The Authentic Grace of God, or Who Actually Believed the Holy Spirit?
“For the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the acharit-hayamim [end time period] some shall apostatise from the Faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. Such teachings come from the hypocrisy of liars… Here is a statement you can rely on, one that fully deserves to be accepted joyfully (indeed it is for this that we toil and strive energetically): we have our hope set on a living God Who is the Saviour of ALL HUMANKIND, especially those who presently believe”
(1 Tim 4.1-2,9-10).
I believe the Bible. I don’t just believe in the Bible. I believe the holy Spirit. I don’t just believe in the Spirit. I believe the words of my Messiah, Yeshua. I don’t just believe in Our Lord Yeshua. I believe the apostles Paul and John — I believe
what they had to say.I don’t just believe they penned nice words. I also happen to believe in the existence of a real haSatan, the embodiment of overzealous righteousness — a tangible, awful evil all on its own. I also believe that he has obeyed the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY and done his work of deception exceptionally well. He has to. For haSatan to obey God’s commandments (given to humankind) would be to disobey God’s decree.
Millions of Christians have been tragically slain spiritually by liars in the pulpit in the employ of the Dark Lord. They have had their consciences seared (as it were) with a white-hot iron. They have had their eyes put out, and they can no longer see. They have had their ears plugged, and they can no longer hear. They have had multiple bypass operations on their hearts, and their livers have been traumatised with AIDS infected blood-transfusions, and the red fluid that flows through their veins is now thoroughly polluted and in need of a Pure and Holy Blood to cleanse them thoroughly.
The great calamity is that Christians have done so willingly. They have eagerly and naively submitted to “higher spiritual authorities” because, well, they should know. Ordinary faithful churchgoers can no longer think for themselves. They no longer read the Bible from a studious viewpoint. If they read it at all they do so for “inspiration” and “meditation” — to feel good about themselves, for they at least know they are little more than an empty shell in need of the fullness of salvation. And they look to their “coverings” (a demonic concept if ever there was one) and “shepherds” to teach them the will of God.
But these same shepherds have jettisoned the WILL of God from their theological perspectives. Yeshua said the Torah would exist while the heavens and earth existed, and He taught obedience to that same Torah (Mt5.17-20). You rarely, if ever, hear about the Torah in pulpits today. If the pastor does give instruction about how to live from the Torah, it is usually a watered-down version of God’s requirements extended only as “advice.”
God thunders: “My people have been destroyed through LACK OF KNOWLEDGE” (Hos 4.6).
Does the LORD of ALL lay the blame for such spiritual dearth at the feet of the gullible “laity”? No. He lays it squarely at the feet of the ministry. “You PRIESTS! You shall stumble by broad daylight. Your day will I turn into night” (4.5). I care not if the priests are one-time great evangelists like Freemason Billy Graham, a bankrupt “pentup” like Oral Roberts, or the local vocal yokel who talks a lot about “Grace” but hates God for the tragedies of his own futile existence. None of us can boast. None of us can justify our own personal egocentricity’s and egomania. All of us are just so much recycled cosmic dust. It just takes a while for some of us to allow that indisputable truth to settle in our hearts.
Who’s Who in the “Pentup” Zoo?
As far as the historic Christian community is concerned, Satan strategically toppled Arminius, Calvin and Spurgeon. They failed to repent of their particular death-cycles and so were disqualified from further Christian service (1 Cor 9.27 Gk).
Some few believers who hold these mere mortals in idolatrous esteem will, naturally, argue forcibly against this proposition. But, despite their obstinacy, that’s just how serious God considered the conduct of their ministries. You see,
- Arminius (like his disciple John Wesley) eventually took the sovereignty of God in election right out of the salvation equation and placed it squarely in the hands of carnal human beings to “decide on Jesus” and thus their own eternal destiny.
- John Calvin “knew” he was doing God a service as he burned the screaming Severtus for denying the Trinity.
- Spurgeon sang praises to God as he contemplated convulsing, shrieking, burning “Christ-rejecters” writhing in eternal torment (yep, Spurgeon).
- Satan relishes exposing others with contempt for what they really are inside.
With typical mesmeric arrogance showman Benny Hinn now prowls about the stage, microphone in hand, growling and roaring like a lion, calling down “fire, fire” from above (or beneath, depending on your theological perspective). Snarling like the beast that he is, publicly cursing brethren who withstand him, Hinn’s voice sinisterly changes when “swept by the spirit.” Backmasking his sermons you hear his reverse speech clearly enunciating worship of the Dark Lord. In a recent sermon, Hinn states: “…and every man and every woman that…” but when reversed we hear the unmistakable words “remember women, MAN, they’re vain!!” Hinn’s internal vocabulary is filled with a primitive medieval English vocabulary that even I would not dare to print in BRI/IMCF literature. When he prays “Fire on you and your ministry” we hear in reverse “Let’s kill him.” Hinn mutters the phrase in a very strange voice, “The Holy Ghost is telling me to do thissssss.” Immediately prior to pronouncing curses on those who oppose his ministry he whispers into the microphone, “Yes, Lord, I’ll do it.” In reverse we hear the astonishing words, clear as crystal: “Let’s do it, Lord Satan!”But some of the unperturbed faithful (“Christian” is occasionally spelt “m-u-g”) will doubtless continue to staunchly support him. Kenneth Copeland doesn’t “cope” much better.
- While MikeEvans is prophesying, Copeland says: “Yes I’m a devil our Satan you’re moving in him.”
- Copeland removes his hands from a woman’s head (who has fallen backward under the anointing) and she says the words: “All hail Satan yes.”
- Rodney Howard Browne (of Brownsville fame) while speaking in tongues says:“Horapasia Satan.” The man he is ministering to then utters the words “I said I love the devil, la, la, la, la.”
I’ve always had my doubts about Hinn, and I have to admit that I’ve never personally been attracted to the big-mouthed, slurpy, super-sanctimonious Copeland. I won’t labour the point of apostasy by introducing the horrors of Brownsville and its false prophets who have destroyed countless Christian lives and character. That rank apostasy exists within the walls of the historic Christian church is widely recognised, even by its own debauched priesthood. The sects of Christendom, including particularly the pentecostal movement, attest to division and confusion with every man’s hand against his (denominational) neighbour. Leaving a local CLC (Christian Life Centre) to follow the directives of the Lord is equated as “the unpardonable sin” by pastor and laity alike. My wife and I have been through that one along with many others! This is not to say that there are not truly converted charismatic believers within the structure of the present Pentecostal assemblies.
We personally know MANY true believers who are decidedly charismatic (a biblical term) and who think of themselves as “pentecostal” (a non-biblical term) — but who do not yet fully appreciate the difference between these terms. We are assured that in time God will reveal the difference (Jn 16.12-13).
Arminius, Calvin and Spurgeon all believed in a burning hell for the incorrigible. Listen! There IS a hell. It’s so much MORE fierier and scorching than most “believers” “believe.” But because the church early rejected the elementary Jewish thoughtform that gave us the Scriptures in the first place, a biblically corrupt priesthood never understood that the first century Jews believed hell would eventually terminate. They never realised that hell had a purpose. That purpose was purification! Today’s popular (and pornographically filthy) caricatures of damnation make hell purposeless (and no true biblical scholar disputes this fact). But God is ceaselessly purposeful in ALL that He sets His hand to accomplish. Restoring the forgotten truth about “hell” is one more step to appreciating, enjoying, cherishing and esteeming the theology and wonder of an authentic “Grace.”
Spirituality — or a “RELIGIOUS SPIRIT”? Despite the jaunting of Pope John Paul II whom Billy Graham now calls “the greatest religious leader of the modern world,” “a statesman, a pastor, and an evangelist” and “God’s instrument for revival in our generation” the largely polluted Gentile Constantinian church is no longer a creative power in the world. There is a sole reason for this state of affairs. It is this: Christians have NO CONSCIOUSNESS OF UNION WITH GOD. They are not authentically spiritual. They are rather in receipt of a religious spirit. Poet Phil Streeter summed up real Christianity when he wrote:
I sometimes wonder if living in the infinity of your
heart means one endless party!
Spirituality, ultimately, being not about religion,
church attendance, obedience, morality, theology,
or any other solemn subject.
But about YOU having a rollicking time and
itching to share it.
All our lucky-dip, hotch-potch ways of worshipping you including…
clamour of intercession and welter of hallelujahs;
windmill arm-waving and playful plunges into baptism;
choking incense smoke and twiddly prayer beads;
candle co-ordinated anthems and sugary serenades;
Plus a myriad other theatrical enormities that
we pay star-struck attention to,
Are there, only because we are bird-witted beings
Needing to be reminded, startled and even shocked
into having a good time!
Its like whistles, balloons, loud music and exploding party poppers reminding celebrants why they’ve come together!
Its about a riotous pandemonium of prodigal people stomping home, forgiven!
A dazzling return requiring all the razzmatazz of
diamond rings flashing on fingers,
the laughter of new clothes,
great bites of barbecued beef,
wacky music, clinking glasses and giddy feet.
In fact, a sort of wallowing in an endless Jacuzzi of emotional loveliness.
Occasional party hiccups are inevitable
Someone vomiting over the carpet.
A drunk ejected (but invited back again).
Silent sulking in a corner.
A couple’s disappearance into a bedroom.
An odd agreement or two and even a brawl —
All being sins of passion not principle.
But the party whirls on,
Our smiling host being more eager to
reward runaways for the anguish of their falling than to punish them for having fallen.
– Phil Streeter, Party Perpetuity
A religious spirit is a superficial mimicry of spirituality.
- Religion is for those who fear going to hell. In contrast, authentic spirituality is the expression of those who have already been there.
There is no true spiritual power apart from UNION with Deity. To embrace with open-faced honesty our “Dearest Darling Daddy” is to first of all see ourselves as little toddlers, even without self-(ego)-awareness, the direct antithesis of pompous, resilient, stiffnecked pride for self-(ego)-awareness (the flesh) is quite distinct from Self-awareness (the spirit). In doing this, we come to identify the lost Child Within, and arrive at the startling realisation that God may well be a “Father” but He is also a playful Child, the continuous process of Incarnation in that which He creates.
The Gentile church is dead, for it has forgotten to frolic in the immense playground of God. It has forgotten its pre-fallen state. It has surrendered childish things and childlike things together. Deceived into believing it’s now grown up (matured) it’s taken its marbles and gone home to the evil materialistic world in which it subsists. It “has grown rich and increased with goods and has need of nothing” (Rev 3.17). So unlike an infant.
“Unless you become as LITTLE CHILDREN [toddlers] you shall in no way enter the kingdom of God,” said the Incarnate Child. This is because the Father is especially a Child. Of course, He’s hidden. Hidden in each one of us. Only a Child can FULLY appreciate another Child. As they play together they are inseparable for they see themselves as ONE. As infants they are unable yet to identify apparent individual separateness. They are not distinguished from the universe around them. As psychologists are now realising, toddlers (like animals) are truly ONE with everything. And in their joyful sense of ONENESS they can teach us so much.
The Gospel is all about a GIFT. And no child ever rejects a gift. They eagerly, gladly and gleefully receive it as its placed within the palms of their tiny appreciative grasp. The good news of the Gospel is that UNION with God is an entirely FREE and UNIVERSAL GIFT and that the consciousness of it is presented to us in the ever-present Moment, that quality of ETERNITY perceived in a flash of momentary insight. “God became Man that Man might become God“
Although we are an integral part of the current Messianic Movement, and have been since 1981, BRI is a unique Work and ministry. We are not a dead institutional backwater. We never have been and we never will be, by God’s Grace. We understand and teach Jewish thoughtform, and the truth about Israel. But…
Our Lord Yeshua haMashiach is the centre of our theology, not Israel. (But we teach about the vital importance of Israel.)
The Messiah as Living Torah is our focus, not Sinai. (But we teach about the vital importance of Sinai.)
The One New Man is our theology, not the New Covenant. (But we teach about the vital importance of the New Covenant.)
Likewise, our emphasis is on the Messianic Gospel of Grace, a Gospel of conciliation (with its ongoing inward-oriented holy Spirit-directed sanctification-work of reconciliation). That’s reconciliation, dear reader, not alienation. How glad we ought to be that NOTHING separates us from God in our comprehension anymore (Col 1.21 Gk), not even sin (Rom 8 — read it again). Even the divine humanity of Mashiach had to be destroyed on the tree, and the dogmatic assertions and symbols of the church are not more holy and precious than that.
The church for the first 300 years of its existence taught the truth about an ultimate universal salvation (as we have taken pains to point out in other literature). Then came the Dark Lord in the person of the demonic Constantine (his mother Helena was a real bitch. Nah! When it comes to her I’m not uncouth enough). Despite the inevitable eventuation of the great apostasy, predicted by Yeshua and the apostles, the truth about God’s Grace was kept alive by men and women who never rejected the Child Within. Today BRI preaches the FULL Gospel. We are not alone in this, for historical research conveys the truth that we are in good company.
A Cast of Thousands
Who were some of the saints that believed in God’s ultimate universal salvation? Why, those Christians who actually took time out to…
THINK about the biblical revelation…
to THINK about the love of the Messiah…
and to THINK about the Grace of God.
Consider the following intelligent and thoughtful scholars, a few names amongst countless thousands:
Paul the apostle; John the apostle; Pantaenus (first head of the catechetical school at Alexandria); Clement of Alexandria (second head of the catechetical school); Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen (the greatest scholar of the primitive church); Athenasius (Archbishop); Didymus; Ambrose (Bishop); Ephraim; Chrysostum; Gregory of Nyssa (Bishop); Gregory of Nazianzus (Bishop & President of the Second Church Council); Titus (Bishop of Bostra); Asterius (Bishop of Amasea); Cyril; Methodius (Bishop of Tyre); Eusebius (church historian); Hilary (Bishop of Poictiers); Victorinus; Macrina (the younger); Erigena; Dionysius; Barsudaili (Abbott of Edessa); Diodore (Bishop of Tarsus & Jerusalem); Theodore of Mopsuestia; John Cassian; Maximus of Turin; Proclus (Bishop of Constantinoplus); Theodoret the Blessed (Bishop of Cyrrhus); Peter Chrysologus (Bishop of Ravenna); Theophylact (Archbishop of Achrida); Anselm; Hermes Trisgistus; Joachim of Flora.
Add to these, Joseph Addison; Mark Akenside; Thomas Allin; Rev Robert Aspland; Hans Christian Andersen; Johann Arndt; Sarah Flower Adams, hymnist; Rev Henry Allon D.D.; Thomas Aird; Charles G. Ames; Paul Althaus; Edwin Arnold; Matthew Arnold; Joanna Beitte, author; Bernard Barton; Clara Barton; Thomas Belsham; Helen L. Bostwick; William Barclay, theologian & translator; Joseph Butler (Bishop); Baldwin Brown; Mrs Bloomfield, writer; Peter Bohler; Frederika Bremer, Swedish novelist; Phillips Brooks; Dr S. Fillmore Bennett; Professor J.S. Blackie; Rev William Archer Butler; Anna Letitia Barbauld, English poet and writer; Henry Brooke; John Brown MD; Lord Byron; Lady Byron; Philip James Bailey; Kristofer Jakob Bostrom, Professor of Philosophy, University of Uppsala; John R. Beard D.D.; Rev C.A. Bartol; Henry Ward Beecher; J. Ross Browne; Nicolai Berdyaev, theologian; George de Benneville; Dr Burnet (Master of the Charter House); Hendrikus Berkhof, theologian; Robert Buchanan; Stopford A. Brooke, chaplain to the Queen; Christian Edward Baumstark; Mary Bowitt; Charlotte Bronte; Emily Bronte; Anne Bronte; Hosea Ballou; A.J. Beresford-Hope; Rev Dr Thomas Burnet; Capel Berrow; Robert Browning; Elizabeth Browning; Bengel; Robert Burns; E.A. Thomas Rawson Birks, Secretary to the Evangelical Alliance; Karl Barth, theologian; Joanna Baillie; William Cullan Bryant; Principal Caird, Bishop of Meath; Lewis Carroll; Thomas Carlyle; the Cary sisters; Rev L. Carpenter L.L. D; Rev Professor Challis; Thomas Campbell; Sir G.W. Cox; Ronald Cower; J. Fenimore Cooper; G. Campbell; Dr Cheney; C. Charnay; Edward Clodd; Hartley Coleridge; Campanella; Dinah Muloch Craik, E.H.J. Cleveland; Paul Chatfield; William Emery Channing; Henry Bishop Colenso; Elisabeth C. Clephane, hymnist; Elisabeth Arundel Charles, hymnist and writer; Rev E.L. Clementson, theologian; Arther Hugh Clough; Dean Church; William Cowper; Rev Presbendary Constable, M.A.; Charles Chauncy; Alison Rutherford Cockburn, author; Francis Power Cobbe, author; James Gaylord Clark; Richard Coppin; George Crabbe ; Ralph Cudworth; Dr Samuel Cox; J. Macleod Campbell, Dean of Wells; R. Clark; Allen Cunningham; Cooke; Curione; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; McDonald Clarke; Lydia Maria Child, writer; Mary Carpenter, Daniel Defoe; Johan Conrad (Christian) Dippel; Thomas Dick; Charles Dickens; H. Dodd, theologian; Dr Philip Doddridge; William Duncombe; John Donne ; Rev R.W. Dale; D. Doddridge; W. Dudgeon; Denk; Franz Delitsch; J.H. Duganne; George Dawson; Professor Vernard Eller,Ralph Waldo Emerson; Erbury; Dr John Prior Estlin; Professor Espy; J.Preston Eby, writer; Erik Jakob Ekman, author; Thomas Erskine of Lintathen; Bishop Ewing of Argylle; Jacques Ellul, theologian & philosopher; Madelein L. Engle, author; Ebehard; Rev Fergus Ferguson; Herbert Farmer, theologian; Canon F.W. Farrar; P Nels Ferrer, La Fontaine; John Foster;T. Forsythe, theologian; Bishop Forbes of Brechin; Benjamin Franklin, encouraged the first Universalist church in Philadelphia; F.W. Faber; J.A. Fronde; Frederick the Great; Louis Figuier, French scientist; Vladimir Gelesnoff, pastor; Horace Greeley; Hattie Griswold; Thomas Gainesborough; T.W. Goethe; Emile Giradin; Thomas Guthrie; S. Baring Gould; Rev T. Griffith, Prebendary of St Pauls; Francesco Giorgi; W.R. Greg; General Gordon of Khartoum; Thomas Griffith; Archer Gurney; Victor Hugo; Rev John Page Hoppe; James Hinton; Rev Dr Hey, Professor of Divinity; Leigh Hunt; John Hick, theologian; Dr Ernest Christoph Hockman; Thomas L. Harris; Tom Harper, journalist; Bret Harte; John Henry Haug, Professor at Strasburg; Thomas Hobbes; Felicia Dorothea Hemans; Dr F. Hase, professor of theology; John Hay; J.C. Holland; Dr David Hartley; J.H. Hanson; Hetzer; T.W. Higginson; Karl Heim, theologian; Thomas Hood; James Hinton; Dean Hough, Concordant Publishing translator & pastor; James Hogg; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Ellice Hopkins; Marie Huber; Alexander Von Humboldt; Oliver Wendell Holmes; Pastor Nils Ignell; Robert Ingersoll; Washington Irving; Henry James; Sylvester Judd; Jean Jugelow; Samuel Johnson; Joseph Johnston, writer; Paul Janet; David Joris; Andrew Jukes; Immanuel Kant; Warren Young Kimball, author; Bishop Ken; Walter Kunneth; Morton Kelsey, author; William King (Archbishop of Dublin); Charles Kingsley; Canon Kingsley; George Klein-Nikolai, author; Dr C.F. Kling; A.E. Knoch, Concordant Publishing Concern; Johann Kaspar Lavater; T.C. Lockhart; Charles Lamb; Rev T. Latham; Adlai Loudy, author; Lucy Larcom, writer; Dr R.A. Lipsins, Professor of theology; William Law; Walter Savage Landor; Jane Leade; Johann Peter Lange; Albert Laighton; Rev Dr Littledale; William Leggell; Edna Lyall; Robert Bulwer Lytton; James Russel Lowell; Wadsworth Longfellow; Abraham Lincoln; Christopher Marshall; Guy Marks, author; H.H. Milman; Sir James Mackintosh; Richard Milnes; George MacDonald; M. Guillaume Monad; Johanna Eleanora von und zu Merlau; Count de Marcy; John F.D. Maurice; James Marlineau; Rev John Monsell LLD; Horace Mann; Raymond Massey, actor; Gerald Massey; Joaquin Miller; James Montgomery; Henry Moore; F.D. Moule, professor; Martensen; John Stuart Mill; F. de la Mennais; Bishop Moorhouse of Melbourne; Rev Professor J.B. Mayor; William Morris; J.B. Munroe; Miss Mulock; Norman MacLeod D.D.; Charles Mackay; George Moore; Rev L.C. Marvin; Sarah G. Edgarton Mayo, writer; John Murray; Joseph John Murphy; Johann A.W. Neander; James Neckar; Sir Isaac Newton; Bishop Newton; T. Niles, church leader; Caroline E.S. Norton, writer; Florence Nightingale; T.P. Nichol L.L.D.; Karl Johan Nyvall, author; John Frederick Oberlin; Mrs Oliphant; Appleton Oaksith; Rev John Orr, Professor Biblical Criticism; Margaret Fuller Ossoli,writer; Rev Lucius R. Paige; John H. Paton, author; Theophilus Parsons; Postel; Theodore Parker; Samuel Parr; J.G. Percival; Ferdinand Oliver Petitpiere; Alexander Pope; Archdeacon Paley; Johann Wilhelm Petersen; Johna Wilhelm Personne, Swedish Lutheran Bishop, author; Dr Joseph Priestley; Ray Prinzing, writer; Rev Charles A. Pridgeon, President Pittsburgh Bible Institute; John Pierpont; Professor E.H. Plumptre; Adelaide A. Procter; Francis Quarles; Thomas De Quincey; Chevalier Ramsay; J. Relly; Archdeacon Reichel D.D.; Samuel Richardson; John A.T. Robinson, theologian; Matthew Reuz; Henry Crabb Robinson; F.W. Robertson; John Ruskin; Samuel Rogers; Charles Reade; Jean Jacques Rousseau; Jean de Ruysbroek; George Rust; Dr Benjamin Rush; Bishop Rust; William Howard Russell; Rev Albert Reville DD; Reuss; Mathias Rissi, theologian; R. Stafford; Rev G. Vance Smith, DD.,PhD; Elizabeth Oakes Smith; A.E. Saxby, author; Percy B. Shelley; Spener; Thomas Say; Johann Schiller; J.H. Scholten; F. Schlegel; Hannah Whitall Smith, evangelist; Daniel Schenkel; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Seebach; Steinbart; English philanthropist; Philipp Jakob Spener; Christopher Sauer, Bible publisher; Mary M. Sherwood, writer; Rev Alexander Schweizer; Robert Southey; Horace Smith; Sir James Stephen; Julia H. Kinney Scott; F.W.T. Schelling; Jules Francois Suisse Simon, French statesman; Seba Smith; Dean Stanley; George Sand; William Sargent; Nathaniel Scarlett; Jung Stilling; Sir John Stonehouse; Gerritt Smith; John Sare; Leopold Scheffer; Hesba Stretton; Dr T. Southwood Smith; Eliza Scudder; Charles Schmitt, pastor; Ruth Carter Stapleton, Jimmy Carter’s sister; Caroline M. Sawyer, writer; John Sterling; M.B. Smedley; Ethelbert Stauffer, theologian; Sonner; Bishop Stillingfleet; Charles Sumner; Julia H. Scott, writer; F. Schleiermacher; Robert Short, author; Alexander Smith; Rev J.C. Street; Friedrich A.G. Tholuk, Johann Tauler; Martin Tupper; John R. Thompson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; James Thompson; Thomas Talbott, professor; J.S. Taylor; S.A. Tipple; Archbishop Tillotson; Sharon Turner; Chauncey Townsend; W.M. Thackery; Bayard Taylor; Abel C. Thomas; Sir Harry Vane; John Cooper Vail; Isaac Watts; Rev John Wallace; William Whiston; George Washington; Jeremy White; John Wilson; Ross Winans; N.C. Wilkins; J. Windet; Elhanan Winchester; Walt Whitman, Thomas Whittimore; David L. Watson, professor; Woeiner; Acton Warburton; John Greenleaf Whittier; Gerard Winstanley; William Wallace; William Wordsworth; Bishop Westcott; Peter Paul Waldenstrom; Rev H.B.Wilson; Theodore Winthrop; Canon Wilberforce; A.D.T. Whitney; William Whewell; Helena Maria Williams; N.T. Willis; Rev Edward White; Dr Edward Young; John Young LLD; St Teresa (Little Flower of Jesus); Dr Ernest L. Martin, historian, author; Bob Brinsmead radical ex-Adventist writer (to whom I am indebted for bequeathing to me in the mid-70s an intellectual apprehension of, and deep appreciation for, Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith alone and which set the stage for my own Damascus Road in 1981) and finally, yours truly, Les Aron Gosling.
Does BRI Have a “Brand New Key”?
Some of these names may engender thoughts of lives less honourable than others (and, indeed, of questionable value) because of their humanness, and their evident weaknesses of the flesh — in a word, their sometimes lack of sterling Christian character. (I readily enough, and eagerly include, myself among them.) But then again, I always thought that the Gospel is about “Grace” and not “works.” Of course I could be wrong. (I am being facetious.)
Nevertheless, what a “great cloud of witnesses” these few I have mentioned! Holy Spirit-sanctified men and women who were willing and eager to settle for a “second place” (or less) as imposed upon them by worldly church-going do-gooders, who were themselves evidently devoid of the Ruach HaKodesh.I listened some months ago to an early Sunday morning religious program which just happened to be featuring my old charismatic AOG pastor as its special guest speaker. What he had to say was, as I expected, lacking any appreciable “meat” for a lost and dying humanity, and it was laced as usual with sentiments of regret and grief masquerading as deep and meaningful spiritual insight. He railed against those who claim to present Christians with a “new key” that will unlock the door to a complete understanding of the biblical revelation and the nature and character of God. Now, despite what you may be thinking I’m not having a “go” at this gentleman. For, I understand what forces were at work over the years shaping his view of life and I grasp the reality that his attitudes won’t change his eternal state in the one he calls “Christ.” He’s saved by Grace too! But BRI has often been accused of presenting its teaching as a “new key.”
Listen, please, once and for all! What I have preached and taught for YEARS is not and never has been some “NEW key” to unlocking the biblical revelation. It’s not a “NEW key” — its the OLD key, a LOST key.
- I teach nothing “NEW,” but all things ORIGINAL.
I embrace “the old time religion.” “It was good enough for my [spiritual] fathers and its good enough for me.” You want to know what I preach? Open the literature of the ante-Nicene Fathers and there you will find it! I have never deviated into teaching some “new key” — but I have proclaimed the original keys, and I most certainly will do so until I gasp my last breath, a breath that will have love as its last thought — not hate, despair, grief or regret.
- I present the ORIGINAL lost keys: the ORIGINAL lost Yeshua, the ORIGINAL lost Gospel, the ORIGINAL lost teachings of Paul and the apostles, and I insist on the ORIGINAL lost mandate of the Messianic Community of God. Anything less is unacceptable to God. And its unacceptable to me. Is it unacceptable to you?
- I say away with the distorted Latinisation of the Bible! Away with the twisted Latin Jesus, away with the Latinised unspiritual legal mind of Rome, away with the perverted Latin thoughtform that has so successfully wrenched the sovereign Grace of God into the need for man to exercise his free will in “accepting Christ,” colouring the Gospel by reducing God’s will to a mere fanciful wish, and which has plagued and puzzled the human intellect and grieved the human heart. I say away with it all.
I am not alone in this assessment! Listen to what the celebrated A.W. Tozer has written: “Everything is made to centre upon the initial act of ‘accepting’ Christ [a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible] and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. The trouble is that the whole ‘Accept Christ’ attitude is likely to be wrong. It shows Christ applying to us rather than us to Him. It makes Him stand hat-in-hand awaiting our verdict on Him, instead of our kneeling with troubled hearts awaiting His verdict on us. It may even permit us to accept Christ by an impulse of mind or emotions, painlessly, at no loss to our ego and no inconvenience to our usual way of life… the formula ‘Accept Christ’ has become a panacea of universal application, and I believe it has been fatal to many… We are telling people that the easiest thing in the world is to accept Jesus Christ, and I wonder what has happened to our Christian theology which no longer contains any hint of what it should mean to be completely and utterly abandoned to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour” (The Quotable Tozer: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge, 1994).
I have been faithful in teaching this truth since 1981. I have been scoffed at for it, alienated because of it, discredited over it, and persecuted verbally for propounding it. In all my years as a teacher and lecturer I have NOT found anybody else of significance who stood with me in this comprehension. To think that Dr A.W. Tozer (who died in 1963) also realised this truth is enormously encouraging to me personally. I thank God that I have not been alone. But Tozer also said this, and I pass it on to you for your own spiritual edification, “True worship is to be so personally and hopelessly in love with God, that the idea of transfer of affection never even remotely exists.”
- Are YOU “personally and hopelessly in love with God”? Therein lies the key (for those who will receive it) to SPIRITUAL MASTERY. [We encourage our readers to get behind BRI in a committed way, and by joining our growing worldwide membership in the IMCF today. You will then be able to access the BRI International Internet Yeshiva Private Member’s Board for HUNDREDS of lectures unavailable to the masses, especially our lectures on authentic discipleship.]
Truth — God’s truth — is tenacious. It is immortal. I recall the language of the great German sage Schopenhauer: “Doubtless error can play its part, like owls in the night. But we should sooner expect the owls to cause the terrified sun to retire to the East, than to see the truth, once proclaimed, to be so repressed as that ancient error might recover its lost ground, and re-establish itself there in peace.” I will not rest until I know that I have contributed (in my own small way) to a restoration of doctrinal authenticity as it was accepted in its original primitive purity. It was Max Muller who wrote, “If we [really] want to be true and honest Christians, we must go back to those earliest ante-Nicene authorities, the true Fathers of the church” (Max Muller, extract from paper presented at the World’s Parliament of Religions, Chicago, September 1893).
Prayers for the Dead
Some will still, of course, strenuously disapprove. They will say that to return to the thinking of the ante-Nicene Fathers is to return also to the absurdity of praying for the dead. Once a person is dead, he/she is dead and cannot be further assisted. After all, their life is over. They are now “out of time.” God has already made His mind up about them. For them, Judgment Day has come. Was this the thinking of the early Christians? Was it really? Consider for a moment that…
- the custom of praying for the dead was universal in the church at that time. It was not a practice limited to the Roman or Latin church. Nobody in their right mind can argue against this proposition. It’s a matter of historical record. All authorities who are authorities agree with this evaluation because it is historically self-evident. Both the acknowledged orthodox and the sectarians ALL prayed for the dead.
Therefore, the practice would be a complete absurdity IF their condition in death was unalterably FIXED at the grave. If nothing else this particular recognition validates that the primitive Christians believed death did not end existence, nor (at the very least) did it usher in immediate judgment — negative or otherwise. What does this fact indicate to your mind? There were practices in the primitive community of believers that continue to be of sincere concern to genuine biblical authorities. Christians from the earliest centuries of the church have expressed their communion with those who have died by both praying for, and being baptised on behalf of, the dead (1 Cor 15.29). Today, we find it difficult to equate with this type of thinking.
The early Christians believed in an ultimate universal salvation. Startling as it first seems, not one creed of the early church for at least 500 years expresses any belief contrary to that of a UNIVERSAL SALVATION. Not one creed is in favour of endless punishment, or endless punishing, or endless torment. The joyous Gospel of Universal Salvation was the prevailing doctrine of the first three centuries of ecclesiastical history while Greek remained the language of Christendom. Indeed, once Latin conquered the church … then out went the truth of God.
The first apostles of endless punishment were Minucius Felix, Tertullian, and Augustine — all Latins, ignorant of the Greek mother-tongue in which the scriptures (the Hebrew/LXX and the Messianic texts) had been translated and bequeathed by the first Jewish converts to the people of God. In fact, the African Canaanite Tertullian gave us an entirely new jargon which, regrettably, is still with us to this very day. His entire theological vocabulary was his own special creation and his words were poisonous decoctions which finally misrepresented the Grace of God and the Gracious, salvific character of Deity.
His view of “justice,” for instance, was “payback” — a new and entirely different concept to the original Jewish idea of God’s justice as ever and always showing mercy and GRACE to His creatures. Yet, even with the admission of Latin, we locate not one record of an argument against universal salvation prior to Augustine (420 CE).For 400 long years it was the prevailing tenet. Even Jerome (400 CE) says that in his day belief in universal salvation was accepted “by most people”
(plerique) and this in spite of the forceful denunciations of the tremendously articulate, gloomily demonic and materialistic genius of the Constantinian Bishop of Hippo, Augustine.
Hippolytus (320 CE) lists thirty-two known heresies yet the doctrine of universal salvation is not given one scant mention. The “hammer of heretics” — church historian Epiphanius — describes a total of eighty heresies in the church but he fails to include universal salvation. He most certainly had marvellous opportunity to do so for he lived contemporaneously with Gregory of Nyssa, the most conspicuous, towering, out-spoken figure in Christianity, and a universalist!
It is also an interesting fact that the church which promulgated a cheerful, joyful God who was busily engaged in manifesting His love toward His creation in an ultimate universal salvation, actually accomplished more in its first 300 years in relation to outreach and missionary endeavour than at any other time in its subsequent history and development. The only man to later singularly rival the early success of the church was John Wesley, who emphasised Grace to the masses — GRACE, not some everlasting torment (though he believed in a hell).
The paganised corrupt monstrosity that we call today’s church has not kept up with its fervent original missionary accomplishments, despite its emphasis over the last 1600 years on a gloomy hell of torture, doom and everlasting destruction. As some so-called pastors like to mutter so frequently, “You become as the god you worship.” Ah, how true.
Salvation — FREE in the Cosmic Mashiach, or Bound up in Corrupt Translation?
Frequent readers of BRI material will know quite well what is my appraisal of the KJV (the so-called “Authorised Version” brought to the masses by an actively aggressive homosexual) which has done so much to cloud the real issues of Grace and salvation. What is my current personal view and attitude toward other translations and versions of the Holy Bible? I must be candid, forthright and entirely honest when I say that my evaluation of the Bible is this:
- Even though I dearly love the biblical revelation (indeed its serious study is my whole life) the Bible is the most hideous AND UGLY DOCUMENT anyone can possess in its present form. For it has been overwritten by piously ignorant men possessed NOT by the Spirit of God but by the spirit of antichrist.
- It behoves us all as students (disciples) of haMashiach to read widely, study thoroughly, pray effectively, and keep an entirely open mind on all issues relating to the Word of God as God’s holy Spirit leads us into all ” the” truth (Jn 16.13 Gk). God’s Spirit manifesting as “the Word, is not bound” (2 Tim 2.9) and we can have confidence in our heavenly Father to show us — REVEAL to us — His love. Now, having said this, just watch how some of BRI’s readers will run amok with these statements twisting, wresting and distorting what I wrote to try to make me say something I didn’t have in my mind. There can be little doubt we now live in an age foretold by the Lord Himself when He pondered aloud whether at His return He would even find the original Faith He established. There will not only be a general absence of “the Faith” but really, as the Jewish prophets and apostles predicted, an actual dearth of real living dynamic FAITH due to a famine of hearing the Word.
The Lost “Fatherhood” of God
Yeshua came to REVEAL the Father (Mt 11.27). True, the Jewish people (and especially the prophets) had called God “Father” prior to the first advent of Messiah (e.g., Isa 63.16). But I must insist that until His Son came God had not been known as a “Daddy” (Mk 14.36) with all the expected and anticipated qualities this unique conceptualisation expresses.
Ab’ba is Aramaic for “dearest darling Daddy” (even though some protest against this interpretation) and it is this side of God’s character and personality that is paramount for us to experience in this present transient life. Paul integrated this view of God as Daddy into his own ministry (cf Rom 8.15 and Gal 4.6, both being references in relation to “the spirit of sonship,” a testimonial to an actual begettal or conception, not some aloof Tertullian legal pronouncement of “adoption”). Further, for there to be a necessity for Messiah to reveal or unveil the Father is a good indication (if words mean anything) that until that point He had been hidden or at the very least obscured. (There is abundant proof which I have offered to the public in other BRI publications and articles that the “God” Israel worshipped in the past was in fact an angelic mediator. This will not sit well with other Messianic assemblies but it is the truth nonetheless.)
Unfortunately, the idea of God as our Father — our “Dearest Darling Daddy” — has once again become concealed. The Father has once more experienced a sense of “lostness.” Still, we must not “lose” sight of the underlying subtext of the Gospel which is all about God and Man playing games with one other. Hide and Seek. Lost and Found. Man hides, God seeks. God hides, Man seeks. Man finds himSelf, Man loses himSelf, Man forgets God, God seeks lost Man, God hides from himSelf (1 Kgs 8.12; Ps 18.11; 97.2), God hides from God in His salvific dream, both God and Man wear masks (persona), and both discover finally to their surprise and astonishment that “I AM.” We are only God’s thoughts and imprints or dream-images. God wears many masks. This is not some strange “New Age” teaching. It is not some hideous Hinduism. It is true Jewish thoughtform and I have faithfully taught it in one form or another since our inception in 1981. And I will continue to teach it (as well as turn down US $50 million to surrender it which happened in recent years).
“O My Papa, To Me He Was So Wonderful”
One thing for sure, once the Latinisation of the church occurred we lost “the Father.” We have always immortalised our deceased fathers in sentimental songs with lyrics like the 50s hit “O, My Papa,” (“to me he was so wonderful, O my papa, to me he was so good…”). But while we perpetuate memories of our earthly fathers we have forgotten the heavenly Father completely, replacing Him entirely with Yeshua in the guise of someone called “Jesus.”
The early Greek Fathers believed the consecrated word “Father” (better, “Daddy”) solved all mysteries of space and time (really, in today’s understanding, “spacetime”), unlocked the answer to all our finite problems, and explained
ALL the enigmas of the infinite ages (eternity). Because God was our “Dearest Darling Daddy” ALL punishment was seen to be remedial, restorative and in no way punitive. Tertullian’s judge and tyrant (adopted by Augustine) could not but spawn Mariolatry, and who can truly blame the Christians for fleeing to the comforting attention, soothing warmth and caring love of the Messiah’s Mum? Catholics seemed to get a better deal from her than they did from the callous “old bastard.”
The Protestants fared little better, finally deciding to create an effeminate “Jesus” “who came to do away with His Father’s stern law” and who pleads before the wrathful Throne of Heaven on bloodied knees so that sinful man can attain to some measure of mercy. This new Jesus entirely replaced the helpful instruction of Torah with something vaguely tagged “love.” Thus Protestant Churchianity addressed to “Jesus” a completely lopsided adoration, devotion, reverence and worship due to “Dearest Darling Daddy,” the forgotten Father. A far too Christocentric churchianity has been the all too obvious harvest.
Now we have degenerated into Pentecostalism (I gleefully differentiate Pentecostalism from a true charismatic experience of the Ruach HaKodesh) with its overt emphasis on the worship of the holy Spirit. And we mindlessly chant choruses like “Spirit We Love Thee.” First stanza stresses how much we “love” “adore” and “worship” the Spirit. Second stanza accentuates how we “love” “adore” and “worship” the Son. Third stanza finally gives an “afterthought” to the mysterious Father. Yep, left to last — again. Well, at least He gets a mention, something pretty rare in certain denominational and sectarian circles BRI knows. Forgetting God as “Dearest Darling Daddy” has brought forth the worst errors of our modern creeds.
Returning to the Age of the Primitive Messianic Community — a Gross Impossibility?
Historian William Cave in his Primitive Christianity considered the character and purity of the early believers who fully appreciated God’s Grace. He tells men and women to search the records of the first 300 years of ecclesiastical history for “Here he will find an active and zealous devotion, shining through the blackest clouds of malice and cruelty; afflicted innocence triumphant, notwithstanding all the powerful or political attempts of men or devils; a patience unconquerable under the biggest temptations; a charity truly universal and unlimited; a simplicity and upright manner in all transactions; a sobriety and temperance remarkable to the admiration of their enemies; and, in short, he will see the divine and holy precepts of the Christian religion drawn down into action, and the most excellent genius and spirit of the Gospel breathing in the hearts and lives of these good old Christians.”
“Christianity,” penned Milman, “was almost from the first a Greek religion. Its primal records were all written in the Greek language; it was made known with the greatest rapidity and success among nations either of Greek descent, or those which had been Grecised by the conquest of Alexander. In their organised structure the Grecian churches were a federation of republics.”
The Greek Christians inherited the Jewish tradition of a merry God who loved all humankind so much He gladly GAVE (not offered) His unique Son to die for a lost humankind, thus creating joyful believers. But Latin churchianity by contrast was sullen and characterised by “adherence to legal form; severe subordination to authority. The Roman Empire extended over Europe by a universal code, and by subordination to a spiritual Caesar as absolute as he was in civil obedience. Thus the original simplicity of the Christian belief structure was entirely subverted; its pure democracy became a spiritual dictatorship. The presbyters [overseers or guides] developed into bishops, the bishop of Rome became Pope, and Christendom reflected Rome” (Milman, Latin Christianity, 215).
The church still reflects Rome. Our children, grandchildren and even great-grand-children will reflect the family’s inherent traits and characteristics. How can Rome’s “daughters” and “grand-daughters” and “great-grand-daughters” be otherwise than a reflection of their Mother (even a few times removed)? Today’s pentecostal churches especially are still under the sway of local vocal yokels, donkeys (lacking even the intelligence of Balaam’s ass), would-be’s-if-they-could-be’s, also-rans, and little strutting snot-nosed Napoleonic upstarts who like to be called “ministers” (yep, servants) who are themselves woefully ignorant of the TRUE Daddy who loves us all. They are woefully ignorant of the biblical revelation. They are openly hostile to His Gospel of Grace toward a fallen, hapless humankind.
In contrast to the universally recognised general and extensive cheerfulness which was prevalent among the Christians in the first three hundred years of the unparalleled expansion of the Messianic Community of God — because of the teaching of the true Gospel — we find today an apostate church imbued with a spirit of Jezebel telling its faithful congregants that they should be “happy” (whatever that empty term actually means) riddled from top to bottom with a bloated pessimism, lying and adulterous corruption, filth and folly, unutterable wickedness and universal depression. All of these evil symptoms were found in the world when Our Lord Yeshua first proclaimed “liberty to the captives.” Yeshua came to “show us our Daddy” Those offensive symptoms gave way before the powerful onslaught of a zealous fervent joyful Christianity. The same manifested sickening symptoms in the church will flee from before us again, if we are properly armed, and have the guts to “wield the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” and to wield it faithfully. The symptoms are
sickening because the knowledge of the very term “salvation” as the “health of Yahweh” has also been subverted.
In the Catacombs: The Silence of the Lambs… and Goats
In the catacombs are engravings of the Lord Yeshua as the Good Shepherd, surrounded by His loyal flock, tightly carrying a rescued, retrieved lamb over His shoulders. The lamb is the trusting, repentant Christian. The Messiah in most of the portrayals exudes a quiet confidence. But in a number of portraits He carries a goat on His shoulder.
- Correct me if I’m in error, but aren’t the LOST the object of the Father’s Grace? Yes, even the wicked in the early years of the primitive Messianic Community were considered the object of the faithful Redeemer’s salvific unconditional love and unending salvific Grace.
And why not?
After all, the Saviour of the world pictures Himself as carrying “kidlings” or “little kids” in his left hand. It is a term of tender regard, and nothing else (Mt 25.33 Gk).
The poet Matthew Arnold comprehended this truth when he wrote, “He saves the sheep, the goats he doth not save!”
So rang Tertullian’s sentence on the side
Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried, —
“Him can no fount of fresh forgiveness lave,
Whose sins once washed by the baptismal wave!”
So spake the fierce Tertullian. But she sighed,
The infant Church, — of Love she felt the tide
Stream on her from her Lord’s yet recent grave,
And then she smiled, and in the Catacombs,
With eyes suffused but heart inspired true,
On those walls subterranean, where she hid
Her head in ignominy, death and tombs,
See her Good Shepherd’s hasty image drew
And on his shoulders not a lamb, a kid!
Between the composition of Paul’s last epistle and the emergence of the earliest writings of the Fathers is a gap of about 80 years. But that period is anything but silent. For the catacombs tell us that the primitive persecuted Messianic Community rejoiced not in its salvation alone but in the salvation of the entire world — sheep and goats.
C’mon Guys, Face up to Reality
We could perhaps have about 30 years left before Messiah comes. The time has therefore come for TRUE ministers of God to face up HONESTLY to some obvious facts about the holy Scripture and the beliefs of the original non-Constantinian Church.
So face up to reality.
Answer some questions.
Pass the answers on to your congregations, in FAITH, nothing doubting. You might get a pleasant surprise as some believers might actually want to know the truth.
Think about these propositions:
Paul made it clear: “But now without law righteousness of God is manifested, borne witness to by the law and the prophets; righteousness of God BY THE FAITH OF Yeshua the Messiah TOWARDS ALL [the world], and upon all those who believe [the church]: for there is no difference, for all [the world and the church] have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3.21-22 Gk).
BY Messiah’s faith the entire world was justified at the death of Messiah, not just believers (Rom 5.18). “This is a faithful saying and worthy of everyone’s acceptance. For therefore we both labour and put up with strong disapproval because we trust in the living God who is the SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN [the entire world] especially of those that believe [the church]. These things command and teach” (1 Tim 4.9-11).
If you don’t teach this then you are by a biblical standard neglectful of your duty. I didn’t say this; the sovereign holy Spirit said it. Argue with him. Better still, why not submit to the holy Spirit and admit that you have been a liar (because you have lied to believers, even inadvertently), a thief (because you have stolen the real joy believers could otherwise have experienced in their Christian walk as disciples, even inadvertently), and a murderer (because some have died under your ministry without ever knowing the true character and beauty of their Heavenly “Dear Darling Daddy”).
There can be absolutely no doubt that the immediate successors of the apostles continued to teach and preach the word of God’s salvific Nature of Love and Grace… and since then an enormous host of witnesses, many of them viciously maligned and persecuted, have proclaimed the wonder and astonishment of the Grace of God.
I rejoice that I am counted in their number.