One of the most liberating statements in the Bible is found in the Book of Ephesians, saying, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:11–15). This is a statement of utmost importance because it is a promise from God that, at some point before the second coming of Jesus Christ, there will be a unity of faith, regardless of the endless lists of denominations and doctrines that are obtainable in Christendom today. It is important to note that this statement is not a vague reference to having faith in Jesus Christ which the whole of Christendom seem to share at present, but it pertains to the very elements of the Christian faith, making specific reference to doctrines and truth and deception, saying, “we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”.
As a matter of fact, this is in reference to believers who will come out of spiritual Babylon (Revelation 18:1–4), whose root word is “Babel”, which means confusion; the exact state of Christendom today. During the time of trouble, and in the day that God will pour out his plagues upon apostate Christianity, referred to as Babylon in Revelation 18, believers who are truly Christ’s sheep would have heard His voice, to come out of every wind of doctrine and the trickery of men, and they will, though in the minority, unite in the truth. “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. And the other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:14, 16). As previously noted, this is not just about a unity of faith in Jesus Christ, but a unity of doctrine and truth, and thus, Christ was not only referring to those outside the Christian faith, but also to Christians practicing heresy as truth and deceived by the trickery of men. The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible that describes events upon the earth prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ, tells us clearly that this unity of faith will be based on one thing: the remnant who come out of apostate Christendom and keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17; 14:12).
It is interesting to note that the original plan of God in the New Covenant is that believers come to a point where they will need no one to teach them about God’s word. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,” says the LORD, “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:31–34; Hebrews 8:10–13). This is the reality of the New Covenant, but how can believers have no need of teachers when they despise the Law of God, or when they continue in sin that grace may abound. “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts” (Psalms 119:97–100). “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it” (Romans 6:1, 2)? Even, the Holy Spirit, to whom many Christians excuse their refusal to acknowledge the Ten Commandments, calling the Holy Spirit their Teacher, which is true, is supposed to convict the world of sin (John 16:7–11). And sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4, KJV); the law in question here being the Ten Commandments, which is the only law that defines sin; not any other law. All the commandments found therein will remain throughout eternity, including the fourth commandment (Isaiah 66:22, 23).
The other definitions of sin as found in the Bible such as the unbelief in Christ (John 16:9), knowing how to do good and failing to do so (James 4:17), and the lack of faith (Romans 14:23) does not say anything different altogether. Jesus Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), meaning unbelief in Christ is unbelief in His commandments. The Ten Commandments defines good and bad, meaning failure to keep it is failure to do good. Truly, the matter of sin seems to be broader than the Ten Commandments, with Jesus Christ Himself alluding to this through a number of statements in Matthew 5:20–28 where He says adultery begins in the heart and anger against others is as punishable as murder. However, Jesus Christ only went beyond the letter of the law to the spirit of the law, preparing us for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into all truth, and further interpret to us the commandments of God. The lack of faith as seen in Romans 14:23 is, perhaps, the only definition of sin that has to be understood in the context of the passage, yet, faith has everything to do with adhering to the commandments of God.
While the persecuted minority, referred to as the woman in Revelation 12:17, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus unite in the truth as the true church before the second coming of Jesus Christ, the great majority in Christendom will likewise unite in error, such that at the second coming of Jesus Christ, there will be only two groups in the religious and secular world: those who receive the mark of the beast and are united in error under the rule of the Antichrist and those who receive the seal of God and are united in the truth under Jesus Christ. The devil, referred to as the dragon in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 12:9, 17), through the Antichrist and the False Prophet, carefully identified in my new book (see below), will together with the deceived majority who are united in error and have received the mark of the beast, go after the lives of the minority who are united in the truth (Revelation 14:6–13). Also, during this period, the united majority will further be deceived by false prophets and teachers who perform signs and wonders in order to deceive even the very elect, just as it is today.
As controversial as this may sound, some of the signs that followed the disciples of Jesus and the early Christians may not be as present today amongst the true followers of God. This is because of the time that we are in; it is the judgment hour, wherein the investigative judgement has begun in heaven, and Christ return is more imminent than ever. Thus, the Holy Spirit, who gives spiritual gifts as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11), may rather give certain gifts to men at this period, such as the gift of wisdom, the gift of knowledge, the gift of faith, the gift of prophecy, the gift of discerning of spirits, and the gift of different kinds of tongues, which are perhaps the most needed gifts in the church at this period. As God’s children go about preaching the everlasting Gospel of Revelation 14:6–12, about the hour of judgement that has come upon the world, and the time of trouble that is nigh, the devil and his agents are also everywhere performing signs and wonders in the appearance of men of God (1 John 4:1; Matthew 7:15; Matthew 7:21). Thus, the gift of working of miracles may be withdrawn from the church at this point so as to differentiate the true followers of God who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus from the devil’s agents who performs signs and wonders, but fail to keep the commandments of God. As the time of trouble draws nearer, during which the man of sin, the Antichrist, will be fully revealed, it may be very hard to find the true followers of Christ performing signs and wonders, but it will be commonplace to find the true followers of Christ preaching the everlasting Gospel of Revelation 14 about the Antichrist, and the need for the followers of Christ to add to their faith in Christ, the keeping of God’s commandments.
Even so, in preparation for this period, the False Commission is ever present today, as extensively shown in my new book (see below), of the doctrines of devils on every fundamental doctrine in Christendom, such as the Old Covenant, the New Covenant, the Trinity, salvation, death and resurrection, heaven and hell, rapture, judgment, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, tongues, the dispensation of grace, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Yet, the Great Commission is not over and true apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, by speaking the truth in love, will equip the saints for the work of ministry of the everlasting Gospel, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive. Even now, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:18, 19).
*The content of this post is based on my new book, “The Believer’s Dilemma: Questions that beg for answers” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords as from November 27, 2016. To make a purchase of the book after its release on November 27, 2016 and have liberating answers to many of your questions on Christianity’s most controversial topics on salvation, some of which are listed below, visit these links: Amazon Kindle: Smashwords (pdf): Our next stop for this tour is the Facebook Group G on 26/11/16. Here are the links to the previous parts of this tour:
The author of “The Believer’s Dilemma: Questions that beg for answers”, Samson O. Fidimaye, is a published author, literature evangelist, and missionary, who started to write from an early age. His childhood encounters with Jesus and frequent personal study of the Bible capped a dramatic turn of events in his spiritual life, having gone to an Arabic school and completed the Quran as a teenager. Now, after two university management degrees and a number of published books, mission is still a labour of love for him. His missionary work has led him to found a start-up non-governmental organisation, Mission to Neighbours Nigeria (MNN), Abuja, Nigeria, whose mission is to help alleviate poverty and suffering amongst the less privileged in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, while bringing them to Christ. You can visit his website to learn more about him and his projects. His latest book answers questions such as “Who is really the Antichrist?” “How Can I Be Saved?” “Can the Bible Really Be Understood?” “Can We Really Understand the Doctrine of the Trinity?” “Who Is Jesus Christ?” “How Will God Judge the World?” “What is the Place of the Ten Commandments in the New Covenant?” “How Will The Rapture Take Place?” “When and what is The Time of Trouble?” and others.
By Samson O. Fidimaye based on the book “The Believer’s Dilemma: Questions that beg for answers”