Proof of Salvation

by Mike Ratliff

1 Εἴ τις οὖν παράκλησις ἐν Χριστῷ, εἴ τι παραμύθιον ἀγάπης, εἴ τις κοινωνία πνεύματος, εἴ τις σπλάγχνα καὶ οἰκτιρμοί, 2 πληρώσατέ μου τὴν χαρὰν ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε, τὴν αὐτὴν ἀγάπην ἔχοντες, σύμψυχοι, τὸ ἓν φρονοῦντες (Philippians 2:1-2 NA27)

1 Therefore, since there is encouragement in Christ, consolation of love, fellowship of the Spirit, affection, and compassions, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, the same love, as ones joined in soul and of one mind. (Philippians 2:1-2 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1) 

Christian unity is a much-abused topic at this time. Some insist, such as T.D. Jakes with his inclusion in Elephant Room 2, that all who claim to be Christian, regardless of their “doctrinal views” should be unified because this is God’s will. We can offer plenty of passages from the inspired Word of God that disproves both his claim of universal unity being God’s will and the fact that just because someone claims to be Christian they really are. The Postmodern mindset is irrational as we have seen in that it has no issue with holding various “truths” as being true even if when, in reality, that is impossible because to the rational person, those truths are absolute and cannot be true and something else be true that conflicts with it. For instance, Christian Orthodoxy has as one of its base doctrines that God is One, but is also the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is the Holy Trinity. T.D. Jakes, a Modalist, rejects this. He says that God manifests himself as one of these three as he pleases, but only one at a time. T.D. Jakes’ god is not God. 

Is the fact that we disagree with T.D. Jakes being disagreeable and divisive? No, we are being discerning and refusing to allow heresy to be included as proper doctrine of the Church. What about when we rebuke those believers who want to fellowship with T.D. Jakes and include him in a discussion about the doctrine of Trinity in ER2? Is that being disagreeable and divisive? No, it is the same thing. We are simply exercising our God-given discernment and are both rebuking those trying to do this while warning the Church about it.

Some insist that these sorts of “rebukes” should be done privately, never publicly. While I agree that it is always better to follow the Biblical model of Christian discipline found in Matthew 18:15-20, that is talking about a sinning brother or sister within a local church. This issue with The Elephant Room and T.D. Jakes is very public already and who is it that has authority over James MacDonald, the one doing all this? Therefore, we warn the body of Christ and rebuke James MacDonald and, unfortunately, as he stiffens his neck and refuses to listen, it just escalates.

If anyone has in his or her perception that what I just described is something enjoyable or pleasant or something I just cannot wait to jump on and do, then you have not been paying attention. I do not like this sort of thing at all. Yet, there is so much madness in the visible church right now that I often wonder if I will ever be able to get back to just teaching from God’s Word for the discipleship of God’s people.

The reason I brought this up was to show you that exercise of true discernment is not divisiveness regardless of that very charge by those who like to throw around the label “hater” against those who obey God by revealing the truth about their ministries to the Body of Christ. In fact, those who are being divisive are the very ones who are corrupting the truth through their false teachings, leading people astray and by not leading people to become God-focused in their life and worship rather than self-focused. Yes, that is truly divisive and their exposure by those being obedient to God is both painful and necessary.

There are others who are divisive of whom we are warned in God’s Word.

8 Πιστὸς ὁ λόγος· καὶ περὶ τούτων βούλομαί σε διαβεβαιοῦσθαι, ἵνα φροντίζωσιν καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι οἱ πεπιστευκότες θεῷ· ταῦτά ἐστιν καλὰ καὶ ὠφέλιμα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. 9 μωρὰς δὲ ζητήσεις καὶ γενεαλογίας καὶ ἔρεις καὶ μάχας νομικὰς περιΐστασο· εἰσὶν γὰρ ἀνωφελεῖς καὶ μάταιοι. 10 αἱρετικὸν ἄνθρωπον μετὰ μίαν καὶ δευτέραν νουθεσίαν παραιτοῦ, 11 εἰδὼς ὅτι ἐξέστραπται ὁ τοιοῦτος καὶ ἁμαρτάνει ὢν αὐτοκατάκριτος. (Titus 3:8-11 NA27)

8 Trustworthy is the Word and concerning these things, I counsel you to strongly affirm them, that the ones having believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are good and profitable to men. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, quarrels, and fights about the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. 10 Avoid a divisive man after warning him once then twice, 11 knowing that such a man has been perverted and is sinful being self-condemned. (Titus 2:8-11 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1) 

The word “divisive” in v10 translates αἱρετικὸν the Accusative, Singular of αἱρετικός or aihretikos, “one who creates or fosters factions.” This is where we get the English word “heretic.” Now, this is not talking about a person who is standing firm against heresy, but one who is trying to subvert the truth with false doctrine. What do these people do? They pick fights. They try to create controversies, quarrels, and fights. They do not have truth on their side so they use the tactics of the world, philosophies of men, and, of course, out right ad hominem attacks. I know all about this having been the target more times than I care to recount. They use Straw Man argumentation, which is fallacious and a huge time waster. What are we to do? We rebuke them then we rebuke them again. If they persist then we do whatever it takes to remove all possible access they may have to us and to those we care for. Why is this necessary? In v11 we are told that the person, man or woman, has been perverted and is sinful. In Greek this literally says, “knowing that has been perverted such a man and sins, being self condemned.” The word αὐτοκατάκριτος refers to one who is condemned by one’s own sentence meaning: passing sentence upon oneself. This is done either as a voluntarily cutting off of oneself from the church by an open revolt, or as rendering oneself incapable of the privileges and blessings that belong to the church by renouncing one’s faith. The result becomes judging or declaring oneself unworthy of the blessings tendered by the church.

Real Christians prove their salvation by not being like that. Instead their lives are examples of fulfilling Philippians 2:1-2, which I placed at the top of this post while resisting those who conform to Titus 3:10-11. Now, those in NAR, postmodernism, seeker-sensitive, WoF, et cetera stuff that is going on all around us point their fingers at those of us with discernment and say we are the ones in Titus 3:10-11, while that is not the case at all as we saw above. Those who pervert God’s Truth with lies and false doctrine are the ones being divisive and God has given discernment to those willing to stand up and tell the truth to the those who will listen. In doing this, we are not being divisive, but obedient in rebuking the αἱρετικός by contrasting what they are doing and saying with God’s Truth. Let us do so always ready to give an account of the hope that is within us with the Grace and demeanor of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria!

12 thoughts on “Proof of Salvation

  1. Oh the joys of being labeled a “hater” for simply trying to steer people away from false teaching. But false teachers that want to say that we’re the haters forget what 1 Corinthians 13 says about the nature of love, in that love rejoices in the truth, and hates lies. People expose false teaching generally because of their love for the Lord and the truths of His word not out of spite or hatred. At least, that is my motive for exposing false teaching.

  2. Now stay tuned for the next chapter of the saga, that of a regular TGC contributor seeking solace, training and respite from Catholic Monks and Thomas Merton. Pardon me, but are either of those in any shape form or fashion other than enemies of Christ and the reformation? Isn’t monkism 180 degrees from “go into all the world”? Thomas Merton? Hes a Christian to be modeled? And you know this how? ( to loosely paraphrase an infamous “evangelical”).

    It must be real difficult to come up with a “upper room” conference. Perhaps because one would have to directly wrestle with scripture. It is apparently much easier to come up with a catchy slogan that can’t be recognized. Talk about the room Jesus entered when the doors were locked? Nope, sorry, much easier to talk about defense of Highway to Hell on Easter.

  3. Michael, yep, I was too busy yesterday to participate in that discussion, but how in the world could these jokers believe that that is in any way Christian? Again, this is seeking unity with those outside of what is Christian calling it Christianity. Sorry, it isn’t and the TGC is going further and further away from the light and deeper and deeper into darkness. We do not need them.

  4. Few there be…few there be…that find the Narrow Way that promises a cross to bear, tribulation to overcome, and an eternal Reward.
    This is our fight for this time we live, yet it is no different then down through the last 2,000 years. Imagine being the only one in your area, and no way to communicate because the internet wasn’t yet available. Yet He is a Strong Tower that the rightious run in to and are saved.
    Having no congregation to gather with in our area, and refusing to follow another’s voice, we wait for Him to gather us…and He does, in 2’s and 3’s in diverse places. We know of others who see these things, yet they feel as if they need to sit under a preacher in a building, yet always wonder why things aren’t right there.
    But like Nicodemus they come by night asking questions, always running back to the comfort of their religion…never growing, always hurting, alone in a crowd…where they believe the lie that it is safe for their children, who leave for college, never to return to the religion of their parents, having seen the hypocracy.
    Still they were never grounded as they were taught too much feeling and experience and too little scripture. In school they run in to IHOPers and are drawn in to the sweet wonderful experience based power and dominion of a deceptive annointing, fully sure they are on the right path. Having never been taught to test the spirits, by the Word in context, and having always been taught to follow the annointed ones, by there parents who run to and fro looking for a word and power through these vain dreamers…and the cycle goes on…
    Never refuse an addict of his next fix or you will feel there flesh wrath!
    The pattern goes all the way back to Paul’s and John’s fights with deceivers. Look up John’s being refused fellowship with the folks who sat under Diatrophese for example…and it was these disciples who started the fellowships! For most who claim to be “christians,” Jesus is not enough!
    They went out from, who? us? No, from the gospel given to the Apostles…because they were never a part of His Bride. We qualify to be part of His “US” beacause we were chosen as elect of the Lord…From the foundation of the world. All those nice people we think should be part of us and would be a great addition to us are not ours to add. “My sheep know My Voice and will in no way follow another,” is pretty clear to me, a former Catholic, former charismatic, former AG member, who stayed just long enough to have coffee at a WOF fiasco, always seeking Him, having been called by Him, never drinking the kool-aide of them, finally realizing He wasn’t drawing me to there. Men and “fellowship” in our name was the draw. Always in the Word, never seeing the Word manifest in those traps, we fled for the safety of Christ Jesus alone. We were placed in His hand, and He never dropped us. Now we wait in Him for what He alone orchestrates, thankful for this cyber congregation of fellow called out believers.
    I know some of you might get tired of my rants, yet it is that you don’t realize that there are many who lurk on these sites, and who would never type in, yet are comforted by reading of others like them who have found a home here.
    Mike understands this, that’s why he puts up with me! LOL
    But understand too, that he reads my work carefully, and will not let me stray from the Truth, as he has full authority as site admin. and permission from me to edit my content and correct me. My desire, as is his, is that the Truth be told, always measured against the Word in context. I have no problem submitting to Godly authority. Thanks Mike, for the teaching, the fellowship, and the platform.

  5. Sometimes the Lord Jesus was most brusk and indelicate and insensitive when He was dealing with religious heretics – name calling and stern warnings about the coming Judgment.

    I think gentleness is the way with folk who are humble – as the woman at the well in John 4. Wrong on her theology but curious of the Truth, not arrogant about her own opinion. Such as her should be warmly welcomed into conversation about the glories of our Lord.

    Arrogant heretics such as Jakes, Furtick, Schuller, Ed Young, Jr., et. Al. should be dealt with firmly as a warning to them and those who ignorantly follow them.

    Press on Mike – the Lord is your refuge and ever present help! Christ is sufficient in this day of trial, for He will defend His own and claim us on Judgment Day, to the glory of His name!

  6. I guess when Paul rebuked Peter to his face in open public for Peter eating and withdrawing to the Judiazers Paul was just being a ‘divisive person’ who the other ‘christians’ should have warned?
    No Paul was rebuking fellowship with false teachings ( heresy ) and he made it public because it was causing error to be injected into the fellowship of the Truth.
    Proverbs 27:5
    English Standard Version (ESV)

    5 Better is open rebuke
    than hidden love.

  7. Hi Mike,

    “Yet, there is so much madness in the visible church right now that I often wonder if I will ever be able to get back to just teaching from God’s Word for the discipleship of God’s people.”

    We appreciate your willingness to do both exposing and teaching and we need both, esp. in these trying times. Thank you for both, Mike! Besides, you always end up teaching God’s word when you are exposing false teaching.:-)

Comments are closed.