Sunday, February 26, 2023

The LITERAL Blood of Jesus Had To Be Applied To The Mercy Seat In Heaven

Hebrews 9:12, But BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The great Bible teacher, M.R. DeHaan, M.D. (1891-1965), has it 100% correct when he states concerning the blood of Jesus...
The blood was to be sprinkled, remember, on the mercy seat right after the death of the substitutionary animal of sacrifice, Now Christ is, of course, our substitute. He was slain for us upon the Cross, and entered into death for us, and when He arose, He immediately went to heaven, entered into the holy of holies in heaven, sprinkled His precious blood upon the mercy seat before the throne of God, and forever settled the sin questions, and delivered us from the curse of the law. This is clearly taught in the New testament. 
Hebrews 9:12, But by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
The Bible also makes plain when He accomplished this. On the morning of the resurrection He meets Mary at the tomb. As soon as Mary recognized Him, she prostrated herself upon Him, and would have kissed His feet, but with shocking suddenness, Jesus emphatically says to her: "Touch me not"; and then He proceeds immediately to give the reason why Mary is not permitted to touch Him at all.
John 20:17, “For I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
Literally the Lord Jesus Christ said, "Touch me not; for I now am about to ascend unto my Father." We can understand this action when we remember the the high priest after he had offered the sacrifice, was to enter the holy of holies, before he did anything else, with the precious blood. No one was allowed to approach him. Everyone was shut out until this was completely done. And here in the record of the meeting with Mary we have the fulfillment of this type. Here Mary meets her great High Priest, just arisen from the tomb, but before He had entered the holy of holies with the reconciling blood. And so He says to her, "TOUCH ME NOT."

SOURCE: 'THE TABERNACLE,' by M.R. DeHaan, M.D., ISBN 0-310-23491-3, p. 129
What a wonderful truth! The Bible is so clear when you accept It as it's written. The best way to interpret the Bible is to not interpret it. By diligently cross-referring Scripture with Scripture, we are able to form a complete and accurate picture of divine Truth.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

In Defense Of Evangelist Onorato Diamante's Preaching

John 3:15-16, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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.

Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

This blog is my rebuttal to the following horrible YouTube video by Pastor Roger Jimenez who ruthlessly attacks Onorato Diamante for preaching that you can be saved by simple childlike faith, without adding an unnecessary requirement to pray a prayer to get to Heaven...

Kindly, Brother Diamante is 100% correct on the Bible. I have heard Pastor Steven Anderson (whom I love and promote his awesome ministry) teach that he believes a person CAN be saved by simply believing without faith, but he thinks that calling (praying) is the Bible method to get saved. I heard pastor Anderson also say that he doesn't want any of his church members counting anybody as being saved who does not pray a sinner's prayer. I humbly think he is right in the first thing he said, but wrong on the latter.

I have no problem with soulwinner's and preachers leading lost sinners to Christ by leading them in a sinner's prayer, just so long as it is clearly explained to a person that they DON'T have to pray to be saved. Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do. Kindly, I strongly disagree with Pastor Jimenez (whom I also love and support his ministry) that it is impossible to believe on Jesus without also calling. That is not true, proven by Romans 10:14, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"

When I got saved at age 13 in 1980, I didn't walk down the aisle to find out what I just did. Consequently, for the next several years I lived in tearful fear. I literally cried often, afraid that I wasn't saved and might miss Heaven. I was shy and reluctant to seek advice from my pastor. I read every religious tract I could get my hands on. When a preacher spoke anything about salvation, I sat on the edge of my pew. I did learn many great truths that helped me, so that after 20 years I finally found the absolute 100% assurance of my salvation. The one truth that solidified my salvation beliefs is that I DIDN'T have to pray any prayer at all to be saved, I simply could have just believed.

In hindsight, the reason why I couldn't settle the assurance of salvation is because of the unbiblical addition of being required to pray a prayer to be saved. I couldn't remember over time what I had prayed at the time I thought I got saved, so it was a nightmare for me trying to remember what I couldn't remember. No one had ever told me that I could simply BELIEVE to be saved, without praying, until I read Pastor Max D. Younce's helpful book titled: "Salvation And The Public Invitation" (backup link). That book changed my life, solidifying my salvation beliefs.

To clarify, it is okay to call upon the Lord through prayer to be saved. It is a natural thing to desire to call and ask Jesus to save you. But faith is enough, without prayer. The choice is yours alone to make. If you want to pray, invite Christ into your life, commit to reform your life, confess Jesus publicly, get water baptized, and do a bunch of other possible WORKS, it is okay just so long as they accompany your faith and are not attached to your faith. If you put your trust in any of those things that I just mentioned, you cannot be saved. Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do.

The inherent danger of requiring lost sinners to pray is that they might become confused for years to come, as I was for decades. Even worse, they might rely upon their prayer instead of Christ. I heard a Contemporary Christian Music singer say in an interview that she "got saved at age 3 by praying the Jesus' prayer." She is as lost as Judas Iscariot! You can pray and still not be saved, but you cannot believe the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen the third day and not be saved. John 3:15-16, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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."

Respectfully, Pastor Jimenez keeps citing John 4:10 as his go to Bible verse, while ignoring the 85 references in the Gospel of John to the word "believe" without any mention of "calling." Pastor Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) correctly said: "A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one."

One of my favorite Bible passages is the true story of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10. Cornelius was a centurion, a commander over 100 soldiers. They were Italians. We read in Acts 10:1-2 that Cornelius was a good man who prayer to God, gave alms to the poor, faster and feared God. Albeit, he was not saved yet. Cornelius was religious but lost. Billions of people in the world today are religious to varying degrees, but they have never been born-again by faith alone in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God arranged a meeting for Cornelius and his friends to hear the Apostle Peter preach the Gospel.

If you read the rest of Acts chapter 10, you will see that Peter simply preached the wonderful GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, and when Cornelius BELIEVED IT he was saved. Acts 10:43-44, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” Galatians 3:1-2, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?I love that simple small phrase, “by the hearing of faith.” Hey, that's how Cornelius got saved in Acts 10:44. Acts 10:43-44, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” That is, they BELIEVED the Gospel that they heard preached unto them and were instantly saved. They became born-again into God's heavenly family, born anew of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).

Kindly, in the preceding terrible video, Pastor Jimenez uses a lousy illustration of salvation. He uses the illustration of a World War II soldier abandoned in the ocean who is rescued by a passing military ship. When someone asks him how he was rescued, he says that he saved himself. Let me give you a much better and accurate illustration of salvation. Let's use the same soldier abandoned at sea again. A passing ship comes to his rescue, throwing a life preserver into the water. They tell him to just take hold of the life preserver and they'll pull him in (this can be likened to God's free offer of eternal life). But the man asks them, “Will you please save me!” Would that make any sense? No, it would be confusion. Why would you ask someone to save you, who has already offered to save you? Dear reader, God is freely offering you His free gift of forgiveness of sins which includes eternal life. All you need to do is TAKE IT! Salvation is a take proposition, not a give proposition.

I need to say this, knowing that it will offend some people. I love the New IFB movement, but the New IFB is in essence Pastor Steven Anderson! Whatever that man preaches becomes the dogma of the entire IFB movement. Pastor Anderson denies a biblical pretribulation Rapture, and so do ALL new IFB pastors who follow him. I am not against men following men, if the man they are following walks with God and is doctrinally sound. I humbly think that Pastors' Anderson and Jimenez are correct on the two deal breakers—the inspiration of the King James Bible, and a free grace Gospel. No doubt some people will argue with the claim I just made, that these pastors are all in collusion together, but if you simply look at the commonality of their beliefs you will see that I am right.

Norm Diamante is not attacking the new IFB movement, they are attacking him. All norm is teaching is that faith is the only righteous thing that I can do. Faith is enough! In Acts 8;27-38, we read about the Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip "preached unto him Jesus" (verse 35). In verse 36 the eunuch asked to be water baptized. We know that baptism cannot save a sinner. So Phillip told the eunuch that he could be baptized, but only if he BELIEVED. Acts 8;37, "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." There is no mention of calling or praying in this verse, but only to "BELIEVE" that Jesus is the Son of God.

In my humble opinion, Pastor Anderson's error on "prayer" as the Bible method of soulwinning does not affect the Gospel, because he does explain to people that it is faith and not prayer that saves a person. However, leading people in prayer to be saved runs the risk of confusing people doctrinally (as it did me for decades), causing me much unnecessary pain of soul, fear, worry and grief. I knew that prayer didn't save me, but I thought that praying (calling) is how you believe. I was misled by ignorant preachers.

I know this matter is splitting hairs doctrinally, but God's simple plan of salvation is important and worthy of defense. Philippians 1;17, “
But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. Kindly, I am not saying that the New IFB are wrong on the Gospel. I have had some angry people try to convince me that the New IFB are wrong on the Gospel. As I mentioned earlier, I know Pastor Anderson does believe that a lost sinner CAN be saved by faith alone without prayer. He just thinks that leading people in a sinner's prayer is the Bible method of soulwinning. I respect his right to disagree. I love Pastor Anderson.

When I attended Hyles-Anderson College (1985-1993), I led people to pray a sinner's prayer to be saved. By God's grace, I led hundreds of people to Christ during my time at Bible college. I plainly explained to all of those converts that prayer cannot saved anybody; but rather, we are saved BY FAITH alone. I wasn't using a different Gospel, I was just leading people to Christ in a manner that can and has confused some people.

Now that I have honed my beliefs decades later and I know better—after having learned from my own painful experience with doubting my assurance of salvation for so long; and also having learned that I was saved by simply believing, and I didn't have to pray at all to be saved—I have perfect peace in the matter. I haven't had the slightest doubt or worry about going to Heaven for decades. It is the great Bible truth that faith saves, and prayer is not required, that gave me this blessed confidence. The only way that the New IFB can support their heresy is by selectively cherry-picking the Scriptures. If you read the Apostle Paul's definition of 'THE GOSPEL' in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, there is no mention of praying to be saved.

When the Philippian jailer in Rome asked Paul and Silas in Acts 16:30b, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved,” their simple answer in verse 31b was: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Again, there is no requirement to pray, but simply to believe.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Pastor Charles Stanley's Counterfeit Gospel

Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

In his excellent book in defense of the Gospel, titled: “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” Michael P. Bowen writes on page 38...
Stanley’s plan of salvation goes like this: If you want to accept Jesus as your savior then you must pray and admit the fact to God that you are a sinner, that you must believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins on the cross, that He came back to life, and then you must obligate yourself to His rule by transferring control of your own life over to the control of Jesus. Stanley then goes on to say that everyone who has prayed this prayer has just now begun a new relationship with God and that you will “definitely” go to heaven. Lastly, he asks that if you have just made the “decision to follow Jesus Christ” to please let his organization know about it. [emphasis added] ~Michael P. Bowen, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” chapter 3 titled: “The Plan Of Salvation According To Charles Stanley,” p. 38
Michael Bowen further writes concerning Charles Stanley's counterfeit plan of salvation...
Simply put, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. When you do the right thing, you win. When you do the wrong thing, you lose. Salvation is as black-and-white as the night is from the day. A false gospel is the direct opposite of the true gospel. Because I trusted Jesus Christ as my savior the way He said to do, I am a winner because I have believed upon what He said we must believe in order to be an eternal winner; conversely, when you trust another gospel, such as Charles Stanley’s gospel, you have not done what Christ said to do. You have, instead, done what Charles Stanley told you to do. When you trust man’s plan of salvation, you have not trusted in Christ’s plan; therefore, you are an eternal loser.

When Charles Stanley says that in order to be saved you must give control of your life over to Christ in order to be saved, he is giving you an “extra step” that is not found in the bible. Stanley is requiring something of you that Christ never spoke about when it comes to salvation. What Stanley is requiring of a lost person is that they become a disciple in addition to faith in Christ in order to go to heaven.

This is a “works-based” plan of salvation that will not save a lost person from God’s wrath, and therefore it is a false gospel according to the bible. While I love Charles Stanley and will always speak well of him, the plan of salvation that he teaches is not the same one that Christ teaches us in the bible. I would like to give you some choice verses for you to consider. One of my favorites is 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Examine carefully, if you will: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” [emphasis added] ~Michael P. Bowen, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” chapter 3 titled: “The Plan Of Salvation According To Charles Stanley,” pp. 40-41
In this heretical YouTube video by Charles Stanley, he adds an extra step of “choose to life for Him [Jesus] for the rest of my life” to be saved. This is NOT the same plan of salvation taught in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, which defines THE GOSPEL. The plan of salvation that Stanley is preaching does not match the plan of salvation which Jesus taught. John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. God's simple plan of salvation does NOT include surrendering control of your life over to Christ as Lord.

Kindly said, Pastor Stanley talks out of both sides of his mouth with a forked tongue. In the first part of the preceding video which I provided a link to, he says that salvation is without works. But then at the end of the video he contradicts himself, when he requires you to “choose to life for Him [Jesus] for the rest of my life” to be saved, which is WORKS! As Michael Bowen has documented in his book, and as I have seen and heard for myself, Charles Stanley preaches another gospel which cannot produce the new birth.

God's simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity burning in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith.

You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple!” Yes, that simple. It is Scriptural, it is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today.

If you've never been saved, then now is the time to believe upon the name of Jesus, the Christ, that your sins will be blotted out forever and you can know that your name is written in Heaven. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
“It is 'Good News' if no one must have good works before salvation, or after salvation. For salvation to truly be by grace, it must not have any stipulations of any kind at any time. Works before, during or after; works cannot be evidence of my salvation.” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold, “Does Calvinism Change The Gospel?”
Good works are not the payment for sin, the payment for sin is death.

Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty!

Turning away from sinful ways would be a work. Faith puts all of the merit where it belongs, on the object of our faith, Jesus and His work.

If to “repent” means to forsake our sinful ways TO BE SAVED, but Jesus already paid for our sins by dying on the cross, then what are we repenting from?

The true Gospel always points you to CHRIST; a false gospel always points to YOU.

Christ died for your sins. You are a sinner by nature and by choice. Jesus took your sins and charged them to His own record. He went to the cross and paid the penalty for your sins. He says if you're willing to receive Him in faith; He will transfer His payment to your debt, and His righteousness to your sins. He will impute to you His goodness, and impute to His own record your sin; if you in faith will trust Him as your Savior.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Understanding The Two Natures

The following edifying words are from Pastor A. Ray Stanford's (1916-2012) helpful book titled: "A HANDBOOK OF PERSONAL EVANGELISM," chapter 19, “Understanding the Two Natures.” ...

Much confusion arises from improper teaching of the two natures. As a soulwinner, you need to understand this subject, not only so you can answer the questions of others, but also so you can effectively live your own life for the Lord. Without understanding what the Scriptures teach on this subject you will often be confused, doubtful, anxious, and unable to maintain your faithful, effective witnessing.

Lack of understanding of the two natures brings about questions like the following:
  1. Does a truly saved person sin any more?
  2. Can I lose my salvation if I keep sinning?
  3. What happens to a Christian when he sins?
  4. How can a Christian have the power really to serve the Lord?
Study this chapter carefully, looking up the verses in your Bible, and you will discover the answers to these questions.

The new birth is provided by God when a man by sincere faith accepts the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ made for him on the cross. It is not a process or a result of good works. It is not water baptism. It is a birth. John 3: 5 states a man must be born of water. This is specifically speaking of the Holy Spirit. This is living water, not H20, and is referred to throughout the book of John as the Holy Spirit (John 4:11, 14; John 7:38, 39).

The first birth is of the flesh. The second birth is of the Spirit (John 3:6). These two are completely separate, and nothing of the birth of the flesh has anything to do with the second birth which is of the Spirit. The flesh birth is from fleshly parents. The spirit birth is from God Himself, who is a Spirit (John 1:12, 13). Never confuse the two by thinking the flesh can do something to bring on the spirit birth. Like reproduces like, and flesh can reproduce only flesh. Only spirit can give birth to spirit.

The new birth does not come from prayers; neither is speaking in an unknown jargon proof of it. The Holy Spirit is guaranteed by God to all who believe (John 7:38, 39; II Cor. 1:22). The Holy Spirit is always spoken of as a gift of God, not coming by man's efforts (Rom. 5:5).

The Apostles never tried to “pray through” or work for the Holy Spirit. They were commanded to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem, and God would send the Holy Spirit to them (Acts 1:4, 5). They waited in Jerusalem, and after the 50 days that were prophesied were fulfilled, the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2:1-17). The promise was given to all who would receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour-not to a few. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” ( Acts 2:17). This was referring to all who would receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

When a person is saved, a man's carnal desires of the flesh do not change or improve one iota. They remain the same. Flesh is flesh, and it remains that way (John 3:6). Much unscriptural teaching and confusion come from thinking the old nature should get better after salvation, and when people still see sin in their lives, it brings great doubt as to whether or not their conversion was real, or whether or not they have lost their salvation, etc.

I John 3: 9 says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin: for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Beyond any question, this verse teaches that the new birth of the Spirit never commits any sin. There are other verses that teach the old nature never gets any better but remains evil, such as Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

The Bible teaches that the old nature doesn't change, but it can be controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells all believers. Whether the new nature or the old nature will control the individual depends entirely upon the person's decision of which nature he will nurture and allow to rule. Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” The Greek meaning of the word “walk” is to be “responsive, controlled, and guided.” In other words, be responsive to the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit, and guided by the Spirit, and you will not be controlled by the flesh. The desires of the flesh will still be present, but you will not be controlled by them.

Please notice that this verse is not saying, “Do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and you will be spiritual.” Many people equate a pious, negative life with being a really spiritual person. Many people in this category become hyper-critical and yet never lead a soul to the Lord.

There is a continual battle between the old and new natures. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).

If you want the new nature to be victorious in your life, you must feed and exercise that nature. Remember, your old nature has been fed and exercised all your life until you were saved. Your old nature will rule your life unless you feed and exercise your new nature regularly.

For example, in a boxing match the fighter who is the better trained and the stronger wins. They never match two men in a ring, one being very large and strong and the other being small and weak . . . because it would not even be a contest.

The fruit (result) of being controlled by the Spirit is described in Gal. 5:22, 23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.”

The fruit (result) of being controlled by the flesh is described in Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The last phrase in verse 21 points out that no evil works can enter heaven, but that they are the results of a man being under the control of the old nature. Only righteousness enters into heaven, which comes only from the new birth. The new birth never sins but is incorruptible (I Peter 1:23).

It is difficult for people to understand clearly that heaven is a perfect place and only a perfectly righteous person can enter therein; but this righteousness is not a result of man's works, but is a result of a perfect righteousness that is given to man through the new birth. I Cor. 6:9, 10 tells us that no sin shall enter heaven . . . but verse 11 tells us how we are washed and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, after a person is saved, he has the power to serve the Lord and to be a witness (Acts 1:8).

There is no SECRET to having a “victorious Christian life.” It is very clearly taught in the Bible. II Tim. 2:4 tells us that “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life: that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” To effectively live your life for the Lord, your life must be disciplined-to include the things of the Lord-and to leave out the things of the world. Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

When we really keep in mind that people are lost and going to hell, and that we have been entrusted with the gospel message that will lead them to the Lord and heaven, it is not so difficult to determine that our lives are going to COUNT for the Lord. It is an every day, every moment decision. Every time you say “YES” and obey the Lord, instead of saying “NO” and disobeying Him, you are “spiritual”-controlled by the Holy Spirit. And this is how to be a happy, productive child of God.

Pastor A. Ray Stanford (1916-2012)

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Can A Person Be Saved With The Bad Attitude They'll Deliberately Continue In Sin?

2nd Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Yes! One of my favorite sermons by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) is titled: "Your Salvation Did Not Change You One Bit." In that sermon Dr. Hyles likens getting saved to the church purchasing a strip joint (which the First Baptist Church of Hammond actually did). When the real estate transaction was complete, that house of ill repute now belonged to the FBCH. The church owned it, but the building wasn't able to be used as it. The new building needed to be converted to make it useful, so that the church could use it for the Lord.

Likewise, when we get saved we become God's property (1st Corinthians 6:20), but God cannot use us the way He wants to until we've been changed to be fit for service (Romans 12:1-2). So there is SALVATION, and then there is SERVICE. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Dr. Hyles is right that salvation does NOT change a person's character, sinful habits or ways). The only thing that getting saved changes is that we now have the indwelling Holy Spirit living inside of us (Romans 8:9; 1st John 3:24).

However, having the Holy Spirit of God inside of us DOES change things. When I got saved at age 13, no one told me that I had to turn away from my sinful ways. If they had, I couldn't have been saved that way. I just heard the pastor preach that "If you can sin without any conviction from the indwelling Holy Spirit, you need to get saved." I knew that day I wasn't saved, so I got saved. The Holy Spirit has been convicting me about the sins in my life ever since.

In hindsight, as I think back, all I see is darkness in my life. Before age 13 I remember attending Sunday School with my Mom. I remember attending a few different Christian schools, and public school in between. But there is no awareness of God in my life before I got saved. But ever since I got saved at age 13, I have felt the presence of God's blessed Holy Spirit in my life. The first thing that I remember when I got saved, is that the Holy Spirit started to convict me about sassing my Mom. Before I was saved I used to cuss and talk back to my Mom all the time. When I got saved, I could hear that still, small, quiet voice of God's Spirit in my soul saying, "David, I don't want you to talk to your Mom like that anymore." I started reading my Bible when I got saved. Nobody asked me to, I did it on my own because I was hungry as a newborn baby, desiring the milk of God's Word to grow (1st Peter 2:2).

I used to fall asleep reading my Bible late at night, with my nightlight above me still on. My Mom would turn off my light. I remember one night a few months after I got saved, that she said: "You've changed." I didn't see it, but she did. Looking back, I am so glad that my Mom said those words to me, which confirms in my mind that something had changed in my life. We read in John 3:20-21, "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." 

Carefully notice in verse 21 that the Bible does say, "But he that turns away from his sins" comes to the light. No, it says, "But he that DOETH TRUTH" comes to the light. Bible repentance is NOT forsaking one's sinful lifestyle, it is acknowledging THE TRUTH that we are a guilty sinner in God's sight. A man must realize why he needs to be saved, and from what he is being saved. All men are sinners and are under the condemnation of God's law, hellbound in the wages of sin (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8). 2nd Timothy 2:25, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

Again, carefully notice the words, "repentance to the acknowledging of THE TRUTH." Repentance concerning getting saved means to acknowledge THE TRUTH. I love this quote from Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951) about what is repentance...
“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” ("Except Ye Repent," p. 16)
I love that! "No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance." I fully agree. That is what Romans 3:19-20 teaches in the Bible. Verse 20 says that, "For by the law is THE KNOWLDGE OF SIN." God's Old Testament LAW shows humanity our sinnership. Galatians 3:24-26 teaches the same thing, that the LAW is our schoolmaster which brings us to CHRIST in the New Testament, to be saved by faith alone. The whole Bible can be divided into two parts of: LAW and CHRIST; or, respectively, OLD and NEW Testaments. 

When a person gets saved, there IS going to be a change inside of them, and that change is the presence of the HOLY SPIRIT. But this does not guarantee that a saved person will change their behavior. It depends on whether that individual person chooses to WALK IN THE SPIRIT, that they not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Pastor Hyles taught that even though we cannot sin when we choose to walk in the Spirit, we won't always make that right choice, because we are inherently sinful. Even though we have the new nature as a believer, the old nature (the flesh, which is where the Spanish word "carnal" comes from, as in Carna Asada steak... my favorite) is still present.

That is why the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:24-25 that he struggled with the flesh daily. There is a constant battle in every believer between the flesh that desires to sin, and the indwelling Holy Spirit of God (now united with our human spirit) which desires for us to do righteousness. When we choose to sin, we do so in THE FLESH.

That is why we read in 1st John 3:9, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." When we sin, we do so in the flesh, never in the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit cannot sin! Also, Jesus has already paid for all of our sins with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). So we cannot sin as far as redemption is concerned, because God only sees Christ's imputed righteousness, which is through faith in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9; Romans 10:3-4; Romans 4:5-6).

Albeit, when we sin as God's redeemed children, we can only fall "in grace" but never "from grace." Only unsaved Christ-rejecters, and those unsaved religious people who are trying to get to Heaven by their own works, have fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4). Romans 6:1, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" Notice the words "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" I love that Bible verse! When we choose to sin as believers (which we ought not do), God's grace abounds more, so that we can NEVER lose or risk losing eternal life.

Eternal life is the "free gift" of God (Romans 5:15-18, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). So we see that it is IMPOSSIBLE for a born-again saint to ever lose God's gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Having said all that, a man who was formerly a cold-hearted murderer is very unlikely to continue killing people. But keep in mind that King David was saved when he murdered Uriah, to cover-up his adulterous relationship with Uriah's wife, Bath-Sheba. David got her pregnant and couldn't hide what he had done. Uriah was away in battle for one year, and now his wife was pregnant, David panicked. So he had Uriah deliberately murdered in battle.

This is the man whom God called: "a man after mine own heart." All God has to work with are dirty sinners. ALL saints are still sinners. The only different is that God has freely redeemed us by faith in His only begotten Son, Jesus. The ONLY thing that makes you, me or any other believer any more righteous in God's sight, than mass-murderer's Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy is the precious blood of Jesus that washed ALL our sins away. We have no righteousness of our own (Isiah 64:5). Our righteousness as saints is GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. That is why Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and "HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

We need God's imputed righteousness to get into Heaven, because we don't have any goodness to offer God. Cain failed to understand that truth. Abel offered up to God a blood sacrifice from the innocent animal he had just slain, which pictured Abel's faith in the coming Messiah, Jesus. But Cain brought some corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables from his field, which God rejected. Cain failed to grasp that salvation is of the Lord. Interestingly, that is the very truth that Jonah was pondering in the belly of the whale (Jonah 2:9). Anyway, yes, a person who is saved CAN commit murder, rob a bank, and do other wicked crimes and still be safe in God's free gift of eternal life.

I know of a college Bible professor who was sentenced to 114 years in prison for his crimes. Another youth director was sentenced to 200 years in prison for his crimes. That is so scary and sad. There but for the grace of God go you and I. That is why my favorite Bible verse for many years has been Proverbs 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Put another way, "Watch your back Jack!" The Devil roams about as a roaring lion, seeking his next victim to destroy their life (1st Peter 5:8). Thankfully we can hear his roar and run away first.

From my own experience of watching people, MOST people who get saved show some evidence of salvation. However, it is heresy and wrong to mandate such changes to prove that someone is saved, because some people came out of difficult situations and broken homes, and will never be all that God desires for them to be. And for that matter, even unsaved people usually show some degree of growth after attending self-improvement classes. The truth is that not every person who comes to Christ has some radical life-changing experience as did Saul (who later was renamed Paul, Acts 9:1-5).

There are MANY false prophets today (e.g., Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, John MacArthur, Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, Ken Ham, Joel Osteen, et cetera) who falsely preach that you must turn away from your sinful bad habits to get to Heaven. The Bible doesn't teach that. We are saved by faith and faith alone, not by living a changed life. My life did change when I got saved, but I grew up in a home with Christian parents. They weren't perfect (far from it), but they cared about me enough to put me into a Christian school. So I was blessed to have positive influences on me during Jr. high and high school.

Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980) said something great, which I quote in this helpful articleI love what Dr. Rice said. Many people assume that professed Christians are not really saved because they are still worldly, and don't seem to care about pleasing God. Dr. Rice correctly says that such rebellious teenagers need to be taught. Many preachers are sick and tired of seeing professed Christians continue in wild sinful living, so they foolishly corrupt God's simple plan of salvation, requiring lost sinners to "turn away from their sinful ways" to get to Heaven. But they have changed and perverted the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).

The Apostle Paul plainly defines THE GOSPEL in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 as three things: 
  1. Jesus DIED on a cross for our sins. 
  2. Jesus was BURIED.
  3. Jesus bodily RESRRECTED three days later. 
That is why we read in 1st Thessalonians 4:14, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." There we see the Gospel. The Bible doesn't mention anything about surrendering control of our life over to Jesus as "Lord." The Bible doesn't mention anything about turning away from our sins to be saved. We are simply taught to "believe" THE GOSPEL.

Repentance is included in believing, which Pastor Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) rightly teaches...

I Hate The Repent Of Your Sin Heresy!

I hear critics accusing free grace Gospel preachers like me of preaching "cheap grace." Oh no, eternal life is not cheap, it is completely free! But like everything else in life, there are no free meals. Somebody had to pay for it. Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins with His blood. That is why we don't have to "ask" Jesus to save us. God is already freely offering His gift and wants us to simply take it, by faith in the Good News (Gospel) of His only begotten Son, Jesus. Jesus doesn't forgive sins, He has already paid for them. It is a gift. All we need to do is receive it, by taking God at His Word as written in the Holy Bible.

I quoted to you earlier John 3:20, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." The Bible teaches that people who love their sinning won't come to the light of the truth of the Gospel to be saved. In the Bible, "evil" is deliberate sin. Sin is doing wrong, or not doing right. But evil is planned sin. For example: If someone blows up in sudden anger, that is called "a crime of passion." If someone kills another person, in sudden anger, that is legally called "second degree murder." But if it was a planned killing, like an abortion, that is called legally "first degree premeditated murder. 

So the Bible in John 3:20 is teaching that lost sinners who love sinning won't come to Christ. Let's say that a mobster goes around killing people, as ordered by the mob boss. The Bible teaches that such a wicked man won't come to Christ to be saved, because he hasn't repented. Here we see the function of repentance in salvation. Repentance is NOT a willingness to stop sinning (reformation), nor sorrow for sin (penitence), nor is it a desire to do better (penance), nor to better one's self. Repentance is a change of mind toward God (Acts 20:21), in which a lost sinner admits that they are a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. It is obvious from John 3:20 that repentance to some degree involves a change of mind toward sin. For salvation to remain of grace, and not works or debt, this change of mind is limited to acknowledging the knowledge that one is a guilty sinner (Romans 3:19-20).

I wrote a whole webpage to teach what repentance is, which is helpful. Here is an excellent and needful writing by Dr. Mark G. Cambron (1911-2000) on the subject of REPENTANCE. 

Please read the following quote carefully, because Dr. Cambron is one of few theologians who gets it, that is, he understands the simplicity of the Gospel and that repentance does not mean turning from sin as proponents of Lordship Salvation foolishly teach...
"Repentance is necessary for salvation. The Greek word for repent is metanoeo, which, translated into English is: to change ones mind. It does not mean to turn from sin. That would add works to salvation.

Repentance for salvation means a change of mind from men's ideas of salvation and religion, to an acceptance of Gods only way of salvation.

This results in a completely new creation, not a reformation of the old. The old nature remains as evil as ever after salvation and has not been reformed . . . The old nature can now be controlled by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

God guarantees salvation. This is His gift to us. God guarantees reward and fruit to the obedient son. God guarantees chastening and loss of rewards to the disobedient son.

God does not cast out disobedient children, but in some cases, does take them home. He does not permit His children to live as they please without His discipline and guidance.

Many teach repentance for salvation incorrectly, by including some form of human effort or righteousness, such as willingness to turn from sin, or turning from sin. This is heresy and has confused many people. It adds works to salvation and causes many to not understand Gods great gift. It is probation, not salvation. It is completely unscriptural. It is Galatianism and a counterfeit of the gospel.

It is a tragedy that many Christians live shallow Christian lives. The Cambron Institute is dedicated to the task of training Christian men and women in the importance of total dedication and making Jesus the Lord of their lives not to be saved but because they are saved.

Shallow Christianity cannot be cured by adding works to salvation.

Salvation is not the result of what we do, but is by receiving what God has done for us. Acts 13:38, 39; Acts 20:20: Gal. 1:8,9; Gal. 2:4; Gal. 2:21; Gal. 3:1.3; Gal. 5:1-4; Eph. 2:8-10; II Cor. 5:21;John 3:16-18; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5-8:11 Cor. 11:13-1 5." 

SOURCE: The Cambron Institute
Dr. John R. Rice is correct that a change of mind toward sin is necessarily involved in repentance, but the total extent of that change of mind about sin is simply that someone acknowledge that they are a guilty needy sinner, so that by believing the Gospel they will be saved. Repentance cannot mean anything more than to realize one's sinfulness, otherwise salvation would be by WORKS. Without REPENTANCE, no sinner would ever come to Christ to be saved. We are not saved by repenting, but by BELIEVING. John 6:47, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."

Repentance is necessary to be saved, but repentance is included with believing. Repentance and faith are not two different STEPS to be saved, they are two parts of ONE STEP. Dr. John R. Rice is correct that the man who repents has believed, and the man who believed has repented. Repentance and faith are inseparable, like two sides of the same coin. I hear corrupt preachers talking about fake Christians who believe, but have never repented. That is impossible! Those pastors don't understand repentance.

There is no such thing as believing on Christ without repenting, unless you errantly think that repentance means to give up your sinning. That is a false plan of salvation. Bible repentance is just a change of mind unto the Gospel itself. What must we change our mind about? Anything and everything that has been hindering us from "BELIEVING ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST" (Acts 16:30-31).

Anyone who comes to God by faith as a needy guilty sinner, receiving Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for their sins, believing that Jesus was buried but is risen from the dead, is saved. That is all God requires to obtain eternal life. If someone has the horrible attitude that they are glad they can be saved and keep living in sin, that ought not surprise us, because in fact THAT IS EXACTY WHAT WE ALL DO. Every person who gets saved continues living in sin.

We tend to categorize sins as humans, esteeming murder and bearing false witness as being REALLY BAD; but then most people dismiss and trivialize sins like divorce, lying, public nudity at the beach, fornication, drunkenness and gossip. These sins in God's eyes are just as bad as murder. So in fact, every born-again believer still sins. I agree with you that it seems wrong that someone can come to Christ by faith, while still having the wicked attitude that they can continue in sin. But this is where repentance comes into the picture at the time of salvation.

A lost sinner wouldn't come to God by faith, unless they had been convicted by the Holy Spirit about their wickedness. The Bible teaches in 2nd Timothy that God works repentance in a sinner's heart. I get criticized often by crazies who hate Pastor Charles Spurgeon and pick apart every word from his sermons to attack him. I am not a fan of Spurgeon because he was a partial Calvinist. Spurgeon taught that Jesus didn't die on the cross for everyone, only for the saints. 1st John 2:2 plainly says that Jesus is the propitiation FOR ALL MEN, and not just for the saints. Calvinism is so blatantly false! Albeit, Spurgeon made some great quotes, like this one...
“Repentance will not make you see Christ; but to see Christ will give you repentance. You may not make a Christ out of your repentance, but you must look for repentance to Christ. The Holy Ghost, by turning us to Christ, turns us from sin. Look away, then, from the effect to the cause, from your own repenting to the Lord Jesus, who is exalted on high to give repentance.” —Pastor Charles Spurgeon; “All Of Grace,” Chapter 11 - “Alas! I Can Do Nothing”
The very act of turning TO Christ for salvation, involves turning FROM the consequences which sin brings, eternal damnation in Hell. There are some false teachers today (most on YouTube) who would completely remove the reality of sin from God's simple plan of salvation. NO ONE has ever been saved who didn't admit that they are a guilty sinner (1st John 1:8-10). I hope some of that information is helpful. I wanted to share a bunch of Bible with you, to lay a foundation to help you understand what repentance is for salvation.

Getting saved necessitates a change of attitude toward sin, but only to the extent that a person understands and now admits that they are guilty for breaking God's commandments, and consequently realize they are condemned to the second death in the Lake of Fire. Thus seeing their need for the Savior, they BELIEVE and are saved. I heard a cross-dressing man who professed to be a born-again Christian. But Ray Comfort provokes people. So I don't know if the man was being serious, or just upsetting Ray Comfort. Could that man be saved? Sure he could. The Bible is full of ungodly saints who did horrible things.

In Acts 5, God killed Ananias and Saphira for lying about a property they had sold, reneging on a promise to give money to the church. When Jesus raised up from the dead, He found Peter completely naked in public. Noah went from being the captain of his ship, to a drunken sailor. These are God's brightest saints. We're all a mess! I have had numerous people ask me over the years if a person can have the bad attitude that they have no intentions of departing from their sins, and still be saved. It is a loaded question, because where do we draw the line? Does a person have to be willing to give up their sins to be saved? If so, then it cannot be a gift. Cartoon evangelist Jack Chick teaches that heresy in all his Chick Tracts. For salvation to remain a free gift, there can be NO stipulations or obligations before, during or after bring saved. That is what a gift is!

The ONLY change of attitude that a person must have to be saved, is that they are guilty as a sinner and need the dear Savior to escape Hell. But once that sinner gets born-again, God's indwelling Holy Spirit will immediately start working on them, convicting, scourging and chastening them as God's adopted child (Hebrews 12:6-8). God is not an absent parent! A believer who lives in gross immorality will be of all men most miserable.

If a man can sin and win, he is not in! That is, if a person can live in sin without any conviction whatsoever from the Holy Spirit, then he is not saved. Romans 8:9, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." There is SALVATION (1st Corinthians 15:1-4), and then there is SERVICE (Romans 12:1-2). One thing has nothing to do with the other.

The truth (whether you like it or not) is that a person CAN have the bad attitude that they intend to keep sinning, and still be saved. Critics of easy-believism immediately think of murder, and they have a hard time wrapping their brain around such a thing. But dear friend, if you were required to stop doing even one sin, salvation would be by WORKS! John 3:20 teaches that those who love evil will NOT come to Christ to be saved. So we see that the problem takes care of itself. Nobody comes to Christ until they have judged themselves as a guilty sinner in the sight of almighty God, and that is repentance.

In 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 we read about a wicked man who was living in open fornication with a woman in the church at Corinth. The Apostle Paul was in a different city and heard about the matter, which upset him. So Paul writes to the church at Corinth to rebuke them strongly. He says to confront the man living in open immorality and ask him to stop it, or ask him to leave the church. In 1st Corinthians 5:5 Paul makes clear that if the man had refused to repent, he still would be safe in God's free gift of eternal life. This teaches us that, yes, a man CAN have the wrong sinful attitude that he intends to continue living in sin, and still be saved. That is why the Holy Bible repeatedly calls God's blessing of eternal life a "free gift" (Romans 5:15-18).

Friday, February 17, 2023

What Shall I Do Then With Jesus?

by Evangelist Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

"What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" —Matthew 27:22

Nineteen hundred years ago a star poised above a lowly manger in Bethlehem and above the moonlit hills of Judea the angels heralded the beginning of the life of Jesus Christ upon this earthHe who came to teach us the religion of human kindness, brotherly love and salvation through repentance and faith in His shed blood.

No matter what He said or did, the Jews refused to acknowledge His claims as the Messiah. Their enmity finally culminated in the greatest tragedy that the brutality of man ever committed, or the eye of God ever witnessedthe murder of Jesus Christ under false testimony. Jealous of His popularity and rejecting His divinity, they resolved at all hazards to kill Him.

Not having the power of life and of death in their own hands, or tribunals, they renounced Him before Pilate, the Roman governor. To stir up his enmity, they said that He was an impostor, that He had stirred up sedition and that He was an enemy of the government.

Pilate examined these charges made against Him but, being unable to prove Him guilty of any offense worthy of death, proposed that they release Him. But the rabble shrieked and screamed: "No! Away with Him! Give us Barabbas!"

Next to Jesus, Pilate is the scene, and from his lips fall the words I have taken for my text. When they cried, "Barabbas!" he turned to them and said: 'Well, then, what will I do with Jesus which is called the Christ? I got rid of Barabbas at your suggestion, but I still have Jesus on my hands.'

Pilate was very near the line. He tried to reason with them. Then he arose from the throne, took Jesus by the hand, led Him out in front of them and asked, "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?"

So I lead Him out before this audience tonight and ask you the same question Pilate asked the crowd that surged around the throne that day. Pilate was confronted, my friends, with difficulties. He had many things to encourage him. He had his wife's dream. The story of Mrs.

Pilate is very briefly told in the Bible, in one verse of Scripture. It is no evidence of her worth and character as a woman that God condescended to reveal Himself in a dream to her. He revealed Himself in a dream to Pharaoh, to Nebuchadnezzar. Yet for all we know, Mrs. Pilate might have been a very reverent, devout woman, constantly on the alert to save her husband from the difficulties into which she knew his miserable, pliable temper would lead him. Somehow, while she slept, God worried her by a dream. What He revealed, I do not know. Presumably it was about Jesus and the part her husband was to play in this tragedy. (They couldn't put Him on the cross without the consent of Pilate.)

She sent a messenger to Pilate with the plea: 'Have thou nothing to do with this just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. Have nothing to do with him.' 

So we have the personality of Jesus. Never had such a personality appeared before Pilate for sentence. There He stood in His calmness, in His purity, in His powermore beautiful than a dream of Pericles.

I am frank to tell you that if I were on a jury, the personality of the man would have a big drag with mealmost as much as what the man on the witness stand would say. If I were called upon to try a man like Bryan, or Roosevelt, I am frank to tell you that his personality would have a tremendous drag with your Uncle Fuller.

Pilate had the personality of Jesus. He had the miracles of Jesus. I do not know that Pilate had ever witnessed Christ's performing a miracle. I do not know that Pilate had ever seen a man or woman who had been a recipient of the power of Jesus. Positive am I that he knew about the miracles, for they were current conversation. There was no section of the country where he could not find somebody whom Jesus Christ had benefited, either by opening their eyes or curing their lameness.

So while certain things influenced Pilate for Jesus, other things discouraged him. And while God is trying to bring influence to bear toward making you a Christian, the Devil is bringing influence to bear toward keeping you away from Jesus.

So Pilate had these things to consider: first, what would the Jews say? The Jews were at this time under the control of the Romans, who were severe in their exactions; and Pilate was the very triple essence of severity. So harsh was he that some of the influential Jews had gone to Rome to intercede with Caesar to have Pilate recalled and a more kind and humane man placed over them in Jerusalem.

Pilate knew that these Jews had no use for Jesus. He also knew that if they heard that he had thrown his influence on the side of Jesus, it would only increase their enmity and their hatred and they would bring stronger influence to bear. Pilate figured: "These Jews up at Jerusalem have no use for Jesus. They say He is a fraud. If they hear that I say He is not a fraud, then they will have no use for me. But if they hear that I have denounced Him, I will win their friendship, they will withdraw their opposition and I will hold my job."

Pilate was willing to let that gang nail Jesus Christ to the cross in order to keep their friendship and hold his job. All over the land today there are people who are willing to do the same thing for a trifling reason. Pilate, my friends, asked himself: "What would the Jews say about it?"

Pilate should not have yielded to their clamor, but should have been willing to sacrifice his office and his life to avoid convicting Jesus Christ, an innocent Person. It was that Jewish hierarchy that threatened old Pilate as an officeholder.

Pilate was a stand-pat, free-lunch, pie-counter, pliable, plastic, lickspittle, rat-hole, tin-horn, weasel-eyed, wardheeling, grafting politician of his day, pure and simple. Old Pilate was a direct product of the political system of Rome. He was a typical machine politician. And there is no more low-down scoundrel on earth than a mere typical machine politician.

So, "What will the Jews say?"

Listen, "What will Caesar say?" (Caesar's word was law.)

Pilate says: 'If Caesar at Rome hears that I have let Jesus go, and by that act admitted that I believe His claims are just, he won't stand for it; so off will come my head; I will surely lose my job. But if Caesar hears that I say this man Jesus is a fraud and that I let them put Him on the cross,, he will know that I am at my job, working for the interests of Rome. I will win Caesar's favor and keep my job.'

Oh, he was willing to sacrifice Jesus Christ to please old Caesar and to please the gang that had no use for Jesus Christ. I despise a man like that. But, hold on! I don't have to go back to old PilateI don't have to go out of this city to find people of the same low-down type as was old Pilate.

Pilate often heard of Jesus; no doubt he was prejudiced against Him, and was longing for the chance to pass sentence against Jesus. I have imagined the look of wonder that must have swept over the face of Pilate as Jesus was ushered into his presence. Pilate turned to Him and said: 'Art thou the Son of God?'

Jesus answered: 'I am.' He was either the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; or He was a bastard, for He was born out of wedlock.

He was either conceived by the Holy Ghost or He was an illegitimate offspring of a Jewish harlot.

Away with your damnable Unitarian theory that makes Jesus a bastard! My mother taught me that the Good Book didn't lie. And if Jesus Christ wasn't the Son of God, it does lie. My mother taught me that a good man didn't lie. And if Jesus Christ wasn't the Son of God, He was a liar, and all the teachings of the Bible are false.

I have often tried to imagine how different the early history might have been had there been in Jerusalem at that time a great Jewish daily, a string of popular newspapers down through Asia Minora Hebrew Lord Northcliffe, or a Jim Keeley of the Chicago Tribune, or a Pulitzer or a Hearst. Just imagine what a hard time those high priests would have had, had there been a syndicate of newspapers playing upon the front page a three-column display headline about the villainy of that little crowd of religious bigots and crooked politicians who were intent on murdering Jesus Christ, the One who stood for the common people as no other man in history had stood and no other man in history ever will stand.

So old Pilate called for a basin of water, walked out before the crowd, washed his hands and said: 'I wash my hands of His blood. I find no fault in Him.'

If he had washed his old black heart at the same time, he would have been a clean man. 

There has come from across the seas a book bearing the strange title, Letters From Hell. The introduction was written by George McDonald. In that book Pilate is represented in the lost world bending over a stream of water. (I think the author must have gotten his wires crossed. A stream of water in Hell would be the limit, according to my idea. That is just like the average fool novel writer anyway.) Pilate is represented bending over, dipping his hands in the water. Some one touches him on the shoulder and says: "Will they never be clean?" And with a shriek of agony that rang through the lost world he cried: "Oh, will they never be clean! No!" 

Poor Pilate! The blood of Jesus has been on you for nineteen hundred years in Hell. It will be on you through an unending eternity. You had your chance that day in front of the gang in Jerusalem, but you were willing to let them nail Him to the cross rather than stand by the side of Jesus Christ and His truth.

"What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?"

He didn't have the courage of his convictions. He was convinced that Jesus was right. Oh, if Pilate had bared his back and said, "This Man is on the level; you can take me and crucify me, but you can't touch one hair of His head"he would have taken his stand in the same company with Joseph of Arimathaea and other famous men. We would have been glad to name our children after him. But tonight we speak his name with ignominy and repulsion. He had his chance. He was a miserable, white-livered coward.

Now, when old Pilate heard that Herod was in town he was glad to get rid of Jesus. So he shoved Him over to Herod. Herod thought that Jesus was sort of a sleight-of-hand performerlegerdemain, Chautauqua entertainer and had a bunch of high rollers; so he asked Jesus to come up and perform a few miracles just to entertain the crowd. Jesus answered the old fox never a word.

So they secured Him and sent Him back to old Pilate. Herod had heard John the Baptist preach. John had said: 'It isn't right for you to have your brother Philip's wife.' Herod wanted Jesus and his brother Philip's wife, too; but he could not have both. So he turned down Jesus and kept his brother Philip's wife, which was against the law.

Is William Jennings Bryan a fool? Is he a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God? What are you going to do with the Christ of these Christian men?

Was the late William McKinley a fool? When the assassin's bullet struck him down at Buffalo, fondly and reverently did he pray that he would be spared. When they gave him the anesthetic and the doctors bent over him to catch what might have been his last words, he was muttering the Lord's Prayer. We smiled, dried our tears, shook hands and forgot our political differences. 

Then the relapse came and we were informed that he was growing worse. They sent for his wife. He looked up and said: "It's God's will. His way, not ours, be done." McKinley started to repeat, "Nearer, My God to Thee, Nearer to Thee," and the lamp of life flickered and went out forever.

Down the streets of Buffalo went the funeral procession and the band played, "Nearer, My God to Thee." The railroad track from Buffalo to Washington was lined with people who stood with bowed, uncovered heads and tear-stained cheeks as they sang, "Nearer, My God to Thee."

I journeyed to Canton that I might be present at the funeral. Five hours I stood on the street corner, opposite the Stark County Courthouse where his body was to lie in state. The booming cannon told us that the funeral train had arrived. Down the funeral procession came, and bands, with muffled drum, played, "Nearer, My God to Thee."

The hearse stopped opposite to where I stood, and the detachment of sailors from the battleship Indiana and soldiers from the regular army drew out the coffin and carried it into the courthouse where it was to lie in state. 

Up dashed a carriage. Out leaned that giant of the west, Theodore Roosevelt. By his side was Elihu Root. By his side was Doctor Ritchie. I stood and watched Admiral Croinshield and Admiral Farquhar. Then I saw General Otis, just returned from the Philippines, and General Gillespie, both Roman Catholics, but both earnest, devout Christians who believed in Jesus Christ. By their side walked the finest specimen of manhood I have ever looked upon—Lieutenant General Nelson A. Miles.

Up the steps hobbled my friend, General David B. Henderson, of Dubuque, Iowa, then speaker of the House of Representatives. By his side was William B. Ellison. I stood and gazed upon men from the North and men from the South; Democrats and Republicans of all classes. Then they were given the privilege to walk through, and I was among the first two hundred to go through. When I looked at the dead president's pale, upturned face, my eyes were blinded with tears and I groped my way out of the north door.

I stood there bathed in the perfect sunlight of a perfect September day, and as I stood there I said to myself: "Hail to God! I stand with the best men of this nation when I stand beneath the cross of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

What are you to do with the Christ when from the north, the south, the east and the west the trumpet of Gabriel sounds and the unsaved dead come out of their graves to the last judgment?

Lost! What will you do then? You can sit out there now and sneer at me. You can damn me, call me crude, and illiterate; but old man, I have you beat.

Now, our acceptance with God is going to depend on what we do with Jesus. The vilest sinner on earth, if he accepts Jesus Christ, will be accepted; and the very moment you accept Jesus Christ your sins are forgiven. If you reject Jesus, God will spurn and reject you.

In the Bank of England is a machine—a marvelous mechanism. It is used to weigh gold sovereigns. The Bank of England never takes gold for its face value, as our banks do. They always weigh gold because gold will wear off by circulation.

I had a friend out in Illinois who had some $45,000 in gold. He sent it to the First National Bank of Chicago for deposit. They weighed it for him and it was $1,500 shy on weight. The Bank of England always weighs gold. A man sits at the machine there, the gold is dropped through a little slit and falls on a pan. If it is standard weight it tips to the right; if it is a fraction short it tips to the left. It never makes a mistake. Never! It saves the Bank of England hundreds of pounds of sterling every year.

That is nothing compared with the scrutiny that we will lave to pass through when we stand before God. We can't muster because of our wealth or intellectual standing. It is because of our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ; then our becoming children of God depends on what becomes of Jesus.

There is an insidious heresy: the teaching about the universal Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man, the teaching that we are all one flesh. But if you are not a child of God, you are a creature of God. We are all creatures of God. (Nobody is a child of God but a Christian.) You are my brother in the flesh; that is, you are human and I am human. But you are not my brother in the spirit unless you are a Christian. God is the Creator of us all, but God is the Father of none but those who believe in Jesus Christ.

There was one way you came into the world—you were born. There is one way you will get into Heaven—you must be born again. You have had a physical birth. You must have a spiritual birth and that must come through Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Does Jesus Christ lack anything in your esteem? Wherein does He fail to measure up to your ideal? Where could He improve? What could you suggest that would improve Jesus Christ? I would be very glad to know.

A man said: "If you can find me an absolutely flawless character, I will worship Him." I challenge all the infidels on earth or in Hell to find one flaw in the character of Jesus Christ. 

Oh, the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Armours, Astors are all powerful in the commercial and the financial world.

Kelvin, Agassiz, Newton, Spencer are all prominent in the scientific world.

Caesar, Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, Wellington, Washington, Grant, Lee are all powerful in military warfare.

Mightier in England than the king; mightier in Germany than the emperor; mightier in America than Washington or Lincoln or Roosevelt or Bryan or Jefferson is the name of Jesus Christ. That is the name that unhorsed Saul of Tarsus.

That is the name that knocked him blind on the highway. That is the name that knocked Newton to the deck of the ship. That is the name that holds 500,000,000 of the world's population in its magic grip and power.

It is an encouraging name. Go to the cemetery, to the graves and read the epitaphs on the tombstones of the people who used to rule twenty-five or forty years ago. Oh, none so poor as to do them honor today.

Mighty names of earth will perish. All the great-Caesar, Cleopatra, Nero, Charlemagne, Gregory VI, Catherine de Medici, Catherine of Russia, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Madam du Barry, Madam Pompadour—re gone.

We will perpetuate it in art. There will be other Raphaels, there will be other Michelangelos, there will be other Murillos, there will be other da Vincis, there will be other Rubens, there will be other Corots, other Millets, other Munkacsy's to paint "Christ Before Pilate."

We will perpetuate the name of Jesus in art, in literature and in song.

There will be other Cowpers who will write, "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform: He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm."

There will be other Topladys who will write, "The Rock of Ages." There will be other Blisses who will write, "Almost Persuaded." There will be other Fanny Crosbys who will write, "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross"; "Pass Me Not, 0 Gentle Saviour"; "Once I Was BlindNow I Can See." There will be other Charles Wesleys who will write, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Let Me to Thy Bosom Fly."

We will perpetuate it in architecture, Catholicism and Protestantism. There will be other St. Pauls; there will be other St. Peters; there will be other St. Johns, St. Johns the Divine; there will be other Kremlins at Moscow; there will be other Cathedrals at Cologne; there will be other Madeleines at Paris.

Oh, you can cut, burn and crucify if you will, but if he who thus dies stands for some immortal truth, his soul will merge from his mutilated casket and go sweeping triumphantly down the halls of time. Look at the love the pure and holy bear Him. See what an object of love He is with them in Heaven.

Look at Him when He got ready to come to this old earth. The angels had to come down to sing to the shepherds, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).

Look at Him in His baptism of John, when God the Father stopped making worlds and leaned over the battlements of Heaven and said: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

Herschel the astronomer was a Christian. So were Jonathan Edwards, Blackstone, Gladstone, Washington, Lincoln, Lee, Queen Victoria, Grant—honored in his tour around the world as no man has ever been honored before. When Grant reached Jerusalem a feast was proposed for him, and he said: "No, not in this city where my Saviour bled and died. Let me get alone; I want to weep."

Look at the love the pure and holy bear Him.

"What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?"

I am not worshipping a sleeping Christ in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea, but a living, ruling reigning Christ, at the right hand of God, the Christ who is coming to judge the quick and the dead.

"What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" You ought to have to do because of the sacrifice He made for you.

If Shakespeare should enter this tabernacle, we would all stand up and bow. If Jesus Christ should sweep down that aisle, we would all kneel and bow our heads in humility as He swept by in all His regal splendor.

"What shall I do?" In the battle of San Juan Hill, in the Spanish American War, a roughrider was wounded on an eminence. He was supposed dead, when he was seen to wave his bloodstained handkerchief as the Krag-Jorgensen and the Mauser bullets were singing their death song back and forth. One of his friends, a cowboy from Arizona, turned to his colonel and said: "Colonel, I will go and save him . "

"Oh, Jack," the colonel said, "you couldn't live out in that zone. You would be cut to pieces. I guess he is gone."

But presently they saw the wounded American soldier wave his bloodstained handkerchief again. The cowboy said: "Look, he isn't dead! I will go and save him."

He threw down his Krag-Jorgensen, and throwing his arms to his face as if to protect himself from the bullets, he dashed out into the zone. But what protection would flesh and bones have against steel bullets that could go three miles and pierce through thirty-two inches of solid wood?

He ran out, grabbed his comrade and dragged him over the brow of the hill; then a bullet from a Spanish sharpshooter struck him just above the heart. It went through him as if he were made of papier-mâché. He dropped his comrade and a crimson tide spurted from his nose, eyes and lips. He said, "Tom, pard, I'm hit hard. It's all up with me. I wish you well," and he reeled and fell dead.

The man crept back into the ranks to tell the story.

Oh, if Jesus could come down here, I wouldn't let Him get all the way here. I would jump from the platform and go to meet Him. He saved me and my wife and children, and I'll go where He commands me to go, I'll go where He wants me to go. We ought to do that for Him because of the sacrifice He made for us.

Savonarola stood speaking in the square at Florence. The people surged around God's lionhearted preacher who told that gang of ecclesiastical crooks and thugs where to head in. He hurled the anathemas of God at them until they incinerated him to ashes because he dared rebuke their crookedness and their infamy. Savonarola stood preaching. He knew that these were the questions uppermost in the minds of the Italians: What sort of government will emerge from all this? Will it be a Republican form or will it continue the monarchy with the king? The second question was, What will be our religion? Will it be the star and the crescent of the Mohammedan, or will it be the cross of Jesus Christ?

Those were the questions, and as they all surged to hear him, he climbed on top of his pulpit where the great crowd could see him and cried out, "Jesu Christo al nostero sino salvatoro" —Jesus Christ, our King and Saviour.

Down the streets of Florence they surged. Through every building and every alley they met the oncoming crowd, and they caught the spirit. Out into the country they went until it seemed to leap as by magic from mountain peak to mountain peak, until all Italy rang with the cry: "Jesus Christ is our King and Saviour." Tonight the cross of Jesus Christ waves over Italy instead of the star and crescent of the Mohammedan.

Oh, Jesus Christ waits to be your King. What is your answer? Are you ready to crown Him? Are you ready to say, "Christ is ours"? Or will you dip the cross of Jesus into the forces of evil? What is your answer?

Get up and let me look at you. Come on, whoever you are. I don't give a rap where you came from or who you are in the world, come on! Come on!

Don't sit down; come on. You wouldn't sit down if we played the "Star Spangled Banner." Come on! The cross of Jesus Christ is waving over the crowd. Come on, and give me your hand and stand with me.