill was diligent 35 years ago but late… cannot be both.
        2) That you find it within your ethical code to attack someone’s character as a way of deflecting blame from your leader and yourself..
        3) Bringing issues to a local body or the universal Body of Christ, even if the issues are based on facts that are wrong, unloving, and designed to protect one’s personal ambition, is within our sense of morals and ethics;
        4) Ignoring long established rules for biblical exegesis and interpretation so that you can make the bible say anything you wish; and
        5) Those who oppose you and your teaching are “uninformed rabble”, (probably not the best choice of words but as I read the string of comments, it certainly does reflect the tone).

        These values and ethics all seem to have some common themes to them don’t you think? However, the most series issue is really your belief that you can make up your own rules for biblical exegesis.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 19, 2015    

          “You are consistently lifting single or multiple verses completely out of the context in which the writer set them and coming to conclusions that are either totally off base or materially at odds with the writer’s intent. “

          I go to great lengths to consider and present the context for my verses – is there any possibility that some of these points are speaking to some considerations that you have not fully understood? For the record, I find the same problems with some of your comments – it seems you take second or worse level considerations in a section and try to make them primary.

          “your belief that you can make up your own rules for biblical exegesis.”

          If I may ask, who DOES have the right to make up the rules? Is this a consensus of Bible scholars maybe, a collection of authors with which you agree? I come from a tradition that was grounded by a group of very serious scholars who then went about to largely turn away from the “rules” because they simply didn’t find them in the Bible. The men included the likes of JN Darby, George Muller, Sir Robert Anderson, William Kelly, W. E. Vine, among others (Vine was later). I just need you to understand that “rule breaking” is considered the height of spirituality by some IF “the rules” involve the “traditions of men” instead of the “commands of God”. Surely you can see some application for that. So to some extent you may be honoring me.

          THIS is true exegesis:

          ” . . . even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:11-16)

          We can know the mind of God, NOT by a series of rules somebody came up with, but JUST by being Children of God and being spiritual, in the Spirit. Certainly some of that comes with maturity, by “use”*, and that most definitely can come from study and listening to others, but do you read it any other way?

          * “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:!4)

          • Dan Dan
            December 20, 2015    

            You write:
            ” is there any possibility that some of these points are speaking to some considerations that you have not fully understood?”
            No, there is no possibility of this. Frankly, this statement arrogant and presumptive. Please stop degrading the intelligence, wisdom, integrity, perspective, and spiritual maturity of those making comments on your own blog. You only prove the values we have already identified – that you and Bill believe his opponents are “uninformed rabble”.
            Appreciate the fact that you state you respect W.E. Vine – maybe you should try reading his dictionary.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 20, 2015    

            “you have not fully understood? No, there is no possibility of this.”

            You would understand how some could, conversely, call that statement presumption or even pride, right?

            W.E. Vine is a bit of a hero where we go. I know people who preached with him. I consult his dictionary constantly. The reason he invented it was to support the layman studying Greek. In fact, in our tradition, of which W. E. Vine was a founding voice, going to Bible schools or seminaries is considered prideful and wrong. I am sure that seals your opinion of me . . . does it also affect the way you think about Vine?

          • Dan Dan
            December 20, 2015    

            And as much as I hate to belabor the point. I did come across Dr. Ronald Allen’s comment about Bill’s use of scripture after attending a seminar in 1973 (I believe)

            “In this seminar, I was regularly assaulted by the misuse of the Bible, particularly of the Old Testament, on a level that I have never experienced in a public ministry before that time (or since).”

            Something tells me that you have already figured out how to dismiss this man and his work, in-spite of the fact that he is a well respected scholar, noted authority of the Old Testament. and instructor at Dallas Theological Seminary.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 21, 2015    

            “Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32:9)

          • Dan Dan
            December 21, 2015    

            You quote: “Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32:9)

            Probably a true statement in many contexts. However, in this context Elihu is referencing Job because he and his friends could not get past Job claiming his innocence. So you are free to use this passage to question the judgement of Dr, Ronald Allen but you might really giving him a compliment. So could you (or maybe Bill) be once again lifting a single verse out of its surrounding context and using it inappropriately.

            Conversely, I don’t think you want to be using this verse against Dr. Allen since the verse is a reference against Job, and I am sure you know what God had to say about this great man:

            1) This man (Job) was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.
            2) “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 21, 2015    

            “Conversely, I don’t think you want to be using this verse against Dr. Allen since the verse is a reference against Job, and I am sure you know what God had to say about this great man”

            Elihu was definitely finding fault in all directions, not just Job. And, for the record, this is what God said to Job about all that had gone on:

            Chapter 40:1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,
            2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?
            he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
            3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,
            4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee?
            I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
            5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer:
            yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

            People can have a long track record of good and smart stuff and fall really flat on something late in the game. I know you know that is true. But . . . I disagree with him, have from the first time I read his comments many years ago.

          • Dan Dan
            December 21, 2015    

            Well, Dr. Allen’s comments just confirm what a lot of us have observed over the years, Bill’s use of the Word is often questionable at best. Not that I would expect anything different from his most ardent students.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 21, 2015    

            Brother Dan: You quoted several verses that you used to quote with authority as you sought to help those in need . . . almost implying that you have wised up to the fact that they don’t work? THAT is what a lot of us have observed over the years – claiming a powerful God and infallible Bible but denying that power and authority when it really matters, like real life. Tough accusation – how to you answer?

        • May 7, 2016    

          just a couple of observations Alfred is a Plymouth Brethren, He ascribes to John Nelson Darby’s dispensationalism you should look into these things more closely to understand where Alfred is coming from…… My other more important observation is that almost this entire thread is semantic hoo haa on the moderators part who is so misinformed as to what Calvinism is or is not. We serious Calvinists don’t engage in semantic hoo haa. Some more misinformed Calvinists do actually accept a more limited form of dispensationalism. This is a statement it doesn’t require any further response from me as it speaks for itself

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 7, 2016    

            So, I am glad it speaks to you, but I at a loss to explain “hoo ha”. My concern with Calvinism is hardly unique. So . . . if you find it within yourself to ellucitate me, I can better address your concerns.

            As to Plymouth Brethren . . . a lot of great and exciting men and women of God were of that persuasion. :-) If you feel like pointing out what pitfalls I or we may have fallen into, that would help.

            For the record, I do not hold to all of the details of “dispensationalism” as taught by some. Raw dispensationalism, for example, considers the “Sermon on the Mount” – the cornerstone of ATI – as “for the Jew”, not for Christians . . . including the entire book of Matthew in that “Jew in the millenium” designation. Pure dispensationalism cringes at any notion that the OT has teaching for NT churches and believers. So . . . not all of your beefs with dispensationalism – whatever they may be – may apply to me.

          • May 7, 2016    

            hoo haa is another way of saying double talk rather than deal with the issue one evades answering questions by posing other questions that divert one down another rabbit trail. IN formal debate when one resorts to answering questions with questions it means they don’t really have an answer and so try to distract their opponent with questions that detract from the central issue

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 8, 2016    

            hoo ha

            I am at a complete loss on how to repond to that, so I won’t :-) If you have a point to ponder with me, I will endeavor to be “hoo ha” free.

        • May 25, 2016    

          This is what I keep saying and pointing out to the Moderator about Bill Gothard’s method but if Bill says it’s from God, then it must be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Oddly enough anyone who disagree’s with Bill is simply wrong….. I don’t know Bill personally as the Moderator does therefore my assessment of Bill’s theology and teaching doesn’t apply or matter. Apparently I don’t have the mind of Christ or the Holy Spirit as the Moderator does or else I would see things Bill Gothard’s way. Apparently I can only appeal to the mob view and I get my wisdom from the experts……. What the moderator refuses to acknowledge is that He does the very same thing with Bill as I seemingly do with others…. If everyone else is open for question and critique then so is Bill. The cognitive dissonance is seeping from every corner of this website.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 25, 2016    

            if Bill says it’s from God, then it must be inspired by the Holy Spirit

            The common ground is the Bible. Your method of inerpretation is a set of rules which you have inherited from “your forefathers”, various smart people who have constructed a variety of specialized goggles to read Scripture with. You would not be caught dead without your goggles. My method is the Holy Spirit, the living member of the godhead, the One who wrote it all . . . who speaks to each heart and convicts us about His unprovable truth. Part of this method is “comparing Scripture with Scripture”, “spiritual things with spiritual”, a reasoning process that operates in that realm.

            1 Corinthians 2:13-16
            “13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural [“pseuche”, soul] man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

            So . . . the Holy Spirit is teaching . . . and our job is to learn to listen. These things are not mentally discerned, but “spiritually discerned”. With all the hermeneutics in the world, the “natural man” – soulish, soul/mind centered man – can never understand it. To do so you must be “spiritual”, full of the Holy Spirit. Having the “mind of Christ” sort of settles it, doesn’t it, Chris? That person, we just read, can judge everybody else, and yet not be judged by anyone. Sort of bold, isn’t it . . . but that is exactly what it says.

            “Cognitive Dissonance” is two parts of the brain fighting each other . . . or . . . my behavior fighting my mind or my spirit .. . or my spirit fighting my mind. When the mind – soul – considers something foolish, and the spirit declares it the Word of God, why there is enough dissonance there to kill a person. Unless he teaches himself to ignore his mind and the at times unfruitful reasoning in this case . . . and rely on what God is in fact saying. “Obey and Understand” . . . not vice versa.

  9. Dan Dan
    December 20, 2015    

    You write:

    going to Bible schools or seminaries is considered prideful and wrong. I am sure that seals your opinion of me . . . does it also affect the way you think about Vine?

    Makes no difference to me at all and no I do not think my statement about you challenging my current beliefs is prideful. However, I do think that my challenge about reading Vine was harsh, of which I do apologize and please let me re-write: I think a careful reading of Vines Dictionary might shed some light on our recent discussions concerning passages in Philippians, 1 Peter, and Romans.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 21, 2015    

      Thank you for a gracious response.

    • May 7, 2016    

      Bill went to seminary I guess that makes him prideful and wrong

      • Moderator Moderator
        May 7, 2016    

        Going to seminary is prideful and wrong? It can be, obviously in most cases it is is not. But . . . I am not aware of Bill going to seminary. I know he attended Wheaton College. What else are you aware of?

        • May 7, 2016    

          Wheaton college is… was a Christian bible college where Bill got his Masters in Theology

          • May 7, 2016    

            semantics
            sɪˈmantɪks/Submit
            noun
            the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.
            the meaning of a word, phrase, or text.
            plural noun: semantics
            “such quibbling over semantics may seem petty stuff”

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 8, 2016    

            Wiki says:

            Bill Gothard received his B.A. in biblical studies from Wheaton College in 1957, an M.A. in Christian education in 1961 from the same institution and a Ph.D. in biblical studies from the unaccredited Louisiana Baptist University in 2004.

            Wheaton is not a Bible school but a liberal arts college. His degrees really would not be considered Seminary degrees :-) I know we be quibbling, just trying to set the record straight.

  10. May 9, 2016    

    quibbling is the operative word and that is my point regarding this thread at every turn and with nearly every response you challenge accepted interpretation of scripture and the meaning of words…… You know what post modernism is right? This thread is what post modernism looks like in practice! There is no final authority, any and all interpretation hinges on one’s view point, even the scriptures are not arbitrary. This is what I have implied about Bill’s interpretation of the scriptures. His private rhema’s are nothing more than his own private revelation of scripture. In being confronted with this Bill has only ever obfuscated the issue with meetings that never amounted to anything. More to the point Bill is one against many who oppose him, have challenged him yet he has obstinately and defiantly goes against scripture. You have often defended him and argued that the majority isn’t always right…. In this case the consensus is right and Bill is wrong. The only way Bill could be right is to say that the church Fathers were wrong and even the apostles themselves were wrong. Somewhere in this thread you even alluded to the fact that we know very little about what Jesus actually said. We know what Jesus said and did because the NT writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to recall and record specific events and teachings that are directly relevant to our salvation and spiritual walk. I heard a lot of the hoo haa you have regurgitated here when I was doing my Masters in Theology. This stuff comes form the likes of the Jesus seminar and their guru of today Bart Ehrman. None of it holds any water and it is all vain speculation that has no proof. I did have a website that goes into Bill’s masters thesis and hwere he draws a lot of his ideas and beliefs from that have tell us how he got to where he is in his belief system today and it’s pretty scary stuff….. sadly that has been pulled down. if I can find it somewhere else I post the link here

    • May 9, 2016    
      • Moderator Moderator
        May 9, 2016    

        “Baloney” :-) Charles Finney and Watchman Nee are marginal influences at best. “Fundamentalism” I will buy . . . Sort of where I come from as well. But, see, you are falling into “ad hominem” error again. SEEMS like when you cannot come up with an answer, or it wearies you to assemble it, you wave your hand at it and say “hoo ha” and complain about his rhemas, then feel justified in moving on.

        • Chris Symonds Chris Symonds
          May 9, 2016    

          I stand by what I have said and others estimation of Bill. Bill is a heretic

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 9, 2016    

            And we stand with the millions who think he is a man of God . . . and with Scripture, which really doesn’t say what you think it says on some of this stuff :-) That is another punt, Chris . . . you can’t hide behind the hypothetical masses forever.

          • Sandy Sandy
            May 9, 2016    

            Define “millions,” Alfred? I think it’s pretty clear that attendance at a seminar or enrollment in ATI doesn’t constitute those who believe that Bill Gothard is a man of God. Is there some survey of which we’re not aware?

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 10, 2016    

            There were millions that attended Bill’s seminars and found them helpful, based on the number returning for a 2nd, 3rd, nth installment. And the number complaining, on ANY venue, is some tiny fraction thereof. So . . . I will offer my personal barometer on that, based on the folks I rub shoulders with and interact with online as representative of the whole.

      • Moderator Moderator
        May 9, 2016    

        BTW, poetic you should cite Ron Henzel . . . Plymouth Brethren, trained at one of their Bible schools.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 9, 2016    

      His private rhema’s are nothing more than his own private revelation of scripture.

      I have good news! These are my interpretations, so they are not private. So I will endeavor to defend them in ways you should understand, and you can stop fussing about generalities and zero in on contradictions and misrepresentations. Sweeping away entire arguments as “hoo ha” doesn’t help me or anyone else peering in.

      Somewhere in this thread you even alluded to the fact that we know very little about what Jesus actually said.

      Not remotely correct! :-). What I said was that we have only a half dozen of Jesus actual words, in the language He spoke – Aramaic – leaving virtually all His words to translation from inspired memory into Greek. That affects those that want to quibble about autographs and inspiration and authority.

  11. May 26, 2016    

    Moderator said, “. My method is the Holy Spirit, the living member of the godhead, the One who wrote it all . . . who speaks to each heart and convicts us about His unprovable truth. Part of this method is “comparing Scripture with Scripture”, “spiritual things with spiritual”, a reasoning process that operates in that realm.”

    So in other words you can refute everything and anything because you listen to the Holy Spirit which is you impenetrable wall of defence. Dan pointed it out to you above as I have here an elsewhere that you method of interpretation like Bill’s does not follow context or the rules of exegesis. Then you say this is a man made system then you say that you have a BS in Maths and our arguments don’t follow the rules of logic….. Following rules related to context limit how you can interpret any text. All you have done is prop up you arguments with out of context quotes to support your arguments

    What you are saying is the Method you use is the one taught to you by Bill who uses that identical method which is the one that others including Dr Allen, Don Veinot and Ron Henzel also pointed out as being almost mystical in it’s approach…… So in other words although these and many others have criticised this whole approach yours and Bill’s arguments would be that the Holy Spirit are guiding you and teaching you.

    That isn’t proof the Holy Spirit is guiding you it isn’t proof you are right and the rest of us are wrong and are using fleshly humanistic methods. It’s not even a very good argument. It’s could deflection. It’s how Bill has apparently always dealt with his critics and detractors. The argument basically goes like this; “I opened my bible and God lead me to a passage of scripture. I prayed over this passage and God revealed to me what it was really trying to say. It doesn’t matter what was written before or after this passage that God opened my eyes to because the Holy Spirit guided me in this. No one can tell me I am wrong because I am relying on the Holy Spirit and not man’s wisdom wisdom. So at any and every point I can ignore and refute everyone’s objections. Then to support my arguments and deflect everyone I can take what ever other verses agree with me and use them as a weapon to slap everyone around the head with. This is what we call classic eisegesis.

    But please forgive me for accusing you of that as I obviously don’t use the Holy Spirit in the way you do. I only have my man made goggles through which I interpret the Bible. I am sorry I think the context and history behind the text is important and limits how the text can be interpreted and read and finally I am sorry I don’t have your obviously heightened sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that I can ignore all the normal principles of comprehension.

    Actually I’m not sorry and I am not sorry for being sarcastic and facetious.

    I am sorry however that you are so deaf and spiritually proud that you follow Bill so blindly that you emulate him so perfectly. You might consider imitation as the highest form of flattery…. Your defence is you follow Christ and are taught by the Holy Spirit and yet you are blind to the fact that your whole method is uniquely Bill Gothard’s. You can criticise everyone else and say they don’t know Bill like you do and that everyone else is using worldly method’s and wisdom whereas Bill doesn’t. You have put Bill on such a high pedestal that no one can compare to him or question him.

    Conclusion
    Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
    Heb 5:2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;
    Heb 5:3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.
    Heb 5:4 And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.
    Heb 5:5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”;
    Heb 5:6 just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”
    Heb 5:7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
    Heb 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
    Heb 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
    Heb 5:10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
    Heb 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
    Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
    Heb 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
    Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 26, 2016    

      So in other words you can refute everything and anything because you listen to the Holy Spirit which is you impenetrable wall of defence.

      Wake up, Chris. If you have any other basis of faith, you are not saved. All of God’s truth is a revelation from His Spirit to our spirit, confirmed by Scripture.

      I prayed over this passage and God revealed to me what it was really trying to say. It doesn’t matter what was written before or after this passage that God opened my eyes to because the Holy Spirit guided me in this.

      We may have done this already, but it is worth another run since you didn’t get it. What, according to your hermeneutics, is this verse about?

      Deuteronomy 25:4. “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.”

      Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

      Did you even READ this, Chris?! To those whose SENSES are trained to DISCERN , not think better. What am I missing?

      • May 30, 2016    

        Is that all you can do turn everything around and deflect it? You and Bill are so, so wrong. good bye and may the Lord be merciful to you.

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 30, 2016    

          I am glad of His mercy. I remain baffled by your reaction . . . it was a fair challenge. Maybe . . . maybe this is you looking at a bit of a paradigm shift that you just refuse to make. Everything I stated is either Scripture or based on Scripture and held as orthodox . . . things like all of real spirituality being a divine revelation. Right?

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