[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Posting of a Hymn

by Rose

When He Shall Come 1934
Almeda J. Pearce

When He shall come resplendent in His glory
To take His own from out the vale of night
O may I know the joy at His appearing
Only at morn, to walk with Him in white!

When I shall stand within the court of heaven
Where white-robed pilgrims pass before my sight
Earth’s martyred saints and blood-washed overcomers
These then are they who walk with Him in white!

When He shall call, from earth’s remotest corners
All who have stood triumphant in His might
O to be worthy then to stand beside them
And in that morn, to walk with Him in white!


I have never heard this hymn until this past Sunday morning at my church. Growing up Catholic, I was not exposed to some of the hymns that others who grew up in protestant churches did. I could tell that others there this past Sunday knew the song. They sang it out so powerfully!

The song reminded me of a post on Antonio's blog from months ago called "So you're saved, but will you walk with Jesus in White?" I questioned the ideas in that post. I found his thoughts compelling, but I view it more the way that Mark and Ten Cent were presenting in their comments there. That's OK, though. We are allowed to have differences in view amongst the members of this blog. :~) None of us are "unsuspecting" sheep that we can't be like Bereans and come to our own conclusions.

This hymn got me to thinking again about the subject of "overcomers." I wondered if the writer of the hymn held the same view that Antonio was explaining. I wondered if those in my church who were familiar with the hymn and who were singing it out so enthusiastically were agreeing with its implications.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Colossians 3:4; Revelation 3:4; Revelation 7:9

38 Comments:

  • When He shall come resplendent in His glory to take His own from out the vale of night, O may I know the joy at His appearing, only at morn, to walk with Him in white!

    Jude tells us what will happen at Jesus' coming to a certain element that feigns to be Christian, when he speaks of "certain men crept in unawares," who "turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness," on account of which individuals he must "put [us] in remembrance" concerning the "the angels which kept not their first estate" and were consequently damned, and concerning "how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." And why must he remind us of such things? Because these "certain men crept in unawares" were "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness" by teaching that once a man is saved he can live in unrepentant sin and still make it to heaven, for which cause we must be reminded that angels were thrown out of heaven down to tartarus and that many of the people brought out of Egypt were subsequently destroyed by plagues for ceasing to believe. He speaks of these Calvinistic teachers as "were before of old ordained to this condemnation," and as "filthy dreamers" who "defile the flesh," (a natural result of their false doctrine) and he says "these are spots in your feasts of charity," which is certainly true because they constantly disturb churches with their fatalistic doctrines of demons. "Clouds they are without water," teaching much falsehood about infant damnation but nothing right the love of God, "carried about of winds," the hot wind of their puffed up carnal minds, "trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots," because the root is the love of God which they have rejected. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame," by continually blaspheming the loving creator as the author of evil and confusion and as the damner of innocent infants who also decrees for men to sin then damns them for doing exactly what he decreed for them to do, "wandering stars," having no rest but alway seeking some man to turn away from Christ to atheism and god-hating and make twice as much a child of hell than themselves, "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." And even Enoch prophesied of these "murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words," for "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him," for none have spoken so harshly against God as Calvinists. Just read the works of Luther, Calvin, Beza, Edwards, Spurgeon, Sprawl, Piper, and Augustine, and see how they think God's only glory is to damn innocent infants for another man's sin, which is no glory but shame, for they are such as Paul refers to when he says "whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." (Phil 3:19) And certainly Augustine is comprehended when the wiseman writes "The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools" (Prov 3:35) because it is the shame of his blasphemy against God in claiming that God damns infants that has promoted him in the eyes of the carnal men of the world, for the world loves its own! Although it is David that speaks in Psalm 4:2, yet God could say the same to the Calvinists "O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah."

    By Blogger beowulf2k8, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 9:16:00 PM  

  • Golly, what a rant, beowulf.

    Did you have anything to say about the hymn?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 10, 2008 5:36:00 AM  

  • Rose, I'm curious: had folks not been exposed to those views presented by Antonio in that series, views that quite honestly most of christendom is oblivious to, what do you think was going on in the minds of those who sang this this past Sunday at your church? Do you think that any of those people that you saw sing this hymn were even aware that those views as shared by Antonio exist?

    Peace!

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 8:00:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Interesting post.

    On one hand, I could agree with it. It's the longing of my heart to walk with Him in white.

    On the other hand, I cannot agree with this hymn because it's sounds as if the writer is unsure if they will walk with Him in white.

    Rev. 7:14 "I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

    Why where their robes white? Because they washed them in the blood of the Lamb. It's Christ's blood that makes their robes white.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

    We can have full assurance that we will walk with Him in white. Why? Because we were washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Friday, October 10, 2008 8:16:00 AM  

  • Mark, believe it or not, the majority of professing Christians do not believe in perseverance.

    Most professing Christians in the world hold that believers can lose their salvation.

    It is only Reformed, most Baptists and some Anglicans who have historically believed the doctrine of perseverance.

    You make much of the idea that you are in some kind of majority, but in fact, in the bulk of church history, you view is a minority one.

    None of the church fathers believed it. Augustine did not believe in it in the way Calvinists teach it. None of the Catholic theologians of the middle ages believed it. Neither do the Eastern Orthodox. The Lutherans for the most part reject the doctrine of perseverance.

    So stop pretending that your view has some kind of historical authority.

    Every blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 8:20:00 AM  

  • "I wondered if the writer of the hymn held the same view that Antonio was explaining. I wondered if those in my church who were familiar with the hymn and who were singing it out so enthusiastically were agreeing with its implications."

    Probably not. But you know.

    The Millennial Exclusion form of Free Grace has been around for a long time.

    William De Burgh, Robert Govett and GH Pember were around in Spurgeon's time.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 8:26:00 AM  

  • Mark,
    Not specifically, no. But maybe. I am not sure and I think I will ask my pastor about it. The thing is, this line:

    O to be worthy then to stand beside them
    And in that morn, to walk with Him in white!

    That does sound like there is the possibility in the person's mind of not standing beside those martyred saints. Maybe the author was Arminian and felt you could lose your salvation? I don't know, I am just trying to undersatnd how one could look at these lyrics - there are probably several ways.


    Ten Cent,
    You see wha I am talking about with the hymn. Why where their robes white? Because they washed them in the blood of the Lamb. It's Christ's blood that makes their robes white. That is how I am seeing it, but I do remember that in one passage it sayds that the white raiment are the righteous deeds of the saints so I can undersatnd how M and A arrive at their view.

    Hi Matthew! :~)
    I think I will ask pastor Snyder. He has been around this church for ages and ages and his family were the ones singing this out so loud behind me. They are a very vocally gifted family, including pastor Snyder himself.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 10, 2008 8:37:00 AM  

  • "Mark, believe it or not, the majority of professing Christians do not believe in perseverance.

    Most professing Christians in the world hold that believers can lose their salvation."
    ===================
    Most? Can you give statistics?
    =============
    "It is only Reformed, most Baptists and some Anglicans who have historically believed the doctrine of perseverance."
    ===============
    Good number of saints in that group, eh?
    =============
    "You make much of the idea that you are in some kind of majority, but in fact, in the bulk of church history, you view is a minority one."
    ==========
    Frankly, my point was that Antonio's view was what cristendom is oblivious to, that of some Christians not being overcomers. Those who hold that one can lose salvation would not say that non-overcomers were Christians, but those who have lost their salvation. Big difference there.
    ============
    "None of the church fathers believed it. Augustine did not believe in it in the way Calvinists teach it. None of the Catholic theologians of the middle ages believed it. Neither do the Eastern Orthodox. The Lutherans for the most part reject the doctrine of perseverance."
    =========
    Again, perseverance was not the main issue. That some Christians were not overcomers is. Those views as presented by Pember and company, how aware of these is the rest of christemdom?
    =============
    "So stop pretending that your view has some kind of historical authority."
    =======
    I'm not one to pretend, young man!

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:04:00 AM  

  • "William De Burgh, Robert Govett and GH Pember"

    I guess my point is that I wonder if these men's views are in obscurity...

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:09:00 AM  

  • "Again, perseverance was not the main issue. That some Christians were not overcomers is."

    The vast majority of professing Christians- Lutherans, Catholics, Orthodox, Pentecostals, Mennonites, etc, have taught that not all Christians are overcomers.

    They hold that true Christians can fall away and be lost forever.

    Thus, the idea which Free Gracers hold, that not all Christians are overcomers, is actually what the majority of theologians have historically taught.

    Now I am sure the mass of such people were unsaved. These people have denied the Gospel in rejecting eternal security.

    Nevertheless, these are people who have studied the Bible and professed to follow the Christian faith and what they have taught is that not all Christians are overcomers.

    It is a simple fact that the majority of theologians in history, whether regenerate or not, have held that not all Christians will overcome.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:11:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent
    "We can have full assurance that we will walk with Him in white. Why? Because we were washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

    Are you sure? Maybe your faith is only an intellectual faith, and therefore a dead one, according to Calvinists.

    If you were totally depraved with a deceitful heart you might think you are justified while in reality you had received grace in vain.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:16:00 AM  

  • Matthew is getting a little sassy today. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:25:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Please separate the views of those who hold that one can lose their salvation from those who hold the view that Antonio presented in that series Rose referenced. That Rose referenced Antonio's post is what made me question if those obscure views were actually held by the woman who wrote this hymn, and those who sang it at Rose's church. My contention is that those people were oblivious to those views.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:57:00 AM  

  • And Matthew, your response to Ten Cent prompts me to remind you...
    "We must at all times show Christian character even with those with whom we vehemently oppose


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No name calling or backhanded insulting
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No ad hominem attacks
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No theological cuss-words

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 10:05:00 AM  

  • Mark, do you like the hymn? Would you find anything to criticise in the hymn or would you be able to sing it without reservation?

    Is the no "hand-slapping" rule here too? Oh, I think I only just posted that on Roses Reasonings. Ya know, Jodie came up with the rules for this blog, bless her heart. I think I added the "no theological cuss words" one, though, cause I liked that phrase so much.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 10, 2008 10:22:00 AM  

  • Rose, I suspect the hymn was written by somebody who does not hold to eternal security, much less perseverence of the saints.

    I enjoyed our chat.
    Peace!

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 10:44:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Sometimes people word things that in such a way that if they were pressed very literally, then it would suggest that they had doubts. I see it as a grammar thing rather than a doctrinal matter. Sometimes preachers might employ the "we" when articulating how an unsaved man thinks: "We hear the gospel and we say 'This is not for me!' or 'I'll wait until I have retired.' etc.," Strictly speaking, we might wonder why we have let a confessedly unsaved preacher into our pulpit, but the reality is that he is being more a little less cautious with his langauge that he could be. Sometimes Calvin worded things that his many critics (ahem!) if they so desired could make mischief with. But that's all it would be: mischief.

    We sing a hymn in our hymnbook which goes like this: "Saved while to thee we cling" which certainly sounds Arminian. I have defended the singing of it on the basis that I am saved while I cling, but (and I grant that the hymn doesn't qualifiy it) I qualifiy it in that I cling because I am saved.

    On the point of controversy here: Very few Christians here in Ireland would be Arminian i.e. believing that souls can be saved and lost. The Methodists and the Salvation Army and some of the Arminian Pentecostals. Most folk would be eternal security people. There would be quite a few Reformed folk, mostly in Northern Ireland, but a good few here in the Republic of Ireland as well.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, October 10, 2008 11:43:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    It's good to see you have joined in the conversation.

    Will you walk with Christ in white? Or are you only hopeful that you might? And to whom do you look for that assurance if you have it?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Friday, October 10, 2008 12:23:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes, I agree, I can totally see their argument for their position. The difference is how we view the righteous deeds. Are they something that is completely worked up within ourselves or are those deeds only righteous because of faith in Christ.

    Romans 4:4-8
    "Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT."

    Matthew and Antonio must have a hard time figuring out where their righteousness comes from. Paul tells us that our righteousness is through faith. And that David talked about the blessing on the man to who God credits this righteousness. David says their lawless deeds have been forgiven and their sins are covered. And that the LORD will not take their sins into account.

    It's pretty clear to me that for the one who believes in Christ, our sin wage has been paid. We are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. So that through faith, we are worthy of walking with Him in white. Not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Friday, October 10, 2008 1:10:00 PM  

  • Colin

    "On the point of controversy here: Very few Christians here in Ireland would be Arminian i.e. believing that souls can be saved and lost. The Methodists and the Salvation Army and some of the Arminian Pentecostals. Most folk would be eternal security people. There would be quite a few Reformed folk, mostly in Northern Ireland, but a good few here in the Republic of Ireland as well."

    Forgetting the Romanists?

    Of course the mass of them are no doub unregenerate. But we cannot establish that without engaging with the very issue of what the Gospel teaches.

    Hence we cannot do theology without paying attention to what the Romanists say.

    And what they teach is that no believer can be certain that she will be an overcomer.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 1:11:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent, so what do you make of the parable of the pounds?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 1:13:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent

    "Will you walk with Christ in white? Or are you only hopeful that you might? And to whom do you look for that assurance if you have it?"

    One cannot be assured of such a thing. Even Paul thought he might be a castaway.

    We do know that in Christ we have the power to overcome.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 1:14:00 PM  

  • Mark
    "And Matthew, your response to Ten Cent prompts me to remind you...
    "We must at all times show Christian character even with those with whom we vehemently oppose"

    I do not see anything contrary to this in my comment to Ten Cent

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 1:15:00 PM  

  • Mark
    ""William De Burgh, Robert Govett and GH Pember"

    I guess my point is that I wonder if these men's views are in obscurity..."

    Those men influenced Jesse Penn Lewis and Watchmen Nee, who are hardly obscure figures.

    Also one Hudson Taylor was of the same school of thought.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 1:16:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent wrote:

    ----------
    Rev. 7:14 "I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

    Why where their robes white? Because they washed them in the blood of the Lamb. It's Christ's blood that makes their robes white.
    ----------

    Rose wrote:
    ----------
    That is how I am seeing it, but I do remember that in one passage it sayds that the white raiment are the righteous deeds of the saints so I can undersatnd how M and A arrive at their view.
    ----------

    It is truly a sad state of affairs when one's theology is read into passages. What is even more tragic is the inability of Reformed thinkers to go beyond a very superficial reading of a text.

    In my study I highlighted how every passage relating to white garments dealt with meritorious endeavor on the part of those who received them. This passage is no different.

    It is precisely those who have died martyrs deaths that in the same sentence we read and "they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb."

    It is the same sentence. It would be so superfluous and anticlimatic to state:

    "These heroes of the faith gave their lives for JESUS, having made the ultimate sacrifice for His name, coming out of the tumultous persecutions of great tribulation (and, oh, by the way, they are presently saved having trusted Christ for salvation, so they are allowed to have a white robe)."

    No! This scene encounters those who have paid the supreme price for their devotion to Christ! They have shared in His sufferings, washing their robes in His blood.

    Here is the text from my article for you all to view again. It takes into account the scripture witness rather than a casual, superficial reading of a text that glosses over the context.

    ----------
    At first blush, and upon a careless reading, one may get the impression that the robe represents nothing other than the positional, eternal forgiveness of Christ that was made possible by His sacrificial death. Yet there are several, very strong reasons to dismiss this understanding as premature.

    First, let it be noted that every single instance of the white robe thus far in the Revelation text is found couched in the language of works and merit. Remember, those at the church at Sardis had to be found worthy in order to walk with Jesus in white by shunning defilement and victorious endurance until the end. Also, those at the church of Laodicea were counseled to “buy” white garments. And the martyrs of the Fifth Seal, upon their deaths for the word of God and their stedfast testimony, were given white robes. We learn that this multitude, in the text being considered, consisting of many nations, were “clothed with white robes.” Why are we going to expect that they received theirs any different than has been determined for the rest?

    Second, this group from the nations are martyrs themselves as the text clearly states. Make note that “these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation.” Their deaths were testimonies unto Christ, whereof they faithfully endured until the end. They overcame unto death, thus fulfilling the requirements to walk with Jesus in white.

    Third, the scene at hand pictures these saints, whose testimony unto Christ was sealed with their blood, with palm branches in their hands. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia states that palm branches are “connected with the idea of triumph and victory” (ISBE, Vol IV, pg 2236). It goes on to state how that Simon Maccabaeus entered the Akra at Jerusalem after its capture, “with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel” (1 Macc 13:51). These martyrs had victoriously endured their persecutions and trials. This now was a time of profound triumph, afforded by their faithful confession of Christ in the midst of great tribulation, where they have been honored by sharing in Christ’s glory!

    Lastly, and most importantly, the martyrs themselves both “washed their robes” and “made them white.” This is something that they, themselves did! The Reformed traditions always try to protect God’s glory and sovereignty by noting that it is God alone who saves, thus it is only God who washes one unto forgiveness, and this apart from anything that the lost does (even exercising faith!). But in this context it is incontrovertibly shown that it is the martyrs themselves who do the washing and making! The theology of the Traditionalists should prevent them from perpetrating their tragic mistakes with regard to the ‘garment’ texts. But it doesn’t.

    Obviously this type of literary construction (where the martyrs are working in cooperation and fellowship with Jesus) is to be distinguished and contrasted with verses such as this one found elsewhere in Revelation: “[Jesus] loves us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev 1:5). The distinctions here are easily noticed by the careful reader of Revelation. On the one hand Jesus “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” This was His action alone that He alone receives the glory for. Yet on the other hand the martyrs shed their blood by remaining stedfast in their confession and were found arrayed in white garments which they, themselves had “washed” and “made” white in the blood of the Lamb. And for such deeds as these they are worthy of glory!

    Since we have ruled out the idea that these martyrs are dressed in white solely because of the salvation they received as an absolutely free gift, we must grapple with what the text does mean. As in the other instances, we must consider the garments as the expression and culmination of the martyrs’ preparation for glory while here on earth. With that firmly in mind we see that their Christian practice that capacitated them for the superlative glories in the kingdom evidenced itself in participation in the sufferings of Christ (which the blood of the Lamb represents) that they shared in. By faithfully enduring persecution for their confession and dying for Christ they actively kept themselves undefiled, overcoming in victorious perseverance. They thus prepared to share in the glory of Christ by first sharing in His sufferings.

    Such an idea as this is not foreign to the text of scripture. For example Paul states:


    The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God; and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom 8:16-17)

    By mere virtue of the fact that one is a child of God (simply by believing in the name of Jesus, cf. Jn 1:12) he is an heir of God. But being a joint heir, or co-heir with Christ in the coming kingdom is conditioned on suffering with Him. Co-heirship is contingent on co-suffering with Christ so that we may be co-glorified! For Jesus, there was no crown without the cross (see Lk 24:26; Heb 12:2). This is the same for those who are to be His companions, those who partake of His glory. Unless one suffers with Christ, he will not be glorified with Him. Peter also states:


    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 Pt 4:12-13)

    To endure in one’s faithful confession of Jesus Christ in the midst of persecutions and trials is to share in Christ’s sufferings, where the reward for doing so is being “glad with exceeding joy.” Remember in the parable of the talents that the two servants who maximized the potential which was given to them by increasing the money allotted to them 100% were blessed by entering “into the joy of [their] lord” (Matt 25:21, 23). These servants were allowed to participate in the peculiar joy belonging to their lord. This is the same as the parable of the Wedding Feast. The joy is that particular joy of Christ, and unless one is prepared, he will not be privileged to share in it. Lastly we are met again with the words of Paul:


    … I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ… that I may know Him… and the fellowship [or sharing] of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the [out]-resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me… I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:7-14)

    Paul wished to participate in the sufferings of Christ, conforming his life to Christ’s obedience wherein He died on the cross, so that he would, by any means that he could manage within the limitations of his body, attain to the out-resurrection (Gk: eksanastasis) from the dead. Paul, along with anyone else who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, already knew that he would be resurrected unto life (see Jn 11:25-26). Everyone who simply believes in the Lord Jesus Christ will be resurrected (Gk: anastasis). But only those who persevere suffering with Christ will attain to the out-resurrection (Gk: eksanastasis) from the dead. Re-read God’s gallery of heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11. Notice that the characters in this passage faithfully work their deeds of righteousness with the superlative rewards of glory in the forefronts of their mind. To illustrate what Paul desired (the out-resurrection from among the dead), consider Hebrews 11:35b: “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.” Indeed, Paul suffered all things, sharing in Christ’s sufferings and death, so that he might obtain a better resurrection, the “out-resurrection.”


    By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, October 10, 2008 7:54:00 PM  

  • "Those men influenced Jesse Penn Lewis and Watchmen Nee, who are hardly obscure figures."

    Watchman Nee, not exactly a hero theologically.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:23:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    Thanks for the excellent rendition of "robes of white"!

    It's good to know the basis of the obvious meanings of Phi 3:10 and Hebrews 11:35b. Scary, but good...

    By Blogger anton, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 12:55:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    Why stop at the Romanists? Why not take on the 5,000 or so JW's in Ireland and the lesser number of Mormons and the New Agers with their "Jesus" as well? When I use the word "Christian" I mean among those who are Christians in the NT sense of the word: Born again of the Spirit of God.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 2:31:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    I'm off to work now and don't have much time. I shall attempt to get back to your responses here throughout the remainder of the weekend.

    Here are the verses I'll be working from: Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12-13; Titus 2:11-14.
    In the above we see that what you see going on in Revelation 19:8 "fine linen.. righteous acts of the saints" is actually the outworking in those saints of an inward reality. It is their Christian life finding outward expression. More later.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:16:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    I appreciate your explanations very much. John and I spent an hour this morning talking about this. I started reading Grace in Eclipse last night and I only got through the introductory story of the conversation between Frank and Jim. I thought it was such a good way to start a book - it reminded me of so many conversations I have witnessed and been a part of on these blogs. I am looking forward to the book and to being challenged about this.

    I do find the things you have said in your comment here very hard to argue with. I will be interested to see Mark's reply because I don't have the time to put into one today - I am smoking chickens and doing other 'food' things because we are having a block party (of the whole three houses on our street) tonight.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 8:45:00 AM  

  • Colin, well the JWs and the Mormons read the same Bible (though in the JWs case it has been messed about with quite a bit).

    Whatever the case, the majority of people who claim to base their faith on the Bible believe that Christians can fall away and be lost forever.

    What is more, these people can support their views by appealing to the early church fathers.

    Even old Augustine did not believe in eternal security or perseverance in the Reformed sense.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:36:00 AM  

  • Mark, Watchman Nee has not always been fairly represented by his critics.

    His book 'The Normal Christian Life' is widely respected.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:37:00 AM  

  • Hey Anton,

    thanks.

    Here is a link to part 4 of the series I did on the 'garment' texts in Revelation, which in turn has links to the first 3 parts:

    So you're born again... but will you walk with Jesus in white?

    Your cosideration and comments are welcomed.

    Thanks for dropping by,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:28:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints". Rev. 19:8

    I know that Zane Hodges holds to the regenration experience as part of the New Covenant blessing for both Old and New Testament saints. I agree with him there. Now as I see Phil. 2:12-13, verse 13 says WE are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling - that is OUR responsibility. But verse 13 goes on stating that God works in us both to will and to do for his good pleasure... This is the very essence of the regeneration experience - God working in us both to will and to do his good pleasure.

    Then when we visit with Eph.2:10 we see that Christians are His workmanship, poema, His works of art, created in Christ Jesus for good works... That is what Christianity is all about. He saved us so that we would be doers of good works; or, more to the point, that we would be living expressions of His Son. His Spirit moving us to walk in His ways. See Ezek.36:26-27.

    Regeneration is a transforming experience. We go from anti-God to God lovers, filled with short-comings, yes (Galatians 5:17), but God lovers nonetheless.

    Titus 2:11-14 brings the point home - God's grace teaches us that we should live for God, doing His will; yeah that is innate for all genuine Christians. Living for Him comes naturally for the Christian due to the fact that God the Holy Spirit dwells within as the resident commander and enabler. Christ redeemed us from every lawless deed. He has purified for Himself His own special people - ZEALOUS for good works. Romans 6 is clear that we are now slaves of righteousness and of God.

    So, in Revelation 19:8 the fine linen, clean and bright, is actually the life of Christ showing forth from the believer, or the "righteous acts of the saints. It is the natural outflow of an inward reality. - people being moved by His Spirit to do His will. The outward life-style is the righteous acts of the saints. It is the reflection of an inward reality - that the person is a new creation.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 5:20:00 PM  

  • And given that many Christians are a-mill how does your reign with Christ millenial view play with them?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:04:00 PM  

  • Also,
    Romans 8:17, if Christians are broken into two groups here - those who suffer, and those who do not, then why does the rest of chapter 8, verses 23-39, seem only to adress one group of people - "we", "we ourselves", "our", "us", "the saints", "God's elect", etc.?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:11:00 PM  

  • Also, William MacDonald in his single volume commentary of the Bible notes that the word "if" in Romans 8:17 can also be translated "Since".

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 12, 2008 5:59:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    I was hoping you would drop in and explain your view.

    You said: "It is truly a sad state of affairs when one's theology is read into passages."

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    You said: "In my study I highlighted how every passage relating to white garments dealt with meritorious endeavor on the part of those who received them. This passage is no different."

    You're referring to Revelation chapter 7, right?

    Rev. 7:9,10 "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

    Rev. 7:14 "I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

    You said: "It is precisely those who have died martyrs deaths that in the same sentence we read and "they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb."

    I don't see where it says that they died martyrs deaths. Am I missing something?

    You said: "No! This scene encounters those who have paid the supreme price for their devotion to Christ! They have shared in His sufferings, washing their robes in His blood."

    So, you're equating the washing their robes in His blood with suffering and dying for Him. I've seen where Christ's blood purchased His people, redeemed them, sanctified them, releases them from their sins, but I'm not sure that I've seen it equated with suffering and dying for Him.

    According to Rev. 5:9 what did Christ's blood accomplish? What are the 24 elders singing about? "And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."

    So, Christ's blood purchased people for God.

    What does 1 John 1:7 say about Jesus' blood? "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

    His blood cleanses us from all sin.

    You said: "Lastly, and most importantly, the martyrs themselves both “washed their robes” and “made them white.” This is something that they, themselves did!"

    Antonio, you're missing the point of this passage. It's not the fact that THEY did the washing. And they were NOT the ones who made the robes white. It was what they were washing their robes IN that made them white. It was the blood of Christ that "cleanses us from all sin". If anyone has to read into this passage any preconceived ideas, it would be you. You're the one who can't see past his own system of theology and read the text for what it says. And in the process, you're missing the beauty of Christ.

    What does the washing and making white in the blood of Christ do for these who have come out of the tribulation?

    Rev. 7:15-17 "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."

    1. They are before the throne of God.
    2. They serve Him day and night in His temple.
    3. God spreads His tabernacle over them.
    4. They will no longer hunger or thirst.
    5. The sun and heat won't beat down on them.

    Why?

    Because the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd and will guide them. Guide them to what? Springs of the water of life.

    What else does God do for them? He wipes every tear from their eyes.

    There's nothing about their merit nor anything about an elevated status as a result of their devotion.

    Chapter 21 of Rev. echos these promises and says that the one who overcomes will inherit them and that He will be their God and they will be His son. And then He makes a distinction. In verse 8, He says that the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons, sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, the second death.

    There's only two choices here, either overcome (walk in white) or your part is in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, the second death.

    And at the end of the chapter, after the description of the wife of the Lamb, the holy city, Jerusalem, He says, "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."

    Who can go in? Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Wouldn't John, the one who is so explicit in his gospel, be very clear as to what he means? Why wouldn't he attach the phrase, "and did enough to earn the right to enter"?

    Antonio, in many ways, I feel sorry for you and Matthew. Because you have taken the plain teaching of scripture and twisted it to fit your theology. And by doing so, you have shackled yourselves to have to work to earn the favor of God...which is just another form of self-righteousness. My deeds are not righteous because God has enabled me to make myself righteous. No, my deeds are only righteous because of Christ. And no matter what good I do, He washes it and makes it white by His blood.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Monday, October 13, 2008 8:11:00 AM  

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