The victory for a child of God, in every situation and under every circumstance, rests in the right way of believing. When a child of God fails to have the right way of believing it is open season for the adversary to attack, to injure, to defeat God's most precious and beloved child. The ultimate truth concerning the right way of believing is to know that the power and presence of God is in and with every one of His children. Situations and circumstances are irrelevant. What is relevant is the Biblical truth that God is always with every one of His children and His power is within every one of His children. Nothing can separate a child of God from the love and power of his Heavenly Father.
Oft times Christianity teaches that God left His son when he was hanging on the cross. They say God left because He couldn't stand sin and Jesus Christ became sin for us. This logic is a lie from the pit of hell. First, Jesus did not become sin, he was the perfect sin offering for all of mankind. Second, if God could not stand to be in the presence of sin, then He would have abandoned man when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. Thirdly, the Word of God declares that the Father did not leave His son.
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Even in going to the cross Jesus was doing the will of his Father. Sacrificing his life was pleasing to his Father because it redeemed mankind from the slavery of the Devil. How then could we ever say that God had abandoned His son?
Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Christianity has taught this doctrine of abandonment because of a bad translation of a verse in the gospels and because early Christian leaders of the first few centuries had major issues with sin consciousness.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli (Eloi in Mark), lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
The funny looking words in that verse are Aramaic. This is how an Aramaic Scholar translated this verse:
And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, Eli, Eli, lmana shabachthani! which means, My God, My God, for this I was kept!
What does it mean, "for this I was kept"? It means it was his purpose to be sacrificed on the cross and that between the hours of noon and three Jesus would die, just as the Passover lamb was killed and prepared for the Passover that would begin at sunset.
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Jesus Christ was hanging on the cross by the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." Jesus Christ wasn't asking why his Father had left him. He was calling out to God that this was it, this was the big point of his coming, to be the real Passover lamb! He was drinking of the cup God had set before him when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane. The seed of the woman from Genesis three had succeeded in defeating the adversary of God and redeeming mankind. This was a moment of accomplishment. This was a moment of victory. But somehow, Christianity has turned this moment of great victory into a moment of utter despair.
Those who are called the "Father's of the Church" gave Christianity its first understanding of these words in their writings. The real question is, did these church father's understand the Word of God accurately since they think God abandoned His son?
The Canaanite woman understood the promise of God but misunderstood the ministry of Jesus Christ. The nation of Israel not only misunderstood the ministry of Jesus Christ, they also misunderstood the promise of God. Today, Christianity makes the nation of Israel, in the times of Christ, look like a people who had full and complete awareness of what the Messiah came to accomplish. The modern church operates like the church at Galatia where wrong doctrine had been practiced for so long that they now thought it was right doctrine.
One of the problems with Israel was that they had elevated their oral traditions above the knowledge of God as written in his Word. Their leaders were ignorant of God's heart and God's Will, much like Job's miserable comforters. They, the Pharisees, proclaimed they knew and understood the scriptures but failed to identify the Christ standing in front of them.
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Today, what is known as mainstream Christianity is lead by men who are almost wholly ignorant of God's heart and God's Will. They too have placed the traditions of men above the knowledge of God. They elevate the doctrine of their denominations and the man who started their denomination. This logic is no different than the carnality that confronted the children of God in Corinth who decided to choose between Apollos, and Paul, and Cephas. Denominations and divisions based upon carnality. There is but One Body and One Church in the Administration of Grace. The same Body of Christ existed in Rome, and in Corinth, and in Galatia. All had received the measure of the accomplished believing of Jesus Christ. All had received the same access into the grace of God. All shared fully in all that was made available in Christ.
All the different denominations elevate the so called "Church Fathers" picking and choosing a line here and a line there to fit what they already believe. Common sense tells you that these so called "Church Fathers" could not possibly agree with every denomination. Christianity has elevated men and their traditions above the knowledge of God. However, if as a Christian, you choose to look for a father in the Word, you should look to the apostle Paul.
1 Corinthians 4:15
For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
This is a believer’s real father in the Word. This is the man who received the revelation pertaining to the Administration of Grace, the gospel of grace. Those who are called the "Fathers of the Church" are men who are an outgrowth of those who turned from the doctrine the apostle Paul taught. Before the apostle Paul died all those who had believed in Asia Minor, which includes Ephesus, Colossi, and the churches in Galatia, had turned away from Paul and what Paul had taught them.
2 Timothy 1:15
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
The right way of believing was a thing of the past before the first century had come to a close. Paul had an understanding of what the world endeavors to do to the right way of believing. Remember Elymas, a man groomed by the system of the world, a man that was the enemy of all righteousness, a man committed to distorting the right way of believing. The last record in God's Word of Paul visiting the leaders of Ephesus had him speaking to them of the world sending in wolves and even of their own leaders corrupting the words of God.
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
While traveling from Corinth to Jerusalem Paul stopped in a place called Miletus and asked to meet with the leadership from Ephesus.
And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul reminded the leadership how he had lived with them and how he had taught them. He didn't do this to make them into "little" Pauls but rather to remind them of his ways in Christ.
1 Corinthians 4:17
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
Paul didn't need disciples. He needed men and women that would be followers of Christ, as Christ was a follower of God.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Paul endeavored to communicate to these leaders how they should conduct themselves among the family of God. Remember I mentioned the chasm that separated man from his One true God. The purpose of Jesus Christ in spanning that chasm was not for man to be able to fellowship with or to follow another man.
Paul wanted others to follow him but only in those ways in which he followed Christ, who always followed God. The purpose in spanning the chasm was for man to once again be able to fellowship with God, to restore the one-on-one fellowship lost in the Garden when sin entered the picture.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Paul knew that after he was gone from Ephesus that grievous wolves would come in and attack the believers and even some of the leaders sitting with him would speak perverse things to get believers to follow them. God doesn't want us to follow men, that's why God had Paul reprove His children at Corinth for declaring "I am of Apollos" and "I am of Paul." God wants us to follow his son Jesus Christ, to follow him all the way into the living room of God's love, so that our fellowship is first and foremost with our Heavenly Father.
Yes, believers are to teach one another and we are to learn from one another. But the purpose of teaching is to make known Jesus Christ and what God accomplished through Jesus Christ. The purpose of teaching is never to make known the teacher as someone special or more important than any other member of the Body of Christ. A teacher who is looking for disciples in this day and time, is a teacher that thinks too highly of himself.
We have seen this word translated "perverse" in Acts 20:30. It was used of Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13 who tried to "turn away" Sergius Paulus from the right way of believing. The Greek word means to turn aside or to distort. Paul declared that the world would send in "grievous wolves" and that leaders he had taught would distort God's Word, distort the right way of believing so that they could have their own disciples.
2 Timothy 2:18
Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
The word faith in this verse is pistis, the right way of believing. The word translated "erred" means to "deviate from." Due to Christian leadership deviating from the truth, the right way of believing gets overthrown or subverted. The cure, or solution, for this is stated a few verses before in verse 15.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Every child of God should study God's Word on their own. By that I don't mean they can't study with other believers, but rather, regardless of what else is available by way of a group study, each child of God needs to study God's Word for himself or herself. Never does God tell us to simply take another man's word for what He has said to His children. A Father deals with children individually, for a father understands that each child is unique and special.
If you were the only person who ever would have believed the words God had written after the ascension of Jesus Christ, He still would have had those words written so that you could believe. You personally knowing your Heavenly Father is of the utmost importance to Him because you personally are of the utmost importance to Him. He is your Father.
2 Timothy 2:16
But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Profane and vain babblings amounts to discussions of meaningless, useless, or empty matters. Too much of modern Christianity is about profane and vain babblings learned from false church father's who had turned from our real father in God's Word, the apostle Paul. Rather than look to the letters of these men we should be looking to the letters of the apostle Paul, Romans through Philemon.
Those who have been called the "Church Fathers" prevented the children of God from studying for themselves. For centuries they taught that the average person couldn't begin to understand God or His Word. So these "Church Fathers" volunteered to interpret the Word of God for them. All this accomplished was to give these leaders disciples of their own! Did these men lead believers into the living room of God's love, or lead them into the bondage and oppression of an all powerful Christian hierarchy based more on idolatry than the accomplishments of Jesus Christ?
2 Timothy 3:8
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
The wolves who came in from the outside and the leaders who looked for their own disciples at Ephesus withstood the words of Paul, they resisted the truth. Remember it was Elymas who withstood Paul and Barnabas before Sergius Paulus, the same Greek word is used here in Timothy for the word withstood and the word resist. The Greek word for reprobate is adokimos.
In the ancient world money was generally made of soft metals because soft metal was easier to imprint. All money had a required amount or weight of the specific metal. Some would shave a little off the side of the coin thus lowering its required weight. But other men would use only full weighted money. These men were known to be honest, they were considered men of integrity. These men of integrity were called dokimos.
In the Greek when a word has the prefix "a" it means not. Those who resist the truth are men with corrupt minds, they lack integrity concerning the right way of believing, they are reprobate concerning the right way of believing, they are adokimos.
Before the first century had come to a close, leaders, those who were actually believers, arose that turned away from the right way of believing. They resisted the truth, they withstood the truth, they were adokimos! For nineteen hundred years Christianity has been served many false doctrines and worldly traditions learned from men that shaved the truth of God's Word.
How many Christian theologians have taught a person must be baptized in water in order to be saved? How many Bible Scholars teach water baptism as a necessary public declaration of a professed belief in Christ? Yet what did John the Baptist say?
I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
What did Jesus Christ say just prior to his ascension?
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Why then are we still dipping, sprinkling, and immersing? Why are we arguing over which form of water baptism is the correct Christian method? Because centuries ago an adokimos decided water baptism was what we needed to do. Then, other men who were adokimos made different declarations concerning different methods of getting people wet.
The Didache is a late first century, early second century document that supposedly is the teachings of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. We've already seen the problem with this document in light of the Canaanite woman and Jesus going to the Gentiles. Yet mainstream Christianity has heard the Didache concerning baptism.
It says, "…if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you can not do so in cold water, then in warm. If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand."
Chapter and verse please! This is adokimos! This is shaving the truth of God's Word for some man's tradition!
Why are we still doing these things? Because they are the tradition, much like the Pharisees that held their oral traditions higher than the words of God. Just because a man said something thousands of years ago, and his saying has survived the passage of time, does not make that saying accurate or true Biblically.
No one today is instructed to water baptize for salvation nor is anyone instructed to perform water baptism as a public demonstration of an internal belief. Can someone undergo a public ceremony of water baptism to proclaim himself a Christian? Yes, if that is what he personally desires. But to proclaim its necessity for salvation, or public declaration in the Administration of Grace, is not found in God's Word. It is not found in the letters the apostle Paul left for the children of God. The letters of Clement aren't in my Bible but the letters of Paul are recorded and declared to be God-breathed!
There is a group of modern Bible Scholars and Theologians that have a saying they seem very pleased to proclaim repeatedly, "If it's new, it ain't true." Are they saying that they know and understand the entire Bible? That there is nothing new they can learn or be taught? That thought is the height of arrogance and self delusion. There was another group of men, in the days of Jesus Christ, that held a similar view. They were known as Pharisees.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
These Pharisees believed, pisteuo. But they also believed that men should be circumcised and that believers should keep the law of Moses. If Christ was THE Passover sacrifice why would you continue to sacrifice a lamb? Wrong practice left uncorrected becomes wrong doctrine. Wrong doctrine can only produce wrong believing, consider the churches in Galatia.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (pisteuo).
Why would a person want the temporary relief from sin given by the Law verses the permanent removal of sin in the sacrifice of Christ? The logic of the believing Pharisees was faulty to the point of producing wrong doctrine and thus wrong believing. This is what happened within the church before the end of the first century. Unbelieving believers corrupted the right way of believing by introducing wrong doctrine.
What do I mean by unbelieving believers?
I am referring to men and women who have believed to the point of salvation, to the point of being identified in Christ but have failed to renew their minds according to the doctrine taught by our true father in God's Word, the apostle Paul.
Every believer contends with renewing his or her mind, it is a great challenge. But those who make their un-renewed mind the new doctrine are the leaders spoken of from Ephesus that are simply drawing away disciples to themselves.
In the gospel of Mark, in the third chapter Jesus chose the apostles. These men who are called apostles are men that believed. Now consider what takes place in the fourth chapter of Mark as these same men fail to believe God because they do not understand the power of God over the elements of the world.
And the same day, when the even was come, he (Jesus) saith unto them (the twelve), Let us pass over unto the other side.
Since Jesus always did the will of God, you can say that it is God's will, God's intent that they pass over to the other side of the sea of Galilee. This then becomes a promise of God that when they get into the boat they will reach the other side of the sea.
And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
Jesus understands it is the will of God for them to go to the other side. He is so convinced they are going to the other side of the sea that he is taking some time to get a little shut eye while he is away from the crowds. But these believing disciples, who have just been ordained apostles in chapter three, are so unbelieving in this particular situation that they fear for their lives because of the storm.
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Jesus, not missing a beat in his accomplished walk of believing, simply gets up and rebukes the wind and tells the sea to be still. This is the difference between accomplished believing and believing in some situations and not believing in other situations. The walk of accomplished believing is the walk of Jesus Christ. The walk that sometimes believes God and sometimes doesn't believe God is the walk that other men have with God.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Did the twelve have no pistis? Yes, of course they had pistis, they were his chosen apostles! But in this particular situation they had no believing. In this situation they were unbelieving believers. Remember Abraham had apistia, or unbelief in his life, manifested in his having a child with Hagar. God can work with unbelief, with apistia. God can help a person fill in any gaps in understanding, any gaps in knowledge. But you have to have a meekness to His Word to remove your apistia. "If it's new, it ain't true" is devoid of meekness and therefore helpless in removing apistia.
There was a man who had a child who had a devil spirit. The man brought his child to the disciples of Jesus but they were unable to cast out the demon. When Jesus arrived on the scene the father immediately approached Jesus for help for his child.
And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe (pisteuo), all things are possible to him that believeth (pisteuo).
The father had believing, he demonstrates his believing by bringing his child to the disciples of Jesus. In a few minutes of speaking with the father Jesus identifies the problem, the father has unbelief, apistia.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe (pisteuo); help thou mine unbelief (apistia).
The father said, "If you can do anything" and Jesus said, "If you can believe." The believing was the responsibility of the father, the child's parent.
There are situations when a person is incapable of believing to receive the promise of God therefore believing is required of another, in this case the child's parent. Believing, right believing, is the only way to appropriate the promises of God. When a person is incapable of believing, such as a child, the parent is required to believe in order to receive the promise. Consider the Canaanite woman and her daughter, who was the one with great believing?
Many Christians today are unbelieving believers when it comes to receiving healing from our Heavenly Father. Why? Because many have never been taught that God heals! Far too often Christians have been taught the exact opposite, that God is the one who makes you sick in order to teach you some sort of lesson. To believe that God makes you sick rather than heals you is wrong believing. This is the type of doctrine we have received from the "Fathers of the Church" but it is not the doctrine we have received from our father in God's Word, the apostle Paul.
Consider: if God wanted you sick to teach you something, why did Jesus go about healing people?
What about the tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ in late December? It was a compromise, a shaving off of the truth to get some pagans into the church and make those pagans not feel a need to change their idol worship. Paul corrected the Corinthian believers because they kept some of their old idolatrous ways and endeavored to incorporate them into their fellowships.
Why is it okay for us but wrong for the Corinthians?
Shall we discuss forbidding people to marry, or abstaining from meats? Shall we discuss being judged in respect of a holy day? Shall we count how Christian leaders have squeezed three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning? This is shaving bits and pieces off of the truth of God's Word until Christian theology is adokimos.
Shall we discuss a believer’s justification, or his righteousness, or his sanctification, or his citizenship in heaven, or being a joint-heir with Christ, or a believers standing before God as being holy and without blame?
Shall we discuss the gospel of grace that is scorned in modern Christianity and those who teach God's grace being ridiculed and slandered? Shall we discuss dispensations or Christ's return to gather his church of the One Body? Shall we discuss God's new creation within each of His children or the manifestation of that new creation?
We are in need of something new for the way of the last nineteen centuries have robbed many believers of the right way of believing and thus, the promises of God. The average Christian has unbelief and the wrong way of believing because our leaders have followed men, "Father's of the Church", who are from a time when they had turned away from the apostle Paul. Modern theologians have turned Christianity into the New Church of Galatia.
The children of God deserve to be taught the right way of believing. But how can our theologians do that when they hold firm to the conviction that they already know everything concerning God and His Word. To teach the right way of believing you must first have an integrity for the Word of God. But today's theologian has a greater integrity for men than they do for God and His Word.
So what is the average child of God left with when we come to the end of the day?
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The Greek word translated "fables" is mythos. I'm sure you recognize this from our English word myths. The dictionary defines a myth as, "a tradition or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature."
We have no need of myths. Myths are a game of pretend for those who have wrong doctrine. Right doctrine issues in the right way of believing. The right way of believing appropriates the promises of God. Right doctrine is found in the letters we have from the apostle Paul and not from the letters we have of the so called "Father's of the Church."
It's time for the Galatians to return to the Epistle to the Romans.