The Meaning Of The Word “Baptism”

The word “baptize” has been transferred into our English Bible from the Greek copies. Baptists have historically argued the fact that the word, in its primary meaning, means “to dip.” Many lexicons and English dictionaries make this fact clear. However, some dictionaries (even some of the better ones) have refused to enter into religious controversy. Therefore, instead of actually defining the word “baptize,” they simply state how the word has come to be used in the various branches of Christendom. It is good that these dictionaries reveal how many commonly use the word. Yet, they should do this only after strictly defining the word. If we allow theological, Bible words to be defined by the religious climate, it will not be long before “God” will be defined as “she”! (In fact, I recently read of some liberal, rebellious Baptists doing this very thing at a recent conference.)

First, we can glean the fact that “baptize” means to “dip” by simply noticing the context of its usage in Scripture:

John 3:23 And John also was BAPTIZING in Aenon near to Salim, because there was MUCH WATER there: and they came, and were baptized.

Acts 8:38 ….they went DOWN both INTO THE WATER, both Philip and the eunuch; and he BAPTIZED him. 39 And when they were come UP OUT OF THE WATER…

We do not need “much water” to sprinkle. And there would be no need for BOTH parties to go “down” into the water and get all wet if “baptism” is by sprinkling. Why not just fill up a cup?

Secondly, baptism is said to include the idea of a BURIAL with Christ (Rom.6:4, Col.2:12). How can this precious truth be associated with “sprinkling”? Govett writes:

“Baptism is the burial that follows on death…Baptism, according to the mind of God, must be immersion. For in it there are both burial and resurrection. In pouring on the face, or sprinkling, there is neither burial nor resurrection.” (Robert Govett, “Govett on Colossians,” 1890; pp.115, 118)

Notice the word “baptize” as defined by various dictionaries, historians and scholars:

“Gr. baptizein, to dip under water.”
(Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary; 1956)

“…the Greek word, whence comes ‘baptize,’ signifies immerse…” (Robert Govett, “Govett on Colossians,” p.123)

“In respect to the form of baptism, it was in conformity with the original institution, and the original import of the symbol, performed by immersion…” (Neander, “History,” Vol. I)

“…baptism was administered in convenient places…by immersing the candidate wholly in water.” (Mosheim, “Ecc. Hist.”)

“To dip repeatedly, dip under, middle voice, to bathe; hence to steep, wet, to pour upon, drench…” (Liddell and Scott’s Greek Lexicon; 1843)

“Baptize” can mean “pour upon”; yet only when a person has been drenched to such a degree that he can be said to have been completely COVERED. For example, in a storm, a wave of the ocean can “pour” down upon a ship and “baptize” it (Mat.8:24).

The next quote is very interesting:

“…the Baptists are, from the Protestant standpoint, unassailable, since for their demand of baptism by submersion they have the clear Bible text.” (J. Dollinger – cited in “Baptist Principles Reset,” Jeter).

Dollinger was a popular, 19th century Roman Catholic scholar. He could freely argue the truth of the Baptist position since he also erroneously argued that the R.C.C. has the “authority” to change or add to the Bible through its tradition! Nevertheless, we appreciate his “confession” in regard to the Biblical truth of the Baptist position.

It is therefore clear (even to our Roman Catholic opponents) that the primary meaning of the word “baptize” means to “dip.” Yet, have we ever thought about what the word “dip” fully means? Webster’s 1828 defines “dip” as:

“1. To plunge or immerse, for a MOMENT OR SHORT TIME, in water or other liquid substance; to put into a fluid and WITHDRAW.”

Therefore, “dipping” includes the idea of “withdrawing again.” The Oxford Dictionary agrees. It defines “dip” as:

“1. To put down or let down TEMPORARILY…”

John Clark (known by many as the father of American Baptists), in 1652, notes that the idea of “raising again” is indeed a large part of the definition of the word “baptism”:

“In that the word [baptize] by which it is so frequently expressed, doth in proper English signify to dip, to plunge under water, and as it were to drown, but yet so as with SAFETY, so that the party (as to the manner) may be drowned again, and again, see the instance of Naaman…[2 Kings 5:14].” (“Ill-Newes From New England,” London; 1652)

Indeed, if we define the word “baptize” directly from its usage in Scripture, we must of necessity include the idea of “resurrection,” since everyone who was immersed was brought to the surface again:

Mark 1:10 And straightway COMING UP OUT OF THE WATER, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

Acts 8:39 And when they were COME UP OUT OF THE WATER…

Paul therefore includes the idea of resurrection in his concept of baptism, as assuredly as he does death and burial:

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by BAPTISM into death: that like as Christ was RAISED UP from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Col. 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, WHEREIN ALSO ye are RISEN with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

The word “wherein” reveals that the idea of “baptism” includes a resurrection or a raising. The word “dip” itself is never used in Scripture in any other way but to specify a submerging with a subsequent rising again. Therefore, the technical definition of “baptism” is not just “immersion,” but TEMPORARY immersion (or covering). The single, best definition is to “dip,” since it, in itself, is only a temporary immersion.

Every Bible verse that utilizes the word “baptize” (or one of its forms) reveals an immersion or covering with a subsequent raising. We therefore have no warrant to depart from this definition in regard to those Scriptures that use the word with something other than water. Notice these scriptures:

1 Cor. 10:2 And were all BAPTIZED unto Moses IN the cloud and IN the sea;

The immersions into the “cloud” and “sea” (Ps.78:13) were only temporary. The cloud temporarily “covered”:

Ps 105:39 He spread a cloud for a COVERING; and fire to give light in the night.

The next verse reveals a baptism into suffering:

Mat. 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

The immersion of our Lord into suffering, death and burial was only temporary. It was a total “dipping,” and not a “sprinkling.” Nevertheless, it was accompanied by a subsequent raising. This is why it could correctly be called a “baptism.”

There is also a baptism with fire:

Mt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall BAPTIZE you with the Holy Ghost, and with FIRE:

The Lord shall try all men with fire at His coming. Unbelievers will be slain by fire at the Lord’s appearing (2 Thess.1:8). All the men who have experienced (or will experience) the fires of Hell will all COME OUT to stand at the Great White Throne (Rev.20:5, 13-15). Unbelievers will at that time be cast forever into the Lake of Fire. Therefore, there is indeed a “temporary” immersion in fire (before the final judgment day after the Millennium). Yet, this in no way argues against the truth of endless punishment in the final Lake of Fire on the Last Day.

The Coming Rebuilt Temple – KAU#169

IN THIS ISSUE
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-THE COMING REBUILT TEMPLE: PREMILLENNIAL INTERPRETATION TO BE VINDICATED – AGAIN!
-Early Premillennialists Predict the Restoration of Israel and a Rebuilt Temple

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THE COMING REBUILT TEMPLE: PREMILLENNIAL INTERPRETATION TO BE VINDICATED – AGAIN!
“Over half of all Israeli Jews would like to see the building of a third temple, according to a survey commissioned by the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center….According to the survey, conducted by the Dahaf Institute, a total of 53 percent of the 775 people queried said that they would like a third temple erected on the Temple Mount. These included some 87% of religious and haredi respondents and 64% of those who described themselves as traditional, but it also included 63% of respondents from the former Soviet Union, as well as most of those of Middle Eastern origin and those of Western origin aged 18 to 35. Only among older respondents of Western origin did a majority, 53%, not want to see the Temple rebuilt…” (Jerusalem Post, July 20, 2002)

Currently, in the latest edition of the Jerusalem Post, it reads: “A new poll found half of Israelis want the Third Temple to be built. Do you?” 81% responded with “Yes.” Remember that religious Jews have long predicted that their temple would be literally rebuilt:

“Rabbi Levy, of Tresmont Temple, New York, says: – ‘The Temple at Jerusalem will be rebuilt, or possibly the Mosque of Omar which now stands upon that site, will simply be cleansed and rededicated to Jehovah; for according to the strictest Jewish Law, any place of worship may be transformed into a Jewish synagogue or Temple by removing all idols, and rededicating it to the God of Israel.’” (D.M. Panton, “The Dawn Magazine,” Aug. 15th, 1924)

“Rabbi L. J. Schwefel, lecturing in Denver a few weeks ago for the Jewish National Fund of America, said: ‘Eventually the TEMPLE of Solomon will be built in Palestine.” (D.M. Panton, “The Dawn Magazine,” 1935)

God will use the popular unbelief and rejection of Jesus among the Jews to fulfill His tribulation prophecies. The fact that over half of those polled long for a rebuilt temple reveals that the climate of opposition is changing.

Early adversaries of premillennialism scoffed at the doctrine of a restored nation of Israel, and especially of a rebuilt temple. But the future has already begun to laugh at these scoffers when in 1948, Israel was restored! These teachers sought to limit God’s plain, prophetic words to the figurative sense, in spite of the literal fulfillments of many Old Testament prophecies during the first coming of Christ. Will not the remaining prophecies be likewise fulfilled in a literal sense? The fact that many prophecies can also receive a figurative application (when justified by the New Testament) does not mean that they are LIMITED to a figurative fulfillment. Israel has been restored as a nation in unbelief, setting the stage for events in the future tribulation period, exactly as the Bible predicts (Revelation 11:8, Matthew 24:16, Ezekiel 37:12-14, Daniel 11:30-32, Daniel 9:27, etc.). And now, as we see the signs of a rebuilt temple on the horizon, we must not forget the scoffing words of those who have decried the premillennial interpretation. We must firmly learn a lesson, and use this lesson to help weaker brothers and sisters resist the modern attacks of preterism and postmillennialism upon God’s literal prophecies. As we see the stage being set to literally fulfill the temple prophecies, let us also remember the keen words of premillennialists of earlier times.

Early Premillennialists Predict the Restoration of Israel and a Rebuilt Temple

This list could seemingly go on endlessly. For now, the sample list will prove very enlightening and encouraging in our day, as we begin to see hope for the temple ignited in the Jews.

Irenaeus, in the 2nd century, writes:

“Besides he has pointed out, which in many ways I have shown, that the TEMPLE in Jerusalem was made by the direction of the true God. For the apostle himself, speaking in his own person, distinctly calls it the temple of God…in which temple the adversary shall sit, trying to show himself off as Christ.” (Contra Haeres, V. 25, 2, 4)

Cyril of Jerusalem in the 4th century, wrote:

“But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is now drawing near….the Antichrist, who by his magical craft shall seize upon the Roman power….seateth himself in the temple of God.’ What temple then? He means, the TEMPLE of the Jews which has been destroyed. For God forbid that it should be the one in which we are!” (Lecture 15, paragraphs 9,12,15).

Theodoret of Cyprus, in the 5th century, wrote:

“The Antichrist will not only pronounce himself highest of the false gods, but will sit in the TEMPLE of God, as if he were God ….the Jews, who did not want to believe in the Lord, as though He were an adversary to God, will believe in the Antichrist who will pronounce himself to be the god of all.” (Commentary on 2 Thessalonians)

In the 1883, William Burgh wrote:

“….the Jewish people will be found re-embodied as a nation…the greater portion of the Jewish nation will return to their land in a state of unbelief; that they WILL REBUILD THEIR CITY AND THEIR TEMPLE, and that God will choose that time to consummate His judgments on them: – that He will bring an host of invading armies against them, who will besiege their city…” (Commentary on Rev. Ch. 7, “Apocalypse Unfulfilled”)

In the mid-1800′s, Robert Govett wrote:

“It is taken for granted that the Roman destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, did not fulfill the Savior’s prophecy on Olivet; that the Jews will shortly return to their land unbelief; that they will rebuild the TEMPLE and offer sacrifices…”
(“The Saints’ Rapture”)

In 1861, Robert Govett wrote:

“The temple in Jerusalem will be yet rebuilt by the Jews in unbelief, and be the scene of wickedness greater than has ever appeared…While then the temple had been destroyed at the date of the writing of the Revelation, it was hereby predicted that it would be rebuilt…Till the Jew is brought back to his own land, and the temple and its sacrifices are restored, the prophetic part of the Apocalypse does not begin.”
(“The Apocalypse: Expounded By Scripture”, pp.497, 501)

B.W. Savile, in 1858, wrote:

“There are passages in the Old Testament where a TEMPLE is alluded to, as existing at a time yet future, when the Jews are called upon to undergo that trial, which is described in the twelfth chapter of Daniel, and the fourteenth chapter of Zechariah, but previous to the Millennial Temple….It is reasonable to conclude that there must be a temple in which these things will occur….That such a temple will exist (it may be that the present Mosque of Omar, which stands on the site of Solomon’s Temple, will be used for this purpose, though not necessarily owned by God, upon the restoration of the Jews in unbelief, to the land of their fathers….they cannot attempt to offer sacrifices as long as they are excluded from Jerusalem….in this temple, built by the Jews in unbelief, there will be a similar attempt to pollute it by setting up an idol….”

Andrew Bonar wrote:

“With the restoration to their land is inseparably associated the rebuilding of the TEMPLE and renewal of sacrifices there. For this express purpose a subscription has been already begun among many of the wealthiest of them, particularly in America, to erect a building like ‘the holy and beautiful house’ of their fathers…”

Joseph Seiss in 1865 wrote:

“What, then, is the implication, but that when this period is once reached, Jerusalem will have been largely repopulated by the children of its ancient inhabitants, its TEMPLE rebuilt, and its ancient worship restored. God is not done with the Jews as a distinct people. In their half-faith and ‘blindness in part,’ they will seek and find their way back to a revival of their ancient metropolis, TEMPLE, and ritual.” (“Lectures on the Apocalypse”, Vol.III)

David Lord (1792-1880) wrote:

“Those who assent to the true laws of language and symbols will no more deny or doubt that the prophecies teach that the Israelites are to be restored, than those who assent to the definitions and axioms of geometry will deny the demonstrations that are founded on them. There is not a proposition in the whole circle of human knowledge of more perfect certainty than that God has revealed the purpose of re-gathering that scattered nation, establishing them as his chosen people, and re-appointing a TEMPLE worship at Jerusalem that is to embrace some of their ancient rites.”

C.J. Goodhart, in 1879, wrote:

“The unbelieving Jews will have built themselves a TEMPLE, in which it is my full persuasion the idol infidel Antichrist will be set up and worshipped.”
(Mildmay Conference)

Baptist writer, James R. Graves in 1883, wrote:

“There will be a large number of Jews with a flourishing city and an organized government occupying Jerusalem before the Advent, with whom ‘the Antichrist’ will make an alliance….My proof is – Since it is admitted by all – because it has been demonstrated by fulfillment, that all the prophecies in the Scriptures, Old and New, which relate to the destruction of their city and TEMPLE and their dispersion among the nations, has been literally fulfilled, therefore all those Scriptures which relate to their Restoration must, likewise, be interpreted literally.” (“The Work of Christ Consummated in Seven Dispensations”)

In 1905 Ford C. Ottman wrote:

“Israel’s restoration involves, as we have already seen, the restoration of temple service.”
(“The Unfolding of the Ages,” p.264)

In 1914, Walter Scott wrote:

“The Jews as a nation are restored in unbelief…They then proceed to build their temple, and restore, so far as they can, the Mosaic ritual…”
(“Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” p.228)

In 1919, Clarence Larkin wrote:

“The Temple that the Jews will build on their return to Jerusalem will probably be destroyed by the Earthquake…”
(“The Book of Revelation,” pp.84-85)

In 1932, English Baptist writer, D.M. Panton, wrote:

“It is not revealed (so far as we know) exactly when and how the TEMPLE will be restored; but an exceedingly suggestive proposal is advanced by Dr. Marium Ranson, director of the American Synagogue of New York. He forecasts the removal of the World Court from The Hague to Jerusalem, the erection of a new temple on the site of King Solomon’s ancient temple to house the World Court, and the development of a ‘higher Zionism’ by Jews, Christians and Mohammedans, as three steps in an international program for world peace. This (as we see at once) would change the hostility of Islam into co-operation, so solving the problem of the Mosque of Omar; procure the aid of the Masons of the world, who back peace for financial reasons, and whose whole system is steeped in apocryphal traditions of the Temple; create friendliness in the Christian Mandatory Power; and by centering in it the judicial and political power of the world, make the Palestinian Temple the goal of the ambitions of the Antichrist.” (“The Dawn Magazine,” January 15, 1932)

In another article in 1932, D.M. Panton wrote:

“Who exactly rebuilds the TEMPLE – whether it is reconstructed internationally, or by Zionists, or by the Masons of the world, or by the Mandatory Power – does not appear to be revealed, but since the sacrifices could be offered nowhere else, and Antichrist makes the sacrifices, which had been resumed, to cease (Dan.ix.27), the Temple must be again in being for the final drama, and it is the Temple of God. Our Lord regarded Herod’s Temple as ‘My Father’s House’ (John ii.16), though built by an actual forerunner of the Apostates (Ps.ii.2; Acts iv.25) who are to rebuild it again, and by a crucifier of the Messiah.”

In 1935, D.M. Panton wrote:

“Israel’s agelong apostasy can only ripen to its close. The vast resurgence of the Jew to Palestine which all the world is watching can…have but one certain goal – a rebuilt TEMPLE.” (“The Dawn,” Dec. 1935)

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THE ROD WILL GOD SPARE IT?
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(7-21-02)

The Rod: Will God Spare It? Ch 1 – KAU#170 Pt 1

IN THIS ISSUE
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THE ROD: WILL GOD SPARE IT?
-Reviews and Foreword
-CHAPTER 1 [without footnotes]
===============================

Reviews:
“Pastor Faust has scoured the entire Bible to answer a question seldom asked or faced. Will there be a judgment of believers at the Bema Seat of Christ as Paul points out in 2 Cor. Five. He has come to the conclusion there will be a judgment and some will be rewarded with millennial blessings. Others will be rejected. He has also scoured the works of many devout Bible scholars and found that they have come to the same conclusion and provided us with their names, works and actual quotations to substantiate their views. Many pastors will reject this book for they do not expect their ministries to be tried. They will not recommend the book, for so long they have pampered their members into continuing lethargy and laxity in Christian living. A few will awake and get ready for the Bema Seat.”
-Professor George W. Dollar, Ph.D., author of A History of Fundamentalism in America.

“In this day and age I see many people who claim to be born again, washed in the blood, and serving Jesus spending a great deal of their time living the way they want to because, after all, they are ‘once saved always saved’ etc. I know that in its simple form the Bible says born again, and you can not be unborn, therefore I know the Bible teaches the security of the believer. It just so happens that my Southern Baptist denomination believes in the security of the believer, and I am proud of them. I know at this point many of my brothers and sisters will feel I have left the bus, but I agree with the teaching that Brother Faust has brought to the surface, after it was left in the dust. His book brings together what has been in the history of the church for years. If this teaching is wrong, it could possibly bring some minor blips of argument. But if on the other hand it is right, and I believe it is, then those who will be under the Rod will wish that they had read this book more closely. n short, I believe if this truth is taught, God’s people will wake up and start living like Jesus wants them to live. I for one will do everything I can to apply this truth to my life, my ministry, and with anyone who will listen. I am reminded when the people of old in Scripture were building great buildings, the Word pointed out that the Word of God had been lost in the dust. Only after this truth comes forth will we see real Revival. Praise God for a young man like Brother Faust, who has brought us back to the roots of the true teachings of the Bible, even if it runs against ‘church’ tradition. Notice the little c, real ‘Church’ history is what this book is pointing out to each of us. My conclusion after searching the Bible with this book in hand is, God will not spare the Rod, and to do so would be contrary to His Holy nature.”
-Dr. Wiley S. Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, California; Author, Disney Boycott by Southern Baptist Convention; Vice President , Pastoral Congressional Prayer Conference; “A” Team leader, Presidential Prayer Team.

“In this day and age of ‘dumb dog’ preachers (Isaiah 56:10-11) who have avoided preaching the second coming and the Judgment Seat of Christ as though doing so would invite the Bubonic Plague, Joey Faust, who refuses to be snared by the ‘fear of man’ (Proverbs 29:25), is a lone voice crying in the wilderness, warning the people of God to repent for the Lord comes quickly bringing his reward with Him (Revelation 22:12). I wholeheartedly recommend this volume to anyone with the courage to read it. May God grant you a pure heart and an open mind as you read.”
-Edward R. DeVries, Th.D., President, School of Biblical & Theological Studies

“Joey Faust has done a remarkable job of researching a crucial doctrine for the church-rewards and their loss. Too many believ-ers have, unfortunately, never been taught that salvation is by grace, but that rewards are earned. In this well researched book Joey reminds us of this doctrine and the pastors and theologians who have challenged believers throughout the centuries with these truths. The truths of the judgment seat of Christ are often ignored, but in these pages we face the reality of rewards for winner believers and the loss for those who fail to live the Christian life.”
-Rev. Robert Dean, Jr., ThM. M.A., Dallas Theological Seminary

“The Rod: Will God Spare It? is not a fresh challenge to contem-porary liberal theology, but a historical and Biblical approach to doctrine that is too often ignored. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God has been torn from too many Bibles by Christians that refuse the truth. Yet the day is fast approaching Christians will come face to face with the terror of the Lord. Today’s Christianity tries to teach that all Christians will receive great reward just for the obedience of the cross. That reward be-longs to the one that was obedient, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we come to Christ but go no further, we will stand in judgment before Him at the judgment seat of Christ. It clearly states that the white raiment given to the bride of Christ is the righteousness of the saints – not the righteousness of Christ. Too many have been lured into complacency and even sleep by liberal theology and believe heresies that there is no coming judgment for the Christian. Yet judgment has always begun at the house of God. Pastor Faust has presented a viewpoint well researched historically and supported with Scripture to show there is a coming judgment for Christians. Each and every one that names the name of Christ would do well to take heed of what has been written in Pastor Faust’s book and make themselves ready.” -John Melancon, ThM, Missionary to Cortez, Colorado

“Time does not permit the amount of study that it would require to agree to all of the conclusions of the book The Rod: Will God Spare It? by Pastor Joey Faust. However this well written and meticulously researched book will no doubt become one of the most controversial works in this generation. If it does nothing else but to elevate the near forgotten doctrine of the Judgment Seat of Christ to a worldly church that has “no fear of God before their eyes,” then it no doubt will serve an important purpose.” -Dr. Greg Dixon, Pastor Emeritus Indianapolis Baptist Temple

“Joey Faust clearly lays out Biblical truths which are so vital for an overcoming Christian life but which are not being taught in churches today. As a result, people wrongly believe that these truths have never been taught in the church. Faust not only lets the Bible speak for itself, but through an incredible amount of research, he also substantiates that these truths have been held and taught throughout church history. The research in this book is without equal and an invaluable tool for setting the record straight so that Christians will not be walking blindly into the judgment seat of Christ.”
-Pastor Donald W. Gilmour III, ThM., Dallas Theological Seminary

FOREWORD

Before we get into the meat of this study, it is interesting to note that Charles H. Spurgeon had kind things to say about Robert Govett, whom Joey Faust often quotes. While not making any public defense of kingdom-accountability, he felt that Robert Govett’s teaching “will be more appreciated by future genera-tions than by this frivolous age.” It is hard to define the present age as being less frivolous than Victorian England but even in these days the Holy Spirit is moving among God’s people to have a serious re-think about some Bible warnings that have not been popular. The Rod: Will God Spare It? was not written to win a popularity contest. Absorbing the truths written will often cause a ripping away of old ideas which have become iron-clad interpretations of scripture. It is my prayer that a serious study of this book will help many Christians to fully understand that rewards for some means loss of rewards for others, and the result will be more overcoming Christian lives in this needy century. I trust there will be those who are spiritual enough to desire the truth, astute enough to grasp the truth and brave enough to pro-claim the truth. Teachers must be warned, however, that these truths require a great deal of foundational teaching to be done so that Christians will be able to understand what Pastor Faust is saying. One early criticism I received was that accountability teaching uses the same scriptures and tactics as do those who do not believe in eternal security. For this reason, I am glad that throughout the book, and especially in the early chapters, the truth of justification and eternal life based only on the merit of Jesus Christ is emphasized. Another brother thought the teaching sounded like Roman Catholic Purgatory, but Pastor Faust has dealt with this problem thoroughly. Almost every Christian has some idea of the fact that he will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards. Few Christians realize that “wood, hay and stubble” Christians will not only lose a reward, they may lose the glorious inheritance of millennial reign with Christ. Pastor Faust introduces much scripture concerning this, and the book abounds in quotes from outstanding men of God. Many Fundamental Bible teachers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century taught this. It will no doubt be that some will shudder when they think of how dreadful the punishment might be because they have been taught that all the warning passages of the New Testament apply only to unbelievers. They have, for instance, thought that the ten talent servant and the five talent servant were both Christians, but the one talent servant must be an unbeliever because of his punishment. The Judgment Seat of Christ is coupled with “the terror of the Lord” in Second Corinthians 5, even though Scofield has helped us to classify the Hebrews 6 partakers (Gr: associates) of the Holy Ghost as unbelievers because “their end is to be burned.”
Few studies have been able to accept such a Biblically-mandated punishment and still maintain the essential doctrine of the security of the believer. Pastor Faust presents a solution which may not be popular or ear-tickling, but is thoroughly grounded in Bible truth. 21st century Christianity should be thankful that God has raised up a man to write of these things. You may not be able to grasp or believe all that is written, immediately, but you are asked to act like true Bereans, and search the scriptures to see if these things be so. Having heard these truths, you will be accosted by them at the Bema Judgment Seat (Luke 12:47). May we all be true overcomers and partake of the pure joy that will come to us and to our Savior when He says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
-Dr. Bill Jackson, Founder and Director of Christians Evangelizing Catholics

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CHAPTER 1 – THE ACCOUNTABILITY AWAKENING
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“The native magnitude of this [kingdom-accountability] truth must speedily redeem it from all obscurity…This doctrine so potently contends against the selfishness and laxity of believers in this latter day, that no one who considers the matter can expect that its career will be otherwise than stormy…those who have the single eye will perceive its amplitude of evidence, and embrace it, in spite of the solemn awe of God which it produces, and the depth of our own personal responsibility which it discloses.”
-Robert Govett (1813-1902)

“…a host of living expositors of Scripture [are embracing kingdom-accountability truth], a host which is increasing all the time.”
-William P. Clark (1864-1953)

“We are glad to be counted amongst the rapidly growing number of writers who are doing pioneer work in teaching the Scriptural, searching message of a deeper Personal Responsibility…Forever suppressed these truths will not be – The Holy Ghost is pressing them even now upon believers everywhere.”
-W.F. Roadhouse (1875-1951)

“[Christians are] slowly waking to the immense importance of responsibility truth. It is tragic how many evangelicals abhor responsibility truth.…What will such evangelicals feel when they discover the truth at the Judgment Seat of Christ?”
-D.M. Panton (1870-1955)

The writers of the above quotes were premillennial fundamentalists who were strong defenders of eternal security. These men also preached that disobedient Christians (who do not repent before they die) will be briefly punished at the judgment seat and then excluded from Christ’s future one-thousand year kingdom. This book will document that multitudes of other fundamental Christian leaders throughout history embraced the same teaching. These men were glad to see the powerful, motivating fires of this accountability truth beginning to glow among the saints. Yet, these fires were later largely extinguished; the consequences have been devastating. This precious accountability truth must be restored!

Believers who lack the full truth concerning their promises and warnings are in constant danger of becoming spiritually anemic. The Bible teaches that Noah moved with fear when he heard the holy warning about the impending flood (Hebrews 11:7). Saints in this perilous age also need the Lord’s warnings to keep them running in holiness:

“The denial of these solemn truths paralyses and destroys some of the most powerful stimulants God has supplied…it empties of all horror the dread warnings to the backslider, and leaves him, if it does not put him, in a drugged sleep; and it drives privilege over the precipice of responsibility….”
-D.M. Panton (1870-1955)

The Bible exhorts Christians to race for the prize of reigning with Jesus in His future kingdom:

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run…
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a CASTAWAY.

The context of this Bible passage is winning a crown at the judgment seat. What does it mean to be a “castaway” at the future judgment seat? Paul is certainly not worried about losing salvation in eternity. However, many advocates of the Biblical doctrine of eternal security do not interpret such warnings in their fullness. Paul is striving to have a place in the future kingdom of God. This millennial (i.e. 1000 year) kingdom is a prize for suffering against sin, the world and the Devil:

2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also REIGN with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:5… that ye may be counted worthy of the KINGDOM of God, for which ye also suffer:

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the KINGDOM of God…

Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the INHERITANCE: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not INHERIT the KINGDOM of God.

The above Scriptures reveal that the future millennial kingdom is a reward for faithfulness. All Christians will spend eternity with God. This is the inheritance that every child of God will enjoy. Yet, the millennial reign is a double portion. It is the inheritance that firstborn sons will receive (Deuteronomy 21:15-17, Romans 8:29, Hebrews 12:23). This privileged position is only granted to those who suffer with Christ against sin and the world (Romans 8:17, Acts 14:22, 2 Thessalonians 1:5, etc.).

Christians who will not seek the prize of the kingdom will be held accountable for their negligence. While their brethren are enjoying a double portion of glory, the disobedient Christians will receive for the wrong which they have done (Colossians 3:25). Unfortunately, many modern Christians increasingly disparage the whole idea of such accountability. They have been seduced by the blind world of humanism through the influence of agnostics, liberals and psychologists that continually drink from the cesspool of unbelief. Einstein once stated that he could not understand how there could possibly be a God who would reward or punish his subjects! John S. Spong (a liberal Episcopal Bishop) likewise presumptuously mocks the teaching that God the Father will judge His saints. To Spong, the Biblical doctrine of God keeping records in order to reward or punish on a future judgment day is similar to “Santa Claus.”

God is not influenced by such humanism. In true love, He will certainly reward and punish His children according to their deserts:

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth…

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

This chapter is only an introduction to the accountability truth taught in the Bible. Many objections are answered in detail in future chapters. This truth runs deeper than many realize. Our rebellious emotions will clamor against it. To grow in understanding concerning this motivating truth, we must diligently thirst for everything that God has to teach us concerning it:

Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
5 THEN shalt thou understand THE FEAR OF THE LORD…

Many will not understand the deep truth concerning the fear of the Lord because they do not desire to know it! Instead of diligently seeking the sobering accountability truths abundantly revealed in Scripture, many Christians actually flee them. In the 1920’s, William Powell Clark (Resident Magistrate) identified one reason for this increasing rebellion among God’s children:

“The real reason underlying the refusal of some dear children of God to accept belief in the punishment of unfruitful believers – not eternal, but during the Millennial reign of Christ – is an inadequate sense of the Justice of God. Acceptance of the belief in the temporary punishment of such Christians during the Millennial reign safeguards the eternal merits of Christ’s atonement on the cross, and at the same time, preserves the absolute Justice of God.”

Awake in the Dark

“As for the black time to be expected.…God grant we may be of the number of those that suffer, that…we may be raised and reign with Christ at his coming.”
-William Twiss (1575-1649)

“God shake us up. When Revival comes we shall see this [kingdom-accountability] truth again!”
-W. F. Roadhouse (1875-1951)

Many Christians throughout history expected a revival of accountability truth in the last days. The world is growing increasingly hostile toward Biblical Christianity. Earlier writers knew that these accountability truths would be beneficial in helping a remnant of God’s seeking people to face the temptations that will surely increase as the days grow darker (2 Timothy 3:13):

“…the millennial crown and the first resurrection are a REWARD – the reward of suffering for and with Christ; as I have just said, a special glory and special hope over and above the redemption hope and glory, designed to comfort and support believers under persecution: a need and use which I have little doubt the church will before long be called on collectively to experience….”
-William Burgh (1800-1866)

“The throne for the overcomers! Is it possible? Are they to share the throne of the Son of God? We can see now why, as we pass through the closing days of the age, there must be such terrible conflict, and why the prince of darkness will challenge every child of God who wants to ‘overcome’.…What is in the balance, therefore, for every believer in the present warfare with Satan, which must intensify as the age closes, is the millennial crown and throne….”
-Jessie Penn-Lewis (1861-1927)

“Only now is this royal [accountability] truth emerging, and general coming persecution is likely to prove its powerful forcing-bed, for believers will see the Coming Age more clearly when they have lost this.”
-D.M. Panton (1870-1955)

“Now, I do believe, there never was a time that this doctrine (the connection between reigning and suffering) would bear less to be overlooked, or required more to be brought forward….”
-Theodosia Powerscourt (1800-1836)

“…The expectation of a Millennium may then be the belief to which they will fly for refuge against the violence of the storm which assails them; and which will serve as an anchor, sure and steadfast to buoy upon and confirm their souls. Whatsoever tends to weaken their confidence in this belief so far weakens and impairs the passive resources of the Church in the days of the great apostasy when she will want every resource that she can command.”
-Edward Greswell (1797-1869)

The truth concerning the future kingdom as a reward according to works will certainly revive in the tribulation period (Matthew 24:14). However, as we continue to see an increase in stage-setting and preliminary signs in these last days before the tribulation period, it is reasonable to expect that this kingdom-accountability truth will also begin to be revived before the rapture.

The renowned Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) also (though indirectly) predicted a revival of kingdom-accountability truth in latter times. Robert Govett (1813-1901) was one of the foremost defenders of this motivating, sobering truth in the days of Spurgeon. Govett stood boldly for the precious truth of eternal security; yet he refused to water-down the Biblical warnings to disobedient Christians. He publicly defended his views in books and periodical debates, causing quite a stir. In regard to Govett’s writings, C.H. Spurgeon predicted:

“We only express our heart when we say that we venerate and admire this author and preacher, whose works will be more appreciated by future generations than by this frivolous age.”

On another occasion, he predicted:

“The day will come when the idols of the hour will perish, and the writings of such a man as R. Govett will be prized as the much fine gold.”

Such a day has arrived! The accountability truths that Govett stood for (and so many other premillennial fundamentalists such as Pember, Panton, Craig, Tilney, Nee, etc.) are presently being revived in varying degrees throughout fundamentalist and conservative evangelical circles. The rotten fruit of rebellion (that fully manifested itself in the 1950’s and 60’s) has ironically triggered a refreshing counter-reaction among a remnant of God’s people! We desperately need to get back to the full teaching concerning the judgment seat of Christ.

The words of Ernest Baker are a fitting conclusion to this introductory chapter. Baker (b. 1869) is best known for his book, The Revivals of the Bible (1906). It is called the most comprehensive book ever written on the revivals in the Bible. Baker was a Baptist pastor in Cape Town, South Africa. He was the editor of The Midnight Cry and The South African Baptist. He writes:

“How does Revival come? It comes in many ways. But one way I want to especially emphasize: And that is, that it comes by Truth that is preached with freshness…whenever any new truth comes to light, or is recovered…it displaces no truth….What I want to get at is this: Is there any truth not yet grasped, but yet plainly taught in God’s Word, that, if fearlessly and plainly preached, would bring quickening to the children of God, and set them on fire with a new zeal? I believe there is….The truth awaiting to be taught, and which will set God’s people on fire, is that the Prize of our High Calling is a Share in the Millennial Reign with the Lord Jesus….This new light broke on me some three and a half years ago. I began to preach it with both lip and pen. But I found that many very good people and good workers were not prepared to hear…that [our Lord] would for a time exclude a believer from a share in the Millennial glory, was something that should never be said. The opposition I encountered made me go quietly for a time. But I have been digging and digging into the Word, and I now know where I am, and am prayin

Is Paul the Chief Cornerstone?

The Bitter Fruits of Pauline Exaggerationism

1 Corinthians 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I AM OF PAUL; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, EVEN AS I ALSO AM OF CHRIST.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than THAT IS LAID, which is JESUS CHRIST.

Mark 9:38 And JOHN answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 43 And if THY hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Some (such as the “Christian feminists”) seek to limit Paul, and imply that only the “words in red” are really inspired, important, etc. Yet, there is also an error on the other side. Advocates of one particular brand of Pauline dispensationalism often raise what they believe is an insurmountable objection to the teaching that THE WORDS IN RED (i.e. the words of Jesus in the Gospels) also apply to modern disciples (unless plainly changed, elsewhere). The objection is usually phrased in the following manner:

“Jesus did warn His disciples, who believed upon Him, about ‘hell.’ But this was because the Gospels must be understood dispensationally. Paul never once warned any believer in this dispensation about ‘hell.’ Show me one place where Paul, in the Epistles that teach doctrinal truth for this dispensation, ever warns a modern believer about ‘hell!’ Paul never once even used the word ‘hell.’”

For some Christians, the above objection is enough to end the matter; the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, to His disciples, are doctrinally dismissed without another thought! These Christians apparently do not realize that they have refuted their own position by their chief argument. Since Paul never once even used the word “hell,” how could he, therefore, have changed the Lord’s teachings on the subject? And since Luke travelled with Paul, and was with him in his final days (Acts 28:11, Colossians 4:14, 2 Timothy 4:11), one wonders why there is not a clear statement somewhere in his Gospel that the warnings of the Lord Jesus to His disciples no longer had to be feared? Luke’s Gospel was apparently written somewhere between A.D. 63 and 68, according to Scofield. Yet, Scofield dates Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians at A.D. 64. Those who teach that the Lord’s warnings to His disciples did not have to be feared by the disciples Paul was addressing from prison, must explain how the great confusion was avoided! Imagine how the believers in A.D. 65 must have taken the following words of the Lord when they read them in Luke’s Gospel:

Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

If disciples in the day that Luke wrote his Gospel did not have to fear the Lord’s warnings to His disciples, why didn’t Luke include a note telling Theophilus (and other saints) that these warnings have been set aside by new revelation? And where is the new Pauline revelation that supposedly set them aside? Where is the verse that says anything even similar to, “Beware of those who will try to exhort you to fear the warnings that the Lord Jesus gave to the Apostles during His earthly ministry!” There is no verse that says anything even similar to, “Now, the Lord Jesus commanded the Apostle John to seek the Kingdom, and fear going to hell during it (Mark 9:38, 47); but I write unto you, that you do not have to worry about such. They have passed away when my new dispensation was instituted.”

Why is it that the words of the Lord Jesus are so easily swept away? Why is there no shame in such teaching? One reason is that advocates of this view often use slippery language. They say, “Of course, I am not saying that the Lord’s words in the Gospels have NO application at all to us today; the whole Bible is given to us so we can be instructed, etc.” But if this is so, then why don’t they accept the Lord’s warnings to His disciples about possibly missing the Kingdom, and going to hell (the underworld, until after the Millennium)? And why is it that when they attempt to answer this question, they usually begin to quote promises about eternal security that THE LORD JESUS GAVE TO THE APOSTLES (the same people He gave the warnings about hell)?

We do not deny that in Matthew 10 the Lord commanded His disciples to preach only to the lost sheep of Israel. But we also know that in Matthew 28 (still in the Gospels!), this restriction was removed. And in Matthew 28, when the Lord removed the restriction, He also commands His disciples to teach the believing Gentiles the SAME teachings that He had already given to His disciples!:

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

And notice that the words in verse 20 teach us that the Lord’s teachings (as recorded in the Gospels) will continue until the “end of the world.” Unless we define that phrase as the heretical Preterist does (pretending that it only means until the Roman Titus comes to destroy the temple), we are bound to believe that the Lord’s teachings to His disciples are still applicable to His disciples today, unless there is some place that can be shown where there is a direct change (as when Matthew 28:19 changes Matthew 10:6). But there is no change that can be found in any future revelation concerning our Lord’s warnings to His disciples. As these teachers tell us, Paul never even uses the word ‘hell,’ so how could he change the warnings concerning it?

For example, the command in Matthew 10:28 (and others) has never been changed, and the Lord COMMANDS His disciples (after the Cross, in Matthew 28:20) to teach these earlier commands to the believing Gentiles:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

It is a tragic mistake to assume that just because Paul expounds upon some mysteries, that he therefore lays a whole new foundation! No, the Bible plainly teaches that Paul simply built upon the foundation ALREADY laid in Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than THAT IS LAID, which is JESUS CHRIST.

The words of the Lord Jesus Christ, as taught to the disciples in the Gospels, are not contradicted by Paul. The Lord did not warn His disciples about hell (Matthew 5:22, 10:28, 18:9; Mark 9:38,43), and then have Paul come along and say, “No, at the Judgment Seat, you can only experience ‘terror’, 2 Cor. 5:9-11. The warning about ‘hell’ has passed away.” Since Paul is building on the Lord Jesus, when Paul says ‘terror,’ he is agreeing with the Lord Jesus! This truth is plainly brought out in the Epistle to the Hebrews. This is perhaps why these teachers go to so much trouble to cast doubt on the Pauline authorship of Hebrews, and it is also why they attempt to define the Epistle as only having direct doctrinal application to the future Jewish Tribulation Period. Paul is TOO CLEAR in Hebrews (see 6:8, 10:27-29)! He doesn’t simply say “terror” or “damnation,” etc. Like the Lord Jesus, he speaks of FIRE.

In fact, Paul directly warns us (even in a later, “pastoral epistle”!), that we should beware of any teacher who tries to remove the foundation of the Lord’s words out from under us:

1 Timothy 6:3 If any man TEACH otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, EVEN THE WORDS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

Notice, that Paul plainly warns that the teacher that removes the foundation of the Lord’s teachings, promises and warnings from believers in this age will also be marked by DOTING (i.e. speaking in what appears to be a deranged manner), and “strifes of words,” and “railings,” and “evil surmisings” (i.e. rash judgment of motives, etc.). An earlier generation of Bible teachers reported that the more a teacher denies the application of the Lord’s words (as recorded in the Gospels) to modern Christians, the more they are marked by strifes of words, railings, evil surmisings, and deranged speech.

Do note the style and words of the following writer, named Carl W. Denson, agree with this description the Holy Ghost provides for us? He runs a website called the, “Midweek Rapture Message Board.” He believes that most of humanity has been saved by works and faith (except those under Paul, in this dispensation). He opposes my application of the Lord’s words to His disciples to modern disciples [and please know that THIS is what this is all about. I do not teach anything new. I simply apply the Lord's teachings to His disciples to modern disciples.] He denies that the Lord’s warnings in the Gospels have any direct application to modern “Pauline” believers. Read 1 Timothy 6:3-4 again, and see if the Holy Ghost did not plainly mark the rotten fruit of such teachers for all to behold. The following words of Denson have been taken from his long review of my book that he has posted on the Internet (read at your own risk!):

“Faust has rejected the ‘truth’ of Pauline dispensationalism. That’s fine. He came up with this heresy to replace the peculiar BIBLICAL truth that THOSE OUTSIDE of the body of Christ can ‘lose their salvation’, which WAS THE INHERITANCE. (Matt.7, 19, 24) They got burned. (Matt.3) That’s PAULINE DISPENSATIONALISM, but Faust is so stupid and obtuse BIBLICALLY, besides being arrogant, that he took the word REJECTED from Hebrews 6 applying it DOCTRINALLY to members of the body of Christ….Faust perverted the text. His statement was this. Boy is he SLICK; it is the wiles of the devil!….The poor fool now shows what kind of a bible teacher that he is for he next goes to Matthew, who’s using the kingdom of God AGAINST the kingdom of heaven as contained in his gospel….That is Baptist bologna from a bible buffoon who rejects Pauline dispensationalism….The deluded and demented biblical fool Faust THINKS those verses are addressed to Christians, MEMBERS of the body of Christ….Tsk, tsk, tsk, son….That babe has colic. We’re getting pablum puke from him….The poor ‘dud’ can’t get the CONTEXT of any passage in Hebrews, no more than he can identify to WHOM the book is written….Sorry stupid. That ain’t biblical or scriptural PAULINE DOCTRINAL TRUTH for the body….Govett couldn’t rightly divide a catfish, deer carcase, chicken legs, or a tuna fish sandwich into ‘boats’. Govett is just another heretical jackleg that Christianity has produced….[Faust is] slick, smooth, and spiritual in a Satanic sort of way…Faust is a WEAVER. (Bollweevil of Beelzebul?)….No, no, no, kiddies….Like Forest Gump’s mother said, ‘Stupid is, as stupid does.’ That’s J.D. Faust, the ‘flamboyant and foolish’ farce!….It’s all ‘stinking’ gas. No, I won’t finish that f. …What a booboo, bubba!….Phooey Faust….Faust’s statement is unmitigated stupidity….Faust’s fanciful figment is fruity….Faust is GOING BACK IN TIME. He’s NOT a TIMECOP! (Hello Muscles from Brussels!) He’s the GUY who’s trying to MAKE HISTORY ‘his way’. Jean Claude VanDamme (I like that name) had to stop the guy….Faust can no more find his way around the Holy Scriptures than a BLIND DOG can FIND his own tail. (Arf, arf, arf!)…Fine. Stay STUPID….Here is Faust quoting Govett concerning OTHERS non-belief of their falsehood, ‘BECAUSE THEY DO NOT LIKE IT’. Ah, go snip your wife’s whiskers and toenails….AGAIN, there are no verses which teach that falsehood. He’s a bible bungling blabbermouth; a bastion of bologna….That BLABBERMOUTH doesn’t believe that Matt.5:22-24 applies doctrinally to any Christian today, and IF he says he does, he’s a LYING suck egg hound (J. Frank Norris) or silly ass (Peter Ruckman)….He’s a knuckleheaded numbskull. (And I FERVENTLY say that with all disgust towards him.) This is nothing but PUKE, PIGSLOP, and PUTRID PUSS….He’s INFANTILE, IMPOTENT, and INSANE. No NT Christians are addressed in the Gospels FOR THE NT is not in effect….What else can you say about these things? The DISBELIEVING fool can’t understand the Book….This JIVIN’ JACKLEG is trying to tell you that conversion concerns a Christian’s WALK. What a ‘jive turkey’….Faust is a dirty, rotten, bible perverting, scripture distorting, DAMNABLE HERESY- teaching LIAR. And I say that will all disgust towards that ABOMINABLE APOSTATE….That egregious and erroneous egghead is TRAPPED by his own false teaching mouth….Folks; this guy is slick….Faust and his foolish, funny, fundamentalists ‘close their eyes’ to the TRUTH of these things….[George] Dollar should change his name to Halfcent. (halfsense?)….Anything else is pure hogwash from a dog….Faust continues with good points on his teaching of Hebrew and Greek words, which are definitive of hell. He is as solid as a rock on those due to his ‘professed belief’ in the Authorized Version….Faust quotes Govett. You’ve never READ a more mixed up, BIZARRE, fabrication of DEMONIAC SPEECH (Job 26, 2 Tim.3) in your life. (Govett)….They can ‘sling their crap’ all day long about I’m supposed to treat them WITH RESPECT due to them being Christian brothers, but that’s just another PILE of it. Paul didn’t treat anyone with RESPECT….Faust’s BULL is BRAZEN BOLOGNA offered to the ‘gods’ of the past. (Scholars whom he STUDIES, ADMIRES, and MIMICS-IMITATES!)….That’s right puddinghead….I say that because this ‘damnable, demoniac teaching, dummy’ goes into his spill….The only thing this TEXAS TOOPID should have opened was a ‘barf bag’ after reading Govett’s heresy….That ‘sucker’ is braindead….Again the ‘putrid pipsqueak’ has NO IDEA of the subject, facts, terms and statements of the chapter….In closing, Joeybob continues the plight of pitifulness….Boy, it sure sounds good, doesn’t it? These boys can write those good words which deceive….Watch this silly fool….DOG-VOMIT, PIG-SLOP, and COW-DUNG! Faust reminds me of the guy in Back to the Future who always LANDED in ‘crap’ everytime he tried to chase Michael J. Fox. Faust JUMPS IN IT. He doesn’t slip and fall, but runs to a BIG PILE OF IT, and ‘dives’ in, MOUTHFIRST….These boys (Pember and Faust) are Calvinists and can’t ‘strain’ that (the gnat), but SWALLOW a camel….He’s a stupid, ignorant, liar….Lord have mercy on this man. He is a ‘natural’, PATHOLOGICAL liar, as ‘sharp’ as any Church of Christ preacher that I have ever seen….See how good it sounds?….He quotes D. Martin Lloyd-Jones who can’t understand 2 Cor.5, Luke 12, and Matt.25. (Same ole, same ole.) Who cares what this fool could not get….” (carlwdenson@themidweekrapture.com)

I ask my readers to please forgive me for including the above language (there was more that I refrained from printing due to its vulgarity and uncleanness). But I wanted to manifest the truth of Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 6. What is it about coming face to face with the doctrine that the very same words that the Lord spoke to His disciples in the Gospels, might apply to modern disciples, that stirs up such hostility and bitterness? Why does such an idea bring so much hatred in professing Christians (though often masked)? In earlier generations, G.H. Lang rightly wondered why those who teach that Christians can lose eternal salvation are not hated in the same degree as those who teach they may be punished only during the Millennium! For example, notice a recent e-mail I received from a man named Herb Evans:

“…You really disgust me, and I feel dirty talking to you Overcomers’ Cult folks.”

This man forgets that the Lord Jesus commands us to “overcome,” not Joey Faust, Watchman Nee, D.M. Panton, Robert Govett, G.H. Pember, etc.:

Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

And Paul was not ashamed to identify himself with the Lord’s teachings on this subject:

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

What about the objection that Jesus warned His disciples about “hell,” but PAUL never once used that word? I suppose that this sounds like a good objection. Perhaps such objectors feel that they have proven that any believer in “Pauline dispensationalism” is therefore bound to ignore the Lord’s warnings to His disciples, and declare that, “ALL things are different for believers today.” But these objectors should not get carried away. Every doctrinal teaching or conclusion will create a doctrinal precedent. The Universalists and Annihilationists (those who deny that unbelievers will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire) will be quick to pounce upon the doctrinal precedent laid down by these objectors. Notice, these objectors have stated that since Paul never mentioned ‘hell’ (like our Lord did), that this means that no present believer has to fear it (during the Millennial Kingdom age). Well, will not the Universalists (etc.) gladly take advantage of such an objection? Will they not point out that PAUL DID NOT MENTION “HELL” BY NAME, AT ALL, TO ANYONE? Not only have these objectors kept believers from having to worry about ‘hell,’ they have kept UNBELIEVERS from having to worry about it! Where is the Bible verse that says anything like, “The warnings in the Gospels still apply to UNBELIEVERS; there is no change for them in this dispensation.”

We might also ask these so-called, “Pauline Dispensationalists”: “Where did Paul even warn UNBELIEVERS about Hell?” In others words, if they will say that the only warnings that Christians must be concerned about are those of Paul, then how does one prove that UNBELIEVERS have anything to fear than the warnings given to them by Paul? And how do we know that when Paul warns unbelievers about judgment, wrath, damnation, etc., that these words actually have anything to do with HELL or the LAKE OF FIRE? In fact, where does Paul ever warn UNBELIEVERS in this age about FIRE (since they believe that Hebrews applies to the Tribulation period, and to Jews)? These objectors to Millennial Exclusion, if we pretend that their objection stands, have not only defeated Millennial Exclusion, they have strengthened the heresy of Universalism, etc. Their banner reads, “If Paul didn’t say it by exact name, then you don’t have to worry about it.” Well, Paul never warned believers or unbelievers about Hell or the Lake of Fire, by name! Therefore, this argument defeats itself.

The truth of the matter is that Paul is building upon the Gospels (the teachings of the Lord Jesus to His disciples). He therefore uses such words as fire, wrath, judgment, damnation, terror, etc., and he expects his readers to already KNOW what these words mean (2 Corinthians 5:11).

And even if it could one day be proven that we do not have to take heed to the words which the Lord spoke to His disciples (this will never happen), when are the PAULINE warnings ever REALLY taught in most modern churches? When Paul warns believers in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 about “terror” and receiving the things done in the body, where is this preached in modern pulpits? What most modern preachers try to say “terror” refers to is ridiculous. It is not “terror” at all. They turn Paul’s warnings into a picnic. No, there are Pauline warnings throughout his Epistles, and these are not taught today, by most, in any real fashion. They are watered-down or applied to others. This only shows that the real motivation behind ignoring the Lord’s warnings to His disciples is the simple fact that modern believers do not want to live under the accountability that such warnings would bring to the Christian life.

The Head Pastor Model and the Angels of Revelation 2 & 3

An important question that must be asked in regard to Revelation chapters 2 and 3, is: Was there a head-elder/senior pastor who managed each church, even though assisted by assistant/associate elders?
If a doctrinal tree is grounded in truth, it should be able to show forth its own fruit. While many dear brethren are sincerely seeking truth on these matters, there is also a larger rebellious movement, energized by Satan that is seeking to destroy godly order. The Bible plainly teaches that authority, in all its realms, will be attacked in the last days. A spirit of antichrist is gaining ground, as it exalts itself above God’s order, and seeks to destroy godly organization. Against this spirit of rebellion (those who seek to draw Christians out from godly, local churches), we will continue to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears…” (2 Timothy 4:2-3).
Notice the heaping of “teachers” (plural) in 2 Timothy 4:3. This heaping of teachers is not for the purpose of Christian growth. It is for the purpose of escaping accountability. This movement against accountability has resulted in broken homes and broken churches. The many warnings to the saints in the Bible have been despised by too many 20th century Christians. And along with these warnings, God’s commandments and order have been despised:
“[Pastoral authority] proved to be cumbersome in the post-World War II emphasis upon acceptance, nonjudgment, and ethical relativity. The minister who wished to be person-centered was the first to deny that he had authority.”(1)
This was at the same time that the authority of the “man of the house” was being despised in preparation for the “teenager movement,” which would result in the sexual revolution and rock groups like “The Who” singing, “Why don’t you all just fade away…Talkin’ bout my generation…I hope I die before I get old.” The Bible warns that authority (in all its realms) will be despised in these last days:
2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and DESPISE GOVERNMENT. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they PROMISE THEM LIBERTY, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
Government (or authority) will be despised in the marriage, in the home (2 Timothy 3:1-2 “disobedient to parents”), in the civil government, and in the churches. It is one thing to properly and Biblically stand against an abuse of authority. It is another thing to rebel against and despise a God-ordained authority. This rebellious movement will expose itself in time. It will not lead many souls to Christ. It will not bring deliverance from the power of sin. It will, in fact, lead to a WITHERING of fruit:
Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, DESPISE DOMINION, and speak evil of dignities.
12 …trees whose fruit withereth…
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
19 These be they who SEPARATE THEMSELVES, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Notice, that as God’s ordained authorities are despised and reproached, these little cliques are characterized by complaining and murmuring. They “separate themselves.” While it was godly for Reformers to separate themselves from Rome’s totalitarian system, and while it was likewise proper for Separatists, Methodists and Plymouth Brethren to separate from, and protest against Anglicanism (with its Romish tendencies), the crafty Serpent is now swinging Christians to the other extreme in fulfillment of the prophecies. It is possible to run so far from ungodly Popery and Nicolaitanism, that we fall off the other side of the boat into LAODICEANISM (“rights of the people”), which also makes Jesus vomit (Revelation 3:14-16). It is never any Christian’s “right” to despise godly order and authority.
We see professing Christians every week on their way to bars on the streets. They say:
“We are having church now. This is church. We are always in church. For women to be silent in church would mean that they can never talk at all, since we are always in church.”
…Paul plainly distinguishes the “church” (assembly) from the “home” and “houses” (1 Corinthians 14:35, 11:22), unless a particular house happened to be the set meeting place for the church (Romans 16:5).
The day when Christians can no longer meet in open assemblies due to persecution is fast approaching in America. And it is obvious that it is getting harder and harder for people to find a godly church. But will the Lord Jesus pity American Christians at the Judgment Seat who have nice, air-conditioned automobiles and highways, who maintain they cannot find a godly church – when earlier generations of Christians crossed the entire ocean in feeble ships, and endured sickness and storms, in order to worship? A good church is worth driving to, or even moving to, in order to attend. God should be loved above Mammon. But many are using the abuses and evils in many modern churches to justify an attack on the whole, Biblical “church order.” And the Devil knows that if he can attack the head pastor/bishop (the appointed under-shepherd to Jesus), he can hopefully scatter the flock.
Local churches and their pastors in these last days are under a tremendous amount of pressure to compromise or bail out; and many are doing so. In these days when so many will not endure sound doctrine, and many pastors are under attack, the Devil is launching what he hopes will be his fatal dart. He is raising up a movement that says, “The whole idea of a local church is wrong. And this idea of a head pastor leading a flock is certainly wrong.” Therefore, just when a disciple is growing, putting off sin, surviving attacks on his or her marriage, and about to really overcome some Satanic strongholds, some disgruntled person says, “Hey…why are you even going to church? Jesus hates the local church concept. It is really Roman Catholic. And this idea of one pastor leading the church is really Satanic. Come have a picnic with us.” The end result of this poison is often scattered sheep, with no local church accountability, left prey to the Devil.
While it is true that God is not calling for a stale, man-centered PROGRAM without POWER, He is also not calling us to a rebellious, self-absorbed PASSIVITY without any DIVINE PROGRAM or order:
1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
There is certainly a great need to constantly watch against mistaken views of pastoral ministry, authority, etc. A godly pastor rules primarily by example and pulpit teaching, reproof and exhortation. Therefore, hopefully the reader will forgive a brief digression and disclaimer.
Every area of authority has its ordained realm and limits. To “lord over the flock” is certainly to sin. But it is also sin for an ordained leader to be passive in building and “taking care” of the house of God. Leaders who will not lead (even under the banner of “humility”) should sit down. There is also the erroneous view that sees the pastor as the ONLY one called to do evangelistic (or visitation) work. Associated with this idea is that missionaries are “hired” to witness on foreign fields, and the pastor is “hired” to witness at home! And once everyone has been “paid,” the individual church member thinks that his/her responsibility in regard to the Great Commission has been fulfilled. May God indeed convict and shake up any churches that hold such views.
There is a Biblical balance between the mistaken, extreme ideas about the pastor on one side, and the unstructured, unmanaged, disorderly ideas on the other side. I believe that this proper balance has been achieved in thousands of godly churches throughout history. And in this regard, we should not “meddle” with them who are given to change (Proverbs 24:21). For example, we should examine Charles Spurgeon’s church in the 19th century. Spurgeon allegedly had other “elders” appointed to help him assist in the managing of the church. And as will be seen, he also believed in the active involvement of every member in evangelism and prayer. He taught the Baptist truth that every member is a priest, and that pastors must not get “big-headed”:
“Our office, as pastors, deserves to be respected, and will be if properly carried out; but I have observed that some who are very anxious to magnify their office, really try to magnify themselves.”
However, he also preached against those who would decry the “one man” system:
“The outcry against a ‘one man ministry’ cometh not of God, but of proud self-deceit. [Some] will not submit themselves to the authorities which God Himself appointed…He says, ‘Obey them which have the rule over you.’ Brethren, I warn you, there is a spirit abroad which would pull down the men whom God Himself has appointed…WE ENTER OUR SOLEMN PROTEST AGAINST THAT SPIRIT WHICH, UNDER PRETENSE OF LIBERTY TO ALL, SETS ASIDE THE INSTRUMENTALITY BY WHICH THE LORD WORKS…Where is there a single church which has existed for fifty years where God’s chosen instrumentality of ministry has been despised or rejected. ‘Ichabod’ is written upon their walls. God rejects them because they reject God’s chosen way of working…”
(C. H. Spurgeon, 1881)
It is clear that the whole church assembly has authority in calling and removing members, etc. (i.e. Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5, etc.). The God-called pastor is given to teach and train the church to make godly decisions, and to lead and manage the flock toward Biblical procedures and goals. A church is free to elect as many elders/bishops as it needs to assist the pastor. Yet, the wisdom of Scripture would teach that each church be managed (with all its officers) by the presiding elder (in submission to Jesus):
“The attempt to secure a plurality of elders at Haldane’s Tabernacle ‘did not succeed’ and Robert Haldane was to say in 1821 that ‘the system did not work.’…It is far too simple to claim, as the modern upholders of ‘body ministry’ have done, that the move away from regular, appointed ministers of the Word is the result of a new spiritual understanding and liberty. The claim might not be made with such confidence if its promoters knew a little more church history…It seems to be a mistaken view of the New Testament which supposes the leadership of one individual in a congregation is unlawful.”
(Ian Murray, The Problem of Eldership and its Wider Implications)
Many are the reports of contractors who will no longer even deal with Christian churches! They say the whole process of approval is absurd. The slightest decision must pass through five committees, then to the deacons, and then to the women’s board for final approval! The modern pastor is there to tell jokes so no one will get frustrated during all this red tape. And once everyone has given their opinion on how many lightbulbs to buy, one elderly man pouts because his counsel was not followed by the deacons. Six women are in a fight over the color of the bulbs, and soon the whole church splits. The pastor gets the final blame since he obviously did not tell enough jokes to keep everyone lighthearted and “loving”!
…It cannot be debated that in post-Apostolic times, there was a head bishop that managed the local church together with other elders [when large enough] and deacons. We know that this system was later perverted into the extremes of Romanism. But is there not also a danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Was the problem that the whole concept of a head-elder is wrong, or is it that the true framework was perverted to unbiblical extremes? I believe that Rome perverted a true framework (just as she also erroneously corrupted the truths concerning the Judgment Seat of Christ and Millennial exclusion into Purgatory).
…Revelation 2:1 Unto THE ANGEL of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the SEVEN STARS IN HIS RIGHT HAND, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
The seven stars are the seven angels:
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. THE SEVEN STARS ARE THE ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Whatever prophetic pictures are observed in these churches, we should never forget that they were seven, literal, historic churches, and each had a literal angel. The “star” is the figure. Therefore, the “angel” (which is the answer to the symbol) cannot be a symbol itself. The word “angel” means “messenger”:
“A human messenger with a divine commission; a pastor or bishop; as ‘the angel of the church,’ Rev. 1.”
(Standard Dictionary of the English Language, 1895)
“Literally, a messenger…A minister of the gospel, or pastor; as the angel of the church at Ephesus.”
(Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, 1956)
“Title of pastor or minister of the church.”
(Oxford Dictionary)
“Literally, a messenger; one employed to communicate news…A minister of the gospel, who is an ambassador of God. Rev. ii. and iii.”
(Webster’s, 1828)
Many commentators hold that Epaphroditus was the senior pastor of the Philippian church. He is referred to as their “messenger” (Philippians 2:25).
Indeed, God has heavenly messengers AND earthly messengers. The things addressed to the angels of the seven churches can only apply to one who has authority and responsibility ON EARTH, in regard to the church:
Revelation 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
The things Jesus says to these angels could not be said of any heavenly being. We must also remember that this Book of Revelation was a coded book to Christians, written during a time of Christian persecution. In 1865, Joseph Seiss writes:
“….we find all addressed to the MINISTERS in charge of the churches. Each epistle is written to the ‘angel’ of the church….It shows that there is a ministry – an official order – in the Christian church, which assigns one angel to each congregation, and makes him its representative and head….A special ministerial appointment is recognized…which no power on earth may disturb without insurrection against God, and invasion of the dignity of our Lord.”(2)
D.M. Panton, in 1925, also sees the “angel” as the pastor of the church:
“Very solemnly our Lord rebukes a CHURCH OFFICER for neglecting to enforce this rule [i.e. in 1Corinthians 14:34, that women must be silent in mixed assemblies of the church]…(Rev.2:20). They alone hold the true custody of woman’s honour who counsel her to obey her God.”(3)
Robert Govett, in 1861, writes concerning the seven angels (or pastors):
“They [the angels] are dependent on him, and accountable to him. The charge concerning the state of each church is given to them, as though he held them responsible. But His power over them is supreme. He holds them in His hand. As one has well said,- ‘If they be faithful, none can pluck them out of His hand: if unfaithful, none can deliver them out of it.’….The angels are stars: He is the sun. Stars, lamps, and sun give light….John the Baptist and our Lord are by Malachi called by the Hebrew word which signifies ‘angel.’ [Malachi 3:1]…The priest and the prophet are sometimes called by this name [Malachi 2:7, Haggai 1:13, Isaiah 44:26]…They are entitled ‘angels of the churches,’ as Hengstenberg remarks, because they were sent of God to the churches, to be guardians of them…As the angel of the little one [Matthew 18:10] is he to whom he is committed by God, so is the angel of the church that overseer to whose presidency the church is by our Lord committed…Some regard them as angelic beings [celectial] presiding over churches….But this cannot be; for the angel of Smyrna is required to be faithful unto death…And angels do not die…THE ONLY EXPLANATION WHICH MEETS WITH EASE ALL THE CONDITIONS OF THE CASE, IS THAT WHICH SUPPOSES THEM TO BE PRESIDENTS, SUPERINTENDENTS, OR CHIEF MINISTERS OF THE CHURCHES. They were bishops, not of diocese, but of a city-church…One scheme of government appears to run through the various arrangements of God. In the civil history of Israel in the wilderness, under the Jewish monarchy, in the hierarchy of the temple of Solomon, and in the hierarchy of the heavenly sanctuary….There was, I believe, a divinely-appointed form of church government…Each church has its angel: THERE IS BUT ONE ANGEL TO EACH CHURCH. Each angel is independent of the other. There is no epistle to the ‘angel of the seven churches.’ Each ruled the one church found in each of the seven cities…That there was one organization of the same kind, in each church which had arrived at its completeness, may, I think, be fairly deduced from the case of Ephesus, the first of the seven…That church began by Paul’s reasoning in the synagogue, and persuading some. Acts 18:19-21. Apollos comes tither soon after, and he builds up the disciples (24-28)…Paul visits Ephesus a second time…he separates the disciples, and the church in Ephesus is formed. Acts 19:1-10. He stays there two years, during which time officers would be needed, and were certainly appointed…That we are not deceived in this, the next mention of Ephesus proves; for when the apostle goes up to Jerusalem and takes leave of the church, he sends for ‘the elders’ of Ephesus. Acts 20:16-17…Then comes the final step. One was set by Christ, as the president, or apostle, or ruler of the whole – ‘the angel of the church in Ephesus.’ The organization was complete.” (4)
The arguments against the seven angels being the head-pastors of each of these churches appear to be shallow. The argument that there is not enough said about the head pastor could also be made about many other doctrines. I believe the passages concerning a plural eldership are easily answered without removing the senior-pastor model. And, as we have seen, evidence for this model is found in the last, Biblical address to the churches (the words of Jesus in the Book of Revelation). This teaching is also implied in Paul’s later Epistles to Timothy and Titus. And the AV’s notes concur with the same:
“The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians…”
Concerning the apparent plurality of elders in the Epistle to the Hebrews, we must remember that this epistle was not addressed to a single church, but to “Hebrews” in general:
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
There were multiple churches in Judaea (Galatians 1:22). Therefore, Hebrews is addressed to multiple churches. The same thing applies to 1st Peter (see 1:1, 5:1). There are therefore only three or four texts which clearly speak of a plurality of elders in ONE local church (Philippians 1:1, James 5:14, Acts 20:17, etc.). Yet, we have already seen that a plurality of elders does not preclude the possibility of a head-elder in each local church. Along with this is the fact that churches are in a state of growth. History and experience reveals many churches that were planted years before a consistent, senior pastor was called.
In conclusion, if it isn’t broke, let’s not try to fix it. Let’s beware of trying to reinvent the wheel. It is my view that the Plymouth Brethren would have done better to leave the Anglican churches and join themselves to Baptist churches, or follow the Baptistic model followed by Robert Govett (who also left the Church of England). They were never symbolized with Rome or any of Rome’s daughters. We do not need a new church government. We need revival in those who have been called to pastor the flock. We need a revival in every church member to see the individual responsibility each Christian has in relation to evangelism and private exhortation, encouragement, etc. Pastors need an awareness that they are called by Jesus Christ. We are in His hands. And He will preserve us, or CRUSH us, at His own will, as we deserve. Let us tremble before Him and get busy training up disciples to be soul winners! We need men to not neglect the ministry that they have been called and sent out to fulfill. Satanic distractions and excuses abound. But they will not profit us one bit at the Judgment Seat of Christ. No pastor who has buried his talent in the earth will be able to say to the Lord Jesus, “I was too humble to pastor. I therefore buried my ministry in the heart of the earth.” They just might soon find THEMSELVES in the heart of the earth!
NOTES:
1. Samuel Southard, Pastoral Authority in Personal Relationships, (1969).
2. J.A. Seiss, Lectures on the Apocalypse (1865).
3. D.M. Panton, Marriage and the Women’s Movement (London: Chas J. Thynne & Jarvis, 1925).
4. Robert Govett, Govett on Revelation (Hayesville, N.C.: Reprinted by Schoettle).
(By Joey Faust)

The Chaste Bride and Mr. State – KAU#214 Pt. 1

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IN THIS ISSUE
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Part 1: THE CHASTE BRIDE AND MR. STATE
Part 2: THE BIBLE’S SCIENTIFIC FOREKNOWLEDGE (Part 2)
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THE CHASTE BRIDE AND MR. STATE, By Joey Faust
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Revelation 17:1 …Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the
great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication…

The late Malachi Martin was a devout Catholic writer. In his book, “The
Decline and Fall of the Roman Church” (1981), he rebuked the Catholic
Church for spiritual fornication with the kings of the earth. He writes:

“He [Constantine on his death bed] was silent after that, like a true
soldier facing death. And those around him said afterward that he seemed
to regret the triumph he afforded Christianity and the sword by which he
had given the blessing to the Roman pontiff and his church. They heard him
say before he died: ‘Not the sword!…Not the
sword!…Knowledge!….’….We know of over forty popes who bought their
way into the papacy….It was a great chance. It would never return again.
For the first time in over one thousand years, Roman churchmen as a group
had the opportunity to renounce all worldly power, to escape the mesh of
politics, and to wield only spiritual authority. As yet, there had been no
Luther, no Reformation….It would have meant giving up ambition, money,
temporal authority, family glory, diplomatic might, and panoply. And, in
the end, Roman churchmen simply could not do that.”

It is certainly a strange situation to see a devout Catholic so concerned
about the compromise of his church, while there are so few Biblical
churches who appear at all worried about their own spiritual adultery with
the State. It is crucial that Christians awake in these last days and
preserve the purity of our local churches:

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I
have espoused you to ONE HUSBAND, that I may present you as a CHASTE
VIRGIN to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in
Christ.

The church is likened unto a “bride.” It should therefore not go unnoticed
that the WORLD is called a “HE” in the Authorized Version:

John 15:19 If ye were of the WORLD, the world would love HIS own: but
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.

To stay pure, the church must not have “wrong relations” with Mr. World
(Proverbs 2:11-12). She must, as a chaste virgin, keep her garments
(Revelation 16:15), and place nothing that belongs to Christ under the
authority or whims of the world (i.e. State, etc.).

But we must first lay a proper foundation by examining the truths on the
other side. Individual Christians should submit and even go an extra mile
in obedience to authorities (Matthew 5:41). Although our Lord was by no
means a “new-world-order-compromising publican” (Luke 13:32), He also was
not an insurrectionist like Barabbas (Mark 15:7, John 18:36). This is a
delicate balance. An officer compelling only one mile of service is
oppressive. But our Lord taught His followers to be peaceful, and even go
an EXTRA mile under such oppression in order to grace the Gospel, and
avoid unnecessary entanglements and hindrances (Hebrews 12:1, 2 Timothy
2:4, Matthew 5:41). This would not only free the Christian to make the
most of his time on earth for the Gospel (Matthew 5:25, Ephesians 5;16),
but it would also go far in dispelling the lying rumors of those who were
seeking every opportunity to shame the truth (1 Peter 2:14-15). One of the
earliest, (non-inspired) Christian writers, long before Constantine,
wrote:

“And when you hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making
any inquiry, that we speak of a human kingdom; whereas we speak of that
which is with God, as appears also from the confession of their faith made
by those who are charged with being Christians, though they know that
death is the punishment awarded to him who so confesses. For if we looked
for a human kingdom, we should also deny our Christ, that we might not be
slain; and we should strive to escape detection, that we might obtain what
we expect. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not
concerned when men cut us off….And more than all other men are we your
helpers and allies in promoting peace….But you seem to fear lest all men
become righteous, and you no longer have any to punish. Such would be the
concern of public executioners, but not of good princes.” (Justin Martyr,
A.D. 100-165, “First Apology”)

But every truth must be balanced by the truth on the other side, or else
we have heresy. And we must be extra careful when responding to any
heresy, or unbalance of truth, not to flee recklessly to the other side,
and thereby simply create an opposing heresy. Our Lord, while commanding
peaceful self-denial in His servants, and obedience to civil magistrates,
was also sure to remind them that HE was their LORD (John13:13). And He
also limited any authority of the State to its own proper sphere or realm
(Mark 12:17). Authority out of place is perverted authority:

“God has granted to the State no authority in the sphere of revealed
religion.” (D. M. Panton, 1923)

“God has given no authority whatever to rulers in the sphere of the
relations of His creature man to Himself, the Creator. In this realm the
ruler is a trespasser…1 Peter 2:13 lays down no UNLIMITED duty of
obedience to rulers but asserts only that general principle of obedience
which is, however, subject to very definite and far-reaching exceptions.
Such unlimited obedience can only be given at the cost of rendering unto
Caesar the things that are God’s, a far more serious offence…for to rob
God is more heinous than to rob man….When [the ruler] trespasses into
the realm of religion, he has forthwith no claim to obedience, but it is
rather the duty of the subject to disobey…In the sphere of religion the
subject should decline all discussion and negotiation with authorities. To
negotiate ADMITS THAT BOTH PARTIES HAVE SOME RIGHTS…” (G. H. Lang, 1955)

For this reason, Christians are taught in the Bible to “obey God rather
than men” (Acts 5:29) when the State attempts to forbid obedience to
Christ, or force disobedience to Him.

The Church, the Family and the State are three different realms of
authority under God. When the State attempts to usurp the authority of the
Family or Church in their God-ordained realms, it is out of place. For
example, the education and moral upbringing of children lies under the
authority of fathers submitted to Christ. The State must not interfere.
Likewise, sermons of preachers should not be shackled by regulations or
restraints. The God-ordained activities of our churches must not be
controlled by another head.

To arrive at a proper balance, it might be helpful to notice the limits of
the authority of a husband over a wife. Peter, in discussing submission,
lists its various spheres:

1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man FOR THE LORD’S
SAKE: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment
of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
15 For SO IS THE WILL OF GOD, that with well doing ye may put to silence
the ignorance of foolish men:
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the
good and gentle, BUT ALSO TO THE FROWARD.
3:1 LIKEWISE, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if
ANY OBEY NOT the word, they also may without the word be won by the
conversation of the wives;
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are,
as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

In this section of Scripture (1 Peter 2:13-3:6), we have the submission of
Christians to the State, the submission of servants to masters, and the
submission of wives to husbands. These situations, although differing,
were also similar in at least one respect. It was likely that both masters
and husbands would oftentimes be unconverted, and/or disobedient (1 Peter
2:18, 3:1). The magistrates at the time also were torching many
Christians. Therefore, the question of REBELLION was at this time surely
and desperately brought before the Apostles concerning every sphere of
authority. And the Holy Ghost gives His answer.

Peter illustrates the obedience of wives to DISOBEDIENT husbands by using
the example of Sarah in the Old Testament. The principle examples in
Scripture of Sarah’s obedience (without the word), to a disobedient
husband (1 Peter 3:1), are found when Abraham (more than once) told her to
tell a king that she was his sister (Genesis 12:12, 20:2). In this way,
she would be giving out that they were not married. And although Abraham
reasoned he would not be slain by this scheme, she nevertheless, would
thereby encourage the king to “have eyes for her” and she would risk being
married away or physically abused! What should Sarah do in this situation?
It was not technically a lie. But it was a form of deception. SHE would
not handle this situation this way if SHE was in charge (she no doubt
thought in disgust). Should she disobey her husband’s request? It could be
slightly argued (on a technicality) that it WAS a gray, unclear issue.
Sarah gave the benefit of the doubt to her authority. The Lord then
intervened and Sarah was saved, and her husband was blessed with riches
(Genesis 20:14). Sarah had to greatly “trust in God” (1 Peter 3:5) to
submit to her husband in such a trying situation. These examples (Genesis
12 and 20) do not excuse Abraham’s handling of such affairs. But they do
provide a good example of how to submit to any authority in its proper
sphere, where the issue is somewhat cloudy.

The same thing may be observed in the case of Vashti in Esther 1. There
is no evidence that the king desired anything unclean. He only wanted to
show off her beauty. However, the situation is similar to the situations
in Genesis with Abraham and Sarah. It is similar in that commentators are
divided (as in Genesis 12 and 20) over whether or not the authority is
commanding sin. This, in itself, proves that the issue is a bit gray and
fuzzy. But unlike Sarah, Vashti was QUICK to find an excuse for
“justified” rebellion. And she lost her kingdom because of it! God
“intervened” by REPLACING her.

We must tread carefully upon this delicate ground. But let us notice one
last example. Naaman in 2 Kings 5:18 asks the prophet Elisha about a
matter that is troubling him. His master is a pagan and he desires Naaman
to support him physically when he bows down to idols. But apparently,
Naaman has seen the vanity of these false gods of sticks and stones.
Elisha’s response appears to argue that Naaman would not be held
responsible for helping the king in his capacity as servant. The authority
bears the responsibility. However, this does not mean that God would
ignore Naaman willfully worshipping these false gods. This gives us a key
to handling some difficult questions concerning submission (in whatever
realm) when we are not dealing with blatant sin.

These examples teach us that in issues that are not clear, the authority
should prayerfully be given the benefit of the doubt. The responsibility
is upon its head:

“…in any case of doubt the individual must submit to the authority. The
duty to disobey must be clear, not obscure or doubtful….We must obey God
rather than men (Acts 5:29), whenever their orders clash. Yet the clash
must be evident, not imaginary.” (G. H. Lang, 1955)

People with a rebellious spirit will grab at any speck of apparent sin in
authority and use it as an excuse to rebel. Whether it be against a
pastor, a husband, a father, or a policeman, it is too often man’s nature
to take advantage of anything that would justify rebellion or disrespect.
The Scriptures place a “check” on this spirit by using the obedience of
Sarah in a confusing and perilous situation. She trusted God, obeyed, and
was blessed in the end.

The Scriptures describe the last days as days of rebellion against
AUTHORITY in every realm (2 Timothy 3:1-2, 6):

Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, DESPISE
DOMINION, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed
about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation,
but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

The Holy Ghost has again insured the application by illustration for any
seeking saint. He gives the example of Michael, one of the highest angels,
in dealing with the DEVIL. Who can be more evil than the Devil? But
notice, there is no “railing accusation” against him by Michael. Peter
also describes the last times in similar language:

2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of
uncleanness, and DESPISE GOVERNMENT. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled,
they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing
accusation against them before the Lord.

Many church services (especially in charismatic circles) “motivate” the
congregation by screaming, “Satan! You miserable worm! I am going to step
on your face!” The crowd then goes wild. And surely, every Christian at
some point in his or her life, has seen the televangelists “pray” to God:

“Dear God, we come to you now in the name of Jesus. Satan! Right now I
bind you! You serpent of Hell, I now take dominion! I command you to
flee…”

The prayer to “Jesus” goes on praying to SATAN for another fifteen minutes
in disobedience to Jude 1:9. Satan is not an authority over Christians;
however, the Bible forbids such railing accusations in the flesh against
devils. However, surely Jude and Peter are also using this example of
Michael and Satan to provide Christians with an example of how to treat
earthly rulers inspired by Satan. There is a place for humble, but strong
rebuke (Mark 6:18). Yet, children to fathers, wives to husbands,
Christians to church officers, and citizens to magistrates, must all avoid
the FLESH motivated rebellion that Scripture predicted would come upon the
whole world, with many Laodicean (Gr. “rights of the people”) Christians
leading the pack.

At this point, we must turn our eyes to the other side. A wife (unlike
what John R. Rice appeared to teach – though I am thankful for most of
what he says on the subject) is NOT BOUND before God to kill her child or
rob a bank or confess that Caesar is God simply because her husband
commands it. She, like a Christian under the State, ought to obey God
rather than men in such obvious, sinful situations!:

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of
his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and THEY WERE NOT
AFRAID OF THE KING’S COMMANDMENT.

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the
king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are NOT CAREFUL to answer thee in THIS matter.

Therefore, in every realm of submission, we must guard against jumping at
every gray area for an excuse to rebellion or reviling dignities (Exodus
22:28). Men should demonstrate to their wives and children how they expect
to be honored by their own respect to elders and State magistrates.
However, we also have a clear responsibility before God to RESIST and
disobey every command that calls for definite sin, or any command that is
out of its proper sphere of ordained authority.

There is a place for the church as the light of the world to shine the
light of conviction and reproof and to expose sin that sinners may know
their need for the Saviour. We will all stand at the Judgment Seat of
Christ for how we handle this delicate balance. Jesus called Herod a fox
(Luke 13:32); yet Paul apologized for his words to the high priest (Acts
23:5), since he said them in ignorance. Both of these sides must be kept,
prayerfully, in proper balance:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season…
7 …a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…

At times, Christians are carnal because they do not want a prophet to
rebuke in the gate (Amos 5:10). Their ears are delicate from being
scratched and pampered by the world. They do not mind sitting in front of
movies and television that mock and blaspheme our Lord; but if a Christian
shouts, or uses irony, or is too plain in rebuking sin, they get their
feelings hurt and cannot endure it (2 Timothy 4:3). Spurgeon once
preached:

“It is impossible but that the Church of Rome must spread, when we who are
the watch-dogs of the fold are silent, and others are gently and smoothly
turfing the road, and making it as soft and smooth as possible, that
converts may travel down to the nethermost hell of Popery….The velvet
has got into our ministers’ mouths of late, but we must unrobe ourselves
of soft raiment, and truth must be spoken, and nothing but truth; for of
all lies which have dragged millions down to hell…” (June 5th, 1864)

However, we must not forget that our Lord did not return railing for
railing (1 Peter 2:23, 3:9). Paul, in wisdom, guarded his words to
magistrates. A fool’s wrath is presently known says the Bible; he has no
ability to hide his shame. He is therefore headed for destruction, and his
mouth is leading the way (Proverbs 12:13-14). He is indiscrete and carnal,
and if his wife, children, or church members “honored” his authority the
way he treats authorities over him, his heart would literally die within
him, and he would become as a stone, like old Nabal (1 Samuel 25:37)!

We must live by the truth on both sides. It is therefore crucial, in these
perilous times, that Christians begin to discuss openly the delicate
relationship of our churches to the State. As we behold today the
“Faith-Based and Community Initiative,” and the silence of many of our
preachers on various moral issues (lest they lose their 501c3), is it not
time to have some OPEN discussion, and debates, in our publications and
churches concerning whether or not the Bride is presently compromising
herself with Mr. World? Earlier Christians appeared to be more awake to
the dangers of compromising the bride by wrong relations to the State. But
today, there is hardly a voice crying out for her to “keep her garments”
and tell Mr. World to keep his eyes and hands to himself. A chaste bride
has the moral responsibility to CRY OUT if she is in danger of being
compromised:

Deuteronomy 22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be BETROTHED UNTO AN
HUSBAND, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye
shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, BECAUSE SHE CRIED
NOT, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his
neighbour’s wife:

There were many fervent prayers to God and public cries in earlier
generations, as they saw the compromises developing. They knew that the
Roman Catholic Harlot would one day come back in power (Revelation 17),
and they were keen to watch for any signs of their churches flirting with
the kings of the world. However, in our age, many churches are no longer
crying out about compromises with the State. They are enjoying the
relationship with all its benefits. And the rope keeps getting tighter.

Notice some words from earlier Christians:

“If history is any guide…the very first step which every dictatorship
will take, will be to coerce, or to seduce, or to suppress the Christian
Church within its frontiers.” (“The British Weekly,” June 8, 1933)

“…V. F. Calverton in his recent book ‘The passing of the God’s’ (1935)
states that in the Middle Ages ‘the Church [was] imposing an international
outlook upon the State,’ whereas ‘in the modern world the State, disallied
from the Church, imposes its national outlook upon the latter.’….the
cleavage between Protestantism and Catholicism is largely disappearing at
the present time….Only by seeing that these very events are predicted by
the Bible of the last days is it possible to see that the appalling sins
of Christendom constitute no argument whatever against the Christian
faith, but must rather convince us of its truth.” (R. E. D. Clark, “The
Church of Rome and the State”, 1936)

“The choice is everywhere being forced upon the Church whether she will
stand under the Sovereignty of Christ, or become subordinate and
subservient to the National cause in each nation. We ought to obey God
rather than men (Acts v. 29).”
(D. M. Panton, 1933)

ROBERT GOVETT ON THE ADULTERY OF THE BRIDE WITH THE STATE (1845):

Bishop Warburton (1698-1779), of the Church of England, in 1736, wrote,
“The Alliance between Church and State; or the Necessity and Equity of an
Established Religion.” Notice that title! In beholding the perilous times
the Bible predicts for the near future (Revelation 17, etc.), Robert
Govett’s (1813-1901) criticism of Warburton is timely:

“He [Warburton] first occupies himself in showing that the Church and
State are each sovereign and independent the one of the other. He then
observes, that for mutual advantage a ‘political league and alliance for
mutual support and defense’ is entered into. The motive of the ruler to
seek the alliance of the church he declares to be, the service rendered to
him in procuring reverence for himself and the laws, and the obtaining
power over the church, so as to prevent it from exciting sedition or
ill-will against his government. The motive of the church he represents as
being, protection. ‘The Church flies for protection to the State.’….From
these motives the alliance springs, and terms are: ‘That the Church shall
apply its UTMOST INFLUENCE IN THE SERVICE OF (alas) THE STATE!’ and that
for its part, ‘the State shall SUPPORT and PROTECT the Church.’ The Church
in this alliance as the weaker of the two contracting parties, must
surrender, as he says, its independence, and receive in return (1) a
settled maintenance for its ministers….(2) The second benefit is
ecclesiastical power of coercion exercised in the bishop’s courts….In
this melancholy picture, we find the leaven of Judaism and of the world at
every turn….Let us then contemplate the results of this alliance to the
Church, and see how utterly fallen it is from its true position as the
waiting, pure, espoused virgin of Christ:

1. It seeks PROTECTION from an arm of flesh. And thus it deserts the
protection of its Lord and Master, Christ Jesus, as though that were
insufficient…

2. It becomes supported by the world, as though Christ were so ignorant or
careless of its necessity, that He could not, or would not provide.

3. It takes ANOTHER HEAD AND HUSBAND THAN JESUS. The civil Magistrate is
its head and husband by the terms of alliance; and as THE CHURCH CANNOT
HAVE TWO HEADS AND HUSBANDS AT ONCE, Jesus is not only slighted, but
rejected. This is that spiritual fornication and adultery of which Rome
and her daughters stand accused: Rev. xvii, 2-5.

4. It therefore becomes obedient to the will of the Magistrate, as the
same writer states it, ‘When the alliance is made, AND CONSEQUENTLY THE
CHURCH UNDER HIS DIRECTION, he hath then authority to prescribe such
public exercises of religion, in such manner and such seasons as the
exigencies of the STATE REQUIRE.’ Its ministers become, in the main, HIS
ministers. ‘The civil Magistrate being the protector of the Church, and
consequently SUPREME HEAD AND DIRECTOR OF IT, the ministry is much in his
power…He admits and excludes to the exercise of their functions AS HE
SEES FIT.’

5. It is incapable of action without permission….She can excommunicate
none without the State’s consent.

6. She receives and exercises temporal power instead of the spiritual
power which her Lord gave her…

7. Lastly, the object of the Church is expressly declared to be – not the
glory of God – not the service of Christ Jesus alone, but – the ‘service
of the State’ that is, of the world! Thus is the aim and object of the
Church turned utterly aside. In place of WITNESSING TO THE WORLD THAT IT
IS EVIL, in rebellion against God, and soon to be visited by the coming
wrath of Messiah, the visible Church, believing that it is possible to
serve ‘two masters,’ joins hands and fellowship with it, and devotes
herself to its service. She takes the civil governor as her head and
ruler, in place of the Holy Ghost, whom the Lord Jesus left her as her
appointed guardian and guide. And as Israel’s desire for a king was the
rejection of Jehovah, so is the making a king the supreme head of the
church the rejecting both of Christ Jesus and of His Spirit….

The issue of the alliance of the Church with the State (or world) was most
disastrous [in history]. Wealth and splendor, power and dignity followed.
Worldly philosophy and eloquence crept in, to corrupt the gospel. The
rulers of the world interfered in the government of the church….And, as
there are two forms of leaven, so there are two gigantic iniquities which
divide the world between them at the close – lawlessness – and bondage to
the law, or Christianity Judaized. The Judaizing of Christianity is seen
in Babylon, the Great Harlot; the lawlessness of the visible church
discharges itself at length into the bottomless gulf of the delusions of
Antichrist.”

CONCLUSION

We must not fail to notice the intrusion of the State into religion, and
cry out as commanded. Are there no signs of such intrusion today in the
U.S.? I would like to see the following questions discussed openly in more
Christian magazines and papers:

1. Should a preacher, called by God, make an agreement to be silent on
certain political issues of the day for benefits?

2. If preachers are not silenced in certain areas by 501c3, then why did
James Kennedy and many others recently appeal to Congress to either repeal
the prohibition on preachers influencing politics in a “substantial”
manner, or else properly define the vague term “substantial”? (The
Internal Revenue Service has not defined the word “substantial,” so
nonprofits have to guess; therefore most do not “rock the boat” on any hot
issue, and many even hire lawyers to edit their sermons).

3. If we say we will never be silenced and we will preach God’s truth on
any subject under 501c3, is this honest (Romans 1:31) when we have made an
agreement to receive benefits on the basis that we will not influence
politics “substantially”? Would it not indeed be more honest to hire
lawyers to read our sermons to make sure we are honoring our side of the
deal?

I am not calling Christians to leave the spiritual keys and bury their
talents in order to be distracted with every wind of political
controversy. God forbid! We must preach the Gospel. However, I believe it
is necessary and timely to discuss these questions openly. We are not
called to be obedient in one area only. How easily early Christians could
have rationalized: “I will simply say Caesar is God. I don’t really mean
it. And think of all the soul winning I can do if I am not martyred.” The
Boy Scouts are just the beginning of an assault that is planned on
Christian churches. An argument that these people will never tire of using
to advance sodomy and other forms of wickedness is: “If this is a
non-profit, government-created organization, then why is it discriminating
against government policy on gender, sexual preference and religion?”
Perhaps it is past time for the bride to take off the see-through, fancy
garments created for her by sodomite fashion designers, and put back on
her modest, chaste garments provided by Christ.

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