IS EVERYONE SAVED?

17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

There is a growing sentiment within the American church toward the all inclusive message of universalism, 

What is the Universalism?

In a nut shell, Universalism is the theory that God has reconciled every person, having forgiven every person’s sins, and everyone is going to be saved and live happily ever after. 2 Corinthians 5:18 -19, referenced above, is one of the main “go -texts” for those who teach and for those who accept universal.

The universalists zeros in on certain words and phrases at the expense of the context, emphasizing certain portions of a text to create a theological narrative not supported by the whole counsel of scripture.

For example the words, God was in Christ, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM, is used to advance the ideology that God has forgiven everyone and put everyone at rights with him, and already reconciled to God. 

However, in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul’s intent is not that all humanity is already reconciled to God with all their sins forgiven. Rather Paul’s message is, in Christ, God has provided atonement so that all who will believe the gospel will be reconciled to God. This is why we are to make appeal to people to “be reconciled to God” as Paul says in verse 20.

In Christ alone there is the forgiveness of sins for those who humble themselves in repentance.

When Paul says God was in Christ reconciling the world, not imputing their trespasses unto them, he is referring to the work of God in Christ as the offering for our sins. Jesus gave himself as our sin offering and was accepted by God on the behalf of all who will believe and repent.

No where in scripture, neither in the old testament or in the new, will you ever find any servant of God preaching that God has done it all, and you are right with God no matter what your response is.

In the new testament, we see john the Baptist preaching repentance and warning of the wrath to come. Jesus preached the gospel and called men to repentance. Throughout the book of Acts, the gospel was never preached as an announcement that “you are already forgiven and reconciled to God.” In Acts, the gospel message was preached with a calling to faith and repentance.

Universalism is built on random biblical text taken out of their context, which creates a theology which can not be supported by the whole counsel of scripture. It is, instead, condemned by the whole counsel of scripture.

The Universalists believes that God holds nothing against any one, but consider the word of Jesus to the church at Pergamos:

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things AGAINST thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. REPENT; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will FIGHT AGAINST THEM with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:13- 16)

It doesn’t take a theologian or a scholar to understand that Jesus held things against those in the church at Pergamos.

When Paul says God was in Christ reconciling the world “not imputing their trespasses unto them” he is not teaching God will never hold people accountable for their sins. On the contrary, Paul is preaching Christ as the gift of God for all who believe. We will all be held accountable, and without Christ, all will be condemned.

This is why Paul says: “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Corinthians 5:11)

Paul never preached that God had foregone the judgement of the ungodly because he has accepted everyone. Paul believed that we are called to come out from the ungodly and live for God to be accepted by God.

Consider Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 6:

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14- 18)

In universalism there is no difference between the godly and the ungodly. There is no difference between the children of God and the world. Therefore the world, rather than the church, is sanctified and made holy.

Someone actually told me recently, “Jesus made the world holy,”  but nothing, could be further from the truth.

According to Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 6 (which is found in the very next chapter after the text which tells us that God was in Christ reconciling the world not imputing their trespasses unto them) we are commanded to come out from among them and be separate, AND THEN, we will be received by God, AND THEN,  we will be the sons and daughters of God.

If all people are already reconciled to God, and all people are going to be saved, because everyone is already forgiven, and no one will be judged, there would be no differentiation made between God’s people and those who are not God’s people in the scriptures.

There would be no differentiation between those in the light, and those in darkness. There would be no differentiation between the church and the world. Yet the Bible repeatedly makes a differentiation.

According to 1 John 2:15-16 we are instructed: love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

In 2 Peter we read that through our union with Jesus Christ we have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

Peter then tells us that if after having escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, people are again entangled therein, and overcome by the world, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (2 Peter 2:20)

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that the devil is the god of this world and has blinded the minds of them which BELIEVE NOT, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

1 John 5:19 tells us: the whole world lieth in wickedness. And in Ephesians 2:2, we read that the prince of the power of the air (Satan) is behind the course of this world.

We can see from these references above that the world is in opposition to God, and in opposition to the the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 1 John 2:17, we are taught that the world, along with its lust is going to pass away, but those who do the will of God will abide for ever.  John also says the following, contrasting the children of God from those in the world: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1)

John also tells us to “marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” (1 John 3:13)

In 1 John 4, the apostle John tells us how that many false prophets have gone out into the world, having the spirit of anti-Christ. John tells us that we have overcome them because we have the Spirit of God.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:4-6)

The world is not holy. The world is under the influence of the wicked one, and is the spirit of error. Only those who know God, through faith in Jesus Christ, have overcome the world.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)

The new testament writers make a clear distinction between those who have the Spirit of God and those with the spirit of this world.

Consider the words of Paul from 1 Corinthians 2:12: Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

In John’s gospel, Jesus made a clear distinction between his followers and the world in his prayer in John 17.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I PRAY NOT FOR THE WORLD, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (John 17:8-9)

Jesus also says: I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:14-17)

James tells us that pure religion and undefined before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

James rebuked the recipients of his epistle for their wordiness, saying: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

If God has made the world holy, how does friendship with the world make one and enemy of God?

The world is not holy, on the contrary, Jesus gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. (Galatians 1:4)

In Titus, the apostle Paul tells us that the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ… (Titus 2:11-13)

Through Jesus Christ, God has called out a people from the world. Only those who obey that calling – believing on Jesus and following him – are made holy. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, God has revealed that the world’s wisdom is foolish, for through his wisdom, God has chosen to save those who believe through the preaching of the gospel (see 2 Corinthians 1:20-21).

The message of universalism is worldly. It is in no way Christian. Everyone is not saved, and neither will they be.

DOES GOD LOVE ALL PEOPLE THE SAME?

Does God love the unrepentant murderer or rapist with the same affection as he loves someone who humbles himself before him and seeks him with all his heart?

Most of us have been taught that God loves everybody the same, but is this the teaching of the Bible, or is it something that we just haven’t taken the time to to think through and search out in the scriptures?

Allow me to present the following texts to you:

First, consider John 14:21.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER , AND I WILL LOVE HIM , and will manifest myself to him.

Clearly, this text suggests that those who love Jesus and obey him will be recipients of both his, and his Father’s love.

Now, consider verse 23:

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Finally, consider Hebrews 12:6-8

FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, GOD DEALETH WITH YOU AS SONS; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye illegitimate, and not sons.

Notice that here in Hebrews, the Father chastens “those he loves.” This is said in contrast to those who are without chastisement. There is a love bestowed on his sons (his children) that those who are not his children, are not partakers of.

With this in mind, I’d like to present the teaching linked below.

_____________________________________________

THE LOVE AND WRATH OF A HOLY GOD
https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/the-love-and-wrath-of-a-holy-god/

THE LOVE AND WRATH OF A HOLY GOD

Throughout the Bible, God’s word reveals that God is holy and is to be feared and held in reverence. This holy God, who is to be feared and held in reverence, is very compassionate and gracious and merciful towards all who repent of their sins.

God’s love is freely given to those who bow before him, in holy fear and reverence. It is not bestowed on those who refuse to humble themselves before him, and who defy him. Throughout the Bible, God’s love for the world is his offer of forgiveness and mercy to the ungodly who will humbly come to him with a repentant heart.

I read something once which I think is very indicative of how many people have come to view  God’s love. The comment said of God “He is madly in love with people.  That is why He dealt so furiously with sin. He crushed Jesus so He could save me.”

This statement speaks more of our infatuation with ourselves than it does God’s loves for us as revealed in the scriptures. In truth, God’s love for us isn’t a revelation of how wonderful we are: how God just can go on without us. Instead, God’s love is a revelation of how glorious he is.

That a holy, sovereign God, who is going to judge the world in righteousness reaches out to us in love to save us through his Son, Jesus Christ, glorifies him and not us. It displays his majesty and beauty, not ours.

There are many people who recognize the words of  John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. Many can quote these words verbatim. Unfortunately, many of those same people do not know the context in which the words are spoken.

Let us consider, briefly, the context of God’s love in John 3:16 to better understand God’s love as it is revealed in scripture. Let’s begin with  verses 14-15:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Now consider the old testament account from which Jesus references in verses 14-15 above.

And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:5-9)

This, according to Jesus, was a type of how God would deliver us from our sins, and an old testament foreshadowing of how God would display his love for us in Jesus Christ.

Now consider John 3:16 – 21:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16 – 21)

Now notice verse 36:

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

God gave his Son to bestow his love on all who would humbly turn from their sins. God’s love for all people is revealed in his giving of his Son, with the condition, that the recipients of his love turn form their sins.

Those who refuse to turn form their sins by rejecting the precious gift of God, which he gave through the offering of his Son, have consequently rejected the love of God. Therefore they are condemned, and are under God’s wrath.

Whether you like it or not. There are people throughout the world who hate God because they love their sins. God’s love is extended to them, calling them to repentance. If they persist in their rebellion against God, refusing to humble themselves, they will be judged and damned in their sins: In this way, they are under the wrath of God.

The new testament teaches that God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man he has appointed: Jesus Christ.

God has given his Son as the witness of himself, and in the Son, God offers forgiveness, grace, and mercy, to all people. Those who believe God’s witness, in his Son, receive life everlasting through God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy; which is freely given in Jesus Christ.

Those who reject the Son of God; reject the love, mercy, and grace, God has offered them. God is holy and just to be displeased and angry with those who refuse to humble themselves before him for mercy and grace.

On the day of judgement, those who reject God’s love will have no intercessor, no advocate to defend them,  and will stand before a holy and righteous God with all their sins exposed before him. They will be judged for their sins because of their defiance of his goodness, and their rejection of the love God offered them in Jesus.

For them, there will no forgiveness when they stand before God to be judged. They will be judged, not by God’s compassion, but by God’s wrath.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, FROM WHOSE FACE THE EARTH AND THE HEAVEN FLED AWAY; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)

HE BLOOD OF JESUS, AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD

In the Bible God is revealed as a holy God, and all who enter into his presence must be clean.  In the old testament, God gave Israel the tabernacle to sanctify the people so that he could dwell among them.

In Exodus 25, God said to Moses, “let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” This was a type of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle which Jesus entered in the Heavens, when through his own blood, he entered into the presence of God for us, to make intercession for us.

Under the Law, the tabernacle and all that was in it had to be first purified by the atoning blood before it could be put into service for the Living God to dwell in among his people.

On the annual day of atonement, the tabernacle and everything that pertained to it, had to be purified again with the atoning blood because of the sins of the people. All that was associated with the presence of God had to be holy and purified by blood.

This was a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do to bring us near to God. The writer of Hebrews tells us the following in Hebrews 9:21-24.

Moreover he (Moses) sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…

After he shed his blood on the cross as payment for our sins, Jesus entered into the very presence of God for us with his own blood to purify for us access to God so that we may live in his presence.

This is why the author of Hebrews tells us: to enter with boldness into the holiest (the presence of God) by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an 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. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

NOT WITHOUT BLOOD

Under the Law, love held man back from entering God’s presence.

Only the high priest could enter the presence of God, and only on the Day of Atonement, and only with the blood of sacrificial animals that could not take away sin. Those sacrifices were only a foreshadowing of the glorious redemption that God had not yet (at that time) fully revealed.

The high priest was commanded to enter but, NOT WITHOUT BLOOD.

When Jesus offered himself for us, God unveiled the glorious and hidden plan of redemption. Through his own blood, shed at the cross, Jesus entered into the presence of God for us having obtained our eternal redemption.

Jesus, our great High Priest, entered the presence of God for us, but unlike the priests under the Law who could not abide permanently in the presence of God, Jesus abides there FOREVER to make intercession for us.

Because of Jesus, we too are invited in. We are told to come boldly by his blood, the new and living way, which Jesus has consecrated for us.

The message of the old covenant was that only the high priest may come into God’s presence, and only for a short time, and only once a year, and NOT WITHOUT BLOOD.

The message of the new covenant is COME BOLDLY BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS! For we have been redeemed!

GOD IS A JUST GOD

Fallen humanity, whose judgement and understanding is darkened, can never believe that a loving God would send anyone to hell. Fallen man judges by his own righteousness which is flawed by sin, error, ignorance, and vanity.

The one true God, who is love, is revealed throughout the scriptures as the righteous judge, to whom every individual is accountable for his own deeds.

He is the righteous judge, and as the righteous judge, he does not show favoritism. Every man shall give an account for himself to God.

No man can stand before God, guiltless. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, God who is just, is also merciful, and he has made provision for the justification of every man in his sight.

Romans 3:25 tells us that God has set Jesus forth as the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice and mercy seat) through whom all who believe will be justified in his sight.

In verse 26, the apostle Paul tells us that through this atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God has declared HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and is JUST and THE JUSTIFIER the one who has true faith in Jesus.

Why would a loving God send people to hell?  Why would a sinner not accept the atonement provided by a loving God to keep him out of hell?

Sin separates man from God, and because of his love, God withholds sinful man from entering his glorious presence. Sinful man cannot stand in the presence of a holy God, without his sins being accounted for.

Through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus, God has made a way for the sins of sinful man to be accounted for. God accepts the death of his Son, Jesus, as the payment for the man’s sins. Man can now be restored to God, and cleansed from his sins, for the wage for his sins has been paid.

God’s love is just, and if God did not hold man accountable for his sins, he would not be loving, for his love holds back sin from entering his kingdom.

His holy love protects his kingdom and all within it from OUR wickedness. Yet because he is loving, and merciful, and gracious; he offers forgiveness and cleansing from sin through the atonement that he has provided in his Son Jesus Christ.

All are without excuse.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

What does it mean to be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus?

The New Living Translation says: For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Being made the righteousness of God in Christ does indeed sound a lot more spectacular than simply being made right with God; yet when the whole counsel of scripture is taken into account, being made right with God is exactly what is meant by the words “made the righteousness of God in Christ.”

Consider the following for Romans 4:

Now it was not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone, that it (righteousness) was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (v.23-25)

Regarding Romans 4:25, W.E. Vine states, “…all that was necessary on God’s part for our justification had been effected in the death of Christ. On this account he was raised from the dead. The propitiation being perfect and complete, his resurrection was the confirmatory counterpart.”

Christ Jesus is the one through whom we are justified in the sight of God. However, it is how this justification is accredited to us that is sometimes misunderstood.

For instance, in Calvinist theology, being made righteousness in Christ means that Christ’s own personal righteousness is imputed to us as righteousness. Though it is understandable how someone could reach this conclusion, the Bible doesn’t actually support this claim when the whole counsel of scripture is taken into account.

Allow me to expound on this briefly. Let’s look again at the verses in Romans cited above:

Now it was not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone, that it (righteousness) was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (v.23-25)

A careful reading of Romans 4 reveals that Abraham was declared righteous because he believed God.

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS COUNTED UNTO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Romans 4:1-3)

Notice that “it” is a reference to Abraham’s faith which was accounted or accredited to him as righteousness.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but BELIEVETH on him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (ROMANS 4:4-5)

Notice that for the one who believes in God through Christ, his faith is counted or accredited for righteousness.

Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHOUT WORKS, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (ROMANS 4:6-9)

Paul, quoting David from the Psalms, describes the blessedness of being forgiven as imputed righteousness. He then cites Abraham’s faith again and says, faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

HOW WAS IT THEN RECKONED? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH which he had yet being uncircumcised: THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FATHER OF ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE, though they be not circumcised; THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS MIGHT BE IMPUTED UNTO THEM ALSO: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also WALK IN THE STEPS OF THAT FAITH OF OUR FATHER ABRAHAM, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (ROMANS 4:10-12)

Notice that Abraham is the father of all who believe and righteousness is imputed to them in the same way it was imputed to Abraham: through faith.

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH. (ROMANS 4:13)

The righteousness of faith refers to righteousness that accredited through faith. That is the train of thought here.

For if they which are of the law be heirs, FAITH is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of FAITH, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him WHOM HE BELIEVED, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in FAITH, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was STRONG IN FAITH, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. AND THEREFORE *IT* WAS IMPUTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.(Romans 4:14-22)

The “it” which was imputed to him for righteousness is faith!

Now it was not written for his sake alone, THAT IT WAS IMPUTED TO HIM; But FOR US ALSO, to whom IT SHALL BE IMPUTED, IF WE BELIEVE ON HIM that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:24-25)

Notice that, that which was written concerning faith being imputed for righteousness was not written for Abraham’s sake alone, but for us also to who it – faith – will be imputed as righteousness if we believe on him who raised Jesus from the dead.

Also notice that Abraham’s faith in God is specifically tied to the promise God made to him that he would be the father of many nations. According the Galatians 3:8, this was the gospel in advance. Abraham believed God’s promise, in Christ, that he should be the father of many nations and was justified.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it (Abraham’s faith in God) was counted unto him for righteousness (Romans 4:3).

Likewise, our faith in Jesus is accounted as righteousness, because faith in Jesus Christ is a righteous and holy thing in the sight of God. It is our faith in God through Jesus Christ that is imputed to us as righteousness.

How then are we to understand scriptures such as Galatians 2:16 & 20, and Philippians 3:9, which speaks of justification by the faith OF Christ?

In the traditional KJV of the Bible, the faith OF Christ, is an old English reference to, the faith which is in Christ, or better yet, faith in Christ. It is not a reference to Christ’s own personal faith.

For example, Galatians 2:16 in the New King James Version says the following:

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, even we have BELIEVED IN CHRIST JESUS, that we might be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH IN CHRIST and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Verse 20 says, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Philippians 3:9 in the NKJV says, … and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through FAITH IN CHRIST, the righteousness which is from God BY FAITH.

Notice in the text above, Paul says ” the righteousness which is from God by faith. In Galatians 2:16 and Philippians 3:9, justification through faith in Christ is set contrast to justification through the works of the Law.

In Philippians 3, Paul refers to justification through the works of the Law as his own righteous. Conversely, Paul refers to justification through faith in Christ as the righteousness which comes from God. 

Nowhere in the new testament is the theology of being justified by Jesus’s own personal faith ever clearly defined, expounded on, or articulated; but being justified by faith in Jesus Christ is. Jesus is the gift of God to us and righteousness is imputed to us freely through our faith in him.

THE REGATHERING OF THE REMNANT

In Acts 2, the Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem, who witnessed the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 disciples of Jesus, were the descendants of the Israelites who had been scattered by the Assyrians, and some may obviously have been the descendants of the Jews who had not returned to their homeland after the Babylonian captivity.

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded, because that every man heard them SPEAK IN HIS OWN LANGUAGE. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man IN OUR OWN TONGUE, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak IN OUR TONGUES the wonderful works of God. (Acts 2:6-11)

These were mostly Jews born and living in places like Turkey, Iran, Iraq, etc., who had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. Throughout Acts 2, Peter addresses them as “ye men of Israel” and “the house of Israel.”

The Parthians were from the region of central – eastern Turkey to eastern Iran. The Medes were from the northwestern region of Iran. The Elamites were from the far west and southwest part of modern day Iran. The the dwellers in Mesopotamia were from today’s Iraq, and parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. Judea is most likely the area known as the West Bank in Israel. Cappadocia was in Turkey. Pontus was in the Black Sea region of Turkey. Asia is far reaching, covering the Asian nations where the children of Israel would have scattered. Phrygia was located in modern day Turkey. Pamphylia was in modern day Turkey. Egypt is in Africa, and Libya is in north Africa. Cyrene was an ancient Greek and Roman city near present-day Shahhat, Libya. Rome is located in the central region of Italy.

These locations coincide with those mentioned in Isaiah 11:10 -11.

“…in that day there shall be A ROOT OF JESSE, which shall stand for AN ENSIGN (signal, or banner) OF THE PEOPLE; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass IN THAT DAY, that THE LORD SHALL SET HIS HAND AGAIN THE SECOND TIME TO RECOVER THE REMNANT OF HIS PEOPLE, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 11:10 -11)

Assyria was was located in what is now northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey. Egypt, in Africa, Pathros was in upper Egypt. Cush is believed to be Ethiopia. Elam is modern day Iran. Shinar was Babylonia located in modern day Iraq. Hamath is in Syria.

Something that does not need to be missed here is that Isaiah says, “the Lord shall set his hand AGAIN THE SECOND TIME to recover the remnant of his people.”

The first time, God brought the Jews back to their homeland just as he had promised he would do after the Babylonian captivity, though there were many Israelites who did not return and many settled in the nations where they had been scattered.

Yet, here in Isaiah 11, Isaiah speaks of a SECOND regathering of the REMNANT of his people. The promise here was not a regathering into their homeland, but rather unto their Messiah.

To read more, follow the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/the-banner-for-the-remnant-of-gods-people/

CHRIST, OUR KING AND PRIEST

THE LORD FROM HEAVEN

God sent the last of the old testament prophets (John the Baptist)  to introduce Jesus.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me… He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. (John 1:15, and 27)

John the baptist bore witness of Jesus, claiming that even though Jesus came after him, Jesus was before him: a reference to the eternal existence of Jesus. John also says Jesus has the preference over him, and that he is not even worthy to unlatch the shoes of Jesus.

John, who was as great as any prophet before him, (and this is according to Jesus in Luke 7:28) speaks of Jesus, not as an another prophet, but as someone unique and so different that John sees himself as unworthy in his presence. In fact John says: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

John did not believe that Jesus was an ordinary man like all the other prophets. John believed Jesus was from above.

He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” (John 3:31)

All Israel had been waiting in anticipation of “the prophet” who was to come. This prophet who was to come would be unlike all the other prophets, for he would be the Messiah, the redeemer, and the hope of all Israel. He would be the Savior of the world, and the one in whom the Gentiles would trust. He would be the Son of God, begotten of God, and unique from all other men.

When asked if he was “that prophet” John denied and said “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20-21). John declared that he was the one who came to announce the coming of that heavenly prophetwho came down from above, the Son of God: he is the Messiah!

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of THE LORD. (John 1:23)

Jesus was more than a mere prophet, he was and is the LORD! Jesus’ ministry as a “the prophet” who was to come, was not like those prophets before him, for they spake only as men behalf of the Lord from heaven. Jesus spoke being the Lord from Heaven.

Unlike the other prophets who were chosen from among men, Jesus came down from above, not with a Word from God, but as the very Word of God in the flesh.

Jesus is the prophet whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (see Micah 5:2) and he is the one whom Moses testified should come (Acts 3:22-23). He is the one the prophet Daniel spoke of as the Son of man in heaven.

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the SON OF MAN came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)

Jesus is the Son of man from heaven!

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven (John 3:13)

Jesus came down from heaven as the living bread of God and he gave his life for the world (John 6:32-51) that those who believe might live through him.

Jesus is the heavenly man who came down from God, eternally existing with God, and he is the only one who can reveal God and bring man near to God.

The apostle Paul referred to Jesus as “the Lord from heaven,” and ”the heavenly man.” (1 Corinthians 15:47-49)

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:31-36)

___________________________________________

KING JESUS

The scriptures testify that Jesus, was more than a mere man and more than just another prophet. The scriptures reveal that Jesus Christ is both Lord and King of God’s Kingdom.

Jesus is referred to as Lord some 250 times in the new testament and the title Lord is applied to God 150 times.

Many new testament scriptures attest to the divinity of Jesus Christ, yet other scriptures speak of the subservience of Jesus to God the Father.

The subservience of Jesus Christ to God the Father, should not be taken to mean that Jesus was an ordinary man like others. Jesus was not an ordinary man.

Jesus is the one whom God has appointed as ruler of his people and Lord of his Kingdom. Jesus holds a place in God’s kingdom which no other man can claim. He is Lord and King, ruler and governor of God’s kingdom.

The submission of Jesus to the will of God doesn’t reveal that Jesus was an ordinary man, but rather, he is indeed unique and unlike all others. Jesus is the only man who has ever lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to God and he is the only man who pre-existed with God in eternities past.

Jesus was present when God called heaven and earth into existence and was clothed in majesty before the foundation of the world. This is a claim that no other prophet or any other man could ever make.

In his prayer in John 17, just before returning to the Father, Jesus prayed: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

Jesus is the living King and Lord of lords seated at the right hand of God, holding the highest place of honor in God’s Kingdom. He is the one one whom God commands all men to follow and Jesus is the one through whom God will judge the nations.

There is no other man like Jesus.

________________________________________

THE EXALTED SON OF GOD 

GREATER THAN THE PROPHETS 

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…( 1:1-2)

Hebrews is a book loaded with comparisons and at the very outset of the epistle the comparison is made between the prophets who spoke from God, but always in a limited capacity, and Christ in whom the fullness of the revelation of God is revealed.

Though no less the Word of God, the prophets could only speak in limited and separate revelations on behalf of God.  The Son, however, speaks directly as God in the fullness of God’s authority.

Jesus is the heavenly prophet whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (see Micah 5:2) and he is the one whom Moses testified should come (Acts 3:22-23).

When asked if he was “that prophet,” John the Baptist (who was a prophet) said “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20-21) but was sent to announce his coming, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23).

Jesus is in a class unlike any other prophet,  for all other prophets were servants, but Jesus is Lord. They spoke as servants of the Lord, Jesus spoke with unmatched authority because he is the Lord.

THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS

(God) hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… (1:2-3)

The Son by whom God has spoken is mentioned, first of all, as heir of all things. Whereas all other prophets spake in the capacity of a servant only, the Son is the heir. He is not simply an heir, but the heir of all things.

The Son is heir of God’s glory and expression. He is heir of creation and the redeemer of it, and he is the heir of God’s throne – when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… (1:2-3)…But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:8)

The speaking of God by his Son is more than the speaking forth of the words of truth, it is the whole revelation of himself in the person of Jesus Christ. God is revealed fully by his Son.

SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:4-8)

As the heir of God, the Son is greater than the angels. By inheritance, Jesus obtained a more excellent name than all the angels. The name specifically being referred to here by the author of Hebrews is not the proper name, Jesus, though the name of Jesus is above every name in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth (Philippians 2:8-11).

The name being referred to by the writer of Hebrews is that of Son – “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, THOU ART MY SON, this day have I begotten thee?

Some may argue that Son is a title and not a name, but the point being made by the author of Hebrews is that God never said to the angels “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”

He then goes further giving more scriptural proof saying – “and again” – a reference to other scriptures which prove his case.

AND AGAIN, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.

AND AGAIN, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

With much scriptural evidence the author of Hebrews will repeatedly pile on throughout his epistle to show how truly glorious the Son is, for the glory of the Son is one of the major themes throughout the book of Hebrews.

EXALTED

And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:4-8)

In 2:6-7 the author of Hebrews will quote from Psalm 8 – What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.

The Son who has been made so much better than the angels, is the same who lowered himself in holy humility, taking a position in which he too was made lower than the angels to bring redemption to humanity (2:9-10).

What does it mean that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels?

In 1:7 and 14, the writer of Hebrews tells us the angels are spirits – And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire…Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

In contrast, Jesus came in the flesh as the seed of Abraham.

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (2:16)

Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. He is the God-man. He fully identifies with God, being of one with God’s divine essence and he fully identifies with humanity having humbled himself to take on flesh and blood.

It is in view of Christ’s humility  – his taking on flesh and blood to suffer for us –  that the the author of Hebrews is setting forth how Jesus was made so much better than the angels. Yes, he is far superior to the angels because of his divine essence, for the angels are commanded to worship him (1:6). Yet the message being communicating here is that of the exaltation of the Son of God AFTER he had purged our sins and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

The enthronement of the Son, post resurrection, is at the foundation of the epistle. If we miss the glorious exaltation of the Son in chapter one, we will likely miss the weight of the entire message of the epistle. The Son, who took on flesh and blood to give his life for the sin of the world, is exalted, and from this vantage point, the author will take us from truth to another showing us the exalted Son of God.

ENTHRONED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (1:8-9)

The exaltation of Jesus is the exaltation of righteousness. Christ is the King of righteousness. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus saying, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice (righteousness) from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

For more on the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Jesus exalted on the throne of David follow the link at the end of this teaching.

THE LORD FROM THE BEGINNING AND FOR EVER

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?(1:10-14)

The glory of the exalted Christ is that he is both Lord from eternities past, and Lord triumphant, being exalted in his victory over death whereby he redeemed us with his blood. God, who made the worlds through his Son, gives life to the dead through the Son as well. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:6, God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

The glory bestowed on the Son is unmatched, for he is glorified and exalted as both creator and redeemer.

_________________________________________

THE EXALTED CHRIST (THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD”S PROMISE TO DAVID)

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary he said concerning Jesus, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID“(Luke 1:32).

Though some interpret the reign of Christ from the throne of David as a future millennial throne previously occupied by the anti-Christ, the Bible teaches that Jesus is enthroned NOW at the right hand of God.

According to the authors of the new testament, the exaltation of Jesus at the right hand of God is the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would raise up His Son, the Messiah, to reign upon the throne of David.

In Acts 2, Peter interprets the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus at the right hand of God as THE FULFILLMENT of the scriptures that the Messiah would reign from the throne of David.

Notice carefully how Peter articulates this:

Therefore BEING A PROPHET, AND KNOWING that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, HE WOULD RAISE UP CHRIST TO SIT ON HIS THRONE; HE SEEING THIS BEFORE SPAKE OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD EXALTED, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, SIT ON MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THY FOES THY FOOTSTOOL. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LORD AND CHRIST (Acts 2:30-36).

In the texts above, Peter is quoting David from Psalm 110 when he says, “the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.”

FIRST, notice the words “the Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand…”

Peter quotes this in reference to David, as a prophet, knowing that God would raise up the Messiah to sit on his (David’s) throne. So as a prophet, foreseeing the enthronement of the Messiah on his (David’s) throne, David said, “The Lord said unto my Lord, SIT ON MY RIGHT HAND.” As a prophet, David foresaw by the Spirit of God that the promise of the Messiah reigning on his throne would not be an earthly enthronement, but a heavenly one, at the right hand of God.

In the gospels, Jesus said: “David himself, SPEAKING BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet”‘ (Mark 12:36, See also Matthew 22:41-45).

SECONDLY, notice the next part of the text that Peter quotes from David: “till I make your enemies your footstool.”

These very same words are employed by the author of Hebrews in describing the enthronement of Jesus at the right hand of God (Hebrews 1:13; 10:13) and in 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 the apostle Paul applies them to the exalted Jesus as well.

Also Psalm 110 is the Psalm which testifies that the Messiah would be a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchizedek (v.4). The author of Hebrews expounds on this and tells us that Jesus, the exalted King at the right hand of God, is also our great high priest FOREVER after the order of Melchizedek.

The historical Melchizedek (Genesis 14) prefigured Christ as a King and Priest, and not a priest only. Under the Law of Moses one could not be a King and a priest.  The priests came only from the tribe of Levi and the Kings were descendants of David from the tribe of Judah.

The writer of Hebrews explains how Jesus, being from the tribe of Judah (the tribe of King David), is qualified to be a priest. He is qualified because His priestly ministry is not earthy (Hebrews 8:4), but heavenly, at the right hand of God where He is enthroned (Hebrews 8:1-3).

THIRDLY, Notice that David specifically identifies the Messiah as his Lord: “The Lord said to MY LORD…”

In Acts 2 Peter says, “Therefore let ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and Christ” (v.36). Peter doesn’t tell the people of Israel that Jesus will be Lord when he one day returns. Peter declares that Jesus is Lord and Messiah NOW at the right hand of God. The gospel which was preached to house of Israel by the apostles, was not a gospel of a futuristic enthronement of the Messiah, but rather, the declaration of His exaltation NOW!

Jesus is exalted as Lord at the right hand of God: “Wherefore GOD ALSO HATH HIGHLY EXALTED HIM, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

In Acts 7, Stephen, in his declaration of the gospel as he stood trial before the Sanhedrin, testified of Jesus saying the following: “David desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?” (Acts 7:46-50).

The ideology that the fulfillment of God’s promise to David regarding the enthronement of the Messiah, is still something in waiting, is contrary to the scriptures for Jesus is enthroned NOW in fulfillment of God’s promises to David!

When he had by himself purged our sins, (He) sat down on THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY ON HIGH… (See Hebrews 1:3).

But unto the Son he saith, THY THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom (Hebrews 1:8).

I (Paul) Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and SET HIM AT HIS OWN RIGHT HAND IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:17-23).

Notice that Paul says in Ephesians 1 (above), Christ is already enthroned in Heaven above everything in this world and in the world to come, having all things under His feet.

Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God is not a temporary enthronement as he awaits the lesser one in Jerusalem, Israel. Rather, Jesus entered into his glory after his resurrection (Luke 24:26; John 17:5, 24; Acts 2:33; 3:13) and was enthroned at the right hand of God, where the New Jerusalem is – the true Holy City of God. From there, Christ will reign forever!

When Christ returns he is not taking a lesser throne. He reigns forever, being highly exalted at the right hand of God, and in THAT power, authority, and glory, He will come again!

________________________________________

JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST

By all evidence, the book of Hebrews was written before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. We know this because the writer of Hebrews makes reference to the temple service, the priests, and the sacrifices in the present tense. In the present tense, he makes a comparison regarding the superiority of Jesus’ ministry in the heavens (in the greater and more perfect tabernacle) to that which was on earth (which only served as a shadow and an example) to point men to Christ.

He tells us that if Jesus were on earth he would not be a priest since there are already priests who offer gifts and sacrifices according to the Law. Even though that priesthood which had been ordained by the law was still functioning in the temple it had been made completely ineffective by Christ’s work on earth at the cross, and by his ministry in the heavens as our high priest.

Jesus’ ministry as high priest is not through the Law and when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the priesthood which was by the Law and already made ineffective, became completely inoperative.

THE LAW OF A CARNAL COMMANDMENT

According to the Law of Moses, only the descendants of Aaron from the tribe of Levi were commanded and permitted to serve as priests. Jesus, our great high priest, was not a descendant of Levi. He was from the tribe of Judah and of the house of David instead, and there is no place in all the Torah (the Law of Moses) where Moses spoke anything about a priest coming from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:12-14).

The author of Hebrews refers to the Law’s instructions for appointing priests as, the law of a carnal commandment, and tells us that this command has been annulled because it was weak and unprofitable (Hebrews 7:18). Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews tells us that the changing of the priesthood has necessitated a change of the Law as well (Hebrews 7:12) .

Without its priesthood, the Law of Moses is not functional because the priesthood was given to serve as the mediation between God and the people who were under the Law. Therefore, without its priesthood, the Law has no one to serve as its mediator to make intercession for the sins of the people.

The command given by the Law with regards to its priests required a continuous succession of priests who succeeded one another because those priests were all subject to death. This is why the writer of Hebrews says, “the Law made nothing perfect but the bringing in of a better hope did, through which we draw near to God.”  (Hebrews 7:19-23)

The priesthood which was ordained by the Law could not make anything perfect and therefore it had no power to bring men near to God. Those who served as priests under that administration were men with infirmities, meaning, they were all under the power of sin and subject to death like everyone else.

They were appointed by a carnal commandment (Hebrews 7:16), which employed carnal ordinances (Hebrews 9:10), and as long as that priesthood was in force, the true Holiest of all was not yet open (Hebrews 9:8).

JESUS OUR APPOINTED PRIEST

Unlike those priests who were appointed by the Law, Jesus will continue forever as our high priest because he has been appointed as priest forever with an irrevocable oath from God who raised him from the dead. The author of Hebrews tells us Jesus has an unchangeable priesthood which will go on forever without ceasing.

The scriptures reveal that God has repented (changed his mind) at times in his dealings with man (see Exodus 32:11-14; 1 Samuel 15:10-11; Psalms 106:45). God’s character does not change, but he has reversed what he was going do and has expressed regret at times in various Biblical accounts.

However he has promised that he will never change his mind concerning Jesus as our great high priest of the New Covenant. Jesus is God’s guarantee to us that he will never repent, i.e., change his mind. It is by this oath that Jesus was made the guarantee of a better testament. Jesus is our eternal hope!

CHRIST IS A PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK

In expounding on the ministry of Jesus as our high priest, the writer of Hebrews makes several appeals to the Messianic prophecy that Jesus is made a priest after the order of Melchizedek and not after Aaron.

Christ was called of God as was Aaron (Hebrews 10:4-6, 10). Yet his priesthood is not after the order or rank of Aaron’s (Hebrews 7:11).

Christ’s priesthood is after the order of Melchisedek which does not necessarily mean that Melchisedek foreshadowed Christ, but simply that the priesthood of Christ in comparison to Aaron’s is of a different rank.

There are many ways in which Aaron and his descendants under the Levitical priesthood foreshadowed the ministry of Christ and this is expounded especially in the 9th chapter of Hebrews. Yet it is Melchisedek’s priesthood which is similar to Christ’s in it’s order (it’s structure).

If we refer to Melchisedek as a type of Christ we must remember that it is the structure, rank, or order of Melchisedek’s priesthood to which we are referring and not his work as a priest.

Melchisedek’s priesthood is similar to Christ’s in that he was both a king and a priest and scripture records nothing regarding his predecessors or successors. So while the priesthood of Aaron typified the work of Christ, the priesthood of Melchisedek was structured like Christ’s. This is the contrast that is being made by the author of Hebrews with regards to the priesthood of the enthroned Christ and Aaron under the Law.

Beyond the book of Hebrews, there are only four verses throughout the entirely of the scriptures which reference Melchizedek. They are Genesis 14:18-20 and Psalm 110:4.

The writer of Hebrews mentions the name of Melchizedek nine times throughout his epistle. Only two of those references, where the name of Melchizedek is mentioned, concern the historical figure who met Abram (Abraham) after the slaughter of the Kings. The other seven are references expounding on Jesus’ eternal priesthood in contrast to the priests under the law. The emphasis of Hebrews, with regards to the mentioning of Melchizedek, is to reveal the superiority of Christ’s priesthood to those priests who served under the law.

The last mention of Melchisedek by the author of Hebrews is found in chapter seven. At the beginning of chapter eight he sums up everything he has said thus far concerning Jesus our Great High Priest by telling us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High.

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. (Hebrews 8:1)

Melchizedek was a king and a priest, and not a priest only. This is something that was not permitted under the Law of Moses. Jesus our great high priest is both king and priest. Unlike those priests under the Law whose work was never finished, Jesus’ has finished his work and is seated as the king of glory at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high.

THREE WAYS MELCHISEDEK IS MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE

Ruth Lasalle Specter points out the thee ways in which Melchisedek is mentioned in scripture – (1) in history (2) in prophecy (3) in doctrine.

1. IN HISTORY (Genesis 14:17-23)

(a). He is the first mentioned priest in scripture.

(b). He appears more than 400 years before the law was given.

(c). He appears 1000 years before the Messianic prophecy of Christ.

(d). There are other priests mentioned in scripture before the Levitical priesthood was established: (1) The priest of Midian is mentioned in Exodus 2:16. (2) Joseph married the daughter of the priest of On (Genesis 41:50). (3) There were Egyptian priests under the rule of Pharaoh (Genesis 47:22, 26).

2. IN PROPHECY

The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4).

3. IN DOCTRINE IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS

(a). His name is mentioned 9 times in Hebrews.

(b). His name means “King of Righteousness.”

(c). He was as a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.

WHO WAS MELCHISEDEK?

Melchisedek was a real person who was both a King and a priest. He was the King of Salem which is ancient Jerusalem in the land of Canaan (Psalm 76:2). Salem means Peace, and comes from the word Shalom.

When Melchisedek met Abram the Hebrew, as he is referred to in Genesis 14:13, the nation of Israel did not yet exist and Abraham did not yet have a child.

Melchizedek’s subjects were evidently Gentiles because Israel did not yet exist and there is no evidence suggesting that the inhabitants of Salem, where Melchisedek ruled, were in any way in covenant with the God of Abraham.

(a). Abraham had not yet been justified by faith.
(b). Abraham was childless.
(c). There was no covenant of circumcision as of yet.

Melchisedek met Abraham at the same time that the king of Sodom went out to meet Abraham. Unlike the other divine encounters which Abraham had, there is nothing in the context of Genesis 14 that would lead us to believe that Melchisedek was a pre-incarnation of Jesus.

At other times when God or angels visited Abraham, Abraham built altars and worshipped God. This did not occur when Melchisedek met him.

Abram (Abraham) left his homeland of Haran and went into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-4). Later, Abram was living in the land of Canaan and Lot was in Sodom when both the king of Sodom and Melchisedek came to meet Abram after he and his servants defeated the kings who had plundered Sodom.

WHY DID ABRAHAM PAY TITHES TO MELCHISEDEK?

Abraham’s tithe was an ancient Arab custom. You may find it surprising to know that tithing did not originate with the nation of Israel. Paying a tenth from the spoil of war (to the reigning or ruling king) was a customary practice in Abraham’s day. Abraham’s tithe was a special one time tithe-tax from the spoils of war.

Under the Arab custom, the spoil-tithe tax was ten percent of the spoil. However under the Mosaic Law, the spoil-tithe tax which came from the spoils of war was only one percent and was given to the Levites, and one tenth of that one percent, was given to the priests (information courtesy of Russell Earl Kelley. See also Numbers 31:27-30).

Abraham did not give Melchisedek a tenth of his own personal wealth. In fact there is no record that Abraham gave Melchisedek anything from his personal possessions. At other times when God appeared to Abraham, Abraham offered sacrifice to God from His substance (Genesis 12:7-8; 13:14-18).

MELCHISEDEK WAS NOT GOD OR CHRIST

God does not mediate as a priest for himself. Every priest is taken from among men and ordained for men. (Hebrews 5:1).

MELCHISEDEK was not Christ before His incarnation, there was only one incarnation of the Son of God. Before His incarnation, Christ was “yet to come.”

  • (b) The Law of Moses is said to have been added till the seed, who is Christ, was to come. (Galatians 3:24)
  • (a) Adam (as the first man) is said to be the figure of Him that was to come. (Romans 5:14)
  • (c) When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law… (Galatians 4:4).
  • The scriptures do not support multiple incarnations of the Son of God.

Christ, who is divine, is qualified to be our great high priest because he clothed himself with humanity.

  1. He was tempted as a man.
  2. He suffered as a man.
  3. He is acquainted with our infirmities as a man.
  4. He offered prayers as a man.
  5. He was perfected as a man.
  6. He made reconciliation for our sins as a man.

Jesus did not lay aside his deity when he came into this world. Jesus, being deity, was clothed with humanity and took the form or position of a servant though He was Lord of all. The king of glory came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. He did not come to be served though he was worthy of this privilege.

As our great high priest, Jesus is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and he knows firsthand the pain that all of us face at different times in our lives. He knows firsthand the pain of being rejected because he suffered for us being rejected by his people. Yet, he trusted in God and committed himself to the One who judges righteously. According to the scripture he is our example in suffering wrongfully (1 Peter 2:19-25). After he had suffered unjustly at the hands of sinful men, he was vindicated by God when he raised him from the dead and gave him the highest place of honor. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a faithful high priest in the person of Jesus, and in Jesus, God has become personally acquainted with all of our sufferings.

WITHOUT ANCESTRY

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:3)

It is the writer of Hebrews, not the Genesis account, who makes this startling statement. Genesis is a book heavy on genealogical records. Yet there is none given for the historical Melchisedek. He mysteriously appears on the scene and is gone after three short verses.

Genesis never says Melchisedek had no ancestry or descendants, but the absence of the mention of these is by divine design and the writer of Hebrews draws on this to elaborate on the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The absence of any genealogical record makes Melchisedek’s priesthood like unto Christ’s in structure. Christ was made a priest not through his genealogical ancestry, but by an oath from God instead.

The writer of Hebrews is not telling us that Melchisedek had no ancestry or descendants, but rather that he was a priest apart from these.

Consider the following points:

  • Ester 2:17 says, “She had neither father nor mother…”
  • “Without”, does not mean Melchisedek had no parents or descendants.The Greek word for “without” means “apart from”, or “separate from.” Melchisedek was a priest in scripture “apart from” his ancestry and descendants.
  • In this manner Melchisedek prefigured Christ’s priesthood with regards to rank or structure. Christ was made priest apart from his pedigree in the flesh.
  • It cannot be true that Melchisedek was a divine figure, i.e. Christ incarnate in the Old Testament, for then Christ would have been a priest before Aaron and there would have been no need for the Levitical priesthood to foreshadow the work of Christ, which was at that time, still to come.
  • Neither can it be correct to say that Melchisedek was Christ incarnate under the Old Testament because he was without ancestry or descendants for Christ has ancestry according to the flesh.

MADE LIKE THE SON OF GOD, ABIDETH A PRIEST FOREVER (HEBREWS 7:3)

Melchisedek was not the Son of God. The scripture says, “he was made like unto the Son of God”, similar in rank. It is important to notice that the author of Hebrews does not say the Son of God was made like unto Melchizedek, but rather, Melchizedek was made like unto the Son of God.

…made like unto… (similar to, or a resemblance of…)

It is significant that the author of Hebrews says “the Son of God”rather than “the Son of man” when speaking of Jesus’ Priesthood. Both titles (Son of God and Son of Man) are employed throughout scripture in reference to Jesus, but in reference to Jesus as high priest, the name, Son of God, is specifically referenced.

Jesus’ priesthood is predicated in his being the Son of God. Notice the following scriptures.

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.(Hebrews 4:14)

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. (Hebrews 5:5)

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:3)

For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. (Hebrews 7:28)

AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK

After the order of… i.e., “after the similitude of”, or “similar to”… (Hebrews 7:15).

Jesus is not a Melchizedek priest with a Melchizedek priesthood. He is no one’s successor and there will be no one succeeding him. He stands alone as the One God called to be our exalted and enthroned priest at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Melchizedek was a king and priest whom God caused to come on the scene in history and recorded within the pages of scripture as a revelation of the order of Christ’s priesthood.

Jesus is our King – Priest. His work is finished and he is exalted forever. The focus is Jesus, and not Melchizedek.

THE FALSE GOD OF THE SHACK

The following is a critique of some of the doctrinal errors of William P. Young’s best selling book, The Shack, which has become a movie and is set to be released on March 3, 2017.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Before you pay your money, please be informed.

William P. Young (the author of the Shack) is a friend of C. Baxter Kruger. Kruger claims that he wrote the theology that goes with The Shack. I actually heard him say that. Kruger and Young have appeared in interviews together, advancing a form of universalism.

Kruger is associated with Grace Communion International, formerly known as the Worldwide Church of God, which was founded by Herbert A. Armstrong, whose ministry distributed a magazine know as The Plain Truth.

The World Wide Church of God (aka WWCOG) was considered by many to be a cult. In 2009, the name of the WWCOG was changed to Grace Communion International to reflect the doctrinal changes from that of the WWCOG.

However, Grace Communion International has much concerning theology. Allow me to share with you a statement from their web site regarding the judgment. I have capitalized certain words for the sake of emphasis.

God judges all humans through Jesus Christ AS THOSE WHO BELONG TO GOD THROUGH HIM. Therefore, ALL HUMANS ARE, in spite of themselves, loved, FORGIVEN, AND INCLUDED IN JESUS CHRIST, who IS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR. God’s love will never cease or diminish even for those who, DENYING THE REALITY OF WHO THEY ARE IN HIM, refuse his love and consign themselves to hell; they will not enjoy the fruit of his salvation but rather will experience HIS LOVE AS WRATH. God disciplines those he loves SO THAT THEY WILL RETURN TO HIM AND LIVE; he stands at the door and knocks, urging them to open the door to his everlasting love. GOD”S JUDGMENT IN CHRIST MEANS THE ULTIMATE END OF EVIL AND THE RENEWAL OF THE EARTH AND ALL CREATION.

In the statement above, every person is considered to be already forgiven and in Christ, and God’s wrath is really his love continuing to persuade those who rejected him after they have died (while they are in hell). In the end, everyone will be saved.

This is the sort of theology that I have heard William P. Young affirm. Young has described himself as a “hopeful universalist.”

If we support The Shack, this is what we are endorsing; and according to the Word of God, we are bidding it Godspeed and have become a partaker of an evil deed.

A CONGLOMERATION OF FALSE DOCTRINES

The Shack advances a conglomeration of false doctrines and each one of them is a subtle undermining of the revelation of God according to the Bible. Among the many false teachings which are subtly advanced within, The Shack, is the notion that true relationship with God is not found through adherence to the teachings of scripture.

In The Shack, Mack ( the main character) finds true relationship with God in contrast to those who have traditional Christian beliefs based on the Bible. This subtle message qualifies as a wind of doctrine as mentioned in Ephesians 4.

There is an undertone within The Shack, that relationship with God is something independent of the written word of God, and nothing could be further from the truth.

There is not sweeter, no more assuring, no more real and living relationship with God than knowing him through his Word, especially when the Word is mixed with a prayerful heart. Earnest and heartfelt time in the Word of God, is time spent with God.

Relationship with “the god of The Shack” is not true relationship with the Living God, because it is relationship with someone other than the true God we fellowship with in the scriptures.

It is through the knowledge of God revealed in his holy written word that we grow in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and as we grow in the Lord we embrace sound doctrine and good biblical theology which makes us spiritually healthy.

Yet those who defend The Shack, often make the argument that it is not teaching theology: this simply is not true.

The Shack is indeed a book filled with much theology, and it is very bad theology to say the lest. In The Shack, the beliefs of the main character, Mack, take center stage as his views of the God of scripture are repeatedly challenged.

The subtle deception is not that Mack’s views are challenged to more fully understand God as he is revealed in scripture, but rather, his views are challenged to go contrary to the revelation of God in scripture.

If The Shack is not advancing a theology about God as some claim, then why is there so much theology about God challenged within the book?

There are multiple false doctrines within The Shack, and each one of them ought to be very concerning to any believer who embraces this fictional story. Below is list of twenty-five concepts, which are in opposition to the Bible, and advanced by The Shack:

1. God is not a Father of authority, but a Papa with no rules.
2. Every person is a child of God.
3. Every person’s sins are already forgiven.
4. Everyone will be saved.
5. Repentance is not necessary for relationship with God.
6. Personal faith in Jesus for salvation from sin is irrelevant.
7. God does not punish sin.
8. God’s wrath is an expression of his love.
9. No divine order within the God head, only a circle of love.
10. God ordained authority among men treated with contempt.
11. A God of authority and holiness cannot be a God of love.
12. No need to fear God.
13. God is a fan of all people.
14. God is reconciled to all people.
15. No one will be eternally punished.
16. Jesus doesn’t want people to become Christians.
17. Jesus is the best way to God, and not the only way.
18. Evil and darkness do not really exist.
19. Jesus no longer draws on his divine attributes. He continues to live as a limited human.
20. Each member of the Trinity became human.
21. The Trinity was crucified.
22. The crucifixion put God at rights with man, rather than man being made right through his faith in the finished work of Christ.
23. God submits to human beings.
24. The bible is just a religious book which reduces God to paper.
25. Adam fell because he sought his independence from God. Instead of disobeying a specific command.

COUNTERFEIT LOVE

Supporters of The Shack claim it is only fiction and that it is story about the love of God. The problem with this assessment is that The Shack diminishes the Biblical revelation of God, because a God of authority, holiness, and supremacy, cannot be a God of love.

However, God is who he is, and God’s love is one of the glorious attributes of his majestic person. The God who is love, is holy, and just, and pure, and righteous, and all wise, all knowing, and glorious beyond human comprehension.

When we refuse to accept God’s justice because we only want a God of love, we create an idol after the lust of your own imagination, and what we think is the love of God, is our own lust and deception.

Consider the words of the apostle Paul:

For the time will come when they will not endure SOUND DOCTRINE; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto FABLES. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

The word fables also means fiction.

FATHER OR PAPA?

In The Shack, God the Father, takes on human form as an African American woman who is referred to as Papa rather than Father. Unlike the biblical record of God the Father, the woman named Papa in The Shack, decries authority and downplays the importance of obedience in relationships.

However, the Bible declares that it is, Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3) and that God the Father dwells in inapproachable light whom no man hath seen, nor can see (1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 1:18; 1 John 4:12).

In The Shack, Jesus is not the one through whom The Father has reveals himself. In the Bible Jesus is. And the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus, who brings us near to God. In The Shack, God is revealed independently of Jesus, through a woman named Papa.

Consider the significance of this.

In The Shack, Jesus tells Mack the following: “Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions.” Jesus adds, “I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, my Beloved.”

Notice, the subtle deception here. He doesn’t say, “I want them to join me as heirs of God and be transformed by God’s power through faith in me.” Rather, he says, “I want to join them.” In other words, Jesus comes along and joins you in your journey with Papa, no matter if you are a Buddhist, Mormon, Baptist, Muslim or what ever.

The Jesus of The Shack is not the one who sanctifies you, he is not the mediator, intercessor, or high priest, through whom you have access to God. Instead, he is one who comes along as you enter relationship with Papa.

The Shack brings its readers eerily close to the edge of universalism with it’s message of inclusion: the belief that all people will be saved.

In The Shack “Papa” is revealed and known independently of Jesus as a woman who is “all accepting” and completely approachable, even with irreverence.

In scripture, God is our Father, and not Papa as portrayed in The Shack. As Father, God is the one who is the authority whom we must obey and reverence. Consider the following from Hebrews 12:

And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. (Hebrews 12:5-10 TNLT)

God is a Father who disciplines his children, he is the one we are to obey, and we can only approach him through the personal mediation of Jesus Christ.

This is not a description of Papa in The Shack.

DIVINE ORDER WITHIN THE GODHEAD

Not only does The Shack portray God as friendly -buddy, Papa, rather than a Father with authority, the Shack also portrays God as being opposed to any sort of authority.

According to The Shack, there is no hierarchy within the God head. In the Bible there is.

Jesus was sent by God the Father (John 5:23-24, 30), and he came to do the will of the Father  (6:38), and was obedient to the Father (Philippians 2:8; Romans 5: 19; Hebrews 5:7-8).

Jesus is referred to as God’s righteous servant (Matthew 12:18-21) and Jesus walked in the authority given to him by the Father (John 5:26-27).

Jesus said, my Father is greater than I am, and the apostle Paul speaks of the submission of the Son to the Father in 1 Corinthians 15:26-28.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

GOD’S ORDAINED AUTHORITY AMONG MEN 

In The Shack, all three members of The Shack’s trinity, decry the concept of final authority. (page 122-124)

Final authority within the Godhead is rejected and The Shack’s father god (who appears as a woman) refers to authority among men as “such a waste.”

According to the false Jesus in the Shack, the reason why the main character, Mack, was having such a hard time experiencing true relationship is because of the concept of final authority and hierarchy. The shack god even condemns rules and laws that protect.

Yet the Bible is filled with the truth of God’s authority, and the institution of authority as an ordinance of God among men.

In scripture, God is enthroned as the one who is to be honored and worshipped. He is also the righteous Judge. Jesus is seated at God’s right hand with all authority in heaven and earth given to him. Jesus commissioned his followers, to go in his name and exercise authority over the kingdom of darkness.

In Romans 13, Paul says, Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, and tells us that power (authority) is an ordinance of God.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (Romans 13:1-2)

The apostle Peter says,  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men… (1 Peter 2:13-15)

In the old testament, God raised up leaders and Kings to govern his people. In Genesis, God promoted Joseph to second in command in Egypt, and God raised up men like Moses and Joshua to be the leaders of his people, Israel. In Israel’s armies and in the daily life of the Israelites, there were authorities and chains of command.

The people of Israel were not left without government. They had rules and regulations they were to follow as ordinations of God. Israel’s spiritual life was governed by authority as there was God ordained authority and hierarchy within the priesthood: first the high priest, secondly the priests, and thirdly the levites.

In the new testament, we have God ordained authority within ministry, in work, and in the home where wives are to be submissive to their husbands and the children to their parents.

Authority is all throughout the Bible as an ordination of God! The repudiation of authority by The Shack god, is yet another lie promoted by Shack theology.

THE SHACK GOD IS ESPECIALLY FOND OF EVERYONE

In The Shack, Mack asks, “Are there any who you are not especially fond of?” Papa responds, “Nope, I haven’t been able to find any. Guess that’s jes’ the way I is.” (page 118 and 119)

On the contrary, the true God revealed in the Bible is not fond of everyone. Jesus certainly wasn’t fond of the Pharisees and scribes when he rebuked them in Matthew 23.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go inWoe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (v. 13-15)

Teaching that God is especially fond of everyone, is very much contrary to the truth revealed in the Bible. Consider the following texts.

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (1 Peter 3:12,)

The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (Psalm 34:16)

The perverse are an abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 3:32)

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 16:5)

The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. (Proverbs 3:33)

God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. (Psalm 7:11)

The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. (Psalm 5:5)

God is not “especially fond” of the proud, the wicked, and those who do evil in his sight.


THE BLOOD OF JESUS, THE MISSING GLORY OF THE SHACK

The Shack fails miserably in it’s message, in that it fails to give glory to the blood of Christ.

In The Shack, there is no mention of the blood of Christ for the atonement of sin. The Shack god, Papa, lavishes herself on all people, being their biggest fan.

In the Bible, God is revealed as a holy God, and all who enter into his presence must be clean. This is why God gave Israel the tabernacle and the temple: to sanctify the people so that he could dwell among them.

In Exodus 25, God said to Moses, “let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” This was a foreshadowing of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle which Jesus entered in the Heavens (Hebrews 8:1-2; 9:11-12, 24), when through his own blood, he entered into the presence of God for us, to make intercession for us.

Under the Law, the tabernacle and all that was in it had to be first purified by the atoning blood before it could be put into service for the Living God to dwell among his people.

On the annual Day of Atonement, the tabernacle and everything that pertained to it, had to be purified again with the atoning blood because of the sins of the people. All that was associated with the presence of God had to be holy and purified by blood.

This was a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do to bring us near to God. The writer of Hebrews tells us the following in Hebrews 9:21-24.

Moreover he (Moses) sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…

After he shed his blood on the cross as the payment for our sins, Jesus entered into the very presence of God for us with his own blood to purify for us access to God, so that we may live in his presence.

This is why the author of Hebrews tells us to enter with boldness into the holiest (the presence of God) by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an 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. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The Shack god, requires no cleansing from sin or consecration by blood to be in her presence, but the Living God does.

While the overriding message of The Shack focuses on relationship, there is no true relationship with the Living God without the precious blood of Jesus.

FOLLOWING JESUS

In The Shack, the false Jesus says, “my life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to be like Jesus. It means for your Independence to be killed.”

In the Bible, however,  the real Jesus says, I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).

And the apostle Peter tells us that Jesus is our example to follow in his suffering (1 Peter 2:21).

And the apostle John said, He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (1 John 2:6).

THE BEST WAY OR THE ONLY WAY?

In The Shack, Jesus tells Mack that he is “the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” Not the only way, but merely the best way.

Yet in scripture, Jesus said,  I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

The apostle Peter preached in Acts 4 saying: Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)

In 1 Timothy 2:5, the apostle Paul tells us, “…there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

ANTI-CHRISTIAN

In, The Shack, Jesus, (who not the true Jesus of the Bible) says he has no desire to make people Christian.

Yet in the Bible, the followers of Jesus were first called Christians at Antioch and the apostle Peter (who knew the real Jesus personally and walked with him and was ordained by him) says, “if any man suffer as A CHRISTIAN, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Peter 4:16)

While the Shack Jesus (who again is not the real Jesus, but another) doesn’t want to make people into Christians, the Bible associates Christians with “glorifying God.”

THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS

According to the theology of The Shack, God has already forgiven all humanity of their sins. “In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.” ( page 225)

This is wrong, because the Bible does not teach that God has already forgiven everyone’s sins.

Consider Acts 8. The apostle Peter confronted Simon the sorcerer because he had offered money in exchange for empowerment to give people the Holy Ghost.

In response, Peter said: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. REPENT therefore of this thy WICKEDNESS, and pray God, if perhaps THE THOUGHT OF THINE HEART MAY BE FORGIVEN THEE. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” (v. 20-23)

Notice that Peter did not tell Simon the sorcerer that his sins were already forgiven and that he just needed to chose relationship with God.

In the book of James, we read: Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and IF HE HAVE COMMITTED SINS, THEY SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM. (James 5:20-21)

If God has already forgiven all sin, why would James say, “if he have committed sins, they SHALL BE forgiven him?”

In 1 John 1:9 we are told, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just TO FORGIVE us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Notice that forgiveness is contingent on the confession or repentance of sin. Also notice, that cleansing is needed. The Shack, speaks nothing about the need of cleansing from sin.

In 2 Corinthians 5, when Paul says that God was in Christ reconciling the world (this is one of the scriptural texts that the author of The Shack has wrongly appropriated in his theology) Paul’s intent is not that all humanity is reconciled to God, but rather, in Christ, God has provided atonement so that all who will believe the gospel will be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. In Christ alone there is the forgiveness of sins for those who humble themselves in repentance.

While, provisionally all are included in the work of Christ, for Jesus died for all, all will not be saved because it is required for man to do something, namely, repent and believe the gospel, and follow Jesus.

 In Acts 2, Peter preached the gospel to the Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?

In response, Peter said, REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Peter did not tell them, “you are already included, you are already saved, you just need to have relationship.”

In Acts 16, the prison guard asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, WHAT MUST I DO to be saved?”

Paul did not tell him, “you don’t have to do any thing because you are already included.” Instead, Paul said, “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

The salvation of the prison guard and his house was contingent on their faith in Jesus.

Salvation for every man requires that we turn to God and embrace Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that we trust in him and follow him.

When Jesus appeared to the apostle Paul he told Paul that he was sending him to the Gentiles …to open their eyes, and to TURN THEM from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, THAT THEY MAY RECEIVE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:17-18)

Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles so that they might receive the forgiveness of their sins through faith in Jesus. Forgiveness of sins is conditional upon repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

THE SHACK DISTORTS THE INCARNATION AND DEITY OF CHRIST

In The Shack, the character representing God the Father (Papa) has scars on her wrist, indicating that she too had died on the cross (page 95). Yet according to the Bible, God the Father did not die on the cross. Instead, his Son Jesus died on the cross.

The woman, named Papa, representing God the Father also says, “When we three spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. Even though we have always been present in this created universe, we now became flesh and blood.”The Father, and Holy Spirit did not take on flesh and blood as the Son of God. Only the Son (the second person in the Godhead, the Word of God) took on flesh and blood (Philippians 2:5-9;  Hebrews 2:9-17).

The Bible says, Jesus of Nazareth, was a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him (Acts 2:22) And, How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)

If the truth be told, the message of The Shack is contrary to the biblical revelation that Jesus is the Messiah (the one anointed by God to save his people) .

Jesus is the one who laid aside his God head privileges and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and by God’s power, performed miracles.

Earlier on page 192, Papa claims that in Jesus the Trinity is now fully human: “in him we are now fully human.” 

This is erroneous doctrine because the Father and the Spirit never took on flesh and blood. A similar falsehood can be found on page 99 & 100 where Papa says the following to Mack about Jesus:

He has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything. He has only lived out of his relationship with me, living in the very same manner that I desire to be in relationship with every human being. He is just to do it to the uttermost—the first to absolutely trust my life within him, the first to believe in my love and my appearance without regard for appearance or consequence (page 99/100).

Interesting that the author would use the words “to the uttermost” to promote such heresy. The Bible uses this phase to say the complete opposite: Wherefore he is able also to save them TO THE UTTERMOST that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and MADE HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS… (Hebrews 7:25-26).

According to the author of Hebrews, it is the exalted Christ in his Heavenly glory who brings us near to God. According to The Shack, he is not intercessor, but just another dependent soul that we should emulate.

Later on page 109, Jesus is admiring the stars with Mack and the following is said:

“Incredible!” whispered Jesus, his head near Mack’s in the darkness, “I never get tired of this.” “Even though you created it?” Mack asked. I created it as the Word, before the Word became flesh. So even though I created this, I see it now as a human. And I must say, it is impressive!”

The Shack promotes the ideology that once Jesus came in the flesh, he is from that point onward, LIMITED and functions ONLY in human nature and ceases to do anything according to his divine power and nature, which is completely false.

In John 17, Jesus prayed the following:

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:4-5).

In Hebrews 1, the author of Hebrews expounds on the superiority of Jesus Christ as God’s Son in comparison to the angels who are said to be greater in power and might than mere humanity (2 Peter 2:11). In declaring how superior to the angels the Son is, the writer of Hebrews records the words of God the Father spoken to His GLORIFIED SON!

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, LORD, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but THOU REMAINEST; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but THOU ART THE SAME, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:8-12)

In Hebrews 13, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Jesus did not become limited as a human for ever. Jesus is fully God in the flesh and fully glorified with God. He is the God-man.

The apostle Peter tells us that Jesus Christ is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:22)

In the book of the Revelation, the resurrected and glorified Christ, said to the apostle John, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, THE ALMIGHTY.” (Revelation 1:8)

In Revelation 19 Jesus, after his ascension is called the Word of God.

Jesus did not cease to be the Living Word of God when he took on flesh and blood. Nor did he permanently lay aside his God head attributes. God glorified his Son and restored to him the glory he had with the Father before the world was.

THE SHACK GOD DOESN’T PUNISH OF SIN

Among the many misleading concepts about God portrayed in The Shack is the ideology that God does not punish people for sin. This can be found on page 120. On the contrary, there are hundreds, and I’d dare say thousands of verses in the Bible which reveal that God does indeed punish sin.

In the new testament, the apostle Peter tells us that God turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes and condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished (2 Peter 2:6-9)

Notice that Peter tells us that the Lord reserves the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished. Again, the god of The Shack does not punish sin.

The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus is coming in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power…(2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus rebuked the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they did not repent.

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon atthe day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Matthew 11:21-24)

ETERNAL JUDGMENT 

The god of The Shack isn’t concerned with dealing with sin. On the contrary, the author of Hebrews tells us that ETERNAL JUDGEMENT is one of the foundational principles of the doctrine of Christ (see Hebrews 6:1-2) and in second John, we are instructed not to welcome anyone who does not bring the doctrine of Christ:

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (the doctrine of Christ), receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-10)

Eternal judgment, or punishment, is a doctrine of Christ, but not a doctrine of the god of The Shack.

THE SHACK DISTORTS THE WRATH OF GOD

Quote from page 119:

“…but that anger- especially for me – is an expression of love all the same, I love the ones I am angry with just as much as the ones I am not. ”

Whereas The Shack god claims that his wrath is an expression of his love, this is not true in the Bible.

In scripture, God’s mercy is the expression of his love, and God’s wrath coincides with his righteous judgment against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who rebel against God and refuse to repent (Romans 1:18-32). This is why John the Baptist ask the Pharisees, “who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come.”

The Bible reveals that there are specific things which cause the wrath of God to come and the Bible reveals that there are specific things which cause the wrath of God to be turned away.

Throughout the scriptures, the wrath of God comes because of such things as unbelief, rebellion, loving sin, rejecting the truth, worshipping false gods, and forgetting God. On the other hand, the wrath of God is turned away by things such as obedience, intercession, atonement, zeal for righteousness, the fear of the Lord, and repentance.

BIBLICAL REASONS THE WRATH OF GOD COMES

  • UNBELIEF (John 3:36; Hebrews 3:7-19; Deuteronomy 9-11; Psalm 78:17-33).
  • REBELLION (Hebrews 3:7-19; Romans 1:18-32; 2:5,8; Leviticus 10; Numbers 11:32-34; Deuteronomy 9-11; Psalm 78:17-33; Joshua 22:20; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; 1 Samuel 28:18; Kings 22:13-17).
  • LOVING SIN (John 3:17-21; Romans 1:18-32; 2 Peter 2:15; Numbers 11:32-34; Psalm 78:17-33; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6).
  • REJECTING THE TRUTH (Romans 1:18-32; 2:5, 8; Deuteronomy 10; Numbers 11:32-34; Psalm 78:17-33).
  • WORSHIPPING FALSE GODS (Romans 1:18-32; Deuteronomy 29; Numbers 11:32-34; Psalm 78:17-33; Kings 22:13-17; Kings 23:1-27).
  • FORGETTING GOD (Deuteronomy 6:10-15; 8:10-20; Romans 1:18-32).

BIBLICAL REASONS THE WRATH OF GOD IS TURNED AWAY

  • OBEDIENCE (Deuteronomy 10-11).
  • INTERCESSION (Isaiah 53, Exodus 32:7-14, Numbers 21:5-9; John 3:14-17; Deuteronomy 9).
  • ATONEMENT (Romans 3:25; 5:6-11; Numbers 16:46; Numbers 18:1-5; Numbers 25:11).
  • ZEAL FOR GOD (Numbers 25).
  • THE FEAR OF THE LORD (Jeremiah 32:40).
  • REPENTANCE (Acts 13:39-41; Kings 22:18-20; Kings 23:1-27).

The Shack’s distorted view of the wrath of God is part and parcel to the ideology of universalism within The Shack. God’s wrath towards the ungodly and wicked in scripture, is never an expression of his love towards them. It is always an expression of his condemnation of them for rejecting and despising him.

FAITH IN JESUS FOR SALVATION IS IRRELEVANT IN THE SHACK

When Papa claims that he (or she) is now reconciled to the whole world. Mack responds, “The whole world? You mean those who believe in you, right?” “Papa” responds, “The whole world, Mack.

This is contrary to the God of scripture. Consider the words of John the Baptist.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

They are also contrary to the words of Jesus in scripture, who said to the Jews “if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

The theology of The Shack is that everyone is saved because “Papa” is reconciled to everyone and has already forgiven all their sins and will not punish them.

EVIL AND DARKNESS

According to The Shack, evil and darkness do not have any actual existence (page 136). According to the Bible they do.

In John 7:7 Jesus declared that the world hates him because he testified of it, that the works thereof are EVIL.

In John 17, Jesus prayed to the Father, I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from THE EVIL. (v.15)

In Colossians 1:13, the apostle Paul tells us that God has delivered us from THE POWER OF DARKNESS, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

The Shack promotes the idea that evil and darkness is just the absence of good. Yet. Ephesians 6:12 says, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

And 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…

POLITICALLY CORRECT 

The god of The Shack refuses to offend sinners. He (or she) is a compromiser and not the high and lofty one that Isaiah saw. No one bows in reverence at the feet of the god of The Shack, no one fears or trembles in his/her presence, no one cries holy when encounter they him/her.

The god of The Shack would never have judged the two sons of Aaron (Nadab and Abihu) for offering strange fire on the altar of the Lord, but the Living God revealed in the scriptures did. The children of Israel certainly did not know the god of The Shack, for their God punished them for serving other gods and forsaking him.

PREYING ON EMOTIONS

The god of The Shack is not a holy God who is to be feared and held in reverence. He/she is instead an idol god of the feelings and emotions. There is no need to fear The Shack god because their is no accountability for sin, or wrong doing.

____________________________________

To study more, follow the links provided below:

IS EVERYONE SAVED?
https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/universalism/

THE LOVE AND WRATH OF A HOLY GOD
https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/the-love-and-wrath-of-a-holy-god/

GOD IS A JUST GOD 
https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/god-is-a-just-god/

NOT WITHOUT BLOOD
https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/not-without-blood/

REVISITING THE SHACK AND UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION (Written by James B. De Young)
file:///home/chronos/u-a683a158262e4a527a72525c278606d5f05918a8/Downloads/Revisiting_The_Shack_-_James_B_De_Young.pdf