The Willful Sin - Part II
Hebrews 10:26 – “For if we sin willfully (the ‘willful sin’ is the transference of Faith from Christ and Him Crucified to other things) after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth (speaks of the Bible way of Salvation and Victory, which is ‘Jesus Christ and Him Crucified’ [I Cor. 2:2]), there remains no more sacrifice for sins (if the Cross of Christ is rejected, there is no other sacrifice or way God will accept).”
THIS VERSE IS TELLING us that if we embrace the truth (Jesus Christ and Him Crucified) and then move away from that truth, as many have done and are doing today, we have committed what the Bible calls “willful sin!” In the Greek, “willfull” is the word “hekousious,” and it means “voluntarily.” In essence, when one voluntarily transfers the object of his faith from the Cross of Jesus Christ to something else, he has committed a “willful sin” that will damn his soul because there is no other way, sacrifice, or object of faith acceptable to the Lord. The one-time sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son is the only sacrifice God accepts as atonement for our sins.
BOOK OF HEBREWS
The Book of Hebrews was written to a group of Jews who had chosen to place their faith exclusively in Jesus Christ and Him Crucified, as they had come to realize that His Finished Work at Calvary was the total fulfillment of the Law. Yet, due to religious pressure and/or a lack of certainty in their freedom from the Law, these Jewish converts began entertaining the idea that perhaps they could add the old Law and Levitical sacrifices back on to their faith in Christ. They failed to understand that adding anything to their faith in Christ and Him Crucified, no matter how “good” it might be, actually takes away from it. It’s like combining chemical elements to create a new substance. This is what was happening to their faith; its entire substance was changing due to what was being added to it. We have the same thing happening in the church today! Believers are reverting back, observing old Jewish feast days and giving offerings in honor of such. They’re even taught to expect a special blessing from God in return. Negligent leaders are guiding these people back into a system of works that was clearly fulfilled and done away with through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This change of faith is “willful sin” and cannot be rewarded by God because it, in effect, says that the Cross wasn’t enough.
“Knowledge” in the Greek (as used in Hebrews 10:26) is “epignosis.” Strong’s dictionary describes it as, “recognition, full discernment, acknowledgement.” By using this word, Paul makes it clear that the “knowledge” he is speaking of reflects an actual “saving knowledge” of our Lord, not just a shallow historical notion of truth or mental ascent. Therefore, the exhortation and warning is to Believers who had once accepted the light of Jesus Christ and later rejected that light. Paul was not speaking to sinners here, as many teach, but to Believers who let go of the truth which once reigned in their lives.
UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY
Let’s look at the concept of “unconditional eternal security,” which was taught by St. Augustine and later popularized by John Calvin. The doctrine of “unconditional eternal security” (in form, similar to the modern doctrine) was not conceived until Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion” in 1536. That is, the idea of “unconditional eternal security” did not exist for the first 1,500 years of Christianity. The root of this idea, which somewhat resembled the modern idea, can be found in St. Augustine of Hippo’s teachings in 428 A.D. The beginning of St. Augustine’s, “On the Gift of Perseverance,” reads, “I assert, therefore, that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ even to the end is the gift of God.” Now, we agree that the Bible assures Believers of eternal security, but that security is not unconditional. Our faith must remain steadfast on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us at the Cross. If we depart, having an unbelieving and, thereby, evil heart in the sight of God, there can be no rest (salvation)!
Hebrews 4:10-12 states: “For he who is entered into His Rest (due to what Christ did at the Cross, anyone can enter into this ‘Rest’), he also has ceased from his own works (we enter in by Faith, which refers to Faith in Christ and what He did at the Cross), as God did from His. (God rested on the seventh day when Creation was finished. And we can Rest in Christ because the Plan of Redemption is finished, of which God’s Rest was a type.)
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that Rest (could be translated, ‘let us hasten therefore to enter into that Rest’), lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (This tells us that the root cause of the ‘fall’ of any Believer is unbelief, and it refers to unbelief in the Cross, which was the True Mission of Christ.)
“For the Word of God is quick (alive), and powerful (active, energizing), and sharper than any two-edged sword (refers to the ability of the Word of God to ‘probe’), piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow (doesn’t mean the dividing asunder of soul from spirit or joints from marrow, but rather that the Word of God pierces the soul and the spirit, adequately proclaiming what man ought to be and can only be in Christ; as well, the Word of God portrays to us the Holy Spirit, and His Power, and proclaims the fact that He Alone can ‘quicken our mortal bodies’ [Rom. 8:11], which refers to giving us power to yield this physical body to that which is Righteous [Rom. 6:12-13]), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (carries the idea of ‘sifting out and analyzing evidence’).”
The doctrine of “unconditional eternal security” is clearly debunked in these verses.
PHILOSOPHY AND VAIN DECEIT
II Peter 1:3 states: “According as His Divine Power has given unto us all things (the Lord with large handed generosity has given us all things) that pertain unto life and godliness (pertains to the fact that the Lord Jesus has given us everything we need regarding life and living), through the knowledge of Him Who has called us to Glory and Virtue (the ‘knowledge’ addressed here speaks of what Christ did at the Cross, which alone can provide ‘Glory and Virtue’).”
The choice is obvious from the Word of God: we either trust Christ or we trust the humanistic wisdom of man. Paul admonished us not to embrace worldly wisdom because, again, it will not point us to the only sacrifice God accepts.
Colossians 2:8 states: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit (anything that pulls the Believer away from the Cross is not of God), after the tradition of men (anything that is not of the Cross is of men), after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (If it’s truly after Christ, then it’s after the Cross.)”
In James 3:15, we see that this worldly wisdom does not come from above (from God). Again, when we shift our faith from the Cross of Christ to anything else, we commit the “willful sin” that leaves us without the only way of forgiveness, without the only expiation for our sins. If we have done this, we must repent and once again place our faith exclusively in Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. And the Lord will receive all who come back to the Cross! Hallelujah!
A perfect example of this “willful sin” in modern times is the development of the “social gospel.” In 1908, the Federal Council of Churches (FCC), which is closely interconnected with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), laid the foundation by issuing “The Social Creed of the Churches.” Unfortunately, their craft would reach and alter generations to come within the unsuspecting Protestant denominations. This radical report contained widespread social planning controls, including the reorganization of society’s wealth. The Federal Council Bulletin urged its readers to propagate their social gospel and to reject any notion of conflict between the preaching of the traditional Gospel and the spread of their new Social Creed. In other words, their new social gospel began to replace the true message of Jesus Christ. Global planners knew that unless they could secure a deep dedication to their vision, there would not be enough motivating power to make it work so they cleverly inserted it into the faith to which the people were already committed, namely Christianity. It was all carefully couched in Biblical terminology. In essence, they found a way to combine religion and state. Anyone against the state could now be defined as a “sinner.”
SINS AGAINST SOCIETY?
While they did mention the sin problem frequently, it was usually referred to in the context of “sins against society” rather than “sins against God.” “Regeneration” became understood to be “a new social awareness.” They even began to present Jesus as the living embodiment of their ethical principles. The atoning work of Christ upon the
Cross was deemed practically insignificant and rarely ever mentioned. The fundamental truth that humanity can find peace with God only through “justification by faith” was simply overlooked.1
Actually, the original CFR plan to create a social gospel was part of a massive operation to change public opinion favorably toward world government. The 1908 action by the FCC outlined its program for transforming American society into a Christian “collection” by applying the principles of socialism as expounded by Walter Rauschenbusch. This “kingdom of God on earth” would also need to be set up according to the ecumenical ideal because they needed to include every faction of religion possible. There was no room for divisions among the faithful even if Biblical integrity was compromised in the process. A unified church would represent a sort of collectivist Protestantism patterned after the medieval guild system.2 Here’s where we find another “sinner” created by the social gospel — one who tries to correct and/or separates from doctrinal error.
A JUST WORLD SOCIETY?
Spearheading this effort was CFR leader John Foster Dulles who predicted that the social structure of a “just world society” would be modeled on the prototypes of totalitarian countries like Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.3 John Foster Dulles, as one of the chief architects and propagators of this Social Gospel movement, “became convinced that the use of propaganda was essential in shifting public opinion in America from its traditional isolationist stance to a new policy of interdependence.”
In the ensuing highly-orchestrated campaign to change public opinion, Dulles and other CFR moguls worked to transform the ideology of the churches. Dulles authored an essay printed in several publications entitled, The Problem Of Peace In A Dynamic World. Commenting on this Erdmann writes: “Dulles outlined the basic concepts of peaceful change and attacked what he regarded to be an unhealthy and obsolete concept of national sovereignty … Human egotism could only be offset, he asserted, by superseding it with ‘some sentiment more dominant and gripping, which would contain the elements of universality as against particularity.’ No other organization would be as uniquely qualified to accomplish this task as the Church. Dulles idealized the Christian Church as an exemplary community which had demonstrated the ability to transcend the limitations of the nation state.”4 His goal was to motivate the churches to become actively involved in building a global society.5
THE PURPOSE DRIVEN SYSTEM
Picking up where Dulles left off in 2002, CFR man and “pastor” Rick Warren took the Christian church by storm and continued to bring the Social Creed of Dulles smack into the center of Christianity using savvy marketing principles. With the “psychologized” religion of the “Purpose Driven” system, he changed many professed Bible-believing churches into consumer-friendly social centers of good works. He used phony translations of the Bible, cut and pasted verses out of context, and replaced the Biblical centrality of repentance with his “Purpose Driven” lie, which actually appeals to sinners rather than confronts their sin. Along with this butchering of Scripture, Warren even exhorted listeners to avoid Endtime prophecy, which is exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught his Disciples. Replacing Acts 1:6-7, which states:
When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying (seemingly presents the last meeting before the Ascension), Lord, will You at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel? (He would later answer this question through the Apostle Paul [II Thess., Chpt. 2].)
And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His Own power (the Master is saying that it is not the business of the followers of Christ to know this information, but rather to ‘occupy till I come’ [Lk. 19:13]).”
And with his cut and paste insertion of Matthew 24:3. which states:
And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives (the coming siege of Jerusalem by the Romans some thirty-seven years later, began at this exact spot where Christ was sitting), the Disciples came unto Him privately (out of earshot of the many Pilgrims in the city for the Passover), saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? (Has to do here with the utterance He had just given concerning the destruction of the Temple.) and what shall be the sign of Your coming (refers the Second Coming), and of the end of the world? (Should have been translated ‘age’).”
By replacing God’s instructions with his, Rick Warren is, in effect, placing his word above God’s Word, which is blasphemy.
1 Dr. Martin Erdmann, “Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches’ Contribution to Marshal Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945”, pgs. 154-155.
2 Ibid., pgs. 306-307.
3 Ibid., p. 88.
4 Dr. Martin Erdmann, “Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches’ Contribution to Marshal Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945” pgs. 84-85.
5 Ibid., p. 87.