The Great Words
A presentation of many of the key words in
Scripture and their theological meanings. This is
designed to help the student of the Word better
understand Bible Doctrine.
A study for the saints at
West Side Baptist Church
The Free Grace Bible Institute
by Pastor-teacher David Pearson
Abiding in Christ: Abide Greek meno #3306 - to remain,
to dwell - John 15:1-11
“The Greek word for abide (meno) occurs over one hundred times in the New
Testament, with more than half of these occurrences in John's Gospel and 1 John” (The
Theological Wordbook, Campbell, et.al., p.1). The Lord Jesus Christ was speaking to His
disciples following the Passover meal in which He established the ordinance that we
now refer to as the Lord's Supper. In this long discourse with His disciples Jesus is
preparing them for His departure from them following His death and resurrection.
John 13:1 (NASB) Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour
had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who
were in the world, He loved them to the end.
In our John 15 text the key issue is how the disciples are to maintain the right
relationship to Jesus after His departure. In this message to His disciples Jesus lays out
the requirements necessary for all believers in the Church Age to live out their lives
successfully as believers.
Three confusions about this passage
1. FALSE: The passage is actually discussing phase one salvation and shows that
a person can be saved yet lose their salvation. For these abiding is necessary to
maintain eternal life. This is the typical Arminian interpretation.
2. FALSE: The passage shows that a true believer will always produce inevitable
spiritual results and to fail to do this means the person never “truly” believed –
they only professed to believe. They are professors not possessors. For these
“abide” is synonymous with “believe.” This is the typical Calvinist-Lordship
interpretation as well as those who hold to the “inevitable results” ideology.
Unfortunately, some who know that one receives eternal life by faith alone in
Christ alone (free grace) hold to an inevitable results position.
3. CORRECT: The passage is about phase two salvation and teaches that
fellowship is required for the believer to produce spiritual fruit. For these “abiding”
means maintaining spiritual “fellowship” with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the
position of a true Free Grace interpreter.
For both #1 and #2 above 15:2 (“He takes away”) and 15:6 (“cast them into the fire”) are
understood to mean a person is taken away and sent to the Lake of Fire. This is true,
they would say, because either they lost what they had (#1) or they never had in the first
place (#2). Both positions are wrong as we will see in this short review.
Phase one salvation (a review): a person who is convinced it is true that Jesus alone is
the One Who guarantees their personal eternal life then they have eternal life as a
present possession. Jesus can make this promise because He alone died on the cross
paying the full penalty for sin as our substitute and rose again. Jesus alone is the object
of a believer's faith. When this is believed eternal life is freely given – and eternal means
eternal. See John 6:47!
Great Words of Scripture 2
Look at the John 15 text: v.1: “the True Vine”: the source of our power to live out the
spiritual life as believers is Jesus Christ alone. If there is to be any spiritual fruit
production as a believer it will be because we meet the requirements Jesus is going to
give which is to maintain fellowship with Him.
In the passage there are three types of believers seen:
young (in the faith) immature believers who are abiding (in fellowship) but are not
yet producing spiritual fruit (2a)
mature believers who are abiding (in fellowship) and are producing fruit (2b)
believers who do not abide (not in fellowship), are thus not producing fruit, and
come under severe divine discipline (6)
#1 and #3 are unproductive believers; the first due to spiritual immaturity and the second
due to carnality – a believer living in unconfessed sin. All three types of believers are
under the care of the Father (the “vinedresser”) Who works with each according to their
need and response to His work. All three experience divine discipline because He loves
them – they are His children by the new birth (Hebrews 12:3-11).
The key to a correct understanding of the passage lies in the words “in Me” in verse 2
and then verses 4-5. The “in Me” is not the same as Paul's use of “in Christ” which refers
to positional truth. The “in Me” that Jesus uses here refers to “intimate fellowship or
communion” (Robert Dean) - “deep abiding fellowship” (Nelson Study Bible).
v.2: “He takes away”: (Greek: airo) the better translation, and the one consistent with the
rest of the passage, is “He lifts up.” The vine branches are lifted up so that it promotes
better growth. The young, immature and in fellowship believer is lifted up spiritually by
the Word of God and the Spirit of God so that they come to maturity – it is only with
maturity that any “plant” (believer) begins to bear fruit. While in fellowship (abiding) the
young believer is to learn and apply Bible Doctrine so that they can continue to advance
in spiritual maturity.
v.2: “He prunes”: the mature -fruitful believer continues to be under the disciplining care
of the Heavenly Father so that they continue to develop spiritually through applying
doctrine (see James 1:2-4, 12 for an example of God using trials to develop the
believer). The advancing, maturing believer can fellowship but with quick confession of
sin the fellowship is restored. Through such confession the believer can recognize
certain trends of his/her sin nature and through this see areas where the Heavenly father
is working to “prune.” These need to be handled with prayer and personal discipline
through the power of the Holy Spirit; (see Hebrews 4:14-16: prayer; 1 Corinthians 9:24-
27: personal discipline; The power of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:16-17). While in
fellowship (abiding) the believer is to learn and apply Bible Doctrine so that they can
continue to advance in spiritual maturity.
v.6: this believer does not remain in fellowship (not abiding) because they are not
confessing sin and the result is increasing harsh discipline in time. This is the believer
who is the real failure in the Christian life. The “fire” and the burning mentioned here
would refer to this divine discipline that may result in removal from this life (the sin unto
death in 1 John 5:16). “Believers who remain in an unfruitful state over time will
experience God's temporal judgment, possibly culminating in premature death (The
Great Words of Scripture 3
Grace New Testament Commentary, p.449). They will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat
of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
v.4-5: this is the key to all our spiritual life as believers – stay in close and intimate
fellowship with Him (1 John 1:9) and keep advancing in the faith to spiritual maturity.
When this happens we will develop spiritual “fruit” which is first and foremost the
development of Christlikeness – Galatians 5:22-23
Abiding in John 15 is the same thing as (1) to “abide” 1 John; (2) to “walk in the light” 1
John; (3) to “walk in (by the means of) the (Holy) Spirit” in Galatians 5:16, “led by the
Spirit” in Galatians 5:18, and “walk (staying in step with) the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:25;
(4) to be “filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:18).
An important fact for the believer is that at any given moment they are either abiding in
fellowship or not; to not be in fellowship is to be carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Confession
of sin (1 John 1:9) which is known as “spiritual rebound” is the mechanics given for the
believer to maintain fellowship (abiding). Confession admit personal responsibility for sin
and offers no excuses!
Adoption: Greek “huiothesia” - “son placing”
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 5:1
The word is used five times in the New Testament and only by Paul. Adoption is never
used of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 9:4 it refers in a spiritual sense to Israel in
their placement above the other nations of the earth (see also Exodus 4;22;
Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9). The rest of the New Testament
Scriptures refer to the believer in the Church Age as being spiritually adopted. These are
the ones we will consider.
Definition of adoption: C. I Scofield: “Adoption is the act of God whereby the
children of God redeemed by Christ are made adult sons.” (26 Great Words)
The Annotated Glossary of Biblical Christianity from Chafer Theological Seminary: “It is
used in a spiritual sense at salvation for the placement of the born again child of God
into the position, rather than relationship, of privilege and responsibility attached to an
adult son [huios] (Galatians 3:26; Galatians 4:1-6].”
Galatians 3:26: “sons” = huios or adult sons – we become this at the moment of faith
alone in Christ alone – it is our position.
Galatians 4:5: “adoption as sons” = huiothesia or placement as an adult son – our
Adoption is an aspect of positional truth: we are adult sons. Positional truth has to do
with how God sees us as a result of our believing in Jesus for eternal life; experiential or
Great Words of Scripture 4
Practical truth has to do with our living out the biblical Truth of our position in our daily
The Positional Truth of adoption: you are an adult son of God (it is your spiritual
The Practical Truth of our adoption: live like an adult son and not a child (be an
adult in your spiritual experience by learning, believing, and living out Bible
Doctrine under the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit)
There is a past, future, and present aspect of a believer's spiritual adoption.
PAST: Adoption is different from the new birth. In our new birth we are made a child of
God in the family of God: John 1:12-13 – this establishes our personal relationship with
In adoption this child of God, who is in the family of God, is viewed positionally as an
adult with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. Adoption is not a process but is an
act of God that occurs at salvation phase one (when we receive eternal life).
Ephesians 1:5: It is simply by His grace (“the kind intention of His will”) that we receive
this adoption. The word “predestined” in the New Testament always refers to a place of
blessing for the believer; it never refers to a person's eternal destiny (that is, God did not
preselect some people for heaven and some for the eternal lake of fire as Calvinism
falsely teaches). This verse states that God chose (v.4) to place the believer into the
position as an adult son in the family of God.
As an adult son each believer has full access to everything needed to successfully live
the spiritual life. Whether one has been saved 5 minutes or 50 years the access to the
two tools of the spiritual life are identical. The two tools are:
1. The indwelling Holy Spirit in all His fulness Romans 8:9: there is not some
later “second blessing” or other event needed to have more of the Holy Spirit or
His power. As an adult son you have all of the Holy Spirit and all of His available
power the second you believe in Jesus for eternal life. By this the believer has
the power necessary to fully to obey all the commands of Scripture in relation to
our walking in Chrislikeness. The Holy Spirit also functions as the believer's
teacher in understanding and applying the second tool of the spiritual life:
2. The Word of God. Doctrine is what the Bible teaches on any given subject. All
doctrine is for all believers. While some Bible Doctrines may be easier to grasp
than others, there is no required doctrine for believers who are “children” verses
believers who are “adults.” While there is Bible Doctrine that is helpful in laying a
foundation for future learning, this is not a requirement. Look at 2 Timothy 2:15-
17. Even as a physical child Timothy was taught the doctrine that is found in all
the Scripture: “All Scripture...is profitable for teaching.”
Great Words of Scripture 5
Future: Romans 8:23: The full realization of all the benefits associated with our
adoption as sons will be realized at the moment of the Rapture of the Church when we
receive our glorified bodies. We will experience our eternal life in this glorified state with
all its blessings (see 1 John 3:2-3; Revelation 21:1-5) including the Millennium. This is
what it means to be “heirs of God” in Romans 8:16-17
Present: We have to make positional truth into practical truth in our daily experience.
The challenge is to live like an adult son and not a child. The positional resources do not
change; the practical experience of using those resources effectively does change as
one gains spiritual skills.
L.S.Chafer: “The same holy walk and exercise of gifts is expected from all the children of
God alike, since the Christian life is to be lived in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit,
this requirement is reasonable; for the enabling power of the Spirit is available for one as
another” (Systematic Theology, Vol 7, p.10).
It is this practical truth that is referred to in 1 Corinthians 3:1: believers can be spiritual
“infants” (NASB) or “babes” (NKJV) (Gk: nepios). These are in the position as adult sons
but they are spiritually underdeveloped as far as living out their position is concerned –
they are infantile believers. They are not learning and living out Bible Doctrine.
In the present, in addition to the Holy Spirit and the Word, God has provided:
1. Pastor-teachers to help us learn and master Bible Doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-16;
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:17; 2 Timothy 4:1-4)), and
2. The gathering of the church to provide direction and encouragement in our daily
spiritual life (Hebrews 3:12-13, 10:23-27; 1 Corinthians 12:20-27).
Romans 8:13-14: “Sons” = huois or mature adult sons. This speaks of the practical
aspect of our adoption. The only way to mature is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He
continuously leads us into learning and applying the Scriptures. This is the same thing
as in Galatians 5:16-17, 25 - “walk” means to live one's life under the dominating
influence of the Holy Spirit as an habitual lifestyle. 8:15: the Holy Spirit who provides our
adoption is there to help us in times of need in our spiritual life.
When we are living as adult (mature) sons then we will be joint-heirs or fellow-heirs with
Christ Romans 8:17 which is a position of reward in the coming Millennial Kingdom – to
rule with Him. Our position as adult sons gives us the right to this inheritance but it has
to be lived out to receive the inheritance - the actual place of a co-heir with Christ, ruling
Conclusion: We are placed as adult sons in the family of God with all the rights and
responsibilities of such a position. We are responsible to learn the Word of God (2
Timothy 2:15) as disciples (John 8:31), practice spiritual rebound when we sin (1 John
1:9), and thus to grow in our practical experience (2 Peter 3:18).
Great Words of Scripture 6
Abrahamic Covenant: “Covenant”: Hebrew beriyt #1285.
Genesis 12:1-3; 15; 17:1-21
“What is the nature of biblical covenants? First, covenants are contracts between
individuals for the purpose of governing the relationship. God has bound Himself
to His people and swore to keep His promises so that He can demonstrate in
history that He is faithful. Second, relationships in the Bible, especially between
God and man, are legal or judicial. Since there is a legal aspect they are
mediated through covenants. Covenants usually involve intent, promises, and
sanctions.” (Tommy Ice, “Covenants and Dispensations,” Part one, www.pre-
There are two main types of covenants that we need to be aware of today: Unconditional
and conditional. An unconditional covenant relies upon God alone for fulfillment (an act
of grace) and man must meet no conditions; a conditional covenant with God has
stipulations man must keep in order for fulfillment.
There are eight covenants in the Bible between God and man; in order, they are (from
The Edenic Covenant (Gen. 1:18-30; 2:15-17) provides the pre-Fall basis that
God employs to establish His rule and relationship to mankind. This is a
conditional covenants that was made between God and all mankind.
The Adamic Covenant (Gen. 3:14-19 – see also Hosea 6:7) is initiated between
God and mankind because of Adam’s sin. This is a conditional covenant between
God and all mankind.
The Noahic Covenant (Gen. 8:20-9:17) restates God’s authority over man and
his duties found in the Adamic Covenant (Gen. 9:1), and adds further
responsibilities. This is a conditional covenant between God and all mankind.
The Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3, 7-9; 13:14-18; 15:1-18; 17:1-27; 22:15-
19; 26:2-6; 24-25; 27:28-29, 38-40; 28:1-45, 10-22; 31:3, 11-13; 32:22-32; 35:9-
15; 48:3-4, 10-20; 49:1-28; 50:23-25) is the mother of all redemptive covenants.
This is an unconditional covenant that was made between the Lord god of Israel
and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants. Every blessing that
redeemed believers receive, both within Israel and the church, flows from this
The Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 2-23; Deuteronomy) was given exclusively and
only to the nation of Israel (Psa. 147:19-20) and was fulfilled through the ministry
of Jesus Christ through His first advent (Matt. 5:17). The Mosaic Covenant is a
conditional covenant made between the Lord and the twelve tribes of Israel
The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:4-17) is the foundation upon which the
future millennial kingdom of Christ is to be founded. This is an unconditional
covenant and is made between the Lord and David.
The Land of Israel Covenant (Deut. 30:1-10) provides an expansion upon the
land of promise in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3). This is an
unconditional covenant and was made between the Lord and the nation of Israel.
Great Words of Scripture 7
The New Covenant (Deut. 29:4; 30:6; Isa. 59:20-21; 61:8-9; Jer. 31:31-40;
32:37-40; 50:4-5; Ezek. 11:19-20; 16:60-63; 34:25-26; 36:24-32; 37:21-28; Zech.
9:11; 12:10-14; Heb. 8:1-13; 10:15-18) provides for a yet future spiritual
regeneration of Israel in preparation for the millennial kingdom. This is an
unconditional covenant and is made between the Lord and Israel…The New
Covenant is applied to the church (Matt. 26:27-28; Luke 22:20; 2 Cor. 3:6),
because it provides the forgiveness of sins and a spiritual dynamic that is not just
reserved for the nation of Israel.
The Abrahamic Covenant guarantees that the Jewish people will survive and as will the
nation of Israel. In the coming Messianic Millennial Kingdom (the thousand year reign of
Christ) on this earth all the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled
completely. The three main aspects to remember about the Abrahamic Covenant is that
there three main divisions of promises: (1) a land, (2) a seed, and (3) a blessing.
Mottel Baleston notes these things about this central covenant:
1. A great nation would come from Abraham, the nation of Israel
2. Abraham was promised the Land
3. A multitude of other nations would come from Abraham
4. Abraham would be blessed and his name would be great
5. Those who bless Israel will be blessed
6. Those who curse Israel will be cursed
7. Through Abraham all families of the earth will be blessed
8. Abraham would have a son through his wife Sarah
9. The sign of this covenant would be circumcision
10. The Covenant Line would go through Isaac and Jacob
Grouping of Provisions
1. To Abraham
2. To the Nation of Israel
3. To the non-Jewish nations
Becomes a basis for other Covenants
1. Land Aspect / Land Covenant
2. Seed Aspect / Davidic Covenant
3. Blessing Aspect / New Covenant
In the current Church Age the believer is called the spiritual seed of Abraham (Rom. 9:7-
8, 24; 15:27; Gal. 3:9, 16, 29). This does not mean that (1) the church has replaced
Israel in the plan of God (the Church is never called “Spiritual Israel”- spiritual Israel is
those Jews who believe in Jesus Christ – the believing natural descendants of Abraham)
or (2) that the personal blessings for riches given to Abraham apply to the believer. What
it does mean is that our gift of salvation (all phases) is provided by Jesus Christ, a
physical descendant of Abraham (part of the seed promise fulfilled), as well as all
spiritual blessings are an outgrowth of the Abrahamic Covenant.
(insert chart from Ariel Ministries, Mottel Baleston, “Dispensations and Covenants)
Great Words of Scripture 8
Adultery: Greek “moicheia” #3430 - a free choice act to engage in
sexual relations of any kind by either party in a marriage relationship; it is a specific form
of fornication (Greek “porneia” #4202) prohibited by the seventh commandment and the
New Testament. Exodus 20:14; Acts 15:29
Marriage is a divine institution established by our Creator-God (the second of five):
Genesis 2:18-25; Marriage is intended to be a permanent relationship between one man
and one woman for a lifetime: Matthew 19:4-6. God created humanity as sexual beings
and He made sex a part of that which He created as “good” or fit for its purpose. Among
the first commands to Adam and Eve was the command to have sex and produce
children (Genesis 1:28).
Thus, God Himself has established marriage between one man and one woman (not
homosexual) and directed that they share a sexual relationship that, if possible,
produces children. Sex within marriage is not only appropriate – Hebrews 13:4 – but
Paul writes that husbands and wives not “deprive” each other of sexual relations – 1
Those who are not married are to refrain from any kind of sexual activity until after
marriage and this is a societal rule that applies to believer and unbeliever alike. The
word “fornication” (porneia) refers to any sexual relations or activity outside of marriage.
God has established it this way for the protection of His institution and as well as the
well-being of both the men and women He created and loves. The Bible demands sexual
purity not to “spoil your fun” or to make a person unhappy, but rather for your physical
and emotional satisfaction and protection. It is sin and the violation of God’s order that
brings misery and brokenness.
The body is not created for sexual immorality and the believer is commanded to “flee
immorality”: 1 Corinthians 6:13-20. Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5 Any sexual activity
outside of marriage is immorality. In Mark 7:21 fornication (immorality) is listed with the
sins of theft and murder. Beloved, that is the divine viewpoint of sex outside of marriage.
In the cosmic system of Satan, however, the focus the physical body and its desires has
resulted in an environment where almost any limit on sexual expression is viewed with
hostility. The more a society moves away from the Word of God the more it turns to a
body-focus. It is Satan’s work that turns God’s good created activity into a self-focused,
pleasure-seeking activity that ignores the intent of the Creator; Satan always desires to
take that which is good under God and twist it to make the person think that God’s ways
are not the best – just like he did in the Garden of Eden. This twisting of Truth is seen
everywhere from schools to movies!
It is Satanic arrogance that thinks we can run our lives better than God can! When we
substitute our thinking for His thinking we never win – never. The desires of our body,
including our emotional needs, are never to be in control of our thinking with its resulting
decisions and activities. God has designed the perfect way for all our needs to be meet:
it is in His Word.
It is especially terrible when a married person (whether separated or not) engages in
sexual activity outside of that with their spouse. It is so serious that under Israel’s Law
for the governing of their society adultery was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10).
Why? Three reasons come to mind: (1) God created us and established marriage as His
institution and whatever He does is right and good, (2) God made Eve to be a “suitable
Great Words of Scripture 9
helper” (a completer) for Adam not just a means of fulfilling sexual desires, and (3) the
special intimacy of the marital union which is to be experienced is demonstrated by the
use of the phrase “one flesh” indicating that marriage and its sexual union is far more
than just a physical activity; marriage is a uniting of two individuals into one unit at the
deepest levels of their physical, mental, and emotional selves.
Fornication and adultery dishonor God, it dishonors what He has established, and it
opens us up to all forms of pain and misery in this life. However, for the believer there is
another consideration: the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Ephesians 5:1-5: to inherit the Kingdom means to have the place of full reward and to
reign with Christ in the coming Messianic Millennial Kingdom. Those who fail to get their
body lusts under control demonstrate their lack of spiritual maturity and preparedness for
this responsibility and they will suffer loss of reward. This is part of Paul’s great concern:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
The Bible also refers to a spiritual adultery.
Any persistent unconfessed sinful thinking like the world is called spiritual adultery:
James 4:4. To be “friends with the world” is to first and foremost allow the thinking of the
world’s system in which we live – the Satanic cosmic system – to be our pattern of
thinking as a child of God, a believer. The Church Age believer is the Bride of Christ and
is to be faithful to Him alone.
About this verse Zane Hodges writes with clarity:
Materialism, immorality, and spiritual blindness are all components of this wicked
entity and are in sharp conflict with God’s interests and purposes on earth.
James is insistent here (as is John in 1 John 2:15-17) that one cannot be on
good terms with both God and the world. One must choose the side he is really
on, and when one opts for friendship with the world, he automatically opts for
enmity with God. He has chosen the status of antagonist toward his Maker and
Redeemer. It is just as when a married man decides to engage in immorality with
a woman to whom he is not married. In that very decision he chooses to reject
fidelity to his wife. Thus in their craving for worldly acceptance and standing,
James’s Christian readers have committed spiritual adultery and have renounced
friendship with their Lord.
In the Old Testament God accused the Nation of Israel whom He had made His own
special nation, of spiritual adultery. Below is just one of the many verses that show this:
Jeremiah 3:20 (NASB) "Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, So
you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel," declares the Lord.
The question for us as believers today is this: are we guilty of either physical
immorality or spiritual adultery? Is so, 1 John 1:9 gets us back in fellowship but then we
must be determined to grow in the faith, stay in fellowship, and bring ourselves under
control of the Holy Spirit:
Galatians 5:16-24: Are you ready to be faithful and no longer commit either sexual
immorality or spiritual adultery? After 1 John 1:9 move to Romans 6:12-13 and 12:1-2
Great Words of Scripture 10
Advocate: Greek parakletos #3875 one called to one’s aid; one
who pleads our case; one who intercedes; “one who appears on the behalf of another,
mediator, intercessor, helper” or even “sponsor” or “patron.” “The Greek word can have
the sense of ‘lawyer,’ but this is rare” ( Zane Hodges, The Epistles of John,p.68). As can
be seen the word carries various shades of meaning and the context must decide the
intent of the writer.
1 John 2:1; Romans 8:34; Luke 22:31-33; Hebrews 4:14-16 (see also Hebrews 7:25)
John, in his Gospel, uses the word parakletos of the Holy Spirit four times (John 14:16,
26; 15:26; 16:7) and in 1 John 2:1 of Jesus Christ. The use of this Greek word for the
Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is only used in the New Testament by John.
1 John 1:5-10 for context: The topic of 1 John 1:5-10 has been about the believer’s sin
and its impact on their fellowship with God. As a matter of fact, the book has as its main
purpose the discussion of the believer’s fellowship with God (1:3).
1:5: God does not compromise with sin. In order to have fellowship we have to “walk in
the light” of the Word of God. “For the believer, the essential essence of fellowship is our
willingness to share the light with God and to agree with everything we see in that light”
(Hodges, p.66). The fact that a believer sins is never in question; how the believer is to
deal with this is the issue.
1:6: if the believer claims he can sin but still be in fellowship with God, John calls him a
liar who does not practice the truth.
1:7: the believer has to walk in the light (no unconfessed sin) for fellowship to exist.
Notice the inclusive “we”: even if an Apostle (like John) said this it would still be a lie.
1:8: the believer cannot claim the sin nature is gone and that they have achieved a state
of perfection. The unbiblical teaching of “entire sanctification” or “total perfectionism”
came out of the Methodists and was picked up by the Holiness Pentecostals and the
early Salvation Army. This is contrary to the Scripture and shows that truth is not guiding
1:9: fellowship is maintained when we specifically acknowledge our sin to the Father but
if we do not confess then we are not in fellowship. We have to name and cite the sins we
are aware of and then he will cleanse us from all other sins we have forgotten or yet fail
to recognize. It is a terrible mistake for the believer to not confess or to think they do not
need to for some reason.
1:10: The believer must take personal responsibility for sin. This is not popular in today’s
psychological society that makes everyone a victim. This discounts all rationalizations,
excuses, the attitude of being a victim, or anything else that would deny personal
responsibility for sin. This also annuals any attempt to say something is not a sin when
the Scripture says it is a sin.
2:1: Just because all believers do sin, and we are not to deny or avoid that fact, does not
mean we can say “Oh , well” nor are we to simply accept the fact and go on as if sinning
Great Words of Scripture 11
does not matter. John says he wrote these things “so that you may not sin.” John is not
encouraging us to sin; however, he is being realistic that we do have a sin nature. Even
the most mature believer does and will sin though they do not have to.
But what happens when we do? On God’s side of the issue there is Jesus. He is the
One Who paid the full penalty for all sin so that He alone can appear on our behalf
before the Father, pleading our case, and interceding for us when we sin. This is true
even before we confess or even if we fail to confess at all.
There are two aspects to Jesus being our Advocate:
1. He is our legal defense attorney. Jesus Christ alone in His humanity met the
perfect standard of God as He was without sin (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 John 3:5). Since
Jesus is referred to here as the “Righteous One,” the focus is on His paying the
legal penalty for sin and thus fully satisfying the justice and righteousness of God
the Father – v.2.The word “propitiation” means “satisfaction.”
The Father is fully satisfied with the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus for
any sin we commit Christ has already made full satisfaction. As our “propitiation”
His work on the cross was the full legal satisfaction for sin but note that Christ
Himself is the propitiation. “Our Advocate stands before God as One who is a
visible and personal ‘satisfaction’ for our sins” (Hodges, p.71). When a believer
sins, the Father simply sees the Son and is satisfied. Roman Catholicism says a
person must give a satisfaction for sin (penance) but this is totally unbiblical.
A further refinement of this includes His being our legal defense attorney when
the Devil (meaning “accuser,” “slanderer,” or “maligner”) accuses the believer:
Revelation 12:10-12. We see this part of His advocacy in Romans 8:34. When
the Devil accuses, the Son keeps on interceding on our behalf by His very
presence. He is not asking the Father to keep us saved as if the loss of eternal
life was possible. His very presence demonstrates our eternal security because
He paid for all sin in full. The Devil cannot win against us and have our eternal
life removed because our eternal life is about Who He is and what He did not
who we are and what we do!
2. He is our praying intercessor. How is He praying for the believer? Luke 22:31-
33. Jesus prayed for Peter that “your faith may not fail.” What an outstanding
reality this is! The Lord Jesus Christ does not want the believer’s sin to so
discourage him or her that they quit the Christian life and even return to their
former way of life. The Lord wants you to confess your sin and then get up and
go on, beloved! Even knowing Peter’s failure, the Lord told him of future service!
He knew Peter’s weaknesses better than Peter did because He is praying for
Peter before Peter sinned! He knows our weaknesses and desires to help us and
then use us also: Hebrews 4:14-16.
The greatest help He can give is when we are open and honest about our sin,
confess our sin, and then talk to him about the tendencies of our sin nature. He
wants to help. That is what He desires; He never, ever rejects you nor does He
want you to quit. Never. That, beloved, is good news!
Great Words of Scripture 12
Anointing (Hebrew masiah (4899): Greek Chrisma (5545) chrio
(5548): to be “oiled,” “to smear,” to rub.” From these come the Hebrew word
mischah/ maschach or Messiah and the Greek word Christos, both meaning “the
Anointed One”- in the New Testament it is a reference to the Lord Jesus. In general, the
term refers to the application of something to a person or object.
While the practice of anointing with oil or perfumed oil was common for a variety of non-
religious usages in Bible times, the religious meaning (which we will focus on) means to
be sanctified or set apart for God’s service and was used of both objects and people
(especially under the Mosaic Law). After being so anointed, the object or person was to
be respected as set apart for God.
The first use of the term is Genesis 31:13 where Jacob anoints a rock pillar he set up as
a sacred memorial of a special encounter he had with God at that location (see also
Gen. 35:14). Bethel means “God’s house.” As a passing note: in Hosea 4:5 the prophet
sarcastically refers to Bethel and Beth-aven, “the House of Wickedness” (house of
nothingness, or vanity) because of the false worship that came to be practiced there and
it was no longer the House of God.
People were anointed for special service to the Lord in the Old Testament. Occasionally
prophets were anointed (1 Kings 19:16) but more often it was used for the setting apart
of the Jewish kings as God’s leaders of the nation. For example, Samuel anointed both
Saul and David to be kings (Saul - 1 Samuel 10:1; David - 16:13). It is important to note
that in 1 Samuel 10:6-7 the Holy Spirit came on Saul after his anointing and in 1 Samuel
16:13 the Holy Spirit came upon David after his being set apart for kingship with the
anointing and, in v.14 of the same chapter, the Holy Spirit departed from King Saul.
Men set aside for priestly service under the Mosaic system were also anointed with a
special oil mixture (for example, Exodus 28:40-42) as was all the Tabernacle furniture,
furnishings, and instruments. How the oil was prepared is found in Exodus 30:22-25.
As to how oil came to be associated with the Holy Spirit, we note the following: (1) In the
Old Testament times the Holy Spirit would come on individuals temporarily for a specific
task or function they were to do for the Lord and sometimes this was associated with an
anointing as with King Saul and King David; (2) Oil was a life-sustaining aspect of Old
Testament life; (3) the anointing oil was prepared according to specific instructions from
God and, (4) an abundance of oil was considered evidence of God’s blessing (for
example, Joel 2:19, 24). Oil was also a symbol of gladness and joy.
The anointing oil thus came to symbolize not only a setting apart for God, but also to
symbolize the presence of the life-giving Holy Spirit enabling people to do work for the
Lord effectively because the Spirit was within them. But the person had to avail
themselves of that enablement – it was not automatic. It must be noted that this
anointing never referred to power itself, but rather to the presence of the Holy Spirit Who
provided the necessary effectiveness for the work, position, or ministry.
In the Old Testament, the Spirit was not given to every believer and even to those whom
He was given it was not a permanent indwelling. As is seen in the case of Saul, the
person still had their volition and could operate from human viewpoint with the result that
the Holy Spirit would depart from them (Psalm 51:11). It should be noted that in the
Great Words of Scripture 13
current Church Age the Holy Spirit permanently indwells (and seals) the believer and will
never depart until we go home to heaven – our day of final redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
The term masiah (transliterated messiah) came to refer to the promised deliverer of
Israel, the coming King, who would rule over the nation in a restored Davidic Kingdom
(the Messianic Kingdom; also known as the Millennium because His rule will last 1,000
years). Using the word anointing symbolically (set apart for service) the Old Testament
spoke of the Promised One as being “anointed” for the Messianic ministry (Isaiah 61:1:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me…”). The
New Testament clearly identifies the Lord Jesus as the anticipated Anointed One, the
promised Messiah – the Anointed One (John 1:41; 4:25-26).
Luke 4:14-20: About this, Kenneth Wuest writes in his Untranslatable Riches from the
Greek New Testament:
…the act of God in anointing Jesus with the Holy Spirit, referring to His act of
sending the Holy Spirit [at His baptism] to rest upon Him for the ministry he as
the man Christ Jesus was to accomplish on earth…. Our Lord explains the
position of the Holy Spirit upon Him by saying that God placed the Holy Spirit
upon Him to equip Him for his ministry in preaching the Gospel. Thus, in the case
of our Lord, the anointing with the Spirit refers to the person of the Holy Spirit
coming upon Him, thus providing the potential equipment for ministry of which
our Lord was to avail Himself. The anointing with the Holy Spirit would only
become a factor in our Lord’s life resulting in the impartation of power for service
as He depended upon the Spirit for His ministry to and through Him
A literal anointing with oil (such as olive oil) for being set apart for leadership or some
other service nowhere occurs in the New Testament and is never practiced by the
church. It is especially important to note that nowhere does it speak of some literal
anointing needed to bring spiritual power; Nowhere does it show the apostles or anyone
else using oil in any religious ceremonies of any kind; Nowhere does it speak of literal oil
being used to transmit some spiritual power; nowhere does it speaking of the anointing
as being some mystical power that one can feel and manipulate and/or pass to others.
They never went anywhere to “get the anointing.”
Positional truth: In the symbolic use the Bible makes a very clear statement: every
believer is anointed! 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. Tying the “anointing” in with the Holy Spirit,
Paul states that each and every Church Age believer has the full anointing of the Holy
Spirit – His indwelling presence is the anointing. Anointing is “The pouring out of the
Holy Spirit on the believer, reminiscent of the anointing of the priests with oil” (Bible
Knowledge Commentary). We are fully set apart as His possession and for His use. This
is what Jesus prayed for in John 14:17
Practical truth: John 14:26 – the indwelling Holy Spirit potentially functions in a
practical way as our spiritual mentor or teacher. John writes about this in connection
with the anointing in 1 John 2:20-21, 27: this is the Holy Spirit’s ministry as our teacher
in the Bible Doctrine that we have learned. He applies Bible Doctrine to our daily lives; in
the context of 1 John, he is saying that the Holy Spirit will help the one who has learned
correct Bible Doctrine to discern truth from error but for this aspect of the ministry of the
Holy Spirit to become a reality in our daily life we have to allow this work to occur by
maintaining fellowship and learning Bible Doctrine.
Great Words of Scripture 14
1 John 2:20-21 (WuestNT) But as for you, an anointing you have from the Holy One,
and all of you have the capacity to know. I am not writing to you because you do not
know the truth, but because you know it, and because every lie is not out of the truth as
The readers of 1 John are spiritually mature people who have learned correct Bible
Doctrine and they do not need the ideas of the false teachers as if it was some “new
truth” being delivered. The key of resisting false teaching was allowing the Holy Spirit to
apply the doctrine learned to the mind of the believers so that deception through false
teaching would not happen. But remember; doctrine does you no good if you fail to
study! Just as Jesus in His humanity was successful in His spiritual life by a full reliance
upon the Word of God and the Spirit of God, so we too have the same two tools but we
must put them to use to be successful.
Learn to discern (1 John 4:1): In modern day charismatic circles much has been stated
about anointing that is blatantly false and it results in a terrible misunderstanding of the
truth about biblical anointing. Sometimes oil and/or the “laying on of hands” is used to
get a spiritual anointing of power (so-called) from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it is referred
to as a “fire baptism” or just “the anointing” but it is supposed to result in an experience
of spiritual power for the person and, usually, they claim that such anointing can be
physically passed from an anointed person to another person who can then pass it to
another. Often they claim they can feel it when they are “under the anointing” saying it is
like fire, electricity, or heat. Benny Hinn has said that he felt like the anointing was going
to blow his skin off!
In a video Benny Hinn is seen waving his hand around like a magician and making
“whoosing” sounds while people fall down “under the power” or, as he says, under the
“glory of God” (this is referred to as “slaying in the Spirit,” another false teaching). Often
new believers get caught up in this and become deceived; others, because of poor
training in Bible Doctrine, fall prey to this type of deception. I don’t blame people for
getting mixed up in this confusion near as much as I blame so-called preachers for
propagating these lies and deceptions. If these “ministers” have truly received eternal
life, I pity them at the Judgment Seat of Christ; but I fear that many of them do not even
have eternal life and are those mentioned by Christ in Matthew 7:22-23.
This goes far outside the bounds of Scripture, beloved. Anointing is not ever seen in the
Bible as some mystical experience of the “power of God,” yet that is exactly how it is
wrongly defined by so many today. The anointing is the indwelling presence of the third
person of the Trinity who is the Holy Spirit; He is not some impersonal “power” (or force)
to be passed on or thrown around at the will. We have seen that the Scripture tells us
that every believer is anointed by the Holy Spirit because every believer is indwelled by
the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9) and baptized by the means of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13)
and you become a temple (1 Cor. 6:19) for the indwelling of Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:20).
In addition, you cannot get any more of the Holy Spirit than you received from the
moment you believed; so there is no such thing as a “fresh anointing” or “another
anointing” nor does one have “anointed preaching.” We simply need to stay in fellowship
while learning and applying Bible Doctrine to know His power which is called “walking by
the means of the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25).
Hosea 4:6a (NASB) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Great Words of Scripture 15
Apostasy (Greek apostasia. #646): to fall away from or depart
from – Acts 21:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:3 are the only two uses of this word. A similar
word is aphistemi (#868) expresses the same concept as in 1 Timothy 4:1 and the
concept of falling away from or departing from the truth of Christian doctrine is found in
much New Testament teaching (e.g. 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-3).
Tom Constable: The English word "apostasy" is a transliteration of the Greek word
apostasia. By definition an apostasy is a departure, an abandoning of a position formerly
held. “ (www.soniclight.com)
Joseph Dillow quoting Marshall: “’implies a departure from a position once held and
therefore refers to apostasy from the faith by those who once held it.’" (The Reign of the
Servant Kings, p.338).
2 Timothy 2:11-13: Believers can become apostate and deny Christ in their doctrinal
beliefs, teaching, attitudes, and actions.
An Illustration of apostasy
1 Timothy 1:18-20: At this point in time Timothy was the pastor-teacher at the church in
Ephesus. Before we consider this particular situation, it is instructive to see what Paul
had said to the pastors/elders in Ephesus some time before: Acts 20:28-30. It is very
possible that Hymenaeus and Alexander were in the group at that time.
1 Timothy 1:20: What Paul had said would happen has happened: two of the leaders
have become apostates by departing from correct doctrine that they once knew and held
having departed into false doctrine. That these men are believers and had deliberately
departed from known truth. They had, at one time, (1) faith, and (2) a good conscious –
they were believers, men with eternal life – but they have now rejected both the correct
doctrine of both of these and shipwrecked their faith (see 1:3 – “strange doctrine”).
Conscious: the mind programmed to the will of God though the Word informs us when
we violate the Truth learned. We know doctrinal right from wrong because we have
learned the truth correctly (the Faith, the content of Bible Doctrine). We are constantly to
be applying correct doctrine to our daily living and when we don’t we admit it through the
mechanism of 1 John 1:9. These men turned from the learning and application of Bible
Doctrine to an application of human viewpoint.
This is seen in Hebrews 3:12. “Falling away” is aphistemi: to fail to learn and apply
doctrine as a believer is to have “an evil, unbelieving heart.” Though one has believed in
Jesus alone for eternal life, they now are walking away from making the content and
application of the faith a daily part of their lives. The point here is this: men and women
who have placed their faith alone in Christ alone can deliberately turn away from the
truth of the Word they once believed and become apostate.
Back in 1 Timothy 1, Paul also states that he is turning these men over to Satan (a
function of apostolic divine discipline) so that they may be taught (or learn) not to commit
the sin of blasphemy – to speak with irreverence toward God. You cannot separate God
from His Word, so to deliberately teach false doctrine is a form of blasphemy. The Greek
word here translated “be taught” is paideuo a word used of training a child. The goal of
Great Words of Scripture 16
this divine discipline is to give these men a chance to change their mind about what they
are teaching and doing and get back on the right path.
Constable: “These men appear to have been leaders, teachers, and even elders in the
Ephesian church. It was very rare for Paul to name names when referring to serious
sinners. That he did so here indicates that he wanted everyone to know to whom he was
It is likely that this Hymenaeus is the same one mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:17-
19. Their apostasy included the false doctrine that stated the rapture had already
happened (“the resurrection has already taken place” - see 1 Corinthians 15:12, 50-57)
and, thus, the church was now in the Tribulation period.
Beloved, what you believe matters! This includes what you believe about all the
various Bible Doctrines including prophecy.
The difference between apostasy and heresy should be noted. Heresy is beliefs one
holds that are at variance with biblical Truth but one is not aware of the Truth. When one
deliberately holds to heresy in spite of knowing the truth, then they have become
apostate. When a heretic hears the Truth and rejects that Truth he is now classified an
Historically, heresy and apostasy are terms used only in reference to major doctrines
and not to simple error in a biblical interpretation of a minor doctrine. The difficulty
comes in when we have to discern as to what is “major” and what is “minor.”
A major modern day doctrinal heresy: works or legalism being included in the
means of receiving eternal life.
To include anything other than faith alone in Christ alone as the means of receiving
eternal life is heresy and apostasy. Theological error (but not heresy) is to say that after
such faith alone there will be “inevitable works.” The first one causes others to miss
phase one salvation; the second will cause confusion among those who have received
phase one salvation.
Galatians 1:6-9, 11 (see 2 Corinthians 11:4)
A False Gospel: Lordship salvation: "Saving faith is a placing of oneself totally in
submission to the Lord Jesus Christ" (John MacArthur, Romans 1-8, p. 205).
"The gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in
submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer…. It put
sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God's righteousness. It was
in every sense good news, yet it was anything but “easy-believism" (p. 21, Gospel
According To Jesus). Salvation is not about submission – it is about knowing that
something is true: faith alone in Christ alone. Discipleship is to follow salvation but it is
not of the essence of salvation! Lordship salvation is false: it is another gospel and it is
A False Gospel: “To receive salvation, we must not only be justified, but we must live a
life of obedience to the laws of God, developing the fruits of His Spirit in our lives
Great Words of Scripture 17
(Galatians 5:22-23). Then—and only then—will God give us the gift of eternal life.” (The
Church of the Great God website). The Law is not and never was a means if receiving
eternal life. This teaching is heresy and, If they ever knew the truth, they are apostates.
A False Gospel: Church of Christ: “We MUST: HEAR the word of truth, BELIEVE the
truth, REPENT from all sins, CONFESS name of Christ, Be BAPTIZED in His name,
WALK in newness of life Be FAITHFUL unto death.” Yet they claim this is a “by grace
and faith” gospel; just because someone says salvation is by grace; does not mean they
use that terminology correctly. The Church of Christ teaches heresy and is apostate.
A False Gospel: Robert Schuller: “What does it mean to be saved? It means to be
permanently lifted from sin (psychological self- abuse with all of its consequences as
seen above) and shame to self-esteem and its God glorifying human need-meeting,
constructive, and creative consequences." (Self-esteem: the New Reformation, p.99)
"To be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-
image - from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust. (ibid. p.68)
A False Gospel: Roman Catholicism: “By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is
properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper
dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified
Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life” (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism,
chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).
After baptism a person is considered to be born again and part of the body of Christ, the
Church. This new life is said to be nurtured and kept alive through Confirmation, Mass,
Penance and the other sacraments.
“THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS ARE THE NECESSARY MEANS ESTABLISHED BY
CHRIST THROUGH WHICH HIS REDEEMING, LIFE-GIVING, SANCTIFYING GRACE
IS IMPARTED TO INDIVIDUALS’ SOULS. You must centre your life upon the
sacraments established by Christ if you want to save your soul. means of salvation. ...
The sacraments are the source of your real life, the divine life that will unite you with God
in this world and in eternity. Let nothing make you think that you can get along without
the sacraments. Without them your soul must die. ... IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE THE
SACRAMENTS AT ALL, YOU DON’T RECEIVE GRACE. If you don’t receive them
properly, that is, if you receive them seldom and with little devotion, you receive less
grace” (L.G. Lovasik, The Eucharist in Catholic Life, pp. 14,15).
“In recent years the church has reiterated again and again that we are saved by faith
AND the sacraments of faith. BOTH ARE NECESSARY” (J.D. Crichton, Christian
Celebration: The Sacraments, p. 65).
Roman Catholicism is heresy and the church is apostate because they know the
truth but reject it. “If anyone saith that by faith alone the impious is justified in such
wise as to mean that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtaining the grace
of Justification...let him be anathema...After this Catholic doctrine on justification which
whosoever does not faithfully and firmly accept cannot be justified...”(The Canons and
Decrees of the Council of Trent. Found in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom,
Grand Rapids: Baker, 1910), Decree on Justification, Chapter XVI, Canon IX.
Great Words of Scripture 18
A False Gospel: United Methodist: “To be saved means turning away from a life that
is without God, that is focused solely upon ourselves. It means giving up the obsession
with our needs, our wants, our pleasures, our comforts, our importance, our egos, and
our power. If my world is nothing but me, then no one else, including God, is likely to get
in. Being saved from also means being saved from destructive patterns of life -- things
that destroy us instead of build us up. Some of those common destructive elements
(which Christians call sin) are alcohol, drugs, sexual misuse and abuse, intolerance, lust
for power, pursuit of money at the expense of others, and so forth. Involvement in such
patterns usually comes from a need to fill a void in life, to cover a feeling of
But being saved from ourselves also means that we are saved to a life that is the exact
opposite. Such a life says that the will of God and living this faith daily is a greater
priority than our own will, that being the people of God is more important than anything,
that giving and sharing are better than taking and accumulating. Our lives are changed
by God to lives that affirm others, lives of healing and wholeness.
Being saved means that we have awakened to the wondrous opportunities to share
each day with our brothers and sisters and see what God is doing in our lives together.
Most people who are rescued begin to evaluate their lives, take stock, and find ways to
improve their lives.…”(www.upperroom.org). Salvation is not reformation! This is heresy
and the UMC is apostate.
The Coming Great Apostasy: 2 Thessalonians 2:3
The “Day of the Lord” is a reference to the Tribulation yet to come on the earth. Before
this time starts, the church – many in the true church as well as those claiming to be the
church – will move to an almost total rejection of Bible Doctrine including faith alone in
Christ alone as the only means of receiving eternal life. In every way it seems to me that
that day is either here or almost here right now.
1 Timothy 4:1
2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13; 4:1-4
2 Peter 3:3-4
A command to obey in order to avoid heresy and apostasy
2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman
who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Great Words of Scripture 19
Assurance – Definition: the believer’s confidence or certainty
(faith, belief, being convinced it is true) in the eternal security of
their spiritual life that they received the moment of faith alone in
To this point in our study we have looked at specific words found in the Scriptures; the
word assurance, however, is not a specific word in the biblical text referring to salvation.
It is a teaching or doctrine that is clearly revealed in the Word and the word assurance
conveys the confidence of the believer in their eternal security.
Eternal security simply means that once a person has become convinced of the truth of
the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ to give eternal life to all who believe in Him for that
life then they have that spiritual life forever. The eternal life of the believer cannot be
removed or diminished in any way for any reason whatsoever; it cannot be
improved upon or made more possible. It is eternal from the moment of belief in
Jesus. The reception of eternal life is not repeatable: it is a one-time-forever event.
Assurance states that those who believe in Jesus are mentally certain they are secure
forever and when they pass out of this life they will continue to live with the Lord.
Eternal security looks at the reality of our salvation from the God-ward side: that is,
God knows that He has given us a spiritual life that is absolutely guaranteed by Him.
Assurance is the man-ward side of this same truth: that is, we mentally and emotionally
rest in the confidence of the truth of eternal security. We know we are eternally secure
because it is guaranteed by God.
Let’s review some of the verses that demonstrate the Truth of eternal security. Through
this, if you are convinced this is true, then you will have personal assurance of your
John 1:12; 3:16, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:35, 47; 10:28; 11:25-26; 20:30-31
Romans 4:5; 5:1; 8:1, 38-39
Galatians 2:16; 3:26
Ephesians 2:5, 8-9
1 Timothy 1:15-16
1 John 5:11-13
Great Words of Scripture 20
Assurance is of the essence of phase one salvation
A Basic review:
The word “salvation” (meaning “deliverance”) is used to refer to three different aspects of
our lives as believers:
Phase one salvation: we believe in Jesus for eternal life and go to be with Him when
we pass out of this present life. It occurs at a point in time.
Phase two salvation: we progress in our spiritual life to live out the principles of the
Christian life in time. This occurs throughout the life of the believer; it is progressive in
Phase three salvation: we go to be with the Lord Jesus Christ at death or rapture and
we no longer have a sin nature.
Two basic questions: Can a person believe in Jesus plus something and still have
eternal life? Can a person believe in Jesus for something less than eternal life and still
have eternal life? These must be answered for you to think clearly about Jesus’ offer of
The only thing necessary for receiving eternal life is to believe in Jesus alone for that life
– to believe His promise. The problem comes in when people believe in something less
than or different from what Jesus offers. We must master this in order to evangelize
correctly, effectively, and properly. We must master this to even know to whom we are to
give the Message of Life.
If a person believes that they have to meet some condition to receive eternal life, then
they have not believed in Jesus alone. They are, in some form or fashion, believing in
themselves or some activity in order to qualify to receive that life.
Some examples are: committing to the lordship of Jesus Christ; being baptized;
receiving communion; doing good works; cleaning up one’s life; working for God;
reduction of sinning, etc. These people do not have eternal life and they have no
Jesus did not offer eternal life conditioned upon you meeting some requirements
If a person believes in Jesus for probation then they have not believed in Jesus for what
He offers. He only offers one kind of life: eternal life. To believe in Him for something He
does not offer means they do not possess eternal life. These people also have no
assurance of salvation.
There are two popular versions of salvation probation:
“If I am good enough or don’t sin too much I’ll keep salvation. If .m not and if I do I’ll lose
“If I am not good enough or if I sin too much or too long it shows I never had salvation.”
Great Words of Scripture 21
Both of these are ultimately look to the person some aspect of for phase one salvation.
Eternal life is not conditioned upon or guaranteed by the behavior of the person. It is
Jesus who paid our full sin debt on the cross and offered us the absolutely free gift of
eternal life; and when we believe that promise it is ours forever.
The believer’s assurance is never dependent upon their behavior and do you know you
have eternal life because of the “changed for the better” life you have after you are
saved. Reform or rehabilitation in a person’s life may demonstrate discipleship but it
never demonstrates that one has eternal life. 1 John 5:11-13
Jesus did not offer you eternal life if you can keep it; He never offers probation.
Here is the bottom line: When you came to know that the sole condition for receiving
eternal life was to believe in Jesus for that life and that the life He gives is eternal, then it
is at that moment you received what Jesus promises: eternal life.
This is why assurance is of the essence of phase one salvation. Do you believe
God’s promise of eternal life? Then you have eternal life. When did you become
convinced of this fact? Then that is the moment you received eternal life.
All the follow refer to phase one salvation: You were not saved because you prayed a
prayer to receive Jesus; walked an isle in a church or made a “public profession” of
Christ; “called upon the name of the Lord”; turned from your sin; felt sorry for your sin;
asked Jesus in your heart; etc.
Now if at the same time you did these activities you also believed in Jesus alone for
eternal life, then you received eternal life because you believed, not because you did
any of these activities that are often demanded of a person to be saved.
I like these words of Dr. Robert Wilkin in his book, Secure and Sure,
Here is a very valuable piece of advice for who, like me, can’t remember
precisely when they first came to believe in Christ for eternal life. Give up trying
to figure out when you were born again. Simply rejoice that you are eternally
secure by virtue of your faith in Christ.
Assurance is not based on what you did or even believed in time past. It’s based
on what you believe right now. So look to Jesus and his promise of eternal life to
all who simply believe in him and you will remain sure you have eternal life. It’s
that simple (p.42).
Beloved, you have – present possession – eternal security because Jesus promises it;
be totally convinced of that fact and you will always have assurance! But even if you lose
your assurance, you still have your eternal security – you’ll just not enjoy it!
Assurance is based on who Jesus is, what He did, and His promise to you; it is not
based on who you are, what you do, the promises you make, or the changes you
experience. It is ALL about Him!
Now you know that you know!
Great Words of Scripture 22
Atonement Hebrew kaphar #3722 (2724, 3725) the basic meaning of
the word is “to cover.” It primarily signified the process of being reconciled: “to
bring into agreement two parties who have been at enmity with each other.” Key
text: Leviticus 16.
The Hebrew root word is used 110 times in the Old Testament and these are mostly in
the books of Leviticus and Numbers. The word is not used in the New Testament except
in a KJV mistranslation in Romans 5:11 where the word should be translated
“reconciliation.” It is corrected in the NKJV, NASB, and other translations.
While the word “atonement” is used theologically to refer to the entire completed work of
Christ on the cross for all mankind, it does not refer in any way to the New Testament
believer’s relationship to God. We will see why this is later in this study. The New
Testament theological meaning is much broader than its use in the Old Testament. The
basic Old Testament meaning is seen in Genesis 6:14 where Noah is to cover (kaphar)
the ark to prevent it from leaking water into the boat.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Book of Genesis, p.163 writes:
Moses did not use the regular word for pitch, but he used the word kaphar
which, normally, means “a covering.” It is the same Hebrew root for the word
“atonement.” There is a correlation, because the covering of the outward with
pitch saved them physically from water seepage, keeping the ark from sinking. In
a parallel, the covering of blood saved spiritually.
Leviticus 1:3-5: The use of the word kaphar in the ritual system meant that when a
Jewish believer participated in a sacrifice the blood covered their sin. The sin offering
and the trespass offering atoned for the sins of the individual believer while the Day of
Atonement dealt with sins not covered by the sin and trespass offerings of the individual.
The sin and trespass offering were done throughout the year as needed; the Day of
Atonement was only once a year.
The word “atonement” does not mean “to remove permanently.” It does signify, in the
Old Testament, God’s temporary covering of both the individual and corporate sins of
Israel. The atoning sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed to the completed work of the
promised Messiah who was Jesus, that is, His final dealing with human sin on the cross
of Calvary. The atonement sacrifices of the nation of Israel under Mosaic Law looked
forward to the cross and covered sin. Jesus does not cover sin, he removes it.
The primary text for establishing the Day of Atonement is Leviticus 16.
Leviticus 16:15-17: this describes the process and purpose of the atonement. The High
Priest alone went into the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was and there
he sprinkled the sacrificial blood onto the front of the mercy seat which was the cover on
the top of the Ark (once each time) and seven times in front of the Ark (16:14). This was
only done once a year on a specific day in the Jewish calendar, 16:29-34.
NOTE: the word “everlasting” in v.34 in Hebrew means “until the end of a period of time.”
The ordinance was established by God for use until the coming of Jesus Christ,
Hebrews 7:26-27 (and other passages). The period of time for Mosaic sacrifices had an
Great Words of Scripture 23
end in the death of Jesus Christ. Notice the clear statement: “once for all.” Hebrews
9:27-28 – “offered once”; Hebrews 10:10 – “once for all”; Hebrews 10:19-20 – “a new
and living way which He inaugurated for us.”
The sacrifice for sin required the shedding of blood: Hebrews 9:22.
Leviticus 17:11 (NASB) 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to
you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life
that makes atonement.'
Blood is a metaphor for the death of the subject. “The life of the sacrificial animal
specifically symbolized by its blood was required in exchange for the life of the
worshipper….It was the symbolic expression of innocent life given for guilty life”
(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Harris, et.al p.453).
Christ is the innocent one who took the place of the guilty ones (all mankind) as their
substitute and thus made the reconciliation between us and God. The blood of Jesus
signifies His substitutionary death for us.
Romans 3:23-26: All mankind falls short of God’s glory, His perfect righteousness. We
are declared justified (dikaioo - righteous, legally declared right with God, not “made
righteous” as in a change of character) based on the finished work of Jesus Christ – He
alone redeems us from the penalty of sin (separation from God forever). This is done as
an absolutely free gift to us though it cost God the Father and God the Son beyond
human comprehension. This is grace! Grace is the unearned and unmerited favor of
God toward sinful creatures that deserve His most severe condemnation. Yet, when you
believe in Jesus for eternal life, you do not get what you do deserve – you get instead
something better: eternal life! You get this free or you do not get it at all!
v.25: the display was the cross. The propitiation (hilasterion - the mercy seat on the top
of the Ark of the Covenant) means the full demands of the righteousness of God were
fully and finally satisfied by the work of Jesus on the cross. This included all the sins of
the whole world (1 John 2:2) included all those committed before the cross – all sin,
past, present, and future was fully paid for by the work of Jesus Christ. As the mercy
seat Christ is now the contact between God and man and the One thorough whom
reconciliation is made.
v.26: the cross fully demonstrates that God did not overlook sin; rather, in it was
displayed His perfect righteousness as sin was paid for through the death of the Lord
Jesus Christ. He is just – right – because the penalty of death (separation from God
forever) was paid with the result that He can now justify (declare right – a legal
declaration) the believer on the basis of faith alone in Christ alone. The full judgment on
sin in Old Testament times was delayed “because He anticipated before the cross with
absolute certainty the basis of His Son’s sacrifice on the cross that justifies all who by
faith alone believe in Jesus Christ, or as in the Old Testament, the Seed to come as the
object of faith” (R. Lopez, Romans Unlocked, p.81). Jesus alone must be the object of
faith if we are to be right with God by receiving the imputation of His righteousness to our
account and to receive eternal life.
2 Corinthians 5:21: We are declared right not because we act right but because the full
credit of the perfect righteousness of God is credited to us in our position before God.
Great Words of Scripture 24
Babylon/ Babel Heb. #894; Greek #897 babulonos: confusion, to
confound. The name is mentioned 280 times in Scripture, second only to the word
Jerusalem which is mentioned over 300 times.
In Scripture the word refers to both a literal place and an organized system of thinking
that has its foundation in the rebellion of Satan. There are three aspects to Babylon
which have to be recognized: (1) the ancient city and later empire of Babylon; (2) a
cosmic system of thinking which includes a religious system of false worship; and (3) a
future city in the same area that will be in operation during the seven-year tribulation
period yet to come on the earth.
The literal ancient city was founded about 100 years after the Flood and, as several
have noted, it lies very near the geographical center of all the earth’s landmass. We will
briefly consider the past, present, and future of this city and system in this study.
Genesis 11:1-2: After the Flood people migrated east (better translation, “eastward”)
from the mountains of Ararat where the Ark had settled (Genesis 8:4). They came to “a
plain in the land of Shinar and settles there” as the area was good for farming. The name
“Shinar” is a common name for Mesopotamia in the region between the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers (Mesopotamia means, “the land between the rivers”). This are is in
Unger’s Bible Dictionary: “The biblical account ascribes the founding of the ancient pre-
historic city of Babylon to the descendants of Cush and the followers of Nimrod (Gen.
10:8-10”. Nimrod, the sixth son of Cush, was Noah’s great-grandson.
Bible history tells us that under Nimrod the post-flood people rebelled against God first of
all because though God had told mankind to scatter across the planet and to populate
the earth (Genesis 9:1, 7), they decided to stay in one area (Genesis 11:2). Politically
Babylon became the first “global” government as they ruled over the majority of people
at the time. They would of course have controlled the commerce also.
Much later, under King Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon ransacked Jerusalem, destroyed the
temple, and carried the people of Judah into captivity in 586 B.C.
The satanic cosmic system of Babylon
Satan went to work to build his world system with the people on the plain of
Shinar. Working behind the scenes he encourages them to build a human
civilization operating independent from God. Dean and Ice, in the book Spiritual
Warfare (p.65) give us this definition of the satanic cosmic system:
An organized and attractive system of ideas, concepts, attitudes, and methods
that Satan uses to compete with God’s concept of how people should live on
planet earth. Satan is the head and controller of this system.
Great Words of Scripture 25
Genesis 11:14: “Let us build for ourselves a city,” they said. From that time on Babylon
has been seen as the city of man in rebellion against God, God’s people, and God’s true
knowledge and correct worship.
Revelation 17:4-5: Harlotry here is a defection from spiritual absolute Truth, God’s
Truth, into false religion. Babylonian religion is part of the satanic cosmic system and the
Bible is filled with information on the false religions coming out of Babylon. For example:
(1) astrology has its roots in Babylon and its zodiac system dates from Babylon; (2)
goddess worship and the mother-child cult were established in Babylon. Nimrod’s wife,
as seen in sources outside of Scripture, was named Semiramus. She founded the secret
religious rites of the Babylonian “mystery” religion including a priesthood and an order of
virgins who became religious prostitutes. She claimed to have had a son by a miracle
conception (sometimes she is even referred to as a virgin although ancient stories say
she had been a prostitute) whom she named Tammuz (Greeks, Adonis). Babylonian
priests wore crowns in the shape of a fish head to honor the fish god; on the crowns
were the words “keeper of the bridge” a title later adopted by Roman emperors calling
themselves “Pontifex Maximus.” The pope of Rome uses that headdress and title today
(pontiff is a shortened form)! Later Tammuz was killed and supposedly resurrected
proving that both Semiramus and Tammuz were gods Ezekiel 8:13-14. (3) the worship
of the goddess as the “Queen of Heaven” – Jeremiah 7:18-20.. Down through the years
the names of Semiramus and Tammuz have changed but the religion of a mother and
child, the goddess holding a baby or small child (like Isis and Horus) remains today
where people bow down and pray to a woman named Mary (“hail Mary”) with the baby
Jesus. In addition, New Agers and many in mainline “Christian” denominations are
turning to pagan goddess worship.
1. The war in Iraq has set up the area of ancient Babylon to become an economic
2. The UN and the US have spent millions of dollars for the rebuilding of Babylon as
a tourist destination
3. Babylonian religion continues but there is a new vast and growing acceptance of
“Mary” as a “global Mary” who can unite all religions under her authority.
Apparitions claiming to be Mary have appeared in increasing volume all over the
world promising religious unity and peace to all who will accept her. People do
not even have to leave their own religion to accept this Mary! Muslims are even
seeing apparitions of Mary and making pilgrimages to Marian shrines! (see
Queen of All, Tetlow, Oakland, and Myers, p.36.) This may play a real part in the
coming one-world religious control under the Antichrist.
4. The satanic cosmic system mindset where it is considered intolerant at best and
illegal hate-speech at worst to claim there is only one correct “religion” in the
world – the one found in the Bible, the one that says without eternal life from the
Lord Jesus Christ one is doomed forever to the Lake of Fire. Faith alone in Christ
alone through grace alone is the only truth; all else is a false religion of lies and
Mark Hitchcock, The Second Coming of Babylon, p.37: “Genesis teaches us that human
history began in the river valley of the Tigris and Euphrates. Amazingly, the Bible also
Great Words of Scripture 26
says man’s history in this age will end there as well….History is coming full circle. The
focus of world events is cycling back to where it all began”
The total destruction of Babylon seen in Isaiah 13-14 and Jeremiah 50-51 has never
been fulfilled which is the first clear indication that Babylon will be rebuilt right in the
same area where it originally stood.
During the Tribulation period all aspects of the satanic cosmic system will be allowed the
freest reign since the beginning of time. In Revelation 17 there is religious Babylon; in
Revelation 18 we see political and economic Babylon.
Revelation 17:3-6: a world supra-religion will unite all world religions under common
governance. This will morph into the worship of the Antichrist at the midpoint of the
Revelation 18:2-3, 9-11: political / economic Babylon which at the will control the world
and come under the complete control of the Antichrist at the midpoint of the tribulation
Zechariah 5:5-11: the “ephah”: a commercial standard of measure symbolizing
economic and business interests. The “lead” lid symbolizes a false standard of measure
picturing the corruptness of the economy. The “woman” in the ephah is a symbol of evil
v.9: this simply speaks of the speed in which the economic evil will be centralized in
Babylon (Vv. 10-11 = Shinar is Babylon). When this comes to pass it will happen quickly.
Revelation 14:8-10: Babylon and the Antichrist are closely tied together.
The Future Destruction
Revelation 16:18-21: the “great city” is Babylon. This is toward the end of the
Those in the forefront of executing judgment of destruction on Babylon are Tribulation
believers (though they are not the only group): Isaiah 13:3.
Isaiah 13:4-13: the “Day of the Lord” is a reference to the coming Tribulation thus
placing this event in that time frame. 13:19-22: this has never happened but it will
happen at the time of the Second Coming. The creatures mentioned in verses 21-22 all
refer to demons. During the Millennium that follows the Tribulation Babylon will be one of
two desolate spots on the earth and it will be a place of continual burning – Revelation
19:3 and the habitation of demons Revelation 18:1-2.
Jeremiah 50:12-13, 26, 39-40
Great Words of Scripture 27
Great Words extra on Babylonian religion
BABYLONIAN RELIGION By Harry A. Ironside
As we go back into the dim twilight of history with Scripture, we learn that the founder of
Bab-el, or Babylon, was Nimrod, of whose unholy achievements we read in the 10th
chapter of Genesis. He was the arch-apostate of the patriarchal age. He is described as
a "mighty hunter before the Lord" -- "a hunter of the souls of men," the rabbis said.
Going out from the presence of the Lord, he impiously sought to gather a multitude
about himself, and in defiance of the express command of God to spread abroad upon
the face of the earth, he persuaded his associates and followers to join together in
"building a city and a tower which should reach unto heaven."
Not surely as some of us were taught in our childhood a tower by which they might climb
up into the skies to escape another possible flood, but a tower of renown, rising to a
great height, to be recognized as a temple or rallying center for those who did not walk in
obedience to the word of the Lord. With all the effrontery of our modern apostates, they
called their city and tower Bab-El, the gate of God; but it was soon changed by divine
judgment into Babel, Confusion. It bore the stamp of unreality from the first, for we are
told, "they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar." An imitation of that which
is real and true has ever since characterized Babylon in all ages.
Nimrod, or Nimroud-bar-Cush, as he is called on the monuments, was a grandson of
Ham, the unworthy son of Noah, whose character is revealed in his exposure of his
father's shame. We know that Noah had brought through the flood the revelation of the
true God, for he was a preacher of righteousness, and his utterances on more than one
occasion show that he had the prophetic gift. Ham on the other hand seems to have
been all too readily affected by the apostasy that brought the flood, for he shows no
evidence of self-judgment, but the very opposite. His name, as spelled out upon
Egyptian monuments is Khem, and this agrees with the literal sound of the Hebrew word
rendered Ham in our Bibles. It means "swarthy," "darkened," or more literally, "the sun-
burnt." The name indicates the state of the man's soul. For what is a sun-burnt person?
One who is darkened by light from heaven. Ham had been granted wonderful mercies;
he was saved from the flood because of his father's faith, but he abused his privileges
and "turned the grace of God into lasciviousness." He was actually darkened by the
burning rays of light that God caused to shine upon his soul. Thus his conscience
became seared as with a hot iron, and he became the founder of a race that departed
from the living God and led the way into idolatry, worshipping and serving the creature
more than the Creator.
We know something of what this means. We speak of people today who have become,
as we say, gospel-hardened. They too have been darkened by the light, and are often
the ringleaders in apostasy: "If the light that is in thee becomes darkened, how great is
the darkness." There are many in the world tonight who used to listen with tears in their
eyes to the story of the matchless grace of God as revealed in the cross of Christ, but
are unmoved now though that story be told ever so tenderly; they have become
hardened in their sins, and their seared consciences no longer feel the Spirit's breath. It
is a most dangerous thing to trifle with the light from heaven.
But to proceed with our theme, Ham became darkened by the light. We know his failure
and sin. But when Noah had recovered himself and knew what his son had done unto
Great Words of Scripture 28
him he pronounced, by the spirit of prophecy, a curse upon Canaan, not on Ham. Do
you wonder at that? I did, until I saw that God had already pronounced a blessing upon
all three sons of Noah-Shem, Ham, and Japheth. So Noah passes over his unworthy
son and utters a curse upon Canaan, who we can well believe was, as we say, "a chip
off the old block." Ham begat a son named Cush, "the black one," and he became the
father of Nimrod, the apostate leader of his generation.
Ancient lore now comes to our assistance, and tells us that the wife of Nimrod-bar-Cush
was the infamous Semiramis, the First. She is reputed to have been the founder of the
Babylonian mysteries and the first high-priestess of idolatry. Thus Babylon became the
fountainhead of idolatry, and the mother of every heathen and pagan system in the
world. The mystery-religion that was originated there spread in various forms throughout
the whole earth, and as we shall see in a few minutes, it is with us today. It is identical
with the mystery of iniquity which wrought so energetically in Paul's day, and shall have
its fullest development when the Holy Spirit has departed and the Babylon of the
apocalypse holds sway.
Building on the primeval promise of the woman's Seed who was to come, Semiramis
bore a son whom she declared was miraculously conceived, and when she presented
him to the people, he was hailed as the promised deliverer. This was Tammuz, whose
worship Ezekiel protested against in the days of the captivity. Thus was introduced the
mystery of the mother and the child, a form of idolatry that is older than any other known
to man. The rites of this worship were secret. Only the initiated were permitted to know
its mysteries. It was Satan's effort to delude mankind with an imitation so like the truth of
God that they would not know the true Seed of the woman when He came in the fullness
of time. To this Justin Martyr bears definite witness.
From Babylon this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding nations, as the years
went on and the world was populated by the descendants of Noah. Everywhere the
symbols were the same, and everywhere the cult of the mother and child became the
popular system. Their worship was celebrated with the most disgusting and immoral
practices. The image of the queen of heaven with the babe in her arms was seen
everywhere, though the names might differ as languages differed. It became the
mystery-religion of Phoenicia, and by the Phoenicians was carried to the ends of the
earth. Ashtoreth and Tammuz, the mother and child of these hardy adventurers, became
Isis and Horus in Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy, and
bore many other names in more distant places. Within 1,000 years, Babylonianism had
become the religion of the world, which had rejected the Divine revelation.
Linked with the central mystery were countless lesser mysteries, the hidden meaning of
which was known only to the initiates, but the outward forms were practiced by all the
people. Among these were the doctrines of purgatorial purification after death, salvation
by countless sacraments (such as priestly absolution), sprinkling with holy water, the
offering of round cakes to the queen of heaven (as mentioned in the book of Jeremiah),
dedication of virgins to the gods (which was literally sanctified prostitution), weeping for
Tammuz for a period of 40 days prior to the great festival of Istar (who was said to have
received her son back from the dead); for it was taught that Tammuz was slain by a wild
boar and afterwards brought back to life. To him the egg was sacred, as depicting the
mystery of his resurrection even as the evergreen was his chosen symbol and was set
up in honor of his birth at the winter solstice, when a boar's head was eaten in memory
of his conflict and a yule log burned with many mysterious observances.
Great Words of Scripture 29
The sign of the cross was sacred to Tammuz, as symbolizing the life giving principle and
as the first letter of his name. It is represented upon vast numbers of the most ancient
altars and temples, and did not, as many have supposed originate with Christianity.
From this mystery-religion, the patriarch Abraham was separated by the divine call, and
with this same evil cult the nation that sprang from him had constant conflict, until under
Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, it was grafted onto what was left of the religion of Israel
in the northern kingdom in the day of Ahab, and was the cause of their captivity at the
last. Judah was polluted by it, for Baal-worship was but the Canaanitish form of
Babylonian mysteries, and only by being sent into captivity to Babylon itself did Judah
become cured of her fondness for idolatry. Baal was the Sun-God, the Life-giving One,
identical with Tammuz.
When Christ came into this world the mystery of iniquity was everywhere holding sway,
save where the truth of God as revealed in the Old Testament was known. Thus, when
the early Christians set out upon the great task of carrying the gospel to the ends of the
earth, they found themselves everywhere confronted by this system, in one form or
another; for though Babylon as a city had long been but a mystery, her mysteries had
not died with her. When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a
company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the
Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, they
afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan
There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and
eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism. The chief priests wore
mitres shaped like the head of a fish, in honor of Dagon, the fish-god, the Lord of life-
another form of the Tammuz mystery, as developed among Israel's old enemies, the
Philistines. The chief priest when established in Rome took the title Pontifex Maximus,
and this was imprinted in on his mitre. When Julius Caesar (who was an initiate like all
young Romans of good family) had become the head of the States, he was elected
Pontifex Maximus, and this title was held henceforth by all the Roman emperors down to
Constantine the Great, who was at one and the same time, head of the church, and high
priest to the heathen. The title was afterwards conferred upon the bishops of Rome, and
is borne by the pope today, who is thus declared to be, not the successor of the
fisherman-apostle Peter, but the direct successor of the high priest of the Babylonian
mysteries, and the servant of the fish-god Dagon, for whom he wears, like his idolatrous
predecessors, the fisherman's ring.
During the early centuries of the church's history, the mystery of iniquity had wrought
with such astounding effect, and the Babylonian practices and teachings had been so
largely absorbed by that which bore the name of the church of Christ, that the truth of the
Holy Scriptures on many points had been wholly obscured, while idolatrous practices
had been foisted upon the people as Christian sacraments, and the heathen
philosophies took the place of gospel instruction. Thus was developed that amazing
system which for a thousand years dominated Europe and trafficked in the bodies of
souls of men, until the great Reformation of the 16th century brought in a measure of
Great Words of Scripture 30