I’ve been needing to put a “statement of faith” together that summarizes our theological perspective for some time. A number of my writings recently have been a “warmup” for this. This will be posted as a menu item on my site for anyone who has questions about our perpsective.
I believe that “statements of faith” are often provided by site owners and pastors to create a sense of belonging and legitimacy for themselves and their organization. However, these statements are often crafted to be as bland and uncontroversial as possible, rarely actually expressing any meaningful beliefs. They’re designed to give you the impression that the site owner or pastor is part of the club, but something feels off about them. Ultimately, it’s best to approach all teachings with a discerning mind, relying on God’s word and our own spiritual discernment.
That being said, we do have a very specific theological perspective that we are working from, which I will try to summarize here.
Christ is our Righetousness, Sanctification and Reward
Righteousness, Sanctification, and Reward (1 Cor 1:30; Gen 15:1). When I started teaching on my channel, I was helping people untangle bad doctrine in each of these areas. Some lacked assurance of salvation because they did not understand justification. Others, being clear on initial justification, still lived practically under the law for their rule of life, seeking to be “perfected in the flesh” rather than living by the supply of the Spirit through the hearing of faith (Gal 3:1-6).
They had a grace based view of justification, but the doctrine of justification had been stripped of its content so that it only dealt with “going to heaven when you die.” It did not include Christ as life or the inheritance or the reward (Rom 4:4-5; Rom 4:13; Gen 15:1; Heb 2:5-9). From then on, your relationship with God was considered to be a matter of works, striving to become a little “better” each day. This is a form of Galatian error that is addressed by Paul in Galatians 3:1-6, that having been justified, and having received the spirit, you are now going to still live as a slave rather than an heir, seeking to work for what has already been provided for you as a free gift (Gal 4:1-7; Gal 4:9-11; Gal 5:1).
Regarding reward, most Christians, if they’ve been fortunate enough to hear a good message on justification by faith and be fairly clear that their eternal salvation is secured, believe that they will face a “whipping post” at the judgment seat of Christ and pay again for all their sin. They have been taught that rewards are a matter of putting God in your debt through your works but have found that instead of putting God in their debt, they’ve become the debtors and live under a cloud of fear and condemnation, fearing that when they see their bridegroom he’s going to turn out to be the “hard taskmaster” after all, reaping where He didn’t sow, and they’re burying their talents (Mt 25:24-27). Then they’re castigated by the same people who have taught them works righteousness, works sanctification and works reward for being “lazy and unspiritual.” They are the beaten sheep, and they are the ones we are speaking to.
As we do so, we inevitably incur the accusation that we are just giving out a “license to sin” and we’re over here runnin a “sin DMV” handin’ out the license to sin (Rom 3:8). But the joy of the people who are being liberated by the truth of the Gospel is enough for us to be able to laugh at the accusations from the pastors and all the people that have spoken falsely about our teaching over the years.
Pauline Dispensationalism is the Framework of my teaching
To counter the issues of conscience produced by the bad teaching in these three areas of Righteousness, Sanctification and Reward, we preach Christ. We endeavour to be strictly Pauline in that we adhere to his doctrine concerning our union with Christ as the means of living the Christian life. We are Dispensational in that we see that there is a body of truth called the “mystery of Christ” (Rom 16:25-26; Col 1:26-27; Eph 3:3-6) which constitutes the ministry for the present age for the Church.
The Church as the body of Christ was previously a hidden entity, not known to the prophets or men prior to the resurrection of Christ but revealed to Paul. Therefore we do not expect to find the rule of our life in Psalms, Proverbs, Deuteronomy, or James (who wrote prior to the Acts 15 counsel when there was much confusion in Jerusalem over the matter of justification, much less what is the body of Christ!). That is not to say that we do not recieve Rather we look to Paul as the interpreter of the Bible, and to John and Peter especially who wrote after Paul and had received his doctrine. We consider this to be the “speaking from heaven” that we must not refuse (Heb 12:25; Heb 1:1-4).
When I say, “rule of life” I’m not saying that we don’t receive edifcation from all of the scripture. We are not “Paul only” or “hyperdispensational”. We believe the whole Bible is for us, and every bit of it is profitable to us, but it must be read in the light of Christ, with an unveiled heart turned to the Lord (1 Cor 3:16-18), and we must see that the “volume of the book” speaks of Him, and is meant to communicate Him (Rom 10:7; Ps 40:7). Even James must be read through the lense of what Paul reveals concerning our position in Christ.
As we have beheld Him, especially as presented in Paul’s gospel according to the “revelation of the mystery”, we have learned some precious truths about sanctification and reward.
Christ is Our Sanctification:
The commonly used term, “progressive sanctification” is unscriptural and erroneous, and deceives people into thinking that somehow their flesh has become a little “holier”. Thus sin eventually catches up to them and takes them by “surprise” and they are brought to a worse state in many cases than before they were even saved! (2 Peter 2:19). Instead of progressive sanctification, the scripture teaches that Christ is our sanctification (1 Cor 1:30) and our Life (Col 3:1-4). The way we partake of this life is not by effort, but by the supply of the Spirit through the hearing of faith.
In reality, this is our High Priest and our Bridegroom who has girded Himself to serve us by washing us with the water of the word (Jhn 13:4-5; Eph 5:25-26). This washing is called “renewal” and it is related to the mind (Tit 3:5; Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23; Col 3:10; Rom 8:5-9). In the word of life, which is the Gospel, we have a presentation of Christ who is the reality of the Christian life.
The Gospel, incidentally is not just 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Those verses tell us that the message that saved us, which we are to keep in mind, is what the scriptures have to say about the death and resurrection of Christ. “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried and rose on the third day according ot the scriptures”. While simply believing that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead does justify us, further growth in the Christian life comes from a deeper understanding and fellowship with the Lord based on our comprehension of what the Scriptures teach about His death and resurrection, what He accomplished, and what He secured for us. This includes the Gospel according to the testimony of the prophets concerning His sufferings and the glories that follow, but it also encompasses Paul’s Gospel according to the revelation of the mystery, which was previously kept secret but is now being revealed according to God’s will: Christ in you, the hope of glory (Rom 16:25-26; Col 1:26-27).
Through the Gospel we learn that in Him we died to sin and to the law (Rom 7:1-4; Gal 2:19-20). We come to a place of agreement that God has dropped all expectations on the flesh and has judged it at the cross. He is no longer seeking something from it and He is no longer placing a demand on it. He is not disappointed and grieved or surprised by it nor is He expecting it to be transformed, modified, or improved.
Rather, the flesh, which is the totality of who we were in Adam apart from Christ, with all of our virtues and all of our sins, has been crucified with Christ (Rom 6:5-14). In that death, we died to all the demands and came to rest in a garden tomb. That garden tomb was where Christ was planted (John 12:24), and in a tomb, the only person that’s going to move is the one that is raised from the dead. Christ was raised from the dead, and when He rose, we rose with Him
Being joined to Him in His death, we have been raised with Him in His resurrection. Everything Christ has accomplished in His death as the Last Adam (which terminated the whole human race, dropping all demands and paying all debts) was offered up through the Eternal Spirit (1 Cor 15:45; Heb 9:14) and is now a present reality as the Spirit of the Promise that has been given to Christ from the Father (John 14:16-17; 16:7; Eph 3:12-14; Gal 3:14; Eph 1:13-14). This reality flows out from the Throne of God and of the Lamb, as a river of water of life (Rev 22:1-5).
This is the Spirit that has been given to us when we believed the Gospel, and in Him everything that Christ has accomplished has come to us to be a satisfying drink to quench our thirst (John 4:14; John 7:37-39). By quenching our thirst with Christ, who is the reality of the living water and comes to us in the Spirit, (who is the Spirit of Jesus Christ), we are washed and renewed, our flesh is subdued, and we are enlivened to live unto God in Christ (Rom 8:9-11; Phil 1:19).
This enlivening, or “quickening” is the manifestation of the Christian life (2 Cor 3:6; Gal 3:1; 2 Ti 6:13; 1 Peter 3:18) oftentimes unconscious, but we can know that we are experiencing it when we are full of appreciation of Christ and of what He has accomplished through faith in the Gospel (Col 3:16-17; Philemon 1:6). Our mind is renewed, our mind is “life and peace” and we are said to be “Walking in the spirit” (Rom 8:5-7). This is the key to the Christian life, not outward commands, but an inward regulation of life, the law of the Spirit of life (Rom 8:1-2), which is Christ giving Himself to us in love to wash us, satisfy us, nourish us with Himself and shepherd us into rest.
Christ is Our Reward
We have also seen that the BEMA seat is a matter of celebration and not something to be feared. The reason it is feared because people have not embraced the real implications of Pauline dispensationalism. Instead of being interested in “prophecy charts”, the brethren were interested in whether or not Law or Grace was the rule of life for the Christian. They saw that the dispensation that Paul was given was to reveal the mystery, “Christ in you the Hope of Glory” and the Church as the body of Christ, which is His fullness (Col 1:26-27; Eph 1:23).
They saw that our union with Christ in His death and resurrection (positional truth) was the rule of life for the Christian, not outward commands. Furthermore, they saw that the Church was a distinct and heavenly entity not anticipated in the prophets and definitely not part of Israel’s prophetic program. They learned that the prophetic program for Israel while paused is by no means “finished” and Israel has a future and a role (Rom 11:25-26). The confusion over the rule of life for Christians arose from the allegorization of the promises to Israel and the conflation of the Church and Israel. As a result, they separated Israel by defining the covenants that belonged to her (the Old and the New). This involved cataloging the literal prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled when Christ comes to possess His throne.
For Darby and the Brethren, the rapture was not merely a matter of speculation as to “when”. It was a matter of distinguishing between two separate events: the celebratory victory presentation of the bride of Christ to her Bridgeroom in the heavens, which represents the masterpiece of God and the many sons in glory who have been conformed to the image of Christ to the Father, and the earthly future judgment of the nations in Matthew 25. This section has parables from which Christians generate doctrines related to future punishments of believers. The Great White Throne Judgment is where every person who did not believe will see the record of every deed, thought, and word in their life so that their mouths will be shut.
Because Christians confused Israel and the Church, not recognizing the authority and the distinction behind Paul’s ministry and its revelation, they did not apprehend the Bema as separate in character from these other judgments and instead amalgamated them together as one big doctrine of “end things”. This generates terrible doctrines for the entirety of the Christian life and guarantees that people will live gripped by the spirit of fear when it comes relating to God.
So in our teaching, as best as possible, we attempt to stand on the shoulders of Plymouth brethren based on the truths they recovered regarding these distinctions, to the point that we even take them for granted. And because of this, the Lord has given us much more vocabulary to describe the super abounding grace that governs the Christian life (Rom 5:20), so that we are accused of being “antinomian and hypergrace” almost immediately by any seminary trained pastor that hears our messages..
Why is it that when people hear athe word Jesus, they substitute every kind of evil deed, and when we say “Christ is our righteousness sanctification and reward”, they say “what so you’re saying I can just go do whatever I want and kill anyone and lie and pillage and rape and steal? Is that what you’re saying I can do?!” It almost seems that they’re asking for permission.
A Summary Perspective
Our teachings may be considered controversial by some, particularly in regards to our view that the church is not bound by Israel’s new covenant, nor was it ever bound by the old covenant. Instead, we believe that we are testament heirs, not covenant parties. This view is based on scriptural evidence that points to the existence of the Everlasting covenant, which was established with Christ during the time of Abraham (Genesis 15:18, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Psalm 2:7-9, Psalm 110:1). This covenant designates Christ as the Shepherd of the Sheep and as the Seed of Abraham and David, making Him the heir of all the promises made by God in the “covenants of promise” (Galatians 3:16). We view these covenants as a progressive revelation of a single, everlasting covenant between God and the Son. The New Covenant is said to be for Israel in all its references in Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Hebrews (Ezekiel 36:26-27, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:6-13).
The precedent in Hebrews 9 for translating “diatheke” as testament is due to the death of the testator, and this is supported by scripture references about our being joint heirs with Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17, Romans 8:16-17). The reference to the Everlasting covenant is mentioned in Hebrews 13:20. The scriptures in Hebrews 6 speak of God swearing by Himself (Hebrews 6:13-18). There may not be a verse that specifically says that God never made a covenant with another nation, but the idea is supported by scripture in various places throughout the Bible, such as Exodus 19:5-6, Deuteronomy 7:6-9, and Psalm 147:19-20.
This Summary Perspective is the backdrop, providing an understanding of who Christ is in the program of God as a man, as the Son of God and the Shepherd, the author of the great Salvation, and the heir. This perspective has emerged over the last few years through much contention on Youtube, and has provided a solid framework for us to stand on as we teach Christ as our Righteousness, Sanctification and Reward.
We strongly oppose Galatianism, which teaches that we must work for God to earn what is already ours as heirs by faith. This is a subtle perversion of the gospel, and we guard against it by holding fast to this perspective: Christ is our reality and our interpreting principle for understanding Scripture. Our righteousness is in Christ, which we obtain by faith. Sanctification is enjoyed through union with Him. Our reward is Christ Himself and the inheritance shared with the Church. The Bema seat judgment for the Church is a celebration of the Bride of Christ, not a reprimand. Our view of reward is based on the generosity of the master, not our merit. We are sons and heirs, enjoying Christ’s portion through the Spirit. This understanding is scriptural and liberating, guarding against Galatianism and bringing joy.
Christ is the seed of Abraham and captain of our salvation, believers are joint heirs with Him through justification by faith (Romans 4:1-5, Galatians 3:16, Hebrews 6:13-20). Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, redemption, reward and life (1 Corinthians 1:30, Colossians 3:1-4, Galatians 2:19-22). The Bema seat judgment for the Church is a celebration (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 5:27, Colossians 1:28-29). The reward is the inheritance of Christ Himself, the of David (Romans 1:2-4, Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 1:5-6, 11-14). He has made us joint heirs with Him. We are enjoying Christ’s portion, His access, His fellowship with the Father, His position, and blessing through the Spirit (Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 2:18, Ephesians 3:12). This perspective should be the interpreting principle for unlocking the meaning of every scripture, as throughout the scripture, we see Christ as the heir of all things (Hebrews 2:10). We endeavour to teach and write consistently from this perspective.[wpaicg_search]