Let The Dust Settle

The first major truth our Creator shared with the human family was this: “Dust you are and to dust you shall return!”  He let Adam and Eve know up front that they were mortal beings and would someday die, returning to the earth from which they were taken.  He further told them that if they were disobedient to Him and His instructions and counsel that they would someday surely die, that is they would die a death from which there would never be a resurrection.  God then built upon that sure foundation of eternal truth generation after generation through enlightenment given His prophets and chosen spokesmen.  Revelation was progressive and never contradictory.  If and when one hears a doctrine, a teaching that runs counter to the foundational statements of truth uttered early on by our Creator, then Satan has “entered the garden,” once again, so to speak, and is sowing seeds of confusion.
In the mind of God, as well as in the mind of every truly informed believer, death is nothing more than a profound sleep – a sleep from which the one at rest will someday be awakened by none other than His Lord and Savior!  Why fear sleep?  Sleep is the welcome rest at the end of a long and trying day.  Life, to those of us who have been granted many years, is nothing more than a long and trying day.  We look forward to taking our rest in sleep, knowing that when we awaken we shall be clothed in immortality and enjoying incorruptible spirit bodies far more real and lasting than our failing physical frames.  We know, also, that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  And, just as in the flesh we sometimes have a bit of trouble in falling to sleep, so, too, some may have some difficulty in entering their final rest.  But God gives grace and strength to meet every pain, every discomfort, every difficulty along the way.
Our Creator wants us to trust Him, to rely upon Him, to depend upon Him, and to believe Him even when every one of our physical senses is leading us to doubt and to fear.  It took me many decades to learn that perfect trust comes from perfect obedience.  The more obedient we are to our Lord, the more real He becomes in our life.  Daily, or continual, disobedience pushes the spirit world further and further away and reduces Jesus Christ to nothing more than an historical figure.
Those of us who are in or have passed our seventh decade of life have much to be thankful for.  Billions never made it this far!  At the judgment God will want to know, “What did you do with the added years?  Did you realize their value and their scarcity?  I invested much time in you; where are my dividends?”  I, for one, want to answer Him well.
Christ’s Servant (Galatians 1:10),
Donald Wiley

Jesus Christ’s Apostles Agreed With Him

Would it surprise you to learn that Jesus Christ’s apostles never once contradicted Him in their doctrinal stand and teachings, that they all spoke with one voice and saw clearly eye-to-eye in all matters of faith and truth?  One might quickly reply, “Well, that goes without saying.  Of course all the apostles fully agreed with all that Jesus Christ said and taught.”  And, of course, that is true.  They did fully agree with everything Jesus Christ taught as divine truth.  But would it surprise you to learn that many “Christian” ministers and preachers today contradict Jesus Christ in their teaching and spiritual instruction?
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I give you a prime example of where many ministers and preachers flatly contradict something Jesus Christ taught as eternal divine truth: “And, behold, one came and said unto Him ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do that i may have eternal life?’  And He said unto him….’If thou wilt enter into life KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS'” (See Matthew 19:16-17).  Surely no apostle would agree with that statement, would they?  Jesus Christ must have been way off base with that remark.  After all, isn’t that working for one’s salvation?  And salvation isn’t of works, is it?  Isn’t that what the apostle Paul plainly declared in his letter to the Ephesians?
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Most of the confusion in this matter enters in when one misunderstands NOT what Jesus said, but what Paul wrote.  Remember, Peter warned that Paul wrote some things not easily understood by the spiritually unstable and by those who were ignorant of the scriptures.  (See 2 Peter 3:15-16).  Here is the statement of Paul many misunderstand: “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” (See Ephesians 2:8-9).  Now here is what many mistakenly THINK Paul said: “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; NOT OF OBEDIENCE, lest any man should boast.”
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The “works” to which Paul refers is not obedience to God’s holy, eternal commandments, but fleshly works such as keeping the Jewish laws and customs, such as circumcision, animal sacrifices, and the like.  In this same letter to the Ephesians, Paul urges the keeping of the fifth commandment “Honor thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise” (See Ephesians 6:2.  And in the previous chapter (chapter 5), Paul had written “But fornication (violation of the seventh commandment)…or covetousness (violation of the tenth) commandment, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (verse 3, chapter 5).  In other words, don’t break either of these commandments, not even once, at any time!  “For this ye know that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolator (a violation of the first and second commandments), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (verse 5, chapter 5).  Or, in other words again, one must keep God’s commandments in order to receive the gift of eternal life.
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So what is Paul clearly saying?  He is saying that one must KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS in order to have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God, the major part of that inheritance being the inheritance of eternal life.  Paul shows himself to be in total agreement with Jesus Christ’s statement to the one who asked Him “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
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“For by grace are you saved through faith….”  Faith in what, in whom?  Faith in Jesus Christ, believing what Jesus said and taught and acting upon that belief, not merely believing He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.
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To the believers in Galatia, Paul wrote: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (lewdness), idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (contentions, quarreling), emulations (stirring up envy or jealously in others), wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkeness, revellings, and such like, of the which I  tell you before, and I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things (and notice how many are the breaking of the Ten Commandments), SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD” (See Galatians 5:19-21).
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Paul states plainly and clearly, break these commandments and you will not inherit the kingdom of God, that is, we must keep God’s commandments in order to be granted the gift of eternal life.  Some will argue, “Well, if one must DO something in order to be granted eternal life, then it is not really a gift!”  Well, friend, some gifts do require the recipient to DO something in order to obtain the gift.  One must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to obtain the gift of eternal life.  One must believe Jesus died for our sins in order to obtain the gift of eternal life.  Where does one get the erroneous idea that a gift cannot require the recipient to do something?  God GAVE ancient Israel the Promised Land, but they had to DO something to obtain that gift.  (Read Deuteronomy Chapter One).
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One must OBEY Jesus Christ in order to obtain the GIFT of eternal life.  “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Ghost (Spirit), whom God has given TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM” (Acts 5:32).  One MUST have God’s Holy Spirit in order to inherit eternal life and God’s Spirit is given ONLY to those who obey Him, for without and apart from having God’s Holy Spirit one cannot possibly obey both the spirit and the letter of the law.
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And, of course some will now argue, “But we are not under the law,” ignorant of what the apostle Paul meant when he employed that
phrase in his letters to the believers in Rome and Galatia.  When using that phrase in the letter to the Romans, Paul means believers are not under THE PENALTY of the law since Jesus Christ has died in our place, taking the penalty upon Himself.  When using that phrase in the letter to the believers at Galatia, Paul means we are not obligated to keep the Mosaic customs of circumcision, animal sacrifices, and the like.  To be continued….
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Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),
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Donald Wiley
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Do We Have To Sin?

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John says he writes this letter of I John “that you sin NOT” (See I John 2:1).  And goes on to say, “Whosoever abides in Him sins NOT” (See I John 3:6).  This does not mean a believer cannot, or will not sin.  It means a believer need not sin.  The apostle Paul presents this magnificent hope in I Corinthians 10:13 when he dogmatically affirms: “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.  But God is faithful, who will not suffer (permit) you to be tempted above that (which) you are able (to bear), but will with the temptation (at that exact moment in time, simultaneously) also make a way to escape (a GOD-made way of escape, hence a PERFECT way of escape) that you may be able to bear it (bear up under the temptation without sinning).”  Paul agrees with John that a believer need not sin.
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Then why is Paul, of all people, used as an example to prove that a believer cannot be completely delivered from committing sin in this life?  Again, as with John, it is due to a misunderstanding of what Paul wrote in Romans 7.  In the 7th chapter of Romans, beginning with verse 14, Paul wrote these words: “I am carnal, SOLD UNDER SIN, for that which I do, I allow not: for what I would (or should do) that do I not; but what I hate, that do I….Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.  For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing, for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I FIND NOT” (See Romans 7:14-18).
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Now do you really think this apostle is saying he doesn’t know how to get the victory over sin, because right before penning those words Paul had urged these Roman believers, “Reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin?”  (See Romans 6:11).  And again, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof” (verse 12).  He had just assured them, “Sin shall not have dominion over you” (verse 14).  Does he then turn right around and confess that in his own life he found none of this to be true?  How absurd to even think so!
The KEY to a proper understanding of Paul’s clearly defeatist statements in Romans 7 is what Paul says in the 19th verse of Romans 6: “I speak after the manner of men (spiritually defeated men at that) because of the infirmity (weakness) of YOUR flesh.”  Notice, Paul is not speaking of any weakness in his own flesh, but of the weakness of these Roman believers.  Previously Paul had written the believers at Corinth, “I keep under (control) my body, and bring it into subjection (to the Spirit, thus to Jesus Christ and God’s Word)…”  (See I Corinthians 9:27).  Paul hadn’t lost the victory between the time he wrote the Corinthians and the Roman believers.  In writing, “I speak after the manner of men,” Paul was merely saying, “I am going to put myself in your shoes and address this problem from your viewpoint, your perspective, and show you the way to victory – Jesus Christ!
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Putting himself in the place of another in order to address THEIR problem was a tactic used by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians.  (See I Corinthians 4:6).  It’s the tactic he uses in Romans 7.  Don’t be thrown by his use of the personal pronoun “I”.
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Approximately six years before writing the Romans, Paul wrote the Thessalonian believers, “You are witnesses, and God also (God Himself will attest to the truthfulness of what Paul is about to write), how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:10).  Did Paul, and his companions, live holy, just and blameless lives among the Thessalonians while being carnal and sold under sin among the Romans?  Of course not!
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Paul told the Galatian believers it pleased God to reveal His Son to them through Paul.  (See Galatians 1:15-16).  Paul exhorted the Corinthians, “Be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ” (See I Corinthians 11:1).  Also, in his defense to the believers in Galatia, Paul declared dogmatically, “Christ LIVES IN ME!” (See Galatians 2:20).
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How could Paul seriously and without hypocrisy exhort the Philippian believers to be “blameless, and harmless, and without rebuke” if he, himself, was ever giving in to the pulls of the flesh? (See Philippians 2:15)
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Paul wrote the Corinthians, “I know of nothing against myself” (See I Corinthians 4:4), or, as the New International Version words it, “My conscience is clear.”  Paul knew of NO SIN in his life.  In fact, he wrote that “a bishop (a pastor) must be BLAMELESS, JUST, HOLY” (See Titus 1:7-8).  He wrote similar words to Timothy.  (See I Timothy 3:1-7).  Are we to believe that Paul admitted to the Roman believers that he did not fit these qualifications himself?
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Paul exhorted the Thessalonian believers, and by extension you and me, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly (utterly, completely, through-and-through), and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body (the total YOU) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you (to this continuous walk of holiness), who also WILL DO IT” (See I Thessalonians 5:22-24).
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How could Paul be so sure the Living Lord Jesus Christ would bring these believers to such a continued walk of holiness?  He had done it for Paul, THAT’S WHY!  Let Him do it for you, friend.
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Christ’s Servant (Galatians 1:10),
Donald Wiley
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Satan’s Gospel or The Prosperity Gospel

03/28/15 at 6:04 AM

Who Will Answer?

Sin Searchers

Women Ministers – Are They Scriptural?

In writing to Timothy, the apostle Paul laid a strong foundation for himself and his teachings by first saying, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me (to be a good minister of the gospel), for that He counted me faithful (to teach the truth fearlessly and faithfully), putting me into the ministry (for that express purpose)” (I Timothy 1:12).

Again, in chapter 2, Paul reiterates, “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not, a teacher of the Gentiles (all nations) in faith and verity’, or in faith AND TRUTH!  (verse 7, I Timothy 1).

After laying that strong and sure foundation, Paul then instructs his fellow minister Timothy, “Let the woman LEARN IN SILENCE with all subjection (to this apostolic instruction).  But I (God’s duly ordained apostle and preacher of the truth of God) suffer NOT (that is, ALLOW NOT) a woman to teach , nor to usurp (unlawfully steal) authority over the man, but to be IN SILENCE (and be a learner, NOT a teacher).  For Adam was first formed (to serve in the role of teacher, leader, instructor), then Eve” (I Timothy 2:11-13).

This passage, of course, would not forbid a woman from teaching in public school, or teaching scuba diving, or how to fly an airplane, or any other such thing.  Satan, in his clever arguments, would have us believe this verse would forbid a woman from teaching anything at all at anytime to anyone, and that, of course, is not the case.  Nor would it forbid a woman like Priscilla to assist her husband in teaching a man IF “they took him UNTO THEM” apart from the assembly where God strictly forbids a woman from teaching.  (See Acts 18:26 and I Timothy 3:14-15).

Many unwittingly attempt to make the apostle Paul contradict himself by quoting from Paul’s letter to the Galatians in order to support them in their refusal to obey this apostle’s teaching in I Timothy.  They do this by quoting OUT OF CONTEXT Galatians 3:28, where we read: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond (slave) nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

In this passage Paul is saying absolutely nothing about a woman’s place in the assembly.  He is plainly speaking of the promise of salvation, though.  Notice that the very next verse in Galatians 3 says: “And if you be Christ’s then are you Abraham’s seed (descendants – hence, spiritually redeemed), and heirs according to the promise (of eternal life)” (Galatians 3:29).  Yes, as regards salvation – that’s the context – there truly is neither bond nor free, black or white, male or female: Christ died for all!  In that sense, there is neither male nor female, but in reality these differences do remain.  I remain a man following my conversion, and a female convert remains a female following her conversion.

Going back to the Timothy text we first considered, let us see what is the context there.  Notice that three verses after Paul said he forbid women to teach in the assembly of believers, thereby usurping authority not given them by Jesus Christ the Head of the church of God, Paul then says, “This is a TRUE saying, If a MAN desires the office of a bishop (elder, pastor, spiritual overseer), HE desires a good work…” (I Timothy 3:1).

Yes, this office is open to a man – but denied a woman.  Was Paul then a woman hater, as some claim?  Of course not!  It was Paul who exhorted the brethren to love their wives to the same supreme degree that Christ loved the church!   Paul was merely showing himself to be a faithful minister of Jesus Christ, that’s all.

In the 14th chapter of I Corinthians Paul is inspired of God to deal with the issue of how God’s people are to conduct themselves IN THE ASSEMBLY of the believers.  Beginning with verse 26 of that chapter, Paul says: “How is it then, brethren?  WHEN YOU COME TOGETHER (yes, IN ASSEMBLY), every one of you has a psalm (a song), has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation, let all things be done unto edifying.”

And, as we continue with this passage, we will see how Paul reiterates time and again that he is dealing with the issue of just how the brethren are to conduct themselves IN THE CHURCH, or while assembled together, whether it be in a building or in an open field.

Notice that verse 28 speaks of keeping silence “IN THE CHURCH.”  And then in verse 33 Paul says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as IN ALL CHURCHES (assemblies, gatherings) of the saints.”

No, God is not the author of confusion.  We only become confused when we follow the practices of men and women, who refuse to be guided by the plain, clear teaching of God’s inspired apostles and prophets!  Some feel safe, perhaps, in following such especially when they discover that they have a wide following and interpret these scriptures in a manner some find acceptable to human reasoning.  But, never forget that God warns us to “lean not to your own understanding” (See Proverbs 3:5-6).

It is in the 34th verse of this passage we then read Paul’s plain, clear, easy-to-understand statement: “Let your women keep silence IN THE CHURCHES, for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are COMMANDED (by God) to be under obedience, as also says the law.  And if they will learn anything (if they have a question), let them ask their husbands at home, FOR IT IS A SHAME FOR WOMEN TO SPEAK IN THE CHURCH (as they are then blatantly disobeying God’s command)” (I Corinthians 14:35).

In order to prevent women from gradually, in time, abandoning this commandment, the apostle Paul further stipulated that if the woman merely wanted to ask a question in the assembly she was to hold her peace until out of the assembly and at home, then to ask her husband – presupposing, of course, that he was a believer as believers were forbidden to marry unbelievers.  Paul well knew Satan’s ingenious devices.  He knew that if women were permitted to speak out in assemblies by asking questions that, in time, other women would speak out and attempt to answer those questions and thereby begin teaching in these assemblies.  The wisdom given Paul by God was indeed far reaching!

I am well aware of the false argument men and women have employed in order to change the meaning of this text and the similar text in I Timothy 2.  They claim that since synagogues in that day were built in such a fashion that the men and women were separated by a high wall or partition of some sort, that obnoxious, loud-mouthed women who didn’t possess the mental powers to understand  as readily as their smarter husbands had developed the bad habit of hollering and screaming questions to their “smart” husbands thereby disrupting the service, and that Paul gave this counsel in order to stop this unseemly practice.  Whoever is susceptible to believing that argument simply does not hold women’s mental powers in very high regard and forget that we are talking about conditions in Christian assemblies – not Jewish synagogues!  And for the first hundred years or more such meetings took place in private homes.  Church buildings, as such, did not exist at that time.  Therefore,  the men and women would have had only a few feet separating them one from another.

In the next verse, verse 36, Paul asks, “What? came the Word of God out from you? (Are you my teacher, or am I your teacher?) or came it unto you only? (Do you think you have a corner on the truth?)  If any man think himself to be a prophet (one of God’s anointed ministers of the Word), or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD (not Paul’s private opinion, or the misguided thought processes of a woman-hater).  But if any man (or  (woman) be ignorant after hearing this plain, clear, easy-to-understand-and-accept teaching of a God-inspired apostle), let him be ignorant” (verses 37 and 38).

Paul wasn’t about to try to force-feed these carnal believers at Corinth.  If they wanted to reject God’s command and do things their own way,  following the crowd and comparing themselves with each other and other assemblies that did things similarly, then Paul would follow his Lord’s example and let the blind lead the blind.  I follow that same example.

So what if Deborah judged Israel?   So what if the first person to see he resurrected Christ was a woman?  What does that prove or disprove?  That does not change the meaning of these plain and clear passages of Holy Writ written long after these events had occurred!  So what if Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied!  They did so in Philip’s house, not in the assembly!

After giving his apostolic teaching to Timothy that he was not to permit a woman to teach in the assembly, but to be a learner while in that setting, and immediately after giving the qualifications of an elder as being the husband of one wife, Paul then solemnly warned: “Now the Spirit speaks expressly (quite clearly and emphatically), that in the latter times (now in our own 21st Century, as well as the preceding couple of centuries) some shall depart from the faith (the one body of beliefs and practices taught by the apostles), giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1).

Of course the Christian Scientist does not think he has been seduced by the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy.  The Mormon does not think he has been seduced by the teachings of Joseph Smith.  And those who permit women to teach and preach in the assemblies of believers do not think they have been seduced.  That is why they can read, “But I suffer not a woman to teach…” and then continue to permit a woman to teach, even lead, as well as supervise and oversee an assembly of believers, even sometimes urging them to do so.  Satan’s blinding power is truly awesome.  Never forget that.

Paul went on in this same letter to tell Timothy, “These things I write unto you…that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God (in the assembly of God’s people)” (I Timothy 3:14-15).  Yes, it was in the assembly that the woman could not teach.  But husband and wife teams, like Priscilla and Aquila could “take unto them” – apart from the assembly – a brother or sister and more carefully instruct that one in God’s Word.  But I assure you of this, in the full light of God’s Word, Priscilla kept silent in the assembly.  Aquila would have lovingly reproved her had she momentarily forgotten how we are to behave ourselves in the house of God.

A little bit further in Paul’s letter to Timothy he says, “If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister (or steward) of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith, and of good doctrine, whereunto you have attained” (I Timothy 4:6).

But cite these scriptures in some meetings today and you will be quickly labeled a woman-hater, a troublemaker, or some other slanderous term.  I know how Paul would react, though.  The above quoted verses give me Paul’s reaction.

For thousands of years God stipulated that the ONLY persons who could perform the priestly office had to be able to trace their ancestry directly to Aaron, brother of Moses.  They also could not have ANY bodily disfigurement.  They could not be clubfooted, have a flat nose, or “any blemish” physically.  (Read Leviticus 21:17-24).  Any who dared attempt to enter the priestly office without meeting these rigid requirements were to be stoned to death by personal order of Almighty God!  Not only could women not teach, but neither could the vast majority of men!  It mattered not how holy someone was, or how greatly they longed to serve God in the priestly office.  God said, “Kill them if they try to enter this office without meeting my rigid requirements!”  Think on that for a moment if you feel inclined to do things YOUR way.

“These things (I suffer not a woman to teach, etc.) command and teach” (I Timothy 4:11).  And “take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them (don’t abandon this God-inspired instruction somewhere down the line, not even in later centuries), for in doing this you shall both save yourself and them that hear you” (I Timothy 4:16).  One jeopardizes the spiritual welfare of their hearers when they depart from doing things God’s way!

Of course I know that all cannot hear, all cannot receive what Paul and Timothy, as well as all God’s apostles taught and commanded.  Of these Paul then said, “If any man (or woman) teach otherwise, and consent not to WHOLESOME WORDS, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to (true) godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words (trying to reword the apostles, making them say something they never intended to say), whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men (and women) of corrupt minds (so corrupted by clever seducing spirits), and destitute of the truth (hence, paying no heed to this apostle’s writings), supposing that gain (of a large following) is godliness (thinking success and a large following proves that God IS in their disobedient ministries), FROM SUCH WITHDRAW YOURSELF” (I Timothy 6:3-5).

Again, I WARN you of Satan’s clever devices.  He will seek energetically to get the reader to reject what he, or she, has just read, bringing to the reader’s mind ARGUMENTS OF MEN – not scripture – and hoping that these thoughts will override what you have just read.  With some, I fear, he might well succeed, causing them to take comfort in the fact that they have literally thousands who agree with them.  The arena of the mind will be the battlefield.  The opposing forces therein will be man’s clever arguments versus the Word of God.

It is the scriptures alone that will judge us all in that last great day – not men’s distorted, though admittedly clever arguments!  Therefore, I urge you to let the scriptures be your guide and authority even though you may find yourself at odds with close relatives and dear friends.  And God bless you and help you to understand.  (Also see my article “Women Preachers – Banned or Blessed?” at www.thebiblicalprophets.com)

Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),

Donald Wiley

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Judgment of a Christian

“All the divine judgment a Christian will ever face was poured out on Jesus Christ at Calvary.”  That is a FALSE statement.  Whaaaat??!!  “All the divine judgment a Christian NEED ever face was poured out on Jesus Christ at Calvary.”  That is a 100% TRUE statement.  Ananias and Sapphira need never have been struck dead by Jesus Christ.  (Yes, ALL judgment is in Christ’s hands – John 5:22, 26-27).  It wasn’t an unforgiving, stern Father God.  No, it was Jesus.  Paul implores believers not to follow the horrible example of Ananias and Sapphira and tempt Christ to destroy us as He destroyed them as well as twenty-three thousand others.  (See I Corinthians 10:1-11).   That text admonishes believers to heed the warning that our Lord can, has, and WILL destroy flagrantly disobedient believers who will not be corrected by His warnings!  In the very next chapter Paul speaks of how Christ’s judgment had already begun to fall on some of the Corinthian believers, causing some to fall ill and others TO DIE!  (See I Corinthians 11:26-32).  Of course, the Lord always gives the disobedient space to repent.  (See Revelation 2:21).  Paul even comments, “If we (we believers) would judge ourselves (identify and abandon whatever sin that might crop up in our lives), we should not be judged (by the Living Head of the Church, Jesus Christ)” (see verse 31).

The confused beliefs of many Christians convinces me that most of them, including their pastors, have never read the first three chapters of Revelation.  In chapter one Jesus Christ is pictured as the Living Head and JUDGE of the church.  He is the Almighty (Revelation 1:8) with eyes “as a flame of fire,” standing in the very midst of the churches, observing all that is said and done, “for where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them” (see Matthew 18:20), but that does NOT mean He always approves of what He sees and hears.  Five of these seven churches are commanded  to “repent!”   To be continued….

Conformed to Christ

How many are the Christians who can quote Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Yet how few are the believers who can quote the 29th verse wherein God informs us just WHAT is this good God is seeking to work in us!  I quote: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Yes, there is awesome purpose in our being called by God to become members of the Body of Christ.  It is not merely to save us from eternal death or even to inherit the splendors of heaven.  It goes far beyond that and begins in the here and now!  God is literally creating a family of spirit sons (ladies included) – what the Bible calls, “sons of light.”  (See Hebrews 12:9; James 1:17; John 12:36; Matthew 5:14-16 and I Corinthians 15:40-42).  As sons of light, we are called out of the darkness and misunderstanding of this world.  And we are called to walk in holiness and purity in this present physical body so as to be a burning and shining light in whatever generation we happen to be born into.  Satan hates this doctrine and truth and blinds countless numbers of believers from seeing it.  (That is why every warning to beware of spiritual deception is directed to believers?  See I John 4:1; 2 Peter 3:17; James 1:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, etc.)

God places teachers in the body of Christ “for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (spiritually complete, mature) man, TO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST” (Ephesians 4:12-13).  Let’s not water that down or try to “interpret” it.  Those words mean exactly what they say.  It is God’s clearly stated intention to conform or mold YOU into the very spiritual image of Jesus Christ, so that upon our Lord’s return He can be presented with a resplendently pure bride that is “glorious…not having spot (of sin) or wrinkle (of impurity), or any such thing, but that she should be HOLY and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).  Remember, God has COMMANDED us “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (See I Peter 1:16).  Would God give His human followers a commandment He knew good and well could not be obeyed?  Peter goes on to say that Jesus Christ “left us an example that you should follow Him, WHO DID NO SIN!” (See I Peter 2:21-22).  He further stated that we are to be “dead to sins” and “should live unto righteousness” (See 1 Peter 2:24).

Where do believers get the warped, and frankly satanic, idea that believers cannot break with sin, that sin has been, is now, and ever shall be an insurmountable obstacle for the fully surrendered child of God.  (If you, my reader, have used Romans 7 for excusing sin in your Christian life, I urge you to read another of my posted articles entitled “Was Paul A Defeated Christian?”)

The apostle Paul says, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (See Romans 5:1).  How can I have peace with God if I keep sinning day in and day out?  Sin interrupts our peace with God.  Our conscience is bothered.  We feel a distance developing between ourself and God when we sin.  A believer is to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4), a life of joy unspeakable and full of glory – not a life of constant defeat and subsequent depression!  Paul says that the believer is “made free from sin” (Romans 6:18).  The tempter’s power is broken.  Finally, I can say “NO!” to the pulls of the flesh.

Paul told the believers at Corinth that the life of Jesus is to be made manifest IN OUR MORTAL FLESH!  (See 2 Corinthians 4:11).  Satan would have us believe that the flesh is stronger than God’s Holy Spirit and that as long as we are in the flesh we will do the deeds of the flesh.  That is a devil’s LIE!  “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2).  Yes, dead to sin NOW.  Turn a deaf ear to the preacher that says none of us will be free from sin as long as we live in these physical, fleshly bodies.  The deceiver is then saying our death frees us from sin, not Christ’s death.  We then become our own savior – not Christ!  What a satanic teaching that is!

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).  We don’t gain the victory over sin through our own human strength and efforts.   GOD gives us the victory via the Holy Spirit.  “Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).  Don’t look at your weakness.  Look at HIS strength.  “Look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).  “Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves (through HIS strength) from ALL filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).  God help you to understand is my hope and prayer.

Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),

Donald Wiley

Once Saved – Always Saved, Fact or Fiction?

There is a verse in Hebrews, Chapter 13, that appears to be one of the chief mantras of those who teach the “once saved, always saved” doctrine.  Actually it is only the last eight words of that verse that they quote so glibly to “prove” that once a person has surrendered their lives to the LORDship of Jesus Christ they can never be lost.  Those eight words?  “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  And do you know what?  They are right!  Well, they are right that the Lord DID say that.  They are also right that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Well, then, doesn’t that mean we can never be lost once we place our trust in Christ.  NO!  It doesn’t mean that at all.  What these false teachers fail to realize is this quotation, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” is found in the letter to the Hebrews and is A PARTIAL QUOTE from the Hebrew scriptures – the 31st chapter of Deuteronomy to be exact.  And it appears they never turn back to the 31st chapter of Deuteronomy and read the rest of the passage, to see what it actually says.  This chapter in Deuteronomy contains the final words spoken by Moses to the people of Israel.  He is one hundred and twenty years old at this point in time and realizes that the hour of his death is fast approaching.  (See verse 14).  He then exhorts the people of Israel, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (their enemies), for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee, He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Verse 6).  And again in verse 8, Moses says, “And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee (into the claiming of the Promised Land).  He will be with thee.  He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee.  Fear not, neither be dismayed.”  At this point in time “the Lord appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud, and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle” (verse 15).  God is thereby signalling to Moses, “We need to talk!”  Now listen carefully, friend, to what God then says to Moses: “And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after other gods of the strangers of the land (King Solomon later leading the pack) whither they go to be among them, AND WILL FORSAKE ME, and break my covenant which I have made with them.  Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, AND I WILL FORSAKE THEM, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, BECAUSE OUR GOD IS NOT AMONG US?  And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods” (verses 16 and 17).

. That’s rightly dividing the word.  When a couple take their marriage vows and the groom says, “I will love, honor and cherish you until death do us part,” he may mean that with all his heart, but that little bride might fall for the milkman a year or two down the pike AND FORSAKE HIM.  And believers do that with the Lord around the clock!  God have mercy on the deluded preacher who uses Hebrews 13, verse 5, to prove his “once saved, always saved” LIE!

.In the 11th chapter of Romans Paul addresses himself to the Gentile converts at Rome and cautions them: “Boast not against the (cut off) branches (the Jewish people), But if you (you Gentile believers) boast, you bear not the root (Abraham), but the root bears you. You will say then (this will be the point you will argue), ‘the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in’.  Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith.  Be not highminded, but fear (fear what?), for if God spared not the natural branches (the Jews), TAKE HEED LEST HE ALSO SPARE NOT YOU.  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity (is displayed), but toward you goodness (to-wit, mercy is given) IF YOU CONTINUE IN HIS GOODNESS, OTHERWISE YOU ALSO SHALL BE CUT OFF” (verses 18 through 22).  The “once saved, always saved” preacher will rarely, if ever, touch on this passage.  If and when he does, he will mangle it so badly “fire and rescue” need to come and perform CPR on it.  Would Paul give the Gentile believers at Rome an idle, or false, warning?  Would he caution them they could be in jeopardy of being cut off from God and the great and ancient family of God if such an event cannot possibly occur?  In this passage Paul is merely elaborating on and agreeing with Jesus’ own teaching given in John, Chapter 15: “I am the Vine and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch IN ME that bears not fruit (failing to produce a godly character in their lives) He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (verses 1 and 2).  This is one of the classic texts the “once saved, always saved” teacher uses to prove that God takes the life of an unproductive and/or sinful Christian, taking them away to heaven early so they won’t be an embarrassment to Him and His Son any longer.  What a devil’s doctrine that is.  As I have said before, the very worst of heaven has to be indescribably better than the best earth has to offer.  So in essence, in taking away a sinful believer from earth, God is thereby rewarding sinfulness in a most remarkable way!!!  Why don’t these Biblically ignorant preachers think a moment before spreading such satanic lies among God’s people.

I told two Mormon ladies just yesterday that I would not want to be in Joseph Smith’s shoes at the judgment.  Well, there are several radio and TV preachers I wouldn’t want to be standing near when the Lord judges them, because their warped doctrines have opened the floodgates of sin among God’s people.  Why strive to root any and all sin out of one’s life?  The most it can cost you, they say, is loss of a few rewards, and if such sins are continued in and not abandoned they can even get you to heaven a lot sooner!!!  Again, if Satan himself didn’t come up with that teaching then it had to have been one of his cleverest and most capable demons.  Remember, the Bible warns of “false brethren” – men and women who creep into assemblies and wreck and ruin them with their deceitful, sin-spawning doctrines.  What I say to you, my reader, I say to all, “Watch out!  Test the doctrines whether they are of God or of Satan!” 

Christ’s Servant (Galatians 1:10),

Donald Wiley