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To excuse their sins, “Sinners saved by grace” always point to the Apostle Paul’s self-condemning statement in Romans 7. SSBG claim that this statement proves that he was an inveterate sinner until his death, and that by sinning they are merely following in his footsteps. By reading my series titled The Apostle Paul’s Sin Problem: Biblical Fact or Church Fiction? one will find that in the Romans 7 discourse (7:8-8:1) Paul was referring to his pre-conversion days, that following his conversion as a result of the Damascus Road episode, the Lord had delivered him from his “body of death” which he referred to as the “old man” which had to die in order for him to get right and stay right with the Lord (Rom. 6:6/ Col. 3:9). Following his conversion, Paul received from God the gift that enabled him to overcome Satan’s temptations to sin–GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT. Recall that following His death and ascension to heaven, Jesus appeared to his disciples and told them not to do anything, but to go to Jerusalem and wait for “the promise of the Father”–the infilling of the Holy Spirit–which took place on the Day of Pentecost as they were gathered in one accord in an upper room (Acts 1:1-5/ 2:1-4). Jesus then told them about the effects of receiving the Holy Spirit: “You will receive POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES UPON YOU and (THEN) you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). He told the apostles that they would take His gospel to the world. Note that the 120 disciples were to do NOTHING until they received the Holy Spirit. Note also that, during the years prior to receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus had done NOTHING in terms of ministry (Mk. 1:9-11). Only after receiving the Spirit did he begin to minister in the power of God which now resided within Him in the form of the Holy Spirit. This pattern by which God chooses and empowers His ministers holds true to this day.
Understand this: GOD ALLOWS SATAN TO DUPLICATE HIS MIRACLES. Just as he allowed him to build a counterfeit church system (Catholicism/Protestantism) that has the outward appearance of God’s church, He allows the devil’s ministers to heal the sick, cast out demons and perform other miracles that mirror the miracles of HIs (God’s) ministers. That statement upsets many church people, as does several things that He did and does (He does not change). In a previous posting I explained that God placed a “LYING SPIRIT” in the mouth of a wicked king’s prophets (1 Ki. 22:22) in order to lead him to do the wrong thing. In 2 Thessalonians 2:11 He promises to send those who do not obey Him “STRONG DELUSION so that they will believe a lie ” (2 Thes. 2:11). God allows Satan’s ministers to have megachurches and do all manner of miracles in His name. Jesus addresses this Truth while speaking to a multitude of people who had followed Him into the countryside: “Many will say to Me on that (judgment) day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not PROPHESIED in your name? and in Your name have CAST OUT DEVILS? and in Your name DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?'” (Mat. 7:22). What will be His response to these prophesying miracle workers? “And then I will profess to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU,” depart from Me you who work iniquity (Lawlessness)” (vs 23). The Lord allows Satan’s people to lead international congregations and to perform miracles in His name in order to test us to see if we will follow the miracle working megapreacher or follow Him. In Deuteronomy 13:1-4 God (the Word Who became Jesus of Nazareth) warned the Israelites that if one of their prophets performed a miracle, then asked them to follow him in serving another god, they were not to follow him. God warned them (and us) that He, Himself (the true God) was testing (“proving”) them to see if they would love Him and obey Him, or if they would follow the miracle worker in serving other gods. In the church of our day these “other gods” are the god of Catholicism and the god of Protestantism. In reality they are the same god–Satan. Jesus warned in Matthew 7:13,14 that only a few people would follow Him, that the vast majority would follow Satan. Since Eden there have been hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of false prophets who have led billions of parishioners through Satan’s wide gate and along his broad way leading to destruction. The devil’s smooth-talking, ear-scratching “ministers of righteousness” lure the masses into his cross-festooned “citadels of sin” where they hear his “truths” designed to appease the flesh of those with “itching ears.” These ministers are “peace purveyors” who soothe the comfort-seeker’s soul and make him feel secure in his counterfeit Christian cocoon. Is this the way of the Lord? He tells us.
“I did not come to being peace to the earth. I came not to bring peace, but rather a sword (God’s Word–Eph. 6:17–which is sharper than any double-edged sword man can produce–Heb. 4:12). For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes will be those of his own household” (Mat. 10:34-36). In Luke 12:51 He said that HE came to bring division between people, even within families. “… the brother will deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child, and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death, and you (God’s true saints) will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures (in holiness) until the end (of his life) will (then) be saved” upon His return (Mat. 10:21,22). See Hope and Salvation. Notice that the division among people will be caused by God Himself. This is the process He uses to separate His sheep from Satan’s goats WITHIN THE CHURCH. Recall that the Apostle Peter said that judgment is on-going WITHIN THE CHURCH, and that only the righteous WITHIN THE CHURCH will be saved, and they just barely (1 Pet. 4:17). God uses His Word/Law to judge church people. If we judge ourselves now (by comparing our lives to His Law) we will not be judged later (1 Cor. 11:31).
Without God’s Holy Spirit power working within us, not one of us can overcome Satan, which Jesus said we must do in order to join Him in paradise (Rev. 3:21). You are commanded to “Resist Satan,” and that if you do “he will flee from you” (Jam. 4:7). Man can resist him only by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within those who have been truly converted and are walking in holiness that results from obeying the Spirit. Following justification (forgiveness of all PAST sins–Rom. 3:25), one is baptized to symbolically wash away all past sins. Then God gives the convert His Holy Spirit with which to resist the devil’s siren call to sin. The Holy Spirit–the power of God (Lk. 1:35/ Acts 1:8)–leads the saint in every aspect of life. Those who obey the Spirit are the true sons of God (Rom. 8:14). These true saints find Truth in the verse that states: “Greater is He Who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4). If one is not converted, then the opposite is true, which explains why church people have no Holy Spirit power to resist sin. Those who, having been justified, converted and filled with the Holy Spirit, then stop obeying the voice of the Spirit (resume sinning) will eventually realize that the Spirit has departed from them, leaving them with only their own power to use against the devil. Without the Holy Spirit abiding within, we are no match for Satan. God, speaking through Isaiah (59:2) tells us that sin separates us from God, meaning that it causes Him to remove His Spirit from us. Without that Spirit we are all low hanging fruit for Satan, which perfectly describes the whole of Catholicism/Protestantism.
The Scriptures tell us that God and Christ are on Their thrones in the northern heavens. It is Their Spirit that dwells in the true believer (and everywhere else). David noted this in Psalm 139:7-12 when he confessed that God was everywhere, noting that wherever he (David) might go, God’s Spirit, not God Himself, would be there. In 51:11 David, having sinned, pleaded for the Lord not to “take your Spirit from me.” Note that he did not ask God Himself not to depart from him. Rather, he pleaded that God would not remove His Spirit from him. God and Christ are in one place at a time. It is Their Spirit (power) that is everywhere. Note in Genesis 1:2 that “the Spirit of God (Elohim–Gods) hovered upon the face of the deep (water) that covered the earth. The Holy Spirit covered the entire earth while the Gods conversed in one place (Gen. 1:26). Note the word “US,” meaning Elohim (Gods) relative to the creation of man. See The Trinity.
Obedience to God’s “voice,” which is relayed to the saint through the indwelling Holy Spirit, is the key to resisting Satan’s call to sin. Those, and only those, who are led by the Holy Spirit are true children of God (Rom. 8:14). Knowingly blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the unforgiveable sin (Mk. 3:29). Sinners saved by grace (the whole of Catholicism/Protestantism) openly and brazenly blaspheme the Spirit by claiming that they are children of God, and as His children, they do what God allows them to sin and get away with it. THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT LEAD ONE TO SIN. Church sinners are not led by the Spirit and therefore are not God’s children (saints–holy ones). Their ignorance of God and His Word are all that keeps them from being unsalvageable. Why are they ignorant of God and His Word? Next time. L.J.