THE ATONEMENT--PARDONED, ACQUITTED, FORGIVEN
Man’s violation of the law and God’s behavioral expectations from Sinai had been less than well received. Man was incapable of keeping the law . . . And even if he could, man could not regenerate his soul. Adam’s sin had assured man that biologically, genetically, and innately man was irreversibly destined for an everlasting sentence of guilty, with no possibility of parole.
Called the doctrine of man’s radical corruption, the prognosis from our ancestral parents in Eden was terminal illness of the worst magnitude—spiritual death and separation from God forever in a place called hell.
The only hope and solution to man’s inescapable reality was to acknowledge Jesus, the promised seed in Genesis 3:15, as man’s only hope and throw himself on the mercy of the Almighty . . . Understanding that it is singularly God that justifieth AND that any attempt by man, other than the Father’s one solution in Jesus Christ, would end up being an exercise Ecclesiastes termed vanity.
Rather than throwing himself at the mercy of the eternal Judge, most of humanity sought reformation through religion, with ‘good’ works as well as the commandments of men as its foundation . . . an unstable foundation of sand.
The other alternative men ‘chose’ to pursue was one of equal emptiness. It involved the occult, namely the discovery of ‘truth’ by man looking within himself to discover his divinity. After all, this was the downfall of man in Genesis 3. Was it not the serpent convincing Eve to be as god and not like himself, that fueled the initial act of rebellion and assured man’s ultimate fall from grace before his Creator?
God’s appearance in the flesh caught men off guard. Men believed they could assuage (appease, satisfy, placate) God’s displeasure by doing good deeds, and in his quest to atone for those deeds less desirable, man had ‘perfected’ a religious system of works. This redemptive paradigm was inherently weak however; for it only gauged the outward appearance of men, not his intents.
With the appearance of God’s grace and mercy in the person of Jesus Christ, this religious monolith was about to implode. First, Christ would abolish the priesthood. As the believer’s great high priest, Jesus Christ, would make possible entry into the holiest of holies. Passing from man’s flesh, through his soul, Christ would have the preeminence in the driver’s seat of man’s personality, specifically his will.
The precious blood of the Savior, the essence of the New Testament, that crimson flow would make spiritual pardon and justification within the reach of all a possibility. Tethered to the hanger of God’s foreknowledge, and Jesus’ exclusive message of self-crucifixion by his Holy Spirit, the promises of hope with everlasting life would enter the sieve of the Godhead’s elective counsel.
Destroying such notions as the ‘age of accountability,’ Rome’s ‘prevenient grace,’ as well as the sin of presumption, such theological drivel is at odds with God’s unconditional redemption extended to man. With religion and its slavish system of works, assurance of salvation can never be part of redemption in the equation of religion.
Jesus’ exclamation form the cross that “It is finished” inaugurated the process of redemption. Between Jesus’ earthly ministry and Acts 2, this process was under construction. Faith bridged Old Testament saints and how a person was saved just prior to the apostolic church’s formation in Acts 2.
Jesus had accomplished what men could not do for themselves. Men could not obtain a pardon in an eternal courtroom that returned a verdict of guilty on all counts. Men could not correct a flaw that was so ingrained in his genetic makeup that its inherent nature assured all men that followed to be condemned.
Pardon could only be assured by satisfying the Father on all counts when it came to the fulfilment of his expectation—the law. Justification could only happen by Jesus’ miraculous conception and development. The transference, or imputation, of Jesus’ righteousness was about to happen—the pouring out of Christ’s Holy Spirit. This would be the second assault on the monolith man had created with religion.
BAPTISM BY THE HOLY SPIRIT--DEATH TO SELF
Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension had purchased man’s debt payment. Now it was time for the Holy Spirit to collect on that debt. He was to crucify the individual and allow Christ’s righteousness, holiness and mind to direct the sinner’s life. As proceeding from the Father, the Holy Ghost would now abide in his saints, not only eternally redeeming that sinner, but equally as important, distinguishing the real from the counterfeit; the religious, from the truly born again; and the dead orthodoxy of religion, from Spirit controlled living.
Yes, Jesus’ Holy Spirit is intimately involved with the Savior’s appearance and earthly ministry. Without the Holy Spirit, eternal redemption and a changed life is an elusive vapor, appearing briefly then vanishing away. Without the Holy Spirit discernment of spirits and the spirit world is impossible. Without the Spirit of Christ fruit is not produced . . . and without fruit there is no Holy Spirit abiding, presence and eternal life. The final assault on man’s religious monolith was an act that has been overlooked by every religious leader since scripture’s completion in 100 A.D. . . .and there is a very good reason for that!
THE COMPLETION OF THE SCRIPTURES . . . GOD'S AUTHORITY OR MAN'S?
Equally as important as the first two, Jesus’ words would now become canon, or the incontrovertible, eternal benchmark, and because of their completion would now eliminate all questions regarding human authority in the spiritual realm. Ending the dominance and reliance on the agency of men, the completed scriptures were now to become the sole authority in the believer’s life. Of course, sinful men would continue to corrupt Jesus’ words through the counterfeit ‘bible’ movement with the assistance of ‘bible’ societies whose allegiance and financial support would be tethered to Rome.
Men would not rest until they wrested authority away from Jesus’ spoken word. Re-establishing a system of works and a redemptive paradigm that produced a spiritually dependent class of people, either through Rome or Protestantism, man with the aid of Satan, was poised to corrupt Christ’s precious words at all cost, the end justifying the means.
With the apostolic offices and their suggestion of spiritual hierarchy and dominance over others abolished, what did the completion of the scripture’s spell for man’s spiritual domination over others? It signaled their demise.
The believer’s authority would now be the scripture’s. The believer’s teacher would now be the Holy Spirit.
The Bible’s View of Dualism
Dualism is the belief that no omnipotent Creator exists. It implies that two powers, neither one of which wields the possession of all power in this eternal conflict, will ultimately triumph. Dualism’s origin stems from man’s inability or unwillingness to accept the Bible at face value regarding man’s elemental components—spirit, soul and body . . . Whether it is from the perspective of Greek (Platonic and Aristotelian thought) or Oriental philosophy (Lao-tzu and Daoism).
Dualism is built upon the unstable premise that man is not special in his creation, but an organism that can be dissected just like any other animal—evolution. This is at odds with the Bible’s teaching that with man, the material and non-material exist within the same organism AND that there is no divisibility between man’s soul and body, except at death, but only for a moment.
Refusing to deal with the central question of sin in its examination of man’s existence, Greek and Oriental philosophy follow the path of every other human endeavor to explore man’s being from a non-biblical perspective—esotericism, theoretical abstractionism, and psychology with its quicksand of feelings, intentions, experiences, and vain imaginations.
This theological, religious, and philosophical heresy has now made its way into the Protestant camp where its teaching is legion. As a matter of biblical record, the occult can be defined in scripture as man’s pursuit to become God. God is the Father of all spirits. Jesus, as Creator, created Lucifer. The Bible clearly teaches that Satan serves an eternal purpose in God’s sovereign plan on earth. That purpose is to deceive those who hold the truth in unrighteousness.
Satan gets far too much credit for the actions and plans of men. Satan is a defeated foe. He has been expelled from heaven and cannot falsely accuse the brethren. He is vanquished. As Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished.”
Not able to succeed in his quest to overthrow his Creator, Jesus Christ, Satan assists man where he failed . . . and where man needs Satan’s aid, he will summon it. Just remember, the occult is man’s quest to replace Jesus Christ in the formula of eternal life. Genesis 3 clearly teaches that because Satan failed, he encouraged man to continue in this futile attempt at self-deification.
The Yin and the Yang—the Male and Female Components of Deity
Another aspect of dualism that is not often touched on is the belief that God is neither male nor female but some kind of gender-neutral deity. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Bible clearly teaches that God is male, Father, and his son Jesus Christ is referred to in the masculine.
Because the mind of Christ is so opposite to that of the natural man, his actions, as well as words, towards others, especially those closest to him, are often perceived as points of awkwardness when confronted in the gospels. This is because human societies are generally, by nature, anti-Christian.
You have God’s fury, wrath, anger, and judgment all tied to the attribute of his holiness and righteousness, without which God could not be God. Then you have his mercy, evident in his repentance, when all reason tells you this person or culture doesn’t deserve it. Then there is the long-suffering and patience of God. Just look at the present sinful condition of our world and America’s precipitous (rapid) moral decline? Truly his ways and thoughts are not ours!
 It must be understood this is not God changing his mind. This is not an oops moment with God where he did not anticipate something. God’s foreknowledge knows the beginning from the end. What you have when this behavior is evident in the scriptures, is that men are to learn from it—extend mercy to others when they don’t deserve it, even as God extends mercy to us, through Christ, when we do not deserve it.