Foreword: The Long Way Home:
A long time ago God created this physical reality. The focal point of His creation was, of course, mankind, the single creature which is truly made in His image. Certainly, God began His creative work with the real anticipation of a deeply meaningful and completely fulfilling friendship with His Creature. And, that anticipation continues today, checked only by His necessary patience, as His loving endeavor progresses to a successful conclusion in Jesus Christ.
From the beginning, however, mankind’s naive innocence was the big risk factor. Nevertheless, God's graceful heart insisted that man should have the moral autonomy to make life decisions as he would - even if those decisions went against the wishes and values of his Creator.
So, God granted to every human being that risky personal sovereignty over his or her own life in order to produce a friendship that would ultimately be based in a genuine and truly unforced agreement of hearts. God took this risk because of a simple but immutable premise: Love is not really love unless it is fashioned from and based in truth.
Thus, possessing this personal sovereignty, each human being became a true influence in the Universe, capable of having a real impact on their own and the larger circumstance. And, because of this personal autonomy and the very real personal influence which it produced, each person incurred a consequential responsibility for his or her motives and actions.
And, as we now know, in the course of time, man did, indeed, fall from innocence. And, our easy, daily fellowship with our Creator was lost. And, man did experience the direr consequences of his actions. But, God immediately implemented a restorative plan.
This relational repair was not, however, the short path of some shallow and feckless quick fix. Rather, it is the long path of the believer’s thorough personal renewal – a renewal both initiated and sustained by the divine energy of the Living Christ as He merges with and begins to live symbiotically within the believer in Spirit form.
And, this true and sacred redemptive process has no cheap goal of sensationalism or personal aggrandizement. And, it is not the stuff of “feel good delusions.” It is the means to a very real, here-and-now character newness for the believer, which, in turn, becomes the basis for a truly natural and very durable daily friendship with God.
Without question, the outstanding redemptive benefit of these New Testament times is, indeed, this thorough, Christ-enabled transformation of the believer’s heart and life experience.
This transformation of the believer in the real terms of the here-and-now is what truly makes the New Testament new and distinctive. And, this immediate availability of an elevated life plane, has entirely renewed the human possibility.
The downward slide of the human race has truly been arrested by the redemptive work of Christ. The upward journey has, indeed, begun in Him. And, our easy and intimate daily friendship with our Creator has been entirely restored by His redemptive work – but, not for all.
Even at this late hour in the evolution of redemptive truth, many continue to be confused and duped by the constructions of the same dark mind, Satan’s mind, which originally designed man’s downfall. Even with the advantage of history’s long deposition, still, some have been unable to see the Darkness for what it is. Nor do they see the simple beauty of the divine plan which saves us from that Darkness. And so, the devilish treachery does, indeed, still succeed on a broad scale among our species.
But, with time, at least the pattern of this treachery has become more easily identified through the enlightenment offered to humanity by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the enlightened are now able to clearly see that the Darkness really only ever perpetuates just one essential idea.
From the moment Satan said to Eve, in the Garden of Eden, “You will not surely die. For God knows, that in the day you eat thereof you will become like God, knowing good and evil,” his treacherous lie has remained basically unchanged. His essential sales pitch to every generation continues to be, “You, and not God, are your own best hope for fulfillment in life.”
To the worldly non-believer this idea is typically presented in its rawest and most abrasive form: "God is only holding you back. Forget about the consequences. There aren't any. Take your destiny into your own hands. Own your own life and decide the good and evil of life’s issues and elements for yourself. You, and not God, are best equipped to make those decisions." And, by now, it is easily self-evident that the worldly have, indeed, whole heartedly bought into this deceptive life approach.
But, it is not just worldly non-believers who are subjected to the treacherous charms of this idea of “Self-determination.” Believers also continue to be assaulted with and do actually succumb to this same idea every day - but with a disarming twist.
Satan is able to defeat the true faith motive, a willing humility before the Lordship of Christ, by introducing a simple error into the thinking of the unwary believer. It is the belief that one’s statement of faith in Christ enables his or her complete “Non-responsibility” in the resulting relationship.
In the simplest terms, the contention is that, beyond a statement of faith in Christ as their Savior, believers have absolutely no binding necessity to express their faith in the real terms of everyday life. Thus, this illusion of the believer’s non-responsibility actually becomes deadly to their relationship with Christ. This is true because, with the embrace of this contention, the reality of what still remains a mostly self-determined lifestyle is masked.
In truth, this non-responsibility lie encourages the continued arrogance of self-will rather than humility (faith) before the lordship of Christ. Thus, it leaves the believer merely practicing a heart numbing lip service to Christ’s lordship. When, all the while, she is actually still living a mostly self-directed life under the illusion of what she now understands to be her, “acceptable brokenness” in God’s eyes.
And furthermore, this non-responsible belief system must necessarily, and absolutely does, deny any possibility of a here-and-now believer empowerment by Christ to remedy that brokenness. And, indeed, it must vehemently perpetuate this denial because the idea of a Christ-empowered believer would entirely threaten the idea of the believer’s non-responsibility on every level. So, this non-responsible belief system does very emphatically deny what is actually the truth: that the Living Christ does, indeed, live symbiotically within the believer to empower her to rise above her brokenness.
And, the denial of this redemptive reality is actually, in essence, the same idea which the apostle, John, identified in his New Testament writings as originating from the antichrist spirit. He said in the book of 1st John, chapter 3, in the Bible, “... and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
So, this is the question which becomes a very central issue between the authentic Gospel and this antichrist gospel of non-responsibility: “Can and does Jesus Christ live in the human form?” And, the implications of this question reach far beyond just that controversy which erupted in the early Church surrounding the nature of Jesus, Himself.
This is true because the crowning necessity of God’s authentic redemptive process is that the Living Christ must live within in the human form. This ability was required first of the incarnate Savior who walked among us in His own flesh and blood body to bring us a true awareness of redemption. And now, it is required that His divine Spirit live symbiotically within the believer’s human form to empower a thorough renewal of the believer. So, very obviously, this undermining antichrist gospel must adamantly deny such a possibility to protect the idea of the believer’s non-responsibility in his relationship with God.
Thus, this denial of an indwelling, believer-empowering Christ becomes just another, version of that early, antichrist refusal to acknowledge that the Living Christ can and does, indeed, live within the human form – first in His own, and now, in that of the believer. And truly, nothing could be more anti- Christ than to deny that He has this believer-empowering capacity.
Nevertheless, the authentic Gospel, which absolutely confirms the imminent renewal of the believer by the Spirit of the Living Christ within, is now numerically dominated, by this non-responsible idea. Sadly, this antichrist ethos has, indeed, now permeated across all theological boundary lines at the rank and file level of the Protestant / Evangelical segment of the American Church. In spite of our differing denominational perspectives, this non-responsible idea has, indeed, become the everyday, working theology “at the street level.”
Thus, in these more modern times, the most essential truth and the most distinguishing promise of the New Testament, the imminent and thorough renewal of the believer by Christ, has been largely stripped away from the thinking of this very important segment of the American Church. And so, we are left with a majority rank and file which now has little motivation to pursue the reality of a true newness of heart and life experience as the very essence of their Christ encounter.
Without question, this non-responsible approach to redemption has precipitated the greatest crisis of truth which the American Church has known to date. Not since before the Reformation has such abject heresy gained such broad credibility, to the subversion of so many.
Therefore, this idea of the non-responsibility of the believer has become so far reaching, and so deeply ingrained, that it is now very impractical to attempt to expose this fallacy without doing so in a closely comparative way to the Authentic Gospel. And that is precisely what this writing does.
And, as we compare God’s Authentic Redemptive Design to this horribly flawed Non-responsible Re-write, the great failings of this antichrist version should become very obvious to all but the most stubbornly closed mind. And, the beauty of God’s authentic redemptive process should, indeed, sparkle like an exquisite gem as we observe both the Dying and the Living Christ operating in perfect concert to entirely renew both the believer’s heart and his life experience.
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[Continue to Section 2]