Universal Salvation

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Cor 15:22

Whose Work is Salvation?
Whose Work is Salvation?
by Rick Longva

Part One

Are we saved in Christ only to lose our salvation in Christ in a weak moment, or a temptation that we could not overcome in the flesh, or a lack of belief (which is usually our lack of understanding)? Are we to believe that Jesus was only a starting place to our salvation and it is entirely up to us to keep ourselves safe in the sight and in the heart of God? Is it possible that those who have been chosen in Christ before the disruption of the world (Ephesians 1:4) can be lost at any given moment, no matter how much they believed in Christ the moment before they fell into a temptation, or doubt, and did not repent from their error?

I was sent an email that was sent to a friend of mine, from someone who believes we can lose our salvation (with scripture references allegedly proving this to be true). I will paraphrase what was passed on to me:

"We can lose our salvation by our own doing, (or maybe better) by our own flesh, and we can save ourselves and restore ourselves by the same flesh that caused us to fall, if we repent."

That is pretty much the gist of the email.

One question that comes to my mind is: How can we humans (who believe) turn off and on what Christ accomplished for us and in us, much like turning a light-switch off and on, by our flesh, and destroy what dwells in us through spirit? Is our flesh really that much stronger than His spirit?

Not according to Paul:

"Now if Christ is in you, the body, indeed, is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is life because of righteousness." (Romans 8:10)

Peter

With Peter we have our first example of a believer who denied knowing the Lord. So I would like to ask these people who believe the weakness of our flesh can destroy what Christ has accomplished; "Was Peter lost when he denied he knew the Lord early that morning, before His crucifixion?" And if Peter died before he saw the risen Lord (Peter never repented, at least not a verbal repentance, but Judas did), would Peter have been eternally lost, and as many believe, sent to hell?

If the answer is yes, then Jesus lied to him when He told the twelve, Peter included, that they would each sit on one of twelve thrones judging the nation of Israel during the Millennium Kingdom (Matthew 19:28). These same people believe that Jesus lied to Judas as well, because they now believe that Judas forsook his place and is in hell getting exactly what he deserves, even though Judas repented, (see the article "The Restoration of Judas", at www.godisgod.ca).

Peter was no more lost than any other believer who has had, or is having, a moment of doubt, or denial, or falls into a trial for a season. Peter, like all of us was human, and as humans we are going to trip, and doubt, and at times we are going to deny, just like Peter. And during those times does anyone truly believe the Lord will turn His back on us eternally unless, or until we repent?

Lets find out.

I would like to say up front (if it hasn't been realized yet) I do not believe anyone can lose their salvation in Christ: ever, and no one is lost eternally.

Not A Human - Humans Lie

We read from the scriptures that God is not a human and He does not lie:

"God is not human, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?" (Numbers 23:19) ESV

We know from scriptures what God's will for humankind is:

"I am entreating, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, pleadings, thanksgiving be made for all mankind, for kings and all those being in a superior station, that we may be leading a mild and quiet life in all devoutness and gravity, for this is ideal and welcome in the sight of our Saviour, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

The ESV translate verse four "who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Or in other words, leaving people to believe that; God has a desire (wish), and that wish is all mankind be saved, but He is incapable of making it happen because it is only a desire (wish), and it is up to the human to make God's desire (wish) come true, and it is up to the human to keep up his/her end of the bargain if they grant the desire (wish) of God. Does that sound like something The Only Sovereign God would allow, a God who is not a human, a God Who has spoken and it will happen, a God Who inspired Paul to write these verses above in 1 Timothy (and below from 2 Timothy) ,concerning the believers security in Christ?:

"Faithful is the saying: "For if we died together, we shall be living together also; if we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also; if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us; if we are disbelieving, He is remaining faithful -- He cannot disown Himself." (2 Timothy 2:11-13)

On the surface it appears these verses (at least one of them) seem to support the teaching of losing your salvation: "if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us." ( n.b. In some versions it says "if we are disowning Him." Him is in italics, meaning it was added by the translators, and not found in the originals, so it must be ignored). Also, these verses would seem to contradict, either the fall away teaching, or the eternal security teaching when taken together, because we read: "if we are disbelieving, He is remaining faithful -- He cannot disown Himself."

So in these four verses, from 2 Timothy, it would appear that either Paul got confused and contradicted himself, or, Paul was writing not about losing our salvation, but about our walk in the Lord, and also our allotment, when we realize fully our salvation: (when we are physically in the presence of the Lord), and our security in the Lord.

If we were to take out the one verse ("if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us") and place it with other verses taken out of context to support that we can lose our salvation, and ignore the surrounding verses, we would be making up a teaching that is not in the scriptures, a contradiction, breeding confusion, therefore perpetrating a lie. But if we keep this verse in the context it is written in, we can see that those who endure, will be reigning with Him (have an allotment in the coming eon), those who are disowning He will disown, not disown their salvation, but disown their place in reigning. We know this because in the next verse He addresses those who are disbelieving: "if we are disbelieving, He is remaining faithful -- He cannot disown Himself." Himself (figuratively) could be said to be us, His body, in which He dwells in spirit ( Romans 8:9-10, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:30), as well as literally Himself the Christ, we are inseparable, those who are in Christ. This verse has nothing whatsoever to do with losing your salvation, together they have everything to do with our walk, our security, and our allotment in reigning with the Lord. Your salvation is secure, always, even if you come to a place where you disbelieve. So we can see that God is not a liar, as is confirmed in the verse from Numbers, God's will-will be done, that being, all will be saved as we read in the verses from 1 Timothy, and He is remaining faithful to His word, that we are secure in Christ, as we read in the verses from 2 Timothy.

So with this in mind, lets look into some of these other scriptures that many claim salvation is not a sure thing, and all who are in Christ are in danger of losing it every second of every day because of our weak flesh, and we must struggle to keep saved right up until the moment we breathe our last breath.

Who Effects Our Salvation?

I would like to remind all that there is a huge danger of falling into error when we cherry pick a verse, and ignore the surrounding verses, especially when trying to prove a teaching. An example of doing this would be the portion above from 2 Timothy, as well as this next portion from Philippians. Here is chapter two verse twelve:

"So that, my beloved, according as you always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, with fear and trembling, be carrying your own salvation into effect."

One would get the impression when reading this one verse that it is up to us to carry our salvation into effect on our own. When we read the verse just after it we can see it has nothing to do with us, except that we are the vessels where His salvation has been placed:

"For it is God Who is operating in you to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight."

God will not even consider allowing us to carry this salvation of His into effect on our own, because it would not only exalt the human to a position above God, it would dethrone the Christ, and the work of the spirit. Also, if it were up to us on our own to keep us in God's good grace, and to carry our salvation to its conclusion, no one would be saved, ever.

When Jesus' disciples asked a question concerning this matter of how can anyone be saved, when a rich young man refused to follow Jesus on His earthly ministry, Jesus answered their question:

"Then who can be saved?" But He said, "What is impossible with man is possible with God." (Luke 18:26-27)

In the portion of scripture above from Philippians, the verses before it tells us the magnitude of God's Delight:

"Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean, and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the Father."

No human can thwart God's will and plans for our salvation through Christ, because He is the "SAVIOR", the One that saves, and keeps, not ourselves on our own.

Secure In Christ, Or Not?

No matter how far we fall we are secure in Christ. We may not be in the front line of fellowship, but we are still beloved by the Father. We could even take this down to an earthly level. If a son or daughter falls out with their parents, disobeys them, or even disowns them, are they still their mother and father? The same is truer with God. He is still our Father and loves us (Read Romans 8:28-39).

There are many who make claims of believing in Christ, but do not (1 John 2:19), those people will find no security in Christ, as they are merely giving lip service, and religious ritual. They cannot fall away, because they never believed, they are simply lost during this eon and the next. They are the ones Jesus will say I did not know you (Matthew 7:21-23). No believer will ever hear those words, ever.

Another verse that was sent to prove we can lose our salvation can be found in Galatians 5:1:

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

I am uncertain how this verse proves we can lose our salvation (maybe the stand firm part, as if it is a work of our own to keep us saved), so I will comment on it from that point anyhow.

What is the yoke of slavery Paul writes of?

All through this epistle Paul is telling the Galatian believers they are free in Christ (that is what they are to stand firm in), not under the bondage of religion or their own strength. The Galatians were actually in danger of falling out of grace, because they were wanting (and some probably were) to add to there salvation by following the law and circumcising. One could ask: "How can we fall out of grace when salvation is secure?" We fall out of grace when we rely on the flesh to keep us in Christ. This is something those who believe we can lose our salvation champion, you are kept by your own strength, your flesh, and certain rituals, the spirit really doesn't come into play. The verses following this verse from Galatians disprove that:

"For freedom Christ frees us! Stand firm, then, and be not again enthralled with the yoke of slavery. Lo! I, Paul, am saying to you that if you should be circumcising, Christ will benefit you nothing. Now I am attesting again to every man who is circumcising, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Exempted from Christ were you who are being justified in law. You fall out of grace. For we, in spirit, are awaiting the expectation of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision is availing anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith, operating through love. You raced ideally! Who hinders you not to be persuaded by the truth? This persuasion is not of Him Who is calling you. A little leaven is leavening the whole kneading. I have confidence in you in the Lord that in nothing you will be disposed otherwise. Now he who is disturbing you shall be bearing his judgment, whosoever he may be. (Galatians 5:1-10)

To fall out of grace has absolutely nothing to do with losing ones salvation, it means you are now relying on your own flesh to secure your salvation, and complete your salvation, you have made grace null and void in your walk. Not that grace has been removed by God, it never will be, you have lost your understanding of grace, so you try in futility to work for it, never able to grasp it in your mind. Paul earlier in the epistle calls that witchcraft:

"O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith - just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"? (Galatians 3:1-6) ESV

So we can see that Galatians 5:1 has nothing at all to do with losing ones salvation. On the contrary, this whole epistle has to do with how by works of the flesh we cannot hold onto the grace we have in the faith of Christ, we fall under the law. We don't lose our salvation, we just don't appreciate it, and its freedom (Galatians 3:11).

Romans 11:21 is the next verse that is said to say we can lose our salvation:

"For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you."

It must be remembered that this portion of scripture (Romans chapters 9-11, I would encourage all to read them first), has to do with Israel and the nations. This section of scripture is national, Israel as a nation is the main theme of this portion of the scriptures.

The natural branches are said to be Israel, and during this time of their rejection of Christ they have been broken off, and we now have a period called by many "The Church Age." This is when those who are chosen in Christ from the disruption of the world, of the nations are being brought into Christ. These natural branches (Israel) have been placed in unbelief. Paul tells us this in verse 20 ("By unbelief are they broken out"). We will see later Who caused their unbelief. Then Paul tells us that:

"And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again." (vs. 23)

With this verse it seems that it is up to them to believe, and God is patiently waiting for them to repent, staying out of their way until they do, and if and when they do He will graft them back in. Would God let what He has called a stiff necked people (Exodus 32:9, Acts 7:51) make such an important decision? Lets read what Paul says happens:

"Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles (Nations) has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob (Israel)"; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (vs. 25-27) ESV

Who is it that turns them around, and Who is it that takes away their sins?

Not the people, The Deliverer will banish their ungodliness, and remove their sins.

Now read the rest of this chapter (emphasis are mine) :

"As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen." ESV

No one is lost eternally. Salvation is for all. It was God who placed all in disobedience that He may have mercy on all. It is God who banishes their ungodliness, and sends the Deliverer who will graft them back in again (Romans 11:26-27). Again, He would not allow a human such power, although humans believe they have it.

The next verses are from John 15:6, 10:

"If anyone should not be remaining in Me, he was cast out as a branch, and it withered. And they are gathering them, and into the fire are they casting them, and they are being burned." (vs.6) "If ever you should be keeping My precepts, you will be remaining in My love, according as I have kept the precepts of My Father and am remaining in His love." (vs.10)

What does it mean to be remaining in Me?

Jesus answers the question in verse 10 above. There is nothing here about losing salvation. At the time of these words from Jesus the kingdom was about to be rejected, and there was no salvation in Christ to be had, because He had not yet gone to the cross to remove Sin and abolish death. Here He is simply stating if His followers kept what He said as truth, they would remain in God's love. Not that His love has conditions. We read in 1 John 4:10:

"In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loves us, and dispatches His Son, a propitiatory shelter concerned with our sins."

They will realize this love when they keep His precepts, because they speak of His love, and we see that those who do not remain in His love are as if they are cast out. In other words they have not realized His love. They are still His, and He tells us this in verse 2:

"Every branch "in Me" bringing forth no fruit, He is taking it away, and every one bringing forth fruit, He is cleansing it, that it may be bringing forth more fruit."

There are branches in Jesus that do not bring forth fruit. These branches will be purged in His fire (verse 6). None are lost, they are still in Christ, just fruitless.

2 Peter 1:10 is the next verse given that is said to support a believer can fall away:

"Wherefore, rather, brethren, endeavor through ideal acts to confirm your calling and choice; for, doing these things you should under no circumstances be tripping at any time."

Once again, the surrounding verses prove that the tripping (ESV- fall), is not losing your salvation, but because of an inability to come to a complete recognition of Christ they could trip, stumble, or fall (a view versions have added "away", supporting their teaching of losing salvation, but again, it was added and should be discarded).

Verse 11 reads: "For thus will be richly supplied to you the entrance into the eonian kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Peter was present when the rich young man approached Jesus and asked Him what he must do in order to enjoy the allotment of eonian life. Jesus gives him a list, and also tells him to give all he has to the poor and follow Him (read Mark,10:17-22). The rich man walks away sorrowing. Everything else he said he did, but he would not part with his money. What does Jesus say? What He doesn't say is what many believe He said: "if you do not do what I said you are going to hell." No. He says: "How squeamishly shall those who have money be entering into the kingdom of God!"

We, the believer, will have nothing lacking upon entrance into the kingdom, when the spirit is our sole guide to truth, not tradition and ritual. Most people trip over truth, because tradition is much more appealing.

There are barriers in life that are designed to hold us back on our journey, one is our flesh and its desires, and the mature believer knows this and ignores them, all the while pressing on.

Paul wrote:

"For, walking in flesh, we are not warring according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful to God toward the pulling down of bulwarks; pulling down reckonings and every height elevating itself against the knowledge of God, and leading into captivity every apprehension into the obedience of Christ, and having all in readiness to avenge every disobedience, whenever your obedience may be completed." (2 Corinthians 10: 3-6)

We aren't yet complete, so we are not ready to avenge all our many disobediences. We do continue to grow and learn, and we do trip, and doubt, but never do we fall away.

The teaching that we can fall away is a teaching that the flesh must overcome every fault (Sin) that Christ died for. The exact opposite of what those who are in the body of Christ are shown:

"Now we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the transcendence of the power may be of God and not of us." (1 Corinthians 4:7)

Part Two

This teaching, that we have to keep ourselves pure, and sin-free, in order to remain saved in Christ, has been the wedge that drives people into religion. And once in the religion (whatever one they chose), they become slaves to religion. Most will live in a fear of where they will land once they breathe their last breath, never certain of their place, or their standing in Christ.

A man told me of his father in laws last days in hospice. He would go to visit him, and his father in law would be shaking and screaming out "Can you see the flames, can you see the flames?" The teaching his religion taught him his whole life was that he was in constant danger of falling away, and ending up in hell. This is what many religions thrive on, either out of ignorance of scriptural truth, or purposely supporting their centuries long traditions, they have become teachers of doubt and fear, telling their followers that God loves them only if they love God, and obey what they believe God wants them to obey. It keeps people in line. A line they were never placed in by the Lord.

The Greek word for religion is: desidaimonia. The English elements are: Dread Teach.

The Greek word for demon is: daimonion. The English elements are: Teach diminutive.

The teaching that has bound religious followers in this uncertainty is not a teaching from God. It does not in any way touch on the evangel of the grace in Christ, which was revealed to Paul. It is a teaching that places all who adhere to it in darkness, bound with imperceptible chains. Paul called every teaching that placed a believer in bondage, or a teaching that exalted a humans ability over Christ's; a teaching of demons, or witchcraft (Galatians 3:1-4, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Cor. 11:1-15). I AM CERTAIN IT IS VERSE TWENTY-THREE The next verse that was given to prove this false teaching you can lose your salvation in Christ by a lack of works is Colossians 1:22 (although I am certain the person meant verse 23). I will quote verses 21 to 23, to keep it in context:

"21 And you, being once estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles,
22 by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight,
23 since surely you are persisting in the faith, grounded and settled and are not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which you hear which is being heralded in the entire creation which is under heaven of which I, Paul, became the dispenser."

It has to be asked: "Who is it that grounds and settles, and assures the believer of the expectation of the evangel that we hear, and believe?"

I would think it is the One Who reconciles (verse 21), by His body, through His death, so we are presented holy and flawless and UNIMPEACHABLE in His sight (verse 22), not the sight of others, or our own fickle sense of belonging. And those who know this security in Christ are persisting in the faith because they have been grounded and settled and are not removed (able to fall away) from the expectation (not the weaker word hope) which we hear. The believer hears and believes the truth concerning their salvation; that it is all Christ, The One Who presents us holy, and flawless, and unimpeachable in His sight. He is our expectation, and our guarantee, not our own flesh. Our flesh is flawed, unholy, impeachable. If we spend all our time trying to subject it we end up being a slave to it, and a believer in its ability to either keep us secure, or to cause us to fall, which only ends in hopelessness or worse; self-righteousness.

So again we can see that Paul, here in these verses, does not promote the flesh as a keeper of our salvation in Christ, he simply shows us Who keeps the believer grounded, flawless, unimpeachable in His sight, and reveals to us Who our expectation is in; Christ, the reconciler.

I Think Verse Two Is What They Meant

The next verse given is 1 Corinthians 15:1, but again I am certain it is verse two.

"1 Now I am making known to you, brethren, the evangel which I bring to you, which also you accepted, in which also you stand,
2 through which also you are saved, if you are retaining what I said in bringing the evangel to you, outside and except you believe feignedly."

To believe something feignedly is to believe something that is counterfeit. It looks and sound like the real thing but under the surface it is not. Paul in the next few verses tells his readers what is the truth, and what must be believed to be in the body of Christ.

"For I give over to you among the first what also I accepted, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was entombed, and that He has been roused the third day according to the scriptures."

That is the evangel which must be believed to be in the body of Christ. It is that simple, yet it is believed by very few who call themselves believers in Christ. Most believe the counterfeit. They do not believe that Christ literally died. They believe His body was placed in the tomb, but they do not believe His first rising was from the tomb. They believe before His chin hit His chest He was a spirit in paradise with the repentant thief's spirit, waiting for the next few days to pass so He could re-enter the tomb, and lift His body from the slab, remove the stone and walk out.

Paul in these verses wants all who believe to believe the truth, unless they believe feignedly. Those who believe feignedly are not in danger of losing their salvation in Christ, because they are not in the body of Christ. And those who do believe can never lose their salvation because they are in the body of Christ, because they believe the truth concerning His death, entombment, and resurrection, and Paul, in these few verses, to the Corinthians, is revealing what they believed, and their belief is not a counterfeit belief, it is based on the truth.

No Entrance, Sorry

The next verse is from Matthew's Account:

""Not everyone saying to Me 'Lord! Lord!' will be entering into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens." (Matthew 7:21)

It is common knowledge that there are many who believe that Jesus was here on earth, and believe He did wonderful things, and also believe that by their doing wonderful things, and following traditions and ritual, and believing that what they are doing is His will, they will receive entrance into the kingdom of the heavens.

There are a few things that should first be realized. Jesus, here, was not speaking to anyone other than Israelites (Matthew 15:24). Jews who had so distorted the word of God through Moses that the words were unrecognizable. Also, in this administration of grace, we are not commanded to do good works for our entrance into the kingdom of God. We are saved by grace, through faith, and it is not of us, it is a work of Christ, that no human may be boasting (Ephesians 2:8-9). And our good works were made ready for us beforehand that we should be walking in them (Ephesians 2:10). If He prepared them, there is no way we can avoid them, or we would indeed be greater than God. A teaching that unknowingly (?) is being taught by many, that promotes this teaching of falling away is the teaching called freewill. Knowingly or unknowingly they promote their own sovereignty over the only Sovereign: God

But lets look into this portion of scripture to Israel any way.

First, once again, we cannot cherry pick out a verse to prove anyone can lose salvation by ignoring the verses surrounding it. Here is the portion that was left out:

"Take heed of those false prophets who are coming to you in the apparel of sheep, yet inside they are rapacious wolves.
16 "From their fruits you shall be recognizing them. Not from thorns are they culling grapes, nor from star thistles figs.
17 Thus every good tree ideal fruit is producing, yet the rotten tree noxious fruit is producing.
18 A good tree can not bear noxious fruit, neither is a rotten tree producing ideal fruit.
19 Every tree not producing ideal fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
20 Consequently, from their fruits you shall surely be recognizing them.
21 "Not everyone saying to Me 'Lord! Lord!' will be entering into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens.
22 Many will be declaring to Me in that day, 'Lord! Lord! Was it not in Your name that we prophesy, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many powerful deeds?'
23 And then shall I be avowing to them that 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, workers of lawlessness!'"

This portion has nothing at all to do with working for salvation, or losing it if you don't. It is a warning to be aware of false prophets (and I would say deceptive teachers as well). And Jesus, here, is telling his listeners how to recognize them and to be aware of them (their fruit), as well as their fate for their deceptive practices, by saying they are doing these marvelous deeds in the name of the Lord not even knowing the Lord, and in turn, He does not know them (recognize them as believers). No believer will ever hear those words "Depart from Me, I never knew you", because, once again, we, now, are saved in grace, not by marvelous works, or any work that we might perform.

To the Hebrews

Hebrews 10:26 is the next verse given. I will quote verses 26 to 31:

"For at our sinning voluntarily after obtaining the recognition of the truth, it is no longer leaving a sacrifice concerned with sins,
27 but a certain fearful waiting for judging and fiery jealousy, about to be eating the hostile.
28 Anyone repudiating Moses' law is dying without pity on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, are you supposing, will he be counted worthy who tramples on the Son of God, and deems the blood of the covenant by which he is hallowed contaminating, and outrages the spirit of grace?
30 For we are acquainted with Him Who is saying, Mine is vengeance! I will repay! the Lord is saying, and again, "The Lord will be judging His people"
31 Fearful is it to be falling into the hands of the living God!"

Does that sound like this administration of grace that we, the body of Christ are saved in?

Does the Law given by Moses sound like the gospel message you should believe, or remotely sound like the evangel from Paul, the apostle to the nations?

This has to do with Hebrews, not believers in the body of Christ. And, if there is any comfort that can be gleaned from this, for those Hebrews who sin voluntarily, who trample on the Son of God, and deem the blood worthless, and outrage the spirit of grace, is this; they fall into the hands of the living God.

David wrote:

"And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall, I pray, into the hand of Jehovah; for very great are his mercies: and let me not fall into the hand of man." (1 Chronicles 21:13)

When these two very different teachings are mixed (our, the body of Christ evangel of grace and the Law) there is so much confusion that the scripture become such a mystery that anyone can prove whatever it is they want to believe without proving anything at all from the scriptures. It is that mysterious and deceptive. Correctly cut the word of truth is a lesson that these promoters of this fall away teaching should learn, that all scripture is written for us, but not all is written to us, we are to make this distinction, and not mix the Circumcision teachings (Law) with that to the Uncircumcision teaching (Grace).

Requited

"For he who is injuring shall be requited for that which he injures, and there is no partiality." (Colossians 3:25)

This is so true that there is no real reason to comment, except that this does not at all prove salvation can be lost, or we have to work for our salvation.

Paul tells us:

"Consequently, then, each of us shall be giving account concerning himself to God. By no means, then, should we still be judging one another, but rather decide this, not to place a stumbling block for a brother, or a snare. For all of us must be manifested in front of the dais of Christ, that each should be requited for that which he puts into practice through the body, whether good or bad." (Romans 14:12, 13, 2 Corinthians 5:10)

It should always be remembered in the evangel of grace that: "Yet law (Circumcision teaching) came in by the way, that the offense should be increasing. Yet where sin increases, grace (Uncircumcision teaching) superexceeds." (Romans 5:20)

Grace trumps everything else, especially when dealing with our weak flesh. Of course we will suffer loss for some of the things we have committed and what we believed concerning Christ and God, but never loss of salvation.

Paul writes:

"According to the grace of God which is being granted to me, as a wise foreman I lay a foundation, yet another is building on it. Yet let each one beware how he is building on it. For other foundation can no one lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone is building on this foundation gold and silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, each one's work will become apparent, for the day will make it evident, for it is being revealed by fire. And the fire, it will be testing each one's work -- what kind it is. If anyone's work will be remaining which he builds on it, he will get wages. If anyone's work shall be burned up, he will forfeit it, yet he shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

All God's future dealings with humans during our time when we stand before Him will be remedial. Whether it is the unbeliever standing in judgment at the Great White Throne, or the believer standing before the Dias of Christ. We are all standing before the Righteous Judge. He does not judge as a human would judge.

"Indeed, then, condoning the times of ignorance, God is now charging mankind that all everywhere are to repent, forasmuch as He assigns a day in which He is about to be judging the inhabited earth in righteousness by the Man Whom He specifies, tendering faith to all, raising Him from among the dead -- " (Acts 17:30-31)

The Man Whom He specifies is The Foundation which is laid: Christ. Everything we build on that Foundation that is not truth will be torn down to the Foundation, but the Foundation will never be removed.

When His judgments are completed He will tender faith to all. At present we are not seeing this, but we can know this by proper handling of the scriptures. By leaving tradition and empty rituals, as well as works we are told will keep us secure where they belong, outside the word of God, and focus on scriptural truth, we will soon see that salvation is sure, and we do not need to fear that God will ever revoke His promises to all who now believe the truth concerning Christ as their Savior. This does not mean we will know all truth during our time here, but we will know Who our Foundation is that we build on, and rely on, and Whose promises we hold on to concerning our security in Him.

Part Three

In parts one and two we looked into several verses that those who believe that a lack of human effort can cause someone to fall away (lose their salvation in Christ). and saw that this is not the case when these verses are taken in their correct context. We also saw that these verses do not prove that human effort can keep anyone saved. In this part we will look into verses that not only deny this teaching (as do the verses sent to me), but tell us it is not only a lack of understanding, but manipulation from religious leaders that has brought people to this false assumption; that humans are in control of their fate when it comes to salvation in Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote:

"Now, if our evangel is covered, also, it is covered in those who are perishing, in whom the god of this eon blinds the apprehensions of the unbelieving so that the illumination of the evangel of the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of the invisible God, does not irradiate them." (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

A.E. Knoch wrote, concerning these verses:

"The evangel of the glory of Christ!" Would that our evangelism reached to this altitude! And why are Christ's glories so lacking in the gospel efforts of today? Because the god of this eon not only blinds the minds of the unbelievers, but he centers the gospel on sin and self and sanitation - anything except Christ and His glories."

This is what the evangel called "the fall away doctrine" is based on: sin, self, and self-sanitation. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the evangel of the glory of Christ. That is why unbelievers shun it, they know their weaknesses, and their faults, and they know it is much easier to remain in whatever condition they are in, rather than hopelessly trying to sanitize their flesh to conform to a religions system of belief. Once it is revealed that this is not the case, and unnecessary, and they hear the evangel of the glory of Christ, belief comes naturally to those who at this time have been set apart in Christ. They immediately see Christ as "The Saviour", and not themselves trying to beat their flesh into holy shape, worthy of salvation.

Those believers, who are in the body of Christ, have no fear in this false teaching that the flesh can destroy or keep what the spirit has begun. Only those who have been blinded by the god of this eon fear their fleshes power to destroy or keep them in Christ.

The god Of This Eon

There are many teachings on who or what the god of this eon is. Some believe it to be Satan (accuser, adversary), others believe it to be human reasoning (centered on self), or the many religions (Christian sects, and pagan) with their many gods and statues of worship, others believe it to be human government (self rule without God). I am of the mind that it is all four, and not that any is working in and of itself, they work in unison, feeding off one another, feeding the unbeliever, as well as feeding those who are untried in the word of God (Ephesians 4:14). Those who claim Christ as their Saviour, who follow blindly (possibly in ignorance of) these four forces that desire to draw them away from the spirits seal and control, and placing their faith in the control of their flesh.

Whatever it may be, a "god" is everything the True and only God is not. And a "god" will cause you to follow paths that lead away from the true God, deceiving one to believe they are walking side by side with Him.

Paul as much as says this in 1 Corinthians 8:5-7:

"For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless for us there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is, and we through Him. But not in all is there this knowledge."

The Filter

We, who are believers, have a filter that we can run our thoughts through concerning what we believe to be truth: "The Scriptures." There is no other source that has been given us to understand truth concerning God, that is where our knowledge of Him, and His will for us comes from and through. If we are honest with ourselves, and have no fear of exposing what we believe to be truth, or false, we will run it through the filter, and what comes out we will find to be truth. All to often we bring our thoughts and place them on the pages of the Bible, instead of running our thoughts through the Scriptures to see if it is The One True God Who has placed them in our hearts and minds, or, if it is the god(s) of this eon manipulating the scriptures to fit our thoughts.

The Bereans knew this lesson, we are told in Acts 17:11 what they did after they heard the words from Paul:

"Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who receive the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures day by day, to see if these have it thus."

Paul, when writing to Titus told him this concerning the importance, as well as the effect of sound teachings from the Scriptures: he was to be:

"Upholding the faithful word according to the teaching, that he (as well as we) may be able to entreat with sound teaching as well as to expose those (teachings as well as teachers) who contradict. (Titus 1:9)

Once we veer away from the scriptures as our main source for seeking truth we expose ourselves to unsound teachings, and many of these unsound (unscriptural) teachings have been around for hundreds of years, and most are never questioned, or searched out. Of course there is much to learn, but we must always bring newly found, and old teachings from humans to the scriptures to see if they have it so.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians concerning the Source of the words he taught, as well as where the word of God operates:

"And therefore we also are thanking God unintermittingly that, in accepting the word heard from us, from God you receive, not the word of men, but, according as it truly is, the word of God, which is operating also in you who are believing." (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

To the Hebrews Paul gave the recipe for discerning ideal teaching, as well as that which is not ideal:

"For when also, because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need again of one to teach you what are the rudimentary elements of the oracles of God, and you have come to have need of milk, and not of solid nourishment. For everyone who is partaking of milk is untried in the word of righteousness, for he is a minor. Now solid nourishment is for the mature, who, because of habit, have faculties exercised for discriminating between the ideal and the evil." (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Neglect of the word allows us to believe error and call it truth. We must always remember that:

"All scripture is inspired by God, and is beneficial for teaching, for exposure, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

It is from the God inspired scriptures (properly partitioned 2 Timothy 2:15) that we learn what the good is we are to establish. That is scripture 101. That is what every believer should know from the moment we are brought into a realization of Christ in us. Yet it is something that is very seldom encouraged, and hardly ever taught. Instead many are encouraged to read material that they are told they are suppose to read and obey, some are given prayers that they are to pray, in order to know what God expects from them. Upon believing this type of reasoning, that very moment, they have unknowingly surrendered their freedom in Christ to another (Galatians 5:1, Romans 8:15), and have placed themselves under the authority of the flesh.

No Religion ... Now That's Freedom In Christ

I am going to quote a lengthy portion of scripture from Paul to the Colossians. I will omit certain verses, but I do encourage you to read all of this epistle:

"Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men's ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ! Yet it is in Him that God gives a full and complete expression of Himself (within the physical limits that He set Himself in Christ). Moreover, your own completeness is only realized in Him, who is the authority over all authorities, and the supreme power over all powers. In view of these tremendous facts, don't let anyone worry you by criticizing what you eat or drink, or what holy days you ought to observe, or bothering you over new moons or sabbaths. All these things have at most only a symbolical value: the solid fact is Christ. Nor let any human cheat you of your joy in Christ by persuading you to make yourselves "humble" and fall down and worship angels. Such a man, inflated by an unspiritual imagination, is pushing his way into matters he knows nothing about, and in his cleverness forgetting his Head. It is from the Head alone that the body, by natural channels, is nourished and built up and grows according to God's laws of growth. So if, through your faith in Christ, you are dead to the principles of this world's life, why, as if you were still part and parcel of this world-wide system, do you take the slightest notice of these purely human prohibitions: "Don't touch this," "Don't taste that" and "Don't handle the other"? "This", "that" and "the other" will all pass away after use! I know that these regulations look wise with their self-inspired efforts at worship, their policy of self-humbling, and their studied neglect of the body. But in actual practice they do honour, not to God, but to man's own pride. If you are then "risen" with Christ, reach out for the highest gifts of Heaven, where your Master reigns in power. Give your heart to the heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth. For, as far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden one in Christ." (Colossians 2:8-10, 16-23, 3:1-3) Phillips Translation

This portion from Colossians removes the need for human religion from having an active part in the believers walk in Christ. It is only religion that will tell you to taste not, touch not, handle not; not the living Christ. It is only religion that will tell you to observe certain days as if they are holier than any other day. It is only religion that places angels and dead saints in positions of worship. Only religion will keep you occupied with your flesh and call it heavenly, or God honoring obedience.

Christ tells us our lives are hidden in Him ( Colossians 3:3), the place where we can do nothing of ourselves to keep ourselves, or make ourselves or our salvation more secure, because not only are we hidden in Him, we are complete in Him as well (Colossians 2:10).

Paul tells us of this confidence he has for all believers:

"Having this same confidence, that He Who undertakes a good work among you, will be performing it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6)

That which is operating in all believers (the spirit of Christ) performing His work through us will continue to operate until the day of Jesus Christ, when He returns to gather all believers into His presence (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), and this operation will continue to operate in us on to end of the eons, and into the eternity. We can't stop it. We may ignore it for a season, but we can't stop it, we aren't that strong.

Not Us

"Become, then, imitators of God, as beloved children, and be walking in love, according as Christ also loves you, and gives Himself up for us, an approach present and a sacrifice to God, for a fragrant odor." (Ephesians 5:1-2)

No one or nothing can undo the sacrifice that Christ made to bring us all into God. His sacrifice opened the way where we can and will, through Christ, become imitators of God. As imitators of God we will walk in love, and truth, seeking both, and always looking to Christ who is the inaugurator and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Paul in these verses from Ephesians admonishes us to walk worthy of Christ, and a few verses later does warn those who would not, that they will not enjoy an allotment in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5).

An allotment in Christ is our highest position in the coming kingdom. Our salvation is another matter, it is something none of us in Christ should ever think or believe can be revoked.

Paul in Romans tells us that nothing can separate God's love from us:

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor messengers, nor sovereignties, nor the present, nor what is impending, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

That is what becoming an imitator of God is all about (Ephesians 5:1): Love. God is Love (1 John 4:8), and knowing His love, secures our minds and hearts with the knowledge that He will never stop loving us all. It gives us peace, when others point out our shortcomings, flaws and failures.

Would Love cast out a flawed person, a person who is created with a default chip that drives them away from God (Romans 3:11).

God's love would not.

God's Love would, and will, cause the person to realize that: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the transcendence of the power may be of God and not us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). The teaching of human effort would turn that around by saying, these earthen vessels have this transcendence power to make our way to God's love, or to fall out of His love.

The word transcendence means: existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.

In other words, we are not wired that way, God is, that is why it is all God and not us.

Once Saved Always Saved

"Now He Who is confirming us together with you in Christ, and anoints us, is God, Who also seals us and is giving the earnest of the spirit in our hearts." (1 Corinthians 1:21,22)

To be confirmed in Christ is the established truth that God has placed us in Christ, and God seals us by placing His spirit in our hearts.

"In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. The Spirit is the guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God's own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14) Amplified Version

We, who at present believe, are God's own purchased possession, sealed by holy spirit, and we in no way had a part in the purchase or the sealing. We were purchased before the disruption (foundation A.V) of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

God didn't look ahead in time and see who was going to believe, and He certainly didn't know for sure until we did (after-knowledge), He predestined (for-ordered) us to believe before we ever existed, and set the time we would believe. That is how sure our salvation is, and that is how secure our salvation is. How we know this is true is because it is all God's doing, not ours.

Unfortunately the majority believe in a god who hasn't a clue who will believe until they make a decision to believe. God, to them, is a god of after-knowledge. A god who waits to come into a realization of who will believe in Him. And once he realizes it, he waits to see who will have the human strength (super human strength) to become holy enough to make it to the finish line.

Why Proclaim The Evangel?

The truth is it is us who do not know who is set to believe, we didn't even know we would believe until we did. That is why we proclaim the evangel of the grace of God, because upon hearing the truth, those who have been chosen from before the disruption of the world will immediately believe (Acts 13:48). None need convincing to be saved, we believe as soon as we hear the true evangel. And we don't need our flesh to keep us secure in Christ, we know we are hidden in Him, and sealed by His holy spirit.

Only those who believe they made a decision by their own freewill struggle with their salvation and security in Christ. The true evangel they have not heard. Their salvation is believed to be gained or lost by their actions, and often times their mood swings, and also by the false teachings and understandings by controlling leaders.

To come to this truth that it is all God and not us, and we are being kept by Him, we only have to read the below portion of scripture from Paul to the Romans.

Paul tells us this in Romans 8:28-39:

"Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose
29 that, whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand, also, to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be Firstborn among many brethren.
30 Now whom He designates beforehand, these He calls also, and whom He calls, these He justifies also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also.
31 What then, shall we declare to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
32 Surely, He Who spares not His own Son, but gives Him up for us all, how shall He not, together with Him, also, be graciously granting us all?
33 Who will be indicting God's chosen ones? God, the Justifier?
34 Who is the Condemner? Christ Jesus, the One dying, yet rather being roused, Who is also at God's right hand, Who is pleading also for our sakes?
35 What shall be separating us from the love of God in Christ Jesus? Affliction, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
36 According as it is written that "On Thy account we are being put to death the whole day, We are reckoned as sheep for slaughter."
37 Nay! in all these we are more than conquering through Him Who loves us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor messengers, nor sovereignties, nor the present, nor what is impending, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord."

That is the "FOREKNOWLEDGE" of God, The Keeper of His purchased possession, our security we have in Him no matter what, revealed to us in twelve short verses. He foreknew us, He called us, He justified us, He glorifies us, and the reason for all this is so He can conform us into the image of His Son. How can a human accomplish or annul any of that by their own flesh?

Those who claim they can could be called a god of this eon, they have replaced the One God with a god of this eon, a god they look at in the mirror every morning, hoping it has the strength to keep them throughout the day, week, month, years, and onto eternity.

Part Four

The Word Becomes Void

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty (void), without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

In the beginning was the word, and the word was toward God, and God was the word. This was in the beginning toward God. All came into being through it, and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being. In it was life, and the life was the light of men ... And the Word became flesh and tabernacles among us, and we gaze at His glory, a glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-4,14)

In the world He was, and the world came into being through Him, and the world knew Him not. To His own He came, and those who are His own accepted Him not. Yet whoever obtained Him, to them He gives the right to become children of God, to those who are believing in His name, who were begotten, not of bloods, neither of the will of the flesh, neither of the will of a man, but of God." (John 1:10-13).

The "Word" (Christ) is the center of all. He is "THE ONE" Who is the Light. He is "THE ONE" that points all toward God. He is "THE ONE" that all came into existence through. And He is "THE ONE" through Whom we all become children of God. We do not become children of God by our will, or by our works, it is by the will of God. Those that deny this truth, by believing it is themselves that save, keep, or lose their salvation, have, in their hearts, made the Word that God sent forth void.

The first verses above from Isaiah tell us (figuratively) what THE WORD will accomplish in us. The rain and the snow (Word) do not return until they water the earth (us) making it bear and sprout, feeding all (sustaining us, not us sustaining ourselves). Without rain crops do not grow, in other words they do not grow by themselves, they need rain or the seed dies in the ground. So to is it with us. Only THE WORD can change us from carnal, soilish (relying on our flesh), to spiritual (relying on Christ), causing us to grow in Christ. We don't point ourselves toward God in our adamic bodies, only Christ can point us toward God. He is the Word sent out, He is the Word that will not return void of anything He was (and is) to accomplish within every believer, and eventually within all creation. With our soilish, carnal minds, we will often place self first (it is our default setting since the time of creation) instead of the Word sent, the Word that makes its home in us (Colossians 3:16). Those who believe they can keep or lose their salvation by their efforts, are self centered, and not Christ centered. They are slaves to their flesh, not slaves in Christ, whose servants are growing in truth and knowledge in Him, relying on Him, looking to Him.

Paul warns us of these people who place snares on our journey:

"Now I am entreating you, brethren, to be noting those who are making dissensions and snares beside the teaching which you learned, and avoid them, for such for our Lord Christ are not slaving, but for their own bowels, and through compliments and adulation are deluding the hearts of the innocent." (Romans 16:17-18)

Paul wrote in Colossians:

"Let no one, then, be judging you in food or in drink or in the particulars of a festival, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths, which are a shadow of those things which are impending -- yet the body is the Christ's. Let no one be arbitrating against you, who wants, in humility and the ritual of the messengers, to parade what he has seen, feignedly, puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, out of Whom the entire body, being supplied and united through the assimilation and ligaments, is growing in the growth of God." (Colossians 2:16-19)

A.E. Knoch's comments on this portion of scripture should be considered:

"Holding the Head" [Colossians 2:19] is a succinct expression of our duty as members of the Body of Christ. A conscious connection and subjection to Him as our Head will sever us from the things of the world, whether it be its religion (however divine its origin) or its philosophy. Any attempt to improve our position before God by physical means, whether it be an appeal to the senses or a curbing of its normal needs, denies our completeness in Christ."

We can do nothing to improve our position in salvation, it is secure. Where I believe confusion arises is our allotment in the coming eons. We are saved in grace, and we are kept in grace, but our allotment in the coming kingdom is not kept in grace, that is placed on us, by what we submit to in this life, and what spirit we submit to. Do we submit to the spirit of man, which is constantly telling us to clean ourselves up to be accepted? Or do we submit to the spirit of Christ which tells us we are already cleansed and accepted? Do we quench the spirit or do we submit to the spirit? Do we hold The Head up, or do we hold our head up?

"For is any of humanity acquainted with that which is human except the spirit of humanity which is in it? Thus also, that which is of God no one knows, except the spirit of God. Now we obtained, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may be perceiving that which is being graciously given to us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)

That Which Qualifies Our Allotment

We who believe in Christ and His finished work for us, and in us, have the spirit of God. And we have the knowledge that we have the spirit of God in us, which in turn gives us peace. The holy spirit has been given to us to reveal to us that we are in fact children of God, even though at present we live in a body that has no place in our allotment in the coming eons:

"Now this I am averring, brethren, that flesh and blood is not able to enjoy an allotment in the kingdom of God, neither is corruption enjoying the allotment of incorruption." (1 Corinthians 15:50)

Yet, many keep trying to beat this body of flesh and blood into holy submission, as if preparing it for heaven.

Religion has invented dozens, if not hundreds of ways they tell their followers how to gain access to Christ, as well as keep your place (salvation) secure.

Lent was invented so people could give something up for a period of time to show God they are worthy, and in their flesh they can submit to depravation. It glorifies the flesh, but God is not impressed.

Tithing is another security blanket that is handed off as a way to keep the fleshes check book in balance with God's accounting. The more you give the more blessing you will receive, again, it glorifies the flesh, and on a side note, God isn't short on cash, it has no value in the Kingdom of God, or in your walk in the Lord (Acts 8:20).

Church attendance is another security blanket many are told is necessary to keep you in Christ. If your attendance is sparse so will your knowledge of what God wants from you, and if you choose not to attend chances are you were never a believer and therefore lost (or so they say).

Yet the one thing we are told that will present us qualified to God is often avoided. From Paul:

"Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

Qualified means: officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job; certified.

This is our qualification for an allotment in the coming kingdom; what we know Christ has done for us, and in us, and that is only realized when we correctly cut (some versions say divide) the word of truth, revealing to us it is all Christ, from start to finish (Revelation 22:13, Colossians 2:10).

This does not mean that we are to live in total abandonment, but we are not to place ourselves under bondage either. We are to seek a balance, tuning our lives into a life that is well pleasing to the Lord (not humans), as we come into a greater realization of Him:

"Therefore we also, from the day on which we hear, do not cease praying for you and requesting that you may be filled full with the realization of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, you to walk worthily of the Lord for all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the realization of God." (Colossians 1:9-10)

If any continue to look at their flesh for relief, or believe submission to it is the qualifier between us and God, they have incorrectly cut the word of truth. They will be ashamed when they stand before Him with all their sacrifices, and all their works they claim they did. Upon believing this of themselves they have (unknowingly?) swept Christ aside, and placed themselves in front, deceiving themselves into believing that asceticism will bring them greater glory and a better allotment in the coming kingdom (if they even know, or are taught there is an allotment), which is to have a position in bringing all into Christ in the oncoming eons as Paul tells us:

"That now may be made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, through the ecclesia, the multifarious wisdom of God, in accord with the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10-11) "Or are you not aware that the saints shall judge the world?..... Are you not aware that we shall be judging messengers (angels A.V.), not to mention life's affairs?" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)

This allotment is only realized when we correctly cut the word of God.

We are to look ahead, not at ourselves, we are to see Christ working in us, and us in Christ, not us knocking at the door hoping we are worthy enough to get in, and once in, worthy enough to stay in. Paul in the verses before those two above from Ephesians tells us:

"To me, less than the least of all saints, was granted this grace: to bring the evangel of the untraceable riches of Christ to the nations, and to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secret, which has been concealed from the eons in God, Who creates all." (Ephesians 3:8-9)

How can anyone know this secret of the purpose of the eons if all they are concerned about, and taught, is their flesh must be placed under submission? They can't. They are too busy fixing something that can't be fixed, something that has no place in the up-coming eons. It actually has no place now, it is dead: "Be disposed to that which is above, not to that on the earth, for you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3). Why does anyone want to revive this dead flesh? The flesh has no allotment in the upcoming eons for the believer.

Submission: Is It The Flesh?

"You are our letter, engraven in our hearts, known and read by all men, for you are manifesting a letter of Christ, dispensed by us, and engraven, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets, but on the fleshy tablets of the heart. Now such is the confidence we have through Christ toward God(not that we are competent of ourselves, to reckon anything as of ourselves, but our competency is of God), Who also makes us competent dispensers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying." (2 Corinthians 3:2-6)

The best the flesh can do is place itself under religions regulations. That is its way of submission. That is the only way it can justify itself before God, by what it does, and doesn't do.

The flesh deceives itself every day, and all who submit to it do as well. It wakes itself up and tells itself what it will do for itself and for God, and by the time it rests its head on its pillow it has really only accomplished two things, it woke up, and went back to sleep. In between the majority of its plans it made, intended for God, never came to fruition. But for all those who rely on Christ, and the plans that God intended for them to do in His name, they did, and will do, because it is God working all things through us (Romans 9:19b, Proverbs 16:9).

Paul to the Thessalonians wrote:

"Now may the God of peace Himself be hallowing you wholly; and may your unimpaired spirit and soul and body be kept blameless in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ! Faithful is He Who is calling you, Who will be doing it also." (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

To hallow means to make holy; set apart for holy use.

As can be seen in these verses from Thessalonians, it is God who hallows us, and makes us holy.

We will only do as God has called us to do. We (the believer) are led by His spirit, not the spirit of humans, Paul tells us:

"For is any of humanity acquainted with that which is human except the spirit of humanity which is in it? Thus also, that which is of God no one knows, except the spirit of God. Now we obtained, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may be perceiving that which is being graciously given to us by God, which we are speaking also, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, matching spiritual blessings with spiritual words. Now the soulish man is not receiving those things which are of the spirit of God, for they are stupidity to him, and he is not able to know them, seeing that they are spiritually examined. Now he who is spiritual is, indeed, examining all, yet he is being examined by no one. For who knew the mind of the Lord? Who will be deducing from Him? Yet we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:11-16)

God is grooming us, not us grooming ourselves, He is the sustainer (Philippians 1:6, 2:13, 1 Corinthians 1:8). In this time of life He is preparing us for what is to be our allotment in the up-coming eons, and it is not our flesh that He is preparing.

In Christ we are blameless (as far as our salvation is concerned) in the presence of God, despite our fleshes many weaknesses. When Christ returns for us there will be no blame attached to us for not fulfilling all that God intended for us to do in Christ's name, because God will have accomplished all He intended to do through us: "Faithful is He Who is calling you, Who will be doing it also."

Yes He uses these bodies of ours to work through now, but He also knows our bodies are only capable of so much. They are designed to perish (Genesis 3:19), they are faulty, not that the design is faulty, the raw material is, it is corruptible: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:53) That is why trying to bring this flesh into subjection to some religions understanding of what God expects, thinking it will be pleasing to God, is futile. We must be in tune to God, and what He is doing in and through us by spirit, not flesh, once this is realized the knowledge of peace and security will follow.