How To Properly Discern Apocalyptic
Visions and Dreams (Pt. 1)
A Special Rock of Offence Commentary
This is Part 1 of a two-part Bible study.
Click on the link below to access
the next section.
A popular story continues to circulate among Christian churches after many years. It involves a pastor, who repeatedly taught about the need for Christians to love one another. After months of hearing the same message every Sunday morning, one irritated church member commented; "You teach on love at every service - can't you teach something different?" The pastor responded, "I'll change the subject, when the congregation starts loving one another as Jesus taught."
Those who regularly visit this website may wonder why we talk so much about Christian counterfeits and the deception caused by "a different gospel of Christ". Some think that it represents a failure to walk in love because it angers people with different opinions. If this is true, then Jesus and His apostles also failed to walk in love. Similar to the previous story, we see little concern about a problem that carries dangerous spiritual consequences - so we keep repeating the same message. The Bible warns that God only accepts "His way of salvation" and rejects all other ways, regardless of how well-intentioned. The Bible teaches; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12) Some alarming statistics reveal that more than 80% of mainline Christian churches possess and teach a religious faith, which is inconsistent and even contrary to the principles of Christ's salvation based on God's Grace. Some pastors claim that this number is too conservative and that 95% is more accurate. Using the more conservative numbers - that's more than 8 out of 10 people who profess to be Christian.
The Two Gates
Jesus warned that only a few enter life through the "narrow gate" - but many travel through the "wide gate" that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). Keep in mind that Jesus is not talking about worldly unbelievers. He's talking about good people who are seeking the pathway to salvation. A majority of the erroneous salvation doctrines embraced by the group traveling through the wide gate started in the first century. They are even recorded in the pages of the New Testament. Yet, over the years these same teachings are now "foundational" and taught as fundamental Bible truth in many churches and denominations.
The characteristics of the two gates in Christ's teaching are often misunderstood by modern-day Christians. The key that unlocks our understanding is found in the New Covenant, which was initiated at the crucifixion. Before the cross, salvation was obtained through obedience to Old Testament Law - and performing the works connected to the Law (Saint Paul calls them "works of the law"). Jesus explained this Old Testament Law-based salvation to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. It was a program of conditional salvation based on keeping the commandments of the Law and involved personal merit. A vast majority of professing Christians (those traveling through the wide gate) believe that salvation is acquired today in the same way. However, Saint Paul warned that it was a religious path governed by "the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2-4) - which is similar to "the wide gate that leads to destruction" taught by Jesus. But, something marvelous happened. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ changed all the previous rules concerning how salvation (eternal life) is received. When Jesus as "The Lamb of God" paid for all our sins (past, present and future) on the cross, salvation is no longer dependent (conditional) upon the believer's merit, and is now given as "the gift of God" according to Grace (also known as God's unmerited favor). Many church-going people base their salvation ON A MIXTURE OF FAITH IN CHRIST PLUS THEIR GODLY BEHAVIOR AND CONDUCT (OR MERIT) required by Old Testament Law. They are convinced that authentic salvation is only obtained through both their belief in Christ and their works. When confronted with the New Testament truth that salvation is obtained only by faith in Jesus Christ apart from merit and works (Romans 4:4-8), they are deeply offended. Yet, after the cross ...
Obtaining salvation through the Grace
of God becomes the narrow way that
many professing Christians who embrace
the previous Old Testament program of
salvation refuse to follow.
At Moody Church in Chicago, and in keeping with the tradition and doctrine of its founder D.L. Moody, Dr. Harry Ironsides (1876 - 1951) made the following comments in his sermon, “What is the Gospel”.
“THE GOSPEL IS NOT THE COMMANDMENTS: The Gospel is not just any message from God telling man how he should behave. "What is the Gospel?" I asked a man this question some time ago, and he answered, "Why I should say it is the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, and I think if a man lives up to them he is all right." Well, I fancy he would be; but did you ever know anybody who lived up to them? The Sermon on the Mount demands a righteousness which no unregenerate man has been able to produce. The law is not the Gospel; it is the very antitheses of the Gospel. In fact, the law was given by God to show men their need of the Gospel.
"The law," says the Apostle Paul, speaking as a Jewish convert, "was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. But after that Christ is come we are no longer under the schoolmaster.” (Galatians 3:23-26)
Additional information is available
at the following link:
What is the Gospel? By William Newell
and Dr. Harry Ironside
The unbiblical practices of the modern-day Christian Unity movement makes an already serious problem even worse. The task of keeping the institutional church "unified" has troubled ministers for many years. Yet, the solution often involves redefining what God has said through the Scriptures. There is a correct type of Biblical unity that keeps the truth of Scripture as its highest priority and allows God's people to unify around this effort. But, the modern-day unity agenda that crosses all denominational lines downplays and even redefines certain offensive truths (they call it being "seeker sensitive") to draw more people into their congregation. Yet, this practice carries unintended consequences. It attracts those who want to feel religious yet avoid the changes that Biblical truth requires; such as being "born again". Tragically, this is why many who call themselves "Christian" - are not "Christian" according to God's definition. Yet, the institutional church convieniently ignores God's definition because it causes division and interferes with their efforts to bring unity and increase their numbers.
Contrary to the accusations of the critics, Paul never teaches that good works and godly behavior are to be disregarded or "thrown out". Instead, He emphasizes that these attributes should be applied to the believer's life FOR REASONS OTHER THAN TRYING TO EARN OR ACHIEVE SALVATION (ETERNAL LIFE). All believers should possess these character qualities as Christ's representatives on earth. Yet, attempting to achieve or keep salvation through good works and godly behavior is forbidden under the authority of the New Covenant that began after the cross.
The Positive and Negative Aspects
of Visions and Dreams
Supernatural visions and dreams continue to be the most effective way to spread false and misleading doctrines, which Jesus said represents "the wide gate that leads to destruction". But, God also uses visions and dreams to communicate with His people. The prophet Joel said that these experiences would increase in the last days. Peter quotes Joel in his famous sermon on the day of Pentecost - shortly after the crucifixion of Christ.
(Peter is speaking)
But this is what was spoken
by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:16-21)
A Recent Example
An individual was invited to appear on several Christian television programs to share a disturbing vision. She claimed that the Lord appeared to her, in person, to deliver a warning about the terrible judgments which will soon fall on America because of its sin. According to Bible prophecy the "judgments" she describes are likely to be true. Other prophetic voices in the Church are giving a similar warning. Yet, her message for believers in the Church was unbiblical because it contradicted the principles of New Testament salvation. None of the program hosts attempted to discern the validity of the vision, but promoted it as a valid message from God. This is why visions and dreams which are partly true and partly false are the most dangerous. Some might say that Jesus' presence in the vision proves that it's authentic. However, in the following study we will discover from Scripture that this is not necessarily a proof of Divine authenticity.
As the return of Jesus Christ draws near, countless numbers of individuals, including various church leaders are sharing end-time visions and dreams. According to the prophet Joel, this is to be expected. Some of these spiritual experiences are authentic, but others are not. Everyone insists that their experience originates with God and/or the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who shares a personal vision or dream knows that it must be documented in the Bible to have any credibility. This is why Scripture quotes are always part of the presentation. As a result of using Scripture - and often before any discernment can be exercised - some suggest that questioning their vision or dream is the same as doubting God and even calling Him a liar. However, the Bible they quote also warns that all supernatural experiences must be carefully scrutinized because they come from one of three sources :
- The devil
- The individual giving the presentation
All supernatural events and experiences should not only be compared with the Bible, but also examined to see if it agrees with the Bible's context. Biblical context is vitally important because the cross of Christ in the New Testament changed all the previous Old Testament rules concerning how salvation is received and understood.
The devil always uses Scripture in
his attempt to deceive Christians.
In the Garden of Eden, the devil said to Eve; "Hath God said ..." (Genesis 3:1). The devil even used Scripture against the Lord Jesus Christ during His temptation in the wilderness to persuade Him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:1-11). Yet, the deception is not necessarily found in the Scripture being quoted - unless it's deliberately misquoted. The deception almost always comes through ignoring or abusing the Scripture's context, which governs the way God wants a particular Bible verse to be applied and understood.
The devil uses Scripture, but quietly
replaces God's context - with his own.
This practice often goes unnoticed. Yet,
it makes God appear to say things that He
does not actually say. Journalists and the
news media have used this tactic against
various influential public figures for
decades. It should not be a surprise to
learn that the devil uses the same deceptive
methods against God and His people.
The devil's favorite method of trickery is operating as an imposter and imitating God. He puts on his "Jesus disguise" and approaches believers and Christian church leaders for the purpose of leading them astray in the faith. If the devil can deceive a minister, then he can also ensnare, without any further effort, those in his congregation. Since the devil is imitating God, an abundance of Scripture from "God's Word" will often be cited to validate his message. This is usually sufficient to convince any inexperienced Bible-believer, who lacks knowledge about the way their enemy operates.
Supernatural visions and dreams usually occur through the influence of "spirit beings", which come from one of two sources; God or Satan (the devil). As believers in Christ, we want to embrace the ones that come from God (usually it's an angel often referred to as "God's messenger") and reject the ones that come from the devil. The Apostle John said it this way;
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)
All "spirits" must be tested, especially the ones that appear to be godly because the devil's favorite tactic is to impersonate God - specifically the Lord Jesus Christ. Otherwise, testing the spirits wouldn't be necessary - because the ones originating with the devil would be obvious and easy to discern.
Jesus addressed the subject of imposters
and false Christs from a different
perspecitve by saying;
"Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:23-27)
The devil uses this impersonation tactic because it almost always works. He knows that the best way to get a Christian's attention and ignite their enthusiasm is to approach them disguised as Christ. If he can convince a believer that his message represents the Lord's words, great damage can be inflicted on that person's spiritual life and anyone who listens to them.
When a supernatural vision or dream is received, it is normal to be emotionally overwhelmed and assume that it's an authentic word from God. All believers love the Lord Jesus Christ and long to hear Him speak a direct and personal message. This is why, when a personal message comes in a vision or dream, they get excited and reject any request for discernment that might spoil the experience. This is especially true if the experience is accompanied by Scripture, which is thought to immediately make it authentic. But, Scripture can easily be quoted out of context, which changes the way God intended for it to be understood. The devil is a master at this deceptive practice.
Some helpful information is available
at the following link:
The Great Imposter
Bible Teaching that "Denies the Lord"
is Often the Foundation for False
Apocalyptic Dreams and Visions
The most harmful influences within the world-wide Christian Church are various mainstream denominational doctrines, which quietly deny or cast doubt on the finished work of Jesus Christ. In such cases, Jesus is always correctly portrayed as "dying on the cross for our sins". Unfortunately, everyone who preaches this general message is not necessarily preaching the same "Gospel of Christ". As a result, the following questions must be asked: Does their evangelistic message SUPPORT CHRIST’S FINISHED WORK of eternally taking away our sin - or does their message suggest an incomplete redemption, requiring additional works, merit and religious service in order to be saved? The premise that Christ's work is incomplete can be found in the doctrine of "meritorious or conditional salvation". In all of its countless expressions, it's the most dominant type of salvation message found among modern-day professing Christians. Most of this kind of Bible teaching is not done deliberately, but by misinformed yet loving and well-meaning individuals and church leaders.
As we repeat throughout our commentaries, various forms of aberrant Christian theology seeks to illegally combine (or mix together) both the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures into one integrated or unified system of "Christian religion". This popular practice essentially undermines the way God wants His Word to be understood. As a result, the cross of Christ in the New Testament (also known as the New Covenant) is wrongly taught as an extension or continuation of the way God related with people in the Old Testament under the Mosaic Law (also called Judaism). But, despite its popularity many dangerous things begin to surface. One popular misconception is that God deals with sin the same way after the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at cross - as He did under the program of Old Testament Law that operated before the cross. But, interpeting the Bible in this way undermines Christ's salvation. The teaching is taken from the pages of the Bible - but is condemned by the same Bible as a heresy because it abuses the context of God’s Word.
Saint Peter said it this way:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, EVEN AS THERE SHALL BE FALSE TEACHERS AMONG YOU, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, EVEN DENYING THE LORD THAT BOUGHT THEM, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." (2 Peter 2:1-2 - Emphasis Added)
Peter warns about teachers, which includes various church leaders (and their followers) who "deny the Lord that bought them". These are generally the same people that Jesus called "ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15-16). In other words, they are stealth agents of the enemy disguised as God's sheep (Christian believers). Contrary to popular opinion, these are not easy-to-identify agnostics who attempt to publically discredit Christ and His salvation. The ones Peter warns about are false teachers who often appear as committed and loving Bible-believing Christians. Since Peter uses the term "false teachers", he is warning about how Scripture can be interpreted and misapplied by various Christian ministers in a way that denies the Lord and His redemptive work at the cross. Unfortunately, this kind of teaching ministry appears to represent Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Yet, possessing an outward appearance of godliness is a method the devil uses to deceive God's people into embracing a false (or counterfeit) faith in Christ, which is why Peter labeled such teachings as heresy. Unfortunately, many (but thankfully not all) churches and denominations, on both the Roman Catholic and Protestant sides of the isle handle the Scriptures in this erroneous and forbidden way.
A phrase we often hear is that "God hates sin". One particular internet preacher uses a huge banner behind his podium with this phrase spelled out in over-sized letters. According to the Bible, God's hatred of sin is certainly known and understood. However, it becomes a misleading statement if we don't provide the whole story about the different way God responds to human sin BOTH BEFORE THE CROSS (UNDER THE LAW) - AND AFTER THE CROSS (UNDER THE NEW COVENANT). According to John the Baptist, Jesus Christ came as "The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world". John's words alert us that God deals with human sin in a new and different way after the Lamb of God was sacrificed, which forever put away human sin.
The crucifixion of the "Lamb of God" at the cross was the final sacrifice of Old Testament Law. Christ's sacrificial death fulfilled and brought the Law's spiritual government to an end. (Matthew 5:17, Ephesians 2:11-22, Colossians 2:13-14, Romans 7:1-6, Romans 8:2-4, Hebrews 8:6-13)
"Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS (THE NEW COVENANT), BY A NEW AND LIVING WAY WHICH HE (JESUS) CONSECRATED FOR US, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, FOR HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL." (Hebrews 10:19-23 - Emphasis Added)
A Review of New Testament Salvation is
Necessary to Properly Discern
Apocalyptic Visions and Dreams
It is certainly correct to say that God hates sin. Yet, the rest of the story reveals how God hated sin so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross to eternally end its domination of the human race. But, there are many in the church who denies Christ's redemption by putting sin back on the shoulders of the Christian after Jesus took it away. Martin Luther (1483-1546), a major leader of the Protestant Reformation, addressed this popular religious belief in the following statement:
"Either sin is with you, lying on your
shoulders, or it is lying on Christ,
the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on
your back, you are lost; but if it is
resting on Christ, you are free, and
you will be saved. Now choose
what you want."
When comparing Luther's quote with Paul's warnings in the New Testament, we discover something that many churches refuse to teach. Luther states that those who believe that sin continues to remain on their back (and the backs of other believers) - are actually lost - and he suggests that they don't know it. The idea that God continues to hold sin against a believer living after the cross comes from Old Testament Law, rather than the New Covenant of Christ. The Bible uses multiple names and phrases to identify the Law.
- The Law of Moses, which includes the Ten Commandments
- The law of sin and death (Romans 8:2-4)
- The first covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13)
- The covenant made with Israel at Mount Sinai (Galatians 4:21-31)
- The Letter (Romans 7:4-11 and 2 Corinthians 3:4-6)
- The Yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1)
In the New Testament, Saint Paul reveals that any attempt to have a saving relationship with God using the previous program of the Law, rather than Christ's New Covenant program of redemption (or a mixture of the two) - carries spiritually lethal consequences. In the following Scripture, Paul refers to the Law as "the Letter" and provides a sober warning.
"Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. FOR WHEN WE WERE IN THE FLESH, THE SINFUL PASSIONS WHICH WERE AROUSED BY THE LAW WERE AT WORK IN OUR MEMBERS TO BEAR FRUIT TO DEATH. BUT NOW WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM THE LAW, HAVING DIED TO WHAT WE WERE HELD BY, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit AND NOT IN THE OLDNESS OF THE LETTER (OR THE LAW). (Romans 7:4-11)
"And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, WHO ALSO MADE US SUFFICIENT MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT, not of the letter but of the Spirit; FOR THE LETTER KILLS, BUT THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE."(2 Corinthians 3:4-6 -- Emphasis Added)
"Therefore BY THE DEEDS OF THE LAW NO FLESH WILL BE JUSTIFIED IN HIS SIGHT". (Romans 3:20 -- Emphasis Mine)
"You have become estranged (separated/cutoff) from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE." (Galatians 5:4 -- Emphasis Added)
Both Luther and Saint Paul warns that mixing the Old Testament program of the Law, with the New Covenant of Christ carries the possible unintended consequences of spiritual death. Yet, many churches just consider it a matter of "personal choice". To avoid controversy people are often told that; "it's all in the Bible" - and they should be comfortable with whatever they choose to believe. No wonder the institutional church is currently in a state of apostasy, which involves following a religious path that seems right, but is actually the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).
After the cross, salvation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ as "the Lamb of God that takes away our sin". It's called New Covenant salvation, which the Bible also calls, "the new and living way of Christ". But, Old Testament Law is designed to put sin back on the shoulders of the believer. There is a reason those who choose to relate with God according to "the Letter" is in danger of spiritual death. It's because their faith is not in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but in their own ability to satisfy God's perfect standard of righteousness through religious works, spiritual service and human effort. The New Testament calls this false - but godly-looking way of salvation, "the flesh".
"There is therefore now no condemnation TO THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, WHO DO NOT WALK ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2 - Emphasis Added)
"SO THEN, THOSE WHO ARE IN THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD. BUT YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH BUT IN THE SPIRIT, IF INDEED THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU. NOW IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NOT HIS (OR DOESN'T BELONG TO GOD)" (Romans 8:8-9 - Emphasis Added)
Yet, these same folks that try to relate with God through "the flesh" appear to be His most loving and committed children. However, since they are walking according to a way God does not honor, both Luther and Paul warn that they could be lost (cutoff from Christ) without knowing it - because the Letter (or the way of Old Testament Law) kills.
The phrase "God hates sin" is often quoted as a form of spiritual intimidation by those who illegally mix the Old Testament and New Testament programs together. This is the same general type of religious error that nearly destroyed the Galatian Church and forced Saint Paul to write his "Epistle to the Galatians" in an effort to correct the damage. As a result, some modern-day Bible scholars refer to this mixed Bible doctrine as "the Galatian error", which continues to influence the institutional Christian Church at many levels. Older Christians refer to it as "Legalism" because it merges Old Testament Law and New Testament Grace - and insists that Christ's salvation depends on both. Paul referred to it as "a different gospel of Christ", which is a perverted version of the real Gospel and teaches an Old Testament conditional salvation based on merit and good behavior. In all its countless expressions, Galatianism/Legalism commonly uses the phrase "God hates sin" to motivate believers to repent of wrong conduct and behavior AS A WAY TO KEEP FROM LOSING THEIR SALVATION AND BE SPARED FROM DIVINE JUDGMENT. On the surface, all of this sounds Biblical. There's certainly nothing wrong with repenting (turning away) from wrong conduct and behavior. But, God no longer grants salvation according to these Old Testament rules after the cross. Christ-like behavior and good works should be sought-after and practiced for the right reasons; as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth. But, after the cross God forbids character attributes to be used as requirements for obtaining and keeping the New Covenant salvation of Jesus Christ, which comes only through a faith apart from and with no reliance upon good works or behavior (merit). (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23, Romans 4:4-8, Titus 3:5-7)
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah provides a
futuristic glimpse of Christ's salvation;
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, AND BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV -- Emphasis Added)
Many years later, the Apostle Paul provides more details;
"Therefore, as through one man’s (Adam's) offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act (the sacrificial death of Christ at the cross) the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:18-21)
"For He made Him who knew no sin TO BE SIN FOR US, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM." (2 Corinthians 5:21 - Emphasis Added)
The Scriptures quoted above reveal that Christ's salvation involves an exchange. Jesus receives (and bears) all our sin AND JUDGMENT - and we freely receive all of His attributes - including God's very own righteousness. The New Testament defines it as "the believer's position in Christ". In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul reveals that Jesus "became sin for us" - and, as a result, we now receive God's righteousness as a free gift IN EXCHANGE - as outlined in Romans 5:18-21. Contrary to the various teachings of legalism, the righteousness provided by Christ through this exchange does not end the next time sin is committed. As a result of possessing faith in Christ (which includes faith in His finished work), God's righteousness remains in force because it does not depend on the believer's character, sinless living or good works (Romans 4:4-8). These attributes are important for other reasons - but they cannot be used for obtaining God's righteousness after the cross. This means that all true believers possess God's very own righteousness - from the ones with the least merit - to the ones with the greatest. In order to make the believer righteous with God's perfect righteousness, Jesus had to bear the entire punishment and judgment for all human sin; past, present and future. This is the reason His crucifixion was so severe. To repeat the comments of the prophet Isaiah;
"But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, AND BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Jesus bore the full judgment for all our sins in His body on the cross. This truth is the foundation for authentic New Testament salvation. It's a key that enables a correct discernment of many apocalyptic visions and dreams.
In an effort to keep this study at a reasonable
length, we will not duplicate information, which
is already covered in greater detail - in other
writings. This information is available
at the following links:
The Great Divine Exchange
The Two Types of Righteousness in the Bible
The New Testament Believer's Position In Christ
Exposing Misconceptions About 'Saving Faith'
Exposing The Error of Redefining God's Grace
Imputation: The New Covenant Method God Uses
To Transfer His Spiritual Benefits To Us
The Spiritual Revolution of Jesus Christ
Why The Term "Christian Fundamentalism"
Causes So Much Confusion
It's important to consider what happens when "the righteous" are judged a second time for offences, which are already paid for in a previous judgment at the cross. Our earthly legal system calls it "injustice" or unrighteous judgment. It carries the exact same definition in God's heavenly court. As a result, when we hear about dreams and visions that warn believers that their Heavenly Father is about to judge them for sin - once again - during the upcoming tribulation; the recipient of that vision should be confronted with some serious questions.
The rest of this study provides the reasons
why this confrontation is necessary.
This is Part 1 of a two-part Bible study.
Click on the link below to access
the next section.
Return To Home Page