Sinning With A High Hand

by Mike Ratliff

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:18-19 ESV)

Under the Old Covenant, sinners would confess what they had done against the Lord. They would then bring a guilt offering to the Lord to atone for their sin. This guilt offering was variable not on the extent of the guilt of the offender but upon the amount that the person could afford to sacrifice, making it affordable for everyone to be able to make sacrifice for their sin. Such is the graciousness of God. On the other hand, there are such things as highhanded sins. These are sins for which there is no available sacrifice for which to offer to make atonement. These are capital offenses like murder, adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, kidnapping, et cetera. The only recourse was the death of the offender for they were seen as sinning with a high hand against God. These sins were in every sense deliberate. 

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27 ESV)

Think of the so-called Christian leaders in our time who are attempting to lead as many as possible into the apostasy of Contemplative Prayer through Spiritual Formation. They are attempting to transform their churches into staging areas for Emergence Christianity to transform the world into a better place. Or perhaps, they have become so consumed with being Missional while claiming to be doctrinally sound because of their association with New Calvinism and the Acts 29 Network that Dominionism has replaced any expectation of the soon return of Christ for His Church and for the judgment of the non-elect. These are very simplistic examples of things going on right now in the visible church that are markers of apostasy and are so because they are not orthodox in any shape or form when lined up with God’s Word as the exclusive determinant of what is and what is not. Any flavor of the Emergent form of Christianity fails the test because of the inclusion of mysticism, ecumenicalism, and universalism in all its forms in its mix. The issue with the “Missional” focused New Calvinism is that it is temporally focused rather than eternally focused, which is a violation of Colossians 3:1-4. We see this in its contextualization efforts in the corruption of the gospel it preaches. We are also witnessing a melding of elements of Emergence Christianity in with the Acts 29/New Calvinism movement and this introduces a false spirituality to the mix that confuses things even more.

Now, what has all of that to do with highhanded sin? Highhanded sin is deliberate disobedience after receiving the knowledge of the truth. In other words, these people know that what they are doing is outside the lines. They know that what they are practicing flies in the face of what Christianity really is. They are apostatizing deliberately. Oh, they may have been deceived into doing so, but that does not change the fact that they are deliberately running against the grain, ignoring the true means of grace and creating a new version of the visible church as they go and that means that they are out of bounds and are guilty of highhanded sin. The Apostle John said it like this.

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:18-19 ESV)

Soli Deo Gloria!

17 thoughts on “Sinning With A High Hand

  1. These men “tasted” the gospel. Heb. 6. They “heard” with their ears but were not drawn by the Lord to repentant faith. The remain in sin. The wages of sin is death; eternity in hell. Rms. 6:23 The fruit is one that is pagan mixed with “bits” of scripture. There is no growth in Christlikeness as the objective is “cultural” and “missional” and “engaging” men of every faith. 2 Cor. 6:14, 15 Faith comes by hearing the word of God- this is the gospel message; NOT an ecumenical message. Rms. 10:17, Mark 1:15 There is only one gospel. Yes, offensive to the perishing; but to the saved, the power of God. 1 Cor. 1:18

    2 Cor. 5:21

    Thanks Mike.


  2. I will say this before reading this new post, that I am a wicked sinner and only deserving death in hell for eternity, and I have no idea why the Father called this wicked sinner. I will state that I’m tired of this life upon this wicked earth and would only love and shed my tears on the Lord Jesus Christs’ feet for what He has accomplished on the cross! Psalm 73:21-26 (English Standard Version)
    21When my soul was embittered,
    when I was pricked in heart,
    22I was brutish and ignorant;
    I was like(B) a beast toward you.
    23Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you(C) hold my right hand.
    24You(D) guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will(E) receive me to glory.
    25(F) Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
    26(G) My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is(H) the strength[a] of my heart and my(I) portion(J) forever.
    So many may say oh??? will he kill himself. No for the Lord gives me breath and forgiveness of sins! Or do people think like the same of these truths?
    John 8:21-
    Jesus Predicts His Departure
    21 Then He said to them again, “I’m going away; (AC) you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. (AD) Where I’m going, you cannot come.” (AE)
    22 So the Jews said again, “He won’t kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come (AF) ‘?”

    23 “You are from below,” He told them, “I am from above. (AG) You are of this world; (AH) I am not of this world. (AI) 24 Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am [He], [h] you will die in your sins.”

    25 “Who are You?” they questioned.

    “Precisely what I’ve been telling you from the very beginning,” Jesus told them. 26 “I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the One who sent Me (AJ) is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.” (AK)

    27 They did not know He was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, (AL) then you will know that I am (AM) [He], and that I do nothing on My own. (AN) But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things. 29 The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, (AO) because I always do what pleases Him.”

    Truth and Freedom
    30 As He was saying these things, many believed in Him. 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, (AP) [i] you really are My disciples. 32 You will know the truth, (AQ) and the truth will set you free.”
    33 “We are descendants [j] of Abraham,” (AR) they answered Him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will become free’?”

    34 Jesus responded, ” I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. (AS) 35 A slave does not remain in the household forever, (AT) but a son does remain forever. (AU) 36 Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. 37 I know you are descendants [k] of Abraham, (AV) but you are trying to kill Me because My word [l] is not welcome among you. 38 I speak what I have seen (AW) in the presence of the Father, (AX) [m] and therefore you do what you have heard from your father.”

    39 “Our father is Abraham!” they replied.

    “If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. (AY) 40 But now you are trying to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth (AZ) that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this! 41 You’re doing what your father does.” (BA)

    “We weren’t born (BB) of sexual immorality,” (BC) they said. “We have one Father—God.” (BD)

    42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, (BE) because I came from God (BF) and I am here. For I didn’t come on My own, but He sent Me. 43 Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to [n] My word. (BG) 44 You are of your father the Devil, (BH) and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer (BI) from the beginning (BJ) and has not stood in the truth, (BK) because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, [o] because he is a liar and the father of liars. [p] 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Who among you can convict Me of sin? (BL) If I tell the truth, why don’t you believe Me? 47 The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.”

    Jesus and Abraham
    48 The Jews responded to Him, “Aren’t we right in saying that You’re a Samaritan (BM) and have a demon?” (BN)
    49 “I do not have a demon,” Jesus answered. “On the contrary, I honor My Father and you dishonor Me. 50 I do not seek My glory; (BO) the One who seeks it also judges. 51 I assure you: If anyone keeps My word, (BP) he will never see death—ever!”
    With Love for Christ,


  3. Amen!! Only God’s children know the hearts of a true repentant sinner! But do we! For are hearts are desperately wicked and who would know? You my brother know the answer.
    In Christ,
    For He who started a good work in you will take it to completion in His day!


  4. I thank the Lord that he has blessed us with you as one of the brothers, I state, bretheran! May the Lord hold you close to Him forever and ever! Amen
    In Christ,


  5. You’re on it Mike. In the coming days we’re going to be bringing out the evidence showing that the Fuller Seminary Church Growth Movement is ultimately behind all of this.

    The way to look at it is the Emerging Church, an offshoot of it, which is known as the New Calvinism of the Acts 29 Network, and the Purpose Driven/Seeker Sensitive sector, are all selling the same “product”; only to different audiences.

    Their product, “church,” has the same “gospel” uniting all these factions, which is they each have some form of dominionism; essentially they believe they are to transform “cultures,” and thereby, the world.

    It’s kind of like an episode of the original Star Trek. Maybe we should be praying: Beam me up Jesus. 😉


  6. Do not thank me, You know to thank the Lord Jesus Christ, for I’m not a bondservant but a slave bought and paid for by a price for sins that I could never repay. For humbley I have been continually brought to my knees for my rebellious ways and unbelief! Again you will know saved from error to the Truth! With Faith, Hope and Love Place in the Lord Christ Christ for what He has do for us and not in a hope of works of our own.
    In Christ,


  7. Only ‘God’ knows and sees the heart of a true, repentant sinner. We can only view fruit should there be some or not.
    1 Sam. 16:7, Rm. 2:16


  8. A very timely, sobering post Mike. I still don’t quite understand those who attack christian’s who would “err on the side of caution” ( I can’t think of a better way to put it.)
    If God’s Word is TRULY God’s Word, then how dare we belittle it with our finite minds – and pick out what we think is relevant to our personal ideal’s- and push aside aspects that are a little convicting/challenging/or we decide is not relevant to the times we live in!

    I think we all need to DAILY picture ourselves standing before our Lord and Saviour on judgement day, and having to give an account of our lives – and how we ‘handled’ His Word, and applied it in our earthly lives.
    Yes, our God IS love – but we so need to have a HOLY FEAR of our amazing, awesome God!

    We need to re-read the book of revelation – and read anew what a powerful God we serve!


  9. Thanks Ken, the weirdness of what we are seeing only comes into a coherent focus when we see it through this lens. I hear it all the time, “Nothing makes sense!” Well, what you just shared is the reason. We are in the midst of an effort to transform the world, but we are not part of the effort while those who are aren’t talking. I think we should be grateful that God has kept those who are truly His from drinking the Koolaid. 🙂


  10. Hi Mike,
    I love how Jesus says….My sheep know My voice, another voice they will not follow.
    He will keep those who are truly His and He promises to never leave us because He has give us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide us in determining what is truth and what is not. He points us to Jesus and Jesus alone.
    God bless you!


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