2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
The Protest is Over?? (click arrow below to play video)
When Paul explains that our theological errors will be corrected by God who shall "reveal even this unto you" (Phillippians 3:15) he pays homage to the eternal purposes of God in His electing grace. For the loving, electing purpose of God is the only assurance that is possible for the saint. Otherwise salvation depends on what WE do, either in faith or work.
Many forewarned that the weakest spot in the armor of the Reformation would be the Charismatics, not because they were bad, but because their interpreted the Word thru the lens of their unbridled emotionalism, as we all are prone to do, rather than the Word interpreting their conduct. They dishonored scripture by their tendency to go outside of what was written, just as the "enthusiasts" of Luther's day mocked his allegiance to the written word as "dead letter". They forgot - and still forget - that Christ, the Eternal Word of God,"is that Spirit", (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Spirit of God was and is given to confirm the written Word, both through the external signs and wonders the Apostles worked that the Jews (who required a sign) might believe, and through his internal work in sanctifying the Saints. The Spirit does not move outside biblical parameters. Pentecostals seek an apology for their antics when they appeal to scripture justifying their behavior. The latest ominous sign is the NAR's appointment of new "apostles". Recognizing that signs and wonders accompanied the the original 12 Apostles, and seeking legitimacy, they have decided to appoint their own apostles, solely to connect their false miracles with something resembling scripture. But even more ominous is the understandable claim that since God gave these new "apostles" (and the false signs that accompany them), we are obligated to take their words, just as we took the original 12 Apostles' words, as inspired scripture. And an increasingly popular "revelation" being bandied about today is that Rome is now preaching the Gospel, when she has not, and cannot. There is terrible danger here. Read history, dear Pentecostal friends! Understand the Reformation and all it implies. Yes the Reformers were imperfect, just like Peter, Paul, Samson, David, Abraham, Jacob, Noah, and Job. But God spoke thru them and returned us to Biblical salvation.
Today still, any attempt to temper Charismatic "enthusiasm" is met with cries of "dead letter" and "phariseeism". They remain largely uncorrectable and will largely remain so. This is not and indictment of passion or emotion, which God gave us all - and which we desperately need, but of letting emotion-run-amuck interpret scripture. We will not move even more quickly into a global religion of "tolerance" where clear, defining positions are minimized or eliminated to facilitate the rapid synthesis of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Now you know what Rick Warren meant by the "emerging Church".
The video link above shows Copeland delivering what he feels is a very important message at at one of his recent ministerial conferences. He reads from the Vatican's "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" as follows:
"the churches now share a common understanding of our justification by God's grace through faith in Christ. To the parties involved, this essentially resolves the conflict over the nature over justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation". He then summarily looks over his audience and matter-of-fact-ly says, "The protest is over". Any historian with a knowledge of Rome and the Papacy will tell you the devil is in the details, specifically in the fine print of the canons (legal beliefs) of the Church of Rome. When Rome uses the word "grace", they don't mean what historical Protestantism means by grace. The Protestant definition is found succinctly in the five "solas" , the five "alones" of the Reforrmers. Here's Theopedia's definition:
The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged from the Protestant Reformation intended to summarize the Reformers' basic theological principles in contrast to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. "Sola" is Latin meaning "alone" or "only" and the corresponding phrases are:
Sola Fide, by faith alone.
Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
Rome on the other hand, adds extremely fine print to their legalese documents explaining what she means by grace:
This is from CARM's website:
In the false view of Roman Catholicism, grace is something that can be merited (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2010, 2027) and infused into the soul (CCC 1999), which then enables the individual to perform good works that merit salvation (CCC 2010, 2027).
Infused: CCC 1999, “The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification.”
Meriting Grace to attain eternal life: CCC 2010, “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.”
Meriting Grace to attain eternal life: CCC 2027, “No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”
So you see, Rome's official position (as you look at the sentence above) after all the talk of grace being the "gratuitous gift" of God's own life (CCC 1999) has in the end morphed into "we can merit (earn) for ourselves and others (masses for the dead) all the graces needed . . (CCC 2027). We must merit grace? "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Romans 11:6).
You cannot merit grace when by definition grace comes without merit!
Some of you may be asking "what's the big deal?" The big deal is that you cannot earn eternal life. The big deal is that "unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). The big deal is that "as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse" (Galatians 3:10). The Bible is replete with verses explaining that eternal life is a gift; "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). Why would Rome not want people to know this? What is her motivation for not wanting the truth to get out?
Rome not only insists that we must merit (earn) eternal life, but that she alone has the list of things that must be done. Rome gains power by dangling eternal life before here flock in one hand and her to-do list of "sacraments" in the other.
If eternal life is free to "whosoever believeth in Him " (John 3:16), then what power does Rome, or any religion have at all? Who in their right mind is going to do anything but laugh at people who make such claims!
It is important to know what you believe and why you believe it! Especially today, not only when all claims to truth are being challenged, but the existence of Truth itself is being challenged. Search the scriptures like the Bereans (Acts 17:11), "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). Either Ken Copeland didn't understand the issues at stake, and his knowledge of the Reformation was limited, or he was promoting deception. I believe it was the former; he just doesn't understand the Papacy or the issues of the Reformation, and the pride he had at being approached by arguably the most powerful man on earth likely clouded his judgement. He was used by Rome to deceive. It can happen to us all. Pray for Ken.
Rome is destined to gather all the threads of religious deception in human history together under her banner, for the sake of religious and political power. She is the personification of the whore of Babylon who sells herself for power. This is her predestined role. In this hour of the dissolution of America, there is great temptation to make alliances with former enemies in a misguided attempt to save ourselves and our posterity. Rome and the Pope may claim to be the earthly representative of Christianity, but she is not. Christ is our representative, our high priest who represents us before the throne of the Father and lives forever to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25), and "shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8).
Our future is secure and settled! And so is Rome's . . . (Revelation 17:16)
The protest is not over.
Ken Copeland's recent claim that the "protest" of Protestantism is over displayed clearly that the concerns of Fundamentalism concerning the Charismatics is justified. Biblical Evangelicalism in America will be further compromised by this mistake.
No one's salvation is being called into question here. We would never say Charismatics are not believers, but we are saying theology matters. Theology is important, because the Bible reveals God's will and the conditions for eternal life. Nevertheless, we are saved not directly by what we we know (thought we must know the Gospel story), but by who we know. Lack of Bible knowledge does not necessarily mean lack of salvation.