Is Limited Atonement Taught in the Bible?

A biblical analysis of Limited Atonement

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Is Limited Atonement Taught in the Bible?

What is Limited Atonement?

This doctrine claims that Jesus only died for the elect, and that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, but it was not efficacious for all, because Jesus only paid for the sins of the elect, and not for the whole world of sinners. However, these claims, “Jesus only died for the elect”, and “Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all” is clearly a contradiction. A sacrifice that is not made for all cannot also be sufficient for all.

Also, there is no clear Biblical support for Christ’s atonement being limited in this way, because no passage in the Bible clearly states that Jesus did not die for certain people, or even that Jesus only died for certain people.

Furthermore, studying what Scripture has to say about non-elect believers, and how the gospel affects them, reveals more about Christ’s atonement for sins than simply reading the passages which describes elect believers and how the gospel affects them.

For example, remember what Jesus said about people who receive the word of God with joy, and only remain in the faith until they are faced with tribulation or the threat of Christian persecution. Jesus said that they immediately stumble.

Matthew 13

20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Jesus also referred to people who are in him, but do not bear fruit. He said that the Father takes them away, and that they are cast out, and then burned.

John 15

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

The author of Hebrews also spoke of people who are believers, but return to sin, and remain there after receiving the knowledge of the truth, after tasting of the power of the age to come, and have even shared in the Holy Spirit. He said that it is impossible for them to be restored to repentance, because they crucify the Son of God a fresh, and put him to an open shame, and are, therefore, doomed to be cast out and burned.

Hebrews 6

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;

8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Passages like these shows us that the gospel is believed by non-elect believers, and that they even become fellow sharers in the Holy Spirit during the time in which they lived in obedience to the gospel.

Also, Scripture tells us that these kind of people were sanctified by the blood of the covenant when they lived in obedience to the gospel. But when they returned to sin, and remain there, they come under God’s punishment, because they have trampled the blood of the covenant, which sanctified them, under foot, and have insulted the Holy Spirit through their hard-hardheartedness. And, although these people are claimed by Scripture to be “God’s people”, they fall into his wrath because Christ’s atonement no longer pardons their sin.

Hebrews 10

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.”

Peter also wrote about people who have escaped the corruption of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and later are again entangled by them because of false teachers, and that they become worse off than before they knew the way of righteousness. Scripture clearly tells us that their faith and obedience to the gospel cleansed them for a time, which, again, demonstrates that the blood of the covenant is efficacious for cleansing non-elect believers. And Since the blood of the covenant cleanses the non-elect, it is clearly apparent that Jesus shed his blood for them as well as the elect.

2Peter 2

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Therefore, Scripture clearly shows us that the blood of the covenant applies to both elect and non-elect believers. Furthermore, it applies to them both, because Jesus died for them both. Not only that, but Peter, in the same chapter, said that Jesus also bought the false teachers who deny him, just as he bought the church.

2Peter 2

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

Acts 20

28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

1Corinthians 6

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

This is because Jesus bought the whole world so that he could inherit the elect, just as the man who purchases the whole field so that he could have the treasure hidden in it.

Matthew 13

44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Therefore, Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and not the elect only.

1John 2

2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Therefore, Jesus is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

1Timothy 4

10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Also, Calvinists have said that God will not punish unbelievers for rejecting the gospel, because the gospel is only for the elect to believe, and that the unbelievers will only be judged for all of their other sins, but not for rejecting the gospel. But Jesus said that unbelievers will be punished for not believing the gospel.

John 3

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 12

48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

Jesus also said that the punishment of the cities that he preached to would be worse than the punishment of previously existing, wicked, cities, because they did not repent after hearing him and seeing the miracles he performed which confirmed the veracity of his message.

Matthew 11

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

Paul also affirms the punishment of people for not obeying the gospel message.

2Thessalonians 1

7 …when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power

And again…

2Thessalonians 2

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  • Therefore, Scripture clearly teaches that the gospel is for both elect and non-elect people.
  • Scripture also teaches that the blood of the covenant sanctifies both elect and non-elect believers.
  • Scripture also teaches that non-elect believers become sharers in the Holy Spirit.
  • Scripture also teaches that people will be punished for not believing the gospel, and not merely for all of their other sins.
  • Scripture also teaches us that Christ blood bought the world, which includes both sheep and wolves.

And that is why Limited Atonement cannot be true.

Another problem with Calvinist doctrine is that it subjects Scripture to private interpretations, which is wrong to do.

2Peter 1

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

It also denies the sufficiency of Scripture’s role in teaching on doctrinal matters so that believers will learn to trust Calvinist teachers over the word of God.

2Timothy 3

14 …you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Finally, Calvinism fundamentally alters the gospel message. Yet Paul taught that a little leaven leavens the whole gospel.

Galatians 5

8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Therefore, the gospel must remain pure of falsehood.

If you have any concerns about the accuracy of the English translation on the above passages, I’ll share with you a helpful tool for examining the Greek and Hebrew texts. Click on the following link entitled “Scripture4All“, and then click on the executable file entitled “ISA basic v2.1.5“.

The software is only compatible with Windows operating systems.

War on Consciousness Pt. 32 – Media Manipulation

propaganda

What one listens to, obeys, and meditates upon day and night, is what will influence him (Psalm 1:3, Matthew 6:22-23, Galatians 5:16-24). Therefore, one must make a choice concerning what he will abide in. Will it be the world, and its philosophies and traditions of men (1John 2:15-17, Colossians 2:8)? Will it be the media, and its multitude of lies and propaganda, that brings people under its influence? Or will it be the word of God, that leads people to the light of truth, and makes them wise concerning salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that he will be complete, and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Timothy 3:14-17)?

Remember that those who do not abide in Jesus, the true vine, in whom there is no darkness, will be plucked out by the Father, and thrown into the fire of his wrath and burned, and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever (John 15:1-6, 1John 1:5, Revelation 21:7-8). But those who abide in Jesus will be like trees that bear their fruits in their season (Psalm 1:1-3). It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit which they will bear, and they will not be controlled by the sway of the spirit of this world, which is the spirit of antichrist (Galatians 5:16-25, Ephesians 2:1-3, 1John 4:1-6). The media will not dictate their actions, or their morality. They will be grounded in the faith of Christ, and they will not be deceived (Matthew 6:22-23, John 8:12). Instead, they will have discernment; knowing good from evil, truth from error, and true teachers from deceivers.

Discernment does not come from the media, and its websites, television programs, radio shows, or even podcasts. Nor is discernment acquired through being taught by wise teachers, theologians, or revered philosophers in or outside the church. Instead, discernment comes through following Jesus Christ, by studying God’s word for one’s self, and by being instructed by the Holy Spirit to correctly apply the word of God to one’s life, and being one who obeys God’s commands without partiality (Hebrews 5:12-14, 1John 2:26-27, 2Timothy 2:15, James 1:21-25). But in order to do this, one must sanctify the Lord in his heart, and trust his clear teachings from Scripture, more than anyone, and more than popular opinion; even popular Christian opinion (1Peter 3:15, Romans 3:4). One must be willing to separate from the crowd when Scripture reveals that the group he is apart of is not following God but men who appear godly, yet leavens the truth of the gospel with a little leaven, which leavens the whole gospel, or who change the nature or character of the true God (Galatians 1:6-10, Galatians 5:7-9, 1John 2:21-23, 1John 4:1-3, Romans 16:17-19).

There is only one God, and there is only one gospel, and no group, no matter how godly they may appear, has the right to pervert the gospel, nor change the true teaching of who God is. Nor is any website, television program, radio show, nor podcats, an authority on truth. God’s word alone is the authority (Matthew 4:4, John 17:17, 2Tiomthy 3:14-17. Nor does any preacher or philosopher have any authority to subject the clear teachings of Scripture to his own private interpretations, regardless of his high reverence among Christ’s church, because men, or any well respected group, has no authority to validate truth (2Peter 1:20-21). Scripture alone validates truth, and Scripture alone validates, or disqualifies, men. Therefore, if they speak not according to the true God, and the true gospel of salvation, and, instead, reject correction from Scripture by clinging to their private interpretations, it is because their is no light in them, and they are antichrist (Isaiah 8:20. They are not of God, but of the world. If they were of God, they could not bear bad fruit, but would only bear good fruit, and they would prove it by submitting to the church’s correction from Scripture (Matthew 7:15-20, Romans 16:17-19, John 3:7-9, John 4:5-6).

Good fruit is not only the teaching of the true God, and the true gospel, but it is also submission to the truth (John 15:14, John 14:6).

The world says that a little leaven, concerning the true God and the gospel, does not leaven the whole lump, but God says that it does (Galatians 5:7-9, John 4:1-3).

One must decide, “Who will I believe?” and “Who will I follow?”

Let it be the word of God, because this is the covenant that God has made with his people:

Hebrews 8
10    For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11    None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

And remember…

John 15
4    Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6    If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
7    If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8    By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
9    “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10    If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11    “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

1John 2
24    Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25    And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.
26    These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
27    But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
28    And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

James 1
5    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

2Timothy 3
14    But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15    and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17    that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Test All Things Pt. 13 – Many Deceivers & Many Deceived

By Terrence Straughter & Brian Feaster

emergingcollagedtw450

Many antichrists, many false prophets, many deceivers, and many deceived, as the bible says. False messengers come sounding subtle and deceptive, so that many accept it as true to me. I don’t see how this doesn’t get people thinking, could I be deceived?? Took me awhile but I finally got it, and it can only come from God to awaken you. Ask and ye shall receive.

Proverbs 14
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

John 8
12    Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 3
13    No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
14    And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15    that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17    For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18    “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19    And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20    For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21    But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
35    The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
36    He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Hebrews 5
12    For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13    For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14    But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1John 2
24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1John 5
18    We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19    We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
20    And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21    Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

The Secrets of Scientology

secretsofscientology

BBC.Co.Uk

Reporter John Sweeney’s last investigation into the Church of Scientology resulted in an explosive confrontation with church officials. This time, in a Panorama Special, one of those officials has turned whistle-blower to help him reveal the dark secrets of the church, which boasts Hollywood A-listers Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its devotees.

Matthew 6

22    The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23    But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Related articles listed below:

  1. Church Of Scientology former Member Speaks Out about Cult
  2. Catholicism Crisis of Faith

Test All Things Pt. 12 – Sunday School & Youth Ministry

robertraikes

The acceptance of social norms in the church without examination is helpful for maintaining peace, and unity, but, at the same time, it can be a source of harm to the church, and its members. A couple of these social norms, which deserves scrutiny, is Sunday school and youth ministry as a whole. These ministries in the church, which are geared toward its younger members comes with well intentions for many of its leaders. Nevertheless, they contradict Scripture’s teaching on how children are to be raised in the fear, and admonition of the Lord. The Bible repeatedly places this responsibility on Fathers, and not the church’s institution of youth pastors, and youth leaders.

The Sunday school concept can be traced back to Robert Raikes’ Sunday School movement in England in the 18th century. Raikes’ Sunday School movement was an attempt at social reform in Gloucester, England, which pre-dated state schooling, and became very popular throughout the country. However, his movement was not received well by everyone. One of the objections raised to the movement was the concern that it would interfere with religious home-based education, which was the norm at that time. Much has changed since then. Today, it isn’t the norm for fathers to be the teachers to their children on religion. Instead, the children are handed over to church institutions, just as they are handed over to the public school systems for education. The parents have forgotten their God-given duties to their families, and have grown accustomed to the new social norm of trusting institutions with the raising of their children.

Nevertheless, it is God’s desire, in these last days, that the church turns the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

Malachi 4

5    Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6    And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Ephesians 6

1    Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2    Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3    That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4    And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Colossians 3

20    Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21    Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Therefore, churches should build up the fathers in the faith so that they will be equipped for the work of ministry to their own families (Hebrews 12:12-13). The church should empower men to obey Scripture’s commands to them, and it should be careful not to be overly helpful by taking up the responsibilities that God has clearly assigned to others. To make that mistake could disrupts the harmony, and structure which God designed families to have.

Many of these institutions, which claim to be modern day churches, are not churches at all, but corporations that aims to grow their businesses buy meeting the needs of the customers. This seeker sensitive model of religion is not run by pastors, but businessmen, who do not have the best interest of Christ’s sheep in mind, but, instead, are hirelings. To learn how to shepherd Christ’s sheep by modeling one’s church after their example will only produce a seeker sensitive corporation that is incapable of submitting to Scripture’s commands and guidance, because the goal of such models is not evangelism, discipleship, and loving God’s people, but mere earthly success that is based upon meeting people’s desires. To learn more about this seeker sensitive consumer driven church model, click on the link entitled, “Church of Tares“.

Test All Things Pt. 11 – True Servants Vs. Professional Public Speakers

Saint-Paul

There is a great difference between true servants of Christ, and professional public speakers. These differences must be identified so that believers will not be deceived, confused, or distracted, by a particular type of false teacher. This is the type who preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ, yet do obey the gospel wholeheartedly for the sake of not losing popularity. They are more concern about protecting their careers then caring for, and even guarding, Christ’s sheep. They have no regard for heeding the Biblical warnings to obey Christ’s commands in everything, because the do not have a love for Christ, or his church. Therefore they can be spotted by breaking the following commands:

1 Timothy 5
21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

John 14

15    “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

John 15

12    This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13    Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14    You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

These type of false teachers are carnal, and this is what they desire:

Acts 20

29    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30    Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

These false teachers attract believers who are carnal, and desire to become followers of popular speakers, and even take their names. Such carnal Christians are described below:

1Corinthians 1

10    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11    For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
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?

1Ccorinthians 2

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?
4    For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5    Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6    I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7    So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
21    Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

This type of carnality among believers is what paves the way for the professional false teachers to come into the church, and take a following for themselves without anyone realizing what is happening, because they do not always depart from the faith formally. Instead, many continue to teach the true gospel, and their following are willing to use the professional speaker’s good reputation as a justification for the false teacher’s subtle undermining of the faith. For example, the popular teacher will choose to maintain his popularity by not preaching the full counsel of God so that his followers will not be aware of subtle, yet major, heresies, that contradict the essentials of the faith, while appearing to be true to those who are not well trained in their knowledge of Scripture. They will hold back this information for the sake of not causing controversy within their group that could cost them their popularity, and hurt their career. When many churches are led by these type of false teachers, major heresies are accepted into the church as though they are merely a cause of minor divisions which believers can choose to disagree upon while maintaining Christian unity. Also, the followers of these false teachers are lacking discernment, due to a lack of abiding in the word of God for themselves, and from loving the popular teachers more than Jesus. Trusting in popular opinion is a major reason for this kind of doctrinal confusion as well. Therefore, when false teachers become both widely accepted, and popular, in the church, the essentials of the faith will become confused, distorted, and people will not make righteous judgments on doctrinal matters according to the word of God, but instead, they will lean to popular opinions, and their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). If not for Jesus’ promise to never leave his church, to protect them, and to guide them to the end, this acceptance of professional public speakers could mean the end of the gospel.

Therefore, professional public speakers, who are more concern about having a following for themselves to support their careers, must be marked, and avoided whenever they persist in showing partiality in their obedience to Christ (1Timothy 6:13-14, John 15:14). This partiality can also be seen by their desire to partner with unclean people in ministry work. It can also be noted by their acceptance of certain false teachers, and even defending them. These are all bad fruits, by which this kind of false teacher can be identified.

Matthew 7

15    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16    Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17    Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19    Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Romans 16

17    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

2John 1

9    Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10    If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11    For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Now that the signs of professional false teachers has been identified, the signs of true servants of Christ must be noted as well, so that they will be recognized. They are willing to teach the full counsel of God to their own hurt, and they do this because of their love for Christ, and his Christ’s church (2Corinthians 4:1-12, Galatians 1:9-10, 2Corinthians 5:13-14). They no longer live for themselves, and therefore, they are not enslaved to the demand of gaining, or maintaining, popularity. They are willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel, and do not try to become friends with the world, or deceive those who learn from them, and are diligent in warning them of false teachers (Acts 20:17-36). Their characteristics are Christ’s characteristics of truth, righteousness, goodness, and love. They are usually not well loved by the masses, nor do they have large followings, but they are loved by Jesus, and they are loyal to him.

The Apostle Paul is a good example of a true servant of Christ, who was not concerned about maintaining a good career, but loyalty to Christ, and the welfare of his church.

2Corinthians 4

1    Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2    But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3    But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5    For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8    We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9    Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10    Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11    For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12    So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Galatians 1

9    As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10    For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Galatians 4

11    I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
12    Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
13    Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
14    And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15    Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16    Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
17    They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
18    But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
19    My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
20    I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Galatians 5

2    Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3    For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4    Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5    For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6    For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
7    Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8    This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9    A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
10    I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
11    And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12    I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
13    For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14    For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

2Corinthians 11

1    Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
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.
4    For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
5    For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
6    But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
7    Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
8    I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
9    And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
10    As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
11    Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
12    But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13    For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14    And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15    Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
16    I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
17    That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18    Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19    For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20    For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
21    I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
22    Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23    Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24    Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25    Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26    In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27    In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28    Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29    Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30    If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31    The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

2Timothy 3

10    But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11    Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12    Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13    But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14    But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15    And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17    That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Colossians 2

4    And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5    For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6    As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7    Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9    For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10    And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

1Corinthians 2

1    And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2    For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3    And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4    And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5    That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Test All Things Pt. 8 – Gnosticism

By Terrence Straughter

 temptation

I John 4:1-3 NKJV

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Gnosticism

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