Unbelief Disobedience and Hatred

by Mike Ratliff

If I had not done workes among them which none other man did, they had not had sinne: but nowe haue they both seene, and haue hated both me, and my Father. But it is that the worde might be fulfilled, that is written in their Lawe, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:24-25 Geneva)

Let us never forget that those of us who stand for God’s Truth not only being knowable, but binding on all, are in a serious war. This is not a skirmish or a battle. It is a war. John MacArthur’s latest book is called The Truth War. In it, he exposes the tremendous battle that is being fought over what is truth and what isn’t. The Church is wounded and compromised to an extent greater than most of us can imagine.

Brian McClaren has said that the primary purpose of Jesus’ incarnation was not to provide a way for His people to be saved from their sins, but to show people how to be Kingdom people. He makes the message sound so right and our flesh loves that message, but it isn’t Biblical. This statement is nothing more than unbelief packaged as an alternative truth to designed to deceive people into discounting the truth from God’s Word thereby keeping them in darkness. It should be clear that this is a direct attack on the Gospel.

Keep in mind that this attack by McClaren is typical of the Emergent movement. From that group we hear these messages that appeal to our flesh while putting the real message from the Bible into a bad light. Those who have the courage to stand against this sort of thing will find that there will be a backlash coming their way from some very surprising sources. They will be called divisive. They will be called legalistic. They will be treated as pariahs. All of this will be from so-called fellow Christians. Therefore, what me must seriously look at is the difference between professed faith and true saving faith. Those with the latter will be regenerate. They will have the Holy Spirit. They are New Creations. However, if a person is a professing Christian alone without saving faith then they are simply unregenerate religious people. If we simply look at “works” it might be hard to tell one from the other. So how do we tell? We must look at God’s Word.

Where do we start? We must admit that the main difference between a regenerate believer and lost person is that one is in belief and the other is in unbelief. Therefore, if we look at the Bible’s use of the word “unbelief” then we can draw a narrow line between the two. From this study we can see where true saving faith lies. Then we can look within to examine ourselves to see how much unbelief is in our faith. To do this, we must see exactly what unbelief is.

Our flesh believes that unbelief is simply making a bad decision while faith is making the right decision. We naturally believe that unbelief is nothing more than an error in judgment. However, unbelief is actually a rebellious and violent principle of opposition to God. In the Bible we find that the words “disobedience” and “obeyed not” come from the same Greek words as “unbelief” and “believed not.” The writers of the Bible used “unbelief” and “disobedience” as synonyms throughout Scripture. They are the same word in the original Greek. Please carefully reason through the following statement: “We cannot rightfully say we have saving faith while living in unbelief. It is a contradiction.” If we change the word unbelief to disobedience, the contradiction remains

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:16 KJVR)

Paul tells us that we cannot claim saving faith if we are living in disobedience. Peter does as well.

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (1 Peter 2:7 KJVR)

We cannot separate unbelief and disobedience because they are the same word in Greek. They are synonymous. Conversely, obedience and faith are as well. Adam’s sin, which plunged all of Man into unbelief, was far more than a mere negative failing to believe God’s clear command to not eat of the tree in the midst of the Garden.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19 KJVR)

This passage tells us that it was Adam’s unbelief that was a damning sin, and so it brought the fall. Adam was not deceived by Satan’s lie as was Eve.

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14 KJVR)

Adam’s sin was in discounting God’s smallest command while demanding to have his own way. This is self-will, which is the essence of sin. Unless self-will is broken there is no salvation, no saving faith. Adam’s sin was the first act of unbelief in the history of Man.

From this we see that unbelief is a damning sin. Here is another example.

And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:18-19 KJVR)

“Believed not” comes from the same Greek word as “obeyed not.” This tells us that they could not enter because of unbelief. Did they have faith? They believed enough to follow Moses in the Exodus, but what happened to them in the wilderness? They were condemned. They saw the plagues in Egypt. They saw the Red Sea part. They saw and ate the manna. However, they still would not obey. How did Moses admonish them for their unbelief?

And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: (Deuteronomy 1:25-26 KJVR)

This is unbelief. Unbelief is far more than a spiritual struggle to question the existence of saving faith by the grace of God within us or not. When we struggle there it is a trial of faith, but that isn’t unbelief. Unbelief is a gross damnable sin. It is rooted in a self-will that has NEVER been broken. It is determined to have its own way and sit in the seat of God. Unbelief is evident in self-will, rebellion, defiance and disobedience. Therefore, it is a contradiction to claim saving faith while walking in self-will.

Unbelief is also directly connected with hatred.

If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:24-25 KJVR)

Unbelief is connected with hatred because the conscience condemns them, so they hate. This is the source of viciousness and retaliationwe experience from those in unbelief when we stand on God’s Truth or rebuke those in apostasy or heresy. A true brother or sister will receive our concern with love, but those in unbelief turn on us and become our worst enemy. They want the condemnation from their conscience to stop. Unbelievers, i.e., the counterfeit believers hated our Lord Jesus Christ because He told them the truth. When we emulate Him they hate us as well. It is by this that we know them.

And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. (John 5:40-42 KJVR)

Our Lord pinpointed the distinction between faith and unbelief. What is it? It is the love of God. Those He was rebuking could not have saving faith with their will totally dissolved in God’s will without a motive of love.

Genuine believers are not in unbelief. Therefore, they are not consumed by disobedience nor do they hate other believers. On the other hand, there is nothing to keep professing believers who are not genuine from fabricating good works, but since they are in self-will, the truth of their unbelief will eventually become manifest. We see this in the growing apostasy in men such as Brian McClaren who unabashedly attack the veracity of the Gospel and say their message is the real Christianity.

31 thoughts on “Unbelief Disobedience and Hatred

  1. Good article Mike. It is going to get worse…..you’re right. Its at the point already where they go right for the jugular. It really strikes a nerve with them to the point they almost want to get violent with you. Its unreal!! At first, it caught us so off guard when this happened. But now, we almost expect it and are not caught off guard anymore. If I am wrong, show me, correct me, I am more than willing to adjust my thinking…….but not them. Personally I want the truth even if I don’t like what I get shown. You show them and prove it with everything from the scripture to concordances, to lexicons to you name it and they STILL reject it! You know what we just learned in the catechism (Heidelberg)…….Jesus said when people do that, you are NOT to cast your pearls, because they want a fight, not the truth, so don’t waste your time on them. You tell them once and twice and after that, He says DON’T. So this idea of going back and forth with someone a hundred times who just wants to argue or talk nonsence, Jesus said, if you tell them the truth, they won’t believe you anyway……….

  2. Paul,

    You are right. I find it very unprofitable to argue endlessly with people. Our Lord told us not to do it, as you said, so why do we do it? We have to learn when to back away. Yes, it is going to get even rougher.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  3. It is a great article Mike,

    It is a waste of time because the sheep hear His voice and follow Him. I am going to stop trying to talk to the same people over and over. I will continue to pray for them of course. Back to just planting the seed. Jesus does the rest.

  4. It seems like Satan’s attacks against the gospel always involve the substitutionary atonement, first of all. If he can obscure or deny that one truth, then Jesus can be a moral teacher, a great champion, or whatever else you want to call him — but he is not the Jesus of scriptures, and his gospel is not the Gospel that saves. Let us learn always to live at the foot of the cross — only there will we find the means to combat any false doctrine that may arise.

  5. Good article. I’m just starting to read The Truth War. I’m just in the introduction and already there is so much to think on!

    It seems every generation not only has its “weird” religions cropping up (the various cults) but also an attack on true Christianity, masquerading as Christianity but being nothing more than liberalism/”has God said?”/man is basically good, all wrapped up in contemporary jargon. And so many people believe it instead of the truth.

  6. You are right Nathan. The Jesus of the Emergents is another Jesus. That other Jesus is, as you said, a great moral teacher, a great champion, etc. What I find amazing is how palatable that lie is to my flesh. I watched McClaren’s video yesterday where he talked about Jesus showing us how to live like Kingdom People and that He did not come primarily to show us how to get to Heaven and with the mood music and slick video they used it was highly complelling. However, it is a lie straight from the enemy. If I didn’t know the truth by leaning on the real Jesus and Him crucified then I could easily have been deceived. Priase God that He protects us from this. Satan is bound, but he still can attack us.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  7. Karen,

    You are right. Those who do know the truth had better get better at knowing what they believe and why because, I believe, we are in a time of great deception. Is Satan loose and decieving even the elect? I pray that I will not be deceived, but remain faithful.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  8. When I see the condition of the so-called church, I think on this little nugget from the Plumb Line of God’s Holy Word!

    1 Corinthians 11:19
    King James Version (KJV)

    19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

    Doesn’t this help us know who to fellowship with???

    Helps me!

  9. Brent,

    Here is the Net Bible version in context.

    Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. For in the first place, when you come together as a church I hear there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must in fact be divisions among you, so that those of you who are approved may be evident. (1 Corinthians 11:17-19 NET)

    So are we to fellowship with people who are in apostasy or are we to remain in churches that have factions and heresies? He isn’t praising the Corinthian church here. He is blasting them. However, if we are in a church like that we are to remain faithful. We are to remain faithful to our Lord, but if we are in churches which have gone over the edge into apostasy then I believe we must come out of the Scarlet Woman.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  10. Wow, what a great word today.

    there will be a backlash coming their way from some very surprising sources. They will be called divisive. They will be called legalistic. They will be treated as pariahs.

    This really hit home with me. As I was seeing new things and getting more and more excited at His word and the truth in it I just had to share. Boy, was that an eye-opener for me!!! I never expected my own brothers and sisters in Christ to turn on me….that was really hard to understand at that time.

  11. Mike,
    I was narrowing the point down as to not get bogged down or off trac on the Lord’s supper.

    The point I was hoping to make is….when I see the Brian Mclarens of the so-called “Christian” world, I don’t get nervous or think, Oh no…what are we going to do? Those types have ALWAYS been among the bretheren, look at the upper room with Judas among them. God allows those types to strengthen us in our study and our walk with the Spirit. Refute them absolutly, but somehow letting them make us feel like what is it all coming too and look how popular they are and all the people they are reaching just makes me more determined to study, evangelize the real Gospel, and let the Holy Spirit do the converting and eye opening. I read some very old church history, accounts of the types of false teachers that had already crept into the church just after John’s death from one of his desciples writings. The type of things we are actually dealing with are pale in comparison to the twisting early on in the so-called church. These people were using “silly women laden with sins” for all kinds of leading the flock astray.
    Keep the charge…fight the good fight…defend the faith!

  12. Amen Brent – well said! No, I don’t worry about it, but I know that we need to be informed about it and warn those who are not as mature in their faith as what to expect when we rebuke these people, which we must do.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  13. I was never suggesting hanging out with heritics. I was writing that those heritics saves me allot of time figuring out who is real and who isn’t.

  14. It sure does Brent! I suppose I never considered that before even though I had read that verse I had not thought of it quite like that until you commented.

    There are both advantages and disadvantages to these blogs and communicating via comments. Sometimes it can appear we are saying one thing when we are most certainly saying something else. Then it can spiral into a huge misunderstanding. Been there, done that.:-)

    We have to go through the fire to be aprroved.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  15. Love your “fruit of the Spirit” blog and writings.

    By His grace for His glory alone,

  16. What an important article, Mike. (At first you scared me when you quoted McLarin…and then I saw you were not agreeing!!! WHEW!):-)

    Deb, I feel the same way – His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. It takes a little pressure off knowing my responsibility is just to speak the truth and pray for God to give the increase.

  17. Sharon,

    Sorry to frighten you.:-) Look at Brent’s comments above as well. Through our standing against this stuff we are actually shown to be genuine. The battle is necessary.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  18. Linda, We can relate! It caught us off guard at first thinking you were talking and fellowshiping with true brothers and sisters and then WHAM! You find out their true colors. We are on our guard now knowing its more likely that this is how people react now instead of the other way around. It is hard, but it also lets you know how far along we are. Look up!!

  19. Mike,

    Yes, yes, yes!! Obedience equals belief and disobedience equals unbelief. I have been reading these same scriptures over the last couple of weeks. We are being led by the same Spirit! This message you wrote is so very important.

    Love in Christ,

  20. I do not wish for this to be taken wrongly, but I wonder how much of our current state is not due to radical Arminianism?
    I know there are Arminian brothers who understand man’s sin, and its effects, and these are not to whom I refer, but rather those who think that free will opens the door for man to discern spiritual things while the Scriptures say that the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit.
    The danger in this is that if man is not dead in sin, he then thinks that he may freely discern good and evil. In this view, even ungodly men have something to say that may be spiritual.
    I suppose if you follow that line long enough, you end up in pantheism where God is in everyone, and everything.
    Either way brethren our God reigns, and the Earth is filled with His glory.

  21. Good point Patrick. That is part of the equation for sure. One of the points that always drives the emergents crazy when I do battle with them is that they refer to me as “that Calvinist!” Oh well, I don’t think of myself as anything but my Lord’s servant. He is on the Throne and the Earth is filled with His glory! Amen!

  22. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14 KJVR)

    Adam’s sin was in discounting God’s smallest command while demanding to have his own way. This is self-will, which is the essence of sin. Unless self-will is broken there is no salvation, no saving faith. Adam’s sin was the first act of unbelief in the history of Man.

    Amen. Self-will is what we see everywhere we turn.

    The word of faith guys have retired God and taken charge of their themselves. The dominionists have also set themselves a flesh-driven vision to change the world, as against the Bible’s clear instructions to the contrary. The emergents are re-defining God to suit whatever catches their fancy per time.

    It is all self-will. Why do we think the Lord said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.

    The different versions of the false gospel being peddled today all leave out this vital condition. If a man is convicted of nothing, repents of nothing, does not die to self, and carries no cross, is such a man regenerated? Need we say more?

    We must keep speaking, preaching, sharing, refuting and correcting.

    True, pure Biblical faith is obedience to another. Self-will has no place in it.

    God bless you all, brothers and sisters! I missed your company.

  23. Having been a charismatic Pentecostal I believed a lot of erroneous stuff!All of my christian friends are still in these errors.I have tried to tell them about the errors but they say I am of the devil!I don’t push it.They need a teachable spirit and I am so grateful God gave me such a spirit.May I always have a teachable spirit and know His Word so as not to be led astray by those in error trying to “correct” me.There are way too many pastors and teachers out there who are adament they are right in everything they do and say and reveal they have no teachable spirit no matter how many scriptures you show them to the contrary.May they be recognized by our baby family members and avoided by them so their faith will not be shipwrecked.

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