[…] much is conditional and contingent on prayer and obedience of the faithful, but there is a view that so ‘conditionalizes’ the prophetic scripture that some have even proposed to remove the future necessity for Israel’s experience of ‘great tribulation’ through united corporate prayer. However, Jesus said that heaven and earth would sooner pass away before “all these things” should fail of certain fulfillment. And while the believing remnant in the Land are instructed to pray that their flight ‘be not in winter or on the Sabbath’, it would be futile to pray that their flight ‘be not’. So believing that not all prophecy is conditional (see Dan 11:36; “that which is determined shall be done”), I only meant to say that if this unequaled tribulation is indeed future and without precedent or equal (please review in context Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1; Mt 24:21), then it is inexorably sure, regardless of our ability to fathom it. […]
… The root problem is, of course, the knowledge of God. It is a matter of revelation, as you said ‘encounter’. It is the want of being radically apprehended. But why not? I see that many have utterly thrown themselves without conscious reserve upon the Lord for resurrection and life. Still, they often come up without final resolution, and for long years pass through a process that seems impossible to hurry, and even some of these fail of the coveted prize (full sanctification). Why? How?
I find three reasons…
[…] Translation is not merely an academic task. It is context sensitive, and decisions of translation are often a very spiritual matter. Within limits, a subjective bias can influence decisions between close options. If the stakes are high spiritually, and if there’s a close choice, such as in Zech 12:10, the orthodox Jew will, of course, avoid the translation that implies a meaning that favors the Christian interpretation, but NOT because his knowledge of Hebrew is superior. So even the translator’s task must be governed by the Spirit, or else a subjective bias can compromise a close decision between reasonable possibilities. …
But on the larger questions of the inerrancy of scripture, the classic article that provides THE definitive defense of this subject in the last century was written by Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield. He was a magnificent apologist for the evangelical faith in many areas, but played an especially key role in checking the flood of German higher criticism that was sweeping our academic institutions by storm with its wholesale assault on the authority of scripture. I would go as far as to say that except for men like Warfield, Vos, Machen, and a handful of others, America would not have its “Bible belts” today, and we’d be in even worse shape than we are now. But he’s your man on the doctrine of inerrancy. […]
… I see little difference in principle between coming under a legal necessity or ecclesiastical demand to tithe than to submit to circumcision in order to accommodate the party of the concision as Paul called it. To this disposition of spirit, Paul was determined not to give place, no not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue. The law was a tutor to bring us to Christ. If it hasn’t yet brought us to the freedom of daughters and sons, it hasn’t done its job. However, a tutor that has done its job can retire. …
… So we fully affirm that a rapture will occur, but not as it is being taught. Those that teach that the rapture is BEFORE the tribulation (called the “pre-tribulational view. ‘Pre’ means before) see it as escape and exemption from the last persecution, which they confuse with the wrath of God, and point out that believers are not ‘appointed to wrath’ (1Thes 5:9). There is, of course, a clear distinction between tribulation and divine wrath. There is a clear distinction throughout the book of Revelation between the saints endure the wrath of man and those that are called ‘earth dwellers’ that experience the wrath of God. Manifestly, there are many saints in the tribulation period that are not “appointed to wrath,” but this exemption does not require physical removal from the scene (Lk 21:18; Rev 7:3; 12:6). …
[…] According to 1Pet 3:21, baptism is an “answer” (response) of a good conscience” (not an “appeal for” a good conscience, as unfortunately translated in some modern translations; contra Moulton Geden Greek Conc). The ‘good conscience’ is obtained only by faith in Christ’s resurrection. Baptism stands as a ‘figure’ (pictorial enactment signifying a testimonial obedience of identification with His death and resurrection) of that saving transaction accomplished through faith alone, since the heart (conscience) is only ‘purified by faith’ (Acts 15:9). We are never “saved” by a ‘figure’ or type, or by any ordinance! According to NT precedent, baptism is only administered to those that give evidence of repentance (Mt 3:8), and that show signs of true regeneration (Acts 8:37; 10:47). This alone constituted one as a candidate for baptism according to NT precedent. Well, I could go on, but must cut this short. […]
[…] Paul makes this a matter of liberty and personal conscience, not to be judged by another. So you are free to use your Shabbat blessing as you choose, as a sweet offering to the Lord, and as refreshment to your soul, your family, and as many as are inclined to observe with you. It is unto the Lord that you regard the day; and He is honored by what’s in your heart. After all, the day was not made for its own sake, but for you. However, mark well that IF we were still under the law as a binding administration, this would not be so. It would then be a very particular matter indeed, and no part of all the appurtenances of Sabbath observance could be left undone without spoiling the whole. […]
[…] Although knowing and appreciating Art’s meaning in that title, I used to tell him that it might have been more accurately entitled “FEW saved and even fewer converted,” that is, converted in the sense that Peter was ‘turned’ after the great blow to his presumption. I wrote an article entitled “the deeper conversion of the converted,” in which I showed the evidence that Peter was indeed regenerate (the common meaning attached to the word ‘converted’), but was not as yet completely ‘turned’ (broken and emptied of self-reliance) in the sense that Jesus uses the word in that instance. […]
[…] Properly understood, there is no greater truth so full of gospel comfort and power than the doctrine of the imputation of the totality of Christ’s righteousness to the least believer (provided, of course, that believer is no mere professor, but has passed through the straight gate of authentic regeneration). Yes, it is quite capable of abuse and miscarriage; show me a doctrine that is not. The Roman church could not see that God could never impute righteousness on any other basis than what was wrought in Christ, and not only at the cross, but this imputation includes the righteousness that was that was tested and proved through the thirty three and half years of spotless obedience that Christ fulfilled UNDER the law. Only through the imputation of this totality of Christ’s righteousness can God lawfully ‘quicken whom He will’ (Eph 2:1; Jn 5:21; Ro 9:18). In fact, IF the righteousness wrought out in Christ’s humanity were not freely and unconditionally imputed in the full, there could be no new creation, no regeneration, not even faith. Why? Because to grant righteousness on any other basis than Christ’s perfect obedience would indeed be a repudiation of the justice of God. The righteousness required by the law must be fulfilled in full. The debt must be paid in full. The punishment must be suffered in full in order for God to justly justify the ungodly. Otherwise it would be a ‘legal fiction’ indeed.
In other words, apart from such imputation unto the everlasting righteousness of New Covenant justification (compare Jer 32:40; Dan 9:24), forgiveness, or remission of sins, would indeed be arbitrary and unjust. Without the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, there could be no Spirit wrought faith in the heart. In my view, even the Old Testament believers could not have believed were it not for the surety of the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world in the predestinating counsel and foreknowledge of God. Therefore, in a sense, the only righteousness that God can accept is His own ‘perfect and complete’ righteousness as fulfilled in the One, the righteousness that He perfected in the One humanity that qualified to represent the sinner, namely, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, hallelujah! […]
[…] Therefore, grace is never the absence of responsibility, but rather the power to fulfill ‘all righteousness’ by a newness of spirit that works by love. This, since nothing counts except what issues out of a new creation (Gal 6:15).
Thus, Paul’s vehemence against the law is essentially directed not against the law, but against the evil presumption that anything within the natural power of man (even the best will and resolve of religious man) could procure righteousness or contribute anything towards justification. That common presumption is always and under all circumstances and dispensations, WORKS. For this cause, Paul said “to whom we gave place, no, not so much as an hour SO THAT the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” Pretty serious stuff. So serious that Paul says to Peter, “if I build again the things that I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” […]