Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

JOHN:   So, if you want to just make your way behind a microphone and feel free to ask a question about the Bible, the church, the ministry, me, anything that’s on your heart that’s related to our ministry, we’d be glad to answer that. And try to keep your question direct, if you can, so we can get as many people involved as possible. I think we’ll start over here with Barbara. Give us your name first so we get to know you.

BARBARA:   My name’s – oh my gosh – my name is Barbara Garanzic, and I work for Grace Church. I’m asking a question for my Bible study leader who was in a group and this question came up.

JOHN:   That’s what they all say, Barbara. You have a friend who has a problem, right?

BARBARA:   Right.

JOHN:   No, go ahead.

BARBARA:   They got into a discussion about the fact that God hates sin, but not the sinner. Now, Satan is a created being, even though he is like the personification of sin. Does God hate Satan?

JOHN:   Well, you’re asking a very technical question. When we say God hates sin and loves the sinner – or doesn’t hate the sinner, you’re really drawing a fine line. God looked on all his creation and said that it was good so that basically what God created He adores. He considers the work of His hand. And man, though the image of God is marred is nonetheless still made in the image of God.

So, the New Testament says God loves the world, God loves all men. It even says that we are to do good unto all men, especially those of the household of faith. So, we’re to do good to all men, for they’re made in the image of God. There’s a sense, then, in which no matter what we do in our lives, God still loves what we are as the expression of His creation, but He hates the sin.

Now, I think that is also true in the case of Satan or in the case of the demons or anything else, the angels. God created them and insofar as they reflect and represent His creative power and His creative wisdom, God honors that by – whatever we want to call it, I mean He looks at it as good. Okay? He looks at it as if it were positive in the sense that it was the expression of His creation.

But whenever sin taints a being, whether it’s angelic or human, God hates the sin. Now, in our minds, it’s difficult for us to separate that, but in God’s mind it’s possible. I think we are – we try to do that. For example, in Ephesians chapter 4, it says that we are to speak the truth in love. Now, in order to do that, you have to love the sinner while hating the sin.

So, I think in the case of Satan, God does not hate the being as such; He hates what sin has made that being. Now, let me go a step further. There are places in the Bible where it even says that God hates a sinner or God hates an evil man, but we have to understand that in the context it’s reflecting that God hates that sin and what sin has made of that individual.

BARBARA:   Thank you.

JOHN:   Okay?

BETTY:   Okay. My name is Betty Kennedy. And in Luke 21, verses 34 through 36 –

JOHN:   Okay, Luke 21.

BETTY:   Mm-hmm. The Lord is saying, “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Now, two questions. Is this referring to the translation of the Church, and if so, does this speak of a partial rapture. Because what I don’t understand is if it’s speaking of Christians, why would we have to pray that we be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come on the earth, when we are in Christ, and we’re worthy in Him?

JOHN:   Very good question. The thing that I believe you have here is the tribulation. So, we aren’t even here. See, a pre-tribulation rapture completely makes that passage understandable. We’re gone. And here, I think basically this – the key is “that day” in verse 34. I think that’s the day of the Lord. And I think the day of the Lord has to do with His return and the judgments that come around His return. “It’ll come like a snare on them that dwell on the face of the earth.” And I think He is saying, “Watch,” in a very general sense to all people, to be alert, to be aware, to escape the things that shall come to pass.

I think it’s a warning for people to follow the message of the Gospel of Christ to escape ultimate judgment. Now, it does have, I think, a bearing on the Church in the sense that we will escape. Right? In 1 Thessalonians 1 it says that He has delivered us from the wrath to come at the end of the first chapter there.

BETTY:   Yes, uh-huh.

JOHN:   Or He has saved us from what is going to happen in the future because we’re in the Church. But I think also this is a warning to any living during the time of the tribulation, because I think that’s basically the context.

BETTY:   I see.

JOHN:   Okay?

BETTY:   Okay. Thank you.

JOHN:   Yes?

ALLEN:   My name is Allen Keith. My question is in regard to Matthew 27:52 and 53.

JOHN:   Okay. Matthew 27:52 and 53.

ALLEN:   It’s actually a two-part question.

JOHN:   Okay.

ALLEN:   The first question is is the resurrection referred to all the Old Testament saints or just part of them? The context would seem to indicate just part of them.

JOHN:   Yeah. Many bodies.

ALLEN:   Not all of them.

JOHN:   Not all of them.

ALLEN:   Right. And the second part of my question is were these saints resurrected just to live again and die, or were they resurrected to eternal glory?

JOHN:   Well, it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say.

ALLEN:   That was the main question. Were they resurrected to –

JOHN:   To live or to die.

ALLEN:   Yeah.

JOHN:   It doesn’t say. All it says is they came out of the graves after the resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many.

ALLEN:   I’ve consulted a lot of commentaries on that, and I –

JOHN:   Very difficult to know.

ALLEN:   It’s no major thing, you know, but –

JOHN:   Okay, one example might be Lazarus. I think Lazarus was raised from the dead to die again.

ALLEN:   Right, yeah.

JOHN:   It’s possible that, however, this was a very special group of people raised from the dead, and they appeared unto many. I’m not sure that that word really can tell us much. I don’t know whether that means they actually appeared in the physical form or whether they appeared in some form where you could appear or disappear. And if that’s the case, they would be in some kind of a glorified form. But because the ext doesn’t say, I’m – I would be a little at ease in terms of expressing dogmatism.

Let me give you my opinion, however, for what it’s worth. I think they probably didn’t die again. I think this was a demonstration of the power of Christ in His kingdom power, which would be to raise men for eternal life. So, I tend to lean that way. Okay?

ALLEN:   All right, thank you.

BILL:   Hi. I’m Bill Plants. I have a question concerning 2 Thessalonians chapters 1 and the first part of chapter 2 in connection with the pre-tribulation rapture. From my own study, it seems the vast majority of biblical evidence is in favor of the pre-tribulational bent, but I have some problems with 2 Thessalonians, and the vast majority of the people who I’ve read who are pre-tribulational either don’t talk about the passage – or the best I’ve been able to find is one guy who said, “Well, both sides claim it makes the point for them,” and no further elaboration.

JOHN:   Right.

BILL:   Okay. And so, should I read –

JOHN:   Well, what do you want – what’s your question?

BILL:   Okay. Well, I guess my question is just basically I don’t see how to reconcile the passage –

JOHN:   Okay, let me tell you. I think I know what your question is. Does 2 Thessalonians 1 and 2 prove a pre-tribulation rapture? Is that what you’re asking?

BILL:   Yes, all right.

JOHN:   Can you prove –

BILL:   All right, that’s – that would be a part of it.

JOHN:   You know what the answer is? It does not.

BILL:   Okay.

JOHN:   If you’re going to prove a pre-tribulation rapture, you can’t do it here.

BILL:   Okay.

JOHN:   Okay. Want to ask another question?

BILL:   Okay.

JOHN:   This question is does it prove a post-tribulation rapture. No, it does not. It doesn’t prove any time factor with the tribulation. But I do not believe that we’re going to find in 2 Thessalonians – I think you find that which wonderfully fits the pre-tribulation view and which does not fit the post-tribulational view. But I don’t think you’re going to prove the point in this text.

BILL:   All right. I mean I guess maybe – let me try one more time.

JOHN:   Okay.

BILL:   Third question. Okay? For example, take verse 1:7.

JOHN:   Okay.

BILL:   He’s talking in the context to the Thessalonians about their perseverance and so on and so forth. And he talks about, “And to give relief to you who are afflicted, and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His might angels, in flaming fire dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.” And then he talks about damnation and when He comes to be glorified on that day and the saints, etcetera, etcetera. And it sounds an awful lot more like Revelation 20 than pre-tribulational rapture just, whammo!

JOHN:   Yeah, it is talking about that. It is talking about ultimate judgment. It is not talking about the rapture.

BILL:   Okay. Then –

JOHN:   In other words, from verse 5 on, you have a statement about the return of Christ. That being His second coming, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on the ungodly. That is really culminating in the great white throne judgment. Right? Okay. You’re asking why is that a comfort to the Church?

BILL:   Yeah. Specifically the word “relief” in verse 7.

JOHN:   Well, I think the comfort comes to the believer. What he’s saying is why are we comforted if we’re not going to be here anyway, I guess, or why are we comforted by this statement about ultimate judgment? I think because it gives to us the sense of the fact that no matter what happens here, ultimately God is going to bring justice to the whole system. And we may be persecuted, and we may endure the treachery of the world, and we may endure all the flack that the world throws at us, but we can be comforted in the knowledge that ultimately God is going to judge the sin of the world and those who have turned against His Son and the people of His Son. So, all you have there is a general statement relative to that. Then from there he goes in describing some of the things that are going to happen prior to that event in chapter 2. Does that help?

BILL:   Some. Thank you.

JOHN:   Okay. You know, I wish I could be more specific, but I’m not sure I understand what you’re after. That would be a – well, one other statement I might make is don’t make verse 3, where it says, “That day will not come except there come a falling away,” don’t make that the rapture. I think you have a lot of problems if you try to do that. And that has been done. I think it basically has to do with an apostasy. So, what you’re going to have is the judgment, but prior to the judgment you’re going to have a falling away and an apostasy, and you’re going to have the revealing of the man of sin. You’re going to have all those things. And I think those take place during the tribulation. And I think basically what he’s saying to them – some of them had actually thought they were in the tribulation; they’d missed the rapture. And he’s saying, “No, that’s yet to come.” Some of them thought they’d missed the second coming I guess is a better way to put it. But he said, “No, you didn’t miss it. It’s going to come, but this is going to precede it and so forth and so on. Okay?

JERRY:   Hello. My name is Jerry Robins, and I have a question about 1 Corinthians 6, verse 7, which reads, “To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you.” And I want to know if that has anything to do with whether both parties are Christian or not, and in particular, a manufactured product is defective, and they don’t want to do anything about it?

JOHN:   Yeah, I think that’s precisely what it refers to. Don’t take a brother to court.

JERRY:   That’s all?

JOHN:   Yeah.

JERRY:   A brother is a Christian or anybody?

JOHN:   Yeah, right.

JERRY:   Okay, thank you.

JOHN:   I think it says that because it says that we are not to take the business of the family of God, as it were, before pagan courts. In other words, don’t let the world judge the Church. Don’t you know that someday you’re going to judge even the angels? Why should you let the world judge you? So, if Christians have a dispute, that dispute should be settled between them without having the world have to render a verdict.

And in those days, they were a very litigious group like people are today – not like we are, but like people are today. And everybody wanted to sue everybody else. So, it was kind of a sport to it in those days also, and it was easy for believers to get involved in that, and everybody’s screaming for his own rights and so forth.

Paul says, “Rather be defrauded.” In other words, you just should be defrauded before you would sue a brother, because the testimony of the Lord is diminished.

JERRY:   Okay, thank you very much.

JOHN:   Okay.

TIM:   Okay, my name is Tim Carter. Would you agree that when a brother is caught in sin, God’s divine plan, purpose – God’s divine plan and purpose for protection and reconciliation for the brother is to confront him personally, and if necessary, bring in two or three witnesses? And any additional witnesses, up to that point, in any personalized way, is perfectly unauthorized counsel?

JOHN:   Could you say that one more time?

TIM:   Now, I’d like to say it again, but I’m trying to make it concise. I’m just – okay, someone has sinned, and you might come up – someone might come up to someone else and say, “Well, so-and-so” – personalized his name and everything – “I’ve seen him doing this.” What should I – how should I go an approach him or like that? I’ve seen this happen a lot, and I think it really hurts the unity of the church.

JOHN:   In other words, if you know somebody sins, don’t go asking other people about it, go confront it yourself. Is that what you’re saying?

TIM:   It’s unauthorized counsel, in other words, to go to anyone else.

JOHN:   Now, what you’re saying is rather than tell other people about the sin, go to the individual, give him the chance or the opportunity to repent before you spread it around.

TIM:   Right. And that protects him, and God wants to protect us from our sins.

JOHN:   Sure. That’s exactly what it says in Matthew 18.

TIM:   I wish more people would think about that.

JOHN:   Yeah. In Matthew 18 it says, “If a brother is taken in a sin, or if a brother sins” – and I don’t think it’s a sin against you, necessarily – I mean some of the texts say that, but it’s really if a brother sins, go to him. And that is the only direction we have. Go to him. And then if he doesn’t hear you, then take two or three witnesses. And they aren’t two or three witnesses that you have drummed up, they are two or three witnesses to the same sin.

In other words, if he doesn’t respond to me, I’m not going to go find two or three people and say, “Hey, you know what he did? He did this.”

And they say, “Oh, well, we’ll go with you.”

If he denies the thing, then you need to confirm it in two or three witnesses’ mouths who have actual knowledge of that sin. And then, if he doesn’t hear you, tell it to the church. And the church, I believe, is duly constituted in the leadership of the church. So, I agree with that.

TIM:   Right, thank you.

JOHN:   Because it says to him, if you go to him one on one, and he hears you, you have gained your brother. What reason to tell anybody about it? Okay? All right.

CHUCK:   My name is Chuck, and I’ve got a question about the feast days in the Old Testament.

JOHN:   Okay. Stump the pastor night, right?

CHUCK:   In Colossians 2:16-17, we’re told that the sabbaths, new moons, and feast days are a shadow of things to come. Can you explain briefly the first four which are described in Leviticus 23? Perhaps they’re fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and then finally what the last three perhaps would represent?

JOHN:   No. But I have a book on my shelf that does a good job of that, Types of the Levitical Offerings. There’s so much in that. It’s like asking me if I could explain the symbolism of the tabernacle. There’s just so much.

Basically, there are some simple things. You know? I mean you can see that the Feast of Passover was the time when Christ was sacrificed. Perfect timing. Right? He’s the Passover Lamb. The Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost was the time the Spirit came who was the firstfruits of the resurrection in a sense, and the Church was born, firstfruits of the Church.

I’m not sure that I can go through the whole thing. You know? Just – this is like an ordination quiz.

CHUCK:   Would you agree that they’re future?

JOHN:   If you’re asking me do I believe that the return of Jesus Christ has to happen according to Ussher’s dates, no, that it’s going to happen in the 7,000th year, no. Not necessarily.

CHUCK:   Not necessarily, yeah. Isaiah 33:20 says that Zion is the city of our appointed feast and that the first four were fulfilled exactly in Jerusalem, and that we could probably –

JOHN:   Yeah, I don’t have any trouble with them being fulfilled in Jerusalem; it’s just the time frame, because I don’t think any man knows the day or the hour.

CHUCK:   Can I ask a quick question?

JOHN:   Are you saying – do you feel that – where does the Feast of Trumpets fit?

CHUCK:  Trumpets? It’s in the month of Tishrei.

JOHN:   Is that future or past?

CHUCK:   That’s future.

JOHN:   So, you would – that’s why I’m asking – you would say that that’s the return of Christ?

CHUCK:   Well, there’s three in the month of Tishrei. I was just recognizing that they were all three future yet. And the Trumpets – you know, it is the Feast of Trumpets, and I was just wondering if that was a type of restoration or immigration or exodus to Israel or something like that.

JOHN:   Yeah. That’s why I say – I mean I can nail down the Passover and the Firstfruits, and the other ones in the future I’m not – I just – I don’t know that I can be definitive about those. I guess hindsight’s better than foresight.

CHUCK:   Okay.

JOHN:   When I get to heaven, I’ll look back and say, “Ah.”

CHUCK:   Okay. That’s fine. Can I ask one more question real quick?

JOHN:   Sure. Since I didn’t answer that one, you got another one coming.

CHUCK:   In our Bible study, we were studying future things. An preceding the millennium will there be mortal believers – will there be mortal believers at the end of the millennium? It doesn’t really say if they’re translated to heaven or perhaps would go into a mortal state, peopling this earth and that kind of thing.

JOHN:   You mean at the end of the tribulation?

CHUCK:   No, at the end of the millennium.

JOHN:   Right.

CHUCK:   However, at the end of the millennium, heaven and earth flee away. And where – it doesn’t say where the believers of the millennium will go.

JOHN:   Well, I think that the only thing – you’re assuming that when you enter into the millennium, we have people living in physical bodies. The believing people who were not killed by the Antichrist, they enter into the millennium. Right? Physical bodies. They give birth to children; the earth is filled with people. It has to be filled with people, because everybody’s going to live to be so very old. If a person dies at 100, they die a baby. Disease is eliminated. Food grows. So, there’s going to be a tremendous reproductive thing. They’ll fill the earth with population.

And by the way, statistics indicate that in a thousand years, without disease and without war, you could populate this earth more than you have now over all the time of man’s history. So, it’ll be a full earth.

I think that there will be many believers, and the only thing you can assume – for example, what happens when a believer dies during the millennium? Where’s he going to go? If he goes to heaven, he’ll be up there by himself. Right?

CHUCK:   Right.

JOHN:   Everybody else will be down here. So, the only thing I can assume is that when they die, they’ll just go down and then you’ll wait a second, and they’ll just say, “Oh,” and come right back up again. I mean there’s got to be instant translation. So, whatever is going to happen in the millennium, I think they will be – you see, you go from the millennium into the eternal state. And I think there will be some – some of us will be in the millennial earth in our eternal form; some in the corporeal form of the earthly body. But there will be, I believe, either at death, or in the phasing into the new heaven and the new earth, there will be an instant translation into that eternal state.

CHUCK:   And that would be for all the believers of the millennium?

JOHN:   Right.

CHUCK:   Isaiah 22:24 says, “The nations shall walk by the light of the New Jerusalem, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it.” We’re going to be co-reigning with Christ.

JOHN:   Right.

CHUCK:   These are kings identified here.

JOHN:   Right.

CHUCK:   Is that us, or is that some others?

JOHN:   Well, no. I think that there still will be nations. I think the millennial earth will still have peoples and nations and rulers and leaders and commerce and activity and all of those kinds of things, only in an earth where the curse has been retarded. Satan is bound; the demons are bound; Christ rules with a rod of iron. It doesn’t mean there won’t be evil here, because if there was no evil, He wouldn’t need a rod of iron. Right? But I believe there will be nations, and I believe that Israel will lead the nations in and out of Jerusalem to see the King.

Now, let me go a step further. During the millennium, there will be born people to these saints, but not all those people are going to be regenerated people. Because at the end of the millennium, Satan’s loosed for a little while, and he gets all these people from all over the world, and he has a rebellion. In fact, some people put the Gog and Magog rebellion at the end of the millennial kingdom. So, there will be a bunch of unbelieving people which does mean there has to be salvation in the millennium.

So, I did a paper in seminary for a course in eschatological problems – problems of the end times – on “Will There be Salvation in the Millennium?” And yes, there will be salvation in the millennium. You can see that in certain portions of Scripture when Israel and those who rule with Christ bring the nations in to meet the king and so forth. So, I think those kings and those people from around the earth will need to come to know Christ, and that will be the role of Israel finally realized.

You see, through all of Israel’s history, God has been trying to get Israel to be the channel to reach the nations. And finally, in the kingdom, it’ll happen. Okay?

CHUCK:   Thank you.

FLORE:   Hi, John. My name is Flore. I have a question that my sister wants some answers to, and I think you’ll do a better job. She’s a brand new Christian, and we come from a Catholic background. And she’s having a little bit of difficulty with the fact that you do not lose your salvation even if you do backslide. So, can you elaborate?

JOHN:   So, just to help you understand why you don’t lose your salvation?

FLORE:   Mm-hmm.

JOHN:   Okay. There are lots of reasons, by the way. The primary one being that the Bible does not indicate that you can lose your salvation. Anybody who believes you can lose your salvation is unable to find a single statement in the Scripture that says that. There is no place in the Bible that says you can lose your salvation.

On the other hand, everywhere it says your salvation lasts how long?

FLORE:   Eternal.

JOHN:   How long does it last?

All:   Forever.

JOHN:   Forever. Now, to me, that is the issue. If the Bible said your salvation lasts as long as you hang onto it, that would be very clear.

FLORE:   Yeah.

JOHN:   But it says it lasts forever. How long is forever? And then people say, “Well, what about so-and-so, and what about this, and what about that?” And then you start bringing in all of these exceptions and all of these confusions. And they say, “Well, I had an old aunt, and she used to go to church, and she read her Bible and all this. All of a sudden, she bailed out, and she left the church and didn’t walk with the Lord, and she curses and blah-blah. She lost her salvation.” But you see, you can’t – you can’t redefine the Bible on the basis of your old aunt. See, but that’s what people do. If you can’t explain your old aunt, don’t change Scripture.

Define the situation through the Scripture and go to 1 John 2:19 where it says, “They went out from us because they were not of us. They went out from us that it might be made manifest they never were of us. If they had been of us, they would have remained with us.” See?

The key thing is you cannot defend that biblically. So, it is an extrapolation from experience. The inability to really describe what happens in a person’s life any other way than to say they lost their salvation when there are other explanations. And the other explanation is that they never were saved to begin with.

Let me take you to another approach. The Bible says that those who were saved were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Right? So, whoever He chose was redeemed because of His sovereign choice. In John 6, Jesus said this, “All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and I have lost” – what? –

FLORE:   None.

JOHN:   – “none of them. But I’ll raise him up at the last day.” The security of the believer, then, is bound up in the character of eternal life, which is eternal salvation, and it is bound up in the decree of God. And that’s how it is.

And so, the idea that you can lose your salvation is an accommodation to human misunderstanding. In other words, because people don’t – aren’t able to figure out what happened in somebody’s life, they therefore determine you can lose your salvation.

Now, let me give you one other thought. I think the reason people have come up with a doctrine of the fact that you can lose your salvation is because they never had a strong enough salvation to begin with. They let too many people in cheap, and then, when they bail out, they question the eternality of salvation rather than questioning the legitimacy of that salvation to start with.

You know, in the book of Hebrews it says, “You’ll be saved if you continue.” If you continue. If you don’t fall away. And that’s true. Because if you don’t fall away, you prove that your salvation was the real thing. But if you fall away, you prove it wasn’t real to begin with. So, I think maybe those thoughts can give you some help.

Salvation that is genuine results in a new creation. You’ve been born again unto eternal life, and that’s the only way the Bible ever describes it. It’s eternal.

FLORE:   Thank you.

JOHN:   But it’s our weak doctrine of salvation that gets us into trouble with that.

KEVIN:   My name’s Kevin, and I’m a rather young Christian, and I’m confused about one thing.

JOHN:   Okay, Kevin. I’m confused about a lot of things. So, you’ll feel right at home.

KEVIN:   But when we die, do we go directly to be with Christ, or is there a waiting period? And the reason I’m asking is because I know in Philippians 1:21 through 23 it says to live in Christ is – “For to me, to live in Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me, and I do not know which to choose.” Then he goes on to say, “But I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.”

And I just am confused if he means to depart – when he departs, he will then go to be with Christ.

JOHN:   What does he say?

KEVIN:   That’s what he says.

JOHN:   That’s what he says. To depart and be with Christ. There’s nothing in the middle. To depart and hang around and hope to be with Christ? To depart into nothing? No. To depart and be with Christ.

KEVIN:   Have you been asked that question before?

JOHN:   Oh, sure. He key verse is 2 Corinthians 5:8. Look that up. 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul says this, “We are confident” – right? Does your Bible say something like that?

KEVIN:   “We are of good courage.”

JOHN:   We are what?

KEVIN:  “We are of good courage.”

JOHN:   “We are of good courage or confident and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be” – what? –

KEVIN:   “Home with the Lord.”

JOHN:   – “present with the Lord.” That’s all you ever have. There is no other place. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. There’s no other way.

KEVIN:   That’s good news.

JOHN:   What did Jesus say on the cross? “Father, into Thy hands I” – what? – “commit my Spirit.” You go from here to there. There’s nothing else. There’s no waiting place. Now, that is the soul; that is the inner man, the spirit. The body goes into the grave and waits the rapture to be rejoined to that spirit. Okay?

KEVIN:   That completely answers my question. Thank you.

JOHN:   Okay.

Yes?

DON:   Hi. My name is Don Shawley. I’ve got two questions to ask you. One of them, I thought a man was going to take out of my mouth, and that’s on 2 Thessalonians 2 again where I think what he was saying –

JOHN:   I’ll have to get Dick up here on this one.

DON:   Paul is speaking to the believers, is he not?

JOHN:   Right.

DON:   If he’s talking to the believers, and he says, “And the lawless one will be revealed” – this is on verse 8, 2:8 – “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming.” And Christ Himself, in His own Olivet Discourse – now this is His coming, speaks in Matthew 24, that, “At that time” – this is verse 30 – “At that time the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn; they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” And I believe in Mark it says, “The heavens and the earth.”

So, what I’m trying to figure out is He says at the end of the tribulation, King James says, “After this tribulation.” How do they get Christ’s own second coming like as if He goofed it up? I mean a lot of things in – spoken of, the rapture, seem to be by – you know, maybe, and well a lot of supposition, whereas this is absolute Scripture. May I ask that?

JOHN:   I’m not sure I understand the question. Isn’t that awful?

DON:   Okay.

JOHN:   Say it – I don’t understand –

DON:   Well, Christ says – Christ says in the second coming He’s coming after the tribulation and with the call of the trumpet in verse 30. How can then there be a pre-tribulation rapture? He’s not coming twice.

JOHN:   Why not?

DON:   He’s been here once.

JOHN:   Right.

DON:   His second coming is His second coming.

JOHN:   Right.

DON:   If there’s a pre-tribulation rapture, then He comes after the tribulation, that would be three.

JOHN:   No, no, it wouldn’t necessarily be three. There are, in the Bible, two resurrections. The first resurrection and the second resurrection.

DON:   Right. That’s at the end of the tribulation. Right?

JOHN:   Okay. The first resurrection has three parts. Christ the Firstfruits, the Old Testament saints, and then the Church. Three parts, first resurrection. Why can’t the second coming have two parts or three parts or however many parts God decides?

DON:   Well, that’s very true; I’ll go along with that.

JOHN:   Okay. You also have the fact that when He came the first time, He came, and then He came, and then He came. First He came into the world when He was born, but He didn’t come into His ministry till He was 30. And He didn’t come from the grave until the end of His ministry. So, He came to the earth, and then He came to the ministry, and then He came back from the grave. So, you know, you don’t want to get too carried away with just the numbers. In His first coming, there were several phases. In His second coming, there’ll be several phases also. So, you want to leave room for that.

DON:   I see.

HERVÉ:   Hi, John.

JOHN:   Hi.

HERVÉ:   My name is Hervé, and I’d like to comment on your tape; I believe it was “Prostitute in the Last Days.” Am I correct?

JOHN:   Let’s see, what was that again?

HERVÉ:   It’s the apostate.

JOHN:   The apostate –

HERVÉ:   You spoke about several – certain religions.

JOHN:   Yeah.

HERVÉ:   And I’m going to speak about the Roman Catholic Church, but if anybody’s here from the Roman Catholic Church, I just want you to know that I have nothing against you personally. So, I just wanted to make that clear right away.

JOHN:   Good.

HERVÉ:   But that I have an answer – I mean a question that I can’t answer, being that I was raised a Catholic, and my family are Catholic. You spoke that they so-called themselves Christians. Do I take the position that you believe that they’re not Christians?

JOHN:   Basically, I believe that there are Christians in the Catholic Church, but they are not Christians because of the Catholic Church.

HERVÉ:   Okay. I wasn’t trying to put you on the spot in any way.

JOHN:   That’s all right. I don’t mind being put on the spot.

HERVÉ:   Okay. We’re still brothers, right?

JOHN:   It’s too late.

HERVÉ:   Well, then, I’d like to ask you this question that’s in my mind. They believe that the virgin Mary is the – also an intercessor for sins. Am I correct?

JOHN:   Sure they believe that.

HERVÉ:   Okay.

JOHN:   They even believe she’s co-redemptrix with Christ. And the Pope – the present Pope has a new symbol, and his personal symbol is a huge cross – this is his personal symbol that he chose – it’s a huge cross with a cross piece that’s lopsided and extends further on the right side, and under it is a huge M. That’s his personal symbol. Mary, co-redemptrix with Christ.

HERVÉ:   Well, I realize the seriousness that these people are following. I mean it’s a burden in my heart. But is it possible – here’s the question, because I was confronted with this question – I hope I didn’t give the wrong answer. They – this person supposedly believes that Jesus Christ is God. But they also believe that Mary – without Mary there also is no salvation. In other words, she’s also an intercessor for sin.
Now, it’s either Jesus, or it’s either Mary to me. And they ask me, “I’m saved.” I mean – and that’s what it came down to.

And I said, “No.” The reason I said that, I based my assumption on John 14:6; and I believe that if Jesus wanted anybody else to be coequal with him, he would have mentioned it. That’s my own belief.

JOHN:   How about Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

HERVÉ:   Praise God.

JOHN:   Yeah There is no other name.

HERVÉ:   Well –

JOHN:   You’re right. That’s the right answer.

HERVÉ:   I’m – I just – this charismatic movement then, it’s seems to me that they’re blending in – because my father and mother-in-law are working with people to try to lead them to Christ and away from the doctrines that they have, because as you said – in Jeremiah, I believe, when they talk about the queen of heaven?

JOHN:   Yeah.

HERVÉ:   Okay. If a person believes that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, but they also accept in that religion their other doctrines, like the host and – I’m not going to get into that – but also Mary, then is a person actually saved?

JOHN:   The only way that a person could be saved is by believing that there is no salvation in any other name than Jesus Christ, and there is no salvation in any other work than His atoning, redemptive work on the cross and through the open tomb. If they believe salvation encompasses any other person or any other act in addition to that, they nullify salvation.

HERVÉ:   Well, I really thank you, because see, I said if he says that yes, then I was really going to put myself in a spot because if we accept that, then we have to also accept Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and we have to accept everybody else. Right?

JOHN:   Right. And that’s exactly what’s happening. And that is my personal problem that over – that extends over all other problems with the charismatic movement. All you have to do is say you believe in Jesus, they throw your arms around you and make you an instant member. And immediately a person’s under the false assumption that he’s a believer.

The worst thing you could possibly do with a lost person is make them think they’re a Christian. You’ve just shut off – you’ve just shut off their hope. See?

HERVÉ:   Yeah. Well, I also – it says in the Word that, you know, you’re going to be responsible for the answers that you give. And I just wanted to make sure that I hope I didn’t give a wrong answer.

JOHN:   No, you gave a right answer.

HERVÉ:   Because then I have to get myself straight.

JOHN:   That’s good. God bless you.

HERVÉ:   Okay.

JOHN:   And, you know, my –

HERVÉ:   God bless you, too.

JOHN:   People sometimes think that I’m sort of anti Catholic, and I am not. In fact, I get on the case of the Protestants more than I do the Catholics. I say more about what I’m not doing and what you’re not doing as people in Grace Church than I do about anybody who’s Catholic. But you step on a tender spot. But, no, the Roman system is not biblical. Period. It is not of God. There are Christian people in that thing. I can’t deny that, because I mean there are people who are trusting Christ and Christ only for their salvation because God has worked a work in their hearts. And in spite of the system, they are redeemed, not because of that system. That system will send men to hell. It’s been doing it for centuries. The system will not save anybody. It’ll confuse people about Christ. It’ll confuse them about salvation. It’ll confuse them about sin. It’ll confuse them about everything. And so, it’s in spite of the system, not because of the system. And I – people who are the charismatic movement moves in, and you see, “Well, but they’re leading some to Christ.” Perhaps, but others, they’re saying, “Hey, you believe in Jesus?” I mean I know they’re doing this; I’ve been there when they’ve done it. “Here’s our dear, Christian brother.” They introduce him, and all his life he’s been a Catholic, and he hasn’t got a clue in the world about salvation by grace through faith and the absolute utter lordship of Christ. Don’t have a clue. But because he wants to talk about Jesus and so forth, they give him the stamp “Christian,” and then he goes out with a big smile on his face. He’s okay.

I think the Methodist Church is full of people who aren’t saved. And the Baptist Church and we’ve got some at Grace Church. So, please don’t think I’m picking on the Catholics. I just think that system sends people to hell. And unless people see the truth apart from the system, they’re going to be doomed because that system is not true.

And we can say a lot more about that, but let me just add one footnote, and then I’ll let you ask your question. The Roman Catholic system does not come from the Bible; it comes from the mystery religions of Babylon. All you have to do is just read a little historical background and you find that. And Mary is called the queen of heaven. The queen of heaven is an idolatrous title. You can find it in Jeremiah and Ezekiel; it’s a title used for the worship of Ashtoreth, the mother supposedly of Baal. It has nothing to do with Mary.

And we talked about Lent, right? Where did 40 days of Lent come from? They’re not in the Bible. Forty days of Lent was the 40-day mourning period that Baal might be resurrected from the dead because he was killed by a wild boar. And it was superimposed on Christianity.

And do you realize that when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, he believes that he is speaking as the vicar of Christ in the world and that that he speaks is inerrant? And that the Church Council makes a decision that is inerrant? That is the mind of God? The whole system is occultic, marriage with Christianity to create a hybrid that is utterly confusing and chaotic. Led the world into the Dark Ages out of which the Reformation extracted the truth.

Okay?

GLENN:   John, I’m Glenn Williams, and my question is on amillennialists and premillennialists. I came from a Christian church in the Valley for about 12 years. About a year-and-a-half ago I came here and praise the Lord. And I had studied Dr. McGee for so many years, I found out that I was more of a Baptist than I was a Christian, and I am a premillennialist.

But the question is when they refer to the Scripture – and for instance, in the parables, or in 2 Peter, forgetting Revelation a lot, and then referring to Israel as the Church, reading that into it, then they go into the amillennialist. I guess maybe I just want to hear you talk a little about the difference.

JOHN:   Well, sure. Basically, when we talk about millennium, do you know what we’re talking about? Millennium is a Latin word that means a thousand. There’s coming in the future, says Revelation, a millennium. There will be a thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth. You can’t deny that; it says so in the Bible.

GLENN:   Three times the Lord is Lord.

JOHN:   Right? I mean it says it. It says there will be a thousand years Christ will reign on the earth. Now you can fiddle around with that and say, “Well, it doesn’t mean a thousand.” Or you could say, “When God says, ‘I promise that I will restore Israel,’” you can say, “No, it doesn’t mean Israel.” And you could say, “Well, there will be an earthly kingdom.” “No, you see, it doesn’t mean earthly. See? It means heavenly. Earthly means heavenly there; and over here Israel means the Church; and over here a thousand – well, that means forever.”

GLENN:   This is how I’ve been told.

JOHN:   Who told them that?

GLENN:   Yes.

JOHN:   See? Again, you’re right back to what we said about eternal security. You’re not going to find the amillennial view in the Scripture; you’ve got to read it into the Scripture, “Has God cast away His people whom He foreknew? Absolutely not. Mē genoito.” Well, if He hasn’t cast away His people Israel, whom He foreknew, then He’s got to have a plan for them.

So, all we say is there’s coming a thousand-year kingdom. All right? Who was that kingdom promised to? Israel, the earthly kingdom. All throughout the Old Testament, the whole last half of the book of Isaiah – the whole last half. Daniel. The kingdom, the kingdom, the kingdom. Every Jew lived in the hope of the kingdom.

When Messiah came to the earth, they said – the disciples said to him in Acts, “Will you now set up the kingdom? Is this the time?” And they believed it was an earthly, real, literal kingdom. I mean they weren’t amillennialists. You won’t find any amillennialists in the New Testament. They believed in a real, earthly, literal kingdom.

And when Jesus said in – “Like manner as you’ve seen Him go, He’ll come.” When the angel said that, He went physically, and He’ll come physically. He went from the earth, and he’ll come to the earth. So, there’s a literal kingdom. It says it’s a thousand years long. So, we believe in a thousand-year millennial kingdom.

Now, the question is this: is that a real kingdom? The amillennialists say, “No, it’s a spiritual kingdom.” They say, “It’s also not for the Church – I mean not for Israel; it’s for the Church. We’re the new Israel, the Israel of God, and when Israel crucified the Messiah, God set them aside and said, ‘That’s all for you.’ The Church is the new Israel; we’re the true Jew.”

Got real problems in Romans 9, 10, and 11. What are you going to do in Romans when it says God has not cast away Israel? What are you going to do when it says that the branches that were cut off and the Gentile church branches were grafted in, but someday those original branches will be regrafted? What are you going to do? And what are you going to do in Romans 9 when it says that Israel is now outside, and the Gentiles are being saved to provoke Israel to jealousy so that they will be redeemed so that they can be grafted back in?

No, God has a future for the Jew, why else are they around? So, we – that’s premillennialism, that there will be a regathering of the nation Israel prior to a thousand-year kingdom, and they will reign with Christ.

GLENN:   Praise the Lord.

JOHN:   That is premillennialism. Now, there is postmillennialism, which says we’re already in the millennium, and it’s just going to get better and better and better until finally the Lord just automatically takes over. It’s going to be so good, He’ll step in, and we’ll hardly notice the difference.

Now, if you believe that, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

GLENN:   Thank you, John.

JOHN:   Okay.

DON:   My name’s Don Thompson. I got a question concerning the Ten Commandments.

JOHN:   Okay.

DON:   Exodus 20, verse 4, it says, “You shall not make for yourselves an idol or a likeness of what is in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” And as relatively the same kind of statement, God speaking to Moses, concerning the children of Israel about their standard, everyday life, it relatively says the same thing.

And then, in Exodus 25:19, they’re talking about making the ark of the covenant, and it says, “And make one cherub at one end of it, and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece, and the mercy seat at its two ends.” Well, that’s, I take it, to be angels with the wings, but it’s idols; it’s – right? I mean it seems to clash. Can you clarify it?

JOHN:   Yeah. Well, the point is this: it’s the attitude and the purpose. It’s the attitude and the purpose. Okay? Even the Lord told them to make a snake and put it on a stick. Right? But at the same time, in Romans 1, God condemns those who worship creeping things. Just because you form something doesn’t mean you worship it. They made the ark of the covenant and they put angels on it. It didn’t mean they worshipped those angels. That’s the issue. It’s when you make an idol to worship it.

And you could worship anything. You could worship a rock. You could worship your shoe if you wanted to, if you really were convinced that your shoe was running the universe. You could worship anything you want. That’s the idea. What he’s saying there is when you effectively, in your mind, turn from worshiping the true God to worship a false god and then create an image which you suppose to be that false god and worship that false god, that is condemned.

That is not to say that when they made the ark of the covenant, which was a piece of furniture – a representative piece of furniture, that they were to worship the angels. That would have been absolutely blasphemous had they done that. So, it was the heart attitude that was the issue. Okay?

DON:   All right, thank you.

JOHN:   Mm-hmm.

SHERRY:   John, I – my name is Sherry Lidall, and I just visited my parents back in Missouri. And they believe that you can lose your salvation. And I was trying to witness to them and tell them what I had found out through DE and several other things that I’d studied. But I came across some Scriptures that I did not understand because I haven’t read the context. And one is in Hebrews 6:4 through 6 that says, “But in the case of those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”

And I did not understand. I mean when I read that, I said, “Whoa. It says fallen away that they cannot – it’s impossible to be renewed to repentance.” And I don’t understand what he’s saying here. And I wanted to ask you how it was in light of – like it also mentions in Galatians – wait a minute – it’s in Galatians 5:4, “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” It mentions that, “fallen from grace.”

JOHN:   Sure.

SHERRY:   And then in also the parable of the sower, where it talks about the seed who’s fallen around the rock, fallen away through temptation. And I didn’t know what it stands –

JOHN:   Basic question – okay, basic question. How long does salvation last?

SHERRY:   Forever.

JOHN:   Okay. So, now that we’ve got that settled –

SHERRY:   Yeah, I believe that.

JOHN:   All right, okay, now that we’ve settled that, all we need to do is explain those passages. Right?

SHERRY:   Right.

JOHN:   No problem. See, we don’t throw out our whole theology. We don’t say, “Oh, eternal doesn’t mean eternal; forever doesn’t mean forever. OH, no, it doesn’t mean that.”

SHERRY:   But see, I couldn’t explain those passages to my parents.

JOHN:   Right. So, that’s what I’m saying. But you see, the temptation is, “Oh, I can’t explain that passage. We’ll throw out that doctrine.” See? And that’s what people do.

All right, you’ve fallen from grace. That doesn’t mean you necessarily ever knew grace. It means that you have not – you are not – you have fallen away from grace as a principle. There’s a lot of ways to explain that, but basically, what he’s saying is if you live by law, you have fallen from the principle of grace, whether you’re a regenerate or unregenerate. If I go out and try to live my Christian life legalistically, I’ve fallen from the grace principle. Right?

SHERRY:   That’s what I thought –

JOHN:   Yeah. So, it’s just – he’s one of the believers, and he’s saying if you’re going to live your life by law, having begun in the Spirit, are you perfected by the flesh? If you’re going to start living by law, you have fallen away from grace as a principle of living. That’s all. You have to see the context there.

Now, in the parable of the seed and the sower, the whole point there is that there was only one of the four that was real. Some of them made an initial reaction and an initial response, and you see that all the time with people. And then as soon as something happens, they’re gone. But now the key one is Hebrews 6, because this is the one everybody goes – you know, takes this big trek to Hebrews 6. I’m going to write a commentary on Hebrews and then you can read it.

Anyway – why should you read that? You don’t read my other books anyway, so why . . . No, I’m just kidding. You do; I appreciate that. I believe, periodically, the book of Hebrews is written to believers. Okay? But periodically, through the book, are warnings to unbelievers. “Harden not your heart,” chapter 4. “How should we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,” chapter 2. “How much more punishment shall those suffer who have trodden underfoot the Son of God and counted the blood an unholy thing,” chapter 10. Boom, boom, boom, boom. You have these shots at the unbelievers in the community that he’s writing to among the believers.

Here’s one of them. And he says, verse 12 of 5, it has to start there. He says, “Look, some of you know enough to be teachers, but you have to be taught again the very ABCs of the oracles of God. Some of you have been Jews. You have been taught and taught and taught.” And he’s not talking about Christians here. He’s talking to the unbelieving Jew who knows all of the Gospel. He’s heard it. He’s heard it. But he sits on the fence, and he won’t make a commitment to it. He is restrained by fear of being unsynagogued, excommunicated. He won’t make a commitment.

He says, “Now, you who should, by this time, be propagating the Gospel need to be taught the ABCs of doctrine. You need milk. You’re unskillful.”

Now he says, in verse 1 of 6, moving down, “Let’s leave the principles of the doctrine of Messiah. Can we go on from this basic thing of over and over the basics, the basics, the basics?” And I think he’s primarily talking about their Old Testament understanding of Messiah.

“Let us go on to perfection.” Now, the word “perfection” in Hebrews refers to salvation. And I don’t have the time to prove that to you. When I went through the book of Hebrews, to me it’s crystal clear that the word “perfection” there is not used in a Pauline sense of maturity but is used of salvation. He said, “Let’s go on to salvation. Let’s not go back to dead works, basic faith, doctrines of washings.” And by the way, that is not the word for baptism; that is the word translated every single time in the Bible washing except here, and somebody translated it baptism and made a Christian passage out of this.

“Let’s not go back to Hebrew washings, you know, of pots and pans and hands and all that, and laying on of hands and basic stuff about resurrection. Do we have to keep going over all the basics and the primer of the Old Testament all the time?”

Now, come to verse 4. He says, “You know so much that it is impossible for you who have been so enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift, partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if you fall away, to renew you to repentance.” In other words, with all you know, if you turn your back on this, you could never be saved. Why? Because if you reject with such full light, how could you ever be saved? You see the point?

In other words, if you walk away from this, there’s no hope for you, because this is all the revelation you could possibly have. You ought to be a teacher; I mean you know everything. And if you turn your back on this, it’s hopeless. You’re going to go right out and crucify the Son of God, put Him in open shame. See, you’re like the earth. He says in verse 7 you drink in the rain and bring forth herbs. Or I shouldn’t say you’re like the earth, but “The earth drinks in the rain and brings forth herbs.” But in verse 8, you’re like the thing that happens also when it rains, that which bars thorns and briers is rejected and near unto cursing, and your end is to be burned.”

You see, the rain of the Gospel falls on some people, and they bring forth herbs. You’re like the people who bring forth bitter thorns. You don’t respond. Now, look background in verse 4 for a minute. What does it mean to be enlightened, basically? What is enlightenment? Intellectual understanding, right?

SHERRY:   Mm-hmm.

JOHN:   What does it mean to taste the heavenly gift? Who’s the heavenly gift? Really the Holy Spirit. How could these people have tasted the Holy Spirit? If you ever sat in a church and heard the Word of God preached with power, you’ve tasted the Holy Spirit. If you’ve ever seen a life changed, you’ve tasted the Holy Spirit. If you ever saw a miracle done by Jesus, you tasted the Spirit, because you did everything by the power of the Spirit. Right?

And you were a partaker of the Holy Spirit. If you stood on a hillside when Jesus fed 5,000 and ate a fish and a little cracker, you partook of the power of the Holy Spirit. Let me tell you something. You’ve tasted the good Word of God. Jeremiah said, “Thy words are found and I did eat them.” You didn’t eat them; you just got a taste of them. You tasted the power of the age to come, the miracle power of Christ. In other words, what he’s saying is you’ve got intellectual enlightenment; you’ve been exposed to all of this stuff, and if you fall away with all this information that should render you a teacher instead of a student, you’ll never be saved.

And I want to add a footnote to that. Not one word in verse 4 or 5 is ever used anywhere in the Bible to speak of salvation. Salvation is never called enlightenment; it is never called tasting the Spirit of God; it is never called tasting the powers of the age to come; it is never called tasting the good Word of God. Those are references to having an intellectual perception. So, you see, the point there is they weren’t even saved.

Then in verse 9 he says, “But, beloved,” and he goes right back to the original audience, and he says, “We are persuaded of better things of you, even things that accompany salvation. See?

SHERRY:   Yeah, I explained that to them as what I’ve come to know as the 18-inch miss.

JOHN:   As what?

SHERRY:   The 18-inch miss, from the head knowledge to the heart knowledge.

JOHN:   Right, good.

SHERRY:   That these people had seemed to have known about Jesus Christ, had known intellectually the Bible and all the principles, and had also been exposed to the teaching, but had only accepted it in the head. It was a head acceptance, not a heart.

JOHN:   It’s Hebrews 2:3 and 4, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which was spoken unto us by those that heard the Lord and confirmed unto us by signs and wonders and mighty deeds – signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit?”

See, they saw the signs; they saw the wonders, the miracles. Remember, the 12 were sent out with the ability to do miracles, raise the dead and all that? They saw that. They saw the power of the Spirit, the power of the age to come, and they didn’t believe. And he said, “How are you going to escape? It’s impossible?”

SHERRY:   And that’s how I explained it; I just wanted to know if I explained it right.

JOHN:   Right on target. You mean you made me do that for nothing? No –

SHERRY:   Well, I didn’t know; I didn’t know the context. So, I was kind of shaky on where I stood. Thanks.

JOHN:   That’s an important question, and I thank a lot of people get confused by that passage. You know what the key to the book of Hebrews is? It’s understanding to whom it was written. And if you don’t understand the warning passages and where they appear in Hebrews, you’re going to get totally lost. Context is so important.

I think we have time for two more, and I’m sorry for those of you who’ve kind of sat there, but oh, we could do this all evening. But let’s just do two more, and we’ll let everybody go so we can get the kids and all.

CARL:   Yes, my name’s Carl Freeman, and the question I have deals with Jehovah’s Witness. I ride the RTD, and about three times a week, they always come and they talk to me, and we always have a great big conversation till the bus comes.

In John 1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And the Jehovah’s Witness, they say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was a God.” To you, what is the difference there between what the Scripture says and what Jehovah’s Witness say?

JOHN:   To me, the difference isn’t even in 1 John – I mean in John 1:1. I believe that anybody who can read the Bible from Matthew to Revelation and come up with the fact that Jesus is not God proves that he is isolated, cut off, shut off totally from God. It is absolutely obvious who Christ is. And the battle doesn’t even occur at John 1:1. That is a silly, little ploy used by the JWs to defend a system that is rotten from top to bottom. Simply stated, as I said before, anybody that can read the New Testament from beginning to end and not be convinced Jesus is God is totally blind, and they give evidence that the god of this world has blinded their minds.

And what you’re dealing with with the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not can you convince them of the meaning of John 1:1. The thing is can you convince them that they’re damned and on their way to hell, and their sin is unforgiven, and they need Christ?

I think I would approach – my usual approach with the cults is the wrath of God. My approach is did you know that the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteous men? Do you know that if you’re wrong, you’re doomed forever to hell? So, you better be sure you’re right. Because if you’re wrong, the price is infinite. Do you have freedom from your sin? Do you have victory over your sin? Do you have complete rest and peace in your heart from guilt? Do you know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re forgiven? Do you know the blood of Jesus Christ has been applied to your sin? Because if you don’t, maybe it hasn’t. And if it hasn’t, you’ll die in your sins. And Jesus says where He goes, you’ll never come.

I would rather approach them that way than to fiddle around in John 1.

CARL:   Thank you.

JOHN:   Okay.

FEMALE:   John, would you consider Scientology a religion, a psychological theory, or a cult?

JOHN:   Yes. Definitely, it’s all of those things. But basically, Scientology is a – yeah, it’s a religion, and you worship yourself. And that’s the epitome of man’s religion. You’ve made yourself god.

FEMALE:   Do they accept God as a supreme being?

JOHN:   I think in Scientology you’re god basically. Yeah, and it’s a psychological thing, too. It’s all of those things, and it’s occultic, because it opens you up for Satan.

FEMALE:   Can a Scientologist be a Christian?

JOHN:   Absolutely not. Not – you can’t be a Scientologist and a Christian; there’s just no way, because you can’t believe what they believe and believe the Bible. Yeah. We’ve had some people come to this church out of Scientology. In fact, one gal in our church, nine years was one of the leading secretaries in Scientology. She’s got a few tales to tell you. But it is a very evil system.

FEMALE:   Thank you, John.

JOHN:   Bill?

BILL:   Well, let’s just be dismissed with a word of prayer.

Father, we thank You for Your hand upon us tonight, Your guiding upon John. We ask You, Lord, to be with us as we go to our homes. Bring us back on Sunday ready to learn, ready to serve, ready to come to know You better. We ask this all in Jesus’ precious name, amen.

This sermon series includes the following messages:

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Grace to You
Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time
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