Friday, February 2, 2018

Hypergrace articles from vol 20 qtr 4 (draft)

Grace Visitation for OAU, Ile-Ife and Nigeria
Few would contest that the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife is a major spiritual hotspot in Nigeria. Over the decades, it has become a major theatre for strategic battles between the dark occult forces and the forces of the kingdom of Light contending for the soul of Nigeria. Little surprise then that the LORD would choose the campus to release in quick succession, two major salvos against the rampaging false teaching of the Once-Saved-Always-Saved (OSAS) movement.
First was the incisive and painstaking teaching by Pastor Ezekiel A. Odeyemi at the annual Dominant Army Conference of the Redeemed Christian Fellowship (RCF) on December 3rd 2017.  Pastor Odeyemi is the Assistant General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in charge of Education and Training; and he directly oversees the Campus ministry of the RCCG, the RCF, currently established in more than 250 Institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.  Coming almost a decade after his last visit to the OAU Campus, Pastor Odeyemi seized the opportunity of the Dominant Army Conference to bring forth a thorough Biblical exposition on the issue of Grace. Beginning with an extensive clarification of the background and contexts of the various Pauline epistles, he addressed the theme of the Conference (Gospel Herald/Change Agents) and concluded that no one can really be an agent of reconciliation if their life was not changed first.  “You cannot make a difference if you are not different.  How you live your life matters to God, and to the people around you,” he declared.
      Then seven weeks later, came the General Overseer of the RCCG himself on his annual pastoral visit to the OAU.  Quite unexpectedly, Pastor Enoch Adeboye veered off the advertised theme, and declared he would be presenting perhaps his most important teaching in all the 30 years he had been visiting the University.  And yes, it was all on the issue of "Hypergrace" and Eternal Security. It was a hard-hitting bare-knuckles thrashing!
Pastor Adeboye warned that some visible Christian leaders might indeed be pressured into accommodating the “hypergrace” teaching simply as an opportunity to cover the many scandals, past and ongoing, they have been trying to keep away from the public view. With licentious grace making the waves, rather than become despicable liabilities, such scandals might as well become epaulettes to be proudly worn and touted as exemplifying "unimaginable depths of grace" which keep a man approved of God despite mountains of unconfessed and unrepented sins!
 Systematically, (and incredibly in the space of barely 45 minutes), Pastor Adeboye dealt with all the key points OSAS teachers use to lure and confuse people into their heresy; and utterly demolished them in the light of the word of God. 
To the glory of God, a great throng of young people previously swept away or in the process of being so swept by the false teaching stepped forward to renounce the teachings, repent their sins, and rededicate their lives to the Lord Jesus.
Listen on our website to the audios of the messages by Pastor Odeyemi (here), and Pastor Adeboye (here).  The videos are also posted on youtube here and here.

Leading OSAS purveyor, Jack Kelley, backtracks on the Sin question
Outspoken Once-Saved-Always-Saved (OSAS) preacher, Jack Kelley has released a new Bible Study, admitting the need for repentance and confession of sins unwittingly committed by a heaven-bound Christian. Furthermore, he now also insists that a “state of continual closeness” to God – otherwise known as obedience or holiness – is necessary if one would not fall prey to the devil. The devil? Yes, the devil is also no longer to be arrogantly ignored, but soberly guarded against as the Bible counsels in 1 Peter 5:8-9!
Hitherto, these have been major issues of controversy in the OSAS doctrine.  Evidently, IF anyone would embrace and abide with the prescriptions now being conceded by Jack Kelley, there would be no arguing the point that they could validly claim to be irreversibly eternally secure!  The whole point is not whether our salvation is eternally secured or not, but rather if there are any responsibilities expected of us to bring to pass what the Lord has graciously provided. Notice the “IF” in the following key statement from the Bible:
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: “2 Peter 1:10 
Although in the new teaching, Jack Kelley very clearly assaults the basic axiom of the OSAS doctrine - the flat insistence that nothing one does or fails to do (deliberately or otherwise) has any implication on their eternal salvation [a.k.a. unconditional eternal security]; yet he still confounds this new position with a rehashing (possibly out of honest confusion) of a major paradigm in OSAS which, alluding to natural birth, insists that a Christian once born-again, cannot become “unborn” for any reason. That of course brings us back to the central tenet of the OSAS doctrine that a Christian cannot lose his salvation under any condition!
The fault with this “natural birth analogy” as we pointed out in our special write-up on OSAS, is that salvation at this point “in time” is not yet concluded.  It remains an ongoing business till we step out of time into “eternity”!  True, it has been paid for in full, but we are still required to work it out.  As we also pointed out in the same write-up, Kenneth Haggin Ministry refers to this process as "Sanctification" which it goes on to define “as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation at Christ’s return (Heb. 12:14; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:12–14; 1 Cor. 1:30).” In other words, we are “works-in-progress”, and our salvation is yet to be consummated.
This crucial point can be clearly illustrated with the betrothal of a woman to a man, just as Mary was betrothed to Joseph.  With the act of betrothal, the journey to marriage is to all intents and purposes, right on course; and the couple might now even be addressed as “husband” and “wife”.  However, until the nuptial knot is eventually tied and the marriage consummated, the process could still be aborted.  Joseph considered doing just that, until advised otherwise by an angel (Mathew 1:19-20)
The situation is beautifully illustrated by the cover image we used for our special write-up.  Taken from a cover to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, it shows the path from earth to the celestial city already cleared for passage, and a figure (presumably the Lord Jesus Christ, who had traversed that same path) standing at the other end, beckoning to Pilgrim and urging him on, via the footprints left behind.  However there are two ferocious lions on either side of the path!  But then they are chained!  Pilgrim is required to trust the Lord urging him on, and boldly ignore the menacing lions, assured that if he walks in the Master’s footsteps clearly visible before him, he is firmly out of their reach!
In other words, the correct “natural birth analogy” Jack Kelley should have used would be that the Christian, as long as he is on this planet, is still like a baby in the womb.  Conception is already an irreversibly done deal; and all things equal, birth after the necessary gestation period is guaranteed – with the baby not needing to contribute anything to the process.  Nevertheless, it is not over until it is over.  Our archenemy is most conscious of this, and he desperately seeks for any conceivable means to abort the pregnancy.  Such as suggesting to the foetus it can do away with the umbilical cord without any grave repercussion!
The significant, cheering news is that Jack Kelley now teaches that even though the “Union” of a believer is unconditional and irrevocably secured at the point of new birth, it must still be continually serviced by “Fellowship.”  Describing fellowship as “a little more complicated (than Union)”, Kelley agrees it includes abhorrence and regular confession of sins, coupled with continued obedience to the commandments of God. 
As mentioned earlier, these are the very points of contention in OSAS where people are taught they have absolutely no further responsibility in “working out their salvation”; and that such acts of confession of sins and continued obedience to the instructions of the Lord actually amount to “Works” being added to “Grace”. 
Kelley was apparently led to these new revelations by his genuine concerns and honest evaluations that many OSAS-affirming believers are living “defeated lives” with droves getting “discouraged and even [no longer] praying and attending church.”  He therefore offers his new more Biblical position.  Hopefully, people who have been deceived into the OSAS error will recognize all these shifting grounds which the Jack Kelleys of this world are however reluctant to boldly admit. Please read our more detailed comment on Jack Kelley’s welcomed new stance on our blog.
As we repeatedly emphasized in our special write-up, if only OSAS preachers will stop undermining foundational bible teachings, such as need for repentance, there would be no need splitting hairs over their teaching which could be waved aside as merely an unhelpful but permissible juvenile perspective.  After all no one wishes to end up promoting the equally false impression at the other extreme: that it is okay to become obsessed with the possibilities of “falling from grace” or become drowned in “sin consciousness”!   Though one who is born of God does not sin, (as Pastor Enoch Adeboye explains, simply because sin is no longer in his DNA – 2 Cor. 5:17), there is still the possibility of him falling into it if he is careless and docilely yields himself for manipulation by every “sleight of men” (Eph. 4:14).  After all, though it is not in a sheep’s DNA to eat meat or dung, with sustained wrong company and counsel, coupled with some efforts, mince-meat and excreta may soon begin to taste like privileged high-class diet (like some humans now see GMOs and other tasty junk “foods!”). 
For such infractions when we foolishly or carelessly play into the hand of the devil, we can be assured that the all-wise and loving Father has already provided a way of escape – REPENTANCE (1 John 1:9).  And Restitution where necessary!  It is outrageous therefore, that it is this very way of escape that “new-school” OSAS teachers desperately seek to block when they declare as a taboo, any resort to repentance or confession of sin.
As they vainly try to convince us, attempting to confess sins that God, supposedly, had already forgiven (even prior to their commission) can only amount to unbelief and recourse to self-righteousness – the only sin that even the lascivious grace of OSAS heresy cannot handle! 
Now that a key OSAS teacher like Jack Kelley has begun to admit that a holy God cannot tolerate “unconfessed sins,” one wonders why any reasonable so-called Christian will still spurn a consciously holy lifestyle (with sorrowful confession of sins if or when they happen); and would rather opt for a life of separation from the Father and associated vulnerability to Devil’s wicked oppression.
The truth of the matter, of course, is that God is not a petty sadist insisting on things being done His own way, just to prove a point that He is the one in charge.  He requires that repentance and asking of forgiveness (Luke 17:4) should precede forgiveness and acquittal because, in His great wisdom, He has designed that the power to overcome sin should be unleashed by the very process of repentance!  We need to agree that what God calls sin is indeed sinful, wrong, and unhelpful; and understand that willfully going into sin is exactly tantamount to eating our own excreta or vomit!  Then sin loses every appeal and power over our lives. 
This indeed is the central tenet of the Christian faith.  As we believe in Jesus correctly and accept Him, we are empowered to become sons of God (John 1:12). The victory is in our believing (1 John 5:5). Anyone who repudiates this basic tenet will continue to endless wallow in sin, till he would conclude that living a life free of sin is simply impossible.  For such people, the Lord’s instruction to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11b) simply does not make any sense!
As Chris Onayinka and his ilk heretically interpret Mathew 1:21, Jesus came NOT to save people from their sins, but rather to excuse their sins which they may now continue to practice with impunity! (see references in our previous Write-up). On the contrary, as Pastor Odeyemi declared at the OAU on the basis of Rom 6:1-4, Grace actually enables us to live above sin, not to continue in it.
All this is why we must earnestly contend against these vociferous enchanters who teach the gullible they could continue with impunity in their sins, and that they are never to confess them or ask forgiveness of them.

Smooth-talking teachers who spend hours preaching, blogging, and facebooking on the “Neither do I condemn thee” portion of John 8:11 but woefully fail to mention the “go and sin no more” conclusion are dishonest and wicked agents of the devil, masquerading as teachers of the gospel. Spurred on by their fanciful thoughts that they are uncovering some never-before-seen deep truths of the Gospel, they tear and maul the Scriptures as they desperately push concepts designed to harden the conscience of people, eventually destroying their destiny and if possible, pushing them into hell-fire.  Their evil mouths indeed “must be stopped” (Titus 1:11, Jude 1:3-4).  (See also on our Blog the article: ON THE QUESTION OF SIN IN THE OSAS HERESY)

The Nature of Doctrinal (including OSAS) Errors
Unfortunately, doctrinal errors generally target the easy-going, those willing to uncritically trust smooth-talking icons who tease them with the rather exciting prospect of pushing at existing frontiers and status quo. Ironically, these are often people who are desirous to please God above anything else – including the acceptance of the larger society!  With the devil preying on the simple and vulnerable in this manner, he is shown vividly for who he is: the utterly disgusting ultimate-pervert!
Whether it is Jehovah Witnesses (with their claims that the Lord Jesus was indeed an upgrade version of the archangel Michael, and therefore a created being like the rest of us); or Mormons (who imply the same falsehood by averring that the Lord Jesus and Lucifer are brothers); or some of the many New Age groups, now spanning virtually the entire spectrum and flavours of the Christian faith, people caught in the web of doctrinal errors are generally amiable, peace-loving folks.
This same basic character (plus a good dose of arrogance!) is true even for the average OSAS adherent.  Even when they catch the glimpse of the tremendous havoc their teachings could cause in society, helping to further Satan’s agenda and kingdom, they still shrug it off and insist they must stick to the “revelation” they have received.  In other words, ostensibly, the driving motive is really a desire to honour God’s words above natural senses. That could indeed sound noble!
The reality however is that one or more of the basic lusts – of the eye, of the flesh, or the pride of life is usually at play, which Satan deftly uses to bait the hook.
Fundamentally, doctrinal error is all a question of right balance.  Most of the time, in efforts to quell one error, people drift into another – on the other side of the divide! Hence historically, the OSAS/Eternal Security doctrine, springing up from hyper-calvinism, was a response to doctrines on the other extreme, proclaiming a man eternally dammed on inadvertent infringement of even a jot in the law.
Let’s consider the original error, the promise of godhood to mankind.  Mother Eve believed this at her time. And so do multitudes of Mormons today, with their basic postulate: “As He once was, so are we.  As He is, so shall we be”.  Well, where really is the error in this primary inspiration for the evolution theory? After all the Lord Jesus Himself plainly cited the Scriptures in Psalm 82, which refers to God’s people as “gods” (Psa 82:6, John 10:34).   Moreover, the bottom-line of the Christian message is that we need to realize that Jesus has brought “many sons to glory” and “as He is, so are we in this world” (Heb. 2:10, 1 Jhn 4:17).
Doctrinal error is all about the right balance. The subtle error in this particular heresy is equating the only begotten Son of God with us adopted sons of God.  In truth, there is one Son that is pre-eminent among other sons.  Just as the Head is pre-eminent among the other members with which it forms just one body.  The normal Christian joyfully accepts this position and reverences the Big Brother.  The heretic, like Satan before, considers equality with the Son something to be grasped (Phil. 2:6, Isa. 14:12-14) and pushes his authority – not to claim his rightful position in God’s creation, but with the Lord Himself! 
Indeed this is the summary of the new age movement, where every “god” that erstwhile humans have supposedly become, now live in the world of their own creation, with little or no regard for the Laws and guidelines instituted by the Almighty.  The “Christianize” version of this heresy boasts that “new creation realities” are under no bloody law whatsoever!  And so the chaos continues.
It would appear as if the root of all evil and false doctrines these end-times is the hypergrace concept.  The other time on a social media group, war almost broke out as the hypergrace faction vehemently opposed a call that Nigerian Christians should repent and confess the national sins before expecting the Lord to hear their pleas for a re-structured New Nigeria or provide relief from the militia herdsmen!
The real culprit is the magic word “hypergrace”.  In truth, no word could be more unbiblical.  “Grace” is already in the superlative, and trying to hype it, is totally meaningless!  For instance, is it possible to promote “God” to a “super God?” Absolutely inconceivable and totally meaningless! There is only one God.  And He is already the best He could be. He has always been, and will ever so remain. That’s one of the attributes that uniquely belong to God: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever!
In like manner, Grace is already unfathomable.  Yes, we can have it continually multiplied unto us (2 Pet. 1:2), such that it becomes “great Grace” (Acts 4:33); nevertheless Grace is Grace, and cannot be subordinated to some new concept.  The dubious coinage “hypergrace” is not only meaningless, it indeed goes overboard into the negative.
Let’s consider a physical example. The coldest temperature conceivable (and it really is unattainable) is “zero” on the Kelvin scale. It is called “absolute temperature.” In this sense, it is already a superlative and cannot be “improved” on.  However, as with the “hypergrace” coinage, it is also possible to rant about temperature numbers lower than “zero”, (that is negative numbers) on the Kelvin scale.  But such “hypo-absolute temperature” would have no physical meaning, and rather than being calmer or colder than the absolute temperature, would indeed be as raging hot as hell!
It is indeed true that we cannot “out-sin” grace, as it enlarges to cover all sins.  Grace, not some “hypergrace”, enlarges to cover all sins conceivable. That’s an absolute!  The critical question, which the Apostle poignantly pointed out in Rom 6:1 is “Can we therefore CONTINUE in sin, knowing grace would abound anyway?”  (paraphrased).
And the answer is: how could anyone who has been so wonderfully lifted above sin go back into it?  How can one continue to wallow in sin just because there is grace? The only “grace” that answers for such insane deliberate wallowing in sin is “hypergrace”. Hypergrace is nothing more than the modern word for lasciviousness. It is a lure to develop a taste for sin, and defiantly wallow in it endlessly.
Godly balance can be obtained by diligent study of the scriptures with open mind (Jhn 7:17), coupled with a careful study of the history of that doctrine which seems to make sense only to the “enlightened “ folks in your little group that is totally cut off from reality!

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