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Salvation of the Soul

A website for those who wish to digest the "strong [solid] meat,"
not just "the milk or meat," of the Word of God.
~ Hebrews 5:12-14

A Stool Requires at Least Three Legs to Stand!

The Biblical Number THREE Represents Divine Perfection!

God's Word Speaks of Three Aspects of Salvation!

Spirit -- Body -- SOUL

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Foreword
Salvation of the Soul
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The salvation of the soul is one of the most misunderstood subjects in Scripture. And it is misunderstood because of the way most Christians view salvation.

Contrary to common belief, the salvation of the soul has nothing to do with man’s eternal destiny. Biblical teachings surrounding eternal salvation are always related to the spiritual part of man, never the soulical, and are centered in one realm alone — in Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

And the salvation message, having to do with Christ’s finished work at Calvary and one’s eternal destiny, is very simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved [made possible through that which Christ has done on man’s behalf] . . .” (Acts 16:31).

But the salvation of the soul is dealt with after an entirely different fashion in Scripture. Rather than Christ’s past work at Calvary being in view, His present work as High Priest is in view; and rather than the unsaved being in view, only Christians are in view.

Christ is presently performing a work as High Priest, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat, to effect a cleansing from sin for the kingdom of priests that He is about to bring forth. And Christ’s present work in this respect relates to Christians and to the saving of the soul.

Scripture deals with the salvation of the soul in relation to the present faithfulness of Christians, and this salvation will be realized only at the end of one’s faith (1 Peter 1:9). And a realization of this salvation is associated with rewards, Christ’s return, and His kingdom (cf. Matthew 16:24-17:5; Hebrews 10:35-39).

“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls [the souls of Christians, those who have ‘passed from death unto life,’ the only ones in a position to received ‘the implanted Word’]” (James 1:21).

Christians talk about soul-winning in connection with the unsaved. And soul-winning conferences are held with this same end in view. But this is not the way Scripture deals with soul-winning at all.

Soul-winning, as seen in Scripture, has to do with reaching those who already possess eternal life (those who have a redeemed spirit, those who have “passed from death unto life”), not with reaching those who are still “dead in trespasses and sins.” Soul-winning, rather than having to do with the free gift of eternal life, has to do with the faithfulness of the saved (resulting in works), a just recompense of reward, and life in the coming kingdom of Christ.

Soul-winning is reaching Christians with the Word of the Kingdom, reaching those who have already believed on the Lord Jesus Christ with the message concerning the purpose for their salvation.

Word Document:  Foreword to Salvation of the Soul book by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.
Salvation — Past, Present, Future
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit [lit. “for the sake of the ones about to inherit”] salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)

“Salvation” in the Word of God is spoken of in three tenses — past, present, and future:

1)  Christians have been saved.
2)  Christians are being saved.
3)  Christians are about to be saved.

The previously quoted verses provide examples of how Scripture deals with each of these three tenses or aspects of salvation.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, salvation is a past, completed act.

In 1 Corinthians 1:18, salvation is a present, continuous work.

In Hebrews 1:14, salvation is a future, inherited possession.

Since the Word of God presents salvation in a framework of this nature, it is vitally important in Scriptural interpretation to first ascertain to which of these three aspects of salvation any given passage pertains.

In the past aspect of salvation, dealt with in Ephesians 2:8, the words in the corrected text, “you have been saved,” are a translation of two Greek words that form what is called in the Greek text a “periphrastic perfect.”  The “perfect” tense refers to action completed in past time, with the results of this action extending into present time and existing in a finished state.  The “periphrastic” construction places additional emphasis on the present, finished state and refers to the persistent results during present time of the past, completed work.

Salvation in this verse is wrought by grace through faith, accomplished completely in past time, and is the present possession of every believer.  This present possession, in turn, constitutes an active, continuing, ever-abiding salvation.

The eternal security of the believer cannot be expressed in stronger terms than the periphrastic construction of the perfect tense in Ephesians 2:8, for the present results of the past action, in this case, can only continue unchanged forever.

However, in 1 Corinthians 1:18, dealing with the present aspect of salvation, things are presented in an entirely different light than seen in Ephesians 2:8.  Rather than the verb tense in the Greek text referring to a past, completed act, the tense refers to a present, continuous work.  The former has already been completed, but the latter has yet to be completed.

Then, in Hebrews 1:14, dealing with the future aspect of salvation, matters are presented in a completely different light yet.  The wording in the Greek text of this verse refers to something that is about to occur.  Nothing is past or present; the reception of this salvation, in its entirety, is placed in the future.

Further, the salvation referred to in Hebrews 1:14 is not only to be realized in the future, but it is also an inherited salvation.  And the thought of inheritance further distinguishes the salvation in this verse from the salvation previously seen in Ephesians 2:8, for the salvation that Christians presently possess is not an inherited salvation.

Rather, our present salvation was obtained as a free gift during the time we were alienated from God.  And, as aliens (outside the family of God), we were in no position to inherit salvation, for inheritance in Scripture is always a family matter.

In the Old Testament, “sons” were first in line to receive the inheritance, with “daughters” next.  If there were no sons or daughters in the immediate family, the inheritance was passed on to the nearest family member or members, designated by the law of inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11).

Consequently, an individual had to be a family member before he could be considered for the inheritance, which, during the present dispensation, is restricted to “children” or “sons” of the Owner.  That’s why the statement is made in Romans 8:17, “. . . if children, then heirs . . . .”  And that’s also why in Hebrews 1:14 that an inherited salvation pertains to those who have already been saved, those who are no longer alienated from God but are presently family members.

In this respect, the complete scope of salvation — past, present, and future — has a beginning point, with an end in view.  It involves the Spirit of God breathing life into the one having no life, effecting the birth from above.  And this has been done with a purpose, an end, in view.  This has been done so that the Spirit can take the one who now has spiritual life and perform a work in the life of that individual, with a view to an inheritance that will be realized at a future time.

Thus, one should immediately be able to see the importance of proper distinctions being drawn and observed in the realm of these three aspects of salvation.  And depending on how one approaches and deals with the different salvation passages in Scripture, either difficulties can be avoided on the one hand or insurmountable problems can result on the other.

THE TRIPARTITE NATURE OF MAN

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Man is a tripartite being comprised of spirit, soul, and body; and the salvation of man within its complete scope (past, present, and future) pertains to the salvation of man with respect to his complete being.  In the study of Scripture it is revealed that each of these three parts of man is subject to salvation at different times.  Thus, to understand salvation in its complete scope, one must first understand certain things about man’s tripartite nature.  Then, salvation in relation to this tripartite nature becomes the issue.

The first chapter of Genesis reveals that man was created in the “image” and “likeness” of God.  The word translated “God” in the Hebrew text of this statement is Elohim.  This is a plural noun, which, in complete keeping with related Scripture, would include all three members of the Godhead — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (e.g., cf. John 1:1-3).

Since Elohim is a trinity, for man to be created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, he too must be a trinity.  Unlike the dichotomous animal kingdom (created apart from the “image” and “likeness” of God) possessing only bodies and souls, trichotomous man (created in the “image” and “likeness” of God) is a triune being.  Man not only possesses a body and a soul, but he also possesses a spirit as well.

Jesus is Elohim manifested in the flesh; and having been made in the “likeness” of man (but apart from man’s fallen nature), He, as man, must also be a trinity (John 1:14; Philippians 2:7).  This tripartite nature of Christ, in whom “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), was clearly revealed at the time of His death.

At this time Jesus yielded up His spirit, which went back into the presence of His Father in heaven (Luke 23:46; cf. Ecclesiastes 12:7; Acts 7:59); His soul went into Hades, the place of the dead, housed inside the earth at that time (Acts 2:27); and His body was removed from the Cross and placed in Joseph of Arimathaea’s tomb (Matthew 27:57-61).  This threefold separation persisted until the soul and spirit re-entered the body at the time Christ was raised from the dead.

Thus, God, Elohim, is a trinity;  Jesus, Elohim manifested in the flesh, is likewise a trinity; and man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of Elohim, can only be a trinity as well.  Accordingly, a complete redemption provided by the triune God must, of necessity, pertain to man as a complete being.  Man’s complete redemption must encompass spirit, soul, and body.

1)  PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE  . . . SPIRIT, SOUL, BODY

When man sinned in the garden in Eden, the complete being of man — spirit, soul, and body — became in a fallen state.  God had commanded Adam concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “you shall not eat,  for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).  After Satan had deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of this tree, she then “gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Immediately following this, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:1-7).

At the time of the fall, Adam and Eve lost something; and it is clearly stated in Scripture that both immediately recognized this fact.  That which they lost could only have been a covering of pristine glory that had previously clothed their bodies, for they, following the fall, found themselves in a twofold condition:

1)  Naked.
2)  Separated from God.

God is arrayed in a covering of “light,” connected with “honor and majesty.”  And man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, could only have been arrayed in a similar manner prior to the fall.

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with [“You have put on”] honor and majesty. (Psalm 104:1)

Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. (Psalm 104:2)

Recognizing the loss of this covering, realizing that they were naked, explains why Adam and Eve immediately sought to clothe themselves following the fall.  They tried to replace the covering that had been lost with a work of their own hands, with fig leaf aprons.  And then, apparently realizing the utter inadequacy of this covering, they, in their fallen state, sought to hide from God.

God, finding Adam and Eve in this condition, completely rejected the works of their hands.  God completely rejected their feeble efforts to atone for their own sin by seeking to replace the covering of pristine glory with fig leaves.

Then, to bring His fallen creature back into a right relationship (although not in complete keeping with their previously un-fallen state — something still future even today), God provided a covering consisting of animal skins (Genesis 3:21).  This necessitated death and the shedding of blood; and herein lie basic, unchangeable truths concerning the state of fallen man and the means that are necessary to effect his redemption.

Unredeemed man is a fallen creature, alienated from God; and two things are necessary to effect his redemption:

1)  Divine intervention.
2)  Death and shed blood.

These truths have forever been set forth in the opening chapters of Genesis and can never change.

(Two different words are used for “naked” in the Hebrew text of Genesis 2:25 [before the fall] and Genesis 3:7 [after the fall].  In the latter [3:7], the word has to do with absolute nakedness, but not so in the former [2:25].

Remaining within the way a person dressed in the East at the time Moses wrote Genesis, and at later times as well, the word used relative to nakedness pertaining to Adam and Eve preceding the fall [2:25] could be used to describe a person clothed in a tunic [inner garment] but lacking the mantle or cloak [outer garment].  In the preceding respect, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the Glory of God but had yet to possess the regal outer garments worn by kings [fulfilling the reason for man’s creation — to rule the earth (Genesis 1:26-28)].

Then, following the fall, no longer clothed in the Glory of God, Adam and Eve were no longer in a position to be further clothed in regal garments, realizing the purpose for their creation.  They, apart from the inner garment [the Glory] could not wear the outer garments [royal apparel].

Adam, prior to the fall, never wore regal garments or held the scepter.  In this respect, he never moved beyond the description given in Genesis 2:25 — a “naked” condition, “naked” in relation to the reason for his creation [lacking the outer regal garments].

Thus, if man, now separated from the Glory, is to ever fulfill the purpose for his creation, God must act.  Redemption has to occur; and this, of necessity, has to include the complete man — spirit, soul, and body — with a view to not only a restoration of the Glory but to regality beyond this restoration.)

A)  SPIRIT

Man’s sin in the garden in Eden produced death.  Man died the day he ate of the forbidden fruit.  Since his body continued to live, revealing that his soul — the life-giving principle in the blood (Leviticus 17:11; cf. Genesis 9:4) — remained unchanged with respect to life (natural life), it is evident that it was his spirit that died.

The spiritual nature is that part of man that links him directly with God.  “God is spirit,” and man’s worship of God must be “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24 NASB).  The death of Adam’s spirit separated him from God (establishing the primary meaning of “death” in Scripture — separation from God), and this death (this separation from God) “spread to all men” (Romans 5:12).

Scripture speaks of an unsaved person as being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  With an unredeemed, inanimate spirit (spiritually dead), he is alienated from God, separated from God (Ephesians 2:12).

But once the person has been born from above, he is then spoken of as having passed “from death into life,” as having been “quickened [NKJV: ‘made us alive’]” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:5).  Possessing an animate spirit, possessing spiritual life (having been made alive spiritually), he is no longer separated from the One who Himself is “Spirit” (John 4:24).

This aspect of salvation is brought to pass by the Spirit of God breathing life into the one having no life, based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary; and once this has been accomplished, everything surrounding the work effecting this aspect of salvation has been completed, with this work existing in a finished state (as previously seen through the use of the perfect tense in Ephesians 2:8).

Thus, the salvation experience that man enters into at the time of the birth from above is a work of the Spirit, based on a previous work of the Son.  It is a spiritual birth and has to do with man’s spirit alone:  “. . . that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6b).

B)  SOUL

The salvation of the soul, on the other hand, should never be associated with the past aspect of salvation.  Scripture carefully distinguishes between the soul and the spirit, never using the words interchangeably in this respect (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).

And Scripture also carefully distinguishes between salvation in relation to the spirit and salvation in relation to the soul.  Salvation in relation to the spirit is always dealt with in a past sense, but not so with the salvation of the soul.  Rather, the salvation of the soul is always dealt with in a future sense:

receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9)

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe [are faithful] to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)

The statements and exhortations in these verses pertain to Christians alone — those whose spirits have already been saved and whose souls are in the process of being saved, with the salvation of the soul being realized only at a future time.

C)  BODY

The salvation of the body presents very few problems for the majority of Christians.  Very few Christians contend, contrary to Scripture, that the body has either already been redeemed or is in the process of being redeemed.  Scripture places the redemption of man’s body entirely in the future (Romans 8:23).

The Christian’s body is presently in a continuous state of deterioration.  The body grows old and weakens with time; and the body is subject to sickness, disease, and eventually death.  This must ever remain the case as long as the body remains in its present state.  The “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and the unredeemed body must pay the price that sin requires.

Within this unredeemed body lie two opposing entities, each seeking dominion — a redeemed spirit, and an unredeemed soul.  The unredeemed soul is housed in an unredeemed body, and the two are mutually compatible.  But the redeemed spirit housed alongside an unredeemed soul in an unredeemed body experiences no compatibility with either of the other two at all.  Compatibility is not possible, for “what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

This heterogeneous union is what produced the cry of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24,

O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from this body of death?

(For information on the redemption of the body, refer to the appendix — “Adoption, Redemption of the Body” — in the author’s book, God’s Firstborn Sons, in this site.)

2)  SOULICAL, SPIRITUAL, CARNAL

According to the Word of God, every man can be categorized as being either soulical, spiritual, or carnal.  The word “soulical” pertains to all non-Christians, and the words “spiritual” and “carnal” pertain to two classes of Christians.

A)  SOULICAL

But the natural man [the “soulical” man] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

The Greek word translated “soul” throughout the New Testament is psuche.  This word has to do with “the natural life” of the individual.  The soul is the seat of a person’s emotions, feelings, and desires pertaining to his man-conscious existence.

The Greek word translated “natural” in 1 Corinthians 2:14 is psuchikos, a form of the word psuche.  Psuchikos is the “natural” or “soulical” life (self-life) that man has in common with the animal kingdom.

The soulical man is dominated or ruled by his soul, which includes all the experiences, desires, emotions, sensations, likes, and dislikes within the personal, natural life of the individual.  Such likes, dislikes, etc. will vary from individual to individual, but all emanate from the soul-life of man.  The soulical man is alienated from God and, thus, possesses no way to grasp spiritual truth.  A man must be born from above — made alive spiritually — before he can possess spiritual discernment.

B)  SPIRITUAL

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual . . . . (1 Corinthians 3:1a)

The Greek word translated “spirit” throughout the New Testament is pneuma.  This word is used in the New Testament referring to the Holy Spirit, man’s spirit, angels (both fallen and un-fallen), a state of mind or disposition, wind, and breath.  Examples in Scripture of the last four are Luke 8:55; John 3:8; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 1:7; 1 Peter 3:19.

Man’s spirit is the seat of the higher divine life pertaining to his God-conscious existence.  The Greek word translated “spiritual” in 1 Corinthians 3:1a is pneumatikos, a form of the word pneuma.  The spiritual man is one who is controlled by the Spirit of God acting through his own spirit (through a spirit made alive by the birth from above).

The spiritual man, unlike the soulical man, controls his emotions, feelings, and desires pertaining to his still-present, man-conscious existence.  He brings his unredeemed body under subjection and exerts control over the soulical man.  This, of course, is not performed within his own power, but within the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  This is an experience open to redeemed man alone, to an individual who has been made alive spiritually.

Unredeemed man, on the other hand, although a trichotomous being, fails to rise above the dichotomous animal kingdom in his natural or soulical existence.  He lacks a redeemed spirit with the accompanying, indwelling Holy Spirit.  He, with an inanimate spirit, is spiritually dead.  And, consequently, he remains alienated from God.  Thus, an existence outside the soulical (natural) for unredeemed man is not possible.

C)  CARNAL

. . . but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:1b)

The Greek word translated “carnal” is sarkikos.  This is a form of the word sarx, which means “flesh.”  Sarkikos (fleshly) is the opposite of pneumatikos (spiritual).  The carnal Christian is, thus, “fleshly” as opposed to “spiritual.”  He is one who allows himself to be controlled by his soul rather than by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  He, as the soulical man (the unsaved man), follows his personal emotions, feelings, and desires.

He, however, unlike the soulical man, has been born from above and is capable of grasping spiritual truth.  But, unlike the spiritual man, this truth is not being received.  Thus, the carnal Christian, without an impartation of spiritual truth flowing into his saved human spirit, remains immature and fleshly, following the fleshly impulses of the soul.

(The use of “flesh” or “fleshly” in the preceding respect would be a direct allusion back to that which occurred in Eden at the time of the fall.  Man, following his fall, possessed a body that was no longer enswathed in a covering of Glory, with the exposed flesh openly demonstrating this fact.  This is what is meant by Christ coming “in the likeness of sinful flesh” [Romans 8:3].  Christ came to earth in a body not enswathed in the Glory of God.

This was the crux of the ignominy and shame surrounding the events of Calvary.  Not only was Christ’s body of flesh [apart from the covering of Glory] arrayed in a mock regal manner [with a robe and a crown of thorns], but He hung on the cross without even His Own garments to cover His body, for all to behold that which had been wrought by sin 4,000 years earlier — nakedness, and death [Matthew 27:27-36].

There though is nothing wrong with “flesh” per se.  Man was created in a body of flesh, Christ presently has a body of flesh, and both God’s Son and man will live in bodies of flesh forever.

But, though there is nothing wrong with a body of “flesh,” there is something wrong with a body of flesh that is not enswathed in the Glory of God.)

Within the scope of that which God reveals about the impartation of spiritual truth to redeemed man alone lies the great lesson concerning unredeemed man’s relationship to the Word of God.  It is utterly futile for unredeemed man to either himself attempt to understand the Word of God or for redeemed man to attempt to teach him the Word of God.  Scripture is “spiritually discerned,” and a man must be born from above — be made alive spiritually, which places him in a position where he can exercise spiritual discernment — before he can understand the things of the Spirit of God.  The soulical (unredeemed) man, completely alienated from God — spiritually dead and in no position to exercise spiritual discernment — cannot understand spiritual things, and they appear to him as no more than “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

(Unredeemed man can understand the letter of Scripture [i.e., the stories or accounts of events in Scripture, viewing them as he would a secular book].  But to take these stories or accounts of events and see the spiritual content that God has built into them is completely beyond his ability [cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6ff].  He simply cannot understand the things of the Spirit, for, spiritually, he is dead; he is alienated from God.)

Thus, herein also lies the reason why the things of the Spirit have been hidden from the “wise and prudent,” but revealed unto “babes” (cf. Matthew 11:25).  Certain Christian intelligentsia of the present dispensation, even though saved and in a position to understand the Word of God, too often seek spiritual discernment in the light of worldly wisdom rather than through comparing Scripture with Scripture and looking to the indwelling Spirit to lead them “into all truth” (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

And, although those Christians who seek spiritual discernment in this manner may often be looked upon as great spiritual leaders, theologians, expositors, etc.; they, in the final analysis, cannot understand these things.  Such individuals can only be sadly lacking in the very realm where they are held in high esteem.

While at the same time, “babes” (Greek: nepios, those who are still on the milk of the Word and have not grown enough to even partake of solid food), by the leadership of the Spirit of God — as they compare Scripture with Scripture and look to the Spirit to lead them “into all truth” — can invariably be brought into an understanding of these things.  They, by turning to the Word and looking to the Spirit for discernment and leadership, can understand more about these same spiritual truths than the “wise and prudent” who turn to places other than the Word and either ignore or reject the Spirit’s discernment and leadership.

REDEEMED MAN

Redeemed man, through a past and finished work of the Spirit, based on a past and finished work of Christ, has been brought from a dead to a living state spiritually.  He has passed “from death into life.”  And in this living state, he is now in a position to realize the purpose for his salvation — the salvation of his soul.

One aspect of salvation is past.  The individual presently possesses eternal life, and nothing can ever change or nullify this fact.  But the individual has been saved for a purpose, which will be brought to pass only within the framework of his realizing present and future aspects of salvation.

And this complete panorama of the salvation message, with a purpose in view, must be recognized.  Redeemed man must recognize that there is not only a past aspect to salvation but present and future aspects as well.  And the present and future aspects of salvation are inseparably connected with man one day being brought into a realization of the purpose for which he was created in the beginning — “. . . let them have dominion” (Genesis 1:26-28).  Present and future aspects of salvation have to do with man occupying regal positions following the time when he, in that coming day, is brought into a realization of the salvation of his soul.

1)  THE COMPLETE SALVATION ISSUE

In order to effect man’s eternal redemption, the Spirit of God deals with unsaved man on one basis alone.  The Spirit deals with unsaved man solely on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

But once an individual has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and has been dealt with on the basis of Christ’s finished work, realizing the birth from above — the salvation of his spirit — the salvation issue then shifts from the salvation of his spirit, to the salvation of his soul.  The salvation of the spirit becomes a past, completed work and is never dealt with as an issue beyond this point.  The Spirit of God, from this point forward, deals with the individual solely on the basis of present and future aspects of salvation.  The individual, from this point forward, is dealt with in relation to the salvation of his soul.

Thus, all Scriptures dealing with carnality or unfaithfulness of Christians, resulting in forfeiture or loss, MUST pertain to issues surrounding the salvation of the soul, NEVER to issues surrounding the salvation of the spirit.

Once the salvation of the spirit has been effected, making it possible for the indwelling Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control an individual’s life through his own spirit, then man’s unredeemed soul occupies the center of attention.  And salvation now (in relation to the soul, not the spirit) becomes dependent on the actions of the individual.

Salvation now becomes dependent on the life one lives after his spirit has been saved.  Salvation now becomes dependent on the individual allowing the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control his life through his own spirit.

An individual allowing the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control his life through his own spirit progressively grows from immaturity to maturity.  He progressively grows into a spiritually mature Christian.  Growing in this manner, he exerts control over his emotions, feelings, and desires pertaining to his man-conscious (soulical) existence.  And, by this means, he will ultimately come into a realization of the salvation of his soul (life).

On the other hand, an individual who refuses to allow the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control his life in the preceding manner can only remain a carnally immature Christian.  Apart from the assimilation of spiritual truth, resulting in spiritual growth, he cannot help but be controlled by his emotions, feelings, and desires pertaining to his man-conscious (soulical) existence.  And, accordingly, such a person will ultimately suffer the loss of his soul (life), which can have no bearing whatsoever on his eternal salvation (for that is a past, finished matter which has already been dealt with).

2)  THE COMPLETE SALVATION MESSAGE

The shift of the salvation issue from the spirit to the soul at the time of the birth from above necessitates a corresponding shift from the salvation message that is to be proclaimed to the unsaved (which concerns the salvation of the spirit) to the salvation message that is to be proclaimed to the saved (which concerns the salvation of the soul).  This must ever be the case, for that which is past ceases to be the issue, and that which is present and future becomes the issue.

The only message to be carried to the unsaved is the gospel of grace.  This is the good news that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”  This message alone forms the basis upon which the Spirit can breathe life into the one having no life (1 Corinthians 15:3; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

But once the unsaved individual has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, experiencing the birth from above, the message must then change, for the goal of the message will have been realized.  The Spirit must then deal with the individual on an entirely different plane, with the issue at the forefront no longer being the salvation of the spirit, but the salvation of the soul.

Thus, a minister with a congregation placed under his care has been charged with a tremendous responsibility.  His central ministry is among the saved, among those capable of grasping spiritual truth; and he is to disseminate spiritual truth to these individuals as it relates to things surrounding present and future aspects of salvation, not to things surrounding the past aspect of salvation.  He, in this manner, is to “feed the flock of God,” looking ahead to Christ’s appearance in all His glory (1 Peter 5:2-4).

This individual is responsible, under the leadership of the Spirit of God, to provide proper spiritual nourishment for those Christians placed under his care.  And the only thing that God has provided for him to use as he feeds the flock of God is the Word of God.

As a minister in charge of a flock, he is to expound this Word under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  And Christians placed under his care are to receive this proclaimed Word into their saved human spirits.  Then the Spirit of God can take this “implanted Word” and effect spiritual growth to maturity, with the end result being the salvation of their souls (James 1:21).

The tragedy in Christian circles today is the light regard that pastors of churches have for fulfilling the very purpose for their ministry.  And, the end result of pastors failing to properly “feed the flock” entrusted to their care will be the entrance of innumerable carnal, immature Christians into the Lord’s presence at the end of the present dispensation with redeemed spirits, changed bodies, but wasted and thus unredeemed souls — forfeited lives.  Their eternal salvation will remain unaffected; but, with the forfeiture or loss of their souls, they will be unable to realize the inheritance presently “reserved in heaven” for the faithful.  Consequently, they will occupy no position among the “many sons” who will be brought to glory.

(The subject surrounding pastor-teachers and each having been entrusted with a flock, with a view to the salvation of not only the souls of the pastor-teachers but the souls of those in their flocks as well, is developed more fully in Chapter 8, The Ministry of Elders, of this book in this site.)

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Failure to understand and distinguish between the salvation that we presently possess and the salvation to be revealed when our Lord returns has wrought untold confusion in Christian circles.

Many Christians take Scriptures dealing with the salvation to be revealed and seek to apply them to the salvation that we presently possess.  And misapplying Scripture in this manner, these individuals arrive at the erroneous conclusion that it is possible for a saved person to be lost, which not only casts reproach upon the sufficiency of the finished work of Christ at Calvary, but also does violence to numerous portions of the Word of God.

Then, on the other hand, there are those Christians who recognize that the loss of one’s eternal salvation is not possible, but still fail to understand distinctions between the salvation of the spirit and the salvation of the soul.  Most from this group take many of these same verses and seek to either apply them to the nation of Israel or to unregenerate individuals, whether Jew or Gentile.  And applications of this nature not only remove the Spirit’s exhortations and warnings to redeemed individuals, but erroneous interpretations in one area of Scripture will often, for the sake of consistency, lead to erroneous interpretations in other areas.

Thus, the importance of understanding distinctions between the salvation of the spirit and the salvation of the soul becomes self-evident.

Let it be forever stated:  Redeemed man has come into a position from which he can never be removed.  But this same redeemed man, in this position, is directly responsible to his Creator; and, at a future date, he will either inherit as a joint-heir with his Lord or suffer loss in the presence of his Lord.  The former will be realized through the salvation of his soul, or the latter will, instead, be realized through the loss of his soul.

Word Document:  Salvation — Past, Present, Future by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.
If Any of You
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone [any of you] desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

For whoever desires to save his life [soul] will lose it, but whoever loses his life [soul] for My sake will find it.

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:24-27)

In Matthew chapter sixteen, coming into the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus took His disciples aside on several occasions and continued to teach them, as before, revealing things to come.  Beginning with verse thirteen, immediately after His warning to beware of the leaven (false doctrine) of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6-11), this revelation falls into four categories, which are all interrelated:

1) The true identity of Christ (Matthew 16:13-16, 20).
2) The impending inception of the Church (Matthew 16:17-19).
3) The approaching crucifixion of Christ (Matthew 16:21-23).
4) The salvation of the soul in relation to the coming kingdom (Matthew 16:24-27; cf. Matthew 16:28; 17:1-9).

OVERALL SCOPE OF EVENTS

1)  “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  (Matthew 16:16)

The disciples, as evidenced by Peter’s confession, believed that Jesus was the Christ (v. 16); but the masses in Israel believed otherwise (Matthew 16:13-14).”

The word “Christ” (or “Messiah,” as translated from the Hebrew text) means Anointed One.  In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed; and the complete ministry of Christ (past, present, and future) encompasses all three of these offices.

As Prophet (past), “Christ died for our sins”; as Priest (present), “He ever lives to make intercession” for us; and as King (future), “He shall reign forever and ever” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 11:15).

Insofar as Peter himself was concerned, his confession really involved only the latter, the kingly office, rather than all three.  The disciples at this time did not grasp the fact that the Cross and the present dispensation (in which Christ would exercise the office of Priest) would precede the kingdom (Matthew 16:21-23; cf. Matthew 17:3-4, 22-23; 20:17-19; Luke 9:30-31).

Peter acknowledged Jesus as God’s Son immediately following his acknowledgment of Jesus as “the Christ.”  “Sonship” implies rulership, and this is exactly what Peter had in mind (cf. Exodus 4:22-23; 19:5-6; 2 Samuel 7:12-14).  It was simply recognition by an additional means of that which he had already stated.

In reality though, an acknowledgment of Jesus as “the Christ,” God’s Son, must involve His complete, threefold office — Prophet, Priest, and King.  And this was something that Peter did not understand at this time, as shown by his further remarks.

Christ’s future ministry as King, within the Scriptural framework in which it is set forth, cannot exist apart from two things:

1) A finished work in His past ministry as Prophet.
2) A continuing work (to be completed in the future) in His present ministry as Priest.

This is the primary reason for Christ’s severe rebuke of Peter in Matthew 16:23.  Peter, in Matthew 16:22, unknowingly denied to Christ that which he had previously attributed to Christ in Matthew 16:16 (cf. Matthew 26:63-64).

Note Christ’s words in this respect to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, following His resurrection:

O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:25-26 [25b]).

“Suffering” must precede “glory.”  And apart from the former, the latter cannot occur.  This is an established biblical principle that cannot change (cf. Genesis 37:23-36 and Genesis 45:1-15; Exodus 2:11-15 and Exodus 40:33-38; Job 2:6-8 and Job 40:12-17; Psalm 137:1-9; 1 Peter 1:11; 2:21; 5:1).

2)  “I will build My Church.” (Matthew 16:18)

Matthew’s gospel is the only one of the four gospels that records Christ’s announcement that He was going to build His Church.  The record of this announcement is given in a gospel that, throughout the gospel, centers on Christ’s kingship and the coming kingdom.  And the record is given at a particular time in Christ’s ministry.  It is given following Israel’s climactic rejection of the King and the proffered kingdom of the heavens.

Thus, this revelation of the Church occurred following a particular set of circumstances occurring within Christ’s ministry, necessitating a change.  This though would not be a change in the message but a change pertaining to the recipients of the message, a change concerning those to whom the message would be proclaimed.

The message would still center on the kingdom, but there would be a change concerning those to whom the offer of the kingdom would be extended.  In complete keeping with Israel’s climactic rejection in Matthew 12 and Christ’s departure from the house in Matthew 13, the kingdom was about to be taken from Israel and given to “a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43b).

The Church, in this respect, was to be called into existence for definite and specific purposes surrounding the kingdom of the heavens; and these purposes were not only intimately associated with the coming kingdom, but the complete fulfillment of these purposes could not be realized until that day Christ exercised His office as King.

But, preceding the Church being brought into existence, the events of Calvary had to occur first.  A means of salvation had to be provided first (a means connected with Israel, yet separate from Israel), else there could be no new entity of the nature referred to by Christ.

(Note that the Passover lamb was given to Israel, and only Israel could slay this lamb [Exodus 12:1ff].  Thus, only Israel could have slain the Paschal Lamb in 33 A.D., which is exactly what occurred [Acts 2:23, 36; 7:52].

Man today is saved on the basis of the death of a Jewish Paschal Lamb and His shed blood — a Lamb slain by the only one who could slay this Lamb, by Israel.  But, though the Lamb was given to Israel and Israel slew the Lamb, unsaved man today doesn’t have to go to Israel per se to avail himself of that which has been done.  Rather, the slain Lamb [who was raised from the dead and lives forevermore], with His shed blood, has been made available for all — Jew and Gentile alike.

And because this is true, all that a person has to do today — Jew or Gentile alike — is “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Acts 16:30-31].  Then, because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary, the believing individual passes “from death into life” [John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5].

This then allows the Spirit to perform a work in the individual [an immersion in the Spirit], placing him “in Christ.”  And this, in turn, allows the individual to be numbered among those forming the new entity — the “one new man” — which Christ announced during His earthly ministry that He was about to bring into existence.)

And, beyond being brought into existence in this manner, it would be necessary that this new entity, as Israel, have a priest.  This would be necessary because, as in Israel, salvation wouldn’t do away with man’s sin nature.  And, with man still retaining his sin nature, the ever-present possibility of individuals falling into sin would exist among those within the camp of the saved; and sins committed by the saved, by Christians, would have to be dealt with in a manner that was in complete keeping with the way God, in the Old Testament, had previously established that they be dealt with — through a priest ministering on the individual’s behalf, on the basis of death and shed blood.

The whole of the matter of the sin question in relation to salvation — past, present, and future — was dealt with in the camp of Israel by death and shed blood.  It was dealt with first by the application of the blood of slain paschal lambs (Exodus 12:1-13).  Then it was subsequently dealt with by the blood of other slain animals and the work of priests (e.g., Leviticus 1-7, 16).

The whole of the matter of the sin question in relation to salvation — past, present, and future — is dealt with today through exactly the same means, by death and shed blood.  This has forever been established in the Old Testament, and it can never change.

Today, as in the Old Testament, the sin question in relation to salvation is dealt with first by the application of the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb (cf. Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 5:7).  Then it is subsequently dealt with by Christ’s high priestly work and His shed blood presently on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 9; 10).

In this respect — to effect salvation past, present, and future — Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3);  He presently lives, exercising a priestly office, in order “to make intercession” for us, providing a present cleansing from sin (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 1:6-2:2; cf. John 13:4-12); and Christians, because of this twofold work of Christ (Prophet and Priest), can look forward to a third work of Christ when He comes forth as King.  They can look forward to reigning as consort queen with Him during the coming day of His power.

In this respect, everything surrounding God’s redemptive work by and through His Son — past and present — moves toward a revealed time when this redemptive work will be realized in its fullness, in the coming kingdom.

Thus, in Matthew chapter sixteen when Peter denied to Christ His work as Prophet at Calvary — “Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Matthew 16:22) — he, apart from realizing that which he was doing, was not only denying to Christ His subsequent work as Priest but he was also denying to Christ His future work as King as well (something that he had previously acknowledged [Matthew 16:16]).  And, for this reason, Peter then experienced a severe rebuke at Christ’s hands — “Get behind Me, Satan! . . . .” (Matthew 16:23)

The events in Matthew chapter sixteen occurred shortly after Israel’s “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” and Christ’s subsequent departure from “the house” — the house of Israel (Matthew 12; 13).  And, for all practical purposes, even though the announcement was not made until later (Matthew 21:43), the kingdom of the heavens (at the time of the events in Matthew 16) had already been taken from Israel and was about to be offered to a separate and distinct “nation.”  This new “nation,” the Church (1 Peter 2:9-10), would, in turn, do that which Israel had failed to do — bring forth “the fruits of it [fruits relating to the kingdom].”

Thus, attention called to the Church in connection with the kingdom of the heavens at this point in Christ’s ministry, to later be more fully revealed through the Apostle Paul, is at the exact juncture where one might expect such revelation — after Israel’s climactic rejection (Matthew 12), followed by Christ’s departure from the house (Matthew 13).

3)  Church, Body, Bride

Viewing the matter from another perspective, the basic principles relating to the formation of the bride (who is to one day reign with Christ as consort queen) and the redemptive work of the Son in relation to the bride are introduced in the New Testament at this time, though previously set forth millennia before.  They were previously set forth in the first three chapters of Genesis, by the experiences of Adam in relation to Eve; and these principles remain unchanged throughout Scripture, having been reintroduced by Christ during His earthly ministry.

Adam was the first man upon the earth.  He was also a type of Christ, the second Man, the last Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47); and the experiences of Adam in relation to Eve prefigure the experiences of Christ in relation to His bride.

Eve was created in Adam at the very beginning, but was not brought into existence as a separate entity until a later point in time.  Adam was put to sleep, his side opened, and from this opened side God took one of his ribs and formed Eve from the rib.  Eve, in this manner, was taken out of Adam and then presented back to Adam for a helpmate (Genesis 2:20).

Adam, apart from Eve, was incomplete (for she was part of his very being — bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh).  And, because of this, when presented back to Adam, Eve completed Adam, along with realizing completeness herself.  In the highest sense, Eve was still part of Adam’s body, and God looked upon both together as “one flesh.”  Both of them together, though two entities, formed one complete person (Genesis 2:21-24).

In the antitype, the bride of Christ has existed in the Son from eternity.  The bride’s existence and salvation date back to a past time, “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8).  The bride, however, could not be brought into existence as a separate entity until the Son, at a time during Man’s Day, was put to sleep and His side opened.

This took place at Calvary.  The Son died, and His side was opened.  And out of this opened side came forth “blood” and “water” (John 19:34) — the two elements necessary to bring into existence the bride, separate from the body, but still part of the body (the “water” speaks of cleansing after the application of the “blood”).

Once the complete, redeemed bride has been brought into existence in this manner, “not having spot, or wrinkle . . . without blemish” — once Christ has completed the work announced in Matthew 16:18, building His Church — the bride will be presented back to the Son; and the bride will complete the Son (Hebrews 2:10 [the word “perfect” in this verse should be understood in the sense of bringing to completion]).  Then, when the bride completes the Son in this manner, in the highest sense, as in the type, God will look upon both as “one flesh.”  Both of them together, though two entities, will form one complete person (Ephesians 5:26-32).

In the preceding respect, God’s past work in bringing Eve into existence and His present work in bringing His Son’s bride (the Church) into existence, based on the events of Calvary, must be studied in the light of one another.

As previously seen in Genesis 2:22, God took a rib from Adam’s side, which “He made into a woman.”  The Hebrew word translated “made” in this verse is banah, which means “to build.”  Eve was created in Adam at the very beginning, later taken out of Adam, built into a bride, and then presented back to Adam.

In Matthew 16:18 Christ said, “. . . upon this rock I will build My Church.”  Then Christ was later put to sleep at Calvary, His side was opened, and the two elements necessary to bring the bride into existence flowed forth — blood and water.

(The word “Church” [Greek: ekklesia, meaning “called out”] is used more than one way in the New Testament.  The word is used, for example, in Revelation 2; 3 to refer to all of the saved during the present dispensation, those called out of the world.  But the word is also used in a futuristic sense, as seen in Matthew 16:18, referring to a segment of the saved — those called out of the larger body of Christians, those called out of the saved [cf. Hebrews 12:23].)

The Church to which Christ referred in Matthew 16:18, synonymous with the bride — created in Christ from eternity — is presently being built in the previous manner.  It is presently being removed from the body, called out of the larger body of Christians, and built into a bride.  And the time when this process will be completed, with the bride being revealed and presented back to the Son, lies in the future.

Just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s body, the bride of Christ is presently being taken out of the Son’s body.  The entire body over which He is the Head consists of all the saved during this present dispensation.  But the bride is a smaller group that is presently being called out of the larger group, i.e., called out of the body.  All of the saved are “called” (or, “called out” in relation to the world) and form the body, but only the “called out” (from among the saved) — those taken out of the body — will form the bride of Christ.  The bride is a selection out of a selection (a removal from the body of those previously removed from the world):

For many are called, but few are chosen [lit., “few are called out,” referring to a select group removed from the “called”]. (Matthew 22:14)

Note that man had no part in God’s work surrounding the formation of Eve — from the time of her creation in Adam, to the time when she was presented back to Adam.  Nor can man have a part in the formation of the Son’s bride.  Jesus said, “I will build My Church.”

The word “Church” comes from a compound Greek word (ekklesia), which, as previously seen, means “called out” (ek, “out”; kaleo [or, klesis], “to call”).  And the clear teaching of Scripture attests to the fact that the Church that Christ is building consists of individuals who are being called out of the saved, not individuals who are being called out of the world.

The Church, in the preceding respect, is the body of Christ in the same sense that Eve was the body of Adam.  Eve was bone of Adam’s bones, and flesh of Adam’s flesh (Genesis 2:23).

All of Eve was of Adam’s body, but she was not all of his body.  “For we [Christians] are members of His [Christ’s] body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:30).  All of Christ’s bride will be of His body, but the bride will not be all of His body.

And as Eve was to reign as consort queen with the first man, the first Adam (Genesis 1:26-28), thus will it be for the second Man, the last Adam and His bride.  The first man, the first Adam, could have reigned only as a complete being, with Eve completing Adam; and the second Man, the last Adam, can, in like manner, reign only as a complete being, with the bride completing God’s Son.

In that coming day, the King with His consort queen will reign in this manner — as one complete person — fulfilling that which was set forth surrounding man’s creation (male and female) in the beginning.

4)  “Whoever . . . .” (Matthew 16:25)

. . . whoever  loses his life [soul] for My sake will find it.

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25b, 27)

Following the revelation of “Jesus” as the Christ, the coming inception of “the Church,” and the coming “sufferings,” “death,” and “resurrection” of Christ, revealed events continue with the announcement concerning “the salvation of the soul” in relation to the coming “kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-27).  Then, the last verse in chapter sixteen, along with the first five verses in chapter seventeen (ignore the chapter break), continue with the subject of the kingdom itself.

The entire program of God during the preceding two dispensations (Gentile and Jewish), along with the present dispensation (Christian), moves toward the climactic dispensation having to do with this present earth — the Messianic Era.  During Old Testament days, the salvation of the soul in relation to the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was open to those in Israel.  Numerous Old Testament saints, desiring positions in this heavenly sphere of the kingdom, governed their pilgrim walk accordingly.  And these Old Testament saints, in that coming day when the kingdom is under the rule of their Messiah, Jesus the Christ, will realize these heavenly positions (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28-29; Hebrews 11:8-16).

However, with the removal of this offer from Israel and the subsequent setting aside of the nation, the offer today is being extended to an entirely new nation, a new creation — the “one new man” in Christ.  Individuals from this new creation in Christ can govern their lives in a manner during the present dispensation (as individuals from the old creation in Jacob could during the past dispensation) that will allow them to qualify for positions in the heavenly sphere of the coming kingdom.  And in that coming day, Christians shown qualified will, as certain Israelites from the prior dispensation, realize the salvation of their souls (lives).

Hebrews 2:3 reveals that the message concerning “so great salvation [salvation of the soul]” was first announced by the Lord.  This message, however, within the text, had to do with a particular group of people outside Israel (“we” [Christians — the new creation in Christ, which was about to be brought into existence when the message was first announced]).  And the message involved the same salvation, in connection with a kingdom, previously offered to and taken from Israel — the saving of the soul in relation to the kingdom of the heavens.

The salvation of the soul, as previously seen, was a major subject of Old Testament Scripture (Proverbs 11:30; Ezekiel 3:17-21; 14:14-20); and numerous Old Testament saints, as Moses, “looked to the reward.”  They looked beyond their earthly inheritance to a heavenly inheritance.  They desired a higher calling, “a better, that is, a heavenly country,” and they will have a part in “a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:10-16, 26, 32-40).

They will realize the salvation of their souls in relation to the heavenly inheritance (cf. Hebrews 10:26-11:1), with the remainder of the nation (the vast majority) realizing an earthly inheritance in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

(The fact that the heavenly sphere of the kingdom was taken from Israel at Christ’s first coming, following almost fifteen centuries of Jewish history dating back to Moses, or following almost two millennia dating back to Abraham, cannot do away with the attitude that numerous Old Testament saints took relative to this sphere of the kingdom.  Many Old Testament saints exercised faith relating to the heavenly sphere of the kingdom, and they will not be denied an inheritance therein [Hebrews 11:39-40].)

The message concerning the salvation of the soul in relation to a “nation” (the Church) that was not Jewish, which was first announced by the Lord, was not understood by the prophets.  They “inquired and searched diligently” concerning something that was beyond their day and, thus, not for them — coming into possession of this salvation through being “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 1:9-12; 4:12-13).

Jesus alluded to this new “nation” that would inherit “so great salvation” in Matthew 12:46-50 by referring to a new relationship that was not conditioned on lineal descent (descent from Abraham), and Jesus made known to His disciples additional facts concerning this new entity in the parables in Matthew 13:1ff and His revelation of the Church in Matthew 16:18ff.  Then, the full revelation surrounding this separate, distinct “nation,” the Church, was later vouchsafed to the Apostle Paul and is called in Ephesians 3:3 “the mystery,” referring to something heretofore not opened up and revealed.

Revelation surrounding the mystery, in this respect, “first began to be spoken by the Lord,” the message was “confirmed to us by them that heard Him,” and the full revelation was then given through the Apostle Paul.

(That which is seen in the mystery revealed to Paul was not something unknown and foreign to the Old Testament Scriptures.  Rather, that which is seen in the mystery revealed to Paul was a major subject of Old Testament typology.  The Spirit of God simply took that which is seen in the types and, by Paul, opened up and revealed numerous things previously recorded in this manner.)

Matthew 16:13ff outlines the transfer of the salvation of the soul in relation to the kingdom of the heavens from Israel to the Church, and these verses constitute one of the pivotal sections in the gospel of Matthew.  Matthew chapter twelve is the beginning pivotal section, and chapters thirteen and sixteen continue this same trend of thought, providing additional details.

Then, the announcement is made in chapter twenty-one (Matthew 21:33-43) concerning the removal of the kingdom from Israel.  And the events of Calvary follow, allowing the Church — the new recipient of the offer to occupy heavenly positions in the kingdom — to be brought into existence and occupy the necessary position “in Christ” (necessary to form a new creation, a new man, a new nation [cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-15; 1 Peter 2:9-10]).

(For additional information surrounding “the one new man” in Christ, refer to the author’s book, Search for the Bride, Chapters 7, 8.)

IF ANY DISCIPLE

The text from Matthew 16:24-26, dealing with the saving or the losing of the soul, has been removed from its context by numerous individuals over the years and erroneously used relative to the message of salvation by grace as it relates to the unsaved.  These verses, however, have nothing to do with a message to the unsaved in this respect.  Truths brought out in these verses relate to the saved alone, those already in possession of eternal life.

(Note:  Removing these verses from their contextual setting and using them in relation to the unsaved does away with and destroys that which is actually taught in this section of Scripture, along with fostering confusion relative to the biblical teaching concerning the salvation of the soul.

Other passages of Scripture dealing with this same overall subject are, more often than not, accorded this same type of treatment [e.g., the warning passages in Hebrews, or the overcomer's promises in Revelation 2; 3].)

Within the text, Jesus is speaking to His disciples.  The words, “If any man” (KJV), in verse twenty-four could be better translated, “If anyone,” i.e., “If any of you [disciples].”  The word “man” is not in the Greek text but in the KJV has been supplied by the translators.  The disciples were saved individuals (all, including Judas), and the message concerning denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Christ (things not possible for the unsaved to accomplish) was directed to them.

This thought surrounding the disciples in verse twenty-four leads into verses twenty-five and twenty-six, which refer to the saving or the losing of the soul, with a view to being recompensed as stewards in the Lord’s house (reward according to works) in the coming kingdom (Matthew 16:27ff).  The word “For” connects verse twenty-five with verse twenty-four, and the same word again connects verse twenty-six with both preceding verses.  Denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Christ in verse twenty-four is the manner in which the salvation of the soul is brought to pass (Matthew 16:25b, 26b).  And the inverse of this would be true concerning the manner in which the loss of the soul is brought to pass (Matthew 16:25a, 26a).

Within the context, as previously shown, Jesus is dealing with things relating to the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 16:19).  His Messiahship (Matthew 16:13-16, 20), the Church (Matthew 16:17-19), the Cross (allowing the Church to be brought into existence [Matthew 16:21-23], along with showing “death” which Christians must experience relative to the self-life, the soul [1 Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 2:12; 3:1-4]), and the salvation of the soul in relation to the coming kingdom (Matthew 16:24-27) constitute the subject matter at hand.  One thought leads into another related thought, with the latter, the salvation of the soul in relation to the coming kingdom, being the end or the goal toward which everything moves.

Note how plainly and unmistakably the salvation of the soul (Matthew 16:24-26) is connected with the coming kingdom (Matthew 16:27ff) rather than with eternal life.  The word “For” (same word that begins Matthew 16:25-26) appears once again, connecting verse twenty-seven with the preceding verses.  

Thus, verses twenty-four through twenty-seven can only be looked upon as an indivisible unit in Scriptural interpretation, with one thought leading into another and all things moving toward a revealed goal.

(Note that Matthew 16:28-17:5 forms an additional explanation and provides commentary for Matthew 16:27, explaining that which is in view by the Son of Man coming “in the glory of his Father with his angels.”

And the thought of reward according to works is dealt with in related Scripture, seen both in connection with the kingdom [Luke 19:12ff] and the salvation of the soul [Hebrews 10:35-11:1, 23-26; James 2:5, 14-26].)

1)  Deny Oneself

To deny oneself is to deny the fleshly impulses of the soul — the self-life.  The unredeemed soul housed in an unredeemed body is to be kept under subjection by the instrumentality of man’s redeemed spirit.  

By and through the impartation of the Word of God into man’s redeemed spirit, individuals, under the leadership of the indwelling Holy Spirit, progressively grow into spiritually mature Christians; and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians growing in such a manner are able to deny the fleshly impulses of the soul, keeping their bodies under subjection.

This subjective state of the soul in relation to the spiritual man can be graphically illustrated from Old Testament typology in the lives of Sarah and Hagar.  Hagar (the bondwoman), despised in the eyes of Sarah (the freewoman), had fled into the wilderness.  But the angel of the Lord finding her by a spring of water gave the command, “Return to your mistress [Sarah], and submit yourself under her hand” (Genesis 16:4-9).

If a Christian is to be victorious over the fleshly impulses of the soul, those impulses which are under the bondage of sin must be made submissive to that which has been removed from this bondage.  This is the clear teaching of Scripture, and there is no alternate way that this can be accomplished.

Sarah’s and Hagar’s sons (Isaac and Ishmael) are set forth in both Genesis and Galatians as typifying respectively the man of spirit (Isaac) and the man of flesh (Ishmael).  The soul (self-life) of man (in association with the flesh) must be made submissive to the spiritual man.  Hagar was blessed, but only subsequent to her submission to Sarah (Genesis 16:10); and man in his self-life will be blessed, but only subsequent to the submission of the soul to the man of spirit, empowered and controlled by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Accordingly, blessings relating to the self-life (soul) can occur only in connection with the saving of the soul.  Thus, the great issue centers on the man of flesh and the man of spirit both striving for control of the Christian’s life (soul), with the salvation of the soul hanging in the balance and being realized only through control of the self-life by the spiritual man.

(Blessings in connection with man’s self-life though are not as one may be led to think — having the best of both worlds, for such is impossible.  Blessings in connection with the self-life are inseparably connected with dying to self.  One has to die in order to live [John 12:24-25].  The section that follows deals with this aspect of the matter.)

2)  Take Up One’s Cross, and Follow Christ

The “cross” was the instrument of death, and taking up one’s cross is dying to self, dying to the self-life.  Christians are told,

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)

The man of flesh, the deeds of the body, exhibited through one’s self-life must be kept in a constant state of dying.  The old man, so to speak, is to be affixed to the cross and not be allowed to move about.  If mortification after this fashion occurs, the man will live (he will experience the salvation of his soul); however, if mortification after this fashion does not occur, the man will die (he will experience the loss of his soul).

The words “take up” and “follow” in verse twenty-four appear in two different tenses in the Greek text.  The first has to do with a one-time act, but the latter has to do with continuous action.  That is, Christians are to “take up” the cross at the beginning of their pilgrim walk, never laying it down; and, in this manner, they are to “follow” Christ continuously throughout the pilgrim walk.

(The translation of the parallel passage in Luke’s gospel, “. . . let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23b), would seemingly militate against the preceding.  This though is not the case at all.

First, there is some question concerning the validity of the word “daily” in the text.  The word is not found in a number of the better manuscripts.  But, if the word is to be considered part of the text, this part of the verse should be translated and understood in a similar manner to the way Wuest has it in his Expanded Translation:  “. . . let him at once and once for all pick up and carry his cross day after day.”)

The same basic thought is set forth in Romans 12:1, where Christians are told, “. . . present your bodies a living sacrifice.”  The word “present” has to do with a one-time act to be performed at the beginning of the pilgrim walk, never to be repeated.  As the Old Testament priest placed the sacrifice upon the altar and left it there, the New Testament priest (a Christian) is called upon to do the same with his body.  The body is to be placed upon the altar by a one-time act, and the body is then to remain upon the altar in a continuous state of sacrifice, never to be removed.

“Continuous dedication” in the Christian life is the correct biblical perspective.  “Rededication” — as men often use the term — is, on the other hand, completely out of place, for such cannot exist within the biblical framework of the pilgrim walk.

A Christian cannot rededicate his life for the simple reason that he doesn’t have a life to rededicate.  He has a life that can be given over to “continuous dedication” alone (whether or not he does so), and faithfulness or unfaithfulness among Christians will have to be understood and dealt with in this biblical respect.

3)  For Whoever . . . .

The word “whoever” in verse twenty-five refers directly back to verse twenty-four.  The thought is, “Whoever of you [disciples] . . . .”  Verses twenty-five and twenty-six further amplify that which has already been stated in verse twenty-four, and, along with verse twenty-seven, form the Lord’s own commentary on this verse.

The word translated “life” twice in verse twenty-five and twice again in verse twenty-six (ASV) is from the Greek word psuche, which means either “soul” or “life.”  A number of translations (e.g., KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV) render the word psuche “life” in verse twenty-five but “soul” in verse twenty-six.  Since “soul” and “life” are synonymous terms, translating psuche as “life” in one verse and “soul” in the next verse cannot really be considered incorrect.  But not everyone has access to the Greek text or understands that “soul” and “life” are synonymous terms; and an inconsistent translation of this nature has, over the years, served to foster confusion in the interpretation of these verses.

Any Christian who refuses to “deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow” Christ during the present day (Matthew 16:24) — synonymous with “whoever will save his life [soul]” (Matthew 16:25a) — “shall [in that coming day] lose it” (v. 25a), i.e., he will experience the loss of his soul/life.

On the other hand, any Christian who will “deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow” Christ during the present day (v. 24) — synonymous with “whoever will lose his life [soul] for my sake” (Matthew 16:25b) — “shall [in the coming day] find it” (v. 25b), i.e., he will realize the salvation of his soul/life.

The inverse of the place that the soul/life is allowed to occupy during the Christian’s present pilgrim walk will be true during the coming reign of Christ.  A Christian who saves his soul/life today (allows his self-life to gain the ascendancy, allows his soul to rule) will experience the lose of his soul/life in that coming day; and a Christian who loses his soul/life today (keeps his self-life under subjection, refuses to allow his soul to rule) will realize the salvation of his soul/life in that coming day.

PROFIT … EXCHANGE

The words “profited” and “exchange” in verse twenty-six (Matthew 16:26) have to do with building or refusing to build upon an initial investment.  Christians alone are in view.  Only the saved are in possession of this initial investment and, thus, in a position to profit.

The very ultimate in man’s goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations — gaining the entire world in the self-life — is set over against forfeiting one’s life (his self-life) for the sake of Christ.  And profit is accrued only in the latter.  There can be no profit in the former, for the initial investment cannot be used in this realm.  The initial investment can be used in the realm where the man of spirit alone is operative.  And an accrual of profit on the initial investment will result in the salvation of one’s soul, but no accrual of profit on the initial investment will result in the loss of one’s soul.

“Profit” and “exchange” are the subject of several parables on stewardship that the Lord gave during His earthly ministry, and a brief review of two of these parables, the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents, will illustrate what is meant by these expressions in Matthew 16:26.

In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27), a certain Nobleman (the Lord), before departing into “a far country,” delivered “ten minas [KJV: pounds]” to His “ten servants” and commanded them, “Occupy till I come.”  “Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, signifying all of the Lord’s business delivered to all of His servants.  The “minas [pound]” is a monetary unit of exchange, and all of the Lord’s servants were to trade and traffic in all of the Lord’s business during His time of absence.  And they were to continue in this manner until their Lord returned.

Christ’s clear statement to His household servants before His departure was, “Do business [KJV: Occupy] till I come” (Luke 19:13b).  Those in the parable who followed their Lord’s instructions and used the initial investment realized a profit, but the servant who refused to follow his Lord’s instructions and use the initial investment realized no profit at all.

Then, upon the Lord’s return, the servants profiting from the initial investment were rewarded, but the servant who realized no profit suffered loss.

The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) presents another picture of this same truth.  A certain Man (again, the Lord) called “his own servants,” delivered to them “his goods [talents],” and then departed into “a far country.”  The “talent,” as the minas/pound, is a monetary unit of exchange, pointing to the Lord’s business.  The Lord’s servants, as in the parable of the minas/pounds, were to trade and traffic in the Lord’s business during His time of absence.

And, as in the parable of the minas/pounds, those servants who exercised faithfulness and used the talents entrusted to them realized a profit from the initial investment; but the servant who refused to exercise faithfulness and use the initial investment entrusted to him realized no profit at all.

Then, upon the Lord’s return, the servants profiting from the initial investment were rewarded, but the servant who realized no profit suffered loss.

Concluding Thoughts

The salvation of the soul is clearly set forth in Matthew 16:24-27 as emanating from works following the salvation of the spirit and has to do with rewards in the coming kingdom.  Salvation completely apart from works applies to the “spirit” alone, and salvation in connection with works applies to the “soul” alone.  The former must first be realized before the latter can come into view at all.

Through the salvation of the spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9), Christians have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

(James is the main epistle in the New Testament dealing particularly with faith and works in relation to the salvation of the soul.  This subject is developed more fully in Chapter 5, Faith Made Mature.  Also see Appendix 1, Faith and Works.)

Word Document:  If Any of You by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.
The Implanted Word
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:18, 21)

“Redemption” is the central issue throughout all Scripture, but redemption includes far more than the salvation that we presently possess.  Redemption begins with unredeemed man who, because of sin, is both alienated from God and dwelling on an earth that is under a curse; and redemption terminates with redeemed man dwelling as a joint-heir with his Messiah, ruling over an earth removed from the curse.

In this respect, God’s revealed purpose for man’s redemption is to ultimately place him in the position for which he was originally created:  “Let them have dominion . . . .”  And when this has been accomplished, restored man will occupy a regal position over a restored earth, removed from the curse (cf. Genesis 1:26, 28; Acts 3:21; Colossians 1:20).

Anything short of this revealed goal is short of God’s purpose for His redemptive work surrounding man.

The Hebrew word translated “dominion” in Genesis 1:26, 28 is radhah, which means “to rule.”  This is the same word translated “rule” in Psalm 110:2, referring to Christ ruling the earth in the coming age as the great King-Priest “after the order of Melchizedek.”  Christ, however, is not to rule alone.  He will have many “companions” (Hebrews 1:9; 3:14) ruling as joint-heirs with Him, and God’s purpose for His past and present redemptive work surrounding man is to ultimately bring him into this regal position — a culmination of God’s redemptive work, to be realized at a future date.

The text in James 1:18, 21 has to do with a present work among Christians, a bringing forth from above, in relation to the salvation of their souls.  The individuals in this passage (the writer included himself) had been begotten from above, realizing the salvation of their spirits.  And through the birth from above, these individuals had been placed in a position (possessing spiritual life) where there could be a continued bringing forth from above, allowing them to ultimately be brought into a realization of the salvation of their souls, following that seen in these two verses.

(For additional information on the divine work in a Christian’s life in the preceding respect, as set forth in James 1:18, 21, refer to the author's book, in this site, Brought Forth from Above.

The issue surrounding redemption in relation to alienated, unredeemed man has to do with the salvation of his spirit; and the issue surrounding redemption in relation to redeemed man, who possesses a right relationship with God, has to do with the salvation of his soul.  Thus, relative to the salvation of both the spirit and the soul, man has been saved [salvation of the spirit] in order to bring him into a position where he can be saved [salvation of the soul].

The former has to do with eternal verities and the latter with millennial verities.  Through the salvation of man’s spirit, he comes into possession of eternal life; but only through the salvation of his soul does he come into possession of the inheritance awaiting the faithful, to be realized during the Messianic Era.

And the latter [the saving of the soul], not the former [the salvation of the spirit], is the subject in view in James 1:18, 21.)

THEREFORE, LAY ASIDE . . .  RECEIVE . . . .

In James 1:21, there is really only one command in the wording of the Greek text.  The verse should literally read,

“Therefore, putting away all filthiness and all prevailing wickedness, in meekness receive the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.”

Following the salvation of one’s spirit, an individual (Christian) is commanded to “receive . . . the implanted Word,” for this Word alone is able to effect the salvation of his soul.

However, a Christian is to receive this Word only after he has set aside the things that would hinder the reception of this Word.  The words “filthiness” and “wickedness,” though appearing to refer basically to the same thing in the English text, set forth two entirely different thoughts in the Greek text.

The word translated “filthiness” comes from a root word that, relative to the human ear — the channel through which “the implanted Word” is received — could have to do with earwax.  In a metaphorical manner of viewing the matter, the thought set forth through the use of this word has to do with the possibility that these Christians’ ears, so to speak, were filthy.  There were possibly obstructions — having to do with a dulled spiritual perception — which prevented the Word of God from flowing through the auditory canals in a proper manner; and, if so, they were to remove these obstructions.

Then, after these Christians had removed any obstructions that could prevent them from hearing the Word of God properly, they were to put away all “wickedness” in their lives.  This is simply a general term that carries the thought of “anything opposed to purity.”   These Christians were to put away any impurity in their lives that could hinder the reception of the Word of God.  And receiving the implanted Word in this fashion would then allow them to “grow thereby unto salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 ASV), i.e., through spiritual growth they would ultimately realize the salvation of their souls.

The word “implanted” has to do simply with that which is placed on the inside.  This Word is to be firmly fixed within a person’s mind, within his thinking process.  The channel, as we have seen, is the ear.  According to Romans 10:17, “. . . faith comes by [‘out of’] hearing, and hearing by [‘through’] the Word of God.”  The Word is to flow through unobstructed auditory canals into a saved human spirit, for a revealed purpose.

Once the Word has been received in this manner, the indwelling Holy Spirit can then perform a work in the individual.  As all hindrances (all impurities) are set aside and the spiritual man is allowed to exert full control, the Holy Spirit, using “the implanted Word,” can then effect spiritual growth.  And, as this process continues over time, spiritual growth of this nature will lead from immaturity to maturity.

The teaching in James 1:21, or for that matter the book of James as a whole, must be understood in the light of the subject matter at hand — the salvation of the soul.  In order to properly understand the Word of God at this point, one must not only have an understanding of the salvation that he presently possesses, but that person must also have an equally good understanding and comprehension of the salvation that he is about to possess.

Teachings surrounding the salvation of the soul are, in reality, the central subject matter in all of the epistles — both the Pauline and general epistles, from Romans through Jude.

Each epistle is different, containing its own peculiarities; and each has been written to provide a different facet of revealed truth, with all of the epistles together forming a complete body of revealed information and instructions for Christians relative to present and future aspects of salvation.

In this respect, apart from an understanding of the salvation of the soul, it is not possible to properly understand the central message of the epistles.  An understanding of the salvation of the soul, which is introduced in the Old Testament and continued in the gospels and the book of Acts, is the key that will open the epistles to one’s understanding.

Thus, the importance of understanding that which Scripture reveals about the salvation of the soul cannot be overemphasized.  And this importance can be shown by the goal, which the writer of Hebrews dealt with near the beginning of his epistle, referring to this salvation as “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3; cf. Hebrews 1:14; 2:5; 6:13-19; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:9).  

It is the greatest thing God has ever design for redeemed man, for it includes joint-heirship with His Son over all things during the coming age.

GROWING UNTO SALVATION

Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking,

As newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation.  (1 Peter 2:1-2 ASV)

The ASV has been quoted rather than the KJV because it includes the translation of two explanatory Greek words in verse two (ref. also NASB, NIV, Weymouth).  These two words, eis soterian, appear at the end of the verse and actually sum up and conclude the thought of the entire verse, for within these two words lie the revealed reason for growth to maturity.

(The words eis soterian are found in some Greek manuscripts but not in others.  The weight of manuscript evidence though would favor the inclusion of these two words in the text, which is why most Greek texts printed in modern times include these words.

A translation of these two words is not found in the KJV because the Textus Receptus, the main Greek text used for the New Testament portion of the KJV, does not include these words.  Most English translations in modern times though, using later Greek texts based on more manuscript evidence than the Textus Receptus, include these words. (RefTextus Receptus - Wikipedia.)

And, because of the subject matter at hand — the saving of the soul — these two words fit perfectly into the overall text.)

Eis soterian should be properly translated either “unto salvation” or “with respect to salvation” (ref. NASB).  Then the question naturally arises, “What aspect of salvation is in view?”  It can only be the salvation of the soul, for not only is this the subject matter dealt with in 1 Peter (cf. 1 Peter 1:9-10) but Christians do not grow “unto” or “with respect to” the salvation that they presently possess.

The salvation of the spirit was effected in past time completely apart from any accomplishment, effort, etc., of man.  Nothing can ever be added to or taken from this salvation, for it is based entirely on the finished work of Christ at Calvary.  And this finished work can never be changed or altered in any fashion.

All Christians remain on an equal plain within the scope of this salvation.  A newborn babe in Christ, a carnally immature Christian, and a spiritually mature Christian all occupy identical positions insofar as the salvation of the spirit is concerned.  Christian growth is brought to pass on the basis of the salvation of the spirit, but there is no such thing as growing “unto” or “with respect to” this salvation.

The command in 1 Peter 2:2, although applicable only to newborn babes, parallels and has to do with the same central thought as the command in James 1:21:  “. . . long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 ASV) and “. . . receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).  Both begin at the same point (a reception of the Word of God into man’s saved human spirit), progress in the same manner (spiritual growth), and end at the same point (salvation).

The commands to receive the Word of God in both James 1:21 and 1 Peter 2:2 are preceded by parallel statements:

Therefore lay aside [lit., Therefore laying aside] all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive . . . . . (James 1:21a)

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking . . . desire [long for] . . . . . (1 Peter 2:1-2a)

Nothing must be allowed to interfere with the reception of the Word of God as Christians mature day by day.  This is the reason Christians are exhorted over and over in the New Testament to separate themselves from the things of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Sin in one’s life will impede the reception of the Word of God; and sin harbored in one’s life will impede the reception of this Word to the extent that the individual may fail to grow “unto salvation.”

The problem of sin in the Christian’s life today, in view of the coming salvation of the soul, is the reason Christ is presently exercising a high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.  Christians reside in a body of death with the ever-present sin nature; and, in this condition, they reside in a world under the control and dominion of Satan and his angels.  Residing in the present world system after this fashion, Christians come under constant attack from the archenemy of their souls; and failure in the pilgrim walk, producing defilement in their lives, can and does occur.

Because of present conditions and circumstances, Christ, as High Priest, is performing a work in the heavenly sanctuary.  He is performing a present, continuous cleansing for Christians, accomplished solely on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat (Hebrews 9:11-12).  And forgiveness and cleansing from “all unrighteousness” occur as Christians “confess” their sins (1 John 1:5-6, 9; 2:1-2).

The reason for Christ’s present ministry has to do with the salvation of the soul, as the reason for His past ministry had to do with the salvation of the spirit.  God’s complete purpose for man cannot be realized apart from the salvation of both, i.e., the salvation of man as a complete being (which, in that coming day, will include his body as well).

MILK … MEAT … STRONG MEAT

In the terminology of Scripture itself, milk is for babies, and meat is for those who have experienced sufficient growth to leave the milk and partake of solid food.  Both milk and meat (solid food) are indispensable elements as one progressively grows from an immature infant into a mature adult, and nourishment to produce proper growth in both the physical and spiritual realms must come from the correct source.

1)  IN THE PHYSICAL REALM

The analogy concerning a newborn Christian’s spiritual needs for the “milk which is without guile” is drawn from the physical needs and desires of a newborn baby.  Almost immediately following birth the baby instinctively begins seeking nourishment from his mother.  His needs are very basic:  food, warmth, and security.

These are all satisfied at his mother’s breasts, as he longs for his mother’s milk.  This milk is pure, easily digested, and contains all the necessary components for the early growth of the entire body, especially the brain and nervous system.  The mother’s milk is a living organism that cannot be duplicated.  Man’s best efforts to reproduce this milk are described by the terms “most like,” or “near to.”

A child in his early physical growth does not continue on milk indefinitely.  The child’s growth always moves toward a day when he is able to leave the milk and continue on solid food.  The solid food that the child first begins taking is a type that is more easily masticated and digested.  But as the child grows, the teeth become more firmly entrenched, the digestive system matures, and the day arrives when the child becomes physically mature enough to handle any type of solid food.

2)  IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM

God revealed Himself to Abraham as “El Shaddai [‘Almighty God’]” (Genesis 17:1).  El is the singular form of the plural Hebrew word for “God” (Elohim), and Shaddai is a derivative of the word shad, which means “breast.”  In this respect, God literally revealed Himself to Abraham as the “All-Powerful, Breasted God,” i.e., the All-Powerful God who nourishes, gives strength, and satisfies.  This appears to be the primary thought behind the words El Shaddai when used with God’s own people in view.

God’s revealed Word to man, derived from the “All-Powerful, Breasted One,” is the means through which God nourishes, strengthens, and satisfies His people throughout their pilgrim walk.  The newborn Christian, because of his new nature, is to instinctively long for the “spiritual milk which is without guile” (1 Peter 2:2, ASV); and the more mature a Christian becomes, the more he, in like manner, is to instinctively move on into the “meat” and “strong meat” (solid food) of the Word.

This Word is “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12) and contains everything necessary for Christian growth to maturity.  The weaning process in Christian growth pertains only to the “milk,” not the source.  It is not possible for any Christian to receive nourishment apart from the “All-Powerful, Breasted God.”

Proper Christian growth begins with “milk,” progresses to meat,” and then moves on to “strong meat” (KJV).  In Hebrews 5, the writer of this book severely rebuked certain Christians for their inability to handle anything but “milk.”  They had been saved for a sufficient length of time that they should not only have progressed from milk to meat, and then to strong meat (solid food), but they should also have progressed to the point where they could teach the Word to other Christians.

However, because of a lazy, careless manner of conducting their spiritual lives over time, these Christians had not experienced proper growth in their understanding of the Word.  They were still on the milk of the Word and had not progressed in their Christian growth beyond the point of needing to be taught themselves.

The subject matter at hand in relation to “strong meat” (solid food) in Hebrews chapter five is the Melchizedek priesthood.  The writer of this book had “many things” he would like to have said concerning this priesthood; but these things had to do with a realm of biblical doctrine beyond that which these Christians, because of their immaturity, were able to comprehend.

The things associated with the Melchizedek priesthood had to do with strong meat (solid food), and these Christians were still on milk.  They were unable to partake of meat, much less strong meat drawn from teachings surrounding the Melchizedek priesthood.

(Note that both “milk” and “meat” have an association with that which is living in both the physical and spiritual realms.  Man may attempt to duplicate both; but, in reality, he can duplicate neither.  Life of this nature — physical or spiritual — comes only through breath, which comes from God.

This whole overall thought will explain what is meant in John 6 by partaking of Christ as the Bread of life, or eating His flesh and drinking His blood [John 6:33-35, 48-58].  There is the living Word, and there is the written Word [which is living as well].  The two are inseparably related, for, by way of explanation concerning that which is stated in John chapter six, John had previously called attention to the Word becoming flesh [John 1:1-2, 14]. 

God’s Son is a manifestation of the Old Testament Scriptures in the form of flesh [cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44].  And, accordingly, an individual partakes of the Word made flesh through an intake, assimilation, and digestion of the written Word.  Both are simply manifestations of the Word, which is God, in two different forms.

Everything is alive.  It is a partaking of the living Word through a partaking of the written Word [which, again, is living as well].  It is a progression from living milk, to living meat, to living strong meat (solid food).  Only through this means can spiritual growth for the man now possessing spiritual life occur.)

The Christians in Hebrews chapter five were said to be “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11).  The thought from the wording of the text is that they didn’t necessarily begin this way as newborn babes.  This is something that had resulted from the careless manner in which they had governed their spiritual lives.  Before they had grown to the point where they could leave the milk of the Word, they had become sluggish in hearing the Word of God.  They, as brought out in James 1:21, had, so to speak, possibly allowed wax to build up in their ears.  Their spiritual perception had been dulled, preventing them from hearing properly.

The Word of God was not being allowed to travel in a proper and natural manner through the auditory canal into their saved human spirits.  There was no proper exercise of faith because there was no proper exercise of hearing the Word of God (cf. Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6).  And, apart from the reception of this Word, there could, consequently, be no growth toward maturity.

The only way to rectify an existing situation of this nature is clearly outlined in James 1:21 and 1 Peter 2:1-2.  It requires removing any obstructions from the auditory canals.  That is, it has to do with laying aside everything opposed to purity, and receiving “with meekness [in a favorable manner] the implanted Word . . . .”

The word translated “dull” in Hebrews 5:11 is from the same word in the Greek text translated “sluggish” (KJV: slothful) in Hebrews 6:12:

that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Christians referred to in chapter six where exhorted to not be like the ones previously referred to in chapter five; and the given purpose had to do with faith, patient endurance, and a future inheritance (Hebrews 6:13ff).

The word “patience” is the translation of a Greek word that has to do with patient endurance over time.  In this case, a long period of time, the entire Christian life, is in view.  These Christians were to receive the Word of God in a continuing manner throughout their entire pilgrim walk.  The reception of this Word would, in turn, produce a walk by faith and progressively result in Christian maturity. And, while patiently enduring trials and tests during the pilgrim walk after this fashion, they were to look ahead to the inheritance that would be realized at the end of their faith, in connection with and at the time of the salvation of their souls (cf. Hebrews 6:14-19; 1 Peter 1:4-9).

THE NESHAMAH

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

The roots of all biblical doctrine have been established in the book of Genesis.  This is the book of beginnings; and all Scripture beyond this point must, after some fashion, reach back and draw from this book.

In the account of the creation of man, insight is given into certain truths concerning “life” derived from God.  These truths will, in turn, provide light on the subject matter at hand — the reception of the Word of God (which is alive, and powerful [Hebrews 4:12]) in relation to the salvation of the soul/life.

The creation of Adam from “the dust of the ground,” and the removal of “a rib” from Adam’s side, occurred on the sixth day of the restoration account in Genesis chapter one.  But the methods that God used to bring about both Adam’s creation and the formation of Eve from a portion of Adam’s body were not revealed in the recorded account until following the seventh day in chapter two.

Most of chapter two is taken up with certain specifics concerning that which had previously occurred on the sixth day in the preceding chapter, and this account is rich beyond degree in biblical study.  The second chapter of Genesis (as the first chapter) is the point where the origin of numerous biblical doctrines can be traced, and these doctrines cannot be properly understood apart from this chapter.

The means that God used in both man’s creation and the subsequent impartation of life into His new creation are given in Genesis 2:7.  There first existed a lifeless form that had previously been fashioned from the dust of the ground.  Creation itself did not produce life in this form.  Rather, God imparted life to man following his creation.  This life was produced by means of the breath of God, and it is here that “life” in relation to man is first mentioned in Scripture.

The Hebrew word translated “breath” in Genesis 2:7 is Neshamah.  The Neshamah of God produced “life.”  The word “God” in this verse is a translation of the plural noun, Elohim, indicating that not only the Father, but also the Son and the Holy Spirit were instrumental in producing this life.

Thus, man’s life in the beginning was derived from the triune God through what is called the Neshamah.  And Genesis 2:7 provides insights into things far beyond the simple fact that God created man and then imparted life to man.  This verse provides insights into things surrounding man’s salvation today — both the salvation of the spirit and the salvation of the soul.

First, the impartation of life to unredeemed man, who is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, 5), must follow the pattern (typeestablished in Genesis.  He, as Adam prior to the Neshamah of God, is lifeless; and his life must be derived through the same means as Adam’s life.

Second, once this life has been imparted, it must be continued and sustained; and, as will become evident, Scripture teaches that life is not only imparted through the Neshamah of God, but life is also continued and sustained through the Neshamah of God as well.

A first-mention principle has been established in Genesis 2:7, and life that man derives from God must always be in complete keeping with that which is set forth in this verse.  God alone initially “imparts” and subsequently “continues” and “sustains” life; and this entire sequence, having to do with God’s revealed work as it pertains to life, is always accomplished, in its entirety, through the Neshamah of God.

1)  IMPARTATION OF LIFE TO THE UNSAVED (SALVATION OF THE SPIRIT)

Unregenerate man today comes into a right relationship with God solely by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary.  The Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, and by this work of the Spirit man passes “from death into life” (John 5:24).

(The word “Spirit” in the Greek text is Pneuma, a word that also means “breath.”  It is used in the latter sense in the New Testament to show life being produced by “a breathing in,” or death being wrought by “a breathing out.”  In Luke 8:55, life was restored to a young girl by her “spirit [breath]” returning; and in Luke 23:46, Christ terminated His life on the Cross by giving “up the spirit [lit., from the wording of the Greek text, He ‘breathed out’].”)

Thus, the Holy Spirit is the One who generates life in lifeless man (on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary), and the expression used in both the Hebrew and Greek texts relative to the Spirit generating life in this manner is “a breathing in.”  God, by the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, “breathes life into” unregenerate man today, resulting in the man passing “from death into life.”

Or, in James 2:26, the same principle is seen relative to the physical body, as previously seen in Genesis 2:7:  “. . . the body without the spirit [‘breath’] is dead.”

Since type and antitype must agree in exact detail, the impartation of life to Adam in Genesis chapter two must, of necessity, have occurred in the same fashion that the impartation of life to unredeemed man occurs today.  Lifeless man during the present time derives life from God through the work of the Holy Spirit, and lifeless Adam in the Genesis account could only have derived life from God in this same manner.

Teachings drawn from the original type in relation to man’s redemption necessitate this same conclusion.  The original type is found chapter one of Genesis (Genesis 1:2-5 (2b), with Genesis 2:7 being a subsequent type, providing additional details.  And the latter verse, providing the first mention of “life” in relation to man, must be in complete agreement with and understood in the light of revelation in the former verses, in the original type.

The portion of the original type under consideration at this point is Genesis 1:2-3 (2b):

. . . darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over (KJV: moved upon) the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

These verses outline the beginning of the restoration of a creation that was brought into a ruined state by an act of Satan (the earth, the province over which Satan ruled [and still rules today], becoming a chaos because of his aspirations to be “like the Most High” [Isaiah 14:12-14]).

Then these verses in Genesis chapter one, in turn, set forth in type the beginning of the restoration of a creation that was brought into a subsequent state of ruin by another act of Satan (causing man to fall [becoming a ruin, a chaos] by deceiving the woman into believing that she could be “as God” [Genesis 3:5, 22]).

The established pattern (type) relative to the restoration of a ruined creation is set in chapter one of Genesis.  Once God establishes a pattern of this nature, no change can ever occurfor God’s patterns are set perfect at the beginning.  The restoration of any subsequent ruined creation must occur in exact accord with the established pattern.  Thus, God’s work in the restoration of fallen man today — a subsequent ruined creation — must follow the established pattern, in exact detail.

The Spirit of God moved in chapter one of Genesis, effecting a beginning of the earth’s restoration.  And the first thing recorded immediately following the Spirit’s movement was the placement of light alongside the previously existing darkness, with a division established between the light and the darkness.

The Spirit of God, in like manner, moves today, effecting a beginning of man’s restoration (the salvation of his spirit).  And the first thing that God does for man is to place light alongside the previously existing darkness — place a new nature alongside the old nature, a new man alongside the old man — with a division established between the two (cf. Hebrews 4:12).

But in the Genesis account, complete restoration was not accomplished by God’s work on the first day.  Rather, the earth, by this divine work accomplished on the first day, was brought into a state where a continued work could be accomplished.  And, over time, this continued work would complete the earth’s restoration.

And restoration for ruined man occurs exactly the same way.  Complete restoration is not accomplished by the birth from above.  Rather, the person, by the birth from above, is brought into a state where a continued work can be accomplished.  And, over time, this continued work will complete man’s restoration.

Note the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:6; 5:17a in this respect:

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. . . .

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation . . . .

These verses in 2 Corinthians chapters four and five can only be a direct allusion to the account of the restoration of the ruined creation in Genesis 1 — light shining out of darkness, associated with a new creation being brought into existence in both instances, with the former foreshadowing the latter.  And Genesis 2:7, a subsequent type concerning unregenerate man (life produced in that which is lifeless), is an account portraying exactly the same truth from a different perspective, providing additional details.

The Spirit of God wrought order out of chaos in Genesis chapter one; the Spirit of God — the Neshamah — produced life in Genesis chapter two; and the Spirit of God brings order out of chaos, produces life in unregenerate man today, exactly the same way.

The Spirit of God today moves upon the ruined creation, upon ruined man (Genesis 1).  That is, He breathes life into the one having no life (Genesis 2).  Only then does “light” shine out of what was only darkness before that time (allowing for a continued divine work), with everything being done in complete accordance with the revealed Word of God — “And God said . . . .” (cf. Genesis 1:2b ff; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Then, to complete the type, note the septenary structure of this opening section of Genesis, establishing, at the very beginning, a septenary structure upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests.  The six days of work used to restore the earth in Genesis point to the six days (6,000 years [cf. 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:1-8]) of work that God is presently using to restore man; and the Sabbath rest following the six days in the Genesis account points to the Sabbath rest, the 1,000-year Messianic Era, which will follow the present six days, the present 6,000 years of work (cf. Exodus 31:12-17; Hebrews 4:1-9).

2)  IMPARTATION OF LIFE TO THE SAVED (SALVATION OF THE SOUL)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

Once life has been generated, life must then be continued and sustained.  Life is generated through “breathing in” (initial work of the Spirit), retained through “the breath remaining” (a subsequent work of the Spirit), and sustained through a “continued breathing in.”  Sustenance for life, “a continued breathing in,” is that which is involved in 2 Timothy 3:16.  This verse, studied in the light of Genesis 2:7, is the key that will:

1) Unlock the door concerning the Neshamah of God in relation to saved man (past or present).

2) Demonstrate the power of the Word of God.

3) Reveal the reason Christians are commanded to “receive the implanted Word.”

The word “God-breathed” in 2 Timothy 3:16 is a translation of the compound Greek word Theopneustos, which is simply the word for “God” (Theos) and the word for “breath,” or “Spirit” (Pneuma) added.  Thus, the translation “God-breathed” is not only a very literal translation, but, in the light of Genesis 2:7, it can only be the best of all possible translations.

The “Word of God,” by comparing Genesis 2:7 and 2 Timothy 3:16, is identified with the Neshamah of God — the breath of God.  The Word of God was given by the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), and is the element — the living organism — that the indwelling Holy Spirit uses to sustain the life that He Himself originally imparted and presently continues.

Thus, in a full Scriptural respect, the Neshamah of God can only refer to both the Spirit and the Word.  “Life” emanates from both (2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 4:12; James 2:26), and they are inseparably linked through one common denominator — Breath.

The Word of God, because of its very origin and nature, is the only thing that the Holy Spirit, who gave the Word, can use to effect man’s spiritual growth toward maturity.  The Neshamah of God (the Holy Spirit) who imparted life uses the Neshamah of God (the implanted Word) to feed, nourish, and properly develop this life.

The Word of God alone is able to make one “wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15).  That is to say, the Word of God alone can be used by the Holy Spirit to bring about the Christian’s walk by faith (cf. Romans 10:17), ultimately resulting in the salvation of his soul.

(The Neshamah of God, relating to saved man and the salvation of his soul, is continued in Chapter 4 of this book, The Breath of God, Ch. 4, Salvation of the Soul by Arlen Chitwood.)

Word Document:  The Implanted Word by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
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The Breath of God
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath [neshamahof life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

All Scripture is God-breathed [theopneustosand is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)

(Background material for “the breath of God” can be found in The Implanted Word in this site.)

Following his creation in the beginning, “life” within man was produced by “the breath [‘the Neshamah’] of God” (Genesis 2:7).  This established a first-mention principle in Scripture concerning “life” in relation to man, and this principle remains unchanged throughout all subsequent Scripture.

Man’s life throughout not only time but eternity, as in the Genesis account, must emanate from God; and this life cannot be generated, continued, or sustained apart from the Neshamah of God.

In Scriptural terminology, the Neshamah is identified with both the “Holy Spirit” of God and the “Word” of God.  Life, which comes from God alone, is always produced through “breathing in.”  Remaining within basic teachings drawn from the types in Genesis 1:2-5; 2:7, God, through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, “breathes life into” unredeemed, lifeless man today.  Once imparted, with the man possessing spiritual life (having been redeemed), this life is then continued and sustained through the same principle — by the breath of God remaining with man (past dispensation) or remaining in man (present dispensation), and by the breath of God continuing to be breathed into man.

By the abiding presence of the breath of God (which, during this present dispensation, is through the Spirit indwelling the one in whom He had previously breathed life), the believer remains secure in his positional standing before God; and by a continued impartation of the breath of God (the Word of God flowing into man’s saved human spirit, with the indwelling Holy Spirit leading the individual “into all truth”), the believer receives living nourishment for spiritual growth to maturity.

“Scripture,” unlike any other writing, is alive:

For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . .” (Hebrews 4:12a)

“Life” can be attributed to Scripture only on the basis of the fact that the “oracles of God” emanated from the Giver and Sustainer of life.  Scripture is “God-breathed.”  It is the Neshamah, the “breath” of God.

This is what sets Scripture apart from all other writings.  That which God has to say in His Word is alivenot subject to error, and will endure forever.  But that which man has to say is, on the other hand, lifeless, subject to error, and will endure only for time.

Thus, the Holy Spirit today initially imparts life to man who is “dead in trespasses and sins,” continues this life by His abiding presence, and sustains this life via the living Word of God flowing into man’s saved human spirit.  The indwelling Holy Spirit takes the Word of God received into man’s saved human spirit, and, by man’s spiritual perception, changes the Water to Wine (cf. John 2:1-11).  A continued process of this nature — revealing the things of the Spirit to the man of spirit by man’s spiritual perception — progressively results in growth to maturity.

The great difference between redeemed man and unredeemed man is possession or non-possession of spiritual life derived from the “breath” of God.

Unregenerate man, who is spiritually dead, is alienated from everything associated with the “breath” of God in this respect, for that which has no life is completely incompatible with that which has life.  Thus, the living Word of God is not for him; it is alien to his fallen nature, the only nature that he possesses.

Regenerate man, on the other hand, possesses spiritual life that was “breathed in.”  He possesses a new, non-alienated nature; and, on this basis, there can now be a continuance of life “breathed in.”  Thus, the living Word of God, because it is the very life-giving “breath” of God, is for redeemed man alone.

Redeemed individuals are divided into two classes in Scripture — “spiritual,” and “carnal” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).  Both possess spiritual life that was “breathed in,” both are capable of spiritual discernment, and both are in a position to allow God to continue “breathing in” life.

The carnal Christian though rejects the leadership of the Spirit.  He follows the fleshly man rather than the spiritual man; and, although his eternal salvation remains secure through the “breath” of God remaining in him (based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary), he experiences no growth.  He does not allow God to continue “breathing in” life.

But the spiritual Christian governs his life in an entirely different manner.  He follows the leadership of the Spirit; He allows God to continue “breathing in” life; and, by his spiritual discernment, as led by the Holy Spirit, he is able to begin grasping the great spiritual truths of the Word of God, progressively growing from immaturity to maturity.

A continued inflow of the breath of God into man’s saved human spirit in this manner, following his salvation, will result in what Scripture calls the “filling of the Spirit” and the “metamorphosis” (i.e., the “transformation” in Romans 12:2).  These are actually two different experiences in the lives of Christians that occur in a progressive, concurrent manner.  These experiences, however, are so closely related that one cannot occur without the other, and neither can occur apart from the Word of God and the Spirit’s work in the life of a believer in relation to this Word.

The remainder of this chapter will be taken up with “the breath” of God producing a Spirit-filled Christian and, at the same time, working the metamorphosis in his life.

FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an experience that occurs after one has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31).  At the time of belief, an individual is immersed (baptizedin the Holy Spirit, and, through this immersion, becomes part of the “one body,” the “one new man,” in Christ (cf. Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13 [“with” and “by” should be translated “in”]; Ephesians 2:15).  The Holy Spirit, from this point forward, indwells the believer, forming a “temple of God” — an earthly tabernacle in which deity dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20).

But the Spirit filling the tabernacle is an experience in the life of a Christian that occurs subsequent to the Spirit indwelling the tabernacle.  Christians, ones in whom the Spirit dwells, are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); and the biblical manner in which this is accomplished is clearly revealed to be in connection with life continuing to be “breathed into” man following the initial “in-breathing” that generated life at the beginning.

Scripture reveals an inseparable relationship between being filled with the Spirit (the Neshamah) and dwelling deeply in the Word of God (the Neshamah).  This is clearly taught by comparing Scripture with Scripture in Ephesians and Colossians — companion epistles, which parallel one another a number of places.

One such parallel can be seen in the section in Ephesians where Christians are commanded to be filled with the Spirit and in the section in Colossians where Christians are commanded to let the Word of Christ dwell in them richly in all wisdom.

In Ephesians, Christians are told:

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:18-20)

In Colossians, Christians are told:

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17)

Note the contextual parallel between the commands, “be filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians and “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” in Colossians.  Both have to do with the same thing.  One is substituted for the other in its respective, parallel counterpart.  And the clear inference from this parallel, in conjunction with related Scripture, leads to only one conclusion:  A Christian who is filled with the Spirit is one who has allowed the Word of Christ to dwell in him richly in all wisdom.

The indwelling of the Spirit is wrought at the time God initially “breathes life into” an individual, and the filling of the Spirit is wrought through God subsequently continuing to “breathe life into” that individual.  The “God-breathed” Scriptures flowing into man’s saved human spirit — a continued impartation of life into man — progressively, through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 16:13), produce a Spirit-filled Christian.

Relative to the filling of the Spirit, note further the relationship to one another — as presented within context — of husbands and wives, children and parents, and servants and masters in the verses immediately following these two sections in Ephesians and Colossians.

Wives can show that they are filled with the Spirit through their submission to their husbands, “as to the Lord” (cf. Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18).

Husbands can show that they are filled with the Spirit through their love for their wives, “just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her” (cf. Ephesians 5:25-33; Colossians 3:19).

Children can show that they are filled with the Spirit through their obedience to their parents, “in the Lord” (cf. Ephesians 6:1-2; Colossians 3:20).

Fathers can show that they are filled with the Spirit by not provoking their children to anger, but bringing “them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (cf. Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

Servants can show that they are filled with the Spirit by being obedient to their masters according to the flesh, “with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ” (cf. Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-25).

And masters can show that they are filled with the Spirit by treating their servants just and equal, “knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (cf. Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1).

God desires that all Christians be filled with the Spirit, and the manner God uses to bring this to pass is clearly revealed in His Word.  There must be a continued “breathing in” of life into the one who has initially been given life through the “breath” of God, and this cannot be accomplished apart from the “God-breathed” Oracles.

In view of this, it is no wonder that the living Word of God — the Neshamah — remains under constant attack by Satan, his emissaries, and those who do his bidding.

The Word of God is either what it claims to be or there can be no continued “in-breathing” of life into redeemed man.  And, apart from this continued “in-breathing” of life, redeemed man could not grow spiritually, for only that which is compatible with spiritual life can provide nourishment for this life, resulting in growth.  Apart from the God-breathed Word, every Christian, throughout his entire pilgrim walk, would remain in a carnally immature state rather than grow in a spiritual manner to maturity.

Such a Christian would be indwelt by the Spirit, but, apart from the living Word, he could not be filled with the Spirit.  He would remain carnal, immature, and powerless.  Nor could he ultimately realize the salvation of his soul, for there would be no continued in-breathing of life to bring this to pass.  Consequently, apart from this continued “in-breathing” of life, God could not ultimately bring “many sons” to glory to occupy the numerous positions of power and authority as joint-heirs with Christ in the coming kingdom.

The “many sons” whom God will bring “to glory” are those who will be adopted — placed as firstborn sons — at the end of the present age.  And those Christians being adopted will be accorded the honor and privilege of occupying positions as firstborn sons with God’s firstborn Son — occupying regal positions as co-heirs with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.

(Adoption in connection with the salvation of the soul is dealt with in a more extensive manner at the end of this chapter.  Refer to the parenthetical data on pp. 64-66 of Salvation of the Soul.)

THE METAMORPHOSIS — PRESENT

And do not be conformed to this world [age], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

In this verse there is a negative command followed by a positive command:  “do not be conformed . . . but be transformed . . . .”

1)  DO NOT BE CONFORMED

The Greek word translated “conformed” is sunschematizo.  This is a compound word with the preposition sun (with) prefixed to the verb form of the word schema (outline, diagram).  The English word “scheme” is an Anglicized form of the Greek word schema.  The word has to do with a schematic outline, and the thought inherent in this compound Greek word and the negative command is to not outline or diagram your life in accordance with the present age.

During the present age there is a world kingdom in which the Gentile nations rule the earth under the control and dominion of Satan, the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  

Fallen man is ruling the earth, which is under a curse, directly under the one who has disqualified himself to rule (Satan, along with his angels — ruling from a heavenly sphere over the earth through the Gentile nations [cf. Ezekiel 28:14; Daniel 10:13-20; Luke 4:5-6; Ephesians 6:11-12]).

Everywhere one looks there’s something wrong with the structure of the present kingdom:

Israel is out of place.

The Gentile nations are out of place.

Christ and His co-heirs (those destined to occupy regal positions with Him in the kingdom) are out of place.

Satan and his angels are out of place.

These conditions have continued unchanged, in part, for the past 6,000 years (since the fall of Adam, which resulted in the entire creation coming under the curse produced by sin); and they have continued unchanged in their entirety for the past 2,600 years (since the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles, with Israel being scattered among the nations).  And no change will occur until Christ returns and takes the kingdom.

The rightful place for Israel is dwelling in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, within a theocracy, at the head of the nations.

The rightful place for the Gentile nations is dwelling in their respective lands, out from under the dominion and rule of Satan, in a position subservient to and blessed through Israel.

The rightful place for Christ and His co-heirs is ruling (from the heavens over the earth) in the stead of Satan and his angels.

The rightful place for Satan and his angels is in the abyss and ultimately in the lake of fire.

When Christ returns and takes the kingdom, He and His glorified followers, rather than Satan and his angels, will rule from the heavens over the earth.

Satan and his angels (cast out of the heavens slightly over three and one-half years prior to this time) will be chained and imprisoned in the abyss (awaiting consignment to the lake of fire 1,000 years later), the curse will be lifted, and Israel will be placed in her own land at the head of the nations.
 
And all the Gentile nations entering the kingdom will then occupy subservient positions to Israel and be under the dominion of Christ and those who rule as joint-heirs with Him.

Presently, “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19b).

The positional standing of the believer is “in Christ,” and the position occupied by the world is “under the sway of the wicked one.”  These positions are diametrically opposed, one to the other.  Scripture clearly commands the believer, “Do not love the world or the things in the world . . .” (1 John 2:15a).  Why?  Because the world lies “under the sway of the wicked one.”

The entire present system is under Satan’s control and sway; and, whether the world realizes it or not, the programs, aims, ambitions, and aspirations of the incumbent ruler are being carried out within the present system.  All of this will one day reach an apex under the reign of the man of sin, during the coming Tribulation.  And, from that apex, it will come to a sudden and climactic end. 

Then, in conjunction with this end, Satan and his angels will, by force, be removed from their present position — that of ruling the earth through the Gentile nations.

Thus, it does not become Christians to involve themselves in the affairs of this present world system, during the present age.  By so doing, they are, in effect, defiling their high calling “in Christ” by stepping down into an arena occupied by those “under the sway of the wicked one.”

Christ, rejected by the world, is in a place removed from the world.  And Christians are to share this rejection by and separation from the world with Christ.  It is not possible for Christians to involve themselves in the affairs of this present world system, during the present age, and, at the same time, share Christ’s rejection by and separation from the world.

(The preceding is dealt with at length in the books of 1, 2 Samuel, in the typology surrounding Saul and David.  Refer to the author’s book, Judgment Seat of Christ [revised edition], Chapter 12, “Crowned Rulers,” for a discussion of this type in the light of the antitype.)

2)  BUT BE TRANSFORMED

Following the command, “Do not conformed to this age,” the Christian is commanded to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  The Greek word translated “transformed” is metamorphoo.  This is the word from which the English word “metamorphosis” is derived.  This word refers to an inward change brought about completely apart from the power of the individual himself.  The individual Christian is powerless to bring about this metamorphosis.

In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Satan “transforms himself into an angel of light” and his ministers “also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness.”  In the Greek text the word “transformed” is not the same in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 as it is in Romans 12:2.  The word used in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 is metaschematizo, referring to an outward change; and, textually (v. 13), this change is brought about through an individual’s own power.

Satan, thus, seeks to counterfeit the work of the Spirit by substituting an outward change in place of the inward change.  And the nature and source of this pseudo change often go unrecognized.

Christians who themselves seek to bring about the change of Romans 12:2 will always effect a metaschema (outward change) rather than a metamorphosis (inward change).  At the time of the birth from above the Spirit of God began a work in the Christian that He will continue “until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).  No effort on the part of Christians can help the Spirit of God effect this change.

Man’s way finds man actively involved, seeking spirituality through either quitting certain things or doing certain things, subsequently producing a metaschema.  But God’s way finds man passive, and God performs a work in the individual, ultimately producing the metamorphosis.

The endless list of do’s, do not’s, and taboos formed by Christian groups invariably have to do with a metaschema, not a metamorphosis.  Any effort on the part of Christians to help the Spirit of God bring about the transformation of Romans 12:2 will always result in a pseudo-spirituality.  God’s way is an inward change wrought through the power of the Spirit, not an outward change wrought through the power of the individual.

3)  THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND

Note according to the text how this inward change, the metamorphosis, takes place:

“. . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The word “renewing” is a translation of the Greek word anakainosis; and the action of the preceding verb (“transformed”) directs attention to a continuous renewing process, one which is to keep on taking place.  In 2 Corinthians 4:16 we are told that “the inward man is being renewed day by day.”  This renewing process is to keep on taking place day in and day out for the entire duration of the pilgrim walk here on earth.

Then, Colossians 3:10 reveals how the renewing of the mind is accomplished:

and have put on the new man who is renewed [lit., ‘is being renewed’] in knowledge after the image of Him who created him.

Note the word “knowledge” in this verse.  The regular Greek word for “knowledge” is gnosis, but the word used in Colossians 3:10 is epignosis.  This is the word gnosis (knowledge) with the prefix epi (upon).  Epignosis, thus, means “knowledge upon knowledge,” i.e., “a mature knowledge.”  The word translated “renewed” is a past participle of anakainoo (the same word used in Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 4:16) and could be better translated, “being renewed.”  The only way a Christian can acquire this mature knowledge, which allows the Spirit of God to work the metamorphosis in his life, is through receiving the living Word of God into his saved human spirit.

Christians must allow God to continue “breathing in” life.  The living, God-breathed Word must be allowed to flow into man’s saved human spirit or there can be no metamorphosis.  The renewing of the inward man “day by day,” by receiving “the implanted Word,” producing the metamorphosis in one’s life, is the manner in which the salvation of the soul is presently being effected.

As previously seen, receiving “the implanted Word” in James 1:21 and 1 Peter 2:2 is preceded by “laying aside” everything opposed to purity (ref. Chapter 3 of this book, The Implanted Word in this site).  It is the same with the metamorphosis in Romans 12:2.  The words, “be not conformed to this age [lit., ‘stop being conformed to this age’],” appear prior to the words, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Those “in Christ” are commanded to remove themselves from that which lies “under the sway of the wicked one” prior to receiving “the implanted Word,” which will effect the metamorphosis in their lives.

Thus, Romans 12:2; James 1:21; and 1 Peter 2:2 all teach the same thing relative to laying aside everything opposed to purity prior to receiving “the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.”

THE METAMORPHOSIS — FUTURE

Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;

and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 16:28-17:5)

The change presently taking place in the lives of Christians is inward.  But within the culmination of the work of the Spirit in that future day of Jesus Christ, the change will include the outward also.  The metamorphosis actually cannot be completed apart from this culminating, outward change.  The Spirit of God “who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

The day will come when we will put off “this body of this death” (Romans 7:24).  That will be the day when He will “fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory” (Philippians 3:21a, ASV).  The work of the Spirit in this part of the metamorphosis is set forth in Matthew 17.

That which occurred on the Mount, when Jesus was transfigured, is a foreview of things that are yet to occur.  The same Greek word translated “transformed” in Romans 12:2 (metamorphoo) is translated “transfigured” in Matthew 17:2.  As Peter, James, and John appeared with Jesus on the Mount, Jesus was transfigured before them; and Moses and Elijah appeared and stood in His presence.

In Matthew 16:28, Christ had revealed that certain disciples would not die until they had seen “the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”  Then, in Matthew 17:1-5, after six days, on the seventh day, certain disciples (Peter, James, and John) saw “the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Peter, as he wrote years later concerning this experience, said:

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty [His greatest regal magnificence — a superlative in the Greek text]. (2 Peter 1:16)

Peter then went on to state that the time this eyewitness account occurred was “when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (v. 18).  Biblical revelation leaves no room to question or wonder exactly what is being foreshadowed by the events on the Mountain, recorded in Matthew 17:1-5.

The “six days” (Matthew 17:1) foreshadow the entire time comprising Man’s Day.  “Six” is man’s number.  These six days extend from the creation of Adam to the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom.  Each one of these days is 1,000 years in length (2 Peter 3:1-8).

This 6,000-year period comprises Man’s Day, and at the end of Man’s Day the Lord’s Day will begin.

The seventh 1,000-year period dating from the creation of Adam comprises the Lord’s Day.  “Seven” is God’s number.  It will be “after six days” — after 6,000 years, at the end of Man’s Day — that the Son of Man will be seen “coming in His kingdom,” beginning the Lord’s Day on the earth.

The “high mountain” (Matthew 17:1) foreshadows the coming kingdom.  A “mountain” in Scripture, when used in this sense, refers to a kingdom (cf. Psalm 2:6; Ezekiel 28:14; Daniel 2:35).  And, in this section of Scripture, the coming kingdom of our Lord is not referred to by just any mountain, but by “a high mountain.”

Jesus appeared in a transfigured body.  Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, also in transfigured bodies.  Moses had died, and had been raised from the dead.  Elijah had never died, but had been removed from the earth alive.  Peter, James, and John, out from the nation of Israel, appeared in natural bodies and were elevated above all those at the foot of the mount.  And “a bright cloud,” the Glory of God (cf. Luke 9:31-32), overshadowed them all.

In the coming kingdom, Jesus will appear in this same transfigured body.  Just as Moses (who was raised from the dead) and Elijah (who was removed from the earth without dying) appeared with Christ in transfigured bodies, so will Christians in that future day appear with Christ in transfigured bodies like the body of Christ.

When the Lord Himself descends from heaven to take His Church out of the world, “. . . the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air . . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:16b, 17a).

Christians associated with Christ in the kingdom will possess bodies like the body of Christ (a spiritual body — a body of flesh and bone, with the life-giving, animating principle being the Spirit of God).  These Christians will be comprised of resurrected believers (typified by Moses) and believers who have never died (typified by Elijah).  And these Christians will rule from the heavens over the earth as co-heirs with Christ.

Then, the nation of Israel (typified by Peter, James, and John) will be here on earth.  And the individuals comprising this nation will be present in natural bodies (soulical bodies — bodies of flesh, blood, and bone, with the life-giving, animating principle being the blood [cf. Leviticus 17:11]).  As Peter, James, and John were elevated above all those at the foot of the mount, the nation of Israel will be elevated above all other nations.  And the Glory of God, the “bright cloud” which overshadowed those on the mount (cf. Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:32), will be restored to Israel (cf. Isaiah 2:1-4; 6:1-10; Joel 2:27-32).

One day when the Lord returns for His Church, the Holy Spirit will complete the metamorphosis.  Christians will be delivered from “the body of this death” and will receive bodies that will possess an entirely different life-giving, animating principle than the bodies that Christians possess today.  The Neshamah of God — the Holy Spirit Himself — will provide this life in the completion of the metamorphosis (1 Corinthians 15:40-45).

All Christians will be changed in the outward manifestation of the metamorphosis, for the resurrection and rapture, with the accompanying change of the body, are not contingent upon the inward change during the present time.  The outward change is conditioned upon one’s positional standing (“in Christ”) alone.

But Christians experiencing the outward change apart from the prior inward change will realize the loss of their souls/lives.  They will enter into the presence of the Lord with redeemed spirits, changed bodies, but forfeited lives.  Consequently, they will occupy no position among the many sons who will be brought to glory.

(At the end of the present dispensation, all Christians will be resurrected, or removed from the earth without dying, in the same type of body in which Christ was raised from the dead.  Christ was raised in a spiritual body rather than a natural [soulical] body [cf. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44].  He was raised in a body of flesh and bones, with the life-giving, animating principle of the body being the Spirit of God rather than the blood [which He had previously “poured out” (Isaiah 53:12)].

Christ though was not raised in a glorified body.  He was raised in a type of body that possessed capabilities outside the scope possessed by a natural [soulical] body [e.g., He could appear at a certain place and disappear from that place, moving to another place, at will (Luke 24:31, 36)].  But there was no Glory connected with His resurrection body until “a cloud” received Him out of the disciples’ sight at the end of His forty-day post-resurrection ministry, when He was “received up into glory” [Acts 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:16].

This can be easily seen, for example, by noting the differences in two of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances.  He appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus later on the same day that He was raised from the dead [appearing apart from His Glory (Luke 24:13-31)], and He appeared a few years later to Paul on the road to Damascus [in connection with His Glory (Acts 9:1-5; 26:12-15)].  At Christ’s former appearance, it is apparent that there was nothing visibly different about His overall appearance that distinguished him from any other man.  However, at His latter appearance, there was a major difference in this respect.  There was a brightness surrounding His appearance that was above that of the noon-day sun [Acts 26:13; cf. Revelation 1:16].

When Christians are removed from the earth at the end of the present dispensation, they will receive bodies like Christ’s body at the time of His resurrection — a spiritual body of flesh and bones, apart from the Glory.  The “redemption of the body will then occur at a later time, synonymous with “the adoption” [Romans 8:23], not in connection with the removal of Christians from the earth at the end of the present dispensation.

[The manner in which the Greek text is worded in Romans 8:23, the redemption of the body and the adoption are synonymous.  One is simply another way of saying the same thing as the other.

“…waiting out adoption, (namely) the ransoming of our body” (Lenski).

“Patiently awaiting son-placing, the redemption of our body” (Wuest).]

The adoption of Christians can occur only following events surrounding the judgment seat of Christ, for the adoption has to do with sons occupying the position of firstborn” [firstborn sons] — something that cannot occur preceding a separation of Christians [the overcomers from the non-overcomers], based on decisions and determinations rendered at the judgment seat.  Christians having been shown faithful at the judgment seat, realizing the salvation of their souls/lives, will be adopted as firstborn sons.  But such will not be, for it cannot be, the case for unfaithful Christians, those having forfeited their souls/lives.

According to Romans 8:18-23, adoption as firstborn sons is in connection with rulership [in the human realm, only firstborn sons can rule in this manner within the theocracy].  And the unfaithful, though possessing spiritual bodies of flesh and bones, will be in no position to rule and cannot be adopted into a firstborn status.  They can only appear as the ones seen in Hebrews 12:8 — as individuals who had previously rejected God’s child-training [Hebrews 12:5-7] and cannot now be His sons [the sons seen in Romans 8:19, adopted into a firstborn status in Romans 8:23].

[The word “chastisement” (KJV) in Hebrews 12:5-8 is from noun and verb forms (paideia, paideuo) of a Greek word that means “child-training.”  Then, the word translated “bastard” (KJV) in v. 8 is nothos in the Greek text.  The word, contextually refers to those who reject God’s child-training and cannot be His sons.

“Sonship,” with a view to rulership, is in view.  And only those capable of spiritual perception, only those born from above, would be in a position to reject God’s child-training.  Thus, the unsaved cannot be in view; nor is eternal salvation even the subject at hand.]

Only following the adoption can the Glory be connected with the body, with man brought back into a full realization of that which Adam forfeited at the time of the fall [at the end of six days, at the end of 6,000 years].  Man, following the adoption and the corresponding restoration of the Glory will once again be enswathed in a covering of Glory and in a position to be further clothed in regal garments [refer to the text in parenthesis on page 6 in Chapter 1 of this book, Salvation of the Soulfor additional information in this realm].

Thus, the redemption of the body in Romans 8:23 can have nothing to do with the change in the body that will occur when Christians are removed from the earth at the end of the dispensation.  As shown by the context, the redemption of the body in this verse can only be a reference to that future time when “the glory . . . shall be revealed in us,” in Christians; it can only be a reference to that future time when “the sons of God,” a new order of Sons — Christ with His co-heirs [overcoming Christians, adopted and properly arrayed] — will be manifested for all to behold [Romans 8:18-19].

[For additional information on the preceding subject, refer to the appendix, Adoption, Redemption of the Body, in the author’s book, God’s Firstborn Sons, in this website].)

Word Document:  The Breath of God by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print. 
To website CONTENTS Page.
Faith Made Mature
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect [brought to its goal]? (James 2:14, 20-22)

James 2:14-26 opens with two self-answering questions, and the structure of these questions in the Greek text requires that both be answered in the negative (the Greek negative, “me,” appears in the latter question [designating a “no” response], and the integrally inseparable nature of the two questions shows that the first must be answered in the same sense).  The first question presents the relationship between faith and works in connection with profit, and the second question presents the relationship between faith and works in connection with salvation.  These two questions could possibly be better understood by translating the verse,

“My brethren, if anyone says he has faith, but does not have works, he cannot profit, can he?  Faith [apart from works] cannot save him, can it?”

A translation of this nature must be recognized or one will miss the force of these two questions, which are not only in complete keeping with the central message in the epistle of James but introduce that which is dealt with in the verses that immediately follow (James 2:15-26).  And, should an individual fail to grasp this central message, he will forever be lost in a sea of misinterpretation when dealing with this epistle.

Faith and works appear together in James chapter two relative to teachings surrounding the salvation of the soul, introduced in the preceding chapter (James 1:21-25).  And this is the place where numerous individuals invariably go wrong when studying the epistle.  They seek to relate both faith and works to the salvation that Christians presently possess.

And, doing this, the end result is always the same:

1)  A corruption of the biblical teaching concerning salvation by grace.

2)  A corruption of the true message in the book of James.

The relationship between faith and works in James (or other corresponding parts of Scripture [e.g., 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 11:4ff]) has nothing to do with the salvation that we presently possess.  Eternal salvation, the present possession of every believer, is wrought by grace through faith, completely apart from works.

An unredeemed person cannot perform works to be saved, and a redeemed person cannot perform works to either stay saved or to show that he has been saved.  The necessity of the complete absence of works in relation to one’s eternal salvation is just as applicable following the time one is saved as it is prior to the time one is saved.  Works cannot enter in at all; else salvation would cease to be by grace through faith (Romans 11:6).

James, in his epistle, teaching a justification on the basis of works, doesn’t deal with the salvation that man presently possesses.  Rather, throughout his epistle, James moves beyond the past aspect of salvation and directs the message to those who are already saved (a characteristic of all New Testament epistles).  In this respect, works, as seen in James, have to do solely with those who have first been justified by grace through faith.  Only then can works appear.

This is the way in which the matter is handled at any point in Scripture where faith and works are dealt with.  This has to be the case because neither the unsaved nor the saved can exercise any type of works in the realm of eternal salvation.  The unsaved can’t produce works in this realm (e.g., works for salvation), for they are spiritually dead; and the saved can’t produce works in this realm either (e.g., works to show that they have been saved), for works would have entered into an area where works cannot exist.  From a biblical standpoint, man’s works simply cannot enter, after any manner, where eternal salvation is involved.

(Works surrounding eternal salvation can enter only as they pertain to Christ’s finished work at Calvary, or to the Spirit’s work of breathing life into the one having no life [on the basis of Christ’s finished work].  Unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” [Ephesians 2:1], cannot act in the spiritual realm.  Divine intervention alone can and must occur [Ephesians 2:5].

And saved man cannot act in this realm either, for God is no longer dealing with him relative to eternal salvation.  God is now dealing with him on an entirely different plane — relative to the saving of the soul, where man’s works can enter, which is the subject matter of James.)

PAUL AND JAMES

A failure to understand this whole realm of biblical doctrine surrounding faith and works, as set forth in James, has, over the years, resulted in untold confusion among Christians.

Numerous Bible students who have understood that man’s justification must be by grace through faith, completely apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9), have been perplexed particularly by the epistle of James, for James teaches that man cannot be justified apart from works.  This so perplexed Martin Luther, with his emphasis on the salvation that Christians presently possess, referencing mainly the book of Romans, that he declared the epistle of James to be “an epistle of straw,” questioning whether or not it should be included among the canonical books.

Most attempts among Bible students today to reconcile what they see as justification apart from works in the Pauline epistles with justification by works in the epistle of James revolve around the thought that “Paul deals with justification in the eyes of God, and James deals with justification in the eyes of man.”  In other words, a man is saved by grace through faith, apart from works, in the eyes of God; but he performs works after he is saved, showing, in the eyes of man, the reality of his salvation.

This type of approach to works in James is used by many in an attempt to prove the reality or non-reality of one’s conversion by the presence or absence of works.  “Living” faith, as opposed to “dead” faith in James (James 2:17, 20, 26), is often equated with what some call “saving” faith.  The thought is then set forth that if a man possesses “saving [‘living’]” faith, he will evince this fact through good works in the eyes of man.

However, if a man who claims to be saved does not show evidence of his salvation via works in the eyes of man, this proves that he was never really saved in the first place.  All he ever possessed was a “non-saving [‘dead’]” faith.

The entire concept of justification by works in the eyes of man though is fallacious from one end to the other, and so is the concept behind calling “dead” faith a “non-saving” faith (“dead” faith will be discussed later in this chapter).  A man cannot show, via works, the reality of his justification by grace through faith.  If he could, then justification would cease to be by grace through faith.  Works, after some fashion, would have entered into an area where works cannot exist.  The pure gospel of the grace of God would have been corrupted, for,

. . .  if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (Romans 11:6)

The key to a correct understanding of the epistle of James lies in recognizing that the central message of this book deals, not with the salvation that we presently possess (salvation of the spirit), but with the salvation to be revealed at the time of our Lord’s return (salvation of the soul).  God does not deal with Christians today in relation to the salvation of their spirits.  This is a past, completed act, never to be dealt with as an issue beyond the point of the birth from above.  God deals with the regenerate solely on the basis of the fact that they have been saved, never in relation to the salvation that they presently possess.

(Note the central Old Testament type in the preceding respect — the Israelites under Moses.  Following the death of the firstborn [Exodus 12:1ff], God dealt with the Israelites on an entirely different plane.  God then dealt with them relative to the land set before them, not relative to that which was a past, finished matter — the prior death of the firstborn in Egypt.

And so it is with Christians under Christ in the antitype.  This is more fully developed in Chapters 6, 7 of this book.)

The place that “works” occupy in James must be understood in this respect.  “Works” can only appear in the realm of God’s present dealings with Christians.  Consequently, they can never pertain to the salvation of the spirit; rather, they must always pertain to the salvation of the soul alone.

But going to the Pauline epistles and seeking to contrast them with James in the realm of faith and works is not the correct way to approach and explain the matter.  Paul has not written about one thing and James another.  Rather, both Paul and James have written about the same thing.  They have both dealt with exactly the same thing, from different perspectives.

It is wrong, for example, to contrast Romans (or any of the other Pauline epistles) with James (or any of the other general epistles) and say that one (Romans) deals with the salvation that Christians presently possess and the other (James) deals with the salvation of the soul.  The central message throughout all of the epistles, beginning with Romans and ending with Jude, has to do with the same thing — the salvation of the soul, not with the salvation that Christians presently possess.

Martin Luther, as most Bible students since that time, was wrong in his approach to the message of Romans in relation to the message of James.  Both books deal with the same message, from two different perspectives (e.g.cf. Romans 4:3-22; James 2:14, 21-23).  And a failure to understand this is where the confusion lies.

In the final analysis, Romans possibly contains the highest and most intricate form of all teachings surrounding the salvation of the soul.  In this respect, rather than Romans being a book dealing with primary doctrine surrounding salvation by grace, it is, instead, a book dealing not only with the salvation of the soul but, as previously stated, possibly with the highest and most intricate form of this doctrine to be found in Scripture.  In effect, Romans is a book that Christians should probably study only after they have come into a good understanding of the salvation of the soul, not a book that those proclaiming the message of salvation by grace are to reference, seeking to show individuals how to be saved (for this is not the central message of Romans).

PROFIT … SALVATION

The key words in James 2:14 are “profit” and “save.”  These two words are linked together in such a manner — not only here, but elsewhere in Scripture — that one cannot be realized apart from the other.  That is, apart from an accrual of “profit,” salvation cannot be realized; or, to state the matter another way, an accrual of “profit” leads to (is for the purpose of) the realization of salvation (at a future date).  And James specifically states that neither can be realized by faith alone.  Works must enter and have their proper place.

One cannot profit apart from an initial investment, and one is in no position to procure the salvation of which James speaks apart from presently possessing salvation.  The Greek word translated “profit” is derived from a root word which means “to increase”; and the thought of an “increase” does not enter into the picture until one has an initial supply, making an “increase,” or “profit,” possible.

The concept of “profit” is always something in addition to that which one already possesses.  Initial investments, from which individuals can profit, are possessed only by the Lord’s own servants (Christians).  Thus, there is no such thing as the word “profit” being used in this sense in connection with the unsaved, for they have no initial investment in this realm.

The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27) provide two of the best Scriptural examples concerning “profit” on an initial investment in relation to the Lord’s servants during the present day and time.  As brought out in these parables, the Lord has delivered all of His goods to all of His servants and has left them with the command, “Do business till I come” (KJV: “Occupy till I come”).

The Lord’s servants are to trade and traffic in the Lord’s business during His time of absence.  Those who do so, under the leadership of the Lord, will realize “a profit” (cf. Matthew 25:16-17, 19-23; Luke 19:15-19).  By realizing a profit, an increase on the initial investment, they will save their souls.  On the other hand, those who refuse to use the initial investment will not only remain profitless but they will, as a consequence, suffer “loss.”  They will suffer the loss of their souls (cf. Matthew 16:24-27; 25:18-19, 24-30; Luke 19:15, 20-26).

The concept of “profit” in the epistle of James turns on the thought of works in connection with faith: “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17, 20, 26), and there can be no profit in connection with “a dead” faith.  In order for profit to accrue, there must be a living, active faith.

“Dead” faith in the epistle of James has nothing to do with either unsaved man or with the salvation that saved man presently possesses.  The thought that “dead” faith is a non-saving faith possessed by unsaved man is completely erroneous.  

There is no such thing as a non-saving faith in relation to the unsaved.  Faith either exists or it doesn’t exist.  In the case of unsaved individuals (all unsaved individuals), faith does not exist; and in the case of saved individuals (all saved individuals), faith exists, and this faith will continue to exist forever.

Faith, even though “dead,” is still there.  Faith, possessed by all Christians, cannot pass out of existence.  Scripture specifically states that “faith, hope, charity [love]” continue to abide after other things (e.g., tongues) have passed out of existence (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Faith can be very active, or it can be weak, anemic, and even dead; but faith is still there, and a weak, anemic, or dead faith can be revived — made to live — and become very active.

The very fact that faith in James chapter two is “dead” bears evidence concerning another fact:  This faith must, at one time, have existed in a “living” state.  The analogy in James 2:26 is sufficient to demonstrate this truth:

For as the body without the spirit [Greek: pneuma, ‘breath’ in this context] is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

A body that is void of “breath” is dead, and faith that is void of “works” is also dead.  Both were at one time living.  The departure of “breath” is connected with death in the body, and the departure of “works” is connected with death in faith.

In order for life to be restored to either a dead body or a dead faith, there must be a reversal of the process that produced death — “breath” must be restored to the body (Luke 8:55), and “works” must be restored to faith (James 2:17-26).  However, for works to be restored to faith, there must first be the impartation of “breath,” as in the resuscitation of the body.

The breath of God — the Neshamah, the Theopneustos, the living Word of God — must flow into man’s saved human spirit, providing sustenance for the spiritual man.  Then, by the action of the indwelling Holy Spirit, as He takes the Word, turning the Water to Wine, the spiritual man is caused to move about; and works that ensue from this movement of the spiritual man is that which is seen in James chapter two — works connected with (emanating out ofa living, active faith.

Thus, in actuality, life is restored to both a dead body and a dead faith through the same means — “breath.”  This is in keeping with the law of first mention concerning life in relation to man in Genesis 2:7.  “The breath of life” must always be the factor when life in relation to man is involved (ref. Chapter 3 in this book, Salvation of the Soul, or in this site, The Implanted Word).

In this respect, a “dead” faith is inseparably connected with a non-reception of “the implanted Word,” the Neshamah (which, if received, would ultimately result in a “living” faith, producing works).  

The word “dead” appears in the English version (KJV) in connection with faith in James 2:17, 20, 26; but in a number of the older Greek manuscripts the word for “barren” or “fruitless,” rather than the word for “dead,” appears in verse twenty.  

In these manuscripts, one would read, “. . . faith without works is barren?”  (Although most scholars prefer the older manuscript rendering, its validity need not be debated.  The same truth is taught elsewhere in Scripture [cf. 2 Peter 1:5-8].)  “Barren” faith (v. 20) is equated with “dead” faith (vv. 17, 26), and the inverse of this would be true concerning “living” faith (i.e., “fruitful,” not “barren,” would be associated with “living”).

In this respect, fruit-bearing is the result of works, and barrenness is the result of no works, inseparably connected with and emanating out of “a living” faith or “a dead, barren” faith respectively.

Thus, “dead” faith in James chapter two can only refer to faith possessed by the redeemed alone.  Fruit-bearing is in view (allowing for the saved alone to be in view); and works — resulting in fruitfulness, emanating from a “living” faith — must be present to realize a profit on the initial investment, ultimately resulting in the salvation of the soul.

FAITH … WORKS

When James speaks of works in connection with faith, exactly what type works does he have in mind?  What type of works must Christians perform in order for them to be seen possessing a “living” rather than a “dead” faith?

If one remains within the text of the epistle of James itself, such questions can be easily resolved.  James provides two examples drawn from Old Testament history concerning exactly what he has in mind; and, from these two examples, Christians can ascertain the type of works that are to be performed today, resulting in fruit-bearing.

James’ first example is derived from Genesis chapter twenty-two:

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Genesis 22:21)

Then, James’ second example is derived from Joshua chapter two:

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? (James 2:25)

Abraham was justified by works by one act, and Rahab was justified by works by another, entirely separate, different act.  These two examples stand in almost stark contrast to one another, by divine design, for a purpose.  The actions of Abraham, the father of the faithful, offering the supreme sacrifice on Mt. Moriah, constitute one example; and the actions of Rahab, a harlot, providing lodging for two Jewish spies in Jericho, constitute the other example.

Insofar as justification by works is concerned, no distinction is drawn between their individual actions.  Note the word “Likewise [Greek: homoios, ‘in like manner’]” (v. 25) that James used to compare Rahab’s justification with Abraham’s justification.  Both were equally justified by works.

The key to the matter lies in the fact that both Abraham and Rahab acted by faith.  Both occupy a position among the faithful in Hebrews chapter eleven, where these same two incidents are recorded (Hebrews 11:17-19, 31).  To act by faith, one must act in accordance with the revelation of God.  Acting “by faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about the matter and governing one’s life accordingly.

In the case of Abraham, God instructed him to offer his son as a burnt offering upon a particular mountain in the land of Moriah.  Abraham believed God, acted accordingly, and, through this act, he was justified by works.

In the case of Rahab, God had revealed certain things concerning the nation of Israel.  She knew what had previously happened to the Egyptians, the kings of the Amorites, and possibly far more.  She also knew that God had given the land in which she dwelled to the children of Israel, and she knew that they were about to take possession of this land.  Knowing the revelation of God concerning these matters, she acted accordingly.  She hid the spies, helped them escape from Jericho, and, by so doing, she was justified by works.

Both Abraham and Rahab acted in accordance with the revelation of God concerning that which they were to do in two separate matters.  Abraham was called upon to do one thing, and he was faithful to his calling.  Rahab was called upon to do something entirely different, and she, “likewise [‘in like manner’],” was faithful to her calling.  By “faithfulness” to that which God had called them to do, both, in an equal respect, were justified by works.

Thus, the answer is provided concerning the type of works that James has in mind.  Works in James chapter two, brought over into the lives of Christians today, are simply those works that God has called individual Christians to do.  God has always called individuals to do different things at different times (e.g., Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab, etc.), and those whom He calls are to be faithful in the task/tasks whereunto they have been called.

Justification by works in James is wrought by being faithful to one’s individual calling — works emanating out of faithfulness.  This, of course, presupposes that the person has acted in accordance with James 1:21 — “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word . . . .”  James 1:22 then instructs Christians to be “doers of the Word, and not hearers only,” which is something that cannot be accomplished apart from acting in accordance with the preceding verse.

The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 provides an example of this same type of faithfulness to one’s calling.  In this parable, each servant was entrusted with an amount “according to his own ability” — one five talents, one two talents, and another one talent.  “Talents” are a monetary unit of exchangean initial investment to be used by the recipient to gain an increase, a profit.  The servant with five talents was expected to use all five; the servant with two talents was expected to use both, but he was not called upon to use more than the two; the servant with one talent was expected to use that talent, but he was not called upon to use more than the one talent.

The servants possessing the five and two talents were faithful to their individual callings, and each received identical commendations upon their Lord’s return.  The servant with the one talent, however, was unfaithful to his calling and received punishment rather than commendation.  Had he been faithful in his area of responsibility, he would have received the identical commendation experienced by the other two servants.

The entire thought turns on the fact that rewards will be passed out or punishment will be meted out commensurate with an individual’s faithfulness or unfaithfulness to the task/tasks God has called that individual to do.

THE GOAL OF FAITH

“Faith” is made mature, brought to full development, reaches its goal through works (James 2:22).  The relationship between faith and works rests on this principle; and if one understands the revelation of God at this point, he will never again experience trouble in the realm of faith and works.

The Greek word translated “perfect” in James 2:22 is teleioo, which refers to “the goal,” “consummation,” “full development,” “end” of that which is in view.  In this case, “faith” is in view; and works constitute the vehicle through which faith is brought to full development, with a goal in view at the termination of this development.

“The goal” of faith is spelled out in no uncertain terms in 1 Peter 1:9:  “receiving the end [Greek: telosof your faith -the salvation of your souls.”  The Greek word telos, translated “end” in 1 Peter 1:9, is the root form of the work teleioo, translated “perfect” in James 2:22.  “Faith” is brought to maturity, full development, through works, for one great purpose — in order that the one possessing this faith might, in the coming day, realize the salvation of his soul and occupy a position as a joint-heir with Christ in His kingdom.

All Christians have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10), and God has outlined the works that He wants each of us to do.  As individuals in Christ follow the leadership of the Lord in their respective callings, performing these works, their faith is, “day by day,” progressively being brought to full development.  This is not something that occurs over a short period of time, but, rather, something that occurs over the entirety of the pilgrim walk.

This is something that occurs in conjunction with the metamorphosis and the filling of the Spirit.  The Neshamah, the Word of God flowing into man’s saved human spirit, progressively (through the action of the indwelling Holy Spirit) produces the metamorphosis and the filling of the Spirit.  At the same time, works emanating from this entire process, inseparably associated with faithfulness, progressively bring “faith” to its full developmentto its goal (ref. Chapters 2, 3 in this book, Salvation of the Soul, or in this site, If Any of You and The Implanted Word).  All of these things are working together in the lives of Christians in order to produce Spirit-filled, mature Christians who will realize the purpose for their salvation — the goal of their calling, the goal of faith, the salvation of their souls.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:

All “judgment” will be on the basis of works, and all “rewards” or “punitive actions” emanating from judgment must, likewise, be on the basis of works.  The coming judgment of the saints — the time, place, purpose, and outcome — is a major subject of Scripture, and this is an area in which all Christians who have been saved for any length of time at all should be quite knowledgeable.  One’s failure to properly understand this area of study can invariably be traced directly back to his failure to understand the correct relationship between faith and works.

1)  BASIS FOR JUDGMENT — WORKS

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by [in] fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.                   (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

The time of this judgment will be at the end of the present dispensation;  the place of this judgment will be in the heavens; the purpose for this judgment will be to “test each one’s [Christian’s] work, of what sort it is”; and the outcome of this judgment will be that some Christians will be shown to possess works comparable to “gold, silver, precious stones” (resulting in their receiving “a reward”), while other Christians will be shown to possess works comparable to “wood, hay, straw” (resulting in their suffering “loss”).

The Christians’ judgment will occur before the judgment seat of Christ in the heavens following the removal of the Church from the earth; and this judgment will occur before the Tribulation begins on earth.

(There will be an interval of time, of apparent short duration, between the removal of the Church and the beginning of Daniel’s Seventieth Week [Revelation 1:11-6:1].  The ratifying of the covenant between the man of sin and Israel marks the beginning of this period, not the removal of the Church.  And in the chronology of events seen in Revelation chapters one through five, events surrounding the judgment seat of Christ [among certain revealed events that both precede and follow those of the judgment seat] will occur preceding the Tribulation, which is seen beginning in Revelation chapter six.

Refer to the author’s book, in this site, The Time of the End, Chapters 6-10 for a discussion of the chronology of these events between the removal of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation.)

Christians will be judged on the basis of their works in view of whether these works did or did not bring one’s “faith” to its goal — the salvation of his soul.  Works comparable to “gold, silver, precious stones” will be shown to have brought faith to its proper goal; works comparable to “wood, hay, straw,” however, will be shown to have failed to bring faith to its proper goal.  Those Christians shown to be in possession of works that brought faith to its proper goal will receive a “reward” (1 Corinthians 3:14), but those Christians shown to be in possession of works that failed to bring faith to its proper goal will suffer “loss” (1 Corinthians 3:15).

The word “loss” in 1 Corinthians 3:15 is from the same Greek word translated “lose” in Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36, “be cast away” in Luke 9:25, and “I have suffered the loss” in Philippians 3:8.  The thought behind the use of this word in these passages is to “forfeit” something already in one’s possession.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke this loss is seen as the forfeiture of one’s soul.  And this is exactly what is in view in 1 Corinthians 3:15.  This is the only thing that could be in view, for the one who suffers loss will have no rewards to forfeit.  He will be left with his life (soul) alone; his works will all be burned.  And, in the light of related Scripture, an individual suffering loss at the judgment seat of Christ will experience the loss of his soul.

2)  BASIS FOR RECOMPENSE — WORKS

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward [recompense] each according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)

This is the same thought set forth in 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 concerning Christians before the judgment seat of Christ.  All events at the judgment seat will be based on works, with “rewards” or “losses” emanating from the trial of one’s works: “the fire will test each one’s work . . . .”

In Hebrews chapter eleven the reception of future rewards, promises are clearly taught to be on the basis of faith, with no mention of works.  The relationship, of course, is that works emanate from one’s faithfulness to his calling; and works bring one’s faith to the goal of his calling.  In this respect, understanding the proper relationship between faith and works, rewards can be said to emanate from works in one place and faith in another.

There is no conflict at all.

We have been saved to produce “good works” resulting in fruit-bearing, with a purpose and goal in view.  Happy are those Christians who understand this purpose and goal, governing their lives accordingly, looking out ahead to the day when “. . . He who is coming will come and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37b).

(For additional information on this subject, refer to in this following appendix, “Faith and Works.”)

Word Document:  Faith Made Mature by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.
Hope, Inheritance, Salvation
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
 
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved [‘preserved’] in heaven for you,
 
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
 
Peter in his epistles, as James in his epistle (or any of the other writers in their epistles), directs his message to the regenerate, not to the unregenerate.  Peter’s message is for the “elect,” those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, those in a position to receive the Word of God into their saved human spirits, those who have been called “out of darkness into His marvelous light,” those who have “obtained mercy,” those who are “sojourners and pilgrims” on the earth, those who have “obtained like precious faith with us” (1 Peter 1:2-3, 23; 2:1-2, 9-11; 2 Peter 1:1).
 
The epistles of 1, 2 Peter have been written to encourage Christians, who are being tried and tested, by holding up before them prizes, rewards, compensations.  The subject matter in these epistles, set forth at the very beginning, concerns a present “living hope,” a future “inheritance,” and a future “salvation”; and encouragement for proper conduct in trials and tests is derived from a “knowledge” of God’s revelation concerning these things (cf. 1 Peter 1:2-9; 2 Peter 1:2-8).
 
A PRESENT, LIVING HOPE
 
Christians have been “begotten” from above to “a living hope” through “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  Christ lives, and Christians will live with Him.  But this fact is not the object of one’s hope.  Hope is described as “living” because of Christ’s resurrection, but a Christian’s hope lies in things beyond His resurrection.
 
And these things are revealed in the text to be an “inheritance” and a “salvation.”

“Hope,” “inheritance,” and “salvation” are inseparably linked in Scripture.  It is only because we are saved (past, salvation of the spirit) that we can possess a “hope.”  And this hope looks ahead to the reception of an inheritance within a salvation (future, salvation of the soul) to be revealed.
 
Christians are commanded,
 
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)
 
Since this hope pertains to a future inheritance and salvation, one’s “reason” for this hope must also be futuristic in scope.  Thus, to respond in accordance with 1 Peter 3:15, Christians must be knowledgeable concerning scriptural teachings pertaining to present and future aspects of salvation (ref. in this website, Chapter 1, Salvation — Past, Present, Future), for their hope is inseparably linked with the salvation of their souls.
 
The Christians’ hope is a subject found numerous places throughout the Pauline and general epistles (Hebrews being included in the general epistles).  Two of the best books to help Christians understand exactly what is involved in the hope that they possess are the books of Titus and Hebrews.  Both books deal with the same subject matter as 1, 2 Peter, or any of the other epistles.
 
1)  “HOPE” IN TITUS
 
The epistle of Titus centers on the Christians’ relationship to both “hope” and “the coming age,” for it is in the coming age that the hope of our calling will be realized.  Hope in Titus 2:13 is called “that blessed hope” and is further described in this verse as the “appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13 ASV).
 
The structure of the Greek text shows that the “appearing of the glory” is a further description of that referred to by “blessed hope” (through both “blessed hope” and “appearing” being governed by one article, with the words connected by the conjunction, kai [and]).  Christians are the ones who possess this hope, as they are the ones who are to be partakers of Christ’s glory when it is revealed.  In this respect, participation in the coming glory of Christ (not the rapture, as is commonly taught) will be the realization of the Christians’ present hope, for one cannot be separated from the other.
 
The word hope is also used in this same framework within its two other appearances in Titus 1:2; 3:7.  In Titus 1:1-2, hope is associated with a “mature knowledge of the truth [‘acknowledging’ (Titus 1:1) is epignosis (mature knowledge) in the Greek text],” and with “eternal [Greek: aionioslife which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2).  Then, in Titus 3:7, this “hope” is reserved for the justified alone, and it has to do with a future inheritance:
 
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal [aionios] life.
 
The Greek word aionios appearing in Titus 1:2; 3:7, translated “eternal” in most English versions, does not itself mean “eternal.”  The Greek language actually contains no word for “eternal.”  Aionios can be, and many times is, used in the sense of “eternal”; but this meaning is derived from its textual usage, not from the word itself.  Aionios refers to “a period of time,” usually thought of as “an age.”
 
The only way the Greek language can express “eternal,” apart from textual considerations, is by using the noun form of aionios (aion) in the plural (“ages” [e.g., Luke 1:33; Hebrews 13:8]), or by using aion twice in the plural (“to the ‘ages [aionas]’ of the ‘ages [aionon]’” [e.g.,  Revelation 1:6, 18; 4:9, 10; 5:13-14; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5]).  A person using the Greek language thinks in the sense of “ages,” with eternity being thought of in the sense of “endless ages,” i.e., “aeons,” or “the aeons of the aeons.”
 
Aionios life in Titus 1:2; 3:7 — a hope associated with an inheritance set before the believer — must be understood contextually to mean “age-lasting,” referring to the coming age, the Messianic Era.  “Eternal life” cannot be in view at all.  Neither “hope” nor “inheritance” is used pertaining to eternal life that Christians presently possess; but both words are used numerous times concerning Christians and their relationship to the coming kingdom (with its glory), which is what is in view in the book of Titus.  The hope (the blessed hope) set before every Christian is simply that he/she may, at the judgment seat of Christ, be found qualified to occupy one of the numerous, proffered positions with Christ in His kingdom.  A Christian — already in possession of eternal life — may or may not realize this hope, for such depends entirely upon one’s faithfulness during the present pilgrim walk.
 
2)  “HOPE” IN HEBREWS
 
In Hebrews 6:11-12 a Christian’s hope is associated with “faith,” “patience [‘patient endurance’; a lengthy waiting during the pilgrim walk for postponed promises],” and “the inheritance” set before Christians.  This hope is to be held with “diligence” until “the end,” with a “full assurance” that the hope of one’s calling will be realized.  “The end [Greek: telos]” in this passage is the same “end” set forth in 1 Peter 1:9:  “receiving the end [Greek: telosof your faith -- the salvation of your souls.”  The end in both instances has to do with “faith” brought to perfection, brought to maturity, brought to its goal, by “works” (cf. James 2:22).
 
In Hebrews 6:18-20 “the hope” set before Christians is stated to be “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”  Christ Himself presently resides beyond the veil in the Holy of Holies; but His future ministry, “after the order of Melchizedek,” rather than His present ministry (after the order of Aaron), is in view in Hebrews 6:20; cf. Hebrews 5:6-11.
 
An anchor, firmly secured, will moor a ship that it might withstand the movements of currents, winds, etc., and remain in a certain place; and the anchor of our souls, firmly secured in the very presence of Christ beyond the veil, provides protection from the onslaught of the enemy in order that we might be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). 
 
The salvation of our souls is in view; and just as a ship in mooring is continually being drawn toward the place where its anchor lies, we are continually being drawn toward the place where our anchor lies — to Christ and His Melchizedek priesthood.
 
The book of Hebrews is built around five major warnings; and, prior to the writer’s comments concerning “hope” in chapter six, he had previously introduced the Christians’ “hope” in the second warning (Hebrews 3; 4) by showing the relationship between hope and faithfulness.  The central portion of the second warning, introducing “hope,” is Hebrews 3:6:
 
but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
 
This hope within the text has to do with the house of Christ; and within the context (chapters 3, 4), in order to teach Christians the deep things of God in this realm, the Spirit of God draws a parallel between the house of Christ (present) and the house of Moses (past).
 
This parallel constitutes a type-antitype treatment of Israelites under the leadership of Moses with Christians under the leadership of Christ.  The experiences of the Israelites under Moses have their counterpart in the experiences of Christians under Christ.  And all these things have been “written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).
 
Christians are presently members of the house of Christ in the same sense that those who appropriated the blood of the paschal lambs in Egypt during the days of Moses were members of Moses’ house.  An earthly inheritance lay before the Israelites under Moses, and a heavenly inheritance lies before Christians under Christ. 
 
By unfaithfulness to their calling, the majority of Israelites within the accountable generation under Moses were overthrown (cut off from the house of Moses); and by unfaithfulness to their calling, the majority of Christians under Christ will also be overthrown (cut off from the house of Christ).
 
Neither the type nor the antitype has to do with eternal verities.  The faithless Israelites were overthrown on the right side of the blood in the type, and thus it will be for faithless Christians in the antitype.
 
For many are called [as the entire accountable generation under Moses], but few are chosen [lit., “called out,” as Caleb and Joshua]. (Matthew 22:14)
 
The key words in Hebrews 3:6 pertaining to hope are “confidence” and “rejoicing.”  The Greek word translated “confidence” (parresia) has to do with being “bold,” or “courageous”; and the Greek word translated “rejoicing” (kauchema) has to do with “the object of boasting,” “a thing of pride.” 
 
Christians are to be bold, courageous as they journey toward their heavenly inheritance; and they are to exult in the hope set before them.  They are to display this hope as the very object of the salvation that they possess in such a manner that the One who secured this hope for them will receive the praise, honor, and glory.
 
A FUTURE INHERITANCE
 
The future inheritance of the saints (1 Peter 1:4), mentioned numerous times in Scripture, must be understood from the standpoint of the inheritance surrounding the birthright, having to do with firstborn sons.  The word translated “birthright” in the New Testament is from the Greek word prototokia, a plural noun that should be properly rendered, “the rights of the firstborn.”  And the rights of firstborn sons consist of a plurality of rights, which are inherited rights.
 
The rights of firstborn sons in the Jewish economy in the Old Testament consisted of three things:
 
1)  Ruler of the household under and for the father.
2)  Priest of the family.
3)  The reception of a double portion of the father’s estate.
 
Every Jewish firstborn son was in line to receive this trifold inheritance; but, according to that which God has revealed in His Word, this inheritance was forfeitable.  The positional standing as a firstborn son did not itself guarantee that the inheritance would be received.  A firstborn son, through rebellious actions, could forfeit the rights of primogeniture.
 
Two classic examples of the forfeiture of the rights belonging to firstborn sons are given in the book of Genesis, the book wherein the roots of all biblical doctrine lie.  One is the account of Esau, and the other is the account of Reuben.
 
1)  ESAU AND THE BIRTHRIGHT
 
Esau, the firstborn of Isaac, forfeited his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob.  Esau forfeited his birthright to satisfy a fleshly gratification.  He sold his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, for a single meal (Genesis 25:27-34).
 
Since the rights of the firstborn had ultimately been promised to Jacob (Genesis 25:23), some doubt that Esau ever actually possessed these rights.  However, Esau was no pretender to the rights of the firstborn.  The Greek word translated “sold” in Hebrews 12:16 (referring to Esau and the birthright) is inflected in a tense implying that the article sold belonged to Esau alone, and he was fully aware of his actions when he sold his birthright to Jacob.
 
In Genesis 25:34 we read that Esau “despised his birthright.”  The Greek word in the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament translated “despised” implies that Esau regarded the birthright as a paltry, a mere trifle.  Esau regarded the birthright as practically worthless, and sold his rights as firstborn with the thought in mind that what he was selling was of no real value.
 
It was only later, at a time when it was too late, that Esau realized the value of that which he had sold.  Though the forfeiture of the birthright did not affect Esau’s sonship, it did affect forever blessings surrounding his relationship to Isaac as firstborn.
 
After Jacob had been blessed as the firstborn in the family, Esau, apparently for the first time, realized the value of that which he had forfeited.  Esau then tried to retrieve the birthright, but the Scripture records that “he found no place for repentance” (Hebrews 12:17).
 
After Esau realized the value of the birthright and the finality of that which had occurred, he pleaded with his father, Isaac, to change his mind and bless him also.  Esau cried out to Isaac:
 
Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me -- me also, O my father! (Genesis 27:38a)
 
And it is recorded,
 
And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. (Genesis 27:38b)
 
(The way in which Genesis 27:38 is worded in the Hebrew text shows that Esau was literally beside himself with grief at this time, apparently from not only coming into a full realization of the value of that which he had forfeited but from realizing the finality of his previous actions as well.)
 
The word “repentance” means to change one’s mind.  Esau sought to effect a change of mind on the part of his father, but “he found no place for repentance,” i.e., Esau was unable to get his father to change his mind.
 
In this respect, in the light of that which Esau was seeking to accomplish, the American Standard Version of the Bible (ASV, 1901 ed.) has possibly the most accurate rendering of Hebrews 12:17 ASV to be found in any of the translations presently available.  This verse in the American Standard Version reads,
 
For ye know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for a change of mind in his father, though he sought it diligently with tears.
 
Isaac could not change his mind.  The birthright had been forfeited, the blessing had been bestowed upon Jacob, and the rights belonging to the firstborn were now beyond Esau’s grasp forever.
 
2)  REUBEN AND THE BIRTHRIGHT
 
Reuben, as Esau, was in direct line to inherit the rights of primogeniture; but because of one grave sin committed during his life, Reuben forfeited these rights.  Reuben’s sin, resulting in the forfeiture of his birthright, was sexual impropriety of a nature that dishonored and shamed his father:

“Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine” (Genesis 35:22).
 
Because of this one sin, years later when Jacob called his twelve sons into his presence (shortly before his death) to relate that which would befall not only them but their descendants “in the last days,” Reuben heard the words:
 
Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
 
Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it -- he went up to my couch. (Genesis 49:3-4)
 
Not only did Reuben himself not excel, as Jacob prophesied, but the tribe of Reuben did not excel.  Reuben’s forfeiture of the rights of the firstborn affected not only himself but his descendants as well.  No judge or prophet ever came out of the tribe of Reuben.
 
That which Reuben lost, he lost forever.  But he himself remained a son of Jacob and was blessed in measure, but not as the firstborn.
 
Reuben’s birthright was divided among three of his brothers.
 
The tribal rulership was bestowed upon “Judah.
 
The priestly office was bestowed upon “Levi.”
 
The double portion of the father’s estate was given to “Joseph.”
 
The tribe of “Judah” became the kingly line; the tribe of “Levi” became the priestly line; and the tribe of “Joseph” received the double portion through Joseph’s two sons, “Ephraim” and “Manasseh,” who each received a full inheritance (1 Chronicles 5:1-2).
 
During the Messianic Era the status created by Reuben’s sin will still abide.  The King will be of the house of Judah (Revelation 5:5); the priests will be of the house of Levi (Ezekiel 44:15-16; 48:11); and the double portion will be held by the house of Joseph, through Ephraim and Manasseh (Ezekiel 47:13; 48:4-5).
 
3)  CHRISTIANS AND THE BIRTHRIGHT
 
Every Christian is presently a “child” of God, or “son,” as seen in Hebrews 12:5-8, awaiting the adoption, to be followed by the reception of the inheritance belonging to firstborn sons.  As in the Old Testament, this inheritance consists of three things:
 
1)  A position as ruler.
2)  A position as priest.
3)  The reception of a double portion of the Father’s estate.
 
The position of ruler has to do with occupying a position of “power over the nations” with Christ during the coming age (Revelation 2:26-27).  God’s original purpose for the creation of man in the beginning involved rulership over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).  And following the complete redemption of man (spirit, soul, and body) and the removal of the earth from its present position (under a curse), this purpose will be realized.
 
Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion [let them rule] . . . .” (Genesis 1:26)
 
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [without a change of mind]. (Romans 11:29)
 
God will not change His mind concerning the reason He brought the earth out of its ruined state and called man into existence in Genesis chapter one.  Redeemed individuals from the lineage of the first Adam will, in the coming age, with the last Adam, rule over a restored, inhabited earth.
 
The position of priest has to do with a combined kingly-priestly function that will be exercised by Christians at the same time they are given “power over the nations.”

Christians are presently “priests,” but are not presently “kings and priests.”  This position is reserved for the coming age (cf. 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10).  Our present ministry as priests, as Christ’s present ministry as High Priest, is connected with the tabernacle in heaven (cf. Hebrews 9:11-12; 10:19-20; 1 John 1:5-2:2).  But this status of existing conditions will continue only until the end of the present dispensation.
 
During the coming dispensation (the Messianic Era) Christ’s ministry on behalf of Christians will no longer be connected with the tabernacle.  He will, prior to that time, come out of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, judge Christians, and subsequently appear to Israel on earth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
 
And the Christians’ ministry at that time will also no longer be connected with the tabernacle.  Christians in that day will appear with Christ in glory.  They will appear in the position of “kings and priests” with the great “King-Priest” and will rule with Him during the day of His power.
 
The reception of a double portion of the estate can only have to do with the dual sphere of the kingdom which is to be inherited — both heavenly and earthly.  Christians are to rule from the heavens over the earth as joint-heirs with Christ.  Occupying such positions really means possessing an inheritance that is associated with both the heavens and the earth.  God has promised His Son,
 
Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations [the Gentiles] for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.  (Psalm 2:8)
 
This earthly inheritance and possession is open only to God’s Son and those who rule from the heavens as “joint-heirs” with Him.  Thus, a rule from the heavens over the earth will incorporate this double portion.
 
Every Christian is in line to receive the inheritance belonging to the firstborn; but, according to that which is revealed in Scripture, this inheritance is forfeitable.  The positional standing of Christians “in Christ” places all Christians in a position wherein God can deal with them in relation to the inheritance awaiting firstborn sons, but this positional standing does not itself guarantee that this inheritance will be received. 
 
A Christian, presently in line to inherit as a firstborn son, by rebellious actions, can, as firstborn sons in the Old Testament, forfeit the rights of primogeniture.
 
(God’s present dealings with Christians in relation to the rights of the firstborn is with a view to Christians being adopted yet future, adopted into a firstborn standing.)
 
The fifth and last of the five major warnings to Christians in Hebrews 12:14-17 concerns the account of Esau and the forfeiture of his rights as firstborn.  This warning has been placed in the book of Hebrews in a type-antitype arrangement, as the wilderness journey of the Israelites in chapters three and four, to sternly remind and warn Christians that the things that befell Old Testament saints can also befall New Testament saints.
 
And this warning, having to do with the rights of the firstborn, deals with the central issue that all of the previous warnings have to do with in the final analysis.
 
Esau, Isaac’s firstborn son, was in line to receive the rights belonging to the firstborn, but he, due to his disobedience, was rejected.  Esau was denied the rights of primogeniture — his rightful inheritance within the family.
 
The Israelites in the wilderness — forming God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23) — were in line to go in, conquer, and take possession of the land.  They were in line to realize their earthly inheritance.  But the entire accountable generation, twenty years old and above, save Caleb and Joshua, was overthrown in the wilderness, short of the goal of their calling.
 
And Christians on their pilgrim journey, with a heavenly inheritance in connection with the rights of the firstborn in view, can, through disobedience, also be overthrown and be denied their inheritance “reserved in heaven.”  This is seen in both the type dealing with Esau and the type dealing with the Israelites under Moses, together forming the foundational material for all five of the major warnings in Hebrews.
 
“To deny the parallel is to overthrow inspiration: to ignore the parallel is to silence Scripture: to admit the parallel is to disclose a momentous peril to the believer in Christ.”  — D. M. Panton
 
A FUTURE SALVATION
 
The underlying theme throughout the epistles of Peter involves our present hope, which is centered in the salvation to be revealed, wherein Christians will realize the inheritance “reserved in heaven” for firstborn sons.  During our present pilgrim walk, anticipating “that blessed hope” set before us, we are being “kept [guarded] by the power of God through faith” for the purpose of realizing the salvation of our souls and occupying positions as joint-heirs with God’s Son during the coming age.  The entire program of God for Christians today moves toward this end.
 
As the living hope possessed by Christians and the inheritance “reserved in heaven” for Christians have their respective counterparts within teachings drawn from the five major warnings in Hebrews, so does the salvation “to be revealed in the last time.”  Hebrews 1:14 speaks of a future salvation that is so intimately associated with the inheritance of the saints that “salvation” itself is said to be inherited; and Hebrews 2:3 calls this future salvation, “so great a salvation.”
 
It is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man, for it consists of the recipients exercising power and authority from the heavens over the earth with God’s Son when He rules as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”  By coming into possession of this future salvation, Christians will realize the very purpose for their present salvation — the goal of their calling, the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls.
 
However, the first warning in Hebrews, as the other warnings in this book, gives two sides to the overall picture; and the lessons at the very beginning, as in subsequent warnings, are drawn from Old Testament history.  The object lesson beginning these warnings surrounds the experiences of the Israelites in the wilderness:
 
For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,
 
how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation . . . ?  (Hebrews 2:2-3a)
 
The “just recompense of reward” is receiving exactly what an individual deserves.  All of the Israelites who left Egypt under Moses were saved (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).  All of these Israelites had availed themselves of the substitutionary atonement in Egypt by means of the death of the paschal lambs.  The death of the firstborn was past and could never be their lot, for the paschal lambs had previously died in their stead.
 
The danger that the Israelites faced was not that of being returned to Egypt and being removed from the safety of the blood.  Such an act was an utter impossibility, for the firstborn had died (via a substitute), and God was satisfied.
 
Rather, the danger that the Israelites faced lay in the fact that they could be overthrown in the wilderness and not realize the purpose for their deliverance from Egypt.  By means of obedience they could realize this purpose, but by means of their disobedience they would fail to realize this purpose.  In either instance, they would receive a “just recompense of reward” — receiving exactly what they deserved, based upon faithfulness or unfaithfulness to their calling, whether positive or negative.
 
The same is true for Christians today.  All Christians have availed themselves of the substitutionary death of the Passover Lamb.  The death of the firstborn is past and can never be their lot, for the Passover Lamb has already died in their stead.
 
The danger that Christians face is not that of being removed from the safety of the blood.  Such an act is an utter impossibility, for the firstborn has died (via a Substitute); and God, as in the type, is satisfied.
 
Rather, the danger that Christians face is the same as that which the Israelites under Moses faced: Christians can be overthrown in their present position and fail to realize the purpose for their salvation.
 
By obedience, which involves a “living” faith — connected with faithfulness in carrying out the works that the Lord has outlined for one’s life — an individual will realize this purpose.  But by disobedience, which involves a “dead” faith — connected with unfaithfulness in carrying out the works that the Lord has outlined for one’s life — an individual will fail to realize this purpose.
 
In either instance, Christians will receive “a just recompense of reward.”  They will receive wages exactly commensurate with services rendered as household servants in the Lord’s house, receiving exactly what one deserves in this respect, based upon faithfulness or unfaithfulness to their calling, whether positive or negative.
 
The “so great a salvation” in Hebrews 2:3, synonymous with the salvation to be inherited in Hebrews 1:14, is, within the context, associated with the inhabited earth to come:

“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak [lit., ‘concerning which we are speaking’], in subjection to angels” (Hebrews 2:5).
 
Angels occupy positions of power over the nations during the present age.  But, during the coming age, angels will not occupy these positions.  Satan and his angels will be removed from their positions of power at the end of the present age; and Christ, with His “companions,” His “co-heirs” (cf. Hebrews 1:9; 3:14), will exercise power over the nations during the coming age.
 
The writer of Hebrews clearly states that this coming inhabited earth under the rule of man is what the preceding verses are dealing with.  The inherited salvation (Hebrews 1:14), the so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3), has to do with the coming age when a new order of rulers — a new order of sons (Hebrews 2:9-10; cf. Romans 8:18-19) — will be crowned and exercise regal power and authority over the earth.
 
The books of Hebrews, James, and 1, 2 Peter all deal with the salvation to be revealed, the salvation of the soul; and these epistles, as all of the other epistles (which also deal with this same subject), must be interpreted within this same framework.  The warnings in Hebrews and works in James have to do with the same thing as the text in 1 Peter 1:3-5 — a “just recompense of reward” to be realized in the coming age.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Hope, Inheritance, Salvation by Arlen Chitwood.docx
To website CONTENTS Page.
Approval, Goal of Your Faith
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

That the genuineness [KJV: “trial”] of your faith [approval of your faith], being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested [KJV: “tried”] by fire [it is approved through fire], may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation [KJV: “appearing”] of Jesus Christ,

whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

receiving the end [goal] of your faith — the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:7-9)

In the Greek text of verse seven the word translated “trial” (KJV) is dokimion, and the word translated “tried” (KJV) is dokimazo.  These are, respectively, noun and verb forms of the same word.  In either form, this word, contextually, has to do with being “tried with a view to approval, if found worthy”; or, if the text so indicates, the word can refer to “approval” itself at the termination of testing.

James 1:3, where dokimion is used, provides a good example of testing during present time with a view to future approval.  But 1 Peter 1:7 moves matters beyond the point of a present-day testing.  Approval at a future date is in view, and the translation of both dokimion and dokimazo should reflect this fact.  This verse should correctly be translated,

“That the ‘approval’ of your faith . . . but being ‘approved’ through fire . . . .”

1 Peter 1:9, continuing this same thought, refers to obtaining something because of the outcome of one’s faith — “receiving the end of your faith . . . .”  The word translated “end” is telos in the Greek text, which literally means “goal,” “consummation,” “full development” of that which is in view.  “Faith,” the subject matter at hand in verses seven through nine, is that which is in view.  In verse seven, “faith” must be approved in order to realize “praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”; and in verse nine, “faith” must be brought to full development, reach its goal, in order to realize “the salvation of your souls.”

AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT

The approval and goal of one’s “faith” await the coming issues of the judgment seat of Christ.  The evaluations and determinations of this judgment will be based on “works” that emanate out of faithfulness to one’s calling.  The book of James teaches that faithfulness to one’s calling will result in works of a particular nature, and these works alone (works that God has outlined for each individual Christian to accomplish) will result in faith being brought to the place where it can be approved, realizing its proper goal (ref. Chapter 5, Faith Made Mature, in this site).

The trial of “each one’s work” in fire at the judgment seat of Christ will be with a view to approval, if found worthy.  The Greek word translated “try” (KJV) in 1 Corinthians 3:13 is dokimazo, the same word used in 1 Peter 1:7.  “Works” are approved through fire in 1 Corinthians 3:13, and “faith” is approved through fire in 1 Peter 1:7.  Both Scriptures refer to that future time when the approval of works at the judgment seat will reveal an approved faith as well.

“Works” of a nature that can be approved will have emanated out of faithfulness to one’s calling, resulting in “a faith” that can be approved as well.  During the present time, faith is being brought to its goal (into the place where it can be approved) through works; and at the judgment seat, the approval of faith will be inseparably related to the approval of works.  The former cannot be realized apart from the latter, and the inseparable relationship between faith and works after this fashion is such that Scripture reveals both being approved “through fire.”

(Refer to the appendix in this book, “Faith and Works,” in this site, to see the correct relationship of one to the other.)

However, there is another side to the judgment seat of Christ, for Scripture reveals that a Christian’s works may be found unworthy of approval.  The “trial” will be with a view to approval, but such will not be the case if the fire reveals works that are not worthy of approval — works emanating from other than a faithfulness to one’s calling.

And disapproved “works” can only result in a disapproved “faith.”  A faith of this nature will not have been brought to its proper goal, and individuals possessing works unworthy of approval will “suffer loss.”

Then, using the inverse of that which is taught in 1 Peter 1:7-9 about approved faith brought to its goal (shown through approved works), an individual possessing a disapproved faith (shown through disapproved works) will not only be denied “praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v. 7), but his suffering loss will have to do with the loss of his soul (v. 9).

James 1:12 refers to Christians being “approved” prior to receiving a crown:

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved [KJV: “tried”], he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

The word translated “tried” is dokimos in the Greek text.  This word, from the same root form as dokimios in 1 Peter 1:7, refers specifically to being “approved at the end of testing.”  In 1 Corinthians 3:13, it is the approval of an individual’s “works”; in 1 Peter 1:7, it is the approval of an individual’s “faith”; but in James 1:12, it is the approval of the individual “himself.”

The approval of works, as has been shown, will result in and reveal the approval of faith.  This will, in turn, result in the approval of the individual, for it is a physical flesh and bone entity who will realize the goal of his “faith,” the salvation of his soul.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul states that the Christian is in a race with a crown in view, which will be acquired only after the runner has been approved at the conclusion of the race:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it [the prize].

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified [be “disapproved”].

The word translated “disqualified” (KJV: “castaway”) in v. 27 is adokimos in the Greek text.  This is the same word translated “tried [lit., ‘approved’]” in James 1:12, but with the prefix “a,” which negates the word.  Adokimos, thus, means “disapproved.”

Studying 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:7-9 in the light of one another will produce one clear, uniform teaching:  Christians are enrolled in a race, with crowns to be won or lost at the termination of this race.  And how well Christians run the race depends upon their “faithfulness.”  Faithfulness to one’s calling is the key, for only through faithfulness can works ensue; and works are necessary to produce a “living” faith, resulting in fruit-bearing (in works), which can, in that coming day (at the judgment seat), be approved (cf. James 2:14-26).

Only in this manner will individuals be approved for crowns, allowing the recipients of crowns the privilege of occupying positions as joint-heirs with Christ in His coming kingdom.

THE PRIMARY, FUNDAMENTAL TYPE

A Christian’s disapproval for the crown referred to in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 has its contextual parallel in the verses immediately following (1 Corinthians 10:1-11 [ignore the chapter break]), which record Israel’s disapproval for entrance into the land of Canaan.  These eleven verses reiterate certain experiences of the Israelites under Moses following the death of the paschal lambs in Egypt.  Israel’s experiences (within the scope of the type) begin in Egypt, move through the Red Sea passage, and terminate in the wilderness wanderings.

The verses outlining these experiences are divided into two sections (vv. 1-6 and vv. 7-11).  The first section outlines in general terms the experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and this section is concluded in verse six with the statement:

Now these things became our examples [lit., “these things happened as types for us”], to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

Then, the second section outlines in more specific terms four sins of the people that characterized the wilderness journey, and this section is concluded in verse eleven with the statement:

Now all these things happened to them as examples [lit., “as types”], and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Thus, there is a type-antitype treatment of Israelites under the leadership of Moses with Christians under the leadership of Christ.  This same type-antitype treatment of Israelites with Christians also forms the basis for the first four of the five major warnings in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:14-2:5; 3:1-4:16; 6:1-12; 10:19-39), apart from which these warnings cannot be properly understood.

Just as a proper understanding of the first four of the five major warnings in Hebrews is built around a type-antitype treatment of the Israelites under Moses with Christians under Christ, a proper understanding of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 is built around this same type-antitype treatment.  These verses logically lead into the tenth chapter, and this chapter forms the basis for explaining what is meant by being approved or disapproved at the conclusion of the race.

Scripture is to be interpreted in the light of Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:13), and the approval or disapproval of an individual at the judgment seat of Christ must be understood in the light of Old Testament typology — namely the experiences of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses following the death of the paschal lambs in Egypt.  This is the primary, fundamental type that God uses in His Word to teach Christians great spiritual truths concerning dangers strewn along their present pilgrim pathway as they, under the leadership of Christ, traverse the only route that will culminate in the realization of the salvation to be revealed — the salvation of their souls.

TYPE — ISRAEL IN THE WILDERNESS

On the night of the Passover in the land of Egypt, God established a distinction “between the Egyptians and Israel.”  This distinction was established on the basis of death and shed blood — the death and shed blood of the paschal lambs — and involved the birth of a nation (a spiritual birth, and the beginning of a nation) that God had previously adopted (Exodus 4:22-23; 6:6-7; 11:4-7; 12:1-13; Hosea 2:15).  Israel’s adoption and birth were for definite, specific purposes — namely the establishment of God’s firstborn son in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, at the head of the nations, within a theocracy.

Not only was the “Feast of the Passover” instituted at this time but the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” was also instituted at the very beginning of Israel’s national existence.  Immediately following the Passover, Israel — the newly established nation, God’s firstborn son — was to eat “unleavened bread” for a period of seven days.  All leaven was to be put out of the house (house of Israel) during this period.

“Leaven,” in Scripture, always, without exception, portrays that which is evil, corrupt.

“Seven” is the number of perfection, indicating the completeness of that which is in view.  And regardless of the time or place — in Egypt before the Red Sea passage, in the wilderness after the Red Sea passage, or in the land of Canaan realizing the purpose for the nation’s calling — “evil,” typified by leaven, was to be put out of the house of Israel.  And the penalty for not doing so was spelled out in no uncertain terms:

. . . For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15b)

Thus, God’s dual truth concerning “blood” and “leaven” was established at the very beginning of Israel’s existence as a nation.  The appropriation of the “blood” of slain lambs placed those who had come out of Egypt, forming the nation of Israel, in a particular relationship with God from which they could never be removed.  This, however, was only the beginning.

The entire purpose for Israel’s existence lay ahead; and after the appropriation of the blood of these slain lambs, everything associated with leaven was then to be put out of the house for the period specified.  Only in this manner could the nation realize the purpose for her removal from Egypt, the very purpose of her calling.

What though did Israel do relative to the Feast of Unleavened Bread following the appropriation of the blood of the slain paschal lambs?  Israel kept the feast in the sense of the seven literal days required by Exodus 12:15 (cf. Exodus 12:34, 39; 13:1-10).  But did Israel keep the feast in the sense of that which it portrays must be done in the camp beyond this time?  Did Israel put sin out of the house during her pilgrim journey in the wilderness?

The answer of course, according to Scripture, is “No.”  Israel committed trespass after trespass against the Lord, climaxing the leavening process at Kadesh-Barnea.

Had Israel put leaven out of the house and followed the leadership of the Lord, the nation would have realized the purpose for her calling.  Israel would have exhibited faithfulness and entered into the land at Kadesh-Barnea, overthrown the inhabitants, and ruled over all the Gentile nations as God’s firstborn son within a theocracy, with the nations being blessed through Israel.

However, instead of exhibiting faithfulness, the Israelites exhibited unfaithfulness.  The entire accountable generation (save Caleb and Joshua, who possessed a different spirit) was overthrown in the wilderness.  Of the 600,000 fighting men who came out of Egypt, all but two were overthrown in the wilderness.  They were cut off from the house of Israel.  They were overthrown on the right side of the blood — cut off from Israel, not from God — and they fell short of the goal of their calling.

In this respect, according to the account of the wilderness journey of the Israelites in Hebrews chapter three, because of “unbelief [‘unfaithfulness’],” the nation failed to enter into the land at Kadesh-Barnea (Hebrews 3:19).  The Israelites under Moses rejected that which God had to say concerning entrance into the land set before them.  

They believed the false report of the ten spies rather than the true report of Caleb and Joshua.  At this point they fell away; and, as set forth in the antitype of Hebrews 6:4-6, it was then impossible “to renew them again to repentance.”

(In the type, it was impossible for God to change His mind and remain true to His Word concerning that which He had previously stated would occur if the Israelites did not obey His voice; and, in the antitype, in like manner, it will be impossible for God to change His mind and remain true to His Word concerning that which He has previously stated will occur if Christians do not obey His voice.)

Why did the Israelites “fall away”?  What brought about such unbelief, unfaithfulness, on their part?  The answer can be found by comparing their attitude in two realms:

1) Their attitude toward both “the food” (the manna) that God had provided and “the land” (the land of Canaan) that lay before them.

2) Their attitude toward both “the food” (fish, etc.) that they had previously enjoyed in Egypt and “the land” (the land of Egypt) that they had left.

According to Numbers chapter eleven, they had rejected “the manna” and had longingly looked back to the food that they remembered in Egypt; and, almost immediately following, in Numbers chapters thirteen and fourteen, they had rejected “the land of Canaan” and had longingly looked back to the land of Egypt. (Numbers 11; 13; 14)

In each instance, their look was away from the things of God and the land set before them and was back to the things of the world and the god of this present world system (cf. Luke 9:62) — back to the things associated with the leavening process that had been working for almost eighteen months in the camp (“Egypt” in Scripture is always a type of the world, with its fleshly allures; and “Satan” is the god of this present world system).

Israel’s attitude concerning the manna preceded the nation’s attitude concerning the land.  Their refusal to go in and take the land could have been anticipated by their previous reaction to and rejection of the manna.

That is, because they had previously preferred the food in Egypt to the manna that God had provided, at Kadesh-Barnea they could only be expected to prefer the land of Egypt to the land of Canaan.  This fact can be clearly seen in the antitype.

ANTITYPE — CHRISTIANS IN THE WILDERNESS

As a distinction was established “between the Egyptians and Israel” in the land of Egypt the night of the Passover, a distinction has been established between the world and Christians during the present day.  As the distinction during Moses’ day was established on the basis of death and shed blood, so has the distinction during the present day been established on the basis of death and shed blood.

Almost thirty-five hundred years ago in Egypt the distinguishing factor was the blood of the slain paschal lambs, and today the distinguishing factor is the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb.  Since Adam’s sin in Eden, the distinguishing factor has always been death and shed blood — something that never changes in Scripture (cf. Genesis. 3:21; Hebrews 9:22).

As Israel was called into existence for definite and specific purposes, so has the Church been called into existence for definite and specific purposes.  Israel (“a prince” possessing “power with God and with men” [Genesis. 32:28 KJV]) was called into existence to rule as God’s firstborn son within a theocracy, and the Church has also been called into existence to rule as God’s firstborn son within a theocracy.  Israel was called into existence to rule on the earth at the head of the Gentile nations with God dwelling in Israel’s midst; and the Church has been called into existence to rule from the heavens over the Gentile nations with God’s firstborn Son, Jesus.

As Israel was commanded to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days immediately following the Passover, so have Christians been commanded to keep this feast for the same length of time immediately following that to which events of the Passover point (the birth from above, a passing “from death to life”):

Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 [6b])

The feast is to be kept for a period of “seven days,” indicating the completeness of that which is in view.  The entire Christian life from the point of salvation forward is in view.  During the present dispensation Christians reside in bodies of death, possessing the old sin nature; but during the coming dispensation (the Messianic Era) Christians will reside in sinless, deathless bodies like the body of Christ (cf. Romans 7:24; 1 John 1:8; 3:2).

During the coming dispensation the removal of leaven from the house will no longer be an issue, for it will have been put out once and for all.  Thus, the issue of Christians keeping the feast (in accordance with 1 Corinthians 5:6ff) and the dangers inherent in not keeping the feast are for the present dispensation alone, as it was for the Israelites during the past dispensation.

Israelites who failed to keep the feast were cut off from the house of Moses; and Christians who fail to keep the feast will fare no better, for they will be cut off from the house of Christ (Hebrews 3:1ff).

Thus, God’s dual truth concerning “blood” and “leaven, “ established at the very beginning of Israel’s existence as a nation, is the same dual truth presently seen in Christendom today.  By the appropriation of the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb — allowing for the immersion in the Spirit, forming the one new man “in Christ” — Christians form “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9).  Christians occupy a positional standing “in Christ,” from which they can never be removed.

This, however, as in Israel’s case, is only the beginning.  The entire purpose for the Christians’ very existence lies ahead.  After the appropriation of the blood, everything associated with leaven is then to be put out of their lives for the period specified.  Only in this manner will Christians realize the purpose for their present positional standing “in Christ,” the very purpose for their calling.

Keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, outlined for Christians in 1 Corinthians 5, is not synonymous with Christians living sinless lives, living above sin.  Nor was this the case for those in Israel in the type.  This is by no means what is being taught in this passage, for since “sin entered into the world” through Adam (Romans 5:12) — with saved individuals residing in bodies of death with the old sin nature — it has always been impossible for these individuals to live apart from sin in such a manner.

The fact that the Israelites could and did sin following events surrounding the death of the firstborn was the reason for Aaron’s past high priestly ministry in the earthly tabernacle.  And the fact that Christians can and do sin is the reason for Christ’s present high priestly ministry in the heavenly tabernacle.

Christ is ministering today in the antitype of Aaron, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat, on behalf of Christians who sin.  The sins committed by Christians are forgiven through confession of these sins on the basis of the shed blood of Christ which “cleanses [‘keeps on cleansing’] us from all sin” (1 John 1:7-9).

(Note that Christ can presently minister in the heavenly sanctuary after the order of Aaron, though not of the tribe of Levi, because He is not ministering on behalf of a people under the Mosaic Economy.

But, when Israel is brought back into the picture yet future, Christ’s priesthood will, of necessity, have to change.  In that day Christ will come forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.)

Christians keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread today in a twofold manner; abstention from every appearance of evil on the one hand, and confession of sins when overtaken by evil on the other hand (1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 John 1:7-10).  All leaven is to either be put out or kept out of one’s life in this twofold manner; and Christians conducting their lives in this fashion, correspondingly, keep the feast.

However, as Israel failed to keep the feast in the type (in the preceding twofold manner), so are Christians failing to keep the feast in the antitype (in the same twofold manner).

The Israelites committed trespass after trespass against the Lord, disregarding that which God had commanded; and they climaxed their sins by rejecting the manna and rejecting the land of Canaan.  They looked back to the things of Egypt in both instances.

And Christians are doing exactly the same thing.  The Church has become so enmeshed in the things of the world that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell where the world ends and the Church begins.  The sins of Christians, as the sins of Israel — disregarding, as well, that which God has commanded — have led them down a path where they are rejecting the things typified by both the manna and the land of Canaan.

The manna was that bread from heaven that God had provided to sustain the Israelites while on their pilgrim journey.  This bread contained everything necessary for the sustenance and health of the physical body throughout the wilderness journey, as the Israelites looked ahead to an inheritance in the land set before them (an earthly inheritance and land).

And the counterpart for Christians today is the Bread from heaven, “the Word of God.”  This Word contains everything necessary for the sustenance and well-being of the spiritual man throughout the pilgrim journey (cf. John 6:30-58; Luke 4:4), as Christians look ahead to an inheritance in the land set before them (a heavenly inheritance and land).

The Israelites, remembering the food that they had while in Egypt, tried to change the manna.  They “ground on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it.”  By this process they ruined the manna, for the taste was like “the taste of pastry prepared with oil [a bland taste, made with olive oil]” (Numbers 11:4-8).

Christians today have done exactly the same thing with the Word of God; and, according to the type, it is because of their carnal desires for the food served in Egypt, i.e., it is because of their carnal desires for the nourishment that the world provides.  Christians have tried to change the Word of God to conform to the things of the world, seeking to make this Word palatable to both the world and themselves.  And emanating out of this process are such things as the paraphrased versions of the Bible that are supposed to help us better understand the Scriptures, and the shortened, compressed versions that are for individuals who don’t have time to read the Word as given through Moses and the Prophets.  Or, the Word is often interpreted in a manner that allows worldly palatability for carnally minded Christians.

God revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes to man in “pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times”; and God has “magnified His Word above His name [lit., ‘. . . exalted above all things your Word, your Name’ (ref., NIV)]” (Psalm 12:6; 138:2).

(Note:  God’s Word cannot be exalted [magnified] above His Name, for both, as seen in the Hebrew text of Psalm 138:2, are different manifestations of the same thing — the triune God [cf. John 1:1-2, 14].)

Beyond the preceding, God has made His revelation known after a certain fashion (history, prophecy, types interwoven within history, antitypes, metaphors, parables, etc.).

And for finite man to make changes after any fashion, which would include refusing to recognize the manner in which God has made this revelation known, can result in only one thing, seen in the type: Changing the manna during Moses’ day ruined that which God had provided for the people, and changing the Manna today serves only to accomplish this same destructive end.

The importance of recognizing this whole thing for what it really is, no matter what form it may take — a Satanic attack upon the Word of God — becomes evident when one understands the proper place that the Word occupies in the life of a Christian. 

God has breathed life (the Neshamah [initial work of the Spirit]) into man, effecting the birth from above (cf. Genesis. 1:1-3; 2:7; John 3:3).  He then continues this life through the indwelling presence of His Breath (the Neshamah [indwelling of the Spirit; 1 Corinthians 6:19]), and nourishes and sustains this life through a continued breathing in (the Neshamah/Theopneustos [the God-Breathed, Living Word; 2 Timothy 3:16; James 1:21]).

The indwelling Holy Spirit (the Neshamah), in this manner, takes the Word of God (the Neshamah) received into man’s saved human spirit and effects spiritual growth to maturity (ref. Chapters 3, 4 in this site, The Implanted WordThe Breath of God).

That which God delivered to man through Moses and the Prophets constitutes the Neshamah — the God-Breathed Oracles — not that which carnal man has changed by seeking to make it palatable to himself and the world.  And the Holy Spirit (the Neshamah) uses the God-Breathed Oracles (the Neshamah) alone to effect a Christian’s spiritual growth to maturity.  That which is not the Word of God (not the Neshamah) substituted for the Word of God (the Neshamah) can only produce spiritually anemic, sick Christians, for the Holy Spirit cannot use that which is not the Breath of God (not Theopneustos) to effect spiritual growth.  The Holy Spirit cannot use that which is lifeless to nourish and sustain life, which He (through the Neshamah) brought into existence.

In this respect, that which man has changed today approximates the Living Word of God to the same degree that the manna that the Israelites changed approximated the manna that God delivered to them from heaven.  The Israelites, through changes, ruined the manna; and Christians (also the unsaved in certain instances, for monetary gain), through changes, have ruined the Word of God.

Thus, it is easy to understand why the Israelites under Moses preferred the things of Egypt to the things of the land set before them (their earthly inheritance [cf. Numbers 14:12; Hebrews 11:8]), and why innumerable Christians today prefer the things of the world to the things of the land set before them (their heavenly inheritance [cf. Hebrews 1:14; 3:1; 1 Peter 1:4]).  The Israelites desired to feast on the things of Egypt rather than the manna that God had provided, and Christians today are exhibiting exactly the same attitude and are doing exactly the same thing relative to the things of the world and the Word of God.

The spirituality of the Israelites, brought about by their association with Egypt, was at such a low ebb that they didn’t believe it was possible for them to go in and conquer the inhabitants of the land.  Thus, they sought to appoint a new leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4) — and were completely overcome by the enemy before ever engaging the enemy in battle.

The spirituality of many Christians today, brought about by their association with the world, is at such a low ebb that they, in like manner, refuse to believe it is possible for them to go in and conquer the inhabitants of the land (cf. Ephesians 6:10-17).  Thus, they, as the Israelites under Moses, seek their place in the world, under the sun — and are completely overcome by the enemy before ever engaging the enemy in battle.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

The importance of feasting on the Manna from heaven cannot be overemphasized.  A Christian must receive “the implanted Word [the ‘Neshamah’]” or he cannot realize the salvation of his soul.  The reason is very simple:  Apart from the reception of this Word there can be no spiritual growth to maturity.  And without spiritual growth, wrought through a continued in-breathing of “life” into man, there can be no movement of the spiritual man, producing “works” emanating from “a living” faith.

The race will have been run in no certain manner, with no fixed goal, as one beating the air.  And, as revealed in 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:11, a race run in this manner will result in the individual being disapproved, for he will have been overcome and thus overthrown in the wilderness.

Accordingly, such an individual at the judgment seat of Christ will have his works tried, with a view to approval; but these works will be shown to be “dead [barren]” works, emanating from unfaithfulness, producing nothing but “wood, hay and straw.”  These will all be burned in the fire, leaving the individual in the position, “saved [salvation of his spirit]; yet so as by [‘through’] fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

His works will be disapproved; and works of this nature will have failed to bring faith to its proper goal.  Consequently, the individual’s faith will be disapproved as well, and he will “suffer loss” — the loss of his soul.

Word Document:  Approval, Goal of Your Faith by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.
The Ministry of Elders
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

nor as being lords over those entrusted to you [KJV: God’s heritage], but being examples [types] to the flock;

and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. (1 Peter 5:1-4)

“Sufferings” and “glory” go hand in hand throughout Scripture.  The former always precedes the latter, and the latter cannot be realized apart from the former.  Scripture records the sufferings of Christ on behalf of Christians (1 Peter 2:21), and Scripture also records the sufferings of Christians with respect to Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 1:11).  Glory must then follow, for Scripture inseparably links sufferings and glory.

On the road to Emmaus, following His resurrection, Christ rebuked two disciples whose eyes were still closed to the truth concerning His sufferings and glory:

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25-26)

The sufferings of Christ refer to the events surrounding “Calvary,” and the glory of Christ will be revealed in the coming “Kingdom.”  The Son’s ministry in the interim, as our great High Priest, has its basis in the former, with a view to the latter.

The blood shed at Calvary is presently on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary, and Christ is presently ministering in the sanctuary for those in whom the Spirit has breathed life on the basis of His finished work at Calvary; and Christ’s present work as High Priest is with a view to that coming day — that day when He will appear in His glory, bringing “many sons to glory” with Him (Hebrews 2:9-10; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John “saw His glory” (Luke 9:32).  This event, following the mention of both the sufferings of Christ and the sufferings (of Christians) with respect to Christ’s sufferings (Matthew 16:21-27), pertains specifically to “the Son of man coming in His kingdom . . . after six days [after 6,000 years]” (Matthew 16:28-17:5; 2 Peter 1:16-18; 3:8).  For “the joy [the day when He shall rule and reign] that was set before Him,” Christ “endured the cross, despising the shame [not that ‘the shame’ was a small thing, but ‘the joy’ was so much greater that He refused to consider ‘the shame’], and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

The sufferings of Christians with respect to Christ’s sufferings and the glory that is to follow in 1 Peter 1:11 appear in this same framework in Romans 8:17-23, with a condition set forth in verse seventeen:

. . . if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

The thought is then continued in verse eighteen with the statement:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The time when this glory will be revealed is then specifically stated in verses nineteen through twenty-three to be following the adoption, when the sons of God are revealed for all to behold.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. . . .”

God is about to bring forth a new order of “sons” (Christians) to replace the present order of “sons” (angels).  This new order is referred to in Hebrews 2:10 as “many sons” who will be brought to glory; and these individuals — presently “children,” or “sons” awaiting the adoption (Romans 8:14-23) — are to look upon their present sufferings in the same manner that Christ looked upon His sufferings (Hebrews 12:2).

(Along with being called “children” [Greek: teknon], Christians are also referred to in a present sense as being “sons” [Greek: huios] three different places in the New Testament [Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26; 4:6-7; Hebrews 12:5-8].  In each instance, the context deals with different aspects of present faithfulness in the Christian life, with a view to faithful Christians being among those adopted into a firstborn status following events surrounding the judgment seat.

For additional information on sonship and adoption in this respect, refer to the parenthetical section near the end of The Implanted Word in this site.)
 
Christians are to enter into “the fellowship [be like-minded] of His [Christ’s] sufferings” if they are to have a part in “the resurrection [‘out-resurrection’] of the dead” and receive “the prize of the upward call (KJV: ‘high calling’) of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:10-11, 14).  Christ “suffered for us [‘on our behalf’], leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps [i.e., that Christians should enter into His sufferings through experiencing sufferings for Christ’s sake themselves]” (1 Peter 2:21).

1 Peter 1:11, pertaining to Christians rather than to Christ, should literally read:

. . . when He testified beforehand the sufferings with respect to Christ [i.e., with respect to Christians entering into Christ’s sufferings], and the glory that should follow.

Then, in complete accord with the established biblical pattern, future glory will always follow present sufferings.  The “glory that will follow” pertains to “the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9-10) which will occur after “the genuineness [KJV: ‘trial’ (approval)] of your faith” (1 Peter 1:7) — an approval that will be rendered at the judgment seat of Christ.

In this respect, when being tested and tried during the present day and time, Christians are told,

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;

but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13; cf. James 1:2-12)

THE PURPOSE FOR ELDERS

The central subject matter throughout the first four chapters of 1 Peter has to do with Christians suffering with respect to Christ’s sufferings, “according to the will of God,” with a view to “the approvalof their faith at the judgment seat, resulting in “the salvationof their souls.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Then, beginning chapter five (1 Peter 5), elders are introduced.  Elders (pastor-teachers [Ephesians 4:11]) have been placed in the Church to “Shepherd [KJV: Feed] the flock”; and this flock is described as “those entrusted to you [KJV: ‘God’s heritage’ — a present inheritance from the Lord, placed under the care of the elders]” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

In verses two and three, elders, as shepherds, are instructed to lead the flock in a completely unselfish, willing, eager manner.  They are never to participate in any type of shameful or base gain; nor are they to place themselves in the position of masters, rulers over the flock.  They are never to occupy a position of power over the heritage placed under their care.

(The word "heritage" is a translation of the Greek word kleros.  Cognate forms of kleros would be the Greek words for “heir” [kleronomos] and “inheritance” [kleronomia].

Kleros is used two ways in the New Testament when referring to groups of individuals [such as the Church].  It is used referring to a segment of the people [Acts 1:17, 26], and it is used relative to an inheritance awaiting the people of God [Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:12].

The thought inherent in the use of kleros in 1 Peter 5:3 appears to be a combination of both usages of the word seen in the New Testament.  That is to say, a segment of Christians [comprising a church] has been placed in charge of elders in a particular area;  and these elders’ ministry to the Christians placed under their care is with a view to leading these Christians into the realization of an awaiting inheritance.)

Elders are instructed to be “examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3).  The Greek word translated “examples” is tupos, from which we derive our English word “type.”  The word tupos, as it is used by Peter, points to a pattern of how something either will be or should be.  In this case, elders are to govern their lives in such a manner that they become patterns of how those in the flock should also govern their lives (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7).

An interesting and significant feature of this section in 1 Peter is the fact that these instructions concerning elders are recorded in concluding verses of a book dealing specifically with present sufferings, with a view to a future salvation — the salvation of the soul.  And within these concluding verses surrounding instructions given to elders, the coming glory of Christ occupies the center of attention (1 Peter 5:1, 4, 6, 10-11).

Elders have been entrusted with a heritage (“those entrusted” to them), with a view to the salvation of the souls of those in their heritage, in connection with an awaiting inheritance; and they are to lead this heritage into the things pertaining to this future salvation, which, as explained by Peter in his first epistle, will invariably involve present sufferings.

Elders who are faithful to their calling will receive an unfading crown of glory when the Chief Shepherd appears.  Faithfulness of this nature will result in “works,” which will have emanated from “a living” faith, which will be approved at the judgment seat.

Faithful elders will then realize “the end [‘the goal’]” of their “faith,” the salvation of their souls.  And, as a recompense for faithfulness to their calling, they will receive an unfading “crown of glory” and occupy positions of power and authority in the coming kingdom of Christ (James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:7-9; 5:4).

Unfaithfulness on the part of elders, however, will produce results of an opposite nature.  Elders unfaithful to their calling will not possess “works” that will have emanated from “a living” faith.  Instead, works resulting from unfaithfulness to one’s calling will have emanated from “a dead [a barren] faith,” which will be disapproved at the judgment seat.

Unfaithful elders will then realize the loss of their souls, for faith will not have been brought to its proper “goal.”  Consequently, they will be denied the unfading “crown of glory,” and they will occupy no positions of power and authority with Christ in His kingdom.

ELDERS IN THE CHURCH

Depend upon and be submissive to the ones leading you; for they watch on behalf of your souls, as ones having to give an account, that they may do this with joy and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

The preceding is a literal translation from the Greek text, and some variances will be noted between this and other translations.  Elders are to conduct their ministries in a specific manner, and individuals placed under their care are to depend upon and be submissive to their leadership.  The reason for this relationship between elders and their heritage is twofold:

1) That the elders might be able to properly carry out their God-ordained responsibility of caring for the flock.

2) That the sheep might receive the proper care as they “grow thereby unto salvation [‘with respect to salvation’ — the salvation of their souls]” (1 Peter 2:2b, ASV).

1)  “DEPEND UPON AND BE SUBMISSIVE TO THE ONES LEADING YOU  . . . .”

Elders possess a tremendous responsibility.  They are the God-ordained shepherds of the flock.  They have received a heritage from the Lord, and, as shepherds placed over the sheep, they are directly responsible for the spiritual well-being of the sheep.  A high calling of this nature — the highest calling any man can possess during the present day and time — demands certain qualifications; and these qualifications are not to be taken lightly, for the manner in which elders function will directly affect the spiritual well-being of the flock.

Paul, in 1 Timothy 3:2-7, sets forth the qualifications that an elder (here called a “bishop”) must meet to be properly qualified to shepherd the flock:

a) He must be “blameless” (1 Timothy 3:2):  The Greek word translated “blameless” is anepilemptos.  This is a compound word prefixed with the letter “a.”  The verb form without the prefix is epilambanoEpi means “upon,” and lambano means “to take.”  Thus, the two words used in a compound form mean “to take hold upon.”  Prefixing the letter “a” to the compound form makes the word mean exactly the opposite — “unable to take hold upon.”  This is the thought behind the meaning of “blameless.”  An elder must be an individual that no one can take hold of (lay his hands upon, point a finger at) in the sense of bringing a charge of wrongdoing against him.  He must be “above reproach.”

b) He must be “the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2):  The construction of these words in the Greek text, standing alone, refers to “a one-woman type man [whether married or unmarried].”  However, the context associates this “one-woman type man” with the marriage relationship existing between husband and wife (1 Timothy 3:4-5); and when used in this manner, the construction refers, as in the Authorized Version, to “the husband of one wife” (note 1 Timothy 5:9 where the same construction is used).

c) He must be “temperate” [KJV: “vigilant”] (1 Timothy 3:2):  The word in the Greek text means “dispassionate,” or “circumspect.”  His ability to function must not be affected by personal or emotional involvement.  He is to look carefully at all related circumstances before acting.

d) He must be “sober-minded” (1 Timothy 3:2):  The word in the Greek text means “serious-minded,” “sensible,” “one who shows good judgment.”

e) He must be “of good behavior” (1 Timothy 3:2):  The word appearing in the Greek text is kosmios.  This is closely related to the word kosmos (from which we derived the English word, “cosmos”), referring to an “orderly arrangement,” as opposed to chaos.  The thought behind kosmios is “order.”  An elder must be an “orderly type person.”

f) He must be “hospitable” (1 Timothy 3:2):  The compound word philoxenos appears in the Greek text.  Philos means “fond of” or “loving,” and xenos means “stranger,” “foreigner,” or “alien.”  Thus, philoxenos refers to one who “loves strangers.” The early Church met in homes, and “strangers” — new converts, among others — were continually being brought into these meeting places.  And these “strangers” were to be joyfully received and nurtured along with the others.  The same attitude is to prevail concerning “strangers” today.  When new converts are brought into the assembly, or when Christians move into a new area, both are to be received in a hospitable manner by the elders, with a view to these individuals occupying their proper place in the assembly.

g) He must be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2):  The Greek word refers to one who is “able and skilled in teaching.”

h) He must not be “given to wine” (1 Timothy 3:3):  Wine in countries where churches were established during the first century, as in certain countries in the same area today, was a common beverage.  The word in the Greek text refers to one who becomes addicted to wine.

i) He must not be “violent” (1 Timothy 3:3):  The Greek word refers to a “belligerent” or “hostile” type person.

j) He must not be “greedy for money” (1 Timothy 3:3):  The best Greek manuscripts omit these words.  Consequently, this portion is not included in many recent translations.  However, the expression is found in 1 Timothy 3:8 (referring to deacons) and in Titus 1:7 (referring to bishops [elders]).  The expression in the Greek text refers to “dishonesty” or “disgraceful base gain.”

k) He must be “gentle” (1 Timothy 3:3):  The Greek word refers to one who is “gentle,” “mild,” “reasonable.”

l) He must not be a “quarrelsome” (1 Timothy 3:3):  The word in the Greek text is amachos.  This is the word mache (“fight”) with the prefix “a,” which negates the word.  Thus, amachos refers to “one who does not engage in fights,” “one who is not quarrelsome.”

m) He must not be “covetous” (1 Timothy 3:3):  The word in the Greek text is aphilarguros.  This is a compound word (philos and arguros) with the prefix “a.”  Philos, as previously seen, means “fond of” or “loving”; and arguros means “silver,” referring to “money.”  Philarguros means “a lover of money”; but the word used in the text, negated by the prefix “a,” is aphilarguros, which means exactly the opposite — “one who does not love money.”

n) He must be an individual who “rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence” (1 Timothy 3:4):  The word “rules” is a translation of the compound Greek word proistemi (comprised of pro and histemi).  Pro means “before,” and histemi means “to stand.”  Thus, proistemi means “to stand before,” “to take the lead.”  Then, the word translated “reverence” [KJV: “gravity”] is from a Greek word (semnotes), which refers to “dignified behavior.” An elder is to take the lead role — stand before all others — in “supervising” or “managing” his house, and he is to accomplish this with “dignified behavior.”  An elder must manage his own house in this manner: “(for if a man does not know how to rule (manage) his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)” (1 Timothy 3:5).

o) He must not be a “novice” (1 Timothy 3:6):  The word in the Greek text is neophutos, from which we derive our English word “neophyte.”  Neophutos is a compound word comprised of neos (“new”) and phutos (from phuo [“to spring up”]).  The word refers to “a new convert.” The reason given why “a new convert” is not to hold the position of elder is because he may be “lifted up with pride” and “fall into the condemnation of the devil.”  Satan, in the pre-Adamic world, became dissatisfied with his position as ruler over this earth and sought to elevate his throne above his God-appointed position (Isaiah 14:12ff; Ezekiel 28:12ff).  As a result, the cosmos became a chaos (Genesis 1:1-2a), necessitating restoration through divine intervention (Genesis 1:2-2:1 [2b]).  An immature Christian is not to hold the position of elder, lest he, through pride, as Satan, might seek to elevate his office above his God-appointed position (rule over the flock, etc.).  Such a move would, after some fashion, have the same results as Satan’s move.  In Satan’s case it was cosmos to chaos relative to the earth; and in the elder’s case it would be cosmos to chaos relative to the church.

p) He must “must have a good testimony [KJV: ‘report’] among those who are outside” (1 Timothy 3:7):  In addition to everything else that has been named, an elder must possess a good testimony in the eyes of those outside the church (those in the world).  As stated at the very beginning of the list of qualifications for elders, he must be “above reproach.”  An elder must be an individual against whom no one can bring a charge of wrongdoing.

Elders obtain a testimony of this nature through one means alone — a walk “by faith.”  The Greek word translated “testimony” [KJV: “report”] in the text is marturia.  This same word appears in its verb form in Hebrews 11:2, 4-5, 39, referring to individuals obtaining a “good report [good testimony]” through faith.  Apart from a walk by faith, a good testimony cannot ensue.  Through a walk by faith, a good testimony cannot help but ensue.

The thought is not as is so often heard today, “Watch your testimony!”  Rather, the thought is, “Walk by faith, and you will not have to watch your testimony,” for your testimony will automatically take care of itself.

Those in the world do not understand a walk of this nature, for they have no capacity for spiritual perception.  But they can understand, through their soulical nature, that someone walking “by faith” is not walking in their realm; and though the person may be walking in a realm foreign to their way of thinking, they, because of his actions, can bring no possible charge against him.

And many in the church do not understand a walk of this nature as well.  Though such Christians possess a capacity for spiritual perception, they find themselves following the soulical rather than the spiritual man.  Then, exactly as those in the world (for both are walking in the soulical realm), they can understand that the person walking “by faith” is not walking in their realm; and they, because of his actions, can bring no possible charge against him.

2)  “. . . FOR THEY WATCH OUT ON BEHALF OF YOUR SOULS . . . .”

According to Hebrews 13:17 the basic thought underlying the entire ministry of elders is that they are to “watchon behalf of the souls of those placed under their care.  The word translated “watch” carries the thought in the Greek text of never ceasing.  The elders, at all times, in every facet of their ministry, are to be watching on behalf of the souls of those placed under their care (and, resultantly, their own souls as well).

A similar expression is used in the Old Testament concerning shepherds in the house of Israel.  These shepherds were called “watchmen” (Isaiah 52:7-8; 56:10-11; Jeremiah 6:16-17), and they were to watch over the Jewish people (forming the house of Israel) in an unceasing manner.  This ministry was also on behalf of the “souls” of the ones to whom they ministered, as well as their own “souls” (Ezekiel 3:17-21; 33:2-20).

Paul, describing his own ministry, on a number of occasions in his writings set forth this unceasing manner that is to surround the ministry of elders:

. . . that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.

I thank my God always concerning you . . . .

always in every prayer of mine making request for you . . . .

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work . . . For this reason we also thank God without ceasing . . . .

We are bound to thank God always for you . . . Therefore we also pray always for you . . . But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you . . . .

. . . without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day.

I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers. 

(Romans 1:9; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Philippians 1:4; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 11; 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4).

It should be noted that most of the preceding references concern themselves with Paul ministering “incessantly” on behalf of other Christians, in view of their calling, their spiritual maturity, and the coming kingdom of Christ.  Paul conducted his ministry after this fashion, and elders today are to conduct their ministries after the same fashion.

Note two statements by Paul, with the author of Hebrews summing matters up in this respect:

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:16)

that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:12)

According to Scripture, an elder’s incessant ministry is to be conducted in a twofold manner, and both the incessant fashion and twofold manner were set forth in a statement by the apostles to the church in Jerusalem at the time deacons were first appointed:  “but we will give ourselves continually [a)] to prayer, and [b)] to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4).

Deacons were appointed to take care of certain matters in the church which, if left for the elders, would detract from the ministry into which the elders had been called.  The result of such detractions would be that both the elders and those to whom they ministered would suffer spiritual loss.  And detractions wherein spiritual loss was presently experienced could, in the final analysis, possibly lead to suffering a future loss — the loss of their own souls, and the loss of the souls of those Christians who had been placed under their care — when they (the elders, together with their heritage) appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

Paul’s entire ministry revolved around prayer and the ministry of the Word, with the uppermost thought in his mind always being the coming “salvation of the souls” of those to whom he ministered.  Paul’s letter to the Church in Colossae gives a classic example of how he conducted his ministry as a “watchmanon behalf of the souls of those to whom he ministered.

Because of the “hope” laid up for Christians in heaven, Paul did not cease to pray for those in Colossae.  His unceasing desire in his prayers was that each individual “might be filled with the knowledge [‘mature knowledge’ (epignosis)] of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” resulting in these individuals walking “worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge [‘mature knowledge’ (epignosis)] of God” (Colossians 1:3-5, 9-10).

Paul was made a minister of what is known in Scripture as, “the mystery,” which is “Christ in you [‘Christ (God’s Messiah, the One who will rule and reign) being proclaimed among you’], the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:25-27).

The “mystery” revealed to Paul through “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (personal appearance of Christ to Paul following his conversion [Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3]) pertained to the Jews and the Gentiles being “fellowheirs, and of the same body [the ‘one new man’ in Christ]” (Ephesians 2:13-15; 3:6).  This is the same “inheritance” referred to in Colossians 1:12.  Those in Colossae had been rendered fitto be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

These individuals had been rendered fit, in an initial respect, through being saved, through being placed “in Christ.”  But the context carries matters beyond that.  These individuals had been rendered fit by a true exercise of the ministry of elders, as the elders used the God-Breathed Word to lead them from immaturity to maturity, allowing the Spirit of God to progressively work the metamorphosis in their lives.

An individual must occupy a positional standing “in Christ” in order to possess “the hope of glory.”  But, as is evident from the text, or any related Scripture, this positional standing does not itself guarantee that the one “in Christ” will realize the hope of his calling, entering into the inheritance of the saints.

And because it is possible for individuals “in Christ” to not realize the hope of their calling, Paul made known details surrounding “the mystery” to those in Colossae, “warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom” in order that he might “present every man perfect [‘mature’] in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:25-28).

The Greek word translated “perfect” in Colossians 1:28 is teleios — the noun form of the same word also translated “perfect” in James 2:22, from the same root form as the word translated “end” in 1 Peter 1:9.  James refers to faith made mature,” “brought to full development,” “reaching its goal” through works; and Peter refers to faith being “approved,” following the approval of works, subsequently reaching its proper “goal.”

Thus, these verses pertain to future issues surrounding the judgment seat of Christ; and the thought of presenting every man mature” in Colossians 1:29 can only pertain to the same issues, at the judgment seat.

3)  “. . . AS ONES HAVING TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT . . . .”

Elders, entrusted with a heritage, will one day be called upon to render an account concerning their faithfulness in continually engaging in prayer and the ministry of the Word as “watchmen” on behalf of the souls of those in their heritage.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Knowing therefore, the terror of the Lord [at the judgment seat], we persuade men [to prepare themselves for that which will transpire at this judgment] . . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11a)

The word translated “terror” in 2 Corinthians 5:11 is from the Greek word for “fear” (phobos).  Its usage here is very similar to its usage in Hebrews 10:31 — a verse referring specifically to the people of God (cf Hebrews 10:26-30):

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Faithful Christians will have nothing to fear when they appear before the judgment seat of Christ; but for unfaithful Christians, the opposite will be true.  This will be “a fearful [a terrible] thing . . . .”

Too long have Christians been misled into believing that every saved individual will stand as a victor before the judgment seat, to be praised, and then receive a reward.  That is not the picture at all.  This is a judgment seat!  And the issues of this judgment will determine every Christian’s position in the coming kingdom of Christ.

(The Greek word translated “judgment seat” is bema.  The word refers to a raised platform upon which a judge or magistrate would stand or sit, rendering decisions.  The word is used twelve times in the New Testament;  and, aside from two references relative to a future appearance of Christians [Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10] and one reference relative to the future inheritance of Abraham and his descendants [Acts 7:5], the word is consistently used in connection with a place where negative judicial decisions or acts occurred.

The word bema is used in Matthew 27:19 and John 19:13 as the place where Pilate sat when he delivered Christ to be crucified;  it was the place where Herod sat when he made an oration, failed to give God the glory, was smitten by an angel of the Lord, eaten of worms, and then breathed out — expired, died [apparently eaten alive, from the order given in the text (Acts 12:21-23)];  it was the place where Paul was brought to be falsely accused, with the chief ruler of the synagogue [Sosthenes] being beaten before the bema [Acts 18:12, 16-17];  and it was the place where Paul was again brought to be judged relative to his ministry, which set the course for his appeal to Caesar and eventual trip to Rome for trial and sentencing at Caesar’s hands [Acts 25:6, 10, 17].

Refer to the author’s book, Judgment Seat of Christ, for details surrounding Christians before the bema.)

The “watchmen” of Israel were to one day be called to render an account concerning how they had carried out their appointed ministry, and they would appear at this accounting in one of two fashions:

1) As ones who sounded the warning from God, delivering (saving) their own souls and the souls of those who had heeded the message (Ezekiel 3:17, 19, 21; 33:5, 7, 9).

2) As ones who failed to sound the warning from God, failing to deliver (failing to save) their own souls and the souls of those who were to hear the message (Ezekiel 3:17-18, 20; 33:5, 7-8).

For the latter, the “blood [the ‘soul/life’ is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 53:12)]” of those who had not been warned would be required at the responsible “watchman’s hand.”

Many Christian ministers and teachers are quick to apply these verses in Ezekiel chapters three and thirty-three to the unsaved.  But these verses have nothing to do with unsaved individuals.

These verses concern Israel, watchmen placed over the house of Israel, and the saving or the losing of the souls of those comprising the house (both the watchmen and others comprising the house of Israel).

And the only counterpart in the New Testament would have to do with the Church, watchmen placed over the flock, and the saving or the losing of the souls of those comprising the Church (both the elders and others comprising the Church).

4. “. . . THAT THEY MAY DO THIS WITH JOY AND NOT GROANING; FOR THIS WOULD BE UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU.”

The sheep are to “depend upon and be submissive” to the shepherd’s leadership as he “watcheson behalf of their souls.  Otherwise, the shepherd’s task will not be one of joy, and the sheep will not profit from his ministry on their behalf.

Joy for the shepherd and profit for the sheep have to do with both present and future values.

If the shepherd and sheep possess a proper relationship today, the sheep will be properly cared for, realizing “a profit”; and this will be to the shepherd’s “joy.”  Then, before the judgment seat of Christ, when this proper treatment is reflected through the flock (and the shepherd also) realizing their calling, as they are shown to be “profitable servants,” there will again be “joy” for the shepherd.

However, if the shepherd and sheep possess an improper relationship today, the sheep will be improperly cared for, realizing no “profit”; and this will be to the shepherd’s “dismay.”  Then, before the judgment seat of Christ, when this improper treatment is reflected through the flock (and possibly the shepherd also) having failed to realize their calling, as they are shown to be “unprofitable servants,” there will again be “dismay” for the shepherd (cf. Luke 12:42-48).

The “salvation” or “loss” of the Soul is the present great issue in Scripture confronting every Christian.  And the call, relative to this message, is the same for both elders and Christians placed under the ministry of elders:  Give heed to the Word of God!

Word Document:  The Ministry of Elders by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.

David slew Goliath.  But it could also be said that the Lord slew Goliath.  It is the same principle seen in the actions of the two angels in Genesis 18; 19.  Acting under fixed laws, the actions of these angels were seen as the Lord’s actions; and acting by faith, David’s actions were seen as the Lord’s actionsThus, comparing these accounts in Genesis, Numbers, Joshua, and 1 Samuel, acting by faith can only be seen as acting under a fixed divine law that cannot change.

Faith and Works – Not Contradictory
Justification by Faith, Justification by Works
Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 

and he was called the friend of God. 

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:14, 20-24)

[My note, not Arlen's: There are three aspects/facets of salvation – spiritbody and soul.]

James 2:14-26 has been an enigma over the years for many individuals studying the salvation message in Scripture. But that should not be the case at all, unless a person tries to see the salvation that we presently possess — the salvation dealt with in Ephesians 2:8-9 — as the salvation or justification being dealt with in James.

Faith and works in relation to salvation or justification in James is completely consistent with and perfectly in line with the overall salvation message taught elsewhere in Scripture.  James is dealing with the salvation of the soul (James 1:21), not with the salvation that we presently possess; and, unlike the absence of works in connection with man in the salvation that we presently possess, works are presented after a different fashion in Scriptures dealing with the salvation of the soul, for man now appears in an active rather than a passive sense in the matter.

In James 2:14, two self-answering questions are asked.  The negative used in the Greek text (me) necessitates that the two questions be understood in a “no” respect.  A proper translation of the verse into English, with the Greek negative me in view, would read along these lines:

“My Brethren, though a man say he has faith, but does not have works, he cannot profit, can he? Faith [i.e., faith apart from works] cannot save him, can it?”

And further down in the chapter, comments and examples are given concerning faith and works in relation to salvation.  In James 2:21, Abraham is seen as having been justified by works when he had offered his son on the altar, as seen in Genesis 22:1ff.  And, calling attention to Genesis 15:6, it is further stated in James 2:23 that Abraham, at this same time, acted by faith; and God reckoned Abraham’s faithfulness to him for righteousness (Hebrews 11:17).

The same account, Abraham offering his son, is referenced in Hebrews 10:38-39.  And in this verse, faith to a saving of the soul, as in James, is inferred from the way this chapter is introduced in the last two verses of the previous chapter.

Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul [lit. ‘but of faith to a saving of the soul’]. (Hebrews 10:38-39)

With these two verses leading into and introducing Hebrews 11, providing the subject matter, each reference to “faith” in the chapter should be understood in line with these verses, as faith to a saving of the soul.  This chapter, as James 2:14-26, has to do with present and future aspects of salvationnot with the past aspect.  And this chapter, exactly as in James, has to do with faith and works in relation to this salvation.  And, as in James, so in Hebrews — the actions of individuals in relation to the salvation of the soul are seen.

[See Key of Three / Hope of Glory Class Documents LINKand then click on Biblical Trichotomies for additional commentary on the pastpresent and future aspects of salvation.  Also see Make-Up of Man and Mark and Carol Miller's Key of Three Study, all in this website.
As an aside the following may be of interest:
Bible Trichotomies I've gathered to date -- 199 Trichotomies! The following Word Document is SAFE to open and printTrichotomies of the Bible.docx,]

Actually, in Scripture, there is no such thing as salvation apart from works, whether past, present, or future aspects of salvation.  As well, in Scripture, there is no such thing as salvation apart from grace and faith.  The wording in Ephesians 2:8, “by grace . . . through faith,” would apply not only to the past aspect of salvation, as seen in this verse, but to present and future aspects of salvation as well — the salvation of the soul.

(Both “grace” and “faith” are seen in relation to the salvation of the soul in 1 Peter 1:9:

Receiving the end [‘goal’] of your faith — the salvation of your souls.” “Grace” in relation to the salvation of the soul in 1 Peter 1:9 is seen in 1 Peter 1:2,10,13; and “faith” in relation to the salvation of the soul is seen in 1 Peter 1:5, 7-9.)

The salvation that we presently possess is wrought through divine works — the Spirit breathing life into the one having no life — and is based on a finished, divine work, the finished work of God’s Son.  Unsaved man is spiritually dead and cannot function in the spiritual realm.  He can do no more than allow God to do a work on his behalf.

But, once man has passed “from death to life,” coming into possession of spiritual life, he can then be active in the spiritual realm.  And, as the ruined earth was able to bring forth in Genesis 1 after the Spirit of God had moved upon the face of the waters, God had spoken, and light had come into existence (Genesis 1:2-3, 11 [2b], ruined man, as well, is able to bring forth following a divine work on his behalf (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Once man possesses spiritual life [spiritual aspect] and is able to function in the spiritual realm, as in Hebrews 11 or James 2 , he, as the earth in Genesis 1:11, can bring forth.  But faith must precede and be inseparably connected with man bringing forth, producing works.  And to understand how this all comes together, a principle from the Old Testament must be understood first.

An Old Testament Principle

To understand the proper relationship between faith and works in the lives of the people of God, one must understand a principle set forth a number of places in the Old Testament.  And this principle is presented in a dual sense in Genesis chapters eighteen and nineteen.

1) Genesis 18; 19

Genesis chapter eighteen begins with the Lord, accompanied by two angels, appearing to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.  The Lord had come down to personally see if the report that He had heard about the things happening in Sodom and Gomorrah were true (Genesis 18:20-21).

(The Lord, in His omniscience, didn’t need to come down in this manner, for He already knew.  But this is simply the manner in which Scripture, at times, presents matters of this nature.)

But, though the Lord said, “I will go down,” He remained with Abraham while the two angels accompanying Him went on down into the Jordan plain, into Sodom (Genesis 18:21-22).

In that respect, did the Lord go down into the Jordan plain, as He said that He would?  Or did the two angels alone go down into the plain?

To address these questions, note something very similar, presented after a different fashion, in Genesis 19.  The two angels, having seen first-hand that which was happening in Sodom, told Lot to take his family and leave the city.  Sodom, along with three other cities of the plain (Deuteronomy 29:23), was about to be destroyed.

For we [the two angels] will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it. (Genesis 19:13)

Further down in the chapter, after Lot and his family had lingered in the city, the two angels took them by their hands and led them outside the city (Genesis 19:15-16).  Once this had been done, and Lot and his family were subsequently safe in Zoar, a nearby city that was spared (Genesis 19:17-23]),

Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. (Genesis 19:24)

Who destroyed the cities of the plain?  First the angels said that they would destroy Sodom (with the other three cities not mentioned at this point), and they further stated that the Lord had sent them to destroy Sodom.  But, at the time of the destruction, the Lord is seen destroying Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other two cities (cf. Deuteronomy 29:23).

Did the angels bring about this destruction, as they said they would do?  Or did the Lord bring about this destruction, as the text goes on to state?

The principle seen in these two chapters has to do with angels acting under God’s fixed laws, with their actions being seen as the actions of the One who established these laws.  Thus, matters can be stated either way, as seen in the chapter — the two angels going down into Sodom is also seen as the Lord going down into Sodom, or the two angels destroying the cities of the plain is also seen as the Lord destroying the cities of the plain.

God governs the universe through angels in this manner.  Angels, placed by the Lord in regal positions throughout the universe, govern the universe under fixed laws.  And, through so doing, their actions are seen as the Lord’s actions.

To see the converse of this, note Satan’s actions at the time of his fall.  Satan had been placed over the earth, as the earth’s ruler.  But the day came when he stepped outside the fixed laws under which he ruled and, on his own, sought to occupy a higher regal position than the one in which God had placed him.  His actions thus ceased to be God’s actions and were being his own.  And this resulted in his fall and subsequent judgment (cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; Daniel 4:17, 25).

2) Numbers 13-14; Joshua 6-8

This same principle is seen again in the account of the Israelites under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea, and again thirty-eight years later under Joshua after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River.

The Israelites, in both instances, were to go into the land and slay or drive out every single inhabitant (Deuteronomy 7:1ff).  The Israelites, going into the land with this goal in view, were to “diligently keep the commandments of the Lord . . . His testimonies, and His statutes” (Deuteronomy 6:17).  And they were to go into the land believing that God would do that which He had stated that He would do:

And the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.

But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed.

And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. (Deuteronomy 7:22-24)

God had commanded His people to go in and take the land, and He had told them what He would do as they entered the land to take it.  Going into the land, they were to act completely by faith, believing God (cf. Hebrews 11:29-30).  And remaining in the realm of faith, their actions would be the Lord’s actions.

Though the Israelites would be slaying the enemy, acting within the realm of faith, the Lord would be slaying the enemy.  The Lord would be going ahead of them and delivering the enemy into their hands.  It is the same picture, seen from a different perspective, as the angels acting under fixed laws in Genesis 18; 19.

Under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea though, failure rather than success is seen.  Twelve spies had been sent into the land to spy out the land.  After forty days and nights they brought back a report concerning the land and the people therein — a land flowing with milk and honey, inhabited by a strong people, some of gigantic stature.

Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, then rendered a positive statement concerning entering the land, with Caleb calming the people and exhorting them, saying,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30b)

But the other ten followed with a negative and false statement concerning entering the land. They said,

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. (Numbers 13:31b)

The people believed the false statement of the ten spies, began to murmur against Moses, and sought to appoint a new leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4).  And, as a result, in the words of Hebrews 6:4-6 (which, drawn from the account in Numbers 13; 14, has to do with Christians doing exactly the same thing in the antitype relatively to the heavenly land of their calling and its inhabitants [Satan and his angels]), the Israelites fell away at Kadesh-Barnea; and it was then impossible “to renew them again to repentance [to a change of mind].”

At this point in the account, the Israelites committed a sin referred to in Numbers 15:30 as a presumptuous sin and in Hebrews 10:26 as a sin for which there was no sacrifice, with nothing but judgment then awaiting the nation.  And, because of the particular nature of this sin, God wasn’t going to repent; that is, God wasn’t going to change His mind (this is the “repentance” also referred to in the antitype, in Hebrews 6:6).

The very next day, the generation of Israelites under Moses repented, changed their minds, and sought to enter the land and defeat the enemy.  But God didn’t repent, didn’t change His mind.  God couldn’t change His mind and, at the same time, remain true to His Word.

God was no longer among them with respect to their entering and taking the land.  God would no longer go before them and deliver the enemy into their hands.  And, as a result, the Israelites attempting to enter the land the next day and overthrow a stronger enemy were themselves overthrown and driven back.

Their actions were their ownnot the Lord’s (Numbers 14:40-45).  And their actions were performed separate from faith, for they went forth contrary to that which God had told them.  Thus, defeat, not victory, could only have been their lot.

As a result of that which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea, over the next thirty-eight years the entire generation of Israelites twenty years old and above, save Caleb and Joshua, died in the wilderness, outside the land.

Then, once these years had passed and those in the previous generation had died, Joshua, about to lead the second generation of Israelites into the land, sent two spies into the land ahead of the nation.  And upon their return, they said to Joshua,

 “Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are          fainthearted because of us.” (Joshua 2:24b)

The Israelites this time, unlike the previous generation under Moses, believed God and prepared to enter the land and trust the Lord to deliver the enemy into their hands.

After crossing the Jordan River, the first battle involved the destruction of Jericho.  And the Israelites, believing God, experienced victory.

The next battle involved the destruction of Ai.  The city was not deemed large enough to require the entire Israeli army, so only about three thousand men were sent to take and destroy Ai.  But, unlike the battle of Jericho, the Israelites were soundly defeated and driven back, with a number being slain (Joshua 7:1-5).

Joshua, seeking the Lord’s face concerning the reason for this defeat, was told by the Lord, “Israel has sinned . . . .” Then, seeking that referred to by the Lord, Joshua found an Israelite (Achan) who had kept forbidden spoils from the previous destruction of Jericho.  There was sin, unfaithfulness, in the camp.  The matter was taken care of, and then the inhabitants of Ai could be defeated, with the Lord delivering the city into the Israelites’ hands (Joshua 7:6ff).

Thus, as long as the Israelites went forth in the realm of faith, the Lord gave the victory. The battle was the Lord’s.  It could be said that the Israelites destroyed Jericho and Ai, along with their inhabitants; and it could also be said that the Lord destroyed these two cities, along with their inhabitants.

3) 1 Samuel 17

This same principle is seen again in the account of David slaying Goliath.

David was an unproven “youth” in battle (probably in his late teens), going up against “a man of war from his youth.” This man of war, Goliath, was the Philistine army’s champion and stood between nine and ten feet tall (1 Samuel 17:4, 33).

Goliath, to meet David, came out with full armor, carrying a spear and a sword, with a shield-bearer moving with him.  The coat on his armor alone weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds and the head of the sphere weighed about fifteen pounds (1 Samuel 17:5-7, 41ff).

On the other hand, David refused to wear armor as he went forth, for “he had not proved” himself in battle.  He went forth to meet Goliath without armor or a shield-bearer and with only a sling and five smooth stones that he had picked up in a nearby brook and placed in his bag (1 Samuel 17:39-40).

He though would need no armor or shield-bearer and would need only one of the five stones.  And the reason is seen within David’s words to this gigantic champion of the Philistine army:

You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:45-47 [45b])

David went forth by faith.  He went forth believing God, knowing that God would remain true to His Word and deliver the Philistine into his hands.

Acting apart from the Lord, David would have been powerless.  He would have easily been defeated and slain by the Philistine.  But, acting by faith, David could only be victoriousacting by faith, David easily defeated the Philistine champion.

David slew Goliath.  But it could also be said that the Lord slew Goliath.  It is the same principle seen in the actions of the two angels in Genesis 18; 19.  Acting under fixed laws, the actions of these angels were seen as the Lord’s actions; and acting by faith, David’s actions were seen as the Lord’s actions.

Thus, comparing these accounts in Genesis, Numbers, Joshua, and 1 Samuel, acting by faith can only be seen as acting under a fixed divine law that cannot change.

From Faith to Faith

“Faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter.  And, in the realm of faith and worksacting by faith is not acting in a realm where one seeks to go out to do a work for the Lord.  Rather, acting by faith is completely stepping aside from one’s own self and allowing the Lord to do a work through the one exercising faith.  And the work done through the one exercising faith will be the Lord’s work; it will be a work emanating out of faith and performed in the spiritual realm, completely apart from the man of flesh.

The Christians’ works tried at the judgment seat will fall into two categories, described by “gold, silver, precious stones” and “wood, hay, stubble” (1 Corinthians 3:12ff).

The former works (described by “gold, silver, precious stones”) will emanate out of faith and will be works that the Lord performed through the individual.  These works will endure the testing through fire, for they will be the Lord’s works.

The latter works (described by “wood, hay, stubble”), on the other hand, will be those performed separate from faith, by the individual himself, through the energy of the flesh.  The Lord will have had nothing to do with them, and they will be burned by the fire.

The Christian life is one where two things must be operable throughout:  “grace” and “faith.”

“Grace” can be defined as that which God is able to do entirely apart from human intervention

 And “faith,” as previously stated, is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter.

If one moves outside the realm of “grace,” he moves outside the realm where God can be active in his life, for God always acts in the realm of grace; and if one moves outside the realm of “faith,” he moves outside the realm where he can be acceptable to God, or where God can be pleased with his actions (Hebrews 11:6).

As previously shown, both “grace” and “faith” are seen operable not only in the salvation that we presently possess (Ephesians 2:8-9) but also in the salvation of the soul, the present and future aspects of salvation (1 Peter 1:2ff).  Thus, it should be a simple matter to see and understand that “grace” and “faith” must always be operable at any point in the overall salvation message — past, present, or future.  Man has been saved by grace through faith; man is being saved by grace through faith; and man is about to be saved by grace through faith.

But, since man’s works cannot enter into the realm where God’s grace existshow can grace and works co-exist in connection with the saving of the soul in James 2:14ff?  Note Romans 11:6:

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

It is man’s works that cannot enter (Ephesians 2:8), not God’s works.  And God’s works must always enter into the matter.

(Note: Salvation by grace we [the saved] presently possess.  This salvation is a divine work [the Spirit moving, God speaking, light coming into existence], which is based on another divine work — Christ’s finished work at Calvary.  And since a continuing work of grace is also involved in the continuing aspect of salvation [the salvation of the soul ], God’s works, not those of man, must likewise be seen throughout.)

Romans 4:1-4 clearly reveals that works emanating from the fleshfrom man (Romans 4:1-2) cannot enter into the realm of either “faith” (Romans 4:3) or “grace” (Romans 4:4).  The works must be God’s works being performed through an individual exercising “faith,” as in James 2:21-24 and Hebrews 11:17.  And since they are God’s works, “grace” can enter into the matter; and since they are works being done through man, “judgment” on the basis of works can occur.

The whole of the matter surrounding faith and works is that simple to understand.

Book:  Bible One – Faith and Works, App. 1, Salvation of the Soul, by Arlen Chitwood

Word Document: Faith and Works by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.

 Also see Holy Spirit – Ministries and Filling! in this site. 

To website CONTENTS Page.

The Hope
The God-Provided Encouragement, Motivation
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

According to 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”  This is called, in introductory verses to the book, “a living hope”; and it is made possible through “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).  Christ lives, and those “in Christ” are being called to live, beyond resurrection, in glory with Him.

Hope in 1 Peter is associated with “an inheritance” (1 Peter 1:4), a future “salvation” (1 Peter 1:5 [“the salvation of your souls”; 1 Peter 1:9]), and “honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7; cf. 1 Peter 4:12-13).

When Christ appears, Christians will appear with Him in glory; and it is different facets of this entire matter — ruling as co-heirs with Christ, realizing the salvation of their souls — concerning which Christians are exhorted to always be ready to provide a response to anyone who asks “a reason of the hope” that lies within.

In Hebrews 6:11-12, the “hope” to be held by Christians is laid out in a very simple fashion: that “through faith and patience [present]” they would be able to “inherit the promises [future].”

Exercising “faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter, resulting in the person who exercises faith acting accordingly.  Hebrews 11 is the great chapter on faith, toward which everything in the preceding part of the book builds:  “By faith Abel . . . By faith Enoch . . . By faith Noah . . . By faith Abraham . . . .”

Then Hebrews chapter twelve, immediately following, forms the capstone to the whole matter.  The fifth and last of the five major warnings comes into view — a direct reference to the rights of the firstborn (all the warnings have to do with these rights, though viewed from different facets of the overall subject) — and Christians are exhorted to run the race set before them after such a fashion that they will one day be accorded the privilege of realizing these rights.

Exercising “patience [lit., ‘patient endurance’]” has to do with the manner in which one runs the race (cf. Hebrews 12:1).  This is a race of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12; Jude 1:3), to be run continuously for the entire duration of the Christian life.  This is a race over the long haul — not one for sprinters, but one for marathon runners (though the runners may be called upon, at times, to sprint in the race).  And Christians are to properly pace themselves so that they will be able to victoriously complete the race.

The “inheritance,” which is out ahead is the object of a Christians’ hope;  and one day realizing that which God has promised is, within the text, to be wrought by and through patient endurance in the race of the faith.  Both “faith” and “patient endurance” are inseparably linked after this fashion with the subject at hand — inheriting the promises.

Hebrews 10:23-25 presents a companion thought.  In Hebrews 10:23, Christians are told, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.”  And the whole idea, contextually, behind Christians assembling together today (Hebrews 10:25) is to “consider one another” and “to stir up [one another to] love and to good works,” with this hope in view.

Christians are to assemble together to discuss that which lies out ahead, pray for one another, and exhort one another; and they are to do this “so much the more,” as they “see the Day approaching [that coming day when their hope will be realized]” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

This is that “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13, which is to be a purifying hope.  And Christians are exhorted to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present age,” with a view to one day realizing this hope (Titus 2:12).

(That “blessed hope” is not Christ’s return per se [particularly not His return for Christians at the end of this present dispensation, as is often taught].  Rather, that “blessed hope” has to do with the “glorious appearing [lit., the ‘appearing of the glory’] of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” [Titus 2:13], a glory that will not be revealed until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation.

The construction of the Greek text would necessitate the previous understanding of the verse.  In the Greek text, the “appearing of the glory” is a further explanation and description of that “blessed hope”;  also in the Greek text, in the latter part of the verse, the construction of two other parts of the verse is the same:  “Savior Jesus Christ” is a further explanation and description of “our great God.”

With this in mind, the verse could be better translated as follows:

Awaiting that blessed hope, which is the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior who is Jesus Christ.

And this “hope” surrounds the thought of Christians having a part in Christ’s glory at this time — a central teaching of the book of Titus.)

WITH CONFIDENCE AND REJOICING

Christians are to hold fast the hope set before them after a revealed twofold fashion — with confidence and rejoicing (Hebrews 3:6).  The word “confidence” is a translation of the Greek word, parresia, meaning “to be bold, courageous, open, or plain” about a matter;  and the word “rejoicing” is the translation of the Greek word, kauchema, meaning “to take pride in something,” resulting in the person having “something to boast about.”

Parresia is used a number of times in the New Testament in the sense of being “open” or “plain” about matters, with nothing being hidden.  Jesus spoke openly and plainly to His disciples and the people of Israel (Mark 8:32; John 16:29; 18:20), though, because of the nation’s rejection of Him, the day came when He “no longer walked openly among the Jews” (John 11:54).  And it was because of this same rejection that Jesus had previously begun to teach through the use of parables (Matthew 13:10-15).

Parresia is also used in the New Testament a number of times in the sense of being “bold” or “courageous” about matters.  Peter and John, standing before Annas the high priest, and others, exhibited “boldness” as Peter spoke;  and those hearing Peter “marveled,” recognizing that both men exhibited these qualities because they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:5-13; cf. Acts 4:31).

Then Paul, at the end of his epistle to the Ephesians, requested prayer on his behalf: “that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).

(Note that the thought of “openness” or “plainness” would also have to be included within the idea conveyed by “boldness” in the preceding passages [cf. 2 Corinthians 3:12; 7:4;  see also Philippians 1:20; 1 Timothy 3:13; Hebrews 4:16].)

Then the word kauchema (translated “rejoicing”), or the verb form of this word (kauchaomai), is also used a number of times in the New Testament.  The word is translated three different ways in Scripture (KJV) — “boast,” “glory [used in the sense of ‘boast’ or ‘pride’],” and “rejoice” (cf. Romans 2:23; 4:2; 5:2; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 5:12; 9:3).
 
The thought of “rejoicing” (as in Hebrews 3:6; cf. Philippians 1:26; 2:16), rather than being derived from the meaning of kauchema, appears to be derived more from the result of what this word means.  That is, kauchema means “to take pride in something,” resulting in the person having “something to boast about”;  and “rejoicing” would emanate out of the person being placed in this position.

FIRM UNTO THE END

When a Christian is told to be “ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,” he is to be open about the matter, he is to exhibit plainness of speech, he is to be bold and courageous as he expresses himself, and he is to take pride in the matter, for he has something to boast about.

He has been extended an invitation to ascend the throne with “the King of kings and Lord of lords” to rule as co-heir with Him in His kingdom.  He possesses the hope of having a part in what Scripture calls, “so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), which is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man.

And this is what Christians are to be open and plain about.  They are to tell it exactly as it is, regardless of what others may say or think.  And they are to be bold and courageous as they tell it as it is, knowing that they have something of incalculable value, something they can boast about (cf. Matthew 10:32-33; 2 Timothy 2:10-13).

Christians have been saved for a revealed purpose, which has to do with future regality, as co-heirs with Christ in the kingdom.

Christians are to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating; and they are to hold their course, after this fashion, “firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:6), allowing them to one day realize that which Scripture refers to as “so great a salvation,” the salvation of their soul.

Word Document: The Hope, App. 2, Salvation of the Soul, by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
To website CONTENTS Page.
Study/Review Questions
Book:  Salvation of the Soul
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Foreword

1. Why is the salvation of the soul one of the most misunderstood subjects in Scripture?  To what part of man are biblical teachings surrounding eternal salvation always related?  And in what realm alone are these biblical teachings always centered?

2. What one New Testament verse does the author list to show the simplicity of the (spirit) “salvation message”?  And in what two areas is the salvation of the soul different from the salvation of the spirit?

3. On what basis is Christ now performing His work as High Priest?  And to what specifically does this work relate?  And relative to the salvation of the soul, in relation to what aspect in the life of Christians do Scriptures deal?  And when is the salvation of one’s soul to be realized?  And with what three subjects is the realization of this salvation associated?

4. With what segment of mankind does “soul-winning,” as seen in Scripture, deal?  And what subject in Scripture is associated with “soul-winning”?


1. In what three tenses is “salvation” in Scripture presented?  And what is virtually important for a person to “first ascertain” in Scriptural interpretation when considering any given passage on “salvation”? 

2. In Ephesians 2:8, what type of Greek construction is represented by the two words that are translated “you have been saved”?  And what does this Greek construction indicate?  And what kind (aspect or nature) of salvation does this Greek construction constitute?  And what is the strongest means in Greek grammar in which the eternal security of the believer can be expressed?

3. How does the Greek grammar in 1 Corinthians 1:18, relative to the topic of salvation, differ in terms of meaning from the Greek grammar that is used in Ephesians 2:8?  And then how does the Greek grammar in Hebrews 1:14 differ in terms of meaning of salvation from the Greek grammar used in both Ephesians 2:8 and 1 Corinthians 1:18?

4. What other aspect of the salvation that is expressed in Hebrews 1:14, besides its temporal quality, distinguishes it as different?  And how is the term “inheritance,” associated with the topic of salvation, seen as different from the term “free gift” about the same?

5. Relative to “inheritance,” as seen in the Old Testament, what role did “sons” play?  And relative to the Old Testament “law of inheritance,” what would occur if there were no sons or daughters in the immediate family to inherit?  This being the case, what position must a person occupy before he could be considered for an inheritance?  And how does this apply in the “present dispensation,” relative to Romans 8:17 and Hebrews 1:14?

6. What verse of Scripture best reveals the tripartite nature of man?  And what are the three aspects or parts of man, which constitutes his tripartite nature?  And what is the temporal perspective of man’s tripartite nature, which is relative to salvation?

7. What is the type of noun of the Hebrew word, which is translated Elohim in Genesis 1?  And how should this type of noun be viewed as it relates to God?  And then, how does this relate to the composition of created man?  And how is man’s composition different from the composition of animals?

8. How is the tripartite nature of Christ seen in His death?  What scriptural passages reveal this?  And understanding the tripartite nature of man and of Christ, then what must be encompassed in man’s complete redemption?

9. Regarding the composition of man, what transitioned into a “fallen state” as a result of man’s transgression in the Garden of Eden?  And what did man lose as a result of his transgression?  And what “twofold condition” did man find himself in as a result of his transgression?

10. In what is God arrayed (clothed), which is connected to “honor and majesty”?  And what passage of Scripture reveals this?  And recognizing their loss, with what did Adam and Eve attempt to replace their loss?  And then, recognizing their “utter inadequacy” in their replacement effort, what did they next try to do relative to God?

11. What was God’s reaction to the method that Adam and Eve used to cover their loss due to their disobedience?  And then, what method did God use to cover their loss?  And what did this method necessitate?  And what “two things” did this method portend relative to man’s redemption, which would be “basic, unchangeable truths” that can never change?

12. What is the difference in meaning of the two Hebrew words used for “naked” relative to Adam and Eve before the Fall (Genesis 2:25) and after the Fall (Genesis 3:7)?  And how does the author see this relative to the “reason for man’s creation”?

13. Upon his disobedience, how did man “die” in the garden; that is, what part of man immediately died in the garden?  And what parts of man did not immediately die?  And what one word represents the “life-giving principle” of man?  And in what substance within man is this “life-giving principle” located?

14. And what part of man “links him directly with God”?  And what type of death established the “primary meaning of death in Scripture”?  And what does it mean when man is described as “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), i.e., what kind of spirit does he have and what is his relationship with God?

15. How is man spoken of in Scripture once he is “born from above,” i.e., what kind of spirit does he then possess and what is his relationship with God?  And how is this salvation (birth) brought to pass?  And upon what is it based?  And then, once it is brought to pass, what is its state of finality?

16. In what temporal sense does Scripture always deal with spirit-salvation?  And in what temporal sense does it always deal with soul-salvation?  And to what classification of people alone does soul-salvation always pertain?

17. Temporally speaking, when does Scripture indicate that the body will be redeemed?  Until then, what principle governs the condition of the body?

18. Within the human body what are the two opposing entities, each seeking dominion?  And which one is mutually compatible with the body?  And why is the other one mutually incompatible with either of the other two?

19. What are three categories of man revealed in Scripture?  And to what class of individuals does each of these categories apply?

20. To what “state of being” of an individual does the Greek word, which is translated “soul” in the New Testament, refer?  And this “state of being” is the seat of what traits in man?  And what “type of life” does man have in common with the animal kingdom?  And how does this type of life relate to spiritual truth?

21. What are some of the individuals or things referred to in Scripture by the Greek word that is translated “spirit”?  And man’s spirit is the seat of what quality?  And by whom and how is a “spiritual man” controlled?  And how do the spiritual and soulical natures relate in a “spiritual man”?  And what “power” makes this relationship possible?  And why is this spiritual-soulical relationship impossible for the unredeemed man?

22. How is the carnal Christian different from the spiritual Christian?  And how is the carnal Christian like, yet different from the soulical person?  How is the reception of spiritual truth different between the spiritual and the carnal Christian?  And what is the result of this with the carnal Christian?

23. What is meant by Christ coming “in the likeness of sinful flesh” [Romans 8:3]? And what was the “crux of the ignominy and shame surrounding the events of Calvary”?  And what type of body does Christ presently possess?  And how long will he possess this type of body?  And with what must this body be covered in order for it to be acceptable?

24. What kind of person alone is able to exercise spiritual discernment?  And why is it impossible for a redeemed man to teach an unredeemed man the Word of God?  And how do spiritual things from God’s Word appear to the unredeemed?

25. Why do certain Christian intelligentsia of the present dispensation, even though saved and in a position to understand the Word of God, often are not able to understand spiritual matters?  And why is spiritual truth available to “babies” in Christ rather than these “wise and prudent” Christians?

26. What is redeemed man, who has been brought from death to life, now in a possession to realize?  And what aspects of salvation must a saved person recognize?  And how do these aspects of salvation relate to the purpose of man’s creation?

27. On what basis alone does the Holy Spirit deal with an unsaved person?  And on what basis does the Holy Spirit deal with a saved person?  And pertaining to issues of what aspect of salvation do all scriptures deal, which are about carnality or unfaithfulness of Christians, resulting in forfeiture or loss?  And on the other hand, with what issues pertaining to what aspect of salvation do they NEVER deal?

28. How is the salvation of the spirit different from the salvation of the soul?  And upon what does the salvation of the soul depend?  And if this dependence is fulfilled, what growth-pattern takes effect in the Christian’s life?  And, on the other hand, if this dependence is not fulfilled, what is the result for a Christian?

29. What corresponding shift must take place when there is a shift of the salvation issue from the spirit to the soul at the time of the birth from above?  And why “must this ever be the case”?  And this being the case, what is the “tremendous responsibility” of a minister who has a congregation under his charge?  And what is his “central ministry”?

30. What is the only thing that God has provided for a minister to feed his flock?  And how does the Holy Spirit figure in regards to this, the minister’s responsibility?  And if such is done in accordance with the Word, what will be the “end result”?  And what is the tragedy in Christian circles today?  And due to this “tragedy” what will be the “end result”?

31. What has wrought untold confusion in Christian circles?  And does this confusion come about?  And what does the author “forever state” in the last part of the chapter?

Chapter Two, If Any of You

1. What are the four categories in which the revelation by Christ in Matthew 16:13ff fell?

2. What did the disciples believe about Christ that was evident from Peter’s confession and which the masses of Israel did not believe?  And what is the meaning of the word “Christ” (or “Messiah,” as translated from the Hebrew text)?  And what three offices are encompassed within Christ’s ministry?  And how is this so?

3. In so far as Peter and the other disciples, what one office of the three that were encompassed within Christ’s ministry, was their concern?  And pertaining to Peter’s confession, what additional means of recognition of Christ did he offer, which implied rulership?

4. Apart from what two things could the future role of Christ as king, within the scriptural framework in which it is set forth, not exist?  And what was the primary reason for Christ’s severe rebuke of Peter in Matthew 16:23?  And how did Peter unknowingly deny what he attributed to Christ in Matthew 16:16?

5. What must precede “glory,” which is a biblical principle that cannot change?

6. The book of Matthew centers upon what office of Christ?  And in the midst of this, what announcement makes this book different from the other gospels?  And in what particular time in Christ’s ministry was this announcement made?  And since this announcement would not effect a change in the primary message of the book of Matthew, what change did it effect?

7. For and to what future reality was the Church definitely and specifically called into existence?  And when will this “reality” take place?  But what had to take place prior to the Church being brought into existence?  And how is that which “had to take place prior to the Church being brought into existence,” connected to, yet apart from Israel?  And how is this seen in the sacrifice of the Passover lamb?

8. And based on the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, how does one pass from “death to life” and placed “in Christ” as part of the new entity, the Church?  And beyond this, why is it necessary for this “new entity” to have a Priest?  And how does this relate to Israel as seen in the Old Testament?  And how does “death and shed blood” figure into this, both for Israel and the “new entity,” the Church, a factor that can never change?  And, in regards to man’s salvation (past, present, and future) how does Christ’s death and present life effect the whole of it?

9. To what end does everything surrounding God’s redemptive work through His Son move?

10. When did Christ in effect (for all practical purpose) take the kingdom of the heavens from Israel and offer it to the Church?  And because of this, what would the Church do regarding this position that Israel failed to do when it was in this position?

11. What basic principles relative to two facets of the bride of Christ were introduced in the first three chapters of Genesis by the account of Adam and Eve and reintroduced by Christ’s earthly ministry, which remain unchanged?  And how is this seen?

12. Adam was a type of whom?  Eve was a type of whom?  And when was Adam “made complete”?  And how long did the antitype of Eve remain in the antitype of Adam?  And when could these antitypes separate (i.e., the antitype of Eve be brought into existence as a separate entity)?  And where did this separation take place?  And what happened there?

13. What two elements came forth from Christ’s side when on the Cross?  And what did these two elements represent, relative to Christ’s bride?  And when will Christ be complete as a Person?

14. How is the word “church” used in different ways in the Bible?  And as to its specific meaning in Matthew 16:18, how is it being built today?  And when will this process be complete?  And how does the “bride of Christ” differ from the “body of Christ”?  And how does Matthew 22:14 relate to this difference?

15. How was it possible with Adam, as it will be the same for Christ, to reign?

16. To what “climatic dispensation” does the entire program of God during the preceding dispensations, along with the present dispensation, moves toward?  And what is the name for this era?  And what Old Testament saints will have a part in this era?  And what other saints will have a part in this era?  And to what government does the “salvation of the soul” relate?

17. To what type of inheritance did many Old Testament saints, e.g. Moses, look forward?  And to what other type of inheritance will many Jews obtain?  And what part of the “salvation of the soul” message was not understood by the Old Testament prophets?

18. Through what means did Jesus make known to His disciples additional facts concerning the new entity, the Church?  And to what apostle was the full revelation of this new entity vouchsafed?  And how was it designated by him?  And through what means was this designation known within the Old Testament?

19. What “pivotal” passage within the New Testament concerns itself with the transfer of the “salvation of the soul in relation to the kingdom of the heavens” from Israel to the Church?  And in what passage in the New Testament is the announcement made concerning the removal of the kingdom from Israel?

20. To whom specifically is Christ speaking to in Matthew 16:24ff?  And what is the spiritual state of those to whom He is speaking in this passage?  And what is the manner in which the salvation of the soul is brought to pass; and, conversely, what is the manner in which the loss of the soul is brought to pass?

21. According to the author, what is the fourfold context of Matthew chapter sixteen?  And within this context what is the end or the goal toward which everything moves?  And how does Matthew 16:28-17:5 relate to Matthew 16:24-27?

22. What is meant by “deny himself”?  What is the “self-life”?  And how is the unredeemed soul housed in an unredeemed body kept under subjection?  And how does the Word and the Spirit figure into this process?  And in what Old Testament persons can the subjective state of the soul in relation to the spiritual man be graphically illustrated?  And in other words, how can a Christian be victorious over the fleshly impulses of the soul?

23. How can blessings relative to the self-life only occur?  And what two forces strive for control of the Christian’s life, with the saving of the soul hanging in the balance?  And how can the salvation of the soul only be realized?  And with what process are blessings in connection with the self-life inseparably connected?

24. What is meant by “taking up one’s cross”?  And how is this seen in Romans chapter eight?  And what must be kept in a constant state of dying?  And how does the author show this action with the tenses of the Greek words translated “take up” and “follow”?  And how does the author show this same concept or process using Romans 12:1?  And why is the concept of “rededication” not a biblical concept?

25. What two words in the English translation of Matthew 16:25-26 are synonymous?  From what common Greek word are they derived?  And this being the case, how does the author state the meaning of these two verses, both the positive and the negative?

26. How does the author explain the concept of “building upon an initial investment” relative to the Christian life?  And in what realm alone can this be done?  And in what two parables may this concept be illustrated?  And how is this concept seen in these two parables?

27. To what part of man is salvation that is completely apart from works related?  And to what part of man is salvation that is in connection to works related?  And in what order must these two salvations be realized?

28. What New Testament epistle mainly deals with faith and works in relation to the salvation of the soul?

Chapter Three, The Implanted Word

1. What is the central issue throughout all of Scripture?  And where does “redemption” begin and end in Scripture?  And what is God’s revealed purpose for man’s redemption?  And when this has been accomplished, what position will man then occupy?

2. What does the Hebrew word, which is translated “dominion” in Genesis 1:26, 28, mean?  And how does this word relate to Psalms 110:2?  And to what does this verse in Psalms refer?  And what will be the composition of the “rule” to which these passages refer?

3. What “scope” is encompassed by James 1:18, 21?  What type of term is the word, which is translated “brought us forth,” in James 1:18; and, to what does it refer?  And in what “position” did those to whom this term applied then find themselves?  And on what did the realization of the ultimate goal, relative to this “position,” depend?

4. What is the relationship of spirit-salvation to soul-salvation?  And to what “verities” does each one involve?

5. What is the “one command,” seen clearly in the Greek text, of James 1:21?  And how does this “one command” relate to one’s soul-salvation?  And what must one do first before this “one command” can be implemented?

6. What are the two different thoughts, which are conveyed by the words “filthiness” and “wickedness,” in James 1:21?  And what is the thought conveyed by the word “implanted” in James 1:21?  And what is the “process” to which the word “implanted” applies?  And how does this “process” involve the Holy Spirit?  And to what eventuality does this “process” lead?

7. In light of what “subject matter at hand” must the book of James be understood?  And what is the central subject matter in all of the epistles, which, apart from understanding this “subject matter,” it is not possible to properly understand the central message of the epistles?  And where is this “subject matter” introduced in the Bible?  And what is the greatest thing God could ever design for redeemed man?

8. Within what two words, translated in the ASV (not the KJV) of the Bible, lies the revealed reason for growth towards maturity?  And what is that revealed reason?

9. What “finished work” can never be changed or altered in any fashion?  And to what aspect of salvation does this “finished work” apply; to which a newborn babe in Christ, a carnally immature Christian, and a spiritually mature Christian all occupy identical positions?

10. What element, when harbored in a Christian’s life will impede the reception of the Word to the extent that the individual may fail to grow “unto salvation”?  And what is the reason that Christ is presently exercising a high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary?  And on what is Christ’s high priestly ministry based?  And what is the Christian’s part in Christ’s high priestly ministry?  And in what verse of Scripture is this, the Christian’s part, described?

11. What aspect of salvation relates to Christ’s past ministry?  And what aspect of salvation relates to His present ministry?  And how may God’s complete purpose for man be realized?

12. What are the two indispensable elements that allows a Christian to progressively grow from an immature infant into a mature adult spiritually?  And in the physical realm what does the author refer to as “a living organism that cannot be duplicated”?  And, also in this realm, what kind of food consumption normally comes after one has been on this “living organism” for a period of time ?

13. What appears to be the primary thought behind the words El Shaddai when used with God’s own people in view?  And what is the means through which God nourishes, strengthens, and satisfies His people throughout their pilgrim walk?  And a Christian, if proper growth is to take place, must move from what aspect to what aspect in regards to the Word?

14. Where in Scripture are Christians severely rebuked for their inability to handle anything but “milk;” and should not only have progressed from milk to meat, and then to strong meat, but they should also have progressed to the point where they could teach the Word to other Christians?  And what is the “subject matter at hand” in relation to “strong meat” in Hebrews 5?

15. What is the relationship between the “living Word” and the passage in John chapter six where Christ is described as the Bread of life, and the process of eating His flesh and drinking His blood is mentioned?  And, precisely, how does one partake of the living Word?

16. Why was there no proper spiritual growth and “proper exercise of faith” in those described in Hebrews chapter five?  And what is the only way to rectify this situation then or now?  And how is this process of rectification described in Hebrews 6?

17. In what book of the Bible have the roots of all biblical doctrine been established?  And in what biblical account is insight given into certain truths concerning “life” derived from God?  And what would be the relationship between this “biblical account” and the reception of the Word of God?

18. In what chapter in the Bible may one find the point where the origin of numerous biblical doctrines are traced; and which these doctrines cannot be properly understood apart from this chapter?  And in what verse of the Bible may one find the means that God used in both man’s creation and the subsequent impartation of life into His new creation?

19. What was the difference between God creating man and God imparting life into man?  And what aspect of God actually produced life in man?  And how does Scripture show that not only the Father, but also the Son and the Holy Spirit were instrumental in producing this life?

20. What pattern (type) in Scripture must be followed in the impartation of life to unredeemed man, who is “dead in trespasses and sins”?  And once this is done, what then must be “continued and sustained”?  And through what aspect of God is this accomplished, which reflects a “first-mention principle” established in Genesis 2:7?

21. What is the only way unregenerate man today may come into a right relationship with God?  And what other meaning does the Greek word for “Spirit” in the New Testament indicate; which, when used in this sense, shows life being produced through a “breathing in,” or death being wrought through a “breathing out”?  And how is this seen in James 2:26?

22. What is the established pattern by which God restores a “ruined creation”?  And where is this pattern found in the Bible?  And how does the author describe this pattern relative to the “complete restoration” for ruined man?  And what “direct allusion” is seen in Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:17?

23. What is the septenary structure upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests?

24. What three processes are seen when one studies 2 Timothy 3:16 in light of Genesis 2:7?  And what is the “best of all possible translations” of the Greek word theopneustos, which is found in 2 Timothy 3:16, particularly when seen in light of Genesis 2:7?  And what is the “element” that the Spirit uses to sustain the life that He Himself originally imparted and presently continues?

25. What item alone can be used by the Holy Spirit to bring about the Christian’s walk by faith (cf. Romans 10:17), ultimately resulting in the salvation of his soul?

Chapter Four, The Breath of God

1. What aspect of God produced life in man following his creation?  And in what verse of Scripture does one find a first-mention principle concerning “life” in relation to man?  And what does this first-mention principle dictate concerning anytime Scripture mentions life in relation to man?

2. With what two things is the Neshamah identified in scriptural terminology?  And how is “life,” which comes from God alone, always produced?  And remaining within the basic teachings drawn from the typology of Genesis 1:2-5; 2:7, how does God redeem man today?  And then, how does this act of redemption continue within man?

3. What two conditions, one pertaining to eternity and one pertaining to the temporal, prevail due to God’s indwelling Spirit of redeemed man?  And how is Scripture unlike any other writings (i.e. set apart from all other writings)?  And on what basis alone is “life” attributed to Scripture?  And how does what “God has to say” compare to what “man has to say”?  And what “continuing process” can result in progressive spiritual growth to maturity in redeemed man?

4. What is the difference between redeemed man and unredeemed man?  And how does this “difference” relate to the Word of God, in both unregenerate and regenerate man?

5. Considering regenerate man, how may he be classified relative to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in his life?  And, depending upon his classification, what does this indicate pertaining to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in his life?

6. What are the two differing progressive and concurrent results that happen to a Christian who experiences a continued flow of the “breath of God” into his redeemed human spirit?  And what two spiritual factors are co-dependent upon each other to effect these “results.”

7. How do the Holy Spirit’s actions differ toward a Christian upon his “birth from above” and during his subsequent spiritual life?  And what type of “temple” is established by the Holy Spirit relative to Christians?  And what difference of occupancy may there be in this “temple” upon a Christian’s “birth from above” and during his subsequent spiritual life?

8. With regards to a Christian’s spiritual life, what is the command of Scripture relative to the Holy Spirit?  And regarding this command, what is the biblical manner in which it may be accomplished?

9. How is being filled with the Spirit (the neshamah) associated with dwelling deeply in the Word of God (the Neshamah)?  And how is this clearly taught in two companion books (Ephesians and Colossians) of Scripture?  And what contextual parallel should be noted in the commands of Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16-17?  And what is the only conclusion that may be drawn from this contextual parallel?

10. How does the author describe the difference between the “indwelling of the Spirit” and the “filling of the Spirit”?  And relative to the “filling of the Spirit,” what three relationships are discussed in the verses immediately following Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16-17?  And how is each person within each relationship described when “filled with the Spirit”?

11. Why is it “no wonder” that the living Word of God remains constantly under attack by Satan, his emissaries, and those who do his bidding?  And apart from what aspect (issuance) of God will a Christian remain in a spiritually carnal (i.e. immature) state?  And, consequently, apart from this, how will this affect the coming kingdom (Messianic Era)?

12. What is the “inherent thought” in the compound Greek word, sunschematizo (translated “conformed”), along with its negative command, in Romans 12:2? How (or through whom) is Satan ruling this world?  And what must take place prior to a change in this rulership?

13. What is the “rightful place” for Satan and his angels?  And what is the “rightful place” for Christ and His co-heirs?  And what is the “rightful place” for Israel?  And what is the “rightful place” for the Gentile nations?  And when will all of these be in their “rightful place”?

14. In whom does Scripture declare that the world presently lies?  And where is the positional standing of the Christian?  And why does Scripture command the believer, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world . . . “?

15. What activities will one day reach an apex under the reign of the “man of sin,” during the coming Tribulation?  And “from this apex,” what will come to a sudden and climactic end?  And then, what will happen to Satan and his angels?  And because of all of this, what conclusion does the author come to pertaining to Christians involving themselves in the affairs of this present world system, during the present age?  And, on the other hand if they do become involved, what “in effect” are they doing?  And, how do Christians fail to share Christ’s rejection by and separation from the world?

16. What is the second command of Romans 12:2 pertaining to Christians?  And to what does the Greek word in this verse, which is translated “transformed,” refer?  And what part does the Christian play regarding that to which the word refers?  And how is the word, translated “transformed” in Romans 12:2, different from the word that is translated “transforming/transformed” in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15?

17. Considering the meanings of the two Greek words that are translated “transformed” in Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, what is Satan attempting to do?  And is this easily recognized by Christians/non-Christians?  And which of the words (translated “transformed”) in Romans and 2 Corinthians apply to Christians who seek this action their own?  And in what practical way do these Christian often seek this transformation?

18. How often is a Christian to experience the process of transformation (the metamorphosis) indicated in Romans 12:2?  And what is the meaning of the Greek word translated “knowledge” in Colossians 3:10?  And how does this Greek word differ from the regular Greek word for “knowledge” throughout the New Testament?  And this being the case, what is the only way a Christian can experience the process of transformation (the metamorphosis) indicated in Romans 12:2?  But prior to this process being able to take place, what must the Christian do, which is indicated in James 1:21; 1 Peter 2:2; and Romans 12:2?

19. Within the culmination of the work of the Spirit in that future day of Jesus Christ, what will happen to Christians in addition to their present “inward change”?  And what two New Testament verses does the author state that stipulates this?  And how is this typified by Christ in the book of Matthew?  And how is this confirmed in the book of 2 Peter?

20. How does the author understand the typology of the “six days;” the seventh day; the “high mountain;” the transfiguration of Christ; “Moses and Elijah;” “Peter, James, and John;” and the “bright cloud:” all within the passage in Matthew 17:1-5?

21. When will the Holy Spirit complete the metamorphosis mentioned in Romans 12:2?  What will be the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the bodies of Christians in that future day when the Lord returns for His Church?  And why is the “outward change” to the body, which will occur with Christians at the resurrection and rapture, not contingent upon the inward change during the present time?

22. What will Christians experience should their “outward change” at the resurrection and rapture not be apart of their prior “present inward change”?

23. In what type of bodies will Christians be resurrected or raptured at the end of the present dispensation?  And, like Christ’s body upon His resurrection, what “animating principle” will be replaced by what “animating principle” in the body?

24. How was Christ’s resurrection body different from His soulical body?  When did Christ receive His glorified body, a body which came after His resurrection body?  And in what two post-resurrection appearances by Christ are these two bodies (resurrected but not glorified and glorified) seen?

25. When (“following actions surrounding” what event) will Christians be able to receive their redeemed bodies, which are connected to “the adoption”?  And how will these bodies be different from their resurrected/raptured bodies?  And with what action upon Christians is “the adoption” connected?  And what type of separation will occur at this time?

26. What type of Christians will (in the future) appear as the ones seen in Hebrews 12:8 — as individuals who had previously rejected God’s child-training [Hebrews 12:5-7] and cannot now be His sons [the sons seen in Romans 8:19, adopted into a firstborn status in Romans 8:23].

27. What are the meanings of the Greek words translated “chastening” and “illegitimate” in Hebrews 12:5-8?  And contextually, what types of persons are in view in this passage?  And this being the case, what type of persons alone can be classified as “illegitimate”?

28. When will “the Glory” be able to be connected with the body of a resurrected or raptured saint?  And what type of body is meant by the phrase “redemption of our body” in Romans 8:23?

Chapter Five, Faith Made Mature

1. What are the two self-answering questions by which the passage of James 2:14-26 is opened?  And how, according to their Greek construction, must they be answered?  And in connection to what issue does each question present the relationship between faith and works?

2. According to the author, what must be recognized if one is not to be lost in a sea of misinterpretation when dealing with the epistle, James?  And what aspect of salvation relates to “faith and works” in the epistle?  And where is this aspect of salvation first introduced in the epistle? 

3. Where do numerous individuals go wrong when studying the book of James?  And to what two results does this lead?

4. What role do “works” play in eternal salvation, the present possession of every believer?  And how is this relative to both the unredeemed; and, the redeemed?  And if “works” do enter into one’s eternal salvation, either before or after it, then what would cease to be?

5. What “fact” does James in his epistle readily acknowledge, upon which his entire epistle is built?  And when can “justification by works” first appear, and not before, relative to man’s salvation?  And in this fashion, how is the subject handled in the remainder of Scripture?  And why must this “be the case” with both the unsaved and the saved?  And, on the other hand, what “works” can enter (apply) surrounding one’s eternal salvation?

6. What failure “over the years” has resulted in untold confusion among Christians?  And what have numerous Bible students understood, which have perplexed them when studying the book of James?  And why is this so?  And why did Martin Luther declare the book of James to be “an epistle of straw,” questioning whether or not it should be included among the canonical books?

7. How do Bible students mostly attempt to reconcile “justification apart from works” in the Pauline epistles and “justification by works” in the epistle of James?  And in keeping with this form of “reconciliation,” what is “justification by works” meant to convey?  And to whom?  And this being one’s position, to what is “living” faith, as opposed to “dead” faith (in James 2), often equated?

8. What conclusion is drawn by a Christian, who accepts the aforementioned “reconciliation,” regarding another Christian who evidences no works?  And what two concepts does the author mention, which he says are “fallacious from one end to the other”?  And if man could through works show the reality of his justification by grace through faith, then what doctrine would cease to be?

9. What is the “key” to a correct understanding of the book of James?  And on what basis only does God deal with the regenerate?  And in relation to what basis does God never deal with them?  And how is this reflected in the “type,” that of the children of Israel who were delivered from bondage in Egypt?

10. To what aspect of salvation must works (by man) never pertain?  And, then, to what aspect of salvation must they always pertain?  And why is it wrong to contrast works in the Pauline epistles and works in the epistle of James in an attempt to approach and explain the matter?  And, in fact, what aspect of salvation is the central message throughout all of the epistles, beginning with Romans and ending with Jude?

11. Why does the author say that the book of Romans is a book that Christians should probably study only after they have come into a good understanding of the salvation of the soul?

12. How are the two key words of “profit” and “save” linked together in James 2:14?  And considering the “meaning” of the root word from which comes the word “profit” in James 2:14, what must one have initially before this “meaning” may take place? And why does the author say there is no such thing as the word “profit” being used in connection with the unsaved?

13. What two parables in the New Testament does the author say best provide two of the best scriptural examples concerning “profit” on an initial investment in relation to the Lord’s servants during the present day and time?  And what do these two parables teach concerning the handling of one’s “initial investment”?

14. What must a Christian have in order for profit to accrue according to the book of James?  And why does the author say there is no such thing as a non-saving faith in relation to the unsaved?  And as to “faith,” how does it relate to first to the unsaved; and, then, to the saved?  And also as to “faith,” how many conditions of it may exist within the saved?  And what does the expression “dead faith” definitely not mean?

15. To what “other fact” does the very fact that faith is “dead” in James chapter two bear witness?  And what analogy in the book of James illustrates this “other fact”?  And the “departure of what element” produces a “dead faith”?  And what must happen in order for a “dead faith” to be restored to life (a living, active faith)?

16. How does the “law of first mention” in Scripture, as it relates to the impartation of life, apply to both a “dead body” and a “dead faith”?  And, in this respect, to what is a “dead faith” inseparably connected?  And how do a number of older Greek manuscripts translate the Greek word that is translated “dead” in the KJV?  And this being the case, how would one understand the condition of a “dead faith”?  And in this respect, out from where does “fruitfulness” (works) and “barrenness” (no works) in the life of a Christian emanate? 

17. When James speaks of works in connection with faith, what two examples does he draw from Old Testament history concerning exactly what he has in mind?  And what Greek word does the author emphasize to show that there is no distinction between the two examples insofar as both being equally justified by works?

18. What is the “key in the matter” of the above two examples being justified by works?  And in accordance with what standard must one act in order to “act by faith”?  And how does the author define “acting by faith”?  And how was this definition made practical in the above two examples mentioned by James?

19. What kind of works in Christians today would reflect the works that James illustrates as works of faith?  And what do these works “presuppose,” which is mentioned in the first chapter of James?  And what specific verse states this?  And what then must follow this presupposition, which is mentioned in the following verse?

20. What parable illustrates how a Christian is to be faithful to his calling?  And what will be meted out, which the parable teaches that will be commensurate with an individual’s faithfulness or unfaithfulness to the task/tasks God has called a Christian to do?

21. Through what “vehicle” will bring faith to its goal (made mature, brought to full development) that is called “the principle” upon which “faith and works” rests?  And specifically, for the Christian, what is this “goal” as is expressed in 1 Peter 1:9?  And through what two words does 1 Peter 1:9 relate to James 2:22?  And what will eventually be realized in “that coming day” by a Christian who fulfills that which is taught in these two verses of Scripture?

22. For what purpose, in this life, has each Christian been “created in Christ Jesus,” which is something that occurs over the entirety of the pilgrim’s walk?  And in conjunction with what progressive process does this “occurrence” take place?

23. On what basis will be “all judgment” (including all “rewards” or “punitive actions” emanating from judgment)?  In this regard, what does the author mention as “a major subject of Scripture,” a subject “in which all Christians who have been saved for any length of time at all should be quite knowledgeable”?  And to what can a failure to understand this subject be invariably traced?

24. What passage of Scripture does the author use to illustrate this “major subject of Scripture;” and what does this passage indicate?  And where and when will that, which this passage indicates, take place?  And what does a Christian possess, which is the only thing that can be lost or saved at the event described in the above passage?

25. Why is there “no conflict at all” between rewards in one place in Scripture as seen the result of one’s works; and, in another place in Scripture as seen the result of one’s faith?  What is the scriptural “relationship,” which makes this true?


1. To what class of people does Peter and James, in their epistles, direct their message?  And what is the purpose of Peter’s epistles relative to this class of people?  And through what type of incentives does he fulfill this purpose?

2. Concerning what three topics does the subject matter deal with as set forth at the very beginning of Peter’s epistles?  And what kind of encouragement is derived from a proper knowledge of these three topics?

3. In what things, which are beyond the resurrection of Christ, lies a Christian’s hope?  And what three topics are “inseparably linked in Scripture”?  And it is only because of what fact that a Christian can possess a “hope”?  And to what does this “hope” look forward?

4. Concerning what scriptural teachings must a Christian be knowledgeable in order to respond in accordance with 1 Peter 3:15?  And to what aspect of salvation are these scriptural teachings inseparably linked?

5. What are two of the best books to help Christians understand exactly what is involved in the hope that they possess?  And on what “relationship” does the epistle of Titus center?  And why is there this relationship?  And what phrase in Titus 2:13 designates the Christian’s “hope”?  And what topic is the object of this “hope,” as seen in the Greek structure of the verse?  And therefore what will be the “realization” of the Christians’ present hope?

6. With what two items is the Christian’s “hope” associated in Titus 1:1-2?  And for whom is this “hope” reserved in Titus 3:7?  And this “hope” has to do with what future subject in Titus 3:7?

7. How should one understand the meaning of the Greek word, which is translated “eternal” in Titus 1:2 and Titus 3:7?  And why is this so?  And what are the two ways the Greek language can express “eternal,” apart from textual considerations?  And to what aspect of life do “hope” and “inheritance,” as used in the New Testament, pertain?  And upon what condition does a Christian’s “hope” depend?

8. With what three items is the Christian’s hope associated in Hebrews 6:11-12?  And how is “patience” to be understood?  And according to 1 Peter 1:9, what is the “end” of a Christian’s faith?  And is one to understand this “end” of a Christian’s faith?

9. What ministry of Christ is in view in Hebrews 6?  How does the author explain Paul’s use of the word “anchor” as a metaphor pertaining to the Christian life?

10. Around what (and how many) major items is the book of Hebrews built?  And to what is “hope” linked in Hebrews chapter three?  And with what “house” is the “hope” in Hebrews 3 associated?  And with what other “house” does the Spirit show a parallel in this passage? And within the context, what is the purpose for drawing this parallel?  And what kind of “treatment” does this parallel constitute?

11. How does the author, utilizing the “houses” mentioned above, compare Christian’s today with Israelites of yesterday?  And what is the difference in the “inheritance” relative to each?  And how will “unfaithfulness” affect each relative to their inheritance?

12. What are the key words relative to “hope” in Hebrews 3:6?  And how are these words to be understood?  And how should Christian’s display their “hope”?

13. From what standpoint must the “future inheritance” of Christians be understood?  And what three things are included in the rights of firstborn sons in the Jewish economy in the Old Testament?  And how could this three-fold inheritance be forfeited?  And what two Old Testament examples show a forfeiture of this inheritance?  

14. How is the first example explained by the author?  And how, in the first example, must “repentance” be understood?  And how is the second example explained by the author?  And, in addition to the person of the second example, what others were affected?  And, in the second example, how was the three-fold inheritance distributed?

15. What are the three things that compose the inheritance of a Christian?  And upon what scriptural account is the first based?  And how will the second that is partially true now be different during the coming dispensation?  And to what “association” does the third pertain?  And how is this third (thing) seen in the book of Psalms?

16. How may a Christian forfeit the rights of primogeniture?  And how do the events mentioned in Hebrews 3; 4; 12 show this?

17. What is involved in the underlying theme in 1 Peter?  And to what “end” does the entire program of God move?  And how is the salvation “characterized,” which is mentioned in Herews 1:14?  And what is this salvation “called” in Hebrews 2:3?

18. What is the “just recompense of reward” in Hebrews 2:2 and how is it used?  And what was the “danger” that the Israelites faced after being delivered from Egypt?  And is this relative to Christians today?

19. With what is the “so great a salvation,” mentioned in Hebrews 2:3, synonymous?  And what how will the station of angels change between the world today and the world that will come?  And what aspect of salvation do the books of Hebrew, James, 1 & 2 Peter, as well as all other epistles, deal?  And within what framework must all these be interpreted?


1. What is a more exact meaning of the Greek word that is translated in its noun and verb forms as “genuineness” and “tested” in 1 Peter 1:7-8?  And what is a more exact meaning of the Greek word that is translated as “end” in verse 9?  And what subject is in view in verses 7 and 9?  And all this being the case, what is the message of 1 Peter 1:7, 9? 

2. Where will the “approval” and “goal” of one’s faith be realized or not realized?  And what will determine this when there?  And how does the book of James relate to the realization of “approval” and “goal” of one’s faith?

3. What is the relationship between 1 Corinthians 3:13 and 1 Peter 1:7?  And what kind of “works” will result in an approved “faith”?  And how is one’s “faith” brought to its goal during this present time?  And where is one’s faith ultimately approved?  And through what test or trial must it pass to gain approval?

4. What is “another side” of the judgment seat of Christ?  And what will be the result of “disapproved works” at the judgment seat of Christ?  And what are “disapproved works”?  And what two results, which would be the inverse of that which is seen in 1 Peter 1:7-9, will occur to the person whose faith does not reach its goal at the judgment seat of Christ?

5. What must occur to the Christian before he receives a crown according to the book of James?  And how is the object of “approval” spoken of in James 1:12 different from the objects mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3:13 and 1 Peter 1:7?  And how do all these three “objects” relate?  And what specific “entity” does the author say will realize the “goal of faith,” the salvation of the soul?

6. What is “in view” by the “race” that is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27?  And what must occur before that which is “in view” can be achieved?  And what “one clear, uniform teaching” may be discerned by studying 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; James 1:12; and 1 Peter 1:7-9 in the light of one another?  And what will be “allowed” for the one who is approved to receive crowns?

7. Where in the Word is found the contextual parallel to the “disapproval” for the crown referred to in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27?  And what “disapproval” is recorded in this “contextual parallel?  And where do the “experiences” in the recording of this “disapproval” begin, move, and terminate?  And into what two sections are these “experiences” divided?  And what are the “experiences” that are recorded in each section?  And what principle of Bible study do these “experiences” reflect?  And in accordance with this “principle of Bible study,” what specific relationship is seen in these recorded “experiences”?

8. What specific type-antitype treatment mentioned in the Word forms the basis for the first four of the five major warnings in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:14-2:5; 3:1-4:16; 6:1-12; 10:19-39), apart from which these warnings cannot be properly understood?

9. What process has its basis explained in 1 Corinthians 10?  And since Scripture is to be interpreted in light of Scripture, what must be seen in order to understand what will occur at the judgment seat of Christ?  And what is the primary, fundamental type that God uses in His Word to teach Christians great spiritual truths concerning dangers strewn along their present pilgrim pathway as they, under the leadership of Christ, traverse the only route that will culminate in the realization of the salvation to be revealed — the salvation of their souls?

10. When did God establish a “distinction” between the Egyptians and Israel?  And on what “basis” was this “distinction” established?  And what two things did this “distinction” involve?  And what specific purposes were these two things to fulfill?

11. What two feasts were instituted at the very beginning of Israel’s national existence?  And what does “leaven” always stand for in Scripture?  And what does the number “seven” indicate in Scripture?  And how many days were the Israelites to eat unleavened bread?  And what was the penalty for those who ate leavened bread during the time they were directed by God to eat unleavened bread?

12. What was God’s dual truth concerning “blood” and “leaven” relative to Israel?  And how did Israel keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread after the appropriation of the blood of the slain paschal lamb?  And then how did they later keep that which the feast portrayed?  And what would have Israel been able to accomplish if they later would have keep that which the feast portrayed?  But what in fact did occur to Israel?

13. What “impossibility” of God, which was relative to Israel and the Promised Land, relates to Christians today?  And in what two “rejections” by Israel is revealed the reason (basis) for Israel’s falling away, i.e. their unbelief/unfaithfulness?  And which one occurred first?  And in Scripture, what does “Egypt” always represent?  And who is the “god of this world”?

14. What is the similarity between the “distinguishing factor” relative to Israel in Moses’ day (i.e., between Israel and Egypt) and relative to Christians (i.e., between Christians and the world), which has been the “distinguishing factor” since Adam’s sin?

15. What are the definite and specific purposes for which Israel was called into existence?  And what are they for which the Church was called into existence?

16. How does the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which Israel as the type was commanded to keep, relate to the Church as the antitype?  And what period of time, which is pictured in the type (Israel) as seven days, applies to the antitype (the Church)?  And what will happen to Christians who fail to keep the feast?

17. What is the manner in which Christians will realize the purpose for their present positional standing “in Christ,” the very purpose for their calling?  And what remedy did Israel have upon sinning post application of the blood?  And what remedy do Christians have post application of the blood?

18. What is the two-fold manner in which Christians keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread?  And how did Israel fail to keep the feast in the same two-fold manner?  And then, how do Christians fail in this same way?

19. What is the comparison of the manna as seen in the “type” (Israel in Moses’ day) to the manna as seen in the “antitype” (the Church)?  And what emanates out of the process of changing this manna, both for Israel then and the Church now?

20. What is the “proper place” for the Word of God in a Christian’s life?  And what does the indwelling Spirit do to effect spiritual maturity in a Christian?  And what does and does not constitute the Neshamah?  And what cannot be used by the Spirit to sustain life, which He (through the Neshamah) brought into existence?

21. How did the Israelites ruin their manna?  And how do Christians ruin their manna?  And how is it easy to understand why the Israelites under Moses preferred the things of Egypt to the things of the land set before them?  And then, how is it easy to understand why innumerable Christians today prefer the things of the world to the things of the land set before them?

22. Why is it important for a Christian to feed on manna from heaven?  And when feasting on manna from heaven is not maintained by a Christian, what type of race will he run?  And if this be the case, what then will be the end result as to the Christian’s works, his faith, and his soul?

Chapter Eight, The Ministry of Elders

1. What two occurrences go hand-in-hand in Scripture, which two are, in fact, inseparably linked?  And in what order do they occur?  And what example about Christ does the author use to illustrate this point?

2. Surrounding what event does one see the suffering of Christ in Scripture?  And when will Christ experience His glory?  And with a basis in the former (suffering) and a view toward the latter (glory), what ministry does Christ now fulfill?

3. Who will Christ bring with Him to His glory?  And who were the three that saw Christ’s glory in advance?  And where did they see it?  And what two things did Christ mention immediately prior to this event?  And how many specific days did this event take place after Christ made mention of these two things?  And, according to the offer, how long a period do these six days represent?

4. In Hebrews 12:2, what is the reason given for Christ enduring the cross and despising the shame of it?  And what is the condition set forth in Romans 8:17 regarding suffering and glory as it pertains to Christians?  And according to Romans 8:19, when (specific time) will the glory of Christians be revealed?

5. What present order of “sons” will be replaced by God’s new order of “sons”?  And from what people come this new order of “sons”?  And what are they called in Hebrews 2:10?  And what position do they presently occupy?  And for what action do they wait?  And how are they to look upon their present sufferings?

6. In what three places in the Bible are Christians referred to in a present sense as “sons”?  And in each place, what is dealt with in the context?

7. Into what “mind-set” and experiences are Christians to enter if they are to have a part in “the resurrection [out-resurrection] of the dead” and receive “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”?

8. In complete accord with the established “biblical pattern,” to what does the “glory that follows suffering” pertain?  And when will this to which it pertains occur?  And just prior to that time what “trail” will take place, which will result in it?

9. What is the central subject matter dealt with throughout the first four chapters of First Peter?  And according to 2 Timothy 3:12, what is assured to those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus?

10. What topic is introduced in the beginning of chapter five of First Peter?  And in what verse of Scripture is it revealed that pastors (elders) are to be “pastor-teachers”?  And what is the purpose of these elders relative to those in the Church placed under their care?

11. In verses two and three of 1 Peter chapter 5, how are elders instructed relative to those placed under their care?  And understanding the two ways the Greek word that is translated as “heritage” [KJV] in verse three, what appears to be the meaning of the verse as it relates to their relationship?  And also in verse three, how does the meaning of the Greek word that is translated “examples” to be understood with regard to this relationship?

12. What occupies the “center of attention” within these concluding verses surrounding instructions given to elders in 1 Peter 5?  And also within these concluding verses, what has been entrusted to elders?  And in view of what future occurrence is this trust?  And in view of this, according to Peter, what will this “invariably involve”?

13. What will elders, who are faithful to their calling, receive when the Chief Shepherd appears?  And what determines their being “faithful to their calling”?  And if they are faithful in this manner, what will be the result?  And how will this relate to Christ’s coming kingdom?  But, if elders are not “faithful to their calling,” what will be the progression of events?

14. In accordance with the author’s “literal translation” of Hebrews 13:17, how are those under the care of elders to relate to these elders?  And what is the two-fold reason for the relationship between elders and those placed in their charge?  And what is the “highest calling any man can possess during the present day and time”?

15. What are the 16 qualifications for an elder (bishop), as are listed in 1 Timothy 2:3-7?  And how must an elder be “blameless”?  And how many wives may he only have?  And how must he be “temperate”?  How must he be “sober-minded”?  And how must he be “of good behavior”?  And how must he be “hospitable”?  And how must he be “able to teach”?  And how must he not be “given to wine” (i.e., the true meaning of the word “given”)?  And how must he not be “violent”?  And how must he not be “greedy for money”?  And how must he be “gentle”?  And how must he not be “quarrelsome”?  And how must he not be “covetous”?  And how is he to “rule his own house” and “children”?  Any why is this important?  And what kind of “novice” must he not be?  And why is this important?  And what kind of testimony must he have among those who are outside the local church?

16. What is the one means in which elders may obtain a “good testimony” from those who are outside the local church?  And how is an elder protected by a “walk by faith” from those who are without and those who are within the local church?

17. What is the basic thought underlying the entire ministry of elders in Hebrews 13:17?  And where in the Old Testament is this same “basic thought” illustrated?  And what passages in the New Testament does Paul express this same “basic thought” that surrounds the ministry of elders?

18. In accordance with Acts 6:4, what is the two-fold manner in which an elder is to conduct his incessant ministry?  And what was the purpose for deacons in local churches as their duties related to elders?

19. Around what two things did Paul’s ministry revolve?  And what was the uppermost thought in his mind relative to his ministry?  And what “classic example” did Paul’s letter to the Colossians portray?  And what specific type of knowledge did Paul desire for those in Colosse? 

20. What was “the mystery” of which Paul was made a minister?  And how was “the mystery” revealed to Paul?  And to whom did it pertain?  And what is the relationship between those to whom ‘the mystery” pertained?

21. What must an individual occupy in order to possess “the hope of glory”?  And what is it that this occupancy does not guarantee?  And, because of this, what did Paul make known to those in Colosse?   And how does Colossians 1:28, James 2:22, and 1 Peter 1:9 relate to each other?  And to what event does each of these verses point?

22. Of what will elders one day be called to give an account?  And what passage of Scripture does the author use to express this fact?  And how does this passage relate to Hebrews 10:31?  And how do both of these passages relate to unfaithful Christians at the judgment seat of Christ?

23. What is the concept that Christians have been too long misled into believing?  And what will the issues at the judgment seat of Christ (regarding every Christian) determine?  And how is the Greek word (bema), which is translated “judgment seat,” used in the New Testament?  And what are the examples that the author uses in the book to show this?

24. What account would the watchmen of Israel be eventually called to render?  And what were the two possible outcomes of this account?  And to what type of people does Ezekiel chapters three and thirty-three pertain?  And to whom does this relate in the New Testament?

25. Why should the sheep (Christians) “depend upon and be submissive” to the shepherd’s (elder’s) leadership as he conducts his “watch” on behalf of their souls?  And what will be the end-result if the shepherd and sheep possess a proper relationship?  And conversely, what will be the end-result if the shepherd and sheep do not possess a proper relationship?

26. What is the present great issue (message) in Scripture confronting every Christian?  And what is the “call relative to this message,” which pertains to both elders and Christians placed under elders?

Word Document: Salvation of the Soul, Study-Review Questions by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.
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Word Document:  Salvation of the Soul Book by Arlen Chitwood.docx which is SAFE to open and print.

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