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: February 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

Safety in God's Sovereignty

Irreducible Complexity

Safety in God's Sovereignty

           The only place of perfect safety in this imperfect world dominated by the adversary is living at the center of God’s will.  Since the fall of Satan and millions of other fallen angels with him, every person must understand the essential of perfectly knowing God’s will and being fully consumed with not be “drawn away of his own lusts, and enticed” into defilement before God.  There is not one moment of our existence where a human’s enticement and intended spiritual destruction is not being orchestrated in some way by the satanic “mystery of inequity” existing in this world.  This fact is foundational to the purpose of the book of Genesis (Beginnings). 

           Although the home, the church, and the fellowship of those of like precious faith are all supposed to provide places of safety and security for believers, there really is no safe place.  We all have been infected with pride and carnal lusts.  If our propensity for rebellion and carnality is not constantly checked, maintained, and kept in the center of God’s well every single person will innately become part of the “mystery of inequity” to some degree.  Doing all we can to live in the center of God’s will is that which defines the epitome of the servant model.  The servant model is more concerned with the well-being of others than a person’s own selfish pursuits and carnal pride. 

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:13-18).

           God enlightens.  Satan obfuscates.  God clarifies.  Satan confuses.  Therefore, Satan is called the adversary.  Satan is the adversary of enlightenment and clarity.  The terms “the faith” and “Christian” have become so corrupted, so diverse, and indefinitive that they have little meaning to most people.  Indefinitive terms with broad meaning have no real meaning.  This is the outcome of satanic obfuscation.  The term “the faith” has been reduced to something merely called faith with incredible lack of definition and pluralistic meaning.  This happens primarily because those who have clarity and enlightenment from God’s Word do not ensure that what they know with surety is known by the next generation with equal surety.  If you look up antonyms for dogmatism in a dictionary you would find words like broad-mindedness, liberalism, open-mindedness, and tolerance.  These antonyms are the tools of the adversary to doctrinal clarity and true enlightenment to truth. 

           When God declares that “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (II Corinthians 4:4), he is talking about Satan taking truth that comes from God in clarity and taking that clarity out of focus in the minds of men.  It is like having a perfectly detailed marble statute.  Satan first breaks off the hands, then the arms, and then the nose.  Then he slowly erodes away at its details until everything is a blur and that which was originally created can barely be recognized any longer. 

This constant obfuscation is what happens with God’s revelations of Scripture.  The greatest complexity of discipleship is the constant need to keep main things the main thing and clear things clear.  God must constantly give knew revelations to clarify the confusion and dissolution of clarity by theological obfuscation.  God must constantly raise up new preachers that will teach the old truths to clarify satanic obfuscations.  Satan has more obfuscators than those God that has raised up to clarify and purifying.  Unfortunately, even within the Church today, there are more people resisting edification than there are people fighting against obfuscation.  Resisting obfuscation MUST become the goal of EVERY Christian of EVERY generation.  This growing and ever-increasing disinterest in the truths of God’s revelations has been the continuing problem since the beginning of time. 

           It is the nature of fallen beings (sinners) to project fault and transfer guilt and accusation to others.  Adam did this and Eve did this.  Sinners do not like to be responsible for their sins or for the damage those sins cause.  However, because this is the pattern of the fallen nature of all humans, we fail to teach our children to take responsibility for their failures because they fear the consequences and shame of those failures.  To admit failure and accept the consequences for failure is the first step towards recovery and one of the first manifestations of genuine repentance. 

This characteristic aspect of denial and transference of guilt/fault in the fallen nature of all humans is a core descriptor of Satan – the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10).  Projecting, transference, and accusation are also a central satanic evidence that humans have become children of the evil because Satan “is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).  To blame others for what you have done is a lie.  Adam and Eve blaming others for their failures is where passing the buck began.  It is the sin of accusation committed by the one who knows his/her own failure but is unwilling to take moral responsibility for that failure and its eternal consequences.  

Satan gets humans to blame God for consequences Satan causes.  Satan accused God of being selfish because God was keeping good things from Adam and Eve.  Satan accused God of not wanting Adam and Eve to have their “eyes. . . opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).   Satan’s corruption of their thinking was that “knowing good and evil” was a good outcome, not a bad outcome.  All sinners know we have learned and seen many things we wish we could unlearn and unsee.  Grace of God means these things can be forgiven. 

Servant Models
This choice provides the potential to succeed where angels failed

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:20-28).

           The ultimate objective of salvation and discipleship is the voluntary submission of one’s self to become the servant of another.  This was the objective of Christ in all His disciples to the place they would be willing to die for the benefit of those they chose to serve.  This is also the greatest difficulty in making true disciples for herein defines being a true disciple (follower of Jesus).  The ultimate free will choice after choosing to receive the gift of being “born again” of the Spirit of God is the choice to benevolently and lovingly serve others.  This is the restoration of the way things ought to be. 

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12).

Total Depravity: what is it really?

Everything coming from a poisoned well is poisoned.  When Adam fell into sin, all that is born of his seed is born “in sin” and is cursed of God.  Everything that God does within His creation from the point of Adam’s failure and fall into sin is undeserved.  Herein enters the doctrine of God’s grace and longsuffering.  Total depravity simply means God-kind righteousness (holiness) cannot be produced by a sinner. 

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood {justification is the impartation of Godkind righteous as a gift to the believing sinner}, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled {katallássō, i.e., changed due to a new creation in a new birth; regeneration} to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled{katallássō, i.e., changed due to a new creation in a new birth; regeneration}, we shall be saved by his life {referring to the glorification of Jesus as the ‘last Adam’ and the ‘firstborn’ of the New Genesis}. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement {katallagḗ, i.e, ‘the change’, noun form of the verb reconciled as used in verse 10; the New Birth}. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure {type} of him {the ‘last Adam’ and ‘firstborn of the New Genesis} that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift {justification and New Birth}. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore {picking up where verse 12 ends} as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:6-21).

Is the fall total?  Yes, the fall into sin was total.  However, total depravity does not mean what extremists say it means.  Humanity was corrupted the moment its progenitor’s nature was corrupted.  Adam became a sinner and began to produce “after his kind” (Genesis 1:21-25).  Adam could choose to live righteously, in other words, LIKE righteousness.  Yet, Adam could never BE righteous.  Just as a maid who has committed fornication may abstain from fornication for the rest of her life, she will never again be a virgin.  The best any sinner can ever be is a saved sinner.  Becoming a saved sinner requires a miracle from God. 

We would think we would find mankind’s history riddle with accounts of men pleading with God to be saved.  Instead, we find God pleading with man to receive His gift of salvation.  This defines God’s love and models the epitome of servanthood.  This is true because, as a result of our depravity, we are blind to our condition before God.  We are blind to the holiness of God and the perfect righteousness of God.  Only God truly understands the totality and depth of our fall into sin and condemnation.  Only God understands what is necessary to our rescue from that fallen state.  God requires a supernatural solution.  Only God can supernaturally provide that solution.

The Protoevangelium: The Redemption of Lost Dominion and Lost Souls

God lovingly clothed His fallen sinners with skins from slain animals.  However, the dispensation of innocence ended.  The first creation was cursed, and Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  To ensure that mankind did not live forever in a body of sin and under the curse of death, God’s grace drove them out while maintaining His commitment to the seeming impossibility of humanity’s whole salvation; “body, soul, and spirit” (I Thessalonians 5:23).

14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed {the seed, or sin nature, of satanically corrupted man; Romans 5:12} and her seed {here begins what is commonly called ‘the highway of the seed’ to the New Genesis; Galatians 3:16}; it {Eve’s Seed} shall bruise thy {Satan’s} head {dominion of death}, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).

22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24; Adam’s sin was that he ate what God forbade and failed to lead his wife in righteousness).

           After the fall of humanity into sin and God speaking to Satan in Genesis 3:15, it is almost as if Satan disappears from human view.  We do not find him mentioned again until the book of Job.  Nonetheless, his constantly effort is the destruction of humanity and to keep humans from reconciliation with God and living in constant enmity with God.  This is the “mystery of iniquity” (II Thessalonians 2:7).

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 50 years.

Monday, February 17, 2020


Irreducible Complexity


          Innocent people are ignorant of the subtleties of hidden agendas steeped in fraudulence and larceny.  Fraudulent and larcenous people depend upon ignorance, innocence, and misplaced trust.  

 Fraudulent and larcenous people prey upon such people.  The innocent trust because they have no experience with the selfishness of others that would destroy the innocent with deception in order to take from the innocent the thing that is of most value – INNOCENCE.  Innocent people certainly do not expect that the people given to protect them and serve them would purposely seek to harm them or capitalize on their weaknesses. 

Satan understood that should Eve be deceived, and Adam disobey, they would both spiritually die.  Adam and Eve may have understood the facts of “thou shalt surely die” but most probably had little comprehension of what it meant.  Therefore, they were too ignorant to fear consequences they could not comprehend.  

Adam’s and Eve’s spiritual death (judgment by God and separation from obedient fellowship with Him) was Satan’s selfish solution to his problem of being unwilling to be their servant.  Satan’s solution: get Adam to sin, which will bring God’s death sentence upon Adam.  Adam’s death was SATAN’S PROBLEM SOLVED.  However, Adam’s problem and all of his progenies’ problems just began. 

8 Be sober {watchful discretion}, be vigilant {on alert}; because your adversary {opposer of righteousness or justice} the devil, as a roaring lion {stalking}, walketh about {preoccupied with}, seeking whom he may devour {using every opportunity to destroy lives}: 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).

Adam was completely ignorant of his adversary for the adversary was hiding behind being a protector.  We are the most susceptible to deception and personal injury by those we trust the most.  Innocence has no guardian mechanism because it suspects no harm and knows no fear of harm. 

           Selfishness wants the hopeless whims of the will consumed with a pursuit that will take that person out of the place of the protective custody of obedience to God’s will.  Selfishness foolishly and blindly chases after the forbidden being lured into the abyss of blindness because all selfishness sees is what it wants.  Selfishness is willingly ignorant of the hidden danger of a lurking adversary seeking that person’s valuables; willing even to kill him.  This is Satan’s hidden agenda – DEATH. 


           Because humans have a powerful adversary in Satan and fallen angels (demons), the need for spiritual discernment, enlightenment, and wisdom became essentials to basic survival skills.  The “mystery of iniquity” works covertly with an agenda of spiritual destruction seeking to bring everything that God perfectly created to ruin.  Although God’s creation is incomprehensibly complex, there is nothing more complex than the tri-unity of the creation of one human being existing in the complexity of body, soul, and spirit.  Humanity was created in the triune image of God and designed to live in perfect soulic, spiritual, and physical unity with God.  Most humans barely comprehend the simplest of these levels of unity let alone the trinity of all three. 

Ignorance always corrupts discernment requiring enlightenment to expose the adversary and his tactics of corruption of our fellowship with God and corrupted worship leading sinners away from the one true God to some form of idolatry.  However, education and enlightenment to the covert operations of our adversary does not correct the failure of the breach of fellowship with God and restoration of a harmonious relationship with God in righteousness.  That which is broken must be restored to its original perfect specifications, not merely repaired or reformed.  Something broken that is reformed is nothing more than a broken token of its original.  A glued together broken porcelain teacup will still bear its apparent cracks. 

The foundation for a believer’s restoration to fellowship with God must begin with God’s expectation of perfection before we can understand the difficulty of redemption and complete recreation through transfiguration of the human body, soul, and spirit.  The difficulty for fallen humans is to understand that there are ongoing aspects of redemption necessary to the present and the temporal (in time) and there are aspects of redemption that are future and eternal.  Therefore, spiritual discernment requires our understanding of what is necessary to fellowship with God and retain His blessings in the present and in the physical world as well is in the eternal and spiritual. 

Discernment requires our understanding of what is necessary to fellowship with God and to retain His blessings in both existences.  Discernment begins with acknowledging our ignorance of these things and the necessity of God’s enlightenment to His expectations for both redemption and restoration.  We do not get to make up our own specifications for redemption and restoration to fellowship.  Therefore, when we understand our ignorance, we must understand just how incredibly ignorant we are.  Second, we must understand that our adversary is doing everything possible to confuse, corrupt knowledge, and increase our ignorance of redemption and restoration to fellowship with God. 

The fall of humanity into depravity means everyone is more than a little bit broken and somewhat lost.  Humanity is incredibly broken, completely lost in sin, and totally blind to the way of redemption by grace through faith and restored fellowship with God.  There is an adversary changing the road signs of “by grace through faith” to the sinner’s way home. 

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

           God’s pathway to redemption and restoration to fellowship with Him has always been simply “by grace” and “through faith.”  This pathway throughout Scripture came to simply be known as “the way” (Genesis 3:24).  However, the adversary of humanity does not want anyone to find God’s way home through redemption and restoration to fellowship.  The adversary is not content with humanities lost estate and lost souls.  The adversary wants humanity absolutely miserable in this life and existence. 

The adversary has corrupted God’s grace way in every way possible.  The many corruptions came to be known as the way of works as opposed to the way of grace.  There is a way which seemeth right {looks straight} unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25).  Jesus corrected all the adversary’s ways of works with one simple statement.

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house {abode} are many mansions {abiding places; dwelling places for the redeemed to live is perfect fellowship with God}: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-6).

           The way of works began when Adam and Eve became conscious of their nakedness before God.  Here begins the dispensation of Conscience.  Adam’s and Eve’s solution is, “We broke it.  We need to fix it.”  This is the foundation of the way of works and all the innumerable derivations of it.

The Dispensation of Conscience and the Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3:22-24)

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25).

           Being a sinner and being conscious of sin are two different existences.  Adam’s creation was not complete until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life {God’s Spirit}; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).  

It is commonly believed that Adam’s and Eve’s naked bodies were covered by a radiant glow of light emanating from within them caused by the indwelling presence of God’s Spirit (“breath of life”).  Without knowing what is sin, there is no guilt for that sin and no shame caused by that guilt.  Without guilt and shame there is no conviction of the failure of sin.  Without conviction of sin there is no fear of God’s pending justice and judgment for the failure.  Conviction understands there is a penalty for sin. 

Guilt, shame, conviction, and fear are all part of the chain that should lead the sinner to remorseful “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).  Adam’s and Eve’s shame of their nakedness was shame before God.  Their sin had exposed their guilt and their nakedness before God to them and they were ashamed of the exposure of their sinfulness before a holy God.  Their nakedness was not exposed to one another or to God prior to their sin because their nakedness was covered by the glory of God from within.  When they sinned, they lost their glow and their nakedness as sinful beings was now fully exposed.  Nakedness is merely an exposure of their internal guilt of sin.  Guilt is good and a gift from God.  Guilt should lead to taking steps toward God for recovery.  However, the very nature of exposed sinfulness is shame, hiding, covering, denial, and even blame shifting. 

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:7-13).

           Although the fall of Satan and millions of other angels preceded the fall of Adam and humanity, the curse of God on creation happened because God had given dominion of Creation to Adam (humanity).  Hell was created as a place of separation from God and of eternal condemnation for fallen angels, not for the human beings.  Perhaps the most serious aspect of the fall of humanity and God’s curse is humanities blind ignorance to the real circumstances of the outcome.  Mankind has no real comprehension of spiritual death or eternal condemnation.  Because of this ignorance and spiritual blindness, humanity barely comprehends the pending danger under which they live each moment.  If the seriousness of eternal condemnation is not understood, then salvation offered as a gift of grace will seldom be taken seriously. 


Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Pride is the foundation of all sin laid originally by Satan.  Satan’s fall and his leadership of one-third of the angels of Heaven to rebel against God’s order of sovereignty is sourced in pride.  Pride is the infection of corruption that refuses to be subordinate to anyone, let alone being willing to become another’s servant.  To willingly become another being’s servant is the grand scope and ultimate goal of discipleship and the epitome of having escaped the corruption that entered into the world through the prideful fall of the angels and the infection of humanity with that corruption.  Pride is where “you’re not the boss of me” was born. 

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Rebellion against the orders of sovereignty established by God were the seed of the fall of Satan and the third of the angels that followed him in his rebellion against God.  The rebellion was a pride filled rejection of God’s established order of sovereignty.  Satan’s pride refused to submit to be the servant of an obvious inferior humanity. 

Man was given sovereignty over angels.  Angels, although extremely more powerful and sophisticated than humans, were created to minister to humans.  It is apparent from Hebrews 1:7-14 that there are orders of angels that minister solely to God in various capacities and other angels that minister as benevolent servants to God’s redeemed.  Willing servanthood is the ultimate goal of discipleship and the unfathomable communicable attribute of God manifested in His incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection to save the souls of rebels corrupted with satanic pride.  Jesus “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh {satanic device for corruption of humanity}, and the lust of the eyes {satanic device for corruption of humanity}, and the pride of life {satanic device for corruption of humanity}, is not of the Father, but is of the world {this word describes all that is part of satanic influences or ‘mystery of iniquity’}. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (I John 2:16-17).

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 50 years.