fool-proofBy Ken Blue

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” John 17:4.

This may be one of the greatest chapters in the Bible. It certainly is the greatest of all prayer. It is truly “the Lord’s prayer.” Any pastor looking for a text that affords a great series of sermons, will find a gold mine in John 17.

However, as many attempt to establish a doctrinal point, it is not uncommon for men to go to any passage anywhere in the Bible to search for such a verse. That was vividly demonstrated in a book recently given to me by a fellow pastor. The entire purpose of the book was to establish the perpetuity of the Baptist church. After several chapters, the author used the above verse as proof that Jesus had finished the work His Father gave Him to do. That is, the establishment of the Baptist Church.

Now, you have to be desperate to conclude that this chapter is about the establishing of today’s church. This is a prayer to the Father, stating how the Son had glorified Him by doing His work and will. The work was not “finished,” but the prayer anticipates His work on Calvary.

The Achilles heel of many believers is the belief that Jesus came to Israel to start, and establish the church, which is His body. It is evident from the four gospels, and early Acts period that was not the case. The purpose and ministry of Jesus Christ was not to establish the local church. His purpose was to set up an earthly Kingdom of Heaven, with Jerusalem as its capitol.

The church, down through history, has taken the writings of Paul, and read them back into the Kingdom of Heaven ministry. Many of the early church fathers went even further, and have the present church in the Old Testament.  This may be one of the greatest errors of the church. Many, wrongly assume that when the Lord said in Matthew 16:18-19,18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19, that He was speaking of the present church. They fail to see that Jesus was speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that Peter and the eleven would preside over it. “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28. This will be the restored church that was in the wilderness. “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:” Acts 7:38.

The book of HEBREWS speaks to this church. “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” Hebrews 2:11-13. The quote is from Psalms 22, and Isaiah 8:18. Look at the context, and you will see that the “church” is the congregation of Jews who will rule, and rejoice in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yes, the work the Father gave Jesus at His First Advent was finished. However, there is still work to be done, and it will be done at the Second Advent, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!



Confession of Sins

By Dave Reese

A short answer on “confession of sins” and “forgiveness of sins”:

Our sins have all been paid for by Christ’s death–past, present, future and we are now seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2). That is a POSITIONAL, eternal guarantee of never needing any more of anything to PAY that debt and have this position.

The longer answer…

However, the problem is that we are still down here on earth and drag around an old man who can get us in a lot of trouble (he can’t get us out of Christ down here because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day God redeems this flesh. ( Romans 8; Ephesians 4:30). Because of this many try to deal with this problem and pull anything they find to answer it. Of course without right division, there is confusion and error.

When we sin NOW, after being saved, we are walking according to the flesh. We are acting just like the old man before we were saved and sealed. The old man (what the Bible also calls “the flesh”) is running the show.

Ephesians 2 gives us our eternal security question answer. Ephesians 4 gives us our what happens when we sin AFTER salvation question, which sin is more often and other than most people think!!

Ephesians 4 says “put off the old man” and “put on the new man”. How do you do that? Reading the chapter makes it clear that we must do this not only daily but continually. IT IS NOT GETTING OR KEEPING SALVATION BECAUSE IF THAT IS SO–ALL THE OTHER SAID IN EPHESIANS 2 IS A LIE AND CHRIST’S WORK WAS IMPERFECT TO SAVE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK OF SEALING UNTO THE DAY OF THE BODY REDEMPTION IS WEAK.

Putting off the old man and putting on the new man–the NEED and RESULTS are described in detail in Ephesians 4 but details on HOW are broadly given. Why? I think because men are not the same in many ways although they are in others. For me, I may need to pray for one hour to get done what you only need to pray for 10 minutes. I may need to read many verses and pray, meditate, seek, plead, whatever for some time before I can have confidence my attitude and action is right. Does this involve asking God to forgive you for disobedience? YES. Does it mean that if you do not do it, you are lost? NO.

Scripture forbids us in this age of Grace to think our prayers and works of righteousness save us in addition to Christ’s work and Righteousness. (Titus 3:5). In other ages a man’s faith was his righteousness (Hab 2:4) and required for salvation because he was not sealed by the Spirit and he was only under the blood of bulls and goats. Romans 11:5-6 is clear that salvation is NO MORE of works, which is a good indication it WAS OF WORKS in the past. And, indeed when you read the passages regarding those times, faith with works were required. God tells us in Eph 2:8-9 that salvation in “NOT OF WORKS” in Romans 11:6 “NO MORE OF WORKS” and Titus 3:5 “NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”. Praying, living right, going to church, etc., etc., are WORKS of righteousness.