I have begun to discover a very important pattern developing from a certain sect. Despite obvious contradictions to their beliefs, they claim the following:
a) everyone is saved whether faith in Jesus is required or not;
b) evil exists in us because we took the fruit of Good and Evil. As such evil exists through us and Satan is not real but a creature invented by us to personify our evil;
c) there is no hell, it is a state of purgatory and serves to purify the sinner to heaven.
I find the same teaching us our scriptures are fallible and we should listen to the voice of the Living Word rather than the Written Word. I have this to say:
Just because you don’t understand the scriptures don’t call it “fallible”. Just because some translations are wrong don’t call it “errant”. I have heard God speak to me through the Spirit with the Bible more than any other form.
I find a person more fallible and errant, when he says he hears from Jesus when Scripture totally contradicts him. I was heard someone said the Holy Spirit told her to warn Christians in my church that some are going to hell. I have heard the pope say everyone is saved so long as they do good. I have heard Christians say Jesus is only one of the ways to the Father because he made the way. They seem to forget the next verse. “No one comes to the Father except through me”.
I seriously doubt who is really speaking inside them. That is the danger of so called “hearing from the Living Word”. Just because our understanding is fallible and erroneous, it does not make the Bible so. Its like the wolf saying the fruits are sour when it could eat them.
In my own experience never once have I heard the “Living Word” said to me “Don’t listen to the Written Word”. I have however heard many times, he said to me “It is written.” I seriously doubt what kind of spirit gives them such “revelations”? I am sorry call me conservative. I call that pure nonsense.
Here are 4 examples:
1. We are all God’s off springs. Acts 17:28
Lets look at the passage in Acts 17.
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Notice the context of the words. “we are his offsprings”. Paul does not quote this as Scripture but pagan teachings.
- Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
- Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus
So what is Paul trying to say? Paul is not saying all are saved. Rather he is saying that this God is the maker of all man and that he is distinguishable from idols!
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
If all men are saved, why the need to repent? If all the world is saved, why is there judgment?
Notice the emphasis on belief?
If all men are saved pray tell me why
a) Is Paul upset when they were worshiping idols?
b) Paul asks them to seek God?
c) Tell them that God is near them but not in them despite “‘For in him we live and move and have our being”.
Notice this is a quote from a pagan philosopher. It does not say God is in them, it says in God, we live. That is because God made us. It does not say God lives in them.
It is clear that the Holy Spirit made a distinction towards those who attained the resurrection and those who didn’t.
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
In fact if you look at Paul’s thrust in just chapter 17 alone, Paul keeps telling people to believe. Here goes…
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
This is preceding Athens. Notice they heard the message but they were not believers. They only became believers sometime later. There is a clear distinction who heard the message and those who believe.
Did Paul change his message after Athens?
7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
Well did Paul say that well now everyone is already saved because we are all his “off spring”?
No he didn’t. Believe.
2) All men are sinners because of Adam. All men thus are saved through Jesus. Romans 5:18
Let’s read Romans 5 together.
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God.3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Right here goes, how did Paul start of with Romans 5? We are justified through faith! While some may argue this is God’s faith not ours. A reading of Romans 1-4 would prove otherwise.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
As such the preamble and the platform of Paul’s argument is very much our faith in Christ. It is through faith, we are justified and have this access. That is his theme. Further if you read chapter 1 Paul is addressing the pagans and Gentiles and in chapter 2 he speaks and admonishes the Jews. Hence when it comes to chapter 3 when he says “ALL have fallen short of the glory of God”, he is referring to Jew and Gentile.
Here is a helpful note from Dr. Norman Geisler that sheds much light into the correct reading of these verses in the context.
“Many liberal and some neo-orthodox scholars, such as Karl Barth, insist that this passage teaches that everyone will eventually be saved. Is this a proper understanding of the text? Correcting the Misinterpretation: From these verses universalists infer that Christ’s death “for all” guarantees salvation “for all.” This conclusion, however, is contrary to the context here and in Romans as a whole as well as to the rest of Scripture.
Even in this context Paul speaks of being “justified by faith” (5:1), not automatically by what Christ did for us. He also refers to salvation as a “gift” (5:16) that has to be received; in 5:17 he declares that salvation comes only to those who receive the gift of righteousness. The rest of the Book of Romans makes it unmistakably clear that not everyone will be saved. Romans 1-2 speaks of the heathen who are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20) and upon whom the wrath of God falls (1:18). It declares that “as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law” (Romans 2:12 NKJV).
In the very heart of his argument Paul concludes that apart from justification by faith, the world is accountable before God (Romans 3:19). Later, speaking of the destiny of both saved and lost, Paul affirms that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV). Likewise, Paul recognized that, despite his prayers, not all of his kinsmen would be saved (Romans 11:1-10) but that many would be “accursed” (Romans 9:3). Indeed, the whole point of Romans is to show that only those who believe will be justified (Romans 1:17; cf. 3:21-26).
Romans 9 could not be clearer that only the elect, not everyone, will be saved (cf. 9:14- 26). The rest God patiently endured, waiting for them to repent (2 Peter 3:9), so they would not be “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (Romans 9:22 NKJV). [Dr. Norman Geisler. Who Will be Saved, According to the Word of God?]”
Further if you read chapter 1 Paul is addressing the pagans and Gentiles and in chapter 2 he speaks and admonishes the Jews. Hence when it comes to chapter 3 when he says “ALL have fallen short of the glory of God”, he is referring to both Jew and Gentile.
“In contrast to Christian universalists who maintain the “all” language affirms a real Pauline universal salvation, Jewett argues that the context concerns whether all believers truly stand within its scope. He reveals that Paul is concerned with factions in Rome that are damning opposing groups because of non-conformity to Torah. Thus, ‘the many’ in the context of Roman congregational issues refers to believers with an emphasis on “all those who have accepted the gospel, both Jewish and Gentile in background, both ‘weak’ and ‘strong,’ without regard to the law.”) Rather than promoting a universal salvation, then, Paul is entirely concerned with the status of all believers, that both Jews and Gentiles who are “in Christ” really are part of this new humanity. The scope of believers—Jew and Gentile alike—and their life in Christ is in mind here, not the salvation of all humanity.
Witherington provides an apt summary of Paul’s arguments in Rom 5:18-19: “The action of that one person has drastic effects on the many…those who belong to the race of Adam are under the power and reign of sin. The only way to escape this is to join another race of humanity—those who are in Christ.”
As Paul emphasizes, if you really received “God’s abundant provision of grace,” (v. 17) then you have “justification” and “life” (v. 18) and you “will be made righteous” (v. 19). As Moo reveals “That ‘all’ does not always mean ‘every single human being’ is clear from many passages, it often being clearly limited in context (c.f., e.g., Rom 8:32; 12:17, 18; 14:2; 16:19).”
The context of v. 17—with its particular wording emphasizing those who receive God’s “provision of grace” and “gift of righteous”—coupled with Paul’s stress on faith as the means by which a person achieves right standing with God in 1:18-4:25 makes it clear that only certain people are saved. That all people are in the epoch of Adamic condemnation is clear from 12-14; that all people are in the epoch of Christic salvation certainly is not, considering how ch. 5 functions within the letter in commenting on the life of believers post-salvation and how 5:12-21 functions to assure all believers, Jew and Gentile alike, of their status in Christ.”
In other words, “all men” here means both Jew and now even Gentiles!
3) Everyone will bow down to Jesus. All are saved and purified.
22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, ALL mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.
Let’s look at what the very next verse says,
24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to ALL mankind.”
You can clearly see that there are “SOME” who did not bow down and rebelled. They are dead and they are constantly being eaten and burned. If ALL is taken literally, why then are those who rebelled and now are eaten and burnt?
4) Paul never once mentioned “Hell”
2 Thessalonians 1:7-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
7 And to [[a]recompense] you who are so distressed and afflicted [by granting you] relief and rest along with us [your fellow sufferers] when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in a flame of fire,
8 To deal out retribution (chastisement and vengeance) upon those who do not know or perceive or become acquainted with God, and [upon those] who ignore and refuse to obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So there it is. Paul does teach judgment of those who refuse to believe.
So it amazes me how many Christians continue to listen to so much of these kind of rubbish teaching and teachers who claim that they receive “revelations” from Jesus. I question such spirit that gives them such doctrine when it totally contradict Scriptures. They have even claimed that the Bible came to us flawed and “God” has now revealed to them after for more 400 years that King James tampered with it. What is the source? Which exact part?
Yet they are the same who tell you that the believers in the past spoke that “all men were saved” and this is the prevalent message until the 5th century. The truth is that men who taught this began their teaching this in the 5th century and was killed in the 5th century. A quick search on Wikipedia will tell you. See “Origen”.
My take on this? Simple. The Living Word will corroborate with the Written Word.” Paul says he got his instructions from the Living Word. When it is his own, he will say that it is from him and not the Lord. As to the Old Testament, Jesus said “they testified about Him.” I think it is safe enough to do this rather than to listen to some of these “teachers” would claim otherwise.