|The Truth Which Sets Free - Destiner Press|
For free online reading simply click on the Chapters listed below.
An exposure of the false teaching of Christianity concerning the reason for evil and suffering. This is one of the most challenging and deepest areas in the Word of God.
The following four booklets are now also included in the Addendum of The Truth Which Sets Free.
Chapter 11. Authority & Confirmation
Throughout its entire history the Church has decreed that its flock accept its precepts, and has censored, shunned or punished those who questioned. Catholics are supposed to believe in the infallibility of the Pope. But as we have already begun to see, that Vicar or Substitute for Christ, that successor of the fake apostle Judas, certainly cannot be trusted. In the height of the Reformation in Switzerland, Calvin managed to establish his Council of Discipline by which he controlled the civic and social life of Geneva, subjecting all to his Institutes of the Christian Religion. Protestant churches ever since have fared little better, for their authority is also their church. A few years ago a Presbyterian publication carried an article applauding a "pious" member who, instead of vacationing with his family, saved his holidays so that he could sit in the gallery of the annual convention or synod "to see what God was doing in the world." How pathetic! As though God would have been found in that dour company of church-creators, or that His plan was theirs. Better that he had spent time with his children and read a single page of the Word where Gods plan is made abundantly clear. Better that he had observed one day in the life of a working man who believed and obeyed the Word. How many a churchman I have spoken to who immediately says, "I must check that with my minister (or priest or church)." With that statement alone they are unmasked as goats, running to an authority not approved by God. The elect know exactly where their authority lies; it is held by the very One who regenerated them and saved them from church and state, the living God, and is revealed in His Word. "And we thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us," writes the apostle Paul to the Thessalonian disciples, "you accepted it not as the word of men but what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers." (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
I was once impressed by a speaker in a house assembly who silenced some irritable perverters (they had crept into the fellowship that night) with his knowledge of Scripture. I had never seen this happen in a church, which is the temple for wish-wash and apologists. This man spoke with firmness that left none in doubt as to the truth of the matter. He demonstrated that mandate which churchmen truly hate, he addressed them as Christ spoke, "with authority and not as their scribes." (Matthew 22:46; 7:28,29; John 7:45,46) Both Luther and Tyndale exhibited this same faith and power in their day. Tyndale was at first welcomed at the table talks of churchmen, but they had come together to discuss religious issues for the sake of banter and speculation. Tyndale insisted on testing and proving views from the Word of God to resolve matters. This incensed the churchmen who soon made him unwelcome. They did not want this light shining on their so-called studies, they had no intention of repenting, of making the necessary changes to their lives which the Word demanded, of letting Christ "overturn the tables" of the doctrines of their precious temple. Christian theological colleges are filled with such people, both teacher and student. Tyndale would discuss the Word anywhere, even in public houses, and that further enraged the priests. Just as they accused Christ for being in the company of prostitutes and tax collectors so the churchmen criticized Tyndale, and put out the word that he was a heretic. Tyndale was eventually forced to run for his life, flee from the church that was hunting him, but he never abandoned his Authority. Likewise Luther, under interrogation, held his ground against the Church, refusing to debate anything unless it was from the Word, with that now famous phrase, "Here I stand, I can do no other."
Such stand-alone faith is remarkably lacking in the world today. "When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong." (Eugene Debs, five time US presidential candidate, and labor leader, sometimes jailed for his beliefs.) Truth is not decided by majority vote. But Christians need the comfort of numbers. They rely on each other, their minister or church catechism to make up their minds for them. Even worse, they rely on the political correctness and social acceptance of the world for their authority. I once listened to a Christian counselor (Reformed church, university degree) criticizing a listener because his views from scripture were uncompromising. "That is confrontation," she said, "confrontation is wrong." The churches are packed with these creatures! Let them read Jeremiah 1:17-19 or Ezekiel 3:8,9; let them hear Jesus and John the Baptist roasting the priests with invective, let them hear Paul correcting the goatish behavior infecting the early assemblies. The faith of the elect is, by definition, confrontational because it is grounded in the Word which shines light on darkness, and these two cannot co-exist in peace. The Word is in direct conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil. The church does not want this conflict, it wants acceptance in the world, but this will not stand on the Last Day. Then Churchmen will scream to hold each others hands, or the hand of a minister, or wave their creed or catechism. Then they will finally realize who has stand-alone faith, and who does not, and that the Word is indeed confrontational, reprimanding and correctional.
"All scripture is inspired by God," writes the apostle Paul, "and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction," so that the elect person may be trained and equipped for the good fight. (2 Timothy 3:16,17) This does not mean that possessing the scriptures necessarily brings any enlightenment or authority. Priests throughout the dark ages carried the Bible for centuries in blindness, indeed, church ministers have always had this problem. "You search the scriptures to find in them eternal life," said Christ to the temple clergy, "and they bear witness to me, but you refuse to come to me for life." (John 5:39,40) Some of these priests knew the scriptures by heart, but Jesus simply told them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29) There was no power or authority in the scriptures for goats, nothing which caused them to repent from the ways of the world and cling to the living Word. They were not given ears to hear because they were not of God. (John 8:47; 10:26) To his elect Jesus "interpreted in all the scriptures, beginning with Moses, the things concerning himself," and they responded, "Did our hearts not burn within us while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:27,32) "I have given them the words you gave me," He prayed to the Father, "and they have received them." (John 17:8) This is not to say that the goats will simply lie dormant. They hate the fact that they cannot receive the message (John 8:43), and they will try their best to adjust it to their own liking. The elect sheep will be enabled to "rightly handle the word of truth," but the church goats will, "twist them to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures." (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Pet 3:16) This is a critical point. "First of all you must understand that no prophesy of scripture is a matter of ones own interpretation, because no prophesy ever came by the impulse of man, but by men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Pet 1:20)
This brings us to the authority very commonly claimed by Christians today who have not the slightest idea that it carries the death penalty for them in scripture. It streams from their lips and fills the books in Christian stores as though it were a trifle. It is contained in these four words: "The Lord told me." This is exactly what is claimed when the Antichrist speaks from his throne or "ex cathedra" in the Vatican (what scoffers and skeptics call a load of Papal Bull), and churchgoers use the same phrase without a second thought. Christians, especially Pentecostals, have no concept of the terrible liability that attends these words. I tremble to speak them, because it automatically implies that the words or opinion are absolute, as acceptable as Scripture itself. This is a favorite phrase of freewillers and charismatics who have no concept of its fatal application. They bandy such assertions offhandedly, as lightly as they would order fast food. In the scripture to claim any such thing in the Lords name, and for it not to be so, is penalized with death. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Jeremiah 14:14,15; Zechariah 13:3; Ezekiel 13:7-9) I once worked alongside a charismatic in an office job. He had just moved towns, leaving his old house up for sale. This Christian goat told us all that he had been saved by reading The Late Great Planet Earth and praying the do-it-yourself prayer at the end of the book. Then he announced that "the Lord told him" his house back in Alberta would sell at no loss, for the asking price. I explained the usual to him first, that he could not be saved by works, and certainly not through Hal Lindseys gospel, and then asked him why he had no fear of God, putting his life on the line with such a statement. "If that does not come true," I said, "the Bible prescribes death." He rushed off to a charismatic meeting, explained the situation, and returned saying that a woman there had prophesied the same thing about his house. A couple of months later I could tell he was very uneasy. I confronted him and sure enough the house had been sold at considerable loss, and the pagans in the office scoffed their heads off. He still continued spouting "the Lord told me this and that" in the office. Then he asked, "I suppose you think I should be stoned?" I said, "Most certainly, you and that prophetess, for speaking lies in Gods name, for blaspheming Him in front of all these people as if He were an ineffectual pagan deity who cannot even sell a house for the price He promised; but stoning is unnecessary because you are already dead." This is one of the few times I have been angry enough to take a metaphorical whip of cords to a classic temple churchman.
Later that year I went to the funeral of a friends young daughter, killed in an accident. He and his wife had once attended studies with us, but his wife understood and accepted nothing, and enticed him to return to "going to church", specifically a Pentecostal church ("because they were so loving") where the funeral took place. There were many unbelievers from his workplace attending. The ceremony was the worst I have ever witnessed (second was an appalling charismatic display in Australia to be discussed later). A group of women "prophetesses" were convinced that the girl would rise because "The Lord had told them so." They worked themselves into such a wailing frenzy (compare with the priests of Baal against Elijah) that small children were actually fleeing the pews in terror. When the "minister" finally started shouting, "You are out of order," they screamed back, "You shut your mouth in the name of the Lord (and worse)." Anyway, I walked out in disgust and in some fear in case the Lord decided to deal with them, finding the usher at the door to be the same fellow from my office. "Still havent got it?" I asked. He could not see a problem with what had happened at all. No ears to hear. I have witnessed similar but lesser problems in a small fellowship where charismatics "crept in" to the studies. (Jude 1:4) When they could not see what was plain, these "born again" Christians always pulled out "The Lord showed me" ploy. One fellow even tried to justify his living with his girlfriend, unmarried, and having a number of "loving" affairs with women he was "helping" because the Lord told him so. After the study real counselors in the Word, selected by the assembly, would take them aside and say, "You cannot blackmail others here into believing that you are right, claiming what the Lord has told you when the Word of God plainly shows otherwise, let alone lead the young ones astray when the penalty is so severe that it would have been better you had not been born." We had only one repent, all the others left and never returned. If the leaders had not confronted them I have no doubt those ekklesias would have filled with tares and soon become churches.
This is not to say there is never a time to claim the Lords authority in this way. George Fox, for instance, used the words, "The Lord showed me", and "The Lord told me", numerous times, and when I read his account, and those of his eyewitnesses, I am inclined to trust that what he said came to pass. I have met only three people from whom I have accepted those words. I should say here that I do not regard Fox as a norm. He was exceptional. I think that George Whitefield would have tempered him with less emphasis on Christ within and more on the justifying outward righteousness. But Fox was no Pentecostal. Indeed he preached election and reprobation and constantly battled the "Ranters," as they were called in his day, exactly the same as Luther who risked even his life, coming out of hiding to face off with the "Enthusiasts," charismatic perverters of the break from Rome. "A pox on your spirit," said Luther, having no doubt which principality was in them. Foxs world was likewise split between Ranters and an even greater enemy, a reformed Presbyterian church plague that ruled the north country, the right words on their lips and all still in their coffins. Steeped in Christianity and religion rather than Christ (to whom Fox constantly pointed them, refusing invitations to become their minister), they were the perfect products of Calvins Institutes. So Foxs message was specifically fit for such. He was a man of rudimentary education and yet it was noted, from childhood, that he was exceptional in the spiritual realm. He was not allowed to see the utter falsehood of the words "church" and "Christian" but he never got believers (he used the word "friends") confused with the "steeple houses" (churches), and he would never have been caught building one. England never had another quite like him, more like a Jeremiah, doing very strange things "in the Lord" which even he admitted to understanding only afterwards. Like prophets of old he retired to the hills for days and came down to shake the towns when he felt instructed. By comparison the Quakerdom that followed him was a man-appeasing let-down, in terms of citizenship exceedingly exemplary, in terms of faith far too tolerant, in themselves too engrossed in inward religious experience, and like so many of the churches today, standing for almost nothing.
Here is another example of authority and confirmation as used by an elect disciple, albeit one unfortunately never completely freed from the church. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was the greatest preacher ever to stay within the confines of the Anglicans, although he "cared little for distinctions of denomination or geography." (Encyclopedia Britannica, George Whitefield, Std.Ver.1999) His understanding of absolute predestination was no deterrent to his seeking out the elect wherever they might be found. He addressed great crowds in fields and towns on both sides of the Atlantic and never watered down the Word of God into the popular church gospel, never employed the trickery of "altar calls" or other church ruses. He understood perfectly that those "dead in sin" could never be born of their own will. (John 1:12; 3:8; Ephesians 1:4; 2:1,5,8; James 1:18; 1 Pet 1:2,3) His message was completely contrary to that of John Wesley, to whom he wrote in the strongest terms, "I dread your coming over to America, because the work of God is carried on, and in a most glorious manner, by doctrines quite opposed to those you hold." (The Life and Times of John Wesley, Tyerman, Vol.1, p.314) Whitefield was once asked by a fellowship if he would officiate at the burial of one of its members, but to their surprise he asked instead about the mans beliefs and background. It soon became obvious that the man was a goat. Whitefield explained this to the congregation, and that according to the Word he had no authority to bury the man with any scriptures of hope. The congregation agreed. Try telling that to Anglicans today, who will bury almost anyone with all the promises they can muster, be they unrepentant harlots, killers or sodomites. Thus even in death they identify with and confirm the goats into their own fold. Wesley, on the other hand, hated election and predestination, and his message, the church gospel that God has done as much as He can and the rest is up to man, was foundational for American "revivalism." Wesley broke away from the Anglican fold to form yet another church, the Methodists. With Wesleys gospel anyone can put up his hand to be born again and become a Christian, and the churches are filled with such. This is the classic doctrine of both pagan and Christian Rome, that "grace is not truly grace but mans cooperation." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Roman Religion, 1974) In his hatred for sovereign grace Wesley even altered the text of the influential book Absolute Predestination by Jerome Zanchius and then re-issued it to the public. Would the early apostles ever have stooped to such underhand tactics? No. Only the Church Fathers with their original forgeries. Only the goats of Rome who did this to other peoples publications, to deliberately mislead them. This was one of the reasons Augustus Toplady called Wesley, "the son of Rome." His authority and tactics were really no different than that of the Mother Church.
The confirmation of Christs elect is the undeniable mark that they adhere to the Authority of the Word alone, and it effects a change in them which frees them from both religion and state. That is what Jesus called love, the delight to do his will and keep his commandments. "If you continue in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free...he who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me If a man loves me he will keep my word he who does not love me does not keep my word if you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide in his love." (John 8:31,32; 14:21,23,24; 15:10) The confirmation of church members merely makes more goats, obedient to the authority of the church. They are not free, nor can they buy true freedom at any price. They can at best only go through the motions. Take for instance the Puritan Pilgrims (another group of church fathers) who fled Europe. One does not have to emigrate anywhere to enjoy Christs freedom. Their journey was for a different kind of freedom, primarily fleeing from Rome; how many were running to Christ is impossible to tell. Some just came for land, which they could not afford in Europe. Most came for freedom of their religion, which is no freedom at all because it sets the course for birthing another daughter in the image of the mother they fled. All they did was set up another church authority. They even outlawed pagan festivals like Christmas in some of the early colonies, and burned nonconformists. Think about that. What is wrong with that picture? Such pronouncements are no better than the "infallible" Popes of the past declaring that it was acceptable for "heretics" to be killed. Right there is the fundamental problem that they were supposed to be leaving behind, passing a law or edict, establishing a church authority which others must obey.
The Lords freedom is inscribed in living hearts, never in mans statutes. The elect can say what is right with all the words available, debate through the night in patience, but cannot make it obligatory that a neighbor give up pagan festivals, accept a different teaching, or even abandon immorality. "Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy." (Revelation 22:11) The elect may present their Authority but never enforce it. "If any one will not listen or receive your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that town it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for Sodom or Gomorrah than for that town." (Matthew 10:14,15) The Puritans had no right to make any earthly laws about anothers beliefs. What kind of tolerance was that? Very short-lived. Soon they were no better than the Romish inquisitions, burning their "witches," no better than Calvins faith-enforcement patrols in Geneva, or his murder of Servetus. A similar mistake is made today by Christian terrorists bombing abortion clinics and bashing homosexuals. They are no better than the Christians who tell these abortionists that God loves them. A fertilized egg is the whole, the complete entity then and at every stage thereafter. This is the miracle of all seeds, true for plants, true for the fertilized egg of any animal, and true for the seed of the person made in the image of God. Hence the gravity of abortion, and the horror of meddling in cloning. Those who claim "freedom of choice" should have exercised that choice before conception, showed themselves to have an iota of the restraint not held by lower animals, instead of killing after the fact. I have sometimes felt that the end must be so near, because of things like biogenetic atrocities and the gay agenda, and that writing a book is hopeless, too late. And then I remember that 4,000 years ago the cultural agenda was exactly the same around Abraham and Lot, with pagans putting first-borns in the fire. Christians may try to stop such sins by violence, but those goats have no authority to engage in such murderous behavior, nor in the opposite appeasing deceit. God is Love, yes, but that grace is not granted to those who "are already condemned," who "love darkness rather than light," who do not conform to his Son, who are not sealed and confirmed in Him. (John 3:16-21) God is Light too, and He hates the darkness of sin, but He reserves punishment for Himself alone. "Vengeance is mine," says the real Authority, "I will repay." (Romans 12:19)