Copyright © 2016 Robert B Thompson. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12)
Schizophrenia: a condition in which unreality overcomes the normal, logical perception of people, things, and situations.
A state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements. (dictionary.com)
What did the Apostle Paul mean by the following statement:
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Colossians 2:10—KJV)
And in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:10—NIV)
After studying the context of Colossians 2:10, I would say that Paul meant that once we have received Christ we do not need any additional religious or philosophical additives to justify our position before God.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (Colossians 2:16)
What often is the meaning today, of Colossians 2:10?
Once we “accept Christ” God sees us as perfect, since He already has added to us all the wealth of Christ’s personality. There is no more we are to do. Christ has done it all for us.
When God sees us and our behavior He is beholding Christ and Christ’s behavior. Relax! No matter what we do, the next stop is a mansion in Heaven where we can converse with our friends for eternity. God sees all of as perfect in Christ.
The Apostle Paul certainly issued many exhortations in vain if we already are perfect in Christ!
As long as we keep pressing forward in Christ, confessing and turning away from our sins when they are pointed out to us by the Spirit of God, then all the rest of our sinful nature is forgiven, and we are protected from judgment by the Passover blood.
But if we are taking it for granted that everything we are doing is forgiven and we are being saved by a mystical grace, then the known sins we are committing are not covered and we are facing the fiery judgment of the tenth chapter of the Book of Hebrews.
This is an error in Christian thinking, and it may cause tremendous pain and suffering for those Christians who are continuing in known sin.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26)
If I am correct in my understanding of much of today’s Evangelical preaching and teaching, the believers deliberately keep on sinning, being persuaded from the pulpit that God continually is forgiving them through Christ.
If a person keeps on sinning, and assumes that God is seeing him as righteous because of His profession of Christ, does this fit the definition of schizophrenia?
- In place of redemption from the hand of the enemy, we have grace.
- In place of moral transformation, we have grace.
- In place of godly character, we have grace.
- In place of the image of God, we have grace.
- In place of the Divine testimony and the light of the world, we have grace.
This is a misunderstanding of the Divine redemption.
“Grace” is supposed to be God’s means of freeing us from the Law of Moses so we can obey Christ without distraction. But we have turned it into the plan of salvation.
I saw a sign outside of a Christian institution that read: “Come in and find out how you can have a free trip to Heaven.”
Satan will support any plan of salvation as long as it does not include the necessity for righteous behavior and holiness of personality.
How did we get ourselves into this mess? By formulating theology by mental reasoning rather than simply listening to the living Lord Jesus Christ.
Is there actually a continual covering and forgiveness? Yes, but only on the condition that we continually are confessing and turning away from our sins and pressing forward in Christ.
What does the New Testament teach about our position before God once we “accept Christ”? Is there anything we are to do; any effort we are to make? Or are we already complete and perfect?
Let’s take holiness for example? Does God ascribe holiness to us? Yes, He does.
Is there anything else we are to do in the area of holiness, or are we already perfect in the domain of holiness?
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
Now, what if we continue in our Christian walk and do not purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God? Are we still perfect in Christ as far as God is concerned?
“You are complete in Him.”
“In Christ you have been brought to fullness.”
There may be no more important question for Bible teachers to consider.
What about righteousness? The Bible speaks much about righteousness being a main requirement for God’s people.
If I am not mistaken, the popular (among God’s people) understanding is that we are justified (made righteous) by believing in Jesus Christ, not by works of righteousness we have done. (I do not believe the people of the world would accept this. The ordinary person associates God with godly behavior! Our behaving in a sinful manner will not cause people to glorify God.)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
If anyone such as myself states that Christians must live a righteous, holy life, we may be accused of teaching that we are trying to save ourselves by works.
Well, what does the New Testament teach? Does it say that we are to make little or no effort to live in a manner that the average person would judge to be righteous; or are we to forget about trying to be righteous and trust that Jesus”did it all” and we are perfect in Him?
“We are saved by grace,” it is maintained, so there really is no compelling reason why we should deny ourselves and carry a cross of deferred gratification of our desires.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33—KJV)
Does “grace” do away with the Words of Jesus here? Yes, or no?
How many disciples (Christians) are there in the large churches in America?
But let’s return to the topic of righteousness. It is understood by many that once we “accept Christ” (an expression not found in the Bible), we can forget about righteousness. Jesus lived a righteous life, and God sees us in Christ.
What if that is not true? Where does that leave most Evangelical Christians?
Let us look first at what the New Testament considers to be unrighteous behavior, keeping in mind that Paul is writing to Christian people.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Paul is writing to the believers in Galatia, not to the unsaved.
I think most Christians, and even many non-Christians, would consider these behaviors to be unrighteous. Paul goes so far as to say, “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now, how are we to react to Paul’s assertion that those who practice these behaviors will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Are we to ignore this passage and claim that it does not apply to people who are “saved by grace”? This is what is done, I think.
I cannot think of a more awesome, significant question!
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe most Evangelical preachers in America would say, or at least imply, that Paul’s exhortation to the Christians in Galatia does not apply to people who are “saved by grace.”
“Christ covers all these actions,” they would maintain.
This is to say we can pick and choose what parts of the Scriptures are of God and what are not.
Do you actually believe that? I do not. I believe that every word of the accepted translations is inspired by the Spirit of God.
Let us consider the first item—sexual immorality. This would include adultery and fornication.
When we first receive Christ, our past is forgiven. The sexual immorality of the past is wiped out as though we never had done such a thing. The record is clean.
Most true Christians would agree to this, I believe.
The problem is, what is true from then on? Do we keep on indulging in sexual immorality, claiming that: “we are complete in Him”; “in Christ we have been brought to fullness?”
Do we continue to fornicate, claiming that we are saved by grace, not by works of righteousness we have done?
Unless I am mistaken, the consensus is that there is no fornication or other forms of sexual immorality in Heaven; so when we die it all will be taken care of.
But we have no scriptural basis for this hope.
Also, Paul is not speaking about going to Heaven but about inheriting the Kingdom of God.
But isn’t that the same thing?
No, it is not.
Inheriting the Kingdom of God means that God is dwelling in us and we are doing His will. Heaven is a place, the area where sin began around the Throne of God.
Am I saying that the Evangelical position is schizophrenic? That exactly is what I am teaching. God is about to punish America because of sexual immorality, among other behaviors, and the Christian people are laboring under the delusion that Divine judgment will not touch them because they are “saved by grace.”
We Evangelicals claim that we believe in the plenary verbal inspiration of the accepted Divine texts. Yet we will not face up to Galatians 5:19-21.
Is there sexual immorality in Heaven, in Paradise? We know there is not.
When are we delivered from sexual immorality? When we die, we hope.
But Satan and his followers, when in the spirit world, rebelled against God. So how can we say that dying and passing into the spirit world will make us sinless?
Let us say we are guilty of hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, or any of these. Can we then claim it does not matter because we are “complete in Christ”?
Obviously, it is ridiculous to claim we believe in the full verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, and then believe that Galatians 5:19-21 does not apply to us because we are “complete in Christ.”
Where do we go from here?
We take Christ and His Apostles seriously. We look to see what provision has been made in the Word of God for the sinning of Christians.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
Notice that God’s Word does not say it doesn’t matter if we sin because God sees us in Christ.
Rather, the Word tells us to confess our sins. Implicit in this directive is that we are ready to turn away from them and are looking to Christ for help.
If we confess our sins faithfully, with the intention of ceasing from them, Christ will assist us. He is our Savior. He will purify us from all unrighteousness. This is what the Word of God promises.
I believe that at the present time we are entering a new stage of the Divine redemption. It appears that if we go to the Lord Jesus and tell Him we need help with a specific sin, He will empower us to turn away from that behavior. This always has been true, of course, but it appears that now it is being emphasized.
We do not do this just once. The truth is, if we are counting ourselves as dead and risen with Christ, we now are passing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. It takes a while. Every time one of the behaviors listed in the New Testament as sinful, and we are practicing it, we bring it before the Lord. The Lord will forgive us and cleanse us from that practice.
Try it and see. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
To look at the larger picture: God today is seeking a house, a home, a resting place, and a location for His Throne. In addition, God intends to create thousands upon thousands of chariots in which he can visit various areas of His creation. He has come today to Mount Zion, the Christian Church, in order to procure these chariots.
The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. (Psalms 68:17)
The sanctuary, or dwelling place, of God is Christ—Head and Body, the Church. God is entering the members of the Church that He might have thousands of chariots.
Each chariot is to house the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and a victorious saint, a member of the Body of Christ.
Remember, that the task of Christ, Head and Body, is to bring justice to the nations.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)
God cannot go to a world leader today, the prime minister or president of a country, and tell them what they must do to bring peace to their country and to the world. God has to have a chariot to do that. By riding in His chariots, God can bring justice and peace to the nations of the earth.
The saint in the chariot will step out and address the President or Prime Minister, informing them that if they not do what God is commanding they shall suffer great pain as well as the loss of their position.
And indeed they shall, if they disobey God!
And here you thought after you die and go to Heaven you will spend all of your time resting in your mansion or speaking pleasantly with your friends. Perhaps some, but not all, of your time. God has called you for a purpose.
Did you know God is coming to the earth? When He does, you do not want to be in Heaven.
The Kingdom of God is the Best of Heaven clothed with a physical form.
The Lord Jesus is an example of the Kingdom of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ also is an example of a Chariot of God.
As I stated previously, God desires and needs a house, a home, a place of rest, a location for His Throne, and a chariot. The Lord Jesus Christ is all of these. God cannot use a person to fulfill these desires and needs whose only righteousness and holiness are imputed to them. He must have people in whom righteousness and holiness have been created in them, not just ascribed to them.
The reason God temporarily ascribes perfection to us is that He may receive us until He has worked His miracle in our personality, and so we may have a goal to work toward. What God has promised to us does not go into effect until we persevere to the end of His workings.
Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (II Corinthians 6:17)
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
We must be in the actual image of God in behavior if we are to serve as His chariot.
It is my point of view that this schizophrenic condition has gone on long enough. It is true that in God’s prophetic vision we are complete and perfect in the Lord Jesus Christ.
But we are not complete and perfect in our manifest behavior until we have been baptized with the fire that burns away sin; until we pass before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
It is written that it is appointed to people once to die, and after this the judgment. Let us count ourselves as dead, exchanging our adamic nature for the Life of the risen Christ, so we can get on with the program of judging and setting aside our sinful, self-willed, self-centered personality.
We actually are to be in the image and likeness of God, the image of Jesus Christ, not just viewed this way in some schizophrenic fashion.
The Kingdom of God is not one of ascribed righteousness but of actual righteousness. Otherwise it is not a kingdom ruled by the King, Jesus.
It appears clear that an individual whose only interaction with the religion of Christianity is forgiveness through grace, is not competent to serve as a house, home, resting place, location of God’s Throne, or a chariot in which God can set forth to bring justice to the nations.
They simply are not qualified, not having partaken of the full aspects of the Divine redemption.
The reason we have gotten so far removed from the Scriptures is that we formulate theology by reasoning instead of by simply listening to the Lord Jesus.
“Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
(“Sanctified Schizophrenia”, 4287-2)