THE DISCRIMINATING GRACE OF THE SON OF GOD
WE MUST be discerning but also humbly understanding in that discernment. No man has ALL the truth; and no man is totally free of ALL error even in expressing his theology and view of our infinite God. Many men, if not most men that have a love for the truth and turn to the Bible for its instruction and leading, THINK what they believe in every aspect IS truth. But admittedly, shades of expression and wording, often present what is FALSE and NOT true. But man has been so steeped in “the way it is,” that he can well think he is RIGHT when in actuality he is dead wrong. Just because you have been “taught from a child” that a thing is true DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE.
We can also walk with “horse-blinders” on our eyes. We may see a certain thing so clearly but lose focus entirely of a truth right beside what we see, or think we see. It is NOT that two opposite things are true, but without seeing and balancing many scriptures, we can arrive at a “half-truth,” which is in reality a false- hood or a false doctrine. Thus our personal and private interpretation becomes truth TO US, while if we would “interpret scripture by scripture,” or let the Scriptures be their OWN interpreter, that false doctrine would be jettisoned to the trash-heap.
While no man is totally free from error, some men have so much false teaching that they are hardly worth listening to. Others may have error here and there but give out so much practical instruction that IS right, that we need to even be willing to humbly learn from them because they may well be teaching an area of truth and proclaiming a lot of truth that most others are NOT covering at all!
Recently I was listening to such a minister. His wisdom in practical Christian instruction is amazing, yet this day his upbringing and MISunderstanding showed through as he made some expressions that needed a lot of qualification to even be understood rightly. But basically he was in an area where his beliefs were just wrong, in error, or as some would say, were just “flat out wrong.”
For example he was saying that if your theology limits the mercy of God extending to ALL, then you needed to change your theology, no matter what it was.
Well, right here one would need to explain what he really means by such words as “mercy,” “salvation,” or “extending to all.” The above paragraph CAN be true, if you are saying one thing, but total error if you are speaking of another thing.
For example there is more than one kind of salvation in the Bible. There are natural salvations, like a person being saved from drowning, that have nothing to do with the eternal salvation of the soul. There is “mercy” extended even to God’s creation that has nothing to do with their “going to heaven when they die.” God loved Jacob eternally, but even before the twins were born, he “hated” Esau. Yet Esau had a good natural life and it was a mercy of God to let him live that life when He could have cast Esau into hell at any time short of that long natural life. God rains on the just AND on the unjust. His sunshine gives warmth to all. Laying in a hammock on a warm tropical beach is surely more pleasant than burning in hell—the place where ALL of mankind DESERVES TO BE and will be someday apart from the sovereign saving grace of our sovereign God and the discriminating saving blood of God the Son.
But this minister to whom I refer, along with many, many others, makes it PLAIN what his understanding is. We could well agree with him IF—a big IF—he believed that “mercy extending to all” did not necessarily include mercy in eternal salvation, or if when it DID include eternal salvation, it was restricted ONLY to those who God chose before the foundation of the world to be in Christ, and it meant ONLY the sheep of God for whom Christ came to earth to save, those sheep, “His people,” from their sins. For nowhere in the Bible does it teach that Christ gave His life for the goats who are forever the “children of the devil.” But He DID die as a Sacrifice to the Father, for those the Father gave Him—a limited and specific number and a certain believing people, but a people found in all the world, not just in the Jewish community of Israel. He died for His people in every kindred nation and tribe over all the earth. There is a VAST difference in these two views. One is sustainable by the very Word of God, and one view is not sustainable.
But this minister—as with so many others—reveals their false view, which carries them in their false doctrine. This is plainly revealed by such statements as:
“Anyone that you come “eye-ball to eye-ball” with you can know that God loves them and that Christ died to save them.” FALSE! ”
If God created you in His image, then you can be sure “God always loved you and He always will.” FALSE!
“God is not willing that any son or daughter of Adam should perish but His will is that ALL should be saved.” FALSE!
Now most of the balance of this booklet I am taking from our booklet, “The Real Jesus,” so you’ll see what Jesus Himself says, for such preachers “don’t get it.”
But lest some will reply AGAINST TRUTH and say that we do not believe in certain things, let me make this statement:
Any and everyone who wants to be saved from sin can be. In- deed, “whosoever will may come. “NOT whosoever WON’T! Christ Jesus died to save ALL who will ever come to Him— not for those who WON’T come. He will cast NONE away that come to Him, loving Him and believing in Him for who He REALLY is. But salvation is NOT given to those who believe in Him for who HE IS NOT. Nor is salvation for those who are not and who will not trust Him wholly, leaving some room for trusting in their own works or merit. For such, “Christ profits them nothing” (Galatians 5:2).
Check out Christ’s own words and see if they agree with your thinking, or what you have been taught. If not, will you bend, will you bow to the biblical description of who the Savior is and what He came to do?
Some no doubt will retort, “No matter what you say, or what you pen down, God is still not willing that ANY should perish, and He is “not a respecter of persons.” These are two prime areas where many preachers wrest the scriptures. First, God does NOT have “pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). That is NOT saying it is God’s purpose and will that NO SON OF ADAM shall perish. Look at 2 Peter 39: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering TO US- WARD, not willing that ANY [of us] should perish, but that ALL [of us] should come to repentance.”
The question is: WHO is “the us-ward” or “us”? Why, it refers to those to whom Peter is writing his letter: “To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). Likewise his first letter is addressed to the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God. ” Plainly, that is WHO it is that “God is not willing that any should perish, “the us-ward.’ How can a preacher miss this? What if I am engaged to marry a wonderful girl and I cannot see her as often as I would like. So I write her a letter—a love letter. What would you think if another girl who I don’t even know got a hold of my letter and applied it to herself instead of seeing it was for my fiancée? How valid would that be? A third grader would know it would be a false application. Yet many preachers and professing believers apply Peter’s love letter to the elect as though it is written to everyone of the human race! You certainly can’t trust them when they don’t know or want to know any better! Plus their interpretation presents a less powerful God and a failing Savior!
Now as for God not being “a respecter of persons.” The same preachers will twist this to teach that God has no sovereign choice as to who He saves. But God has made sovereign choices all through the Bible. Not being a “respecter of per- sons” actually means the opposite of what they say. It means that God does not make His choices based on the status or merits, or actions of the recipient of His choice. Just like in Romans 9:11, “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth). ” So let scripture interpret scripture and don’t ignore such plain teaching. Will you bend, will you bow to the sovereign God?
Now let us get to the issue, FOR WHOM DID CHRIST JESUS SHED HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS? Was it for every sin of every son and daughter of Adam, as so many teach today? Oh, they will admit that He could not have died for the sin of final unbelief. So they will tell you that the SIN question was forever settled because the blood of Jesus covers every sin of every son and daughter of Adam. And if any choose to go to hell and not heaven, it will be ONLY for the sin of UNBELIEF. If that be so, why did Jesus tell certain un- believing Jews that they did not believe because they were NOT His sheep and that they would die in their SINS (plural)?
The truth is that Jesus DID die for the sin of unbelief in His people, in His sheep, and delivers them from that unbelief as well as every other sin. Nowhere does it teach that He died for the sheep AND the goats, the wheat AND the tares, or for every sin of every son and daughter of Adam whether they believe or not! Can you find that in Jesus’ own words? Or anywhere else in Scripture? Will you bend, will you bow to Jesus?
THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shaft call His name JESUS: for He shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only be- gotten Son, that whoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) That is a glorious promise, but it is NOT teaching that He gave His only begotten Son for every son and daughter of Adam, whether they come to belief or not. God gave to the nation of Israel the oracles of God, and they got the idea that none of the world could be saved without being an Israelite. But God makes it plain that He has a people in all the world, in all nations and kindred on earth. “World” does not necessarily carry the meaning of “every son and daughter of Adam.”
But look at what Jesus Himself says:
“I have manifested Thy name unto the men WHICH THOU GAVEST ME OUT OF THE WORLD: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word” (John 17:6).
I pray for them: I pray NOT for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine,’ and I am glorified in them” (John 17:9.10).
Does that really sound like Jesus plans on giving His life for every son and daughter of Adam? Neither did He give His life for the rebellious fallen angels—none of them. (Salvation is of the Lord, and not “of chance.” )
“I have manifested Thy name unto the men WHICH THOU GAYEST ME OUT OF THE WORLD: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word” (John 17:6).
I pray for them: I pray NOT for the world, but for them which Thou has given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them” (John 17:9.10).
If you refuse to bend, if you refuse to bow to this Jesus, then you are saying that He died for multitudes that the Father did NOT give Him! You would be saying that Jesus died for the sins of those NOT given Him by the Father. That is error to the nth degree! That is painting a false picture.
Can we really REST in what is GOD’S WILL concerning Jesus Christ and concerning those who He has given to Him? YES! Just as sure as God is sure! “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:39).
“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him: (John 6:64-66). And so it is still today!
Does the following sound like Jesus died for every sin of every son and daughter of Adam, though He knew who was of the devil and who would believe and who would NEVER believe: “If God were your Father, ye would love Me . . . Why do ye NOT understand My speech? Even because ye CANNOT hear My word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. . He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. ‘ (See John 8.) Yet note the satisfaction of Christ in His accomplished work: “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many,’ for He shall bear their iniquities“(lsaiah 53:11)
Most people know there are two classes of people in the world: sheep and goats. God alone knows which are which! And Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.’ the good shepherd giveth his live for THE SHEEP. ” He also says, “I am the door of the sheep . . . I am the good shepherd, and KNOW My sheep, and am known of mine. . . And I lay down My life FOR THE SHEEP.” . . . “But ye believe NOT, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My SHEEP hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give UNTO THEM eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish…. ” (See Jn. 10.) (Also 2 Peter 3:9.)
“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit. . If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. . . I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you“(John 15:16-19).
Again, not one word is said by Christ about His laying down His life for the goats. His concern is dying for and saving from their sins ALL the sheep which God the Father gave Him—wherever they are found in all the world in all the time allotted to this earth.
IF Jesus wanted to save every son and daughter of Adam, children of the devil or not, then why would Jesus pray to the Father, ‘I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou has HID these things from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED them unto babes: even so Father for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me of My Father, and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the son, AND HE TO WHOM THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM” (Luke 10:21, 22).
Just as Jesus bowed and submitted to the Father, His children must and do, as His saved sheep, bow to the Son their good Shepherd. To fail to do so simply means you are not manifesting that you are His sheep who hear His voice, but are replying AGAINST Jesus as He reveals Himself in the Bible. And if you preach and teach different from this holy revelation, then you are misleading both sheep AND goats. Would you be so bold and brazen as to say that Christ died for and wants to save any other than His sheep that were given to Him by the Father? OR, that Christ Jesus will FAIL to accomplish full salvation in saving every one that the Father gave Him?
If these things be not so, we would have to exclaim with the apostle Paul in saying what he did IF the resurrection is not true, that is, “Of all men we would be the most miserable,” not being able to rest in what God and His Christ say about our Lord and our God.
But we know the natural man cannot rest in THIS sovereign God and sovereign Christ Jesus.
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:4,5).
“And you hath He quickened (made alive), who were DEAD in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM it until the day of Jesus Christ“(Philippians 1:6).
“Blessed is the man whom THOU CHOOSEST, and CAUSETH to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts.” (Psalm 65:4).
Do you desire a holy life? Do you crave deliverance from sin that leads on to eternal life; Does your heart cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” Then you are not far from the kingdom. Do you have a will to please and serve God and live with him that your soul loves forever? Then that will is not the will of the flesh or of man. It is a new will given by God. It is the VERY WILL spoken of in Psalm 110:3, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power.” Jesus says NO MAN can come to Him except the Father draw him. And no man can even SEE the kingdom of God unless he is born, given spiritual life, by God Himself. His sheep hear His voice. The Father and the Son are sovereign and discriminating.