Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: January 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Faith Versus the World

Faith Versus the World

Reverence for the Word of God is a quality of faith that often slips from our thought life like butter on a warm knife.  Because the Bible is so readily available to most believers, they tend to forget that the Words upon its pages are holy Words that have come from the very heart and mind of God.  In other words, God has taken the time to communicate with humanity in a manner that transcends generations in the written Word of God. 

The word bible just means book.  However, the adjective holy has been used for millennia to describe God’s Book.  The adjective holy distinguishes God’s Book as something unique and uncommon.  It is not like common books written by men. 

God’s Book should be reverenced and treated with the utmost respect.  The utmost expression of disrespect towards God’s Book is to ignore it and not read it, or not study it.  Such disrespect is the epitome of hypocrisy when it comes to defining “the faith.”  The outward manifestation of reverencing the Word of God is the devoted veneration (respect or awe) of God Who has so meticulously sought to communicate His will to humanity since the beginning of creation.  All true worship of God begins with reverencing His Word extending into the priority of our lives and time with knowing what He has said and why He has said it and living those truths (James 1:22). 

The words “the faith” in the Bible refers to a singular dogmatic systematic theology established through a literal, historical, and grammatical hermeneutic.  Therefore, when a person understands the Bible and believes the Bible, “the faith” generated by that knowledge and belief also creates a very specific world view.  A Bible based world view exposes Satan’s agenda in the world.  Satan’s corrupted worldview is any degree of deception regarding “the faith.”  

The ultimate goal of Satan’s agenda is the destruction of all humanity through the corruption of “the faith.”  “The faith” is God’s rescue vehicle for those deceived by Satan and who are brought under God’s curse upon this world by Satan’s corruption of “the faith.”  The words “the world” in the Bible refer to the corrupting satanic influences intent upon the corruption of “the faith” and ultimately the destruction of all humanity. 

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly {distinctly and with surety}, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils {sources of departure}; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (I Timothy 4:1-5).

The phrase “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1) refers to the constant barrage and influence of false doctrines by false teachers that threaten every local church.  False doctrine always comes connected to a false teacher and almost always enters a local church covertly (“unawares”; Galatians 2:4 and Jude 1:4). 

This Epistle was written to Timothy at Ephesus.  Paul left Timothy at Ephesus to combat the constant onslaught of false teachers seeking to influence this very large community of believers as these false teachers sought to gather followers for themselves out of the local churches.  Paul had personally discipled Timothy for this purpose.  Timothy was a true shepherd trained to guard and protect the sheep from the wolves.  There is not greater sorrow for a pastor than to see a young lamb carried off by a ravenous, self-serving wolf

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (I Timothy 1:1-4).

Although Colosse and Ephesus were about one-hundred and twenty miles apart, all the false doctrines mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians were the same false doctrines Timothy had to guard against at Ephesus (Legalism, Asceticism, Mysticism, and Gnosticism).  These, and every derivation imaginable, were enemies of “the faith” needing complete eradication from the local churches.  These false doctrines have morphed themselves into thousands of variations over the last two millennia. 

Pastors and congregations MUST become aware of these false doctrines and the many new high-bred variations that come every few years like “waves of the sea” (Jude 1:13).  This is the constant watching and warning (Acts 20:31) ministry of the pastors and church leaders in every local church.  Without this watching and warning ministry of church leadership people (those having been discipled), the simple (the undiscipled) will easily be led astray from “the faith” and take captive by false doctrines.  Every individual believer must understand the danger that exists to him in his own ignorance of the Word of God and in his apathy towards being discipled. 

Notice that the method of seduction is falsehoods, or teaching that has no foundation in the inspired Scriptures.  “Lies” are distortions, twists, corruptions, and slight alterations of the truth so that the “lies” seem like they come from the Word of God.  However, God’s Word says they speak these “lies in hypocrisy.”  The meaning of the word “hypocrisy” is pretense, deceit, and dissimulation.  In other words, these false teachers put forth a false persona presenting themselves as authorities on Scripture when they were really charlatans; wolves in sheep’s clothing

The whole Church Age is part of the “latter times” (I Timothy 4:1).  The “latter times” is the historical period preceding the coming of Messiah Jesus to establish His Kingdom on Earth.  These “latter times” are the last days of Satan’s onslaught against “the faith” before he is bound for a thousand years to be released only for “a little season” (Revelation 20:3) at the end of the Kingdom Age.  Therefore, the danger of influence of “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (II Timothy 4:1) was immediate to every Christian even during the Apostolic period of Church history.  In fact, most of the epistles were written to correct the corruptions of false doctrines entering the churches within the first thirty to forty years of the Church Age. 

The proliferation of false doctrine through the centuries has been a constant barrage of diversification and division (heresy) reducing true Christianity (“the faith”) to an ever-decreasing remnant minority.  If there is one historical constant seen throughout the Bible, it is the failure of future generations to learn from the failures of their preceding generations.  This is certainly true of Church history.

Professing Christians at the end of the Twentieth Century and beginning of the Twenty-first Century are almost completely ignorant of Church history.  Christians are not only ignorant of Church history, they are completely apathetic towards reading or learning Church history.  Winston Churchill once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Churchill was rephrasing what the Italian philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Generation after generation have repeated the failures of their ancestors. 

This fact is emphasized by the pastor who asked one of his deacons why church members seemed so apathetic towards church services and the outreach ministries of the church, to which the deacon replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”  The point is that modern day believers, who understand the struggle in contending for the faith, must see the many examples of this “earnestly contending for the faith” in epistles of the Bible and become a continuum in the battle. 

Faithful believers understand that the battle for “the faith” is constant and losses are measured by degrees of compromise of doctrine and values.  Doctrines are life governing beliefs established by understanding God’s Word.  Values are practices defining holiness determined by the applications of believed doctrines upon every detail of our lives.  Faithful believers understand they fight to maintain “the faith” for their own generation to ensure that “the faith” is passed onto to the next generation.  The next generation must also know that they must fight to maintain “the faith.” 

Passing on the trait of militancy regarding being on guard against compromising doctrines and values is as important as establishing the doctrines and values.  Learning to fight for “the faith” is as important as establishing “the faith,” because if the responsibility to fight for “the faith” is not part of the passing from generation to generation, the next generation will lose doctrine and values in huge ways.  The history of the failure of Christianity is the constant failure of various generations of Christians to produce another generation because that present generation failed to pass on doctrine, values, and militancy. 

True Christians believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible as God’s holy Word and that God’s Word is the dictates of His will for humanity.  However, there are many in the wide chasm of corruption known by various categories of Evangelicalism who give lip service to the inspiration of the Bible.  The reason it is mere lip service is because they do not see the preaching/teaching of “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), beginning with corruptions of the Gospel and the five biblically defined responses necessary to salvation (repent, believe, confess, call, and receive).
     Historically, there have been three governing principles regarding what should be allowed as worship in the Church, by which is meant collective local churches.  These three governing principles are determined by various views of Sola Scriptura – meaning the Bible Alone.  The ultimate view of Sola Scriptura is that the Bible alone is the ultimate, final authority, and defining factor for life and practice. 

1. The Inventive Principle, which allows for the episcopal hierarchy of Church denominations (Conventions, Synods, denominational hierarchies; biblically there are no such things) to evolve, develop, and invent various worship practices, music styles, or use items such as statues, pictures, or building structures to aid in worship.  In the Inventive Principle, the Bible (Sola Scriptura) is not the final authority for life and practice. 
2. The Normative Principle, which is simply an extension of a weak position on Sola Scripturawhatever the Bible does not disallow, we allow.  Simply stated, what is not forbidden is permitted.  Therefore, if the Bible is silent on certain practices, these practices should be permitted.  This is the argument used to justify various worldly music styles in worship music as well as making worship as casual as a trip to the beach; flip flops and shorts.
3. The Regulative Principle, which is a much stricter view of Sola Scriptura – is whatever is not commanded is forbidden.  In other words, if the Bible does not give clear instructions on something, do not do it (Romans 14:23). 

At the time of the writing of the New Testament books of the Bible, most of the world worshiped pagan idols with very worldly and licentious practices.  Part of the worship of these pagan idols was bringing animals to the pagan priests to offer before the idols.  The pagan priests would offer a portion of the animal as a burnt sacrifice and then sell the rest of the meat at their own butcher-shops to support themselves.  Most people in the cities would purchase this sacrificial meat from these priests believing the meat had a special blessing from the gods upon it.  The discussion among the Christians, now converted from paganism, was whether it was righteous to eat meat sacrificed to idols. 

The Regulative Principle even extends itself into questionable areas of Christian liberty as detailed in Romans chapter fourteen.  In Romans14:14-23, God defines moral responsibility regarding consideration of the convictions of others.  Romans chapter fourteen is actually addressing the Normative Principle and correcting its fallacious premises.  Simply because the Bible does not give us a dogmatic yes or no regarding an issue of life does not mean we should automatically take liberty in that issue. 

The Regulative Principle takes into consideration the convictions of others regarding things to which the Bible does not necessarily give a dogmatically yes or no.  The reason we have this chapter in the Bible is simple.  Paul could just as easily have given a yes or no regarding eating meat sacrificed to idols and settled the matter for everyone forever.  He does not!  The reason he does not is because there will always be these kinds of questionable things that will arise over the centuries, hundreds and thousands in fact.  Instead, a governing Regulative Principle is given regarding any such questions – the first consideration in questionable things is that if you cannot do something with a clear conscience based upon a foundation of faith in knowledge of Bible doctrine, do not do it (Romans 14:23).  The second consideration is that if another believer holds to a contrary conviction regarding something being wrong before God, if possible, do not take liberty and offend his convictions. 

14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth {estimates or concludes} any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat {because you eat meat sacrificed to idols because you know it is still just meat}, now walkest thou not charitably {it is unloving not to consider his convictions}. Destroy not him {his desire for strong convictions and values} with thy meat {because you eat meat sacrificed to idols}, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of {by eating the meat before those who condemn such practices, you bring criticism upon yourself and your testimony will be marred}: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink {the purposes of God are much more important than your selfish liberties in what you can eat or drink}; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost {these are the important things}. 18 For he that in these things {‘righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost’} serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things {‘righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost’} which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20 For {liberty to eat} meat {sacrificed to idols} destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God {privately rather than publicly}. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin {whatever you cannot do with a perfectly clear conscience knowing it to be right before God based upon Bible knowledge}” (Romans 14:14-23).

      The dogma of the Regulative Principle for worship is to eliminate the anything goes argument simply because the Bible may be silent on something.  Chapter I of the 1689 London Baptist Confession[1], although a Reformed Baptist Confession, makes two clear statements regarding the Regulative Principle of which most Bible believers would affirm and agree.

“Paragraph 1: The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in diversified manners to reveal Himself, and to declare (that) His will unto His church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now completed. (2 Tim. 3:15-17; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29,31; Eph. 2:20; Rom. 1:19-21, 2:14, 15; Psalm 19:1-3; Heb. 1:1; Prov. 22:19-21; Rom. 15:4; 2 Pet. 1:19, 20)”
“Paragraph 6: The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.  Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word, and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed. (2 Tim. 3:15-17; Gal. 1:8, 9; John 6:45; 1 Cor. 2:9-12; 1 Cor. 11:13,14; 1 Cor. 14:26, 40)”

          The “whole counsel of God” is essentially the Regulative Principle for preaching and worship.  Without the people knowing the “whole counsel of God,” it would be very easy to manipulate their ignorance into worship practices abhorrent to God.  The cultural foundations for what is described in II Timothy 3:1-9 began to move away from the Regulative Principle within Evangelical Christianity in 1965.  This corruption of the Regulative Principle has come to be known as PositivismPositivism is a radical philosophy integrating rationalistic psychology into the presentation of Bible truth. 

The approach of Positivism understands that people psychologically resist negative statements and even statements that they view as being critical.  In other words, people tend to avoid discussions that make them uncomfortable.  Therefore, this psychological approach to Church Growth philosophies taught preachers to simply avoid or deemphasize any Scriptures or teaching that might carry a negative or critical connotation.  It was not long before people were mentally (psychologically) conditioned to view any negative comments or critical teaching as offensive and judgmental.  Because of this psychological conditioning, people immediately closed their spirits to anything that is being said in that their mindset categorized that preacher as a radical who did not deserve to be heard or considered.  This is from where the word preachy evolved. 

The history of the world cannot really be understood apart from the history of the Church and the devolution of corruption in false doctrines and persecution of true Christians.  Up to 70 A.D. and the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman Empire, the unbelieving Jews and the pagan Romans unmercilessly persecuted Christians wherever they were found.  After 70 A.D. both Jews and Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire. 


In the early part of the 4th century (312 A.D.), Roman Emperor Diocletian died, leaving succession to his throne in dispute.  Two forces rose.  One led by Constantine of the West (Britain and Gaul) and the other by Maxentius in the East.  Maxentius marched his forces toward Constantine’s and they met at a little river in Italy at a place called the Milvian Bridge.
     Constantine made a vow the night before the battle that if he won, he would become a Christian.  He claimed to see a Cross in the sky (probably the Baal tear drop cross of the occult) with the Latin inscription: 'hoc signo vinces', meaning “In this sign conquer.”
     Constantine was a Baalist.  His means of being deceived was his own greed for power.  This is like what Satan’s attempted in his temptation of Christ in Luke 4:5-8.  Although Constantine may not have been aware of what he did, he made a pack with Satan to make the world Christian when all he really did was paganize Christianity.  

     Constantine made his paganized Christianity the state religion.  Constantine’s Christianity would become a new kind of Christianity, not Christ’s kind.  Many Christians accepted this escape from persecution and traded their purity and faithfulness to Christ for it.  They traded PURITY for PEACE!
     Constantine took all the pagan Temple Priest (Pontifexs) and declared them Christian.  He then declared himself Pontifex Maximus.  The priest craft was born and the “deeds of the Nicolaitanes” now became the dogma of a perverted church.  Pagan Temples became Christian Basilicas (a name which really means heathen temples).  Armies were marched into rivers and baptized by the Emperor’s edict.
    Eusebius, a church historian (about 239-339 A. D.), became a close friend of Emperor Constantine and composed many flattering speeches for him.  Eusebius is probably the one most directly responsible for the writings that formulated the dogma of heresy establishing the Nicolaitan hierarchy of the clergy\laity, which had developed out the Council of Bishops.
    One subject Eusebius dealt with extensively was the succession of Christian bishops.  He was a close follower of the teachings of Origen, and therefore leaned toward Arianism (denying the Deity of Christ).  His political ideas helped create the Christian Empire of Byzantium. 

      Eusebius is a historical example of the Syncretism (blending and merging of pagan and philosophical ideals in with Christianity) and Nicolaitanism (the clergy/laity division in the church) of this period that Christ pictures in the marriage of the Church and state by the name Pergammos.  It was at this time of history that this new State Church of this new Christianity began to persecute the ever-decreasing remnant of true Christians staying true to the Word of God and refusing this Syncretism
    Up to this time of Syncretism, every Christian was involved in evangelism and discipleship.  These people “earnestly contended for the faith once for deliver to the saints” every day in every way.  Most of them did not expect to live long lives due to persecution and most of them died martyr’s deaths.  This was real Christianity!
    Upon the development of the Council of Bishops and the division of the church into clergymen and laity, the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers began to slip into the darkness of ignorance.  Constantine’s marriage of the Roman Empire to the Church created the Roman Catholic (universal) church.  False doctrines and the merging of paganism into Christianity dominated the Church and generations of people were led astray to become the servants of the clergy.  The few faithful Christians were forced to flee into exile in obscure places hidden from the world that they were commanded to reach with the Gospel. 
     Two main characters laid the heretical foundations that would corrupt Biblical Christianity throughout the centuries that followed; Origen and Augustine.  Origen (184-254 A.D.) was a Neo-Platonist scholar practicing Asceticism who did not believe the Bible was to be interpreted literally.  Ascetics taught celibacy as high spirituality and often fasted to the point of starvation and death (I Timothy 4:3).  He believed the Bible was full of mysteries that required specially enlightened people to understand the allegories hidden within its pages.  This would lead to the strange idea that only the clergy could understand the Bible and therefore, they were the only people that should read it.  This Allegorical Method of Bible interpretation began to dominate corrupted Christianity, especially regarding the doctrines of the Church (Ecclesiology), the end-times (Eschatology), and salvation (Soteriology).  Origen can be credited with extreme integration of pagan ideas into Christianity (Syncretism) and the corruption of belief in the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture.
    Augustine (354-430 A.D.) became a celibate priest of Roman Catholicism at the age of thirty-one after living with His mistress for fifteen years.  Augustine taught that human sexual desires were product of the fall and therefore should be restricted except for the purpose of reproduction.  This of course was a direct contradiction against the Word of God which said, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).  Augustine can be credited with developing Aristotelian Syllogism as a method for Bible interpretation. 

     This is more commonly referenced as the Deductive Methodology using logic – major premise + minor premise = deduction.  The frailty of this faulty methodology is exemplified in the logical argument against the deity of Jesus; God is eternal (major premise) + Jesus has a beginning (minor premise) = therefore Jesus cannot be God.  The major premise and minor premise are correct but the minor premise fails to consider that Jesus is a human and deity merged into a theanthropic union. 

Augustine can also be credited with systematizing most of what would become Roman Catholic dogma from which even the leaders of the Reformation never really escaped.  This corrupted Christianity in extreme ways for the next one-thousand years leading to the Roman Catholic Inquisition where anyone contradicting Roman Catholic doctrine was tortured until he recanted or died.  Most died.  “Contending for the faith” was expensive and the price was tears, blood, and millions of lives. 


The Dark Ages began about 450 A.D.  The Roman Empire had fallen and hordes of raiding barbarians attacked every city pillaging property and ravishing the citizens.  This resulted in social chaos as the order established by the terroristic Roman rule began to degenerate. 

The Roman Catholic Church stifled any type of true evangelism and did all within its power to keep the Word of God from the masses.  Even the local Roman Catholic parish priests were often forbidden to read or possess the Bible.  The Roman Catholic Inquisition began in 1233 A.D. and continued well into the late 18th century.  Although Roman Catholic historians seek to minimize the horrendous numbers of those killed, unprejudiced historians record the numbers to be over fifty million.  Millions of others were maimed and crippled in Rome’s torture chambers. 

“Contending for the faith” has been expensive.  The United States of America was founded by people wanting to escape the persecutions of European Catholicism and Protestantism.  Many wanted nothing to do with Christianity at all because of the counterfeit of it that they had seen in their homelands.  Most came wanting to worship God and believe the Bible simply as they interpreted it. 

The Baptists brought their Bible doctrines of Individual Soul Liberty and the priesthood of all believers and fought for religious liberty for all.  Many of them were persecuted by Denominationalists pushing for state sanctioned denominations and were publicly beaten, fined, imprisoned, and refused the right to preach without a license from public magistrates.  Modern day believers have no historical definition of what it means to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).  We can be assured that those same faithful warriors awaiting us in glory must look down at our lukewarm Christianity with amazement. 

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

Monday, January 16, 2017

One Faith

One Faith

We are living in the age of Social Engineering being practiced from cradle to the grave; i.e., at every age level imaginable.  Almost every aspect of global existence is being propagandized and impacted by Liberalism, Marxism, and Antichristism.  The ultimate goal of this Social Engineering is Globalism – a one-world government, one-world religion, and one-world economic system.  The central characteristic of Globalism is Antichristism.  God foretold this thousands of years ago, in the book of Revelation. 
Antichristism and Liberalism are essentially the same thing.  Antichristism and Liberalism do not oppose false religion, just Bible believing Christianity.  What we know as Social Engineering is the satanic methodology of Antichristism as it seeks to manipulate the world into the complete abandonment of Bible believing Christianity – true faith.  God refers to this influence and manipulation of people in the world towards unbelief as “worldliness.”  Worldly people, those who have succumbed to some level of satanic influence through Social Engineering, become partners in the Social Engineering of others influencing others at infinitely numbers of different levels.  This happens through every aspect of a society within thousands of cultures and ethnic groups.

The three central vehicles of satanic Social Engineering are:

1. education/propaganda
3. religious/propaganda. 

The goal of Social Engineering is to change acceptable social norms/values to fit a new social construct.  The new term coined for the advancement of the liberalizing agenda of Social Engineering was the word progressive.  The people involved in the liberalizing agenda of Social Engineering are called Progressives.  The main vehicle of the propaganda machine of the liberalizing agenda of Social Engineering has been through the entertainment industry – music, movies, television, radio, internet, cell phones, etc.  

The entertainment industry has been captured by Progressives and is almost exclusively used to advance a Socialistic, Antichrist agenda.  Most Christians spend thousands of dollars a year, often more than they give to the Lord, to invite the propagandists of Antichristism into their homes through the internet, music, radio, television, and DVD movies.  Often there is minimal censoring or restriction upon what comes into their ears, or before their eyes. 

There is even less discernment regarding the agenda of the propaganda of Progressives or consideration of the subtle influences upon young, undeveloped minds and consciences.  The human conscience only works the way it was designed by God when the human mind partners with the Spirit of God in the knowledge of the Word of God to control the heart and desires of the flesh.  The first agenda of Liberalism is to undermine faith in the Word of God and to capture the lives of individuals, taking away from them the time necessary to study and know the Word of God. 

God’s inspired Scriptures are redundant with warnings against the satanic influences of the “world.”  God’s solution against worldly influence is to study and know God’s Word (II Timothy 2:15). God refers to the knowledge and practice of His Word to in His Word as “wisdom.”  A person who does not understand the thousands of subtle levels of satanic worldly influence upon his life does not possess wisdom.  Such a person can be deemed an undiscerning fool.  This is the substance of God’s instruction in the beginning Psalm of the Book of Psalms. 

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

There are three blessings of protection found in Psalm 1:1.  The word “blessed” in the Hebrew text is a plural and signifies an existence of blessednesses within a life of fidelity, or faithfulness in obedience, to the Word of God.  Therefore, genuine faith in God’s Word manifests itself through faithfulness to God’s Word, which keeps the faithful believer within the boundaries where God’s blessednesses exist.  People of true faith learns to separate themselves from the influences of ungodly people without separating their own godly influence upon those people. 

1. He is protected from foolish advice because he does not live by the “counsel of the ungodly.”  The “blessed” man gets all his directions for life from the Word of God and from people who know and believe the Word of God.  The “blessed” man is discerning about from whom he gets advice. 
2. He is protected from the consequences of association with the disobedient because he does not stand “in the way of sinners.”  The wise man understands he is influenced by his associations and the friends he chooses.  To choose wisely is to choose godly friends and associates.  However, life often forces us into associations with ungodly people.  When this happens, the wise man learns to put himself on guard against their ungodly influences seeking more to influence than be influenced to ungodliness. 
3. He is protected from his own destructive influence upon others because he refuses to take the “seat of the scornful.”  The word “seat” means habitation or dwelling/environment.  The man who wants to live within the existence of God’s blessednesses does not cohabitate with those who mock God, mock at God’s definitions of sin and holiness, or ridicule the things of God in blatant, blasphemous unbelief.  To be a loving friend to sinners is different from being a loving friend of sinners.  The man who wants to live within the existence of God’s blessednesses does not saturate his life with worldly influences (I John 2:15).

People of faith understand that there is only one reality of existence and that reality is the reality defined, explained, and revealed by God’s inspired Words.  Everything that disagrees with God’s reality is a corruption of God’s reality and is intended to lead people astray.  God’s reality is a concrete, dogmatic construct that never changes because God never changes.  The only reason God’s reality can be attacked with attempted subterfuges is because knowledge of God’s reality can only be known through faith in God’s Word.  God’s reality can never be touched or changed by Satan’s subterfuges, but God’s Kingdom can be attacked.  God’s Kingdom is the hearts and minds of those that believe in Him and have learned to love Him.  This is what Psalm 1:2 addresses.  “But his {the man who desires to live within God’s reality of blessednesses} delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
“Delight” in Psalm 1:2 is from the Hebrew word chephets (khay’-fets).  The central meaning is what pleases, or what you consider a treasure.  It might be compared to the man who has gathered a treasure chest of gold, silver, precious jewels, and expensive jewelry.  Such a man regularly comes to his treasure chest to admire and find pleasure and security in his treasures.  The man of faith, who desires to live within God’s reality of blessednesses, finds his “delight” in the Treasure Chest of God’s Word.  Such a man “meditates” in God’s Word “day and night.”  We read God’s Word when we are in the light in order to know and understand.  We meditate upon what we have read when we are in darkness so as to apply God’s Truths to situations of life thereby bringing light into our moments of darkness.  The whole point of meditating on what God’s Word says is to discern HOW we are going to live what God says to do amid a world intent upon destroying us and everything we believe.  HOW are we going to reach those people bent upon our destruction? 
When the forces of evil cannot defeat the faith of the faithful, those forces will do all they can to discourage the faith of the faithful.  When the forces of evil cannot discourage the faith of the faithful, they will try to marginalize and radicalize the faithful in public opinion and prejudices. 

We find few allies in the constantly weakening forces of Conservatism against the onslaught of attacks against true Bible believing faith that seeks to live within the one definitive reality of God’s Kingdom influence.  This fact is equally true in the devolution of values within Conservative Christianity and Conservative Politics.  The lines of demarcation have been moved so far away from the one reality of God’s righteousness that most of the world of Conservatism has no point of reference for restoration, let alone reformation.  The best we can possibly do is return individuals back to a living faith that is defined by the absolutes of the inspired Words of God. 

The grand difficulty in that worldly influences have created a vacuum that sucks away the time of even Christians in the pursuits of Materialism (toys and stuff), Neo-Hedonism (pleasure seeking), and Neo-Paganism (pornographic lifestyles of fornication).  We can barely get Christians to read the Bible these days let alone being consumed with living its Truths.


As already said, people of faith understand that there is only one reality of existence and that reality is the reality defined, explained, and revealed by God’s inspired Words.  In the Bible, this one reality is referred to as the Kingdom of God.  This is biblical Oneism – one divine and eternal reality over which God sovereignly reigns.  No forms of this biblical Oneism exist on Earth today in religion, politics, or economies.  In other words, no church is God’s Kingdom and cannot build God’s Kingdom on Earth (Theonomy or Kingdom Constructionism).  The only Sovereign over God’s Kingdom is God Himself, therefore no world leader can fulfill this role but Jesus when He returns. 
Satan’s counterfeit of Oneism is a kingdom on earth governed by his corrupted emissaries of evil.  Satan’s counterfeit of Oneism is known as Globalism.  Another term is Trilateralism.  A one-world government, one-world religion, and one-world economic system is what defines Trilateralism
On two previous occasions, Satan came close to achieving a universal Oneism in the world.  The first is recorded in Genesis chapter six preceded by God’s destruction of this universal Oneism by a universal flood.

5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7).

The second-time humanity approach a satanic Oneism, is recorded in Genesis 11:1-9.  To stop this from happening, God confounded the languages of all the people on the Earth creating untold numbers of language groups resulting in untold numbers of divided nations and ethnicities.  Notice in Genesis 11:4 that there is no mention of God.  The goal of the described cooperative was to “make us a name.”  This verbiage is merely an expression of defiance and rebellion against God.  By such a goal as described, God was being defied and while humanity sought to be deified. 

1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:1-9).

Genesis 11:1-9 gives us a faith perspective of God’s view of the frailty of humanity against the manipulation and “wiles of the devil” through Social Engineering to advance Satan’s antichrist agenda of Secular Humanism and Atheism.  Satan’s goal is that humanity will commit the ultimate blaspheme against God by self-deification (Theosis) and the exaltation of their own wills as the only measurement of right and wrong. 

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:19-23).

These few verses define the evolution of the corruption of faith and the development of the progressive digression to human reprobation (Romans 1:28).  Secular Humanism’s Theosis is an evolutionary view that encourages individuals to find the god within themselves.  In the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, the world was filled with people searching for themselves.  This view believes that humanity will eventually achieve perfection in health in becoming eternal through the regeneration of organs, intelligence (what the mind can believe the mind can achieve), and social acceptance of every nuance of alternative lifestyles to the place of an all-inclusive Norm.  Such a belief demands the eradication in all cultures of the need for what are considered mythological deities and the imposition of various absolute religious norms

The silly and false notion of self-deification through evolution and knowledge goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden in Satan’s temptation of Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit.  “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).  Satan was essentially saying that God was selfishly holding out on Adam and Eve.  Satan’s temptation and deception was that if Adam and Eve would eat the forbidden fruit then they would know everything that God knows and they could live eternally independent of anything God did.  In other words, they would not need God any longer.  Satan’s lie was that God was just trying to keep them in fear so that they would not become gods.  This satanic lie has become a contaminating world-view held by most people living on planet earth on at least two occasions where God needed to intervene and stop its continued spread.  This present world is almost there once again. 

God says “fear of the LORD” is a healthy world view.  In Psalm 111:10, God’s Word says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . .”  In Proverbs 1:7, God says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning {a priori truth} of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Biblical faith begins with “the fear of the LORD.”

The ease by which Satan accomplished this advancement of a world-view that seeks self-deification at the time of Genesis chapter eleven was through the ease of communication of a universally common language.  The ability to communicate universally within most cultures, ethnicities, and language groups has once again been accomplished through the medium of digital communication through the internet.  Although this vehicle of communication is used to communicate the Gospel and Bible doctrine, it is predominantly being used to advance a Secular Humanistic agenda that is antichrist. 

Biblical Absolutism in the world is like a mountain of granite.  A mountain of granite may appear to be immense, but if you have enough people chiseling away at it and carrying off its pieces to cast them away like rubbish over centuries of time, the mountain is eventually reduced to rubble.  This defines the philosophy of liberal Leftist Social Progressives.  Generations living at the time of the final demise of Biblical Absolutism will have no knowledge of the original mountain unless they are returned to faith in the Bible. 

In order for Jacob to steal the birthright from Esau, his mother Rebekah put Esau’s clothes upon Jacob and put some hairy goat skin upon Jacob’s hands and neck to deceive Isaac, her almost blind husband.  Isaac’s words, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” must never be forgotten by believers.  The hands of Esau” are the hands of pretense and deception always intent upon stealing our birthright.  Satan is the “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). 

Satan’s “hands are the hands of Esau.”  Satan is the deceiver and he is good at what he does.  If this understanding is not foundational to your faith and your world view, you will soon be warming yourself at the enemies’ campfire.  

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Think for just a moment how easily people are corrupted.  Put a piece of candy and a brussels sprout before a child.  He may try both momentarily, but after the first taste he will ALWAYS choose the candy.  He will always choose the candy because he LIKES the taste of the candy and does not like the taste of the brussels sprout.  He will give no consideration to the reasoning that the candy is harmful to his body and the brussels sprout is good for his body.  He does not care.  He LIKES the candy.  The point is that Satan knows what we like and simply offers us a taste of what we like.  Once we get a TASTE for something, we want that regardless of how much destruction it does to us and others.  This is the philosophy of “the hands of Esau.” 

Life choices are governed by corruption of the will through lust unless those choices are controlled and sterilized by knowledge and faith.

Corrupted choices are made primarily because they provide some degree of pleasure.  Satan is a real fallen angel intent upon destruction of humanity and doing as much harm as possible.  Just as we should not treat God as a persona, we should not treat Satan as a persona.  God hates being treated as a persona, while Satan loves being treated as a persona.  In fact, if Satan can get people to just think of him as some mythological boogieman, he would be delighted. 

The “wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) are Satan’s well thought out schemes of deception.  His kingdom is a kingdom of darkness, deception, obfuscation, pretentious half-truths, manipulation, corruption, and destruction.  The Bible word for Satan’s kingdom is the word “world.”  The kingdom of darkness constantly tries to overcome the Kingdom of Light, but as long as light shines somewhere in the kingdom of darkness, the kingdom of darkness is doomed to fail. 

These kingdoms of light and darkness define two realms of influence You are either part of one or the other.  This is what Jesus said in Matthew 12:30 – “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”  There is no middle ground or even neutral ground when it comes to light and darkness.  You are either part of one or the other. 

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it {because they were determined unbelievers and hardened in that unbelief}, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:22-30).

Biblical Oneism equals One Faith equals “the Faith”

On forty-three different occasions in forty-two verses of Scripture, God refers to the definitive and dogmatic Truths established by the inspired, inerrant Words of God as “the faith.”  The intent of the definite article before the word faith is that there is but one true faith, not many variations.  “The faith” is a singular systematic theology established through a literal, historical, and grammatical hermeneutic. 

Every single believer is commanded to pursue and preserve this singular systematic theology established through a literal, historical, and grammatical hermeneutic referred to in the Bible as “the faith.”  This singular faith is the “unity of the Spirit” spoken of in Ephesians 4:3, which defines biblical Oneism sourced in the Oneness of the Godhead. 

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called {priesthood of all believers}, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace {which is in the ‘one faith’}. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:1-7).

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:3-4).

“The good die young that they may not degenerate; the wicked live on that they may have a chance to repent, or to produce a virtuous progeny” (Zohar, Genesis, 56b).

Anonymous comments will not be allowed. 
 Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Just Shall Live by Faith

The Just Shall Live by Faith

II Timothy 3:16-17 is a foundational biblical statement for both faith and Epistemology.  Faith is not a gift.  Faith is a choice.  If a person cannot accept by faith what the Bible says, he has no foundation upon which to rest his eternal hope.  It is from out of the darkness of spiritual ignorance and blindness that God speaks to us. 
In Exodus chapter three, God reveals Himself to Moses in a burning bush that is not consumed by the apparent flames.  God’s voice speaks to Moses out of that burning bush.  Moses had grown up in the household of the Pharaoh of Egypt with numerous pagan idols of their many pagan gods.  It is most likely that it is out of this hodgepodge of Moses’ knowledge of the multiplicity of Egypt’s gods that Moses’ inquiry comes regarding the Name of the God Who spoke with him.  God’s response to Moses’ inquiry is very illuminating.  God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14).  By using the words “I AM THAT I AM,” God is essentially explaining, or defining, the Name Jehovah that He first used of Himself in Genesis 2:4 and later to Abraham in Genesis 15:7.  The phrase reveals God as the eternal self-existing One and only God Who is the source of all life and existenceThis truth is foundational to faith!

In Exodus 6:3, when Moses was focusing upon going up against the most powerful man on earth at that time, God redirected Moses’ focus upon a much greater power – “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty {El Shadday}, but by my name JEHOVAH {eternal self-existent One} was I not known to them” (Exodus 6:3).  Although Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew God as the Almighty, and heard Him refer to Himself as JEHOVAH, they were ignorant of the significance of His Name JEHOVAH meaning the eternal self-existing One and the only One Who is the source of all life and existenceThis truth is foundational to faith!
The Bible is the ultimate source of absolute Truth.  Apart from faith in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible and what it says, all religions must be considered equally viable.  In other words, no one can be sure which religion is correct.  This is the satanic goal of Liberalism as it attacks the very foundation of absolute Truth in the trustworthiness of God’s Word.  When Satan and his emissaries within Liberalism attack the trustworthiness of God’s Word, they are attacking the Church, the family, justice, and righteousness on hundreds of different fronts of attack.  Denying the Bible as God’s source of revelatory Truth is the foundation of Theological Liberalism.  Denying that the Bible is God’s main source of revelatory Truth is also the foundation Ecumenicism, which is an offspring of Theological Liberalism.  Accepting the Bible by faith as God’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word is known as Autopisticism. 

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

Autopisticism begins with faith and means a person chooses to accept what God reveals in the Bible as perfectly accurate and absolute Truth.  God will eventually prove His Word to be true, but faith accepts the Bible as true before it is proven true.  Autopisticism has been the norm of Judaism and biblical Christianity until the beginnings of Theological Liberalism, which began to be introduced into true Christianity through German Rationalism in the forms of Higher Criticism and Lower Criticism.  Christians need to understand these two forms of attack against the trustworthiness of God’s Word because the outcomes of Higher Criticism and Lower Criticism have infected and corrupted the faith of most professing Postmodern Christians.

Postmodernism is simply an attitude of skepticism and distrust toward organized religion often denying the existence of fact-based realities and absolute Truth, especially the trustworthiness of the Bible as absolute Truth.  The effects of Postmodernism result in skeptically questioning the values and moral ethic of almost everything preceding generations have believed and practiced. 

The Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964) was essentially cautious and silent conformists with a strong potential for passive rebellion against biblical mores.  The Baby Buster Generation X (1965-1979) became open Amoral nonconformists.  The Millennials (Generation Y; 1980-2000) are the radicalized generation who are obvious Postmodernists.  Generation Z (also known as the iGeneration; 2001 to present) are known for their extreme Narcissism (II Timothy 3:1-9).  The Millennial Generation predominantly rejected biblical absolutism while the iGeneration predominantly mocks faith in the Bible.  The predominant characteristic of this present generation is that it is an almost completely faithless generation.  All this digression can be directly connected to the Liberalism conceived from the corrupting influences of Higher and Lower Criticism (developed during the 19th and 20th Centuries; also now known as Historical Criticism and Textual Criticism respectively). 

  • Higher Criticism (what lies above the text)

Higher Criticism (also known as Historical Criticism) seeks to put the Bible text into the historical context in which it is derived.  Fundamentalists would have no objection to this if this is all Higher Criticism did.  Very early in the development of Higher Criticism, the methodology was captured by the liberals of German Rationalism.  These individuals began by questioning the inspiration of the Scriptures.  Such questioning always begins with doubt and ends with unbelief.  They questioned the authorship of each book of the Bible, the historical accuracy of the Bible, and anything that seemed miraculous.  Their conclusions, which began with doubt and unbelief, were that much of the Bible was simply myths and exaggerations. 

Beginning with unbelief in inspiration of the Bible, the critics involved in Higher Criticism began to attempt to destroy faith in the accuracy of history recorded in the Bible and the accuracy of the science recorded in the Bible.  These corruptions of Higher Criticism have become the acceptable views of most of professing Christianity in the twenty-first century – or LIBERALISM!

  • Lower Criticism (what lies below the text)

In most part, Higher Criticism was completely rejected by Bible believing Christianity (Fundamentalism).  However, Lower Criticism was not equally cast aside.  Thus, many within the more conservative of Evangelicals and even many Fundamentalists gave ear to the arguments of Lower Criticism.  Many began to accept Textual Reconstructionism and resultantly new translations that flowed from the never-ending changes within the reconstructed Greek texts.  Lower Criticism quickly morphed itself into Eclectic Textual Criticism, which is another animal altogether. 

Lower Criticism originally looked at the extant manuscript copies of the Bible available at a point of time in history and sought to establish the accuracy of those apographs (copies) based upon certain principles of evaluation.  The most basic premise of Lower Criticism is that because there are copyist errors in the apographs (copies), therefore they assumed God has not preserved His Words in any manuscript. 

Axiopisticism means faith grows only through proving every statement of the Bible to be true and accurate often using the Scientific MethodAxiopisticism begins with doubt regarding the inspiration of the Bible, the preservation of the Bible, the inerrancy of the Bible, the historical accuracy of the Bible, and the supernatural events recorded in the Bible.  Axiopisticism normally seeks to explain the supernatural events of the Bible initiated by God as mere naturally occurring events and then saying that those events are merely interpreted by men as having come from God. 

Axiopisticism seeks to prove the Bible to be the Word of God through Apologetics.  The goal of Apologetics is to confirm a person in faith that the Bible is God’s inspired Words.  The strength of a person’s faith developed through Axiopisticism and Apologetics is only as strong as the ability of the teacher/evangelist to prove the Bible to be true.  The ultimate goal of both biblical Axiopisticism and biblical Apologetics is to bring a person to accept that the whole Bible is authored by God (Autopisticism). 

Apologetics - a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity”

Theological Liberalism is a satanic attack against faith in the trustworthiness of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible as the ultimate source of all Truth.  Theological Liberalism has morphed into Political Liberalism.  The attack against the trustworthiness of the Bible as a source of Truth is fought on hundreds of different fronts, or levels of attack.  The major front of attack is the complete denial of the Bible as being authored by God.  Hundreds of other fronts of attack are intent upon merely undermining faith in various degrees in the Bible’s trustworthiness. 

Every form of the historical and satanic corruption of faith has begun with the question, “Hath God said” (Genesis 3:1)?  From that question evolves every bend, distortion, doubtful disputation, and degree of unbelief that a person can possibly imagine.  Pilate ridiculed Jesus’ statement that Jesus came into the world to “bear witness unto the truth” with the mocking question “what is truth” (John 18:37).  When the Bible is rejected as the infallible proof that God exists and is the Author of all infallible Truth, the outcome is endless debate that is destined to end with this mocking question, “what is truth”?  The Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964) have witnessed this devolution to the mockery of the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Words of God by the majority of the iGeneration (2001 to present) just in our own short lifespans. 

God’s interaction with His children is directly connected to the reality of our faith in Him and in His inspired Word.  This is especially important when people of faith understand that the primary way God communicates with His children is through the reading, teaching, and preaching of His Word.  This is especially important when people of faith understand that God only honors and blesses communication with Him coming through the medium of our faith. 

In James 1:7-8, God reveals to believers just how important to Him pure/true faith is in our communication with Him.  In James 1:5, God addresses the issue of the need of “wisdom” to deal with the onslaught of satanic influence towards worldliness and the obfuscation of all the good that God seeks to do in our lives through His inspired Word.  Wisdom is the heart and mind of God operating through the life of the believer as the believer by faith yields his will to God’s will.  God’s will is revealed through the Word of God.  This spiritual dynamic will never happen in a believer’s life if that believer does not understand the necessity of maintaining his faith relationship with God. 

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).

Godly wisdom is defined as understanding resulting in discernment regarding the spiritual dangers posed to people living within the realm of God’s curse upon Satan and this world.  Those that possess this gift of wisdom, that comes through faith, understand that most of life’s worldly temptations exist within a satanic mine field that we explode because we are not discerning and because we do not heed God’s warnings and commandments.  This is like the foolish man who is amazed that the swing set he just put together for his children falls apart after a few minutes because he refused to read the directions. 

The issue of “wavering” is simply the individual that lives in the middle between believing what God says and the momentary pleasures that the satanic temptations of this world so bountifully offer.  The Waverer is “double minded” because he cannot faithfully surrender to what God reveals to him in the Bible.  Thereby the Waverer really is not a person who lives by faith.  Worldly temptations will be a constant source of a multitude of small and large explosions in such a person’s life.  Such a person’s life, and those around him, will bear the pock-marked scars of continual failures just because he cannot decide to fully surrender and separate himself from worldliness. 
Humanities’ fall into sin plunged this creation into spiritual “darkness” and “blindness.”  Humanity lost its ability to see God or see purely spiritual beings like angels except by them manifesting themselves in some physical form.  This is equally true of the many temptations that come mainly because we are not able to understand the dangers that worldliness poses to people.  Most of the trials and difficulties in life are self-inflicted wounds.  These wounds could have been avoided if we would have heeded the numerous warning signs given us in the Word of God.  Wisdom reads and heeds the warning signs and gives a wide birth to the temptations. 
The second generation of human-kind was born without any experiential/empirical knowledge of God.  Their only knowledge of God was through the instruction of their parents, Adam and Eve.  The necessity of faith for knowledge and understanding of Who and What God is began with the first child of Adam and Eve.  Like most people who know the dangers that accompany flirting with worldliness, such people try to put up fences and boundaries so the unsuspecting will not wander into Satan’s minefields of destruction.  Adam and Eve surely did this with their children.  Putting up fences and boundaries does not mean that people will heed them, especially if they do not understand the dangers.  The spiritual weakling does not have the understanding or discernment to even think of the dangers that are laid out to destroy him.  Like an infant that loves his rattle, the ignorant and undiscerning child sees the rattlesnake as just another plaything. 
A serious and ongoing problem in the life of faith is the tendency to drift into treating God as merely a persona (a character in a play or a book) rather than a Person.  When this happens, the believer begins to live in such a way where God is not a Person Who sees, hears, feels, and understands all that we are and do as individuals.  In such a drift, the believer simply acts within the scenario of life without seeing himself as really interacting with the Person of God.  The Christian then takes on a life of a Christian persona (play-acts being a Christian).  When this happens, the Christian life is reduced to nothing more than cause and effect

A real life of faith sees God interacting within our lives in real and tangible ways in answer to prayer, illumination of His Word, conviction of sin, chastisement for failures, and giving us leadership and direction for life choices through His Word. 

In fact, it is very easy for the Christian life to drift into treating God as merely a persona rather than a Person Who interacts with us and is involved in the details of our lives.  Every Christian will regularly drift into treating God as merely a persona if he does not maintain a deep devotional life and maintain a conscious awareness of the continual presence of the Person of God even though God cannot be seen, touched, or felt.  Without this, a person’s faith with rapidly degenerate into practical unbelief. 
God refers to His “born again” children in the Bible as “the just.”  The term relates specifically to those who have been gifted God-kind righteousness as part of the gift of their salvation.  The point of the phrase “the just” is that such people received God’s grace gift of salvation “through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).  The point is that the door through which they entered into the New Genesis (“new creation; II Corinthians 5:17) was through faith in the finished sacrifice of Jesus Christ, those same people must learn to live “by faith.”  In other words, these people need to learn to live within the eternal, spiritual reality of which they have been made part, known only “by faith.”  Romans 1:17 refers to the transition from saving faith to living faith with the words “from faith to faith.”  The spiritual depth of the significance of the statement “from faith to faith” as it relates to the believer’s understanding of a life lived within the realm of faith is really crucial truth. 

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:16-21).

God’s righteousness is revealed in the Gospel “from faith to faith” (Romans 1:17).  It was by the faithfulness (“faith”) of Jesus Christ in obedience to the will of God that reveals to us a God so righteous He would send His Own Son to the Cross of Calvary to pay the wages of sin rather than compromise His righteousness in any way.  “From faith to faith” deals with the impartation of God’s righteous to the person who trusts in Christ.  This is the first “faith” in the phrase “from faith to faith.”  The second “faith” in the phrase “from faith to faith” is living according to the teaching of Jesus “by faith” in the operations of the enabling of the indwelling Spirit of Christ.  This is expanded upon in Romans 3:22.

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” (Romans 3:22).

“By faith of Jesus Christ” means by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.  Jesus was faithful in doing what He was sent to do.  Therefore, God was propitiated and the believing sinner can be justified and freed from the condemnation of sin.  The believing sinner is also declared righteous in Jesus Christ.  Through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to the will of God and the substitutionary death of the Cross, He made available “unto all and upon all them that believe” the righteousness of God which justifies the believing sinner. 

“From {saving} faith to {living} faith” is a summary statement of the gift of salvation in the gift of God-kind righteousness to the believing sinner to the enabling of the yielded “born again” believer to live a life of righteousness produced by the filling of the indwelling Spirit of Christ.  It is upon the statement of “from {saving} faith to {living} faith” in Romans 1:17 that every truth of the rest of the epistle to the Romans builds.  Almost every statement Paul makes in this epistle from this point forward relates back to the statement of “from {saving} faith to {living} faith” in Romans 1:17. This statement is foundational to living by faith
“The just {justified} shall live by faith {in the supernatural enabling of the indwelling Spirit of Christ}” (Romans 1:17).  This statement is quoted from Habakkuk 2:4. We need to understand its meaning from that context.

“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

The word translated “just” used in Habakkuk 2:4 is from the Hebrew word tsaddiyq (tsad-deek’) referring to a righteous person because he has been justified and vindicated by God.  The word translated “faith” in Habakkuk 2:4 is from the Hebrew word 'emuwnah (em-oo-naw’) and refers to a person’s fidelity to truth and steadfastness in it.  We would have no knowledge of the potential available to the believer if it was not for the teaching of the Word of God in such texts as Romans chapters six and twelve, Ephesians chapters four, five, and six, and Galatians chapters three through five.  Therefore, the only way we can know of this potential for the Christ-life being produced through our lives by the indwelling Spirit of Christ is through the belief, study, and knowledge of the Word of God. 
The intent of the statement “the just shall live by faith” is that a person saved and justified by faith in Messiah and His propitiatory work is obligated to live a life of faithfulness.  A person is not saved by living righteously, but if he is saved he is obligated to live according to the principles and precepts of the Word of God.  The “just” are obligated to live righteously in that they are declared righteous in Jesus Christ.  This is the same context in which the phrase “the just shall live by faith” is used in Galatians 3:11.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:10-13). 

This spiritual potential of producing the Christ-life by grace through faith through our lives is also detailed in II Peter 2:1-4.

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers {koinonos; sharer, associate, or partner} of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 2:1-4).

          Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  This means faith is the foundation stone of all knowledge of existence beyond this life and human senses.  The word “substance” is from the Greek word hupostasis (hoop-os’-tas-is), referring to a foundational substructure.  It refers to that which is steadfast and gives confidence to the stability of the structure.  Therefore, faith in the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Bible is the epistemological foundation for the discovery and confidence in all that is certain and absolute Truth. 
The word “evidence” in Hebrews 11:1 is from the Greek word elegchos (el’-eng-khos) and refers to a proof of the reality of something that results in the conviction of the existence of that reality to the degree that the person with that conviction (faith) acts upon that reality.  This means, in simple terms, if we really believe that God is, we will live in this physical reality knowing that this physical existence is nothing but a tiny bubble that is enveloped within the gargantuan infinite existence in which God dwells and controls through both His omnipotence, omniscience, and His omnipresence.  Understanding and believing this Truth is foundational to a life of faith. 

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apologetics, 1/4/2017.

Anonymous comments will not be allowed. Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. He has served the Lord for over 40 years.