Arkiv

Leighton Flowers, and his misunderstanding about righteousness and the SIN nature

sinThe ordinary misconception about sin and righteousness

I can definitely recommend Dr. Leighton Flowers’ pod channel Soteriology 101 as well as his YouTube channel with the same name, because he has a great ability to humbly describe the downfalls and inconsistencies of Calvinism (although perhaps he is even a bit too humble at times). Especially Dr James White has a lot to learn from Leighton, when it comes to debating and highlighting proper exegesis. Please check out Leighton’s channel and subscribe if you want to learn more about the dark side of Calvinism and why it does not fit the scriptures.

Even though I am in awe about Leighton’s way of dealing with Calvinism and Calvinists, I would also like to point out some doctrines where I disagree with his rather common ”Baptist views”. He has correctly said that Calvinism seems to contain two types of free will, two types of love, two types of calling, etc, (or something to this effect) but he too makes a similar mistake when he claims that there are two types of righteousness in his own belief system. He is convinced that this is the only way to avoid Bible contradictions, but there is a better way without having to resort to two types of righteousness.

I am not making any exact quotes here (unless possible) because I usually listen to his podcasts while out running and not being able to take notes. Nevertheless, I have heard enough to know that he believes that there are saved sinning Christians, and that it is totally natural for Christians to sin – and abnormal if they do not. He has not said it in those exact words but that is the only conclusion one can make from his comments. I am not saying that he actively encourages Christians to sin, nor that God does not care if Christians sin (rather the contrary), but he nevertheless teaches that sinning is normal and unavoidable both for unbelievers and believers.

The issues I am thinking about are the following (I am disagreeing with all of them):

  • No one is righteous
  • We cannot stop sinning
  • We cannot obey the law of God
  • We are saved by faith alone
  • Repenting does not mean leaving all of ”the old sinning man” behind
  • Once saved always saved
  • We can get Jesus righteousness transferred into us (Jesus imputed righteousness)
  • We are born with a sinful nature due to Adam
  • Penal substitution
  • Speaking in tongues – always being understood (and not even in use)

No one is righteous – Romans 3:10

The first verse to mention is Rom. 3:10, because this verse, read in a vacuum, is often used as a proof text for other verses. It is the famous ”no one is righteous” verseThe only way to be labelled righteous in a world where no one can successfully stop sinning, is to have someone else’s righteousness transferred into himself – namely the righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, this is not what the text is saying. First of all, Paul who made this claim called himself righteous along with two of his friends, and this means that Paul believes there are in actual fact people who can call themselves righteous. I suspect that Leighton would not disagree with that, but perhaps he would add that they are only righteous because of the righteous blood of Jesus and not because they are righteous in themselves. Nevertheless, Paul claimed that he indeed lived a righteous life by his own actions (likely referring to his life as a saved believer in Jesus Christ). Paul said that the conduct of him and his friends was holy, righteous and blameless (1 Thess. 2:10) and that he had lived with a perfect conscience before God (Acts 23:1). A person cannot sin and have a perfect conscience. Jesus tells us to be perfect, which means we can.

Matt. 5:48 Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

When making the quote in Rom. 3:10, Paul starts off saying ”as it is written”, and it is of utmost importance to check this quote (see link above) in order to not misunderstand him. Paul is quoting from a couple of psalms where unrighteous people (the fools) are contrasted with righteous people (who do good and seek God). This means that even those quoted psalms claim in context that righteous people are non-existent, nor that it is impossible to seek God. Moreover, psalms are often mirroring the reality by using poetic expressions, which means that we should be careful to not take a verse from Psalms and make a doctrine out of it.

Since we have sinned, we must of course repent and be cleansed in the blood of Jesus. We have no authority to cleanse ourselves from our sins, but after having been born again the idea is that we must not revert back to our old life style but be led by the holy Spirit away from sin. We must DO righteousness! Peter, John, James and Paul say:

Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and WORKETH righteousness, is accepted with him.

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Ja. 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?—24 Ye see then how that BY WORKS a man is justified, and NOT by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Rom. 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. — 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. — 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? — 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus himself believes there are people who are righteous, and that those individuals therefore have no need to repent (unless they sin of course) because they have already done so. (Repentance is a requirement for salvation.) He did not come to call the righteous to repentance but the sinners.

Luke. 5:32 – I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. 

Luke 15:7 – I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Jesus contrasts the righteous with the sinners, where the aforementioned are saved and the latter ones are not. This is far from the idea of ”sinning saints”.

1 Pet. 4:18 – And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

1 Cor. 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

works of the lawWe cannot stop sinning? Yes, people could obey the law also in the Old Testament

Leighton and others seem to take for granted that God’s law can never be fully obeyed, and especially not when it comes to the Old Testament. The idea is often that ”this is the reason that Jesus died for us, because of our inability to obey the law!”. The Bible, however, does not say that God’s commandments are too hard for us to follow, or that we are created too weak to follow them. If we do not even have an ability to fully obey God, and God is aware of this, would it really be our fault if we sinned? If we can obey and does not do so, we are guilty. If we cannot obey of no fault of our own and therefore sin out of necessity, we are not guilty.

But if we could obey, why did Jesus die? Because we have sinned. Bad choice. We are guilty sinners precisely because we could have obeyed but chose not to.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. — 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Is. 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Deut. 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.—14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 

The Bible says we are NOT saved by faith alone

A lot of Christians should take the practice to repeat the following verse a few times a day:

Ja. 2:24 Ye see then how that BY WORKS a man is justified, and NOT by faith only.

Lots of people do not even believe this verse is in the Bible, but the fact is that faith without works is dead. Also demons have faith. It is true that Paul spends a lot of time trying to get the Jews to understand that they are not saved only because they are born Jews and because of any need to follow the 613 Jewish laws (including circumcision) but that is often labelled as ”works of the law” (the law of Moses). Paul makes a clear distinction between the law of Moses and the always existing Godly laws which have always applied throughout history:

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.  

We are not saved by faith alone.

Ja 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?—25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Repenting – a requirement for salvation

Repenting requires turning away from sin (Acts 3:19; 26:20), and the Bible promises wrath for the impenitent (no matter their faith) and not mercy. Repenting is not one and the same as confessing sins, because also agnostics and atheists might choose to confess their sins. Spending your days sinning and confessing will not save you.

If the case is that Leighton believes that no one can confess their sins without the holy Spirit working in them first, there are Bible verses which speak against it. Sure, we are created to seek God and find him (Acts. 17:27) so in this way we are all ”drawn” to him and divinely created to come to him (if we so desire), but the Bible says that we get the holy Spirit after that we confess and repent (see verses below). Having the holy Spirit does not mean we will automatically obey him.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.  

Act 26:20 – But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and turn to God, and do WORKS meet for repentance.

Mar 6:12 – And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Mat 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.— 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

osas 10Once saved always saved – the devil’s lie

It is not God’s responsibility to make sure that we endure to the end and do not fall back into sins. If anyone chooses to sin, perhaps by getting involved in adultery and lies, it is always and only his/her own fault and therefore not possible to blame God for not holding him tight enough or for not completing the salvation process all the way into eternity. It is very common to say that the person ”was not saved to begin with” if he gets involved in heavy sin, but the Bible (and real life) is full of examples with people who have died spiritually due to sin (like the prodigal son). Sure, some of them chose to repent and returned back to life, but it is not certain that everyone will choose to do this.

Leighton says: ”— God promises to complete the process of salvation in the believer into eternity. ” and ”We deny that this Holy Spirit-sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny even the possibility of apostasy.”

It is the devil who taught ”Ye shall not surely die” to the God-believing Eve, but he lied. Sinning always has and always will cause spiritual death – unless the person repents. (Repenting means turning away from sin.) A branch in the vine (Jesus) can be cut off due to lack of fruit.

Rom. 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is DEATH.— 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive AGAIN; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Rom. 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Also in the Old Testament we can read that a righteous person (someone who does righteousness) will not be aided by his previous righteousness if he sins again. He will rather die in his sins if he lives in sin.

Ez. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,— Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.—13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,—17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Imputed righteousnessimputed righteousness

You will never read in the Bible that we can get Jesus righteousness imputed into us. Not even in Rom. 4. Yes, we can read about ”imputed” righteousness, but not from Jesus Christ. The word ”imputed” comes from the Greek word ”logizomai” (Strong’s 3049)  and does not mean ”transfer”, but rather ”reckoned” or ”counted as”. If we have repented from our sins, and become totally cleansed, we are reckoned as righteous because we are. This will last as long as we keep ourselves righteous and do not become dirty again. Remember that WE must do righteousness, and we are told to not be deceived about this. Do not let anyone tell you that you can be regarded as righteous in God’s eyes while still living in sin, or that you can combine righteousness with sin and still be ok.

But wait a minute – does not the Bible warn us from thinking we can trust in our own righteousness? (Rom. 10:3; Phil 3.9) Yes, but what does this really mean? It means that we should not believe that we can be saved because of a permanent good standing with God which can never be changed no matter what we do. We should not do as the Jews, who believed they were always acceptable in God’s eyes because they were born as Jews, were sons of Abraham, etc. If a righteous person trusts in his own righteousness and commits sin, he must forget about being right with God due to that sin. This is the message we can read in Ez. 33:13, and it is still applicable.

Ez. 33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Read more about ”imputed” righteousness here.

The sinful nature

It is good news that Leighton does not believe that people are responsible for having inherited a nature inclined towards sin (which means they are without guilt), but I do not even believe we have inherited a sinful nature in the first place. If we have inherited a nature inclined towards sin, what is the huge difference between the disposition of Adam and Eve? Why did they sin? Did they too have a nature inclined towards sin since they in fact did sin? Apparently they could choose to sin just as easily as their descendants, and this is evidence of that our nature did not change, which explains why the Bible does not claim it. If our nature would have changed due to our forefathers’ sin, why does the Bible not say so considering that this is rather significant information? Romans 5 and Ephesians 2 do not say it, nor any psalms.

Leigthon says: ”— because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is capable of moral action will sin.  — We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty (?) before he has personally sinned.”

Penal substitution theory (originally from Anselm)

I believe that Jesus Christ died to REMOVE our sins, which is a big price to pay (his own life). I do not believe that Jesus paid for our sins, or that our sins somehow ended up in his body before they were eventually removed. Nor do I believe that Jesus took the penalty that we should have, on himself and instead of us. The punishment due to us is destruction and hell, which Jesus did not take on himself. Jesus did not die as a substitution in penalty but a substitution for penalty, under certain conditions. The atonement is a substitute for our penalty so that our penalty itself can be remitted in forgiveness by the mercy of God. If Jesus had paid for our sins, then our sins would be forgiven before we sinned and even long before were even born. Paid is paid. A breach of God’s law is either paid or forgiven – not both.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Speaking in tongues – ”no man understandeth him” (1 Cor. 14:2)

I am not exactly sure what Leighton’s view is about speaking in tongues or the spiritual gifts in general, but I have listened to a podcast which makes me suspect that he has the common ”baptist” view of the spiritual gifts – which means that he believes that spiritual tongues are always understood, and actually not even in use. A preacher such as Benny Hinn is unfortunately often used by non-charismatic preachers to represent churches which make use of the spiritual gifts.

1 Cor.12:13 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. —9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: — 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?31 But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor. 14:1 Follow after charity, and DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, but rather that ye may prophesy.2 For he that speaketh in an UNKNOWN tongue speaketh not unto men, but UNTO GOD for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. — 4 He that speaketh in an UNKNOWN TONGUE edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5 I WOULD THAT YE ALL SPAKE WITH TONGUES but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. — 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are ZEALOUS of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.14 For if I pray in an UNKNOWN TONGUE, my spirit prayeth, but MY UNDERSTANDING IS UNFRUITFUL.15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding ALSO: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. — 18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. — 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

SO we should not forbid anyone to speak in tongues (so not discourage it), but we should DESIRE, COVET EARNESTLY and be ZEALOUS to speak in tongues – and even better; to do so when it comes to even better gifts like prophesying and healing (in order to edify even more people). The question is: Do we all obey this? Are we eager to get the gifts? Do we encourage others to get the gifts and explain to them what wonderful gifts which are awaiting them? If not, why not obeying Paul’s advice?

Some things we can learn from the above:

  • Paul explains the different parts of the body of the church, where prophesies, tongues, healing, etc, are some of the parts. He does not say that this body would  cease to exist within a few years.
  • There is such a thing called ”an unknown tongue”, which we are requested to eagerly seek. It means: no one understands.
  • We should desire the spiritual gifts (that is all of them, but especially those who can benefit the most people).
  • No one understands the tongues (unless they are interpreted).
  • Interpretation of the tongues is a separate gift, indicating that the original tongues must be interpreted if they are intended to be understood. 1 Cor. 14:13 is just one verse proving that it is not certain that a person who is able to speak in tongues automatically also has the gift of interpretation and able to know his/her own tongues.
  • Edification of oneself is a good thing (or else you must not pray for your own health, strength, wisdom, etc). Being able to edify even more people is of course even better.
  • Paul wished that all of the Christian Corinthians (and likely therefore all Christians) spoke in tongues, and he never added that this wish only applied for a certain time/generation.
  • If there is no interpreter available in church (which might be the case), then the person should pray in tongues to himself and to God. He is never told to forget about speaking in tongues because people are able to fake them.
  • We are asked to pray in two ways, we should pray/sing with the spirit (not understanding the words), or the opposite way which is praying/singing with our understanding and spirit. It depends on if you pray for yourself to God, or if you pray/speak edify other people.
  • Paul spends 3 chapter talking about speaking in tongues and other spiritual gifts, and he does not discourage it anywhere. He does the exact opposite and he wishes that everyone would speak in tongues.

Finally, a film by Torben Söndergaard. A Danish preacher who highlights both the importance of repentance and the fact that Christians should go out and preach the gospel, heal the sick, etc.

 

 

The parable of the TWO SONS – who said one thing and did the opposite – Matt. 21:28-32

repent2”He repented and WENT” (Matt. 21:29)

We are supposed to ”walk the talk” instead of just paying lip-service to God’s request of being obedient. The first idiom means ”performing actions consistent with one’s claims” and the second one means ”giving approval or support insincerely”. There are numerous parables in the Bible and while they might each convey different principles, most of them also show that we are justified by works and not only by faith (Ja. 2:24). This is normally the opposite story of what you might hear in church due to the teachings of men like John Calvin and Martin Luther.

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. (NKJV)

Matt. 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Here is the parable (KJV) about the two sons who said one thing and did the opposite:

Matt. 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.29 He answered and said, I WILL NOT: but afterward he REPENTED, and WENT.30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I GO, SIR: and WENT NOT.31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, REPENTED NOT afterward, that ye might believe him.

These sons can represent anyone of us, but they might also represent two distinct  groups. The first son might represent those pharisees/Jews who claim to obey God but do not, and the other son might represent the publicans/harlots (or gentiles) who choose to obey God after having repented of their deep sins. During the time of Jesus, there were Jewish leaders who claimed to be obedient to God but did not show it with their life style. They might automatically have thought that they were the never-ceasing obedient ones since they viewed themselves as the chosen ones, the first-born, the sons of Abraham, the group of privilege, etc.

The Jewish leaders likely identified themselves with the first son who obeyed God, but Jesus disagreed (Matt. 21:32). They forgot that the this son repented of his thoughts and turned around (unlike themselves). Also, when Jesus says publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you”, he does not promise that sinners can enter heaven without the need to change their lives. The reason why they were stronger candidates for God’s kingdom than the pharisees, is because they were more likely to confess their sins and repent – which the pharisees felt they had no need for.

This parable might make us think about the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee in Luke 18. Many misunderstand this parable and believe that the main teaching is that you should at all costs avoid thinking that righteousness has anything to do with salvation (it does), but rather that you should trust the idea that the sinners can be labelled righteous despite their sins, and righteous people can be labelled awful sinners just because of their conviction that they are righteous. This is not what the parable is saying. Just like in the parable of the two sons, repentance is still required for forgiveness and salvation. The point in the parable of Luke 18 is rather that the pharisees/Jews should not trust in their salvation just because they are born as Jews as though this would automatically make them righteous and accepted. They should rather confess their sins, repent and walk in the steps of that faith of Abraham (Rom. 4:12). The Pharisee in the parable did not even feel that he even needed to be saved from sin due to being convinced of that he lacked it. The publican on the other hand confessed his sins from a humble heart (he wanted to be freed from sin), and since repentance is a requirement for salvation, this confession must be viewed as part of this repentance. Righteousness (your own and not someone else’s) is not the same as self-righteousness.

This is what the publican did:

1 John 3:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 3:If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

John 8:11 (Jesus)— go, and sin no more 

In the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15, it is the oldest son who is usually regarded as the one representing the Pharisees/Jews (but the parable applies to anyone where the shoe fits). The great principle in that parable is that the Father always stands ready with open arms to welcome back his disobedient son, but he does not go out and force him back. It is the son who finally admits his sins, repents and chooses to return back to his Father. The son went from life, to death, to life again. Too many people are eager to get the forgiveness part of the story, without the ceasing from sin part.

Peter understood the mission of Jesus:

Acts 10:35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matt. 25) tells the same story. Some virgins took action by bringing extra oil to their lamps, and this enabled them to join the bride groom in the wedding – not the others. The parable of the talents shows that obedient servants will enter into the joy of the Lord: ”Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” The parable of the sheep and the goats also shows the same principle. The sheep were called the righteous ones, and the reason for this is because they provided food, drink, shelter, clothes and visits (good deeds) to their fellow-man, and they therefore also inherited the kingdom of God – not the others.  

The other parable in Matt. 21:33 (apart from the one about the two sons), concerns at least two main teachings. One concerns the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the son of God and the corner-stone. The other concerns the importance of being a good servant and render him (God) the fruits in their seasons”.

Matt. 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you,and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

dove 2Matt. 21 also contains this marvellos promise:

Matt. 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Something else to think about if someone claims that it is a sin to be too righteous (because of the weird idea that it would make you a self-righteous Pharisee who clings to works-based salvation):

2 Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. —3 — false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Is. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

CIRCLE of the earth – not a ball, globe or sphere – Is. 40:22

flat earth”CIRCLE of the earth” – Isaiah 40:22

If you want to prove that the earth is a globe based on the Bible, you must use another verse than Isaiah 40:22 since this verse does not say it. There are at least three main problems with this verse if you want to use it to prove a globe – the circle, the grasshoppers and the tent …

Is. 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a TENT to dwell in

Frisbees and dinner plates are shaped like circles, and circles are indeed round. A circle is not the same as a globe, a ball or a sphere, even if a ball can look like a circle if viewed in only one dimension.

”Circle” in the above verse is a translation from the Hebrew noun chug (Strong’s 2329) which means circle, vault or horizon. (Note that it is not translated as ball or sphere.) Apart from the above verse, it is found twice more in the Bible. In Job 22:14 we can read about God walking on the circle/vault of heaven (walking on the firmament of heaven), and in Proverbs 8:27 we can read that this circle was inscribed into the face of the deep. KJV phrases it as ”when he set a compass upon the face of the depth”. A ball does not have a side that could be considered ”a face”, but a flat earth does. NKJV phrases it as ”When He drew a circle on the face of the deep”. It is hard (or rather impossible) to draw a sphere or a globe into something, but it is definitely possible to draw/inscribe a circle into something.

Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven. (KJV)

Proverbs. 8:27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, (NKJV)

Note above that it would not make sense to draw ”a globe” on the face of the deep. Compare also:

Job 26:10 He has inscribed a circle (Strong’s 2328) on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness. (NASB)

flat earth.jpeg

A circle of ice compassing the waters, under a firmament?

The above noun (chug) is connected to the Hebrew verb with the same name spelling chug (Strong’s 2328), which means to draw around, to make a circle. It is only found in Job 26:10 where we can read that God has inscribed a circle on the surface, or (as in KJV) ”compassed the waters”.

Isaiah 40:22 further suggests that when God sits on this circle (the firmament) the inhabitants look like grasshoppers. This requires a certain elevation, which works well with a physical firmament placed high over a round earth. An elevation is also implied in Job 22:12 where we can read: “Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens [shamayim] and looks down on all the stars, high as they are.” Note that it says that God ”looks down” on the stars when he sits, or walks around, on the firmament. 

tent.jpgThe morning star (Lucifer) wanted to exalt his throne above the stars of God, and he is not talking about the top of the universe but above the heights of the clouds. This is where he imagined the throne of God to be – above the clouds. The throne of God is indeed described to be just above the firmament in the sky, and based on the creation account in Genesis the stars were placed in the firmament.

Is. 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Ez. 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

Gen. 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

The same verse (Is. 40:22) also uses the analogy of the heavens stretched out as a curtain and spread out as a TENT to dwell in – for the inhabitants who look like grasshoppers. It is almost impossible to imagine the picture of a tent placed on a globe where all the inhabitants live in. It is a perfect analogy if we imagine a flat earth with a firmament over it, and especially if we also imagine the tabernacle during the Exodus.

While chug is not a translation for ball, there is however a word for ”ball” that Isaiah could have used if this is what he wanted to express, but he did not use it in the above verse. He did, however, use it in Is. 22:18 where ball is a translation from dur (Strong’s 1754):

Is. 22:18 18 He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a BALL into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house.

footstool

With four corners/pillars

Isaiah also describes God as having the earth as a footstool. It is hard to picture God with a constantly moving and spinning ball under his feet, but the analogy works perfectly if we imagine the earth to be flat, with a firmament and with four pillars, plus naturally standing still.

Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

Other verses on the same subject

In the Bible the earth is described as immovable, standing on pillars, with a firmament above it, placed in the very center of God’s creation, and not as a moving object such as a spinning ball rotating at 1,000 mph while speeding away faster than a bullet around the sun at 67,000 mph. This is why people who believe the former should at least be respected rather than ridiculed. But does it not also say that the earth hangs upon nothing? How does this fit either model?

Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

Other translations use the word ”void”, which might make the reader think about the creation account and ”the earth was without form and void”. Maybe Job’s description concerns this moment in time when God has just created the earth, hanging it on nothing, proceeding to dividing the waters and connecting it on pillars? This verse does not work very well if we imagine a spinning ball rotating around the sun. Such a constantly moving ball does not hang still on anything and does not need pillars.

Isaiah 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

Ps. 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

The Bible speaks about four corners in quite a few verses, both regarding the entire earth and also regarding a particular land of the earth – like Israel. The land of Israel is not formed as a globe but can be imagined as flat. The expression of the four corners could be both real or used as an analogy if the writers want to express an entirety of something. See for example Acts 10:11 and 11:15 where Peter is shown a sheet knit at the four corners containing various beasts. Naturally this sheet must have been rather flat, and everything within the four corners were acceptable for Peter to eat. Likewise, the land of Israel is likened with four corners in Ez 7:2 even if it is not square-shaped as sheets are. Rev. 7:1 seems to be talking about the four corners of the earth as a physical reality, with four angels holding four winds.

Acts 10: 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: + Acts 11:5

Ez. 7:2 Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.

Rev. 7:1  And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

See also this verse about the four corners, and note the word ”breadth” which is interesting:

Rev. 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.9 And they went up on the BREADTH of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

The word ”breadth” above describes the surface of the earth, and not parts of the earth. The word is a translation from the noun πλάτος/platos (Strong’s 4114) and can be translated as width or broad plain. The corresponding adjective is πλατύς/platus (Strong’s 4116) which can be used as a description of a street as in Matt. 7:13 (flat and stretched out). The corresponding verb is πλάσσω/plassó (Strong’s 4111), which can be translated as form/mould. The French word ”plateau” signifies a level portion (or nearly level) of the earth’s surface. The French word derives from platel, which is a description of a flat object, like a plateIn Swedish the word for ”flat” is ”platt” (similar in other Germanic languages).

The Bible contains parables and analogies and even if they are not descriptions of real things/events (at least not always), they still signify something and are used for a reason. The author would like the reader to get a certain image in his/her head when reading analogies, poetry or parable. This means that we cannot disregard the analogies we do not like and/or highlight the ones we do like. According to the Bible, it seems like a sufficiently tall tree would be visible to the earth’s farthest bounds. Sure, it might be an exaggeration (or a hyperbole) but if the earth is a globe, why would the devil even need to take Jesus up to a high level?

Dan. 4:11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth

Matt. 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them

All this does not mean that we have just proven that the earth is flat, but it certainly looks like the Bible claims that it is (with an honest reading), and particularly if we also read the book of Enoch.

Interestingly Wherner von Braun (the German aerospace engineer and space architect hired by NASA) put the the below psalm on his grave stone describing how the psalmist is in awe about God’s creation of the firmament which shows God’s handiwork:

Ps. 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

You can read about planets in the creation account here and you can read about the meaning of raqia (firmament) here.

Sleep paralysis, inability to move or speak – testimonies

dreamingWhat is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is when during awakening or a falling asleep, a person is conscious and aware but unable to move or speak. It can occur while falling asleep (predormital sleep paralysis) or when waking up (postdormital sleep paralysis). It is equally common among men and women, but it is more common among young people (like young teens.)

Feelings of fear and panic are naturally common during a sleep paralysis, and some have felt sensations of electric vibrations running through their body as well as hearing static sounds. Some have had such bad experiences during their sleep paralyses, like seeing the shape of someone in the room, that they fear going to sleep. Some suggest that lack of sleep might be a contributing factor for people prone to get a sleep paralysis, but I have heard of even more testimonies where the exact opposite is true – where individuals have had plenty of regular sleep and yet experience sleep paralyses.

Factors that may be linked to a sleep paralysis might include:

  • Being a young teenager
  • Sleeping on the back
  • Having had lots of sleep and feeling relaxed

I have often wondered if the blood factor RH 0 Negative (0 -) might be one of the triggers for a sleep paralysis, but I have no statistics for this. About 7% of the world’s population have this blood type including myself.

My own experience

My first postdormital sleep paralysis lasted about 15-20 minutes, and the second one  lasted for a couple of minutes.

My first one occurred when I was a young teenager, about 14 years of age, and I believe I was sleeping on my back. It was late one morning, about 10.30, and that is when I usually woke up in my teens without an alarm clock. When I woke up I could open my eyes and look around, but I could not move or speak. My entire body was completely paralyzed and I could not move even if I tried. I was wide awake so it was definitely not a dream, a hallucination or similar. Naturally I was frightened but I took for granted that this highly unusual condition surely must stop right away because I was awake after all! However, regardless of my severe attempts to move I was still paralyzed.

If I would not have been able to see, I would likely have panicked, and also if it had happen during the night when it would have been dark. Fortunately I was able to see, and it was light with sunshine coming in from the window. Apart from my paralysis, everything looked and appeared as normal and it was therefore not a frightening atmosphere. I still longed to hear sounds from any family member outside my door, because this would hopefully help my body to wake up? But I heard no one, and after some time my body woke up by itself.

My second experience happened soon after, but I cannot remember if it was days or weeks in between.

I have had numerous predormital sleep paralyses in my life, even if I had not had them the last 10 years. I did not realize at the time that the two types of sleep paralyses were connected, nor that they were even called sleep paralysis. In a way the predormital sleep paralyses were more frightening even though they only lasted for seconds, because then I could not even open my eyes, it was dark in the room and I had a strong sensation of fear. Usually you are not aware of the moment when you fall asleep but during a predormital sleep paralysis you will suddenly be aware of the exact second of falling asleep. Maybe this does not sound too bad, but it is extremely frightening to not be able to move or speak in combination with a nightmarish feeling – and the knowledge that you will likely not succeed to overcome the situation (by sitting up in bed) but you will be dragged down into a sleep against your will. This type of paralysis might happen both when you are about to sleep for the night, but also later during the night when you wake up with a paralysis.

I remember when I was a very young child – like 4 or younger – when I was afraid of sleeping due to the feeling of being totally absorbed into my pillow and not being able to move. I felt that I was dragged into a nightmarish feeling from the very start, and I desperately tried to prevent it but always failed. I also had plenty of nightmares and hallucinations during this time, but this is not uncommon among small children. (These types of hallucinations should not be compared with sleep paralyses, which are real.)

I have read testimonies from people who have had ”out-of-body experiences” (or astral projections) and it seems like at least some of them start with a sleep paralysis. It is when they fight hard to get out of the paralysis when they suddenly feel that they are being lifted up and move towards the ceiling, where they turn around and can see themselves in bed. I have no means of knowing if these experiences are true or not, but maybe they are since ”near death experiences” definitely seem true. Sure, some of them might be lies, and others might be exaggerated or misunderstood, but I truly believe people have experienced them. At times they have been able to describe dialogues among the hospital staff during the time when they (the patients) were actually ”dead” – before returning back to life. Many have described the light, an encounter with angels, communication without words and even a meeting with God who tells them that it is not time …

Up to as many as four out of every 10 people may have experienced a sleep paralysis. Have you? Please let us know about your sleep paralysis experience or an out-of-body experience.

Eccl. 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

If we inherited Adam’s sin and were born with a sinful nature, we have Bible contradictions

wonderfully madeThe non-Biblical sinful nature  

The Bible does not teach that man is born with a sinful nature (not in Romans 5, not in Ephesians 2, not in any psalms, not anywhere). This illogical idea (that babies are sinners) can be traced back to Augustine and even all the way back to the gnostics.

Neither does the Bible claim that man can get an injection of someone else’s righteousness and thus magically become righteous despite living in sin. Man himself is responsible for being faithful to Jesus and to live a righteous life. Do not let anyone tell you that being obedient to Jesus is about self-righteousness, and therefore a sinful works-based salvation.

If man would be born (or conceived) with a sinful nature, we end up with many contradictions.

  • The Bible is strangely silent about it and rather claims that man is guilty when he transgresses the law of God, which requires that he knows the law in the first place.
  • We would have the best excuse for sin there is – our nature made us do it.
  • All the church fathers the first 300 years AD would be wrong for claiming the opposite.
  • Jesus would have a HUGE advantage over us from the very start since he was not born with a sinful nature, which is something that makes the holder prone to sin. We would be able to say ”No wonder that Jesus could so easily refrain from sin! He was not born with a sinful nature like the rest of us!”
  • Sinning is apparently something that can be found in the DNA and be inherited from person to person, and not (always) something that a man DOES.
  • It is apparently a sin to have ”flesh”, since this is the starting point for our sins?  Jesus started to get flesh just like us during his conception, but his flesh was without those sin genes?
  • God turns out to be an unrighteous judge who charges all human beings for something they are innocent of and could not help.
  • The sinful nature has apparently prevented all human beings from being obedient to God from the very start, so God has either made us too weak to obey his laws, or he has made the laws too difficult for us to obey.
  • Sinning is described in the Bible as transgressing God’s law (1 John. 3:4) and something that offends him, but what exactly offends God about a person being born (or conceived)?
  • Babies (also newborn, and unborn babies) would be able to commit sin – even before they have hearts, despite that Matt. 15:18-19 and Mark 7:20-23 tell us that evil thoughts proceed from the heart.
  • Babies are apparently spiritually ”dead” already from conception when they are still tiny specks, which puts Eph. 2:1 in doubt since it claims that we are dead due to ”trespasses and sins”.
  • Romans 5:12 should not be saying that ”death passed upon all men FOR that all have sinned”, but rather that SIN passed upon all men because Adam sinned. (Btw, the Bible itself proves in many verses that ”all” does not always refer to all human beings.)
  • James would be wrong for claiming that man’s own lust and giving in for temptation is the cause of sin (James 1:14-15), when in reality all people are sinful long before they can have lust and before they even have functional body parts.
  • Is. 7:16 would be wrong for suggesting that a child does not know to refuse the evil and choose the good.   
  • etc

But … if we have no sinful nature, why do we sin? Answer: Why did Adam and Eve sin? Think about that for a moment.

But … if we have no sinful nature, then there could potentially be someone out there who could have been totally free of sin all his life. Answer: Yes.

But … if we have no sinful nature, why did Jesus have to die? Answer: Because we have sinned. We have transgressed the law of God.

We are sinners precisely because we could have chosen to obey God but chose to not do it. This makes us guilty rather than God. God is graceous and does not give us one single chance to live righteous, but if we mix sin and righteousness we have not truly repented and we are fooling ourselves.

Transferring blood to make us righteous?

imputed righteousness.jpg

”Impute” translated from the Greek verb λογίζομαι (logizomai, Strong’s 3049) = can also be translated to think, reckon, count and suppose. Note that it does not mean ”transfer” or ”inject”. 

When we repent we become totally cleansed from our past sins (certainly not any future sins) and we are totally forgiven even if our sins are numerous and severe. We are counted as righteous because sin can no longer be found in us when we are 100% free from all sin. It is therefore no divine lie that we are counted as righteous because the fact is that this is what we have truly become thanks to the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

So how long does this righteous state of being last? It lasts as long as we remain righteous by walking in the light, which is OUR responsibility. WE are supposed to be led by the holy Spirit and be faithful to Jesus. Do not let anyone tell you that someone else will do it for you or instead of you. Jesus is ”our righteousness” in the sense that he died for us and removed our sins, but this does not mean that we can get his righteousness transferred into us. Many Christians misunderstand ”imputed” righteousness in Rom 4-5, because they erroneously believe it means ”transferred”. This is not true, since the word rather means to be reckoned, counted or regarded as righteous. Not because of a blood transfer, but because our sins have been removed. The Bible does not teach ”once righteous always righteous” (or ”once saved always saved”). If a prisoner gets out of jail, it does not mean that he is now free to commit further crimes since he has

There is no way that God would count us as righteous unless we truly were, and we can never fool God by suggesting that he does not see our sins but only the precious blood of Jesus. We can never be regarded as positionally righteous while still living in sin. Always remember Satan’s famous lie ”Ye shalt not surely die”. The idea that blood can be transferred into us and make us righteous (even if we sin), is an attempt from Satan’s side to trick us into feeling comfortable in our sin and to get the idea that we have a heavenly fire insurance. Even many pastors teach that it is normal for Christians to sin, and abnormal if they do not. They might even go further than that by suggesting that it is self-righteous to be completely faithful to Jesus, and that we should never believe that we can be victorious over sin. Satan could not be happier for this type of help, because it is totally backwards: ”Christian sinners” (an oxymoron) go to heaven, but righteous Christians go to hell (because of the sin of self-righteousness). This sounds like the greatest sin (and the only one that can make you lose your salvation?) is to teach and believe that you can be completely faithful to God. THAT angers God the most?

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO and TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, YE SHALL IN NO CASE ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.  

God is speaking:

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Deut. 30:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. —- 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. (NASB)

Read about Rom. 5 here.

Christ to reconcile all things to himself – meaning? – Col. 1:20, 2 Cor. 5:18-19

earth 6Reconciling all things/the world unto himself?

God brings the new world into existence by sending his son into the old world to transform it or reconcile it. God has done his part by coming in the person of Jesus Christ who died for the whole world, and now we are asked to be reconciled to him through believing in him.

The Bible says in 2 Cor. 5:19 that God was in Christ ”reconciling the world unto himself”. What does this mean? The meaning of this reconciliation is actually explained in the very same sentence. It means (in reference to ”the world”) ”not imputing their trespasses unto them” because he ”hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”.  

2 Cor. 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;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.

Reconcile, from the Greek verb καταλλάσσω (katallassó, Strong’s 2644), also meaning change or exchange. It is used 6 times in the KJV. Blueletterbible provides the example of two parties reconcile when coming (”changing”) to the same position.  

When did this reconciliation occur? It occurred when Jesus died on the cross – so past tense. Thanks to Jesus death on the cross, he provided the means for us to be totally cleansed from our sins. This offer was not provided to only a part of the world, but all of the world can benefit from Jesus sacrifice on the cross because he died for the whole world. God does not want anyone to perish … However, the requirement is faith and repentance, or else our sins will not be forgiven.

In the Old Testament we can read about the temporary Jewish animal sacrifice system but this was just a temporary law and a foreshadow of what was to come. In Lev. 16:20 we can read about the reconciliation that Aaron performed among the people of Israel by means of animal sin offerings, and particularly the scapegoat (a picture of Jesus Christ) who ran off into the wilderness with the sins of the people symbolically on its head. (Note about the atonement that Jesus Christ came to remove our sins rather than paying for our sins – but it is still possible to say that Jesus ”paid a big price” since he gave up his life for our sake.) It is important to understand that 1) this type of sin offering and cleansing was temporary and needed to be repeated, 2) the people of Israel did not become cleansed from their sins with no participation of their own. The people were also required to REPENT from their sins, or else Aaron’s rituals would be to no avail. The same requirement also applies in the New Testament.

Lev. 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: — 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.— 20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:— 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. — 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.–

As far as Aaron was concerned, the ”reconciliation” of the congregation and all the holy places was done just prior to letting the scapegoat run off. Despite of this reconciliation, the people of Israel was not ”once cleansed always cleansed”, because if they continued to sin in the future they would yet again become unclean and in need of an animal sacrifice.

We get more details of what Paul meant in the very same chapter – 2 Cor 5.

2 Cor. 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. —15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.— 17 Therefore IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.— –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.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.

Notice above that we labor in order to be accepted by God. Jesus died for all, but this does not mean that all are saved. Only that he made provision for all. ”IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”, but what happens if a person is not in Christ? Right after v. 19 (about reconciliation) Paul requests his readers to ”be ye reconciled to God”, indicating that we too must do our part while living on earth. In heaven all will be considered righteous and will therefore already be reconciled to God, so we have to get things right with God while living on earth. It is he who endures to the end who will be saved.

Here is another well-known verse about reconciliation:

Col. 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Reconcile, from the Greek verb ἀποκαταλλάσσω (apokatallassó, Strong’s 604), also meaning change from one state of feeling to another. Apart from Col 1:20-21, it is also used in Eph 2:16.

Above we can see meaning of reconciliation yet again, and this time in the first half of the sentence. It means ”having made peace through the blood of his cross”, which is something that happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. This means that it has already happened. More information from the same chapter:

Col. 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;—12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: — 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: — 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:23 IF ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; — 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Above we can see that having the Spirit of God seems to be something rather essential for a saved person. In. v. 12 we can see that the Saints (with the Spirit) are promised to be partakers of the inheritance. Jesus died for the world and enabled all to be saved, but only the Saints are promised this wonderful inheritance. V. 14 tells us again that we have redemption ”through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins”. In v. 21-22 we can yet again see that the reconciliation has already happened when it comes to the Corinthians. Jesus died for them to do his part (in the body of his flesh through death), and they have also done their part by repenting. Still, they are not once saved always saved, because already in the next verse we can read about a condition to remained saved. v. 23 says IF  ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel”. v. 28 tells us why Paul therefore continues to warn people, to be able to present them perfect in Christ Jesus.

More Bible versesearth 7.jpg

Below we can see in v. 10 that the reconciliation has already happened. Paul expects all those who are reconciled to also be saved through Jesus Christ and get eternal life, but he also mentions death and condemnation for others. He explains further that ”many” will be justified and righteous, and he tells us in most of his letters that those are the Saints – those who believe in Christ and have repented for their sins. Jesus died for the world, but the wonderful promises of eternal life in the new Jerusalem are made for the Saints who have chosen to come to Christ for reconciliation.

Rom. 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. — 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. — 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) — 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

The topic below is Jews and gentiles, and the picture of branches being broken off the olive tree. For this reason we can read in. v. 15 that casting away of ”them” (the Jews) might result in reconciling of the world, which does not mean that none of the Jews will be saved but all of the other people. Paul goes on to explain that branches can both be broken off and added back in again, and for this reason we should all take heed.

Rom. 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; — 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

Jesus promises below that unless we are converted (repent for our sins) we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus does not open the door for others.

Matt.18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. — 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.— 8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. — 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Every man has been given the light, so there is no excuse for not coming to God. John explains below who the sons (the children) of God are. They are the ones who have received Jesus and who believe in his name. Jesus died to take away the sins of the world, but only those who repent of their sins will be cleansed and forgiven. If they do, they are truly the sons of God and will therefore be able to enter into the new Jerusalem:

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.–– 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: — 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. — 

1 John 1:IF we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But IF we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.— 9 IF we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John explains that some people will not enter into the new Jerusalem, and those are the ones not written in the book of life. Only he that overcomes shall inherit all things, but not the sinners.

Rev. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. — 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

God does not give us only one single chance to live a holy life while living on earth, but if we mix sins with righteousness we are still walking in darkness and do not know the Lord.

The Ulvsby murder case about Anneli Auer in Finland 2006

conspiracyHad this story not been a FACT, people would believe that it was a crazy conspiracy theory

Please read on www.anneliauer.com/about  concerning the Ulvila murder case, and do see the film below (with English sub titles). Check also www.helsinkitaxidriver.com.

It is not the murder itself that is hard to believe (people sadly get murdered every year) but the actions of the corrupt Finnish Police and other authorities afterwards. By reading this story, it is clear that if the authorities decide to destroy the life of an innocent human being, they might very well get away with it, especially thanks to great support from mainstream media. Never trust mainstream media!

”Anneli Auer lost her husband, three of her children, her reputation, her freedom, her savings, her business, her home and belongings during this process, whereas the prosecutors had unlimited resources and taxpayer’s millions to spend in their mission to win the case.”

Anneli’s frantic 9-year-old daughter can be heard in the film below when she had just witnessed an intruder stabbing her own father, but the Finnish police ignored her statements and charged her for murder (and sexual abuse of her siblings) together with her mother! If Anneli had planned the murder, was it really necessary to also stab herself in the lung? And how could she rearrange the murder scene and clean up stuff within minutes?

Five years after the murder (2011) the three youngest children (living with Anneli’s brother) suddenly remembered loads of horrific stories about their mother, and the Police accepted everything as a fact:

”During the new murder trial in Pori in 2013, it was revealed that Anneli’s unemployed brother was receiving about € 9000 /month to look after her youngest children. He had purchased a €150 000 luxury cruiser, and a  €50 000 car just before Anneli was acquitted by the Appeals Court back in 2011. He took the children to the sea to avoid letting Anneli to see them. During their long sea trip, he and his wife video recorded the children telling horror stories how their mother had murdered their dad together with their sister. The children used notes whilst telling their stories.”Anneli’s brother and his wife have estranged the fearful youngest children from their older sister, their mother, their grandmother and grandfather, and every relative. The children have no contact with anyone from their past.”

Among other things the children claimed they had been raped by their mother and her ex-boyfriend. The two were therefore arrested and convicted for very long sentences, despite that the children’s horror stories were expressed in secret trials behind closed doors. (Reminds one of the trials of the Åbo terror attack.)

Even though the Finnish authorities had already destroyed this family, they continued harming them by placing an undercover officer in their home, who pretended to be in love with Anneli. The children became used to their mother’s new boyfriend.

”All initial suspects were let go, as their DNA did not match with the one found at the murder scene. Seven years after the murder the police revealed that they had contaminated the sample in their laboratory, the DNA belonged to one of their workers. Still, they would not reopen the investigation into the original suspects.”

This case has cost the Finnish tax payers millions of euros.