Without God in the World

Psa 49_20

I borrowed the above title from today’s devotional from Truth For Life. In that devotional, Alistair Begg tells us:

“It is tempting to think that passages like this one only describe other people. But we should not be too quick to look away from ourselves. Are there ways we have rejected humility, believing ourselves to be sufficient without God? Have we let our prosperity numb us to our neediness and accountability before God? Has our treatment of those around us been marked by self-interest and arrogance instead of love and service? We may confess to have faith in God, but perhaps there are areas of our lives that require repentance.”

He then asks us to consider the following:

1. How is God calling me to think differently?

2. How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

3. What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Be Blessed This Day!

“In Vain do They Worship Me”

Jesus, referencing Isaiah 29:13 and speaking to Jewish Pharisees, said:

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Mat 15:7-9 (KJV)

One notable theologian and Bible scholar said the following of Isa 29:13.

“By the traditions of the elders, not only the word of God was perverted, but his worship also was greatly corrupted. But the Jews were not the only people who have acted thus: whole Christian Churches, as well as sects and parties, have acted in the same way. Men must not mould the worship of God according to their fancy – it is not what they think will do – is proper, innocent, etc., but what God himself has prescribed, that he will acknowledge as his worship. “However sincere a man may be in a worship of his own invention, or of man’s commandment, yet it profits him nothing.” Christ himself says it is in vain. To condemn such, may appear to some illiberal; but whatever may be said in behalf of sincere heathens, and others who have not had the advantages of Divine Revelation, there is no excuse for the man who has the Bible before him.” – Adam Clarke[i]

The following graphic was posted on a Facebook page, along with a lengthy ‘teaching’, presented as ‘fact’ that is largely based on a form of dispensationalism called ‘ultra’, or ‘hyper’ dispensationalism that was developed by Anglican clergyman E.W. Bullinger (1837 – 1913).

This Gospel won't SAVE

The rest of this post is taken directly from the same FB post as the graphic and contains elements of ultra/hyper-dispensationalism, what has been called hyper-grace, and the author’s own thoughts. I’ve made some minor editing corrections (spelling/grammar, etc.) so you won’t be distracted and can remain focused on the content. (All emphases are mine.)

“Every book in the entire bible outside of Acts 9-28 and Romans- Philemon (dispensation of Grace) is directly speaking to the Nation of Israel. It is Israel’s covenant/religious doctrine. The religious program God HAD/WILL HAVE with Israel BEFOFE the cross (Genesis-Acts 7 (times past) and during the tribulation (Hebrews-Revelation) AFTER the dispensation of grace ends when the catching away takes place (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) in the ages to come is not to be mistaken with what is going on today. We are currently living in the dispensation of the Grace of God (Ephesians 3:2) which started the moment Christ revealed the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25) to Apostle Paul on the Damascus Road in Acts 9 which is the Gospel 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV. How Christ died for our sins, he was buried and rose again the third day (Gospel).”

“Paul was chosen by Christ to be the apostle of the gentiles (Romans 1:13) in order to preach a different Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) than that preached by Christ’s 12 original Jewish disciples (Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, James Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas) which was faith plus works-based Gospels (Mathew 19:16-26, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19). These 12 Apostles ONLY preached to the nation of Israel because salvation WAS ONLY of the Jews (John 4:22, Mathew 15:24, Luke 1:16) during this time (before the cross) and WILL BE of the Jews during the tribulation in the ages to come. This means you had to/will have to convert to Judaism to be saved during this time.”

“The nation of Israel fell in Acts 7 due to unbelief, because of this the nation of Israel does not currently exist and Gods works based program with Israel was put on pause. Blinded until God fulfills his plan of grace with the gentiles (Romans 11:8, Romans 11:25) and then will unblind Israel and carry out his new covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 31:31) during the tribulation time period (Hebrews-Revelation) in the ages to come. Today the WHOLE world is comprised of gentiles (Israelites Jews do not currently exist in Gods eyes today. Because of Israel’s failure in the Old Testament (Genesis-Acts) salvation today is of the gentiles (Romans 11:11). Israel was supposed to believe Christ was the Messiah and do the works of the law to prove it but the majority did not and rejected him. Only the “little flock” (saved Israelite Jews during the Old Testament before the cross) did so. Israel (Gods chosen people) was to be saved first and then they were supposed to preach to the gentiles but this did not work out accordingly. Because of this God ended his Earthly Ministry to Israel and carried out his plan of Grace (Finished cross work) which was kept secret since the world began (Romans 16:25). “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8).”

“This was the Gospel of grace how that Christ died for the entire WORLDS sins paying for ALL (past, present, & future) of our sins the moment he DIED on the cross (Romans 6:23). He was buried and rose again the third day so that we can be justified (Romans 4:25). It’s through our faith and faith ALONE that we are made righteous (Romans 4:5) which makes us justified (not guilty/saved, Acts 13:39).”

“Through Christs shed blood (his death) ALL (past, present, future) of our sins were COMPLETELY forgiven on the cross (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14). Christ made the one and done perfect sacrificial atonement (necessary payment for sin) the moment he died on the cross and because of this ALL (past, present, future) of our sins were paid in FULL (forgiven). The WORLD was reconciled to God by the death of Christ (Romans 5:10). All because of God’s grace our sins were put on Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) never to be remembered again. Completely moving sin out the way no longer making it an obstacle between mankind and salvation. Making it so that our faith and faith ALONE in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for your salvation is the ONLY justifiable action to be saved today NOT following the works of the law (Galatians 2:16). The law was blotted out and nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14) when our sins were forgiven. Nobody is justified by the law today (Romans 3:20) ONLY through faith (Galatians 2:16). Today our faith and faith ALONE is counted as righteousness (Romans 4:5). We are ONLY Saved by “GRACE” “through FAITH” and NOT of our works, It’s the free gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). You simply trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for your salvation and you are saved & sealed with the holy spirit (Ephesians 1:13). It really is that simple despite what these countless Christian denominations will teach you who have all made the cross of none effect (1 Corinthians 1:17). It was ALL finished at the cross. Just simply believe it and accept Gods free gift of salvation.”

The element of the above paragraph that takes it into the “hyper” grace arena is the teaching that since ALL sin (past, present, & future) was forgiven at the cross, it is no longer necessary to continually repent, confess our sins and ask for forgiveness as part of our Christian walk, not even to maintain a healthy relationship with our Lord. 1 John 1:9 doesn’t apply since John was speaking only to Jews, which is nonsensical on its face.

It gets worse. While we were at the UCHealth central hospital for Dee’s final chemo session, I found yet another detailed critique of Dr. Bullinger’s abysmal and self-contradictory (not to mention contra-Scripture theology. It can be found and read online and downloaded as a PDF at: Algernon James Pollock – An Examination of Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s Bible Teaching Articles (#15073) – BTP (bibletruthpublishers.com). There are multiple articles and each one can be downloaded as a PDF. I plan to download and combine them into a single file.

All that being said, I tried one more time to reason with my friends at The Gospel of Grace Facebook page, appealing to their sense of intellectual honesty. I have only received derision for being totally ignorant of anything Biblical with every appeal. Rather than.

Links to other research sites that I visited can be found on an earlier post found here: “An Interesting Conversation” Afterthoughts | The Battle Cry (thebattlecry49.com)

Be Blessed!

[i] Adam Clarke (1762 – 26 August 1832) was a British Methodist theologian who served three times as President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference (1806–07, 1814–15 and 1822–23). A biblical scholar, he published an influential Bible commentary among other works.

8 Symptoms of False Doctrine

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

1. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their “earnestness” makes many think they must be right.

2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

3. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

5. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

6. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

7. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself “as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

8. There is a wide-spread “gullibility” among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, “Do not be carried away!”


~ J.C. Ryle~

May 10, 1816 — June 10, 1900

Warnings to the Churches, “Divers and Strange Doctrines”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1967], 76, 77.


J. C. Ryle Author Biography – Banner of Truth USA

Blind Minds and Strong Delusions


Paul wrote his second letter to the church in Corinth c. 56 A.D., possibly from Philippi. At the time of that letter’s writing many people, particularly Jews, did not accept Paul’s gospel. To them it was veiled, but Paul would not change it to make it more palatable, as his opponents had done (see 2 Cor 11:4). Those who rejected the gospel message were unable and unwilling to accept it, aided in their unbelief by Satan, the god of this world” (cf. Eph_2:2) who, though defeated by Christ continues his hold over this present world. His blinding of peoples’ minds makes it impossible for them to see the light of the gospel.


Paul wrote both of his letters to the Thessalonian church c. 51 A.D, a few years earlier than his letters to the church in Corinth. In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul hoped to encourage their young but growing faith, He also spoke of the end times, reminding them that the Lord’s second coming was still in the future, contradicting the false teachers who had been presenting fake letters as if from Paul and telling the Thessalonian believers that the day of the Lord had already come.

Paul had already told them (2 Thess 2:1-4) that before Christ’s return the “lawless one” (the antichrist) would enter history, proclaiming himself to be God. Paul told them that God Himself would send a “strong delusion” to unbelievers so that they would believe the lie and worship the man of lawlessness. Ultimately, Jesus would kill the man of sin with His very breath when He does return and Satan defeated once again, this time for all eternity.

Can you see the similarities in Paul’s letters? First, the work of Satan is evident in both. Paul told the church at Corinth that Satan was, and still is “the God of this world”, while in writing to the Thessalonians, Paul described Satan’s last attempt to truly rule the world by ushering in the man of sin to proclaim to be God, ultimately to be defeated for eternity (Satan and the antichrist).

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Paul describes unbelievers in both passages as having “blind minds” and being under a “strong delusion” so that they are unable and unwilling to hear and understand the message of the gospel and be saved. Rather, they would believe lies. And when we look around the world we live in today, it seems like we are living in an overwhelming “sea of lies” on multiple fronts, or as one of my Battle Buddies describes it, a moral cesspool. that was unimaginable 20 years ago.

Why is all of this significant!?

I’m glad you asked! No matter how bad it seems (insanity on steroids?) our mission as believers and pilgrims on this earth has never changed and it never will. That mission is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world. Paul almost makes that sound like “mission impossible”. I said “almost”.

When we remember that we have been called to merely be faithful to the message of the gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4) and let God do the “saving”, it’s not just mission “possible”, but a mission with guaranteed success! God will open hearts to hear, just as He did with Lydia in Philippi (Acts 16); and Jesus WILL Save His people from their sins! (Matt 1:21)


All scripture references are from the ESV translation.

Be Blessed!

“An Interesting Conversation” Afterthoughts

I think I’ve finally finished the “Interesting Conversation” and come to a couple of conclusions. First I can thank the small group of folks with whom I was trying (unsuccessfully) to have a rational dialogue for ‘encouraging’ me to do some homework and broaden my knowledge concerning the doctrine of Dispensationalism, and especially Hyper dispensationalism, which is. what the members of that small group teach as the truth, the whole truth, and only truth.

I’ve been called several interesting names and even declared lost and headed for hell unless I repent of my wrong beliefs concerning the message of the gospel. I’ve been booted from a couple of their Facebook pages.

They are Hyper dispensationalists to the core, meaning that their doctrine was developed by a man called E.W. Bullinger in the 19th Century and not John Darby as I had first thought. That might not sound like a small matter, but I assure you it is not. While Dispensationalism in itself is not heretical, but one way of looking at church history, Hyper dispensationalism, on the other hand has been called heretical by many notable Bible scholars and theologians.

If I was asked what I thought was the most grievous teaching of the movement, I would say it would be there are two completely different gospels, one for Jews  (The Gospel of the Kingdom) and one for Gentiles (The Gospel of Grace). There has always been one gospel. You can know recognize the movement when you hear such phrases as:

  • Paul’s Gospel vs Jesus’ Gospel
  • Gospel of Grace vs Gospel of the Law
  • Gospel to the Jews vs the Gospel to the Gentiles
  • Gospel of the Kingdom vs Paul’s Gospel

Another characteristic of my interesting conversation colleagues is that all seem to be solidly KJV ONLY adherents, which brings me to the most seriously mind-boggling  tidbit. While they claim to read nothing else but the KJV and use no other resource (especially other men’s brains), they are relying on the teachings of a man from the 19th Century!

I’ve rambled on enough. Below are links to sites I found that aided me in a little bit of research:

  1. What is ultra-dispensationalism? | GotQuestions.org
  2. The Two Gospel Heresy
  3. Hyperdispensationalism and the Authority of Christ (cicministry.org)
  5. Covenant Theology Vs Dispensationalism (10 Epic Differences) (biblereasons.com)
  6. When the Church Began – Hyperdispensationalism: Why It Is Wrong – The Superior Word

Be Blessed!!

“Too Many” Apollos?

Well,here’s is another one that came my way on FB that had me a bit puzzled:


(Pardon the bad grammar. It came that way)

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. The passage that was referred to is:

“”And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”  Acts 18:24-26 KJB

That passage introduces Apollos as a Jew who was “eloquent” (an orator) and “mighty” (capable and strong) in the Jewish scriptures. Priscilla and Aquila, a Christian couple, saw an opportunity to share the gospel message of Christ with him. Apollos believed the gospel, became a Christian and then proceeded to use his oratorical skills to share the message that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah (vv. 27-28).

This is a beautiful story of a gospel opportunity and a new believer in Christ who then shared the same message with others, to the great credit of the grace of God. He then became an evangelist, apologist, church leader, and friend of the apostle Paul.

One response to the original post (I am not allowed to comment on the author’s FB page) was this:

“APOLLOS HUMBLED HIMSELF and listened to Aquila and Priscilla and accepted to their scriptural instructions, and the results of Apollos taking heed, Is in v 27&28. We need some humble Apollos’s And some Scriptural Aquila’s and Priscilla’s.” (pardon the bad grammar again)

It does seem like the lady who made that comment might have thought Apollos was prideful and needed humbling (her ALL CAPS). I could be wrong.

God had apparently prepared Apollo’s heart for the gospel, as He did with Lydia in Philippi. Can there ever be “too many” like him?

As always,

Be Blessed!

“Getting the “Still Small Voice” All Wrong”

by Chad Bird, 1517 Ministries

Here are two short excerpts from the article named above:

“Is the “still small voice” of God a murmuring in your heart, a whisper of conscience, the Universe whispering to you? When we explore 1 Kings 19, that “voice” turns out to be very much like the Messenger and Word of the Lord.”

. . . . . . . . . . . .

“With some notable exceptions, many who talk about a “still small voice” do so (1) without consulting the original Hebrew; (2) without even referring to the part of the Bible where the phrase comes from; (3) without looking at the broader context of the narrative; and (4) without seeing how this “voice” is part of Big Story of Scripture, which is focused on Jesus.”

If those two short excerpts have piqued your interest, I invite you to read the entire article, located at:

Getting the “Still Small Voice” All Wrong (1517.org)

Enjoy the article and above all. . . . .

Be Blessed!

An “Interesting” Conversation

I apologize for the length of this post, but I needed to transcribe it if for nothing else, to be able to reread and study it further.What follows is a FB Conversation I have been having with Harry Vartanian. The beliefs taught by Harry and Tom are sincerely held and maintained as rock solid truth.. They believe what they want to believe, and therefore are somewhat lacking in the intelligent and polite discourse. Through the years I have had similar discussions.    

Here is the post that started it all:


There was a particular small section of Tom Bacon’s teaching that specifically caught my attention:


He tells us that we are NOT supposed to believe the statements in 1 Cor 15:1-4, but we are to believe in the events in the statements (underlined below). He seems to also state that we only need to remember that our sins were forgiven when Christ died on the cross and it’s not necessary to repent of and confess our sins in the here and now. There’s a term for that, and we’ll get to it.

1Co 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

Here is my reply to Tom & Harry:


I realize that I sounded harsh, but how can believing Paul’s teaching in the 1 Corinthian passage NOT mean believing in the events that are described therein?

Here’s the main part of Harry’s reply to my comment:


Never mind the silly remark that there was not even one contradiction in the earlier post(s) or his calling me ignorant, but note the emphasis on 1 Cor 15:1-4 being from the KJV. That’s significant. There are some KJV only folks that believe that if you read Paul’s gospel in any other translation than the KJV, you might be heading straight to hell. After all the 1611 KJV is just as inspired as the original texts (that no one has) of Scripture.

It was a really long reply with a lot of scripture passages that ‘proved’ his argument (NOT). He added that:


Still being rather flabbergasted at Harry’s ‘creative’ interpretations of Scripture, this is where I was bit by the “snark monster”:


To which he replied, explaining why he called me ignorant and reinforcing his certain conclusion that I was never saved, having rejected Paul’s gospel.

Back to square one? Not quite. Harry did reinforce his (and others’) position that everything having to do with forgiveness happened at the Cross and that’s that.clip_image014

So I decided I might want to try and end a most ‘interesting’ conversation and replied:


I figured that including a link to a good article about the Hyper Grace movement, preceded by an increased level of “snark” would do the trick (at least I said “probably” wouldn’t read the article and didn’t return the favor of calling him names. I was wrong. Here is his next volley:

His main points this time are 1) If you don’t leave the matter of forgiveness at the foot of the Cross but clip_image018also confess your sin and receive forgiveness in the here and now, you have rejected Paul’s gospel and are headed for the fiery furnace and 2) if you don’t rely on the KJV and nothing but the KJV you might be a spawn of Satan, along with anyone behind a pulpit who might consult other translations or doctrinally sound commentators.

My attempt early this morning (3 June, 2023) was this:


I meant every word of it, but at least didn’t use the “L” word. Since then, I received a comment from a Daryl Gass telling me “I read your article and see if hat the Author is mixing gospels! Now I will ask you to read mine to see clearly what the difference is between the gospel that Paul taught and the gospel the Jesus and the 12 apostles taught.”;

His article on a FB page called “The False Trinity god Rebuttal and Other Scriptural Truths. Thing is, I have to join the group since it’s a Private Group. Since he implies that Jesus and the Apostles taught “different” gospels, I admit I am curious.

Right now, I think I need a nap. This has been exhausting!

True, or Mostly True?


The above meme appeared in my Facebook feed this morning, and at first tended to agree, for about a second that is.

The post says it has had a 9.5K comment count so far. I went through the first 500+ comments and they were all positive, ranging from simple “Amens” to some that indicated the commentor put the original post author on par with the greatest Christian thinkers in all of history. My response was “Partially true. Think about it.”

I was tempted to explain why I said what I said, but decided not to and only asked folks to think about it a little. What follows explains my own reasoning about this particular FB meme.

First of all, while we do talk to ourselves (worry) about things we cannot change, we also worry sometimes about things & situations we can change or contribute to changing them. If I am in poor health because of poor eating habits or other lifestyle habits, I might be “worrying” rightly”, but I can make changes. If I have a credit score in the basement and cannot get a loan, I can do things to repair my credit. I won’t bore you with other examples but I’m sure you can all think of some.

And while I am not specifically criticizing those whose “Amens” and author adulation abounded, I just wish that when cute little memes (of any sort, but especially the Christian ones) pop up, we would all take a breath and thoughtfully analyze them before we jump on the “Amen!” bandwagon, while the meme authors count the “Amens” and pat themselves on the back for their profundity. I apply the same principal to Scripture verse memes that on the surface sound wonderful and help us feel good, but in context have much fuller meanings that might not stimulate the warm and fuzzies. Context is everything.

Speaking of context, please don’t forget that the author of any social media post, with or without an accompanying graphic, is significant. We can rightly approve of what someone says, but in doing so, are we seen as approving what that someone believes and teaches? Can we also apply this principal to the Christian music industry? Just asking questions we all should consider.

In the case of our “meme with over 9K hearty ‘Amens!”, the author is Lance Wallnau. May I suggest looking into Lance Wallnau a bit, especially his connections to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and the 7-Mountain Mandate. I’m not sharing any personal thoughts or opinions here, just encouraging you to dig a little deeper and make wise decisions. Here a couple of good (not snarky) articles from the GotQuestions ministry.

What is the New Apostolic Reformation? | GotQuestions.org

What is the seven mountain mandate, and is it biblical? | GotQuestions.org

Feel free to comment! Am I just being picky?

And Be Blessed this Day!