WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR REPORT? (PART 6)
To say that no one can believe the Gospel perfectly, that is each and every doctrine in it, is to intimate some knowledge as to what the Gospel is. Yet with all the knowledge man has gained, with all the books he has written on theology etc., these men insist that no one actually knows what the Gospel is and therefore no one believes the Gospel perfectly. May I respectfully add at this point that it would make no sense for one to say that what a person believes is not the Gospel after they have stated that they do not know what the Gospel is! Imagine the conversation: ‘What is the Gospel, pastor?’ ‘Well, no one actually knows what the Gospel is.’ ‘Well,’ the man says, ‘this is what I have learned the Gospel is...what do you think?’ The ‘pastor’ answers, ‘It sounds pretty good but that’s not it.’ The man replies, ‘But you’ve just told me that you don’t know what the Gospel is, so how can you judge what I believe to not be the Gospel? For all you know it is the Gospel and you just can’t recognize it!’ You’ve got to know what it is to know what it isn’t!! You’ve got to know what the Gospel is to know what it isn’t, and, you must know what the Gospel is not, in order to rightly define, preach and believe what the Gospel is. Are the enemies of the Gospel saying that the Bible does not make clear which are the doctrines of grace that deal with salvation issues or that they simply cannot discern what God’s Word has made so perfectly clear? To say man can at best only believe the Gospel imperfectly is to say that what he believes is not the Gospel at all but a counterfeit, and a poor one at that. How can a man be saved who believes errors concerning the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, revealing that he has wrong notions of what it is, and of how God saves? How can he be believing in the Gospel of God which, along with the faith of God, is given so that THERE WILL BE NO MISTAKE as to Who God is and how God saves!!! One must know God to be saved, and to know Him is to believe Him. To know God is to keep His Word (see Jn. 8:55). Believing what God has said, is what believing in Him is all about. The Scriptures show that to be related to God is to believe in God: "...believe in the Light, that ye may be the children of Light" (Jn. 12:36). To be saved while believing the Gospel imperfectly would be like a man drawing a picture of something. His copy of it will not be perfect but it will be close enough to the original as to be recognizable. Likewise, belief of enough truth will reveal that the gospel one believes in is the true Gospel, they say. This is the theory but it is a fundamentally flawed one. As we shall see later in our discussion of the biblical fact that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump of dough, meaning that a little incorrect doctrine will change the face of the true, an approximation of what the Gospel is, is not the same as believing what the Gospel is. The slightest error, the smallest deviation from what God has drawn to represent His Gospel, will show the copy to be a false one and not what God has drawn at all. It is the differences which make all the difference!! Its the differences which make God’s Gospel unique and separate from all false gospels, that distinguishes it as God’s only Gospel. That’s why Paul the apostle warned of any gospel which differed from his. The difference between false gospels and God’s only Gospel is in the doctrines. Yes, the Devil is in the doctrines of false gospels which differ with the doctrines of God’s Gospel. The true Gospel is the one which God commands is to be believed and a false gospel is one which Satan says you can believe and thereby be saved. God commands that no other gospel but His is to be believed and Satan says that one can believe any gospel and be saved. God says there can be no salvation before belief of His Gospel, and Satan counters by saying that one can be saved by a false gospel before one comes to believe the true. WHOM DO YOU BELIEVE? The reality is, the faith man has by nature is an imperfect faith, hence its fatal attraction to imperfect gospels. Conversely, the faith which God gives is perfect and always leads those to whom it has been given to believe in the perfect Gospel perfectly, WITHOUT FAIL!! There are no exceptions to this rule, for just as a man blessed of God can only believe in the true God, so too a man blessed of God can only believe in the true God’s Gospel. How can a man say he believes in the true God when the false gospel he has placed his faith in fails to identify the true God. JUST LIKE ALL MEN BY NATURE FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD, ALL FALSE GOSPELS FALL SHORT OF IDENTIFYING THE TRUE GOD! What else can the Holy Spirit of God lead His people to but the truth of God as revealed in the Gospel of God? If He is the Holy Spirit of truth, what other gospel can He lead people to than the Gospel of truth? And what else can the faith which God gives to His people believe in? And what other gospel but God’s Gospel could God’s people possibly abide in? The faith which God gives is attracted only to HIS Gospel—the WHOLE of it—and is repulsed by any other, no matter how closely it may resemble it. Paul told Titus that he should teach the young men to speak God’s doctrine with exactness and preciseness, at the same time showing that it is most surely possible to do this: "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine shewing UNCORRUPTNESS, gravity, sincerity" (Titus 2:7). Do you think there is any room for error in that word uncorruptness? If Titus was to teach God’s doctrine with uncorruptness, then it is of a surety that Paul taught it thus and therefore we are to teach it with equal accuracy, with equal uncorruptness, and therefore believe in Paul’s uncontaminated Gospel. Even if only one doctrine is left out, one would be left without the full story, the full plan of God’s salvation, and therefore be left with a corrupted gospel. Even if a Gospel doctrine is believed in, yet not seen as a doctrine that is part of the essential knowledge one must have, that saving knowledge encapsulated and revealed in God’s Gospel, one is not believing the whole Gospel. If one does not have to know a particular doctrine to be saved, then obviously one is saying that one does not have to believe that doctrine to be saved. Subsequently, if one does not have to believe a doctrine to be saved, then one can believe whatever one thinks to be right in the matter which that doctrine speaks, and still be saved. As soon as the essentiality of one doctrine is denied because another Gospel doctrine is seen as more important, who is to say that the only doctrine which must be believed is the most important one. What other doctrine could possibly be essential to saving knowledge but the superior or predominant one? The Gospel needs ALL its doctrines to stand. To deny the essentiality of one doctrine is to deny them all, for they are all inextricably connected and they stand together or not at all. Wherever one goes the rest go. You cannot separate them or exclude even one from being a Gospel doctrine merely because you believe one to be more important than the others. The Gospel doctrines are not in competition with one another but flow into one another and mutually enhance the beauty each one possesses. God’s faith loves no other gospel than God’s Gospel and therefore it recognizes, knows and loves every doctrine in that Gospel. The faith which God gives is monogamous! It has no appetite for any other gospel, not even those which have the slightest under taste of error. The only ‘bait’ that will attract this fish called faith, is God’s only Gospel. The enemies of God believe that because man is an imperfect creature he will believe the Gospel imperfectly, EVEN WITH THE FAITH THAT GOD GIVES! Subscribers to such thinking reveal that they know, and have known, no other faith than the natural imperfect faith of man! They have not been blessed by God with HIS faith to believe His Gospel, and therefore to believe it perfectly. They congregate around false gospels all their lives because they have a faith that has a taste for no other kind!
Again, there is nothing new in the doctrinal content of what we teach. But because we teach that before or without belief in the Gospel of God there can be no salvation, which is precisely that which Ephesians 1:13 teaches, one mainstream Reformed minister wrote accusing me that what I teach is new doctrine and promptly (and conveniently) quoted the familiar phrase: ‘What’s new is not true and what’s true is not new'. This is a true saying in terms of God not having any new truth for His people to believe outside of that revealed in the Scriptures. But it is wrong for anyone to take this saying and use it inappropriately by ruling out anything as being true simply because it is not the line adopted by a particular organization. A truth previously concealed is no doubt new truth to a person to whom it has just been revealed, but this does not make the particular teaching new. When a Christian prays, ‘Show me new things, Lord', he’s not asking for new revelation in terms of extra-biblical revelation, but things he has not yet seen in the Scriptures. The truth of God has been around longer than anything man calls truth. After believing false gospels for around 30 years, the truth of the only Gospel of God was new to me for I had never heard it before, but this did not mean that it was some new truth heretofore concealed from mankind, nor did the fact that I had never heard it rule it out as being truth. How silly would it be for a person to reject something, labelling it ‘new doctrine’ and therefore ruling out any possibility that it was the truth, simply because they had never heard it or because their particular denomination had never taught it! The doctrines I teach have been agreed with by several 'reformed' pastors I have had contact with and along with many others who have read my booklets, they have no quarrel with their doctrinal content at all. In fact one man emailed me saying, "It is not often that I write to individuals or to organizations on the net...I felt compelled to write to you and tell you your presentation of the Gospel is the clearest most precise declaration of Truth I have ever heard aside from the scriptures themselves. I want to thank you for helping me! I have studied and I have preached and I have read many reformed writer’s work in the past but never have I been moved, motivated, and inspired as I have been by your work..." One can tell by this response to our Gospel that there is nothing new in its doctrinal content. We do not preach new truths, yet because many have not heard preached the ramifications attached to our Gospel, they contend that what we teach must be new. The gentleman who made the above comments regarding my writings was very familiar with the ‘great’ reformers of the past and their teachings and found NOTHING in my writings that conflicted with what they had said. Unlike others, he at first appeared to have no problem with the declaration that a person is lost before they hear and believe the Gospel. But what really struck him, what really hit him like a freight train, was when I mentioned that Charles Spurgeon was lost because he believed that though Arminians have a false gospel this did not mean they were lost. He admitted having had problems about some of Spurgeon’s writings and although agreeing that a person is lost who believes a false gospel, like so many, when names are mentioned and real individuals exposed, especially those of such a reputation as Spurgeon, the whole issue suddenly changes and to the minds of such people, these things just could not be right. In a way, it causes a short circuit in their minds to think that so many, who for so long were considered great men of God and spiritual giants, were in reality lost because though teaching the right doctrines of the Gospel of God, they refused to judge saved and lost by the Gospel. The big picture is so frightening to them that they feel compelled to look away and never set eyes on it again. To say that a man like Charles Spurgeon was lost is tantamount to blasphemy in the mind of many and no matter how much you try and reason with them, they will not hear what you say because it would mean the dethroning of such religious icons and, of course, an admittance on their part that not only those men, but that also they themselves, are lost. It would cause such a massive upheaval in their lives that their minds refuse to accept such a thing. If that is the bottom line to what we teach, if it means that men like Spurgeon are lost, then our Gospel cannot be right. This is the unreasonable thought process that runs through the minds of unregenerate men. Needless to say, the man never wrote to me again and never gave me a reason for his disagreement with what we say despite his previous excitement and glowing comments regarding my writings. I was tempted to write to him again and ask him what exactly his reasons were for ceasing his correspondence with me so abruptly, but Christ did not go chasing those who did not believe Him, and I am not about to do it just to satisfy my curiosity. This ministry is always open to discuss matters with anyone, but we will not hound anyone or bother anyone who does not want to know, who does not want to follow the truth and who runs away after hearing it. Those who flee make a very loud and clear statement by their action: I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ANYMORE; LEAVE ME ALONE!! We are dealing with adults and I will not wet nurse anyone who will not take an open and honest approach to the truth of God. I will love such people by praying for their salvation but what more can I say to them than what I have already said in my numerous booklets, which they all have access to on the Internet, especially when they do not want to talk about that which they disagree with. ‘None are so blind as those who WILL NOT see.’ And this is the interesting and very sad truth behind all this: that many people simply do not want to know. The fact that they do not want to know is what lies behind their claim to not understand. They seem deathly afraid of anything which comes along that even vaguely threatens their comfortable religious existence. I know the feeling well, for in my lost days of believing and following the teachings of Kenneth Copeland I immediately closed a book I was looking at when I realised that the author was critical of his teachings. I simply did not want to know, I did not want to admit there existed anything wrong in Copeland’s teachings. I just did not want to be proven wrong about him and what he taught. I was enjoying Copeland’s television program and his teaching tapes and simply did not want this to stop. And when people flee my teachings, when they cease all communication with me, that is exactly what they are doing. They are closing the book on the issue because they do not want to know, they do not want to have to stop what they refuse to believe are their erroneous religious ways! They look at you as if you were some alien fresh off his flying saucer and they often treat you with the respect one reserves for a child molester! To allow themselves to see as false that which they believe, and to turn to and believe only God’s Gospel, would cause such turmoil in their lives that it simply will not be accepted. One man, whilst not able to refute what was told him about what he believed, said he could not accept it for it would mean he would have to admit that for the past two or three years he had been deceived! This is not a made up story, it is reality. This is how real people really think! People like to think that they are making progress in their lives and that they are not wasting their time in what they are involved in. People just hate to admit they’re wrong at the best of times. And so, because of their unwillingness to even hear the truth, these dear folk label me and others like me as this or that and then go on in wilful ignorance believing what they believe to be the truth. In some cases, not even caring what the truth is, they are just convinced they are Christian because of the lives they lead and the lovely people they mix with. Those who claim to ‘see’ but who are without discernment, don’t know anything but are merely hoping their gospels are O.K. What a day these people will face when they hear from the mouth of God Himself what they had heard from true Gospel preachers. Some will think this an outrageous statement but all I can say is, try and prove me wrong! All I, and any other Gospel teacher, is saying is what God is saying. Go to the Scriptures and PLEASE show me where it says a man is saved whilst ignorant of the Gospel of God, or denies any part of it as essential to saving faith, or where any of the writers of the Bible ever said that a man could be saved, justified by God, who believed in lies about God, or who called blessed that which the Holy Spirit calls accursed!!
Again, there is nothing new about the doctrines I preach. The thing that really disturbs people, the thing which really gets their noses all bent out of shape, the thing they really oppose and just cannot swallow, the thing that has hit a raw nerve and caused them to act the way they have in breaking off all communication with me and other Gospel believers without even a goodbye or any explanation as to why they will not believe what we are saying, and why they refuse to even talk about it, is the fact that none can be saved before hearing and believing this Gospel. But what I am saying is no different to what Christ said: Believe the Gospel and you will be saved, believe it not and you will perish (see Mk. 16). There is nothing new in my doctrine, just as there is nothing new in the ramifications which come with not believing it! If the ramification of believing the Gospel is salvation, then why do people have such a problem with the fact that a person is lost who does not believe it? I mean, if you’ve got to believe it to be saved, what else is there to say about a person who does not believe it but that they are lost? To believe the Gospel to be saved is to say that before belief of that Gospel one was not saved. Seeing then that believing is connected with being saved, what else could unbelief be connected with but lostness, an un-saved state? You either believe or you do not believe; you are either saved or you are not saved. There is no doctrinal middle ground, just as there is no middle ground in eternity. One either spends it in heaven or in hell, and when it comes to the Gospel: one either believes it or not. Christ said ‘preach the Gospel’, ‘believe the Gospel’, so how can I be rightly accused of being some cult-leading, hyper Calvinist extremist fundamentalist fanatic when I say, along with Christ and all the apostles, that without this Gospel none can be saved? I mean, what is so outrageous and offensive about such a statement? AND WHY DON’T THEY ACCUSE CHRIST OF SUCH EXTREMISM? Oh, sorry, I forgot. This is EXACTLY what Christ’s enemies did in the Scriptures and what they still do today! If they call me an extremist, what must they call the Lord of my Gospel? Friend, if the Lord of the Gospel reveals that Gospel to you, you will see that such a statement is not outrageous at all but the height of biblically conservative thinking. It is a statement made after seeing the Word of God through the eyes of the faith which He gives to His elect. It is only ever seen as outrageous by those who do not count the Gospel of God as the power of God unto salvation for they do not believe it, but in reality count it foolishness! (see 1 Cor. 1:18) It is perfectly in line with what the Scriptures say. It is as black and white as what the Scriptures say about saved and lost, so how could it differ with what the Scriptures say? Belief and unbelief are as poles apart as being saved and being lost. It is interesting to note that no one who has visited my website and read my writings who have disagreed with what I say, has ever written to me to tell me their explanation of why I am wrong. None of them have actually told me what they believe the Gospel is. Nor have they said anything to anyone I know as to why they disagree with me. They all say I am wrong, but no one has yet to tell me why! They all say I am wrong, but no one has yet to present me with any Scripture that proves I am wrong! Now, I could understand their reluctance to contact me if I were an arrogant man whose writings oozed malice and hatred etc., which would belie a stubborn unteachable spirit. But as anyone can tell you, I am not that way inclined nor are my writings unreasonable and arrogant claims which are unsupported by Scripture. They are written with purpose but done so with a gentle manner according to biblical reason, and I would be happy to discuss the great Gospel of God with anyone in a civil way. The only responses I have ever had, that often come through a third person, which tried to defend the crazy idea that one can be saved before one hears and believes the Gospel, which is to say that one can be just as saved without it as with it, have all been based on experiences and sincerity. It is interesting to note that in referring to lost people as ‘them that have no knowledge,’ God said they "...pray to a god that cannot save" (Isa. 45:20), thus linking ignorance with false gods. Why did God say they pray and not they worship, or they bow down to? One of the reasons is that people who pray to false gods can and do have many experiences through apparent answered prayers. People in every nation and of every religion who believe in false gods, testified to in false gospels, all have experiences through their prayers to such gods. How long do you think any religion would have lasted if people didn’t get what they perceived to be answers to their prayers? For so many, these prayer-induced experiences are what they base their salvation on, convinced they are in contact with God and that He favors them. This also has conspired to blind man from taking the matter of doctrine, what the Gospel is and what it is not, very seriously. The fact that they are ‘communicating with God’ through prayer and that God is ‘blessing’ them is what convinces them that they are right with God. Though, to their minds, they sincerely strive for the truth, they ‘know well and good’ through their experiences of ‘answered’ prayer that regardless of what they know or don’t know, they are saved! With one man I knew it was the fact that he experienced an instant relief from a dependance on drugs and alcohol that convinced him he had found the true God and been saved. Though admitting much of what he believed at the time was what he now recognizes and calls error, this could in no way, according to this man’s mind, cancel out his experience as God-given. This man agreed with the doctrines I teach and could not fault one of them, but refused to judge saved and lost based on the Gospel of God. The attitude is: ‘If you believe the Gospel you are saved, but even when you didn’t believe it, or if you do not believe it now, you are saved too!’ This is the outrage, friend!! They refuse to judge saved and lost according to doctrine but they are happy to judge saved and lost by experiences and works!! What an insult to the Truth of God, to God’s whole plan of salvation, if one could be saved without believing in that Plan. To not believe in the Gospel is to not trust in the true God for salvation. If you do not believe His Word then you cannot believe in Him. That many who claim to be Christians judge those of overtly non-Christian organizations as lost, is due wholly and solely to the doctrines those people believe. Look up any book you like which exposes a religious organization as not being of God and you will see a book which focuses on the doctrines that organization teaches and how it conflicts with the Scriptures. Yet, interestingly enough, according to the way these folk judge saved and lost, if one believes enough of the truth, a certain amount of truth or certain doctrines, they will not be judged lost even though they hold to several erroneous doctrines concerning Gospel issues! Everyone is a theologian when it comes to the errors of Mormonism, or the J.W.’s, and there is no hesitation in judging such people lost due to their doctrinal beliefs, but when it comes to those who believe in more orthodox truths concerning God and His Son, but who still fail to believe the doctrinal detail which distinguishes God’s Gospel from all counterfeits, these people suddenly change to judging saved and lost by experiences, works, sincerity of belief and character and conduct etc., and not by doctrine! Believing enough is good enough, they say. One wonders what exactly is meant by ‘believing enough’. Is it to believe enough truth about the Gospel doctrines, or does believing enough mean believing a certain number of doctrines correctly. If either of these ‘rules’ is true, where may we find this explained in the Scriptures? Where is it taught that believing enough is good enough to be saved and who actually gets to define what believing enough actually means? And where exactly are the Scriptures that would back this up? Where is it written that to believe enough is good enough and that the rest of the Gospel doctrines which are not believed in do not matter when it comes to being saved, or that the error one has embraced will not keep you from being saved, and the doctrines will all be correctly learned during the course of one’s Christian life anyway and that even if not learned, it will not effect a person’s salvation? What a load of rubbish! The Scripture does not say, ‘God has chosen His people through sanctification and belief of enough truths’ but "...through sanctification...and BELIEF OF THE TRUTH" (2 Thess. 2:13), meaning the whole truth! AN UNADULTERATED AND IMMUTABLE BELIEF IN THE UNADULTERATED AND IMMUTABLE GOSPEL!! The word the immediately preceding the word truth in the above verse shows that the truth spoken of is a definite and actual thing rather than something subjective, or something ambiguous. A person is not saved through some second rate faith that believes in a corrupted gospel! Believing enough Gospel doctrines is NOT good enough, for the command is to believe THE Gospel, meaning the entire Gospel, the WHOLE Message and not just part of it. And believing enough truth (whatever that means) about the Gospel doctrines is also not good enough, for error would still be accommodated. Saying that believing enough Gospel doctrines but not all is enough to be saved, is like the fool who called his Chevy a Ferrari based on the fact both have four wheels! Or the man who calls his Volkswagen a Cadillac based on the fact they are both made of metal and have windows all around! If a person looks similar to you, does this mean they are you? Of course not. So too, merely because a gospel resembles the true Gospel in many ways, even if it includes all its doctrines but for one, it cannot be the true Gospel unless it is the whole Gospel.
It cannot be the true Gospel if it shares its power to save with any other gospel. There has never been any scriptural proof offered to me by those who oppose our Gospel, just mere subjective nonsense which would not only fail to stand up in a court of law, but would not even have the legs to make it as far as the court room!! Do not follow the words of men, but only follow the word of God.
Again, there are many Calvinistic organizations who find no problem in the Gospel we preach. But the difference is, they are tolerant of those who believe in gospels that are at best nothing but a hybrid of error and truth. To tolerate is to not penalise, which is not what one sees in Scripture, concerning those who do not believe the Gospel. To tolerate is to permit and to condone a thing. Now how anyone can read any level of tolerance into Jesus’ words that those who do not believe the Gospel will perish (Mk. 16:16), or in Paul’s words, that those who do not believe the truth will be damned (2 Thess. 2:12), is beyond me. The saved of God are not permitted to believe a false gospel, for no belief in error is condoned by God, which is why they are outfitted with HIS faith: that HIS Gospel be believed and no other. Tolerance is not how God deals with those who do not believe His Gospel, but punishment, vengeance and eternal damnation is how they are dealt with!! So much for tolerance. For some reason, the tolerators of error seem not to know where to draw the line between saved and lost based on doctrinal beliefs when it comes to those people who believe more truth than error. They have no problem, no hesitation, in judging a man lost who claims to be a Christian but lives an immoral lifestyle, yet they refuse to call a man lost who claims to be a Christian but is guilty of living a spiritually immoral lifestyle evidenced by their belief of erroneous, God-dishonoring, doctrines! What are they afraid of? Are they fearful of offending the one who believes a false gospel? Perhaps this is the crux of their problem, for they have no hesitation in calling doctrinal lies a false gospel, yet they contend that those who believe in such lies are saved based on their belief of them! To those who say they do not base their ‘salvation’ on their belief of those doctrines, I ask then: what do you base it on? Works? Years ago I asked both a Presbyterian minister and a very scholarly minded professing christian just how wrong one would have to be to evidence a state of lostness. This was during my pre-Gospel days when I was busy exposing error in false ministries, yet unaware of my own damnable error in believing a false gospel. Neither man had an answer for me, nor any idea how to answer my question. One Reformed Calvinist ‘pastor’, in discussing this matter, confessed to me that he had ‘no idea how much error God is willing to put up with in His people’ (when it comes to the matter of the Gospel). The answer is: NO error, which by its very nature contributes to the perversion of the Gospel of Christ, thereby revealing another gospel that God has not declared and another christ whom God does not bear record to as HIS Son, will be tolerated. And no one who believes in such error can be considered among God’s people, for they cannot be believing God’s Gospel. They cannot be promoting or believing it as the only power of God unto salvation. IF IT IS THE ONLY POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, THEN IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN BE BELIEVED UNTO SALVATION!