Responses To Strong Delusion Part 2

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Wilderness and The Lake of Fire

Yes R___,

The time we spend in the ‘wilderness,’ shows us what is in us that must be ‘burned out.’

Mar 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Do you see how many times it says ‘every man’s work?’ There is no way to get to the ‘Tree Of Life” (Christ), without going through that “fiery sword,” of God’s Word. And God’s Word will purge you of your sins and false doctrines.

You may yet be a “carnal Christian”, but, as I think you already know, you were made that way for the purpose of being delivered from that condition, Not to continue to live in it.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because [ For this reason] the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Yes, the ‘fire,’ of Mar 9 and I Cor. 3 are both the same fire as the fire that is found in the ‘lake of fire.’ The only difference is that the ‘lake of fire,’ is a much less desirable and much later experience.

Thank you for your encouraging words. Letters like yours make all the effort worthwhile.


Does ‘Free Gift’ Mean No Works?

Hi again G____,

You say I can’t give you a straightforward answer to your question “is age- abiding life a gift or not?”

The truth, as you well know, is that I gave you a straightforward, scriptural answer. But because you do not want to acknowledge that I said that neither our faith, nor our good works are of ourselves, you tell yourself that I didn’t answer your question. You apparently have taken Paul’s statement that God has sealed His Chosen to nullify Christ’s own words that:

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

And this is exactly what you accuse me of doing.

Yes, I have no doubt that God knows and has sealed His chosen, but for me to take for granted that since I am without doubt sealed, I have no need for admonitions such as:…

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

… Is to do nothing less than to set myself up for a fall, and make the words of both Christ and Paul “null and useless.”

Now, allow me to cut and paste that answer, and then you can write me back and tell me again that I haven’t given you a straightforward, scriptural answer:

Here is that cut and pasted answer:

That looks like a very straightforward answer to me. Your problem is not with what I say. What you don’t like is when I have the nerve to repeat the “wholesome words of our Lord”: “Go and sin no more lest a worse [ chastening] thing come upon you.” What you do not like is the fact that I repeat the words of Paul, “Be careful to maintain good works.” For me to repeat those scriptures upsets you to no end. But I did not write those scriptures. I simply quote and repeat them. You on the other hand think that since the scriptures tell us truthfully that we are sealed with the Spirit, that therefore we need never concern ourselves with scriptures such as:

1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

You despise the fact that I quote that scripture as if it had any real significance. I am sorry that these scriptures upset you so, but, hard as it is for you to grasp, and as hard as it was for me also to grasp at one time, the Truth is that vigilance and God’s sovereignty are not one little bit at variance with each other. The sovereignty of God, in fact includes the vigilance we are constantly encouraged to maintain.

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Tit 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Tit 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

I know you don’t like for me to point out these scriptures, but don’t deceive yourself by saying that I have not given you a direct answer. I did give you an answer. It was nothing but scripture, and you simply don’t like to be told that even though God seals His chosen, we are still to encourage each other to “affirm constantly … [ that we should] be careful to maintain good works.” Telling those God has placed in your charge to “be careful to maintain good works,” no more turns salvation into a ‘commodity to be bought and sold,’ than for Paul to tell the Phillipian jailer to “believe on Christ and you shall be saved.” If I tell you that you must believe on Christ, am I automatically guilty of telling you that it is your faith that saves you? Was Paul telling the Phillipian jailer that it was his own faith that would bring him salvation? Why then are those who, like me, point to all the scriptures that tell us that it is only “by patient continuance in good works that we seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal [ age abiding] life.”

Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

You just hate scriptures that say such things. But you can’t admit to that, so you take it out on me with statements like:

This is a warning to you as much as it is to me. Compare our letters. Who is it that is quoting the scriptures? Who is it that is not upset with what those scriptures say?

It is you who cannot give a straight answer. To date you have given no answer at all but to retort that you “believe the entire word of God.” Well, maybe you just don’t like the entire word of God, but for whatever reason you have not even attempted to answer a single question I have asked.

Now that I have taken my time, for your benefit, and answered all your questions, let’s look at all the questions that I asked you:

Beginning of questions:

… You tell me this:

#1 Now if all of Babylon’s daughters… choose to believe only part of God’s Word,” which of us is the daughter of Babylon?

#2 Are you aware that “grace… chastens us”? Are you aware that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God?” Are you aware that “when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned [ to the white throne judgment (chastening)] with the world?” Are you aware that God “chastens every son whom He receives?”

Whenever you want some one to see the error of their way, what you should do is to quote them their own words, and then show them the scriptures that prove that they are not in line with the Word of God. That is what I am doing for you. I want you to do the same for me.

You quote Eph 2:8 to me:

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

You apparently are unaware of the fact that God, through grace, “chastens us to forsake ungodliness” to the point that “where sin abounds [ chastening] grace does much more abound.” Not knowing this “just like all the daughters of Babylon,” you never point out that Eph 2:8 is followed by Eph 2:9-10.

Eph 2:9 Not of [ our] works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

#3 What does Paul mean when he says “by grace… through faith… not of works…?” Is Paul telling us that we are never to speak of having good works as you seem to be wanting me to believe? Let us not be” like all the daughters of Babylon,” let us face the scriptures honestly with no “idols of our hearts” (Eze 14:1-9) and let’s let Paul simply demonstrate what the Spirit meant to him when he penned those words. Here are just a couple of hundreds of verses of scripture on this subject as recorded by Paul under the direction of God’s Spirit, demonstrating what is meant by “grace through faith, not of works”:

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we [ We are His workmanship] have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

You see anything similar to my writings here? Right after pointing out that the good works that we are to have, are not “which we have done,” right after telling us that we are “justified by grace,” the Holy Spirit has the apostle Paul to admonish us to “be careful to maintain good works.”

#4 Now you tell me, should I repeat these words to others? Do you believe that Paul too, is,

Now not wanting to be a “daughter of Babylon,” I must point out just one more of the hundreds of such inspired statements:

Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds [ Greek- ergon – works]:
Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing [ Greek – ergon – good works] seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

# 5 “Patient continuance in good works?” Again, I ask you, do I dare repeat these words to my fellow believers? Again, I ask you, is Paul in your estimation:

There they are, 5 simple questions which you will not answer, simply because you would be forced to either condemn Paul or apologize to me. And the ‘beast within’ will not allow you to die to the flesh to that extent. Neither I nor Paul have ever “taken what God has said is a gift, (Rom 6:23 and Eph 2:8 ) Aeonian Life, and made it something we must earn, as if it were just so much merchandise!”

You know that, and that is why you lash out at me instead of quoting where I ever have made such a ridiculous statement.

I am not angry or bitter. I only want you to see how frustrated you are with the words of God.

Your brother, who cares enough to answer your questions,


Posted September 6, 2004

Hi K____,

Thank you for your very perceptive question.

Yes, the “death” working in Paul had certainly not yet done it’s work in these sectarian Corinthians. The ‘beast’ was still very much alive in their ‘temples.’ Being “yet carnal,” they had not yet “died to the flesh.” So, in this sense, “Life worketh in you.”

Christians have been lied to and led to believe that ‘calling’ is the same as conversion. It most definitely is not. Christ is no more slain in the life of a new convert than He was in Peter when Christ told Peter “when you are converted, feed my sheep.” And mind you, this was after Peter had experienced many miracles and answered prayers. But Christ was not yet ‘resurrected’ within Peter.

Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

The story of all the apostles forsaking their master, is to tell us that we are all “yet carnal” when we first are “called to be saints.”

1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints,

Now notice what Paul informs these “called to be saints” Corinthians:

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.


[ Below is an exchange centered around the article, Strong Delusion. A mutual acquaintance of Mike’s and Gary Amirault’s had written Gary with his exceptions to the article. Mike is addressing this acquaintance’s concerns which are here representing the more liberal approach to the question of the need for spiritual maturity.]

Mike Vinson wrote:

Hi L____,

Thank you for your input here. I can now see that I need to dwell a lot more on the ‘my yoke is easy’ part of the gospel. I’m also considering Gary’s comment about having an introduction to that article. The last thing in the world I want to do is to discourage anyone.

Having said that, I must say that, I want to tell you that this whole article, Strong Delusion, is nothing but an e- mail to a friend whose position was identical to yours. He had the exact same prayer you have here in this e- mail to Gary; “Lord please show me if I am wrong.” That is my prayer too. In the confidence that we both want Truth (Christ) above all, I am taking the time to attempt to give you scripture on this subject. I am well aware that I can change no one. I firmly believe that all Truth is only by divine revelation. Flesh and blood [ that’s me] hath not revealed it unto you but My Father which is in heaven (Mat 16:17). I’m not set in concrete on anything, but I do believe that I am grounded in scripture. It is with these convictions and with the confidence that we are both sincere in our prayer that I am taking the time to give you these scriptures and ask you some questions. My questions are not asked in a condescending spirit. I hope that they don’t come across that way. But I admit that I do not understand how you cope with the scriptures I am presenting, if you do not acknowledge some kind of difference between those who are ‘called,’ and those who are ‘chosen.’ Must God be guilty of ‘looking despairingly,’ on those who are in the called but not chosen group? Let me know if I am missing something here.

I am going to go through your comments and ask some questions, and probably make some observations. Afterward, I want to make a few statements and observations about the teachings of Mr. A. E. Knoch. You started with the following:

I have already thanked you for pointing out a need for balance on my part. But I’m at a loss to understand how you can consider chastening and suffering as “unrelated” to spiritual maturity.

You might want to consider the following three scriptures if you really want the Lord to “show me if I am wrong:”

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

Is Paul unaware that we have nothing to do with our salvation? Does He not realize that everything is in the hands of a loving Father? I believe that we would both agree that Paul is aware of God’s sovereignty and His love. So why does he say things like this, as if we ought to expect to suffer if we want to reign with Him, as if it might really be possible to deny Christ? Could it possibly be that the Holy Spirit inspired him to say these things because there is absolutely no contradiction between “being careful to maintain good works” (Tit 3:8), and understanding the sovereignty of a loving Father? Could God’s sovereignty include the need for “the foolishness of preaching?” Could it be that a sovereign, loving Father actually wants His children to learn vigilance?

1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned [ to the 2nd resurrection] with the world.

Do you find the last part of this verse to be despairing and disgusting?

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son [ the spirit could have used ‘nepios‘ here but it didn’t] whom he receiveth.

This entire book is designed to mature the Hebrews who were as attached to nothing beyond ‘the law,’ as Christians are “nothing … but Christ and HIM crucified.”

Please tell me, why was it so important to Paul that the Corinthians get beyond the “milk” of the word? He tells us that he shed tears over this. Why would he do this? Had he ‘lost his joy?’ Or could it be that the maturing process involves times of ‘shedding tears,’ ‘chastening,’ and ‘scourging’ which, for the present, is not joyful but, “afterwards … yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness?” Is this not the process that Paul and Peter and James and John all reveal to be the way God has determined to bring his sons to maturity? Or do the scriptures reveal an emphasis on the sovereignty of God to the exclusion of any need for chastening and scourging?

Here we are. You quote Gal 3:26. You say that my “version of the gospel (Lord please show me if I am wrong) … kind of takes away one’s joy.” The last thing I want to do is to see my own three sons without joy. To that very end I have given them pain and spankings and made them learn to give account for their actions. Why would I inflict pain on the very people I love? Because I know that “afterwards it would yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”

Now it is for that same reason that I ask you, because you truly want to know if you are wrong, are you aware that only three verses after Paul says, You are all sons [uihos] of God through faith in Christ Jesus … and if you are sons, then heirs, He also makes this statement:

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child [nepios], differeth nothing from a servant [ who is not an heir], though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children [nepios], were in bondage under the elements of the world:

L____, this is a warning against succumbing to ‘strong delusion,’ (“I am Abraham’s seed, I have never been in bondage to anyone because I have believed in Christ and Him crucified”). In your present understanding of the scriptures such an interpretation of these verses ‘ takes away your joy,’ but notice how this chapter ends:

Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise [ the elect].
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh [ Born of the same Father but of an Egyptian wife, these are the called but not chosen] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: f or the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

This last verse is tied to the first three verses:

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child [nepios], differeth nothing from a servant [ the son of God who is born of an Egyptian, who is not an heir], though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time [ second resurrection – Eze 16:55 – When? Answer: Then. Look at that scripture] appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children [nepios], were in bondage under the elements of the world: Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we [ if we are no longer nepios] are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

That word, ‘exceptional,’ is not mine, nor is it scripture. ‘Overcomer,’ on the other hand, is scripture. It is all through Paul and the so called ‘circumcision epistles.’

So the immature differ nothing from the mature? The called are just as well off as the chosen? And the many differ not from the few?

Look at what you are saying. You are saying that, because you are disgusted with the idea of any real need for maturing, that therefore, in reality, the heir, though a nepios, differs nothing from a uihos, because no loving Father, “from a human standpoint,” would dare to call many to Him and then send them strong delusion. Not only does the nepios differ nothing from a uihos, but the many differ nothing from the few, and the called differ nothing from the chosen. And why is this all so? Because, “The thought is so repulsive, even from a human standpoint.” ‘The human standpoint’ does not dictate to the scriptures, L____. “Many are still called and few are still chosen; a nepios, though the heir, still differeth nothing from a slave; the called are still not the chosen.”

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.[ while they were in their mothers womb]
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then [ it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Hey, it doesn’t sound fair to me either, but I have come to where I accept these plain statements of scripture.

2Th 2:11 And for this cause [ because they receive not a love of the truth] God shall send them [ those who are “unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe”] strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness [ Saw no need to be overcomers].

Paul tells us that everything that happened to Israel in the wilderness happened to them “for our admonition:

1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as [ were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
1Co 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Does this sound like we are being told ‘Don’t concern yourself with whether you are maturing in Christ. After all you have a loving Father who would never say to those who see no need to overcome, I never knew you.’ What does that last verse say for the belief that ‘a nepios differs nothing from a uihos?’ I only want you to consider what you are believing, and ask yourself, is there any scripture for my beliefs?

If indeed the events in the wilderness are written for our admonition, what does the story of Korah’s rebellion have to tell us?

Num 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [ men]:
Num 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
Num 16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them [ the nepios differs nothing from the uihos]: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

These are all Israelites, all covered by the blood of the lamb, all baptized in the sea. But there is what appears, “from a human standpoint,” an unfair distinction being made between the priest and the people. I think you are familiar with how this story ended. Those who, “from a human standpoint,” were “disgusted,” with God’s apparent favoritism were swallowed up by the earth.

I don’t know you from Adam, but I do know that we both were born in Adam. Like you and like Paul, I continually struggle against the flesh. But you are dead wrong about the joy of the overcomers. It is not until you come to believe and know that, in Christ, you really can be “free from sin” that you begin to experience the joy that Christ in you produces. Like Paul I am still “dying daily.” But in the meantime:

Php 3:8 I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the [ first] resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Phi 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is a “prize” for the “overcomers” only, and that ‘prize’ is to rule over and to bring to maturity those who do not see the need to “press toward the mark for the prize…”

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

What it all boils down to is will you believe the beast that sits in the temple and tells you that you can never make war with him and ever have any hope of overcoming him. Or will you believe the Truth which says that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Don’t believe that lie of ‘the beast.’ Believe the truth, “you can do all things through Christ,” including being “free from sin.”

Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Here is what Paul means by ‘free from sin:’

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you:

In one sense, you are right, because we do have joy in Christ. But that joy does not rest on the ability of grace to continuously cover my never diminishing sins; rather it rests in the fact that:

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching [ chastening] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Now you know what Paul had in mind when he said:

Rom 5:20 Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

We will never out sin grace because God knows how to deal with each and every one of us to deliver us from evil.

“Little flock” is just another way of saying the “few chosen.” This verse that you’re quoting is actually saying that God gives the kingdom to the few overcomers.

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

On the other hand, here is what we are told happens to the nepios who refuses to come to maturity and to bear fruit:

Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Same Jesus saying the same thing, just in other words, because we are assured that “many are called but few are chosen. It is really good news, because He works all things after the counsel of his own will.

I have as much trouble as any average person expressing myself. Forgive me if I have given you the impression that ‘immaturity,’ as it is discussed by Paul or Christ has anything to do with how recently we have come to understand God’s word. It is obvious from the fact that Paul was called several years after the other apostles that maturity is not necessarily connected to how long we have known the Lord. But be honest with yourself, how would you sum up the tone of your questions and comments above? Are you telling me that we don’t “need to be crucified and suffer?” In the light of Paul’s many statements to the contrary, I seriously doubt that you are saying that.

I feel foolish having to ask you to forgive me while I quote just one such scripture, but please realize this is just for the sake of this discussion:

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

What I’m thinking is that you are not aware of the fact that I am constantly combating Mr. A. E. Knoch’s “Works have nothing to do with our Pauline, grace only calling.”

Of course, the truth is that Christ and every writer of the New Testament agree with Paul, when he states that Christ will render to every man according to his deeds[ Greek – ergon – works](Rom 2:6).

Mr. Knoch states that what sets the Concordant Version apart from other versions is that it assigns one English word to each Greek word using the Concordance. However you will notice that they are very conscientious not to follow their own rule when it come to this word ‘ergon.’ ‘Ergon‘ could and should consistently be translated ‘works.’ The one good thing about the Concordant Version is that it is consistent in translating the word ‘aion.’ That is because this word is consistent with their correct understanding of that word. Not so with the word ‘ergon.’ It interferes with Mr. Knoch’s “no works” doctrine every time it appears in any epistle written by Paul. But to Mr. Knoch’s dismay, Paul uses this word ‘ergon,’ more than all the other writers of the new testament combined.

Mr. Knoch didn’t let that deter him from teaching that we should “learn to revel in our freedom from law.” I am attaching a letter I sent to Gary Amirault the week before I received your letter, which demonstrates that we are indeed free from the law of Moses, yet we are not now, in Christ, lawless. Rather, like Paul, we had better be “delighting in the law of God after the inward man” (Rom 7:22), “under the law to Christ” (1Co 9:21), and “fulfilling the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2), etc., etc., etc.

There are obviously two conflicting laws being discussed in the new covenant writings. One is called an “administration of death” and the other is called the “ministration of the spirit [ which] gives life” (2Co 3:6-7). But none of Paul’s statements about “being under law to Christ,” stood in Mr. Knoch’s way. He simply consistently changed the translation of the word ‘ergon‘ to ‘acts,’ ‘ideal acts,’ or ‘deeds.’ Anything but it’s best translation, ‘works.’ That word must not be allowed to appear in Paul’s epistles. Conversely, he, just as consistently, translated it as ‘works’ whenever it appeared in the so called ‘circumcision epistles.’ The consistency with which he adhered to this double standard reveals his bias against admitting that Paul stresses ‘works’ more than all the other writers combined.

Speaking of those who refuse to “go on unto maturity” (Heb 6:1), Paul has this to say in Titus:

Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

This epistle is short but is the heaviest of all on this word ‘ergon.’

This is getting too long, but you did pray, “(Lord please show me if I’m wrong),” so I am taking the time to discuss this with you. I hope that you and Gary will be as considerate of me.

To that end I have but one question for you and all our Concordant brothers. What does “Many are called but few are chosen,”mean to you? Do this mean that God calls many but then, “The Father shows up and the children all run outside to meet him (as my children often do). Instead of hugging and kissing all of them (as I do) the Father hugs the older, more mature ones, and looks despairingly at the other, younger children, their faces beaming with joy, and says, sorry, you can’t be with me… you’re not mature enough. The thought is so repulsive, even from a human standpoint.” If you are so disgusted with the idea of some of God’s children being disqualified from the first resurrection, who do you believe the scriptures are referring to when they warn us against what happens to those who are “called to be saints” (1Co 1:2), but are ” cast away.”

1Co 9:27 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.

Do you really think this is just a rhetorical statement by Paul. Are you truly comfortable having no such concerns of your own?

What do scriptures such as, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (1Co 10:12), mean to you? I don’t mean to discourage you, but I truly believe that the teachings of A. E. Knoch are as near to “strong delusion” sent to those who do not “receive the love of the truth” as anything out there.

Don’t allow the fact that you may not be making the progress that you would like at this time to influence you to ignore the entire thrust of the scriptures which is, in a nutshell:

Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

I am well aware that I am totally incapable of making you see anything, but I with you pray that if I am wrong that the Lord will send some one along who will take the time to help me as I feel I am doing for you.

I Pray that I am humbly in His service.


Hi Gary,

I have just read your Two Pillars of The New Covenant. I was pleased with your ability to see clearly that we cannot mix the teachings of the old covenant with the teachings of the new. That is rare enough, but you also understand that our changed life is no more of ourselves than our faith is of ourselves. Seeing that the old covenant is ‘fading away’ and, at the same time, being able to see that another ‘law’ is replacing it is refreshing for someone like me, who was once so ensconced in the teachings of A. E. Knoch, only to discover that the ‘absolutely no law of any kind, two administration,’ teachings of Mr. Knoch are just as deceptive as the ‘once in grace always in grace’ teachings of much of Protestantism. I attended many Concordant Conferences over several years with great enthusiasm, until I heard a sermon by one of their leading speakers stating that “the words of Christ are not for us.” Those words were the beginning of the end of my Concordant experience. You are espousing that same message in this article. Before I attempt to deal with the teaching that the life and words of Christ, while He was in the flesh, are not to be followed by His followers, I want to quote you, in regards to the attitude that you admit that we should have as growing children in the family of God.

I don’t pretend to know everything about Christ any more than I believe you do. As you say, “There is so much more to talk about.” I can honestly say that I feel that there is more to learn about Christ today, than I was aware of about 5 years ago when I first started realizing that A. E. Knoch was not the great scholar that I had always thought he was. As you so rightly say, “The hearts of children without fear are full of the desire to love, to learn, to grow, to explore, to mature, to enjoy the rich life found in Christ…” As I know you are already aware, while we are to have the “desire to love,” each other, we are also to have a “love of the truth.” (2Th 2:10 – And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.) A ‘love of the Truth’ necessitates that we “love one another,” because Christ is “The Truth.”
It is with this love that I am taking the time to write this e- mail. I have been hearing of you for many years as a sort of maverick in the Concordant circles. I now see why, and I appreciate your gift for independent thought; independent of the doctrines of men, yet dependent on the sure Truth of scripture. If I did not feel that you were sincere in your search for The Truth (Christ), I wouldn’t be wasting time with this communication.
As I mentioned in an earlier e- mail, your tape of Lewis Abbott was the only thing that ever got my 85 year old father to see the truth about the word ‘aion.’ For that I will always be grateful for your service. I hope now that you do not consider me to be “thinking more of myself than I ought to think,” to be of some service to you. I am not attempting to critique your paper because I agreed with 90% of it. But I believe that the remaining 10% is critical to our ability to relate to Him whom we both agree is Truth.

You make this statement:

Gary, Christ had no intention of “perfectly fulfilling … the Mosaic Law.”

Does Mat 5:32 – But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery – agree with Deu 21:14 – And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her (your wife), then thou shalt let her go whither she will…? Show me anything resembling Mat 5:32 in the old covenant. Christ is right here teaching contrary to Moses, whom you say he did not teach against. Here is a little more of what Moses had to say about divorce:

Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

“Some uncleanness,” is not referring to either fornication nor adultery. The penalty for both of those sins after marriage was death. Under Moses, one could indeed ‘put away his wife for any reason,’ “if you find no delight in her.”

Christ’s disciples, being familiar with the law of Moses, had this response when they heard this incredible teaching for the first time:

Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. Christ is right here teaching contrary to the ‘law of Moses.’

Does “Love your enemy,” agree with, “hate your enemy?” Christ is here, teaching against the ‘law of Moses.’ Does “Swear not at all,” agree with Deu 10:20 – “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.” Christ is here, again, teaching against the ‘law of Moses.’ Does Mat 5:38 – “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” – agree with Mat 5:39 – “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Christ is here, also, teaching against the ‘law of Moses.’

Though Christ was not even a Levite, much less a priest, He admits that, just like the priests, He too, could “profane the sabbath [ and yet be] guiltless.” He was not fleeing from king Saul, yet He admits that in plucking the ears of corn, on the sabbath day, He too, was “doing that which is not lawful:”

Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
Mat 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
Mat 12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; Mat 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
Mat 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

Does Christ deny that He had broken the law? No, He affirms it. ‘As David did, so I and my disciples are doing that which is unlawful.’ Does He deny ‘profaning the sabbath?’ No, He actually points out that He too is doing exactly as “the priests in the temple … on the sabbath day.” And what then is the reason He gives for His blatant disregard for the ‘law of Moses?’ Here is the only reason He gives:

Mat 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
Mat 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. Christ is right here teaching contrary to the ‘law of Moses.’

In the very next verse, He goes straight into the temple and heals a man on the sabbath day and compares that to pulling a sheep out of a ditch on the sabbath day. Later He even tells a man to ‘take up his bed and walk’ on the sabbath day. Does the Holy Spirit tell us, as it does concerning the true Father of Christ, that the Jews “supposed that he had broken the sabbath?” No, it informs us beyond any doubt: Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God (Joh 5:18). Every thing Christ did or taught either superseded or contradicted the law of Moses. Had Christ said that He was the son of God?:

Joh 8:18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
Joh 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

Had Christ really broken the sabbath?:

Mat 12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
Mat 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
Mat 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

No, Gary, contrary to you and all of Christendom, Christ was not made our perfect sacrifice by “keeping the law of Moses perfectly.” Had He done so, He would have been unfit as our sacrifice because the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine [ the doctrine of Christ] (1Ti 1:9-10). This “sound doctrine is elsewhere called wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Ti 6:3).

2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words [ the words of Christ], which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Christ was “a righteous man” in spite of His flesh. Being “a righteous man” was what qualified Him as our savior. True righteousness is what the law was “added” to.

Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added [ to the already existing character of the never changing God] because of transgressions [ transgressions of an already existing, never changing, law], [ only] till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

God and Christ truly “change not.” Christ could not possibly come to earth and be something He really wasn’t. He is, was, and always will be truly righteous.

Am I denying that Christ had not submitted Himself to the rituals of his ‘under- the- law’ Jewish parents? Of course not. But it is abundantly clear that Christ was not subject to the law of Moses in His fleshly ministry. Christ was oblivious to the law of Moses, and it cost Him his life. As my Jewish friend told me, “Christ was a criminal who died for his crimes.”

Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Look at how brazen Christ was when it came to the law. Right after miraculously feeding the multitudes, they followed Him across the lake looking for another free meal. Notice this exchange between Christ and the multitude who followed Him:

Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
Joh 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Had the multitude misquoted the scripture? Absolutely not:

Exo 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Neh 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger…

How does Christ respond to this accurate quote from the law?:

Joh 6:32 … Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

Christ is right here teaching contrary to the ‘law of Moses.’

Apparently Christ thought that the law and the prophets were [ ONLY] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, [ which had little in common with the law] and every man presseth into it (Luk 16:16).

Christ was under the impression that the law was given by Moses, but [ as opposed to that] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (Joh 1:17).

What does this scripture say for Christ’s impression of the ‘law,’ which we are to believe that He “never taught against” and “kept perfectly?” Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. Christ spent a great deal of His ministry teaching against the “fading away” ‘law of Moses.’

Again, you say:

I most definitely do pattern my life after the life of Christ in the flesh. I just fall far short. What does Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (1Co 11:1) mean? Is this some Christ who is setting Paul an example from heaven?

Are we to believe that when Christ said, For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you (Joh 13:15), that He was simply establishing a Christian ritual? That is exactly what teaching that Christ’s life in the flesh was not an example for us would have you believe. Oh, that we all could come anywhere near Christ’s selfless life in the flesh.

‘But,’ it is always quoted, ‘Christ was made under the law,’ as if that fact restricted his life to obeying that law. It obviously did no such thing.

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.

Being “made under the law,” has nothing to do with how Christ lived His life while He was in the flesh. It has simply to do with being “made of a woman.” That is why Paul can still say years later that the law was [ is, and will be] our schoolmaster to bring us [ all men of all time] to Christ.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were [ all, you, me and ‘all’] kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Paul is addressing these word to Gentiles. Gentiles are “under the law before faith comes.” The definite article is seldom found beside the word ‘law.’ This is because the ‘law of Moses,’ though given by God is simply a “carnal commandment,” for a carnal nation (Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.)

According to these verses and many others, “all under sin” are “under law.” This gives ‘law’ the capacity to stop “every mouth” (both Gentile and Jew) that … all the world may become guilty before God. Not just the Jews, but “all the world,” of all time.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law [ under sin]: that every mouth [ in the world for all time] may be stopped, and all the world [ not just Jews] may become guilty before God.

How can Paul make such sweeping statements? Because he understood clearly from the “words of our Lord,”

1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1Ti 1:9 Knowing this [ meaning this], that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.

Once again, the real ‘Truth’ was that Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. The ‘bread from heaven,’ of Moses, also known as ‘Torah,’ is not ‘the true bread from heaven.’ We would do well to realize that even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps [ while He was in the flesh] (1 Pe 2:21).

Have I ‘added to the word’ by bracketing in ‘while He was in the flesh?’

Were the words and works of Christ while He was in the flesh really not for us today? Is that really what is meant by 2Co 5:16 … though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Let’s not exchange opinions; what do the scriptures say?

1Ti 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;
1Ti 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Exactly which “words of our Lord Jesus Christ” is Paul referring to? It is without question “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Joh 6:63). Is this speaking of a Christ that only Paul had the opportunity to know at some time that Paul doesn’t even bother to tell us about? No, the “wholesome words” Paul is speaking of are the very words we can all read in the gospels.

You go on to say:

Gary, there is but one “gospel.” (Php 1:27) Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the [ singular] gospel. If Peter had been commissioned to preach a different gospel than Paul, then Paul would have been way out of line when he reprimanded Peter for his hypocrisy just before the Act 15 conference:

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the [ singular] gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Gal 2:15 We [ Peter and Paul] who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man [ circumcised or uncircumcised] is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we [ Peter and Paul] have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh [ not even Peter’s Jewish flesh] be justified.

It is true that the apostles called by Christ were not as spiritually mature as Paul at the beginning. They were slow to realize that their Lord was as free from the law as He actually was. The original twelve apostles may have been slow to get beyond the letter, ‘the letter’ being the law of Moses, but it was never because their Lord had taught them to remain faithful to the letter. Here is what He really taught them. It reveals His attitude toward the ‘law of Moses,’ the whole time He was carrying out His earthly ministry:

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Are we to believe that this is simply more of Torah? No, the many things that Christ is referring to here are more of such things as we find in Mat 5, 6 and 7. Things like we find in the epistles of Paul. Yet Paul’s “gospel of pure grace,” was the exact same ‘grace,’ spoken of by Peter, ten times in his short epistles:

1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus [ Silas, Paul’s assistant when he was not in prison], a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

It is the same grace spoken of by James:

Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Does this sound like James is advocating living by Torah? Are we actually being asked to believe that there are two kinds of ‘grace?’ There is but one ‘grace,’ and it is defined for us:

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [ circumcised and uncircumcised]
Tit 2:12 Teaching [ Greek- paideuo– same Greek word generally translated ‘chasten’] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

This Greek word, ‘paideuo,’ translated ‘teaching’ here, is the same word translated ‘chastened’ in:

1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

And again in:

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son [ circumcised or uncircumcised] whom he receiveth.

So ‘grace’ is not a dead noun but a very active verb in the life of a growing and maturing son of God.

All ‘judgment’ is therefore, in the long run, ‘grace.’

1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

The ‘condemnation,’ referred to here is simply a later, less desirable, ‘judgment,’ the ‘great white throne judgment.’

Now when we read:

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

We can read this and understand that grace will chasten us more than sin can rule us. God will not be defeated by sin. “Grace chastens us to forsake ungodliness…” Even those who attempt to “turn the grace of God into lasciviousness” (Jdg 4), will succumb eventually to the loving, chastening ‘grace’ of God. The lake of fire is therefore the single greatest act of ‘grace’ in the history of the world.

Isa 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Isa 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

While the world is teaching that it is the evil who ‘dwell in everlasting burnings,’ the scriptures reveal that it is those who are comfortable in the fire who will be used to bring in the latter harvest.

Israel “according to the flesh” will not be saved until all Gentiles are saved.

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Then, and only then, will the physical nation of Israel, who Paul calls “Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage with her children,” “the son of the bondwoman [ who shall] not be made heir with the son of the freewoman;” then and only then will Israel be restored back to a proper relationship with God:

Eze 16:55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

Our God is a consuming fire, (Heb 12:29), and we will be like Him.

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

You continue:

To which I say ‘Amen.” But when you say:

Amen Gary, “Our pattern is in Him according to the Spirit.” But according to your doctrine you are apparently unaware that the words that I have spoken unto you [ while I am here in the flesh] THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE (Joh 6:63).

Exactly what part of the life of Christ in the flesh is it that we should not follow? Should we not now “become all things to all men that we might by all means save some?” Is this not exactly what Christ was doing while he was living among Jews who were under the law?
So then, to truly understand what the kingdom of God is all about, what the New Covenant entails, we must cast off some very heavy chains of Christian traditions which have held us captive to earthly shadows, types, and deceptions.
To which I say Amen and amen.

My first paper on ‘the law’ was entitled ‘The Spirit of The Law of the New Covenant.’ After collecting and burning those, I rewrote that paper and entitled the new paper ‘The Law of Moses Versus The Law of The Spirit.’ This is a lengthy paper, but it deals with the subject of the ‘Law’ in detail, clarifying how Paul can say that the Law is done away with [katargeo] in 2Co 3 and still say in Rom 3:31 that we do not make void [katargeo] the law. When the old wine is kept in the old bottles, it brings us to Christ. At that point, we are no longer under the Law, and we live by the new wine. This way, both are preserved.
I know you are familiar with Ezekiel 14 and “idols of the heart.” God tells us there:

Eze 14:7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet [ or the scripture] to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
Eze 14:8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I [ am] the LORD. Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

I do not for one minute believe this is speaking of you. But anything we commit to writing is hard to recant for most of us. I know whereof I speak, because I wrote a 100+ page paper years ago, saying that the law of Moses had been written on our hearts in the new covenant. I received a letter from a woman in Michigan pointing out that the “change in the priesthood,” had eliminated the old priesthood and the same chapter of Hebrews says that the “carnal commandment” had also been “disannulled.” I was challenged to reconsider my “idol of the heart,” and call every one I had given that paper to at our conference in Mobile, and apologize for misleading them and ask them to burn that heretical paper. The New covenant, as you do seem to comprehend, “is not according to the old.” To attempt to make it so is exactly what Christ warned “the disciples of John and of the Pharisees,” was the equivalent of putting new cloth on an old garment and new wine in old bottles.”

Mar 2:18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

Then Christ proceeds to tell them about the cloth and the bottles.

Christ very accurately warned No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better (Luk 5:39). So it is to this day.

When Paul says Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (Rom 3:31), he is simply affirming the words of Christ: they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (Mat 9 :17). Law will always be needed ‘for the lawless’, and it will always bring us to Christ. But after that part of our walk is achieved, “we are no longer under a schoolmaster,” and if we insist on staying “under tutors and governors” we will forever be no better than a bondservant, still under the law, and incapable of claiming the adoption (Gk.- mature sons) rightful inheritance “the son of the freewoman” (Gal 4 ).

So what exactly is Paul’s point when he tells us 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 (2Co 5:16)?

Once again we ought not to speculate. We are given the reason in the following verses:

2Co 5:17 Therefore [ since “henceforth know we him no more after the flesh”] if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by [ a resurrected] Jesus Christ [ with a spiritual body], and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Christ was not “made to be sin,” by hanging on the cross. Christ hung on the cross because He was “Made of a woman, made under the law”. Gal 4:4 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”

Christ was, like all flesh, ‘made of a woman’, shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me (Psa 51:5). This is how Christ was “made to be sin for us.” This is why, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Christ certainly never sinned while He was in the flesh, but that had nothing to do with keeping the law Moses. It had everything to do with keeping the “law of the Spirit if life.” It had everything to do with the fact that It is the spirit that quickeneth [ gives life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you [ while I am here in the flesh], they are spirit, and they are life (Joh 6:63). Coming the “second time without sin,” is simply another way of saying, “henceforth know we Him no more [ after the flesh].”

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin [ not ‘made of a woman’] unto salvation.

The reason God gave Moses both a sin offering and a transgression offering was to show us that we need an offering for our transgression that we do, but we also need an offering for what we are, the way we were made, that is ‘of the dust of the earth’ and ‘naked.’ Adam could say with David: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity [ naked]; and in sin [ nakedness] did my [ Father] conceive me (Psa 51:5).

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Is there not a spiritual parallel between Adam and Eve before their temptation and the Church of Laodicea?

I hope you can see that I am not the least bit interested in trying to make you see anything that “my father which is in heaven hath [ not] revealed … unto you”

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

I am fully convinced that all truth we ever learn comes only by divine revelation. The voice or the writings of some messenger may be used to convey the thought but the Truth is comprehended only by divine revelation: ” flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

In the same Spirit of love that I hope to hear back from you, I am compelled to point out that according to my E- Sword, the words ‘ten commandments’ appear in the scriptures three different times:

Exo 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Deu 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Deu 10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.

This is all meant simply as edification which I hope you would do also for me.

In the love of Christ,

Your brother,

Mike Vinson

Other related posts