WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR REPORT (PART 2)
One thing history has taught us is: "An old error is more popular than a new truth!" One man has expressed it thusly, "When a myth is shared by large numbers of people, it becomes a reality." Now, the Gospel, and the ramifications of not believing it, is not a myth, nor is it a new truth but it is ‘new’ to those who hear it for the first time. Consequently, what is perceived as new is immediately considered strange and if not studied properly, this ‘strangeness’, which is immediately attributed to that which is perceived as new, becomes forever associated with the ‘new’ teaching in the mind of the ignorant and their reaction to it is seen as the appropriate reaction to that which in reality is not strange at all but proper and right. And so we see that this attitude is what feeds the lie that turns that which is true into a perceived lie, a myth. At best, the truth is a myth to those who believe error. This line of thinking then becomes a tradition. It becomes entangled and woven into the fabric of a society or a religious denomination. The end result is adherence and loyalty to that which is not at all real, not at all the Word of God, but the mere traditions of men. After reading my material or hearing it said that they are believing a false gospel and are therefore not saved, many immediately take a defensive attitude and thus their vision of reality is further blurred and the real bearers of truth are seen as the enemy. John Lennon once sang, ‘Give peace a chance,’ and all I am saying is ‘Give truth a chance!’ But most are not interested in real truth, only in perceived truth with which they are most comfortable. The ‘truth’ that only exists in the minds of lost men is called a lie by God. Perceived truth is nothing but a lie, it is nothing but a rejection of God’s truth and the acceptance of a man’s lie. People do not want to be moved from their religious comfort zones. They are like the person who is enjoying the warmth of the water at the beach who rushes back into it after being out of it briefly, because of the cold they feel. But this coldness is only due to the fact they are wet, not because the air is actually cold. They have gotten so used to the water temperature that they have perceived it to be warm and the air around it to be cold! They cannot comprehend the fact that it is the water which is actually cold and the air that is warm. They have accepted the water as being warm for they are used to it, and that which they are not used to, that which they are not acclimatized to, is perceived to be cold. And when it comes to what the Gospel is, right is wrong and wrong has become right! Because they have been used to error for so long, they believe truth to be error and the error they have become accustomed to as truth. And this is what lies at the heart of every denomination that teaches a false gospel. Such people do not want to be bothered with the facts but only with what they believe, or want, the facts to be. They are so biased that they are unable to recognize up from down and black from white. They operate in the sensual realm and not in the objective. They are not interested in what the Scriptures say but only in what ‘great teachers of the past’ teach the Scriptures say. Their faithfulness to such men is no different to that displayed by pagans the world over, to the various priesthoods of their Babylonian religions. Their unquestioning subservience to such men, rather than the Truth of God, is reprehensible! These traditionalists need to leave their traditions behind and come to the Truth! These people need to have the courage and the preparedness to believe God’s Gospel even if it means being ostracized by religious society, family and friends. They need to abandon their veneration of the fabrications of men and start paying homage to the Word of God.
Again, it is not the Scriptures which today’s leaders, modern-day Pharisees that they are, immediately point to as not teaching the things that oppose what they say, but the traditions of the institution and their past ‘great teachers’ that are immediately called in as support. Imagine what these institutions would say if one who taught independently of them, and something which they did not promote, sought refuge in tradition rather than go immediately to the Scriptures for support! They would immediately cry out ‘CULT!’ This ministry does not make the claim that there is no one who teaches the truth but us, or that no one else has ever taught it in the past. To accuse us of such a thing is to lie. There has never been a day that has not seen a Christian man walk this earth who did not believe these things and remain faithful to the Gospel of God. The fact that large denominations have not taught THE Gospel is not our problem, nor are we to blame for this, nor is it legitimate for anyone to call the few true Gospel believers and teachers the odd ones out saying their beliefs are extra-biblical or extreme. The only thing we are doing is teaching the truth as found in the Holy Scriptures, and we refuse to make any compromise with what the Scriptures say, regardless of who has not believed it, or even who has believed it. If anyone wants to make an issue out of this and turn it into a controversy, that is their decision. But all they are doing is being distracted from the real issue: what is the Gospel? It is the Gospel that reveals the true believer from the false. The Truth is never established, recognized or verified, by the number of people who believe it. The truth says that for a man to be saved he must believe the Gospel of God and therefore no other, and that those who do not believe the truth of the essential salvation doctrines which make up that Gospel are lost.
Let us look now at the reasoning, or rather the lack of it, behind such arguments as the one which says, ‘How can your Gospel and its ramifications be the right one when no denomination, no official religious entity, throughout all of history has ever believed it?’ To get the claims of such a question into perspective, let us break down its elements and see how they stand up under close scrutiny. They say no denomination has ever taught our Gospel, but whether or not they have is not the issue and it most certainly is no Scripturally supportable way to argue against it. Let us begin with the Gospel they are speaking about, the one they call ‘your Gospel’. As we have already established, and will continue to remind the reader, the Gospel doctrines we preach are no different to the ones reformed believers have claimed as their own down through the centuries. We have looked at the doctrines and they are all held to by the conservative reformed leaders of our day. Not one ‘pastor’ whom I have ever had contact with has argued against even one of the doctrines I teach. No person claiming to believe in the doctrines of Grace has ever argued against any doctrine I teach. The doctrines are simply not what is at issue here at all and therefore the Gospel I preach is not what is seen as strange or wrong. What these people take issue with is not that we teach the consequence of believing God’s Gospel is salvation, but that the consequence of not believing the Gospel results in damnation! But how can you have one without the other? This is like saying that a coin has only one side, or that just because a thing has a front it does not mean it has a back! As my six year old son said to me, ‘If something didn’t have (at least) two sides there would be nothing there.’ A denial of one ramification is a denial of the other. Don’t tell me you believe a man is saved if he believes the Gospel when you refuse to accept the reality that if a man does not believe the Gospel he is lost!
How can you judge one man saved by the Gospel Rule, but discard this Rule when one comes along saying he does not believe it? If there is no problem with a man being saved who believes the Gospel, why is there such an opposition to the teaching that a man is lost who does not believe the Gospel, and by believing the Gospel we mean believing the whole Gospel. Believing anything less than the whole Gospel is to not believe in everything God says His Gospel is. It is to deny something God has said as being essential to a saving knowledge of Him. Everyone believes some Gospel truths but it is the errors they add to it, or the doctrines they leave out of it, that make it a false gospel. Those who do not believe the Gospel are made up in part of those who claim to believe many of its truths, even most of them, and yet the absence of believing it in its entirety is the evidence that they believe, or allow room to believe, something else, something which God has not said, as well. The objections of such people to our Gospel come based on the fact that none of the people they follow and none of the great leaders of the past taught what the ‘hidden’ minority has taught ever since the apostles first preached the Gospel. This minority has never been able to voice its message on the grand scale that Satan’s ministers have taught his many gospels. Because those who are attracted by, and believe in, error are far greater in number than those who believe in truth, what Satan’s ministers say the truth is has reached the ears of many more people than the truth has. And because the carnal mind is fitted to believe error, what the Gospel is not is accepted by the majority to be what the Gospel is. Therefore error is seen as truth and the truth is seen as error and this is the way of the world—both the secular and religious sides. By this they reveal just who they follow, who they really listen to, who really has influence over their minds. It is not truth that these people want but what they want is to be associated with those men who are regarded by the majority as the bearers of it. Religious leaders no longer have to wear long white beards to be perceived and accepted as wise men who have heard from God, but religious degrees, large congregations, huge book sales and sometimes even the fact that one has died are seen as that upon which one can rest assured ensures that what a man is saying is the truth. It is men of reputation whom people want to listen to and not to a few voices crying in the wilderness. It is not so much that I teach that those who believe the doctrines of the Gospel are saved, for this is the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at. Whoever heard of anyone believing, that is savingly believing, the Gospel and being as lost as when they believed a false gospel? So how can anyone say with a straight face that one can fail to believe the Gospel and yet be saved? It is proper and right and no one has any problems with the fact that those who believe the Gospel are saved. Why then, in light of this, do these people refuse to accept the other side of this coin which says that those who do not believe the Gospel are lost? Their message is: ‘Believe the Gospel and you are saved AND BELIEVE IT NOT AND YOU’LL BE SAVED TOO. On this basis one would be forced to conclude that everyone would be saved, for there are only two kinds of people: those who believe the Gospel and those who do not! By this they would have us believe that those who have entered a room are in the room, and that those who have not set foot in the room are also in the room! JUST WHICH PART OF "HE THAT BELIEVETH...SHALL BE SAVED; BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED" (Mk. 16:16), DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND? Surely even the most primitive, most theologically ignorant, of people can understand this. Then why, the question BEGS to be asked, cannot the ‘great religious leaders’ of our day understand, believe and judge by this rule? For goodness’ sake, the leaders of false religions who promote false gospels understand it! The Roman Catholic Church pronounces a curse on those who do not believe the gospel she teaches, so why is it that those Reformed Calvinist professors, scholars and pastors do not believe that to not hold to the doctrine of Christ, as revealed in His Gospel, is to evidence a state of utter lostness?
What our enemies take particular umbrage to is the fact that we say that even though a person ‘believes’ the right doctrines we still count them as lost, as yet to be truly saved by the God of all grace, because they profess to have been saved whilst believing in other doctrines, doctrines which are not Gospel doctrines but anti-Gospel doctrines. To rightly, biblically, believe the Gospel is to see it alone as the only power of God unto salvation and that believing any other gospel can save is a denial of God’s Gospel being the only power of God unto salvation, and therefore is a denial of the Gospel itself. One cannot deny what the Gospel is and simultaneously claim to believe its doctrines, for to believe its doctrines is to believe all that the Gospel claims to be: THE ONLY POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION! The Gospel of God is distinguished from all false gospels, for it is the only one which is the power of God unto salvation. If one is to rightly and savingly believe the Gospel, one must not only believe the doctrines it contains but also what God says His Gospel is: HIS POWER UNTO SALVATION, and that no other gospel could be. One cannot separate the Gospel of God from its being the only power of God unto salvation, or say that believing any other gospel is also a means to salvation. To do so is to strip God’s Gospel of that exclusive power to save and blasphemously attribute it to other gospels which God has not authored. Such people, who claim to now believe the right doctrines, count themselves saved whilst having believed Arminian doctrines for instance, which are diametrically opposed to what the Gospel of God says. But to believe the Gospel of salvation is to admit that one was never saved before hearing and believing it, for to rightly believe the Gospel is to believe in its absolute and exclusive power to save, that it ALONE is the power of God unto salvation and that a false gospel can never under any circumstance or situation ever rightly assume this role. God has authorized that only belief in His Gospel is unto salvation. The Scripture says it most clearly: "...I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for IT is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." (Rom. 1:16). For God to say any other gospel other than His can save would be tantamount to God declaring that belief in any other god but Himself can get a man saved too! Just as God has said, "...I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like Me" (Isa. 46:9), so too, in saying that His Gospel is His power to save, God says in His Word that His Gospel is THE ONLY GOSPEL and there are none others true; His Gospel is THE ONLY GOSPEL and there is none other like it! There are none others like it because no other speaks the same message; there are none others like it for it is the only one God has ever authored; there are none others like it because there are none others true and therefore there are none others like it for only IT can save. It is the only Gospel that has ever proceeded out of the mouth of God. Just like there is no other god like God, there is no other gospel like His Gospel. The Gospel is unique in two ways: 1) it is the only one God puts His name to, and 2) it is the only one which saves. Yet it appears that in the minds of those who believe they were saved whilst believing false doctrines, but who claim to now believe the true Gospel, salvation is seen as some retrospective thing; that somehow believing the true doctrines now means that one was saved in the past while believing false doctrines! Needless to say, there is no Scripture that will bear this out or any that will come anywhere near supporting such nonsense. Exactly why such people react so violently against the ramification of the lostness of those who do not believe the Gospel of God is somewhat of a mystery to me, especially when no Scripture corroborates their claims that one can be saved in ignorance of the Gospel. There is not a single Scripture they could use to support their unbiblical stance nor have I been presented with even one verse which would justify their anger. They will never find one because such a Scripture does not exist. The support such people think they have that makes them right in their rejection of the ramifications of not believing the Gospel does not lie in the Scriptures but in how convinced they are of the ‘weightiness’ of the witness of history. They put credence in the fact that to their knowledge, established religious orders have never said what we are saying today and so they conclude: ‘how could we be right and all of these groups wrong.’ Such ‘reasoning’ is really pitiful for it is based on the age old expression, ‘how could so many be so wrong?’ These people fail to realise that history contains many instances where it is now obvious to all that so many could be so wrong. Remember that at one time the world’s population believed that the earth was flat. All the great leaders and philosophers believed it to be flat and they heaped derision and scorn upon the man who first stood up and claimed that it was round. He was laughed at and considered a fool but the reality was, and history testifies to the fact, that the majority were the fools and not he. There are many other instances, such as in the area of inventors, those men and their great discoveries, whose ideas and concepts were initially scoffed at because it was only they who could see what they saw. Many times it was amateurs and their claims who were laughed at, for they were not part of the establishment and so the reasoning was: ‘How could they be right, how could they have discovered such a thing, when none of the learned men have?’
Let us look now at the clearest biblical precedent we have concerning such things, the story of a man called Noah. The fact that Noah was the only one who believed the true God, and initially knew what the true God had said, was not due to any intelligence or an exceptionally high IQ on the part of Noah. It was not because he was intellectually more advanced than his peers that he knew what he knew, but it was simply due to God having revealed Himself to Noah and no one else. This is a fact that no one has any dispute with. So in light of this, how sensible would it be for anyone to wipe Noah and what he had to say about what the mind of God was on the Flood etc. Everyone now knows that Noah alone was right and that the majority was wrong, BUT NO ONE BELIEVED IT AT THE TIME!! Majorities often only catch up with the truth in hindsight, and Hell—a place where the truth is known too late—is filled with such people. Was the fact that no one else believed what Noah was saying, let alone that no one believed or had even heard of his God, any reason to discount what he was saying? On the face of it, it was perfectly understandable that the majority did not believe Noah for he was not one of their religious leaders. He would have been seen as a mere amateur, for he did not have any formal training as their religious leaders had. Humanly speaking, according to how man thinks, one would have been as mad as Noah to believe him and reject what all the others said. In hindsight, it is easy to say that those people were fools to have the objections they had about Noah and his God, to have not believed Noah and his God. But I wonder if there would be any difference between the attitude taken by people born after the flood with those who were alive in Noah’s day. Friends, there would be, and there exists, no difference at all, for the majority has always and will always go with the flow and resist anything it perceives to be new or different to what society, the secular or religious sides of it, have believed. Most people simply want to fit in. How can anyone say, in light of the facts, whether they profess to be Christian or not, that Noah was a nutcase and the majority was right? Everyone now knows that Noah alone, out of all the people of his day, which some say numbered in the hundreds of thousands, was right because God had revealed Himself to him and no other. So, does the fact God chose to reveal Himself to one man excuse the rest from their unbelief? Of course not. This same principle is alive and well today. It is still how God operates today because it has always been His way and therefore always will be. God does not change. God always saves a remnant and never the majority. God saves those He reveals Himself to and He does not save those whom He has not revealed Himself to. ANYONE WHO HAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT HAS A PROBLEM WITH GOD!! (see Romans 9).
There are many things that multitudes do not believe but this does not mean it could not possibly be the truth. Those who perished in the Flood is a case in point. The multitude may have had varying ideas about God but they were as one when it came to judging Noah to be a crackpot, a maverick, who could not possibly have the truth for he taught outside of the religious establishment of his day. This judgement was based on the fact that no one other than Noah and his family believed it, and that no one had ever heard of such a teaching or of this ‘new’ God! Most folk don’t have much to say about the people in Noah’s day. Most believe them to have been a wild bunch completely irreligious and immoral in their ways. But despite the earth being filled with violence (Gen. 6:11), the people of Noah’s day were also religious. This is seen in Joshua 24:2 where Joshua, speaking to the people of Israel, said: "...your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old times, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods." So from this we see that there were false gods whom the people worshipped and served. Noah also believed what the multitude believed, knowing nothing of the truth until God revealed it to him. Noah "...found grace in the eyes of the Lord....Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:8,9), and God told him: "...behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything in the earth shall die" (Gen. 6:17). There would be a flood of such magnitude that the waters would cover every hill and mountain under heaven (see Gen. 7:19,20) and all who did not hear and acknowledge and abide in what the preacher of righteousness, Noah, had to say, would be lost in those judgement waters. If I may digress for a moment at this juncture, it is noteworthy to point out the fact that the word grace finds its first mention in the Scriptures in reference to Noah in Genesis 6:8. "In sovereign mercy and by the election of grace, God had prepared the heart of Noah to respond in obedient faith to His will. Note the consistent Biblical order here. First Noah ‘found grace.’ Then Noah was ‘a just man’ (that is, ‘justified’ or ‘declared to be righteous’). Thus he was ‘perfect in his generations’ (or ‘complete,’ in so far as God’s records are concerned), and therefore he was able to ‘walk with God.’ Salvation in any era is exactly in this way. By sovereign grace, received through faith, the believer is justified before God and declared to be complete in Him. Only as a result of, and on the basis of, this glorious gift of grace, (which is given so that one will believe only God’s Gospel), can one then ‘walk’ in fellowship with God..."
Can you imagine the outrage which the religious leaders of Noah’s day, not to mention the masses, felt when Noah came along shaking the very foundations of their belief system by saying that he had heard from the only true God there is, a God they had never even heard of, and that regardless of how faithfully anyone served their gods they would all perish in a massive flood if they did not believe what Noah was saying. Imagine how ridiculous Noah must have sounded to those people. Noah was "...a preacher of righteousness..." (2 Pet. 2:5) but his message fell on the deaf ears of spiritually dead men who had not found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Only Noah and his family would escape the flood. The waters of the wrath of a God the people had never heard of and therefore did not seek, would come upon every last man who faithfully adhered to the religion, or religions, of the day, causing them all to perish. Though the truth that Noah spoke had not been real to the majority, the waters of judgement most certainly were, as will be the flames of hell to those who believe not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. How they scoffed and laughed at Noah and his family when they busily set about to build an ark which would take them one hundred and twenty years to construct (see Gen. 6:3), during which time the Lord remained silent, and which they were told Noah was ordered to make by this God they had never heard of and whom no one else worshipped. The mocking would have reached its crescendo when Noah and his family and the animals entered the ark "and the Lord shut him in" (Gen. 7:16) with not a hint of rain about. ‘But why only you?’ the people must have asked. ‘Why has this God only told you to build an ark, why has He not spoken to anyone else? If He is a God of Love, then surely He would save more than one man and his family?’ they must have asked. ‘We are just as good as you are and even serve the gods better than you.’ And still it was so. Though the people thought it madness that the world and everything and everyone in it, barring Noah and his family, would be destroyed (see Gen. 9:11), it was nonetheless true. And, significantly, it was just as true prior to their believing it as the flood waters rose around them, as it was when they did not believe it! You see, one does not have to wait for the majority to believe something for it to be true. The truth is what God has said it is, and whether eight or eight hundred million people believe it, it is truth nonetheless. Truth does not need anyone to believe it for it to be truth! The impending Flood was a fact that none of them wanted to bother with, for no one believed it other than a man called Noah. How accurate a portrayal is this of people today. A people so busy in the pursuit of happiness, who cannot be bothered with anything that differs from what they have been taught and which the majority believes. How many people, how many of the religious leaders of Noah’s day, would have approached Noah, having known him to be a faithful follower of their teachings and servant of their gods, trying to reason with him, to reason him out of believing such nonsense as some God having spoken exclusively to him, giving him a message to preach and that all those who refused to believe such a message—which would mean refuting everything they had ever believed in—would perish in a worldwide flood. Why, the very fact that there had never been rain (Gen. 2:6) was enough to show that what Noah was saying was the mere ramblings of a madman. "In the original world...there was no rainfall on the earth. As originally created, the earth’s daily water supply came primarily from local evaporation and condensation. There was also...a system of spring-fed rivers." But Noah was no madman and he stuck to what he knew was true, to what God had told him, knowing that no one else believed it. He continued building the ark, by faith, for over a century amidst all the scoffing of his fellow men and utter silence from God. His building the ark was an outward show of the inward faith he had been given by God and by which he condemned the world (see Heb. 11:7). Some who mocked Noah had, no doubt, at one time respected him as a friendly man and a ‘good old boy’ and enjoyed a great friendship with him. This was all to change when everyone turned on Noah and his family because no one believed him, or rather, no one believed his God. Everyone believed that everyone but Noah was right, and even if there were any who may have wanted to believe Noah, they no doubt reasoned within and among themselves: ‘How can one man be right, and EVERYONE else, not just the majority, be wrong!’ Significantly, such reasoning took each and everyone of its adherents to their doom. Their bias eradicated any chance they had of seeing and believing what Noah had told them the only God had said. Only Noah, the man they counted as radical, extreme and religiously hyper, was right. No doubt those who choose to believe and trust in what religious empires of today say and dictate, had they been alive in Noah’s day, would have gone with the majority just as they do today, and rejected what Noah was saying and, as a consequence, Noah’s God. What do we learn from all this? We learn that going by numbers, judging what the truth is by how many people believe it, is not the standard by which we are to judge whether a doctrine is true or not, or whether a person’s gospel is God’s Truth or not. We learn, and should be forewarned, that believing what the majority believes is no guarantee that what we believe is right, but that it often can be a guarantee that what a person believes is anything but right!