'orthodox' Heretics

Savage Wolves!

What on earth is wrong with the Christian Church today? - 97-100


97. Beware missing out
'Faith without deeds is useless' (James 2:20)

What a difference between an earlier believer like Job, who recognised that he was full of sin: 'I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth (Job 40:4); 'Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes' (42:6), and the teachings of Wheelhouse, who recommended a sinner to tell 'Jesus exactly what she thought of Him.'  How different this is from the faith of Job and how thoroughly the behaviour of a man in rebellion against God.   'Saving faith' is faith in the Person of a God whom we love, whose word we believe and trust. We have faith that He will save us from the guilt, pollution, and the power of sin - and the faith that He will take us to be with Him for ever in heaven.  Such faith in Christ is not something natural to man, for we read that:

'the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned'
(1 Corinthians. 2:14). 

Man has a fundamental animosity to God: 


'The sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so' 
(Romans 8:7). 


It is clear that such faith in Christ is not something natural to man, for we are told that:
'the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned' (1 Corinthians. 2:14).   We need a fundamental change of heart before we can believe, and this happens in the new birth, when God implants the seed of faith and we are 'born again.'  Faith joins with the will in yielding obedience to the gospel and the New Testament always associates faith with obedience and Paul speaks of 'obedience that comes from faith' (Romans 1:5) and Hebrews 5:9 speaks of Christ as 'the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey him'.

Scripture is not interested in a mere intellectual assent, but in action which Paul called
'faith expressing itself through love' (Galatians. 5:6).  This is the point of James's passage on faith and works, for true faith always works: 'faith without deeds is useless' (James 2:20).  When the doctrine championed by Dr R.T. Kendall: 'Once Saved, Always Saved,' is translated into Antinomianism, as the Doctor so often does, we have a demonic doctrine.  It is no surprise to find that Roger Wheelhouse is a contributor to the works of Kendall, as recorded in our letter to him.  Whereas the saints of the past made a strong defence and asserted that 'we show by St James's works that we have St Paul's faith', we find now the results of one of the worst features of modern evangelism - 'easy believism'!  In such teaching the main emphasis is put on the initial confession of Christ with the mouth, based on Romans 10:9-10:

'If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved'.

Now it is self-evident that no one can fully read another man's heart, although God may chose to reveal an individuals' sin through the gifts of the Spirit (Ananias and Sapphira:
Acts 5:1-11) for a particular purpose.  So the emphasis is therefore put on an individual's verbal profession despite the evidence that speaks of one who is showing little sign of sanctification - if any.  I mentioned in the earlier Case History I how Kevin Tugwell used this weapon in order to try and cover up the exposure of his own contradictions (q.v. Section 18).

The emphasis is placed on justification, so that Paul is impiously misconstrued as teaching 'easy believism' - or 'cheap grace', as it has so rightly been called.  This is why we see so many walking down the aisles at Billy Graham-type evangelistic meetings, making their confession and receiving assurance that they are a Christian and can henceforth be untroubled by any qualms of conscience.  No change of life need be required - no fruit, no good works, no holiness.  To insist on these things would be to go back to 'works'.  It would make converts concerned about the subjective and lead them to forget that all is objective - in Christ.  So such converts are given strict instructions not to examine themselves, for that could be uncomfortable and disturbing, and not to seek assurance from signs of holiness in their lives because they might not find any.  Feelings are excluded as carnal, unless the 'holy spirit' they have imbibed through un-Scriptural methods whispers to them some great and un-testable truth - which never amounts to anything.  They must simply 'look to Jesus,' whose Cross is rarely mentioned and their own, which they should pick up as often as they drop it, is mentioned even less.  The advice sounds good to their ears but is dangerous in isolation from other truths.  They say that when doubts arise, as  they will, they are to be stifled as the work of Satan, for they must not be troubled since they believe in justification 'by faith alone'.

I witnessed a couple, who migrated from Calvary Baptist Church to the Word-Faith nightmare of Kings Church, Newport, fight like cat and dog as a result of flesh life surrendering to losses of temper.  They were unaware that a Christian has the choice of whether to succumb to sin whereas an unsaved person has no choice - they sin as often and as easily as breathing!  It often seems to be an intellectual assent to 'faith' which characterises 'altar calls,' but does not lead to demonstrations of the Biblical faith of God's elect.  Sadly, this couple soon separated, a product of un-Scriptural teachings.

A Christian will witness many examples of the affect of 'cheap grace' as expounded by so many following Dr R.T. Kendall's
Antinomian version of 'Once Saved, Always Saved' doctrine.  During Luis Palau's 'Tell Wales' crusade in 1989, a young emaciated man came down for the 'altar call.'  As a counsellor specialising in the cults and occult, I was called to hear this man's confession and to counsel him.  He admitted having been involved in the Hare Krishna group in Cardiff and to have dabbled in other things.  On being told that he needed to renounce all these past sins and involvements he made a dramatic, yet totally unconvincing, gesture of tearing off his Krishna beads and throwing them on the floor and stamping on them.  His 'confession' of some obnoxious personal sins seemed more to impress than to show genuine repentance and he claimed that his desire was to ensure his heavenly future with his 'beloved grandfather.'  This was clearly his major objective, rather than to despise his past life.  I prayed with him and then filled in the 'necessary paperwork' which was supposed to ensure that he received follow-up discipling from a local church in the Dinas Powys area.  I heard no more of the young man, apart from an indifferent comment from a member of the said church that, 'they knew of him.'  Several years later I met the young man again.  Now he looked even more dreadful, like a walking skeleton, and I asked him about 'his walk with the Lord.'  He glibly revealed that he had since returned to the Krishnas, but had now left and joined Islam!  When I quizzed him as to his confession at 'Tell Wales' he blithely enquired: 'Don't you believe in 'once saved, always saved'!  No, I don't, I believe that James was right!  Your 'walk with the Lord' reflects exactly the state of your heart, mind, and soul!  God will never let you slip out of His hands (John 10:28-30) - but you have the free will to wilfully walk away from Him for eternity.  You can carry your cross or insult the Lord of Grace.

It should be no surprise that Dr Kendall is charged with advocating cheap grace for, in his book (
Once Saved, Always Saved (1983; reprint 1997), p.  53,  Hodder & Stoughton) he writes:

'I therefore state categorically that the person who is saved - who confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart that God raised him from the dead - will go to heaven when he dies, no matter what work (or lack of work) may accompany such faith.  In other words, no matter what sin (or absence of Christian obedience) may accompany such faith.' 

Professor Donald Macleod (in
The Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland, June I984) said of this 'misguided' statement:  'To the theologically aware, it immediately suggests Antinomianism.  To the general public it is an invitation to live as you please.'  Derek Thomas also agreed in his review of the book: '. . . it is a licence to sin that grace may abound' (Evangelical Presbyterian, January I984, pp. 2ff).  Similar views were expressed by Iain Murray, The Banner of Truth (March 1984, pp.  1ff); Christopher Bennett, in Christian Arena (June 1984, pp. 29f.). Dr William Young had already found evidence in Dr Kendall's D. Phil. thesis of 'the deluded imagination of an Antinomian' (The Bulwark, May/June 1980, pp.  15ff.; cf. Gospel Magazine, Jan/Feb.  1978, pp.  16ff.).  Dr Kendall's sermons on Galatians and his book, Once Saved, Always Saved, put his Antinomianism beyond all possible doubt and six of the twelve deacons at Westminster Chapel charged him with this heresy and were dismissed -  but not before they had recorded the relevant facts.  Dr Kendall published a defence (Westminster Record, March 1985, pp.  14ff.)  of his views and is well aware of the controversies that arose from his preaching, but his foreword to the 1992 reprint of Once Saved, Always Saved makes it clear that he stands by every word he has written.  As I wrote earlier, it is little surprise that he descended into sharing lectures and a book, titled 'The Spirit and the Sword,' with the false prophet, Paul Cain. When you have taken the element of Antinomianism to the point demonstrated by Kendall you are willing to accommodate false prophets and deceivers of every kind - as shown by many other formerly orthodox Christians in these pages.

A work published in 1973 goes even further:

'It is possible, even probable, that when a believer out of fellowship falls for certain types of philosophy, if he is a logical thinker, he will become an 'unbelieving believer'.  Yet believers who become agnostics are still saved, they are still born again.  You can even become an atheist, but if you once accepted Christ as Saviour, you cannot lose your salvation, even though you deny God'  (R.  B. Thieme; Apes and Peacocks or the Pursuit of Happiness (1973), p. 23).


These views affect believers at every level.  Preaching in Treforest (near Cardiff), some years ago, a deacon of the church challenged me after a service and suggested that, since Judas Iscariot had shown remorse by hanging himself, we should not be surprised to find him in  heaven!

Matthew 21:32  "For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Matthew 27:3  Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

I asked the deacon if he knew the difference between remorse and repentance -  and suicide and murder.  I was not invited back by that church.

One of the many serious problems facing the contemporary Christian church is our ability to fill our pews with people who have been through some process described as 'conversion' or 'the new birth' but who give no evidence of new life.  The old test of a church's strength being discovered, not by how many attend the morning or evening services, or the mid-week meeting, but how many attend the prayer meeting is still true.  As I mentioned earlier, the invitation to a training session in evangelism or serious Bible study to this same end will produce an equal apathy.  In the United States of America conservative estimates put the number of those 'born again' at between thirty and fifty per cent - which would indicate massive revival.  Social Antinomianism is the order of the day now and a far cry from genuine revival brought by God in which multitudes of lives are changed and society is cleansed as people turn, weeping in genuine repentance, to the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can cleanse and transform their lives.  The Antinomian/'Once Saved Always Saved' answer to this dilemma is to assert that there are Christians and Christians.  The genuine Christians are justified and sanctified, some are 'merely' justified but they do not opt for sanctification, and the ones who they said were Christians when they were counting numbers in Toronto/Pensacola/Brownsville etc., are suddenly disenfranchised when they revert to their former states. We have a Scriptural example in Simon Magus, the sorcerer who was known as 'the great power' (
Acts 8:10), who 'believed and was baptised' (8:13) but apostatized, returning to his old occultic arts.  The early Church Fathers wrote of how he was demonstrating his 'magic powers' by levitating, claiming to be God, when the apostle Peter  brought him crashing down to earth by the power of the Holy Spirit and caused him to break several bones!  There is nothing in their witness to suggest that they considered him to be anything but an enemy of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.


98. Beware - denying the  two natures will cause a conflict in your soul


Is there a conscious spiritual conflict in your soul?  There should be if you are a mature child of God seeking continuous sanctification.  The Apostle Paul wrote: 'The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature' (Galatians. 5:17).  Our attitude to Christian brethren also tests our profession of faith.  Do we love them?  As I explained after the Ruth Nelmes' speech (Section 58), the apostle John wrote: 'We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers' (1 John 3:14).  Even those we do not get on with easily are loved because it is a gift of God's grace and a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians  5:22-25).  It is also a fact that God may bring together others with equally rough edges so we can smooth each other off in the battle that we should be fighting to bring the gospel to the lost world.  This is not the sentimental love that the world knows in emotional terms, or even the filial love that God places in all men and women, but Biblical love which is a practical grace, something that works.  God's Son showed His love for us when He left heaven and, though equal with God, took human flesh and: 'humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross'  (Phil. 2:5-8).  'And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers', adds John, the Apostle of Love (1 John 3: 16). 

Biblical love is the test, and a test Antinomians like Wheelhouse fail, for a Christian does not just love his brethren, he also hates sin.  He hates it because it robs him of blessing and makes his life, and the lives of others, miserable; but he also hates it because his sin took the Lord Jesus Christ to die a vile death on the accursed Tree and because it robs God of the glory which is His rightful due.  To sincerely hate sin is a clear sign of a genuine Christian, for no unbeliever or any kind of 'religionist' ever hated sin as it is revealed through the Word of God to a disciple of Jesus.  Those who follow the Antinomian Wheelhouse will ever be ready, like him, to excuse their sin as opposed to the Biblical recommendation which is to hate sin and love holiness.  One follows the other, for the apostle  John wrote that the sons of God will one day be like Christ and, on that day they will see Him as He is:
  'Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure' (1 John 3:2-3).  A clear love of  holiness sorts the wheat from the chaff.

The New Testament makes it clear that there aren't two classes of Christian, as cults such as the Jehovah's Witnesses teach, but there are two classes of people in this world.  Every human being is either in the light or in the darkness and either loves his brethren or hates them and is either holy or unholy.  Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones (
Darkness and Light, 1982, p. 345, Banner of Truth) pulled no punches:  'If you are not holy you are not a Christian … If you claim to love Christ and yet are living an unholy life, there is only one thing to be said about you: you are a bare-faced liar!'  John wrote: 'The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him' (1 John 2:4).  It is for every man to continually examine himself, not to be castigated by unholy liars, such as Roger Wheelhouse, who show by their actions that they are cowards who love their own ego-tripping lives and put themselves before the brethren.  The behaviour of the factious man is the opposite of the exhortation of the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter (2 Peter 1:5-7) :

'For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control perseverance; and to perseverance godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love.'

This is the way to make our calling and election sure.
 

99. Beware the lawless who run amok in the church


The test Paul gave the Corinthians proves any deceiver, or those they have deceived, to be following another gospel
(2 Corinthians.  13:5):

'Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you unless, of course, you fail the test?'

If one of the twelve apostles could prove to be a deceiver, it is clear that others like him can infiltrate the meetings of professing Christians and may even aspire to leadership!  The R.T. Kendall camp will argue that there is a massive difference between law and grace in that, as long as a man controls his actions, the law does not care what his heart feels like.  Grace, they say, is vitally concerned with the heart and wants that heart to be filled with love and benevolence, instead of hatred and bitterness, and so it controls it from within.  They claim that law deals with the surface, grace with the centre; law appeals to fear, fear of a penalty while grace appeals to grateful love; law prescribes what one ought to do while grace creates a "want to" within.  They argue that we all prefer grace for ourselves, but law for everyone else, but the work of the Spirit is to teach us to show grace toward others as well as desire it for ourselves.  It is clear from Scripture that it is a natural thing to be legal for the natural man needs law to control his actions. If he does not have the law to tell him what to do, or he has a low view of the law (as exhibited by Wheelhouse) he will run amok and be lawless, and the result is the anarchy and rebellion seen in today's 'civilized' societies and in churches led by such men.   The natural man needs law as
1 Timothy 1:8-11 makes clear:

But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully, knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers. for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

They argue that the regenerate man or woman who has come to believe in Jesus Christ and is now in a living relationship with him, and in whom the Spirit of God dwells, is not to be governed by the Law. The Law is not made for him they say, for we who know Christ are to be controlled by grace in every aspect of life. In
Romans 7:6, Paul writes:

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

They claim that we are not to be under the Law and argue that Paul repeats this, with different emphasis, in
Galatians 4:9:

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

The New Testament carefully emphasises the two extremes of keeping the law: legality, which the Galatians had slipped back into, and license, which  is most prevalent today, and is too often taken to mean that grace really means no control at all.  Antinomians gain the idea that you can do anything you want in grace: you do not have any restrictions; you do not have any rules or any regulations; you just do as you please, and nothing can stop you. Since you will be forgiven, you may feel free to live it up all your life and treat people as you like - a description of Wheelhouse at work.

This is a most common misunderstanding of grace, but it is one that is far from the truth.  The devil does not really care which error he pushes you into. If he can get you into either one, your life is ruined as far as usefulness for God is concerned. But true grace accepts the law for what it is - a superb guide that forces you to the conclusion that you can never be good enough at keeping the law to please God in any way.  If you err in one thing you fail in totality!  License is lawlessness and anarchy; it is saying "I'm free to do anything I want, there are no limits to my indulgence. If I want to do something that the Bible says is wrong, well I'm not under the Law, but under grace, and I can go ahead and do it." That is license and it is error that leads to religious anarchy - but there are some who feel that this is what grace means.


At the other extreme there is legality and, to escape license, we sometimes rebound into legality as a result of  the condemnation of conscience that comes with living a wild, free, uncluttered life.  It is also something that drives many people into the cults, such as the earlier example I gave of the woman who rejected the unlicensed 'grace' exhibited by her Assemblies of God 'pastor' (who had a love child with the church secretary and had been carrying on this 'affair' for 23 years!), but now welcomed the legality of the Jehovah's Witnesses as a relief from the licentiousness of her former church.  So, instead of coming to a mediate position of grace, we can fall into error by going clear over to the side of legality and impose on ourselves laws, and rigid rules and long lists of "don'ts" - which prevent us from doing anything but eat, sleep, and read our religion.  And instead of reading the Bible, which can be used by the Holy Spirit to correct us, we are immersed in the cult leaders writings, such as  the
'Watchtower' and 'Awake!'  Magazines!

A widespread misunderstanding exists among some 'Once Saved Always Saved' adherents in that many feel that grace is so opposed to Law that it never involves any commands or rules of any kind!  They insist that wherever you find commandments in the Bible, that is law, and, if you live by grace, you cannot have any laws or rules of any kind. You sometimes hear people say,
"I'm under grace, I don't need any rules in my life." And if you refer to some rule they rebel, and say, "That's not for me. I'm under grace; I'm not subject to any rules."  The Bible indicates plainly that grace still keeps rules and the commandments, e.g.:

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you," (John 15:12).
"Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25).
"Be not drunk with wine" (Ephesians 5:18).
"Pay taxes to whom taxes are due" (Romans 13:6-7).

100. Beware denial that Grace has its commands just as truly as Law does

What is the difference between law and grace?"  The difference is
claimed to be that the law commands without supplying a motive to obey and that it creates a feeling of rebellion within.  Those who are in rebellion against God's laws and cannot keep them out of utter love for the One who died for them go so far as to make this kind of analogy:  'Whenever I see a sign that says "Keep Off The Grass," I have an urge to walk across it.  The sign creates an immediate sense of rebellion: "Why should I keep off the grass?" I resent being told not to walk on it. I do not do it, because I know I will get into trouble, but I want to.  This is simply the 'Old Adam' at work.  If we recognize the true sinful nature we are leaving behind we will recognize the truth of Genesis 6:5:

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The inspiration of the Holy Spirit caused Paul to make this clear (
Romans 1:28-32):

28  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,  29  being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,  30  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,  31  without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;  32  and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Romans 8:1-14 makes clear those who are 'in Christ Jesus' are no longer under condemnation, and goes so far as to say that 'if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live . . .  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God'.

1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  3  For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,  4  in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  5  For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  6  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,  7  because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so;  8  and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  9  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  10  And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  11  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.  12  So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--  13  for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  14  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Ephesians 4:17-19 gives similar warning:

17  This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,  18  being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;  19  and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

Titus 1:15-16 speaks to those who claim to know God:

15  To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.  16  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.   
 
When you live like a Rasputin you are no better than his cult which re-hashed the old heresy which Paul addressed in
Romans 6:1:

1  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?  2  May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Rasputin's cult claimed that they were becoming more holy by wilfully sinning.  Today, those who abuse grace try to say, as Wheelhouse did, that that is law -  a command without creating a desire to comply.  They claim that grace commands a 'higher thing' than Law, and also creates an ability and desire to comply with the demand.  The Antinomian claims that grace has its commands, rules, and regulations - exactly as the Law does - but grace alone has the ability to create a desire to comply.  How come so many living 'under grace' are living no better than king David 'under law' then?  Because he also lived under grace?  Because in David's day they were also married to Mr Grace rather than Mr Law?  David's lament psalms make it clear that he knew he was not justified by keeping the law of the commandments alone and required a work of pure grace from God to be rescued from his sins.

It is a very serious thing that the standards of grace today are so often much lower than the standards of legalism.  Those who claim they are living under grace, but are really living under licentiousness, complain about the inward, vicious sins of the spirit, that 'legalists' supposedly permit in their own lives.  Galatian-type legal standards
may concern themselves mainly with outward acts, keeping the outward aspect of their lives adjusted to a particular rule or standard so they can consider themselves spiritual.  Grace should not stop there but go beyond the outward act into the heart because the heart must be right as well.  The standards of grace are concerned with those inward attitudes that create the outward act.  They attempt to put the emphasis where it belongs, not primarily on outward acts, but on inward attitudes and the signs of the Spirit at work.  The New Testament makes it clear that gossip, evil talk and a bitter spirit are 'worse' sins in God's sight than any of the outward acts that are clearly evil as well.  Antinomians declare that the Ten Commandments represent only the minimum standard for moral living and say little about life or the walk in the Spirit, and that there is no Fatherhood of God, no union with Christ, no fellowship with saints, and no hope of salvation or hope of heaven in the Ten Commandments.  The Antinomian/'Once Saved Always Saved' groups emphasise that all those things are brought in under grace and insist that the standards under grace are far, far higher than those under Law and quote Ephesians 4:31-2:

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

They attack the law, saying it can never rise to that level. It is only concerned with a few outward things, visible to others, but leaves the heart rank and evil with slander, malice, bitterness, gossip, and all the other works of the flesh.


That old enemy of mankind, the devil, has no more subtle device for ruining souls than that of spreading false doctrine.

Outside the Church he is ever persuading men to maintain barbarous customs and destructive superstitions....

Inside the Church he is ever labouring to sow heresies, to propagate errors, to foster departures from the faith. If he cannot prevent the waters flowing from the Fountain of Life, he tries hard to poison them. If he cannot destroy the medicine of the gospel, he strives to adulterate and corrupt it....

The Divine Comforter of the Church, the Holy Ghost, has always employed one great agent to oppose Satan's devices … the Word of God.. expounded and unfolded, the Word explained and opened up, the Word made clear to the head and applied to the heart. The Word is the chosen weapon by which the devil must be confronted and confounded.

The Word was the sword which the Lord Jesus wielded in the temptation. To every assault of the Tempter, He replied, "It is written." The Word is the sword which His ministers must use in the present day, if they would successfully resist the devil. The Bible, faithfully and freely expounded, is the safeguard of Christ's Church....

We live in an age when men profess to dislike dogmas and creeds.... He who dares to say of one doctrine that "it is true," and of another that "it is false," must expect to be called narrow-minded and uncharitable, and to lose the praise of men.

J. C. Ryle, Warnings to the Churches

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