Am I Sinning Willfully?

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Hi D_____,

Thank you for your questions.

Rest assured, from what you have told me here, you have not “sinned wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the Truth.” Here are your own words:

That is the exact opposite of ‘sin willfully’.

The person who ‘sins willfully after receiving the knowledge of the Truth’ is never aware of his spiritual condition. He truly believes that he is not sinning as he continues to defy God’s Word. Judas, Diotrophes, Alexander the coppersmith, Hymenaus and Philetus never once thought that they were ‘sinning willfully’.

2Ti 2:14  Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers.
2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16  But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2Ti 2:17  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
2Ti 2:18  Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

“Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” indicates that we need to get our own spiritual house in order before we begin to try to persuade others that what we see in God’s Word is indeed the Truth of Christ. When we preach to others and “continue in sin”, we are “blaspheming the name of God among the Gentiles.”

Rom 2:21  Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
Rom 2:22  Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Rom 2:23  Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Rom 2:24  For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

But what you need to realize is that this period of failing and feeling guilty is not something which is overcome overnight. That is not the way the process of grace works. The example we are given of how grace works is that of a loving Father chastening his children.

Having reared five children, I can readily attest to the fact that it took many years, many chastenings and many hours of patient instruction in the study of God’s Word, just to get my children to the point where they see the need to overcome their own flesh. And now after having reared five children, I am beginning to see what I have put my heavenly Father through.

But as I have grown to see the Truth of God’s Word. I have finally been brought to see that my children’s disobedience, and my own disobedience, their need for chastening and my own need for the same from my heavenly Father, is actually all the working of Jesus Christ doing the bidding of His Father in us all.

Pro 20:24  Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

It is not just your faith that pleases God, so much as it is the trying of that faith. It is that trial you are even now writing about, which to God is so very precious:

1Pe 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

It is this trial, this plaguing of your own conscience when you do that which you know you should not do, which is the “wrath of God from [the] heaven” of your own heart and mind, which constitutes the seven (complete) plagues which must be poured out on any who ever hope to enter into the temple of God:

Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

“No man was able to enter into the temple till the plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” Is, Was and Will Be the Truth of the process of salvation for all men who are, were or ever will be.

So let me be frank. If indeed you are still being “[brought] into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members,” then you are not yet dominating sin in your flesh. Just look at the context of the verse you say explains how you feel:

Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Rom 7:6  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

“But now we are delivered from the law [for the lawless] that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit…” does not become a fact by simply reading Rom 7:6. This verse is only true for those who are truly “dead to the law” and “free from sin.”

Rom 7:4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead , that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

We cannot “bring forth fruit unto God” as long as sin has dominion over us.

So often Romans 7 is read to justify continuing in sin as if Romans 6 and Romans 8 did not exist. But they do exist, and here is what they have to say about what Christ in you can accomplish, even while yet in this sinful flesh:

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [ him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.

But what does Paul mean by “freed from sin?” Does he mean that he will never again ever have a thought contrary to His heavenly Father’s thoughts? Does He mean that he would never say “Father if there is any other way please let this cup pass from Me?” Absolutely not. Both Paul and Christ were flesh, and flesh is a “marred vessel” into which God placed even Christ. The Christ we now know is not a Christ of “flesh and bone” as He was while here on this earth.

2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more [after the flesh].

I have never met you, but your letters telling me of your struggles have a spirit about them with which I identify. I am not saying that I am still at the point of…

Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

I can truly say that I am not now the same man I was a few years ago. I can truly agree with the next verse of Romans seven:

Rom 7:6  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

And I am here to testify to you that sin will not always have dominion over you:

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

So we no longer know each other or even Christ as “in the flesh.” We know each other “after the spirit”, and your spirit is one which yearns for freedom from the burden of the Egyptian taskmasters, from the rule of Potifar and the rule of the keeper of the prison. That is the very first step to becoming “freed from sin.”

The whole “orthodox Christian Church” wants you to believe that you can claim salvation by simply stating the sinner’s prayer. There is no emphasis on being judged, chastened, scourged and plagued with the wrath of God against the ungodliness which is in the very nature of those who are in the process of being revealed as the “manifestation of the sons of God.” God’s elect were known by God from “before world began… while they were yet in their mothers womb having done neither good nor evil.”

2 Tim. 1:9 (b)… Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Rom 8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature [in us all] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

If indeed we are God’s elect, we are so and “it was given to us… before the foundation of the world.” But it has to be made manifest, and that is our earnest expectation as we struggle through the scourging and plaguing which the flesh of us all requires before being capable of entering the temple of God.

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Rom 9:11  (For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

Was Jacob not God’s elect in type until he returned from Haran? Or was he given the vision of the ladder to heaven immediately after stealing His brother’s blessing? Long before “coming out of Babylon,” God knows who are His “before the foundation of the world.

So who are God’s elect? We are! When were we purposed to receive this grace? “Before the world began.” Who receives this chastening, scourging grace? “Every son whom He receiveth.” Now there are those who think they understand what is chastening grace, who will tell you that the chastening of grace is not enough to bring those who are in the lake of fire to God. Or at least they feel that is not the way which God has decreed that those, the masses of mankind, will be dealt with by God. These people who are “cast” into the lake of fire failed to be drawn to God’s less severe chastening while yet in the flesh. And so it is taught, these people who failed to enter God’s earlier, less severe program, must undergo more than just God’s chastening, scourging grace. These people must also endure God’s wrath which He would never pour out upon His elect.

Is it true that your sins and unrighteousness which you commit are not under God’s wrath because you are God’s elect? Is it true that you will, as God’s ‘huios‘ (Greek: mature son), not endure the seven plagues of God’s wrath upon your sinful flesh?

Let’s take a look at this word ‘scourge’ and see if this doctrine is true. This word is used seven times in the New Testament.  Isn’t that an interesting coincidence? Here are those seven uses of the word scourge:

Mat 10:17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

Mat 20:19  And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify [ him]: and the third day he shall rise again.

Mat 23:34  Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and [some] of them ye shall kill and crucify; and [some] of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute [them] from city to city:

Mar 10:34  And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Luk 18:33  And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

Joh 19:1  Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged [him].
Joh 19:2  And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put [it] on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
Joh 19:3  And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Is there any indication in any one of these verses that ‘wrath’ is not part and parcel with scourging and in fact is the very essence of that word? Here is God’s word to all who think that not every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God is for them:

Jer 49:12  For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment [was] not to drink of the cup [of the wrath of God] have assuredly drunken; and [art] thou he [that] shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink [of it].

Now since God has known from before the foundation of the world who are his elect, does this mean that we are without any need for concern that we could ever be cut off or become a “castaway?” No, it does not. “Us” is only ‘us’ if we “endure to the end… continue in His goodness… abide in His doctrine… try the spirits… keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book… and live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Rom 11:16  For if the firstfruit [God’s elect] be holy, the lump [ all mankind] is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Rom 11:17  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Rom 11:18  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Rom 11:19  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Rom 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Rom 11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Does this sound like God’s method has changed from the firstfruit to the lump? It has not. The firstfruit is indeed first. But the method is exactly the same. There is but one rule for all judgment of all men of all time:

Luk 12:46  The lord of that [wicked] 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 [in the lake of fire].
Luk 12:47  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.
Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Luk 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it [the same fire that will be in the lake of fire] be already kindled [in the lives of God’s elect]?

So the doctrine which teaches that Christ did it all for you and you have no need of constant vigilance, is a doctrine of “smooth things”, a “prophecy of deceits”. And so too, is the doctrine that God’s elect are somehow spared the plagues which must be poured out before any man can enter the temple of God.

Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

2Ti 4:3  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;
2Ti 4:4  And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

What are those fables which will be taught to God’s people by these “teachers having itching ears?” This is what those fables will always be:

Isa 30:10  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

Lord willing, I will never do that. I will tell you honestly that if, like the Corinthians, you are “Sanctified in Christ, called to be a saint” and at the same time you are “yet carnal”, then you simply need to be patient and courageous because God’s wrath is against your ungodliness and unrightousness even though His grace was given to His elect “before the world began.”

So never make the mistake of assuming that you, as God’s elect, will never be and could never be deceived. That is not the attitude of God’s elect. Your attitude of concern for your condition is far more in line with the mind of God’s elect who see themselves as the “chief of sinners” in need of a savior because they have “come to themselves”, and are now aware that they, of themselves, will never win this battle against the beastly flesh which they see in the mirror.

“Who can make war with the beast?” Here is the answer to that question:

Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

This is not just a future event. This is going on at this very moment in your life and has prompted your letter to me. So what is the inevitable outcome, either now, meaning in this flesh, or later as a resurrected spirit in the lake of fire? At both times this is the ultimate outcome for all humanity:

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

So while it will indeed take time and patience to bring about the “trial of your faith” the outcome is clear. Victory is certain. The only thing in question for us all is the matter of timing. May we never make the mistake that Judas made of believing that because we were chosen out of the called, that therefore we are the “very elect” who can never be deceived.

Joh 6:70  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

These are not “smooth things,” but they are true. Our only hope is to have Christ in us. In Him we can say with Paul:

Phi 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I hope this has been of some comfort to you in your walk.


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