And his accusing of the brethren – Part 2
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13
Paul Washer is a preacher who preaches against the ‘Idolatry of Decisionism’. Oh, he uses truth in his sermons, but not many seem to want to address the error of what he says. Some grave error. Why does he preach against a decision? He is clever in his manner, as he adds that we ‘judge the sincerity of our decision’. Let me ask you… Do you know if you have believed? Do you believe the pure gospel? Do you KNOW that you are saved? Based on your belief or your works? Or both? If you base it on anything but belief, you will never know for sure if you are saved. And actually the Word tells you if you base your salvation on works you are not saved, it is not grace…
Paul Washer teaches you are regenerated BEFORE you are able to believe. That means the Holy Spirit has entered you without any belief on your part, and chosen salvation for you. You had no choice in the matter. That also means many were chosen to go to hell. Is this what you see in Scripture? Is this the character of God? The way they justify their teaching is to say salvation is all of the Lord. Of course it is. Believing isn’t part of the act of Christ delivering me. When someone perfect and truthful tells me they will save me if I will but believe, and I believe that, I haven’t saved myself, or had any part in the saving. I believed what they told me and was saved. I have a responsibility to believe what God tells me in the gospel, or I can reject the truth of the good news of salvation.
Does Mr. Washer REALLY believe the gospel? Jesus offers salvation as a FREE GIFT. We have to believe, we receive the Word as the truth.
But not as the offence, so also is the FREE GIFT. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the GIFT by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the GIFT: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the FREE GIFT is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the GIFT of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Rom 5:15-19
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thess 2:13
“Brother” Paul (as he says he prefers to be called) is a Calvinist, Puritan, Southern Baptist, who wrongly uses Matt. 7:21-23 to judge Christians on whether or not there are ‘truly’ saved (rather than rightly applying it to the doctrine of false teachers). He wrong teaches the Bible says that what we are to do is judge other Christians fruit to see if they are saved. I’m going to hopefully examine Matthew 7 here and you decide if what he says is so. Are we to judge other people’s salvation? I believe Matthew 7 is about judging the doctrine of false prophets and has nothing at all to do with judging a believer’s salvation.
Notice also in the quote above by Washer, he misinterprets a conveniently excised portion of 2 Cor 13:5. As many Lordship teachers do, he quotes only ‘examine yourself‘ or his ESV version, ‘test yourself‘…
But do they rightly teach that passage in context? Where is the rest of the verse? If we are to KNOW we are saved (1 Jn 5:13), was this the actual purpose of this Scripture to TEST YOURSELF as Washer claims?
The context of that passage has to do with the Corinthians questioning Paul’s apostleship and the proof of his apostleship is the fact that they are in the faith. The proof of Paul’s authority is that Jesus Christ IS in them. Obviously also shown throughout both epistles, as he has addressed them as brethren, brothers, beloved, etc. throughout both epistles.
So who is twisting Scripture ‘brother Paul’?
Let’s look at the whole verse:
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Cor 13:5
Washer also seems to get blown about quite easily by many winds of doctrine. Holiness teachings seem to permeate his sermons. Doubt over eternal security. Doubt over what you must REALLY DO in order to be TRULY saved. Maybe his confusion comes from some of his ‘favorite’ teachers that he recommends.
Here are the some of the details of those teachers:2
- Spurgeon – Lordship Salvationist, Calvinist and a “turn-from-sin for salvation” preacher.
- Whitefield – Calvinist.
- Ravenhill – Arminian, (no eternal security),
- Martin Lloyd-Jones – Calvinist and Presbyterian,
- Tozer, Deeper Life teacher – Mystic and Lordship “Salvationist” before it was called that.
- Wesley -Arminian — lose your “salvation” or a “no eternal security” preacher — founder of Methodism.
“You might be a Lordship Salvationist if…”
In this tongue-in-cheek post, my friend John from expreacherman.com states;
You believe the ”straight and narrow” refers to your behavior1.
That is exactly what Paul Washer preaches. He is not preaching Christ and Him Crucified. He is teaching a Narrow Way of WORKS, which is not the narrow way, but is in fact the BROAD WAY.
The continual mishandling of this Scripture is what I’d like to discuss in this post today.
The second most important book to Washer is the works based path of Lordship Salvation/Perseverance of the saints defined in “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan3. It might be another reason why he preaches the narrow path or the narrow way as our works vs. JESUS’ WORK. Bunyan’s character in his book, leaves his wife and child behind to take the narrow path. Note that in the book, the narrow path is before entering the gate. The gatekeeper sends him on a narrow road of works. Isn’t Jesus the ‘gatekeeper’? Would he send someone on a path of works first?
JESUS IS THE WAY THAT LEADETH UNTO LIFE
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:9
Later in this ‘important book‘ (right behind the Bible Washer says), we see that there was a man who was “once a pilgrim like Christian, but turned aside from his quest to sin, enjoying “the Lusts, Pleasures, and Profits of this World”; as a result, he has “crucified [Jesus] afresh” and must now be shut out from all the promises of grace and salvation.” (Otherwise known as Perseverance of the Saints, the “P” in the T.U.L.I.P. of Calvinism).
Is this what the Bible teaches?
Paul Washer evidently does not know WHO the Narrow way is. The Narrow way is not what you do (works).
WHO IS THE WAY?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
This passage in Matthew 7 is a classic for these Lordship (load-shippers) who judge salvation by people’s behavior. These people were justifying themselves by their good works also.
Jack Weaver on Paul Washer:
Washer, like all Lordship “salvationists”, sets himself up as the behavioral judge of how much and for how long “fruit” is sufficient or necessary to prove to him (Washer), your pastor or yourself, that you really are a believer in Christ. Fruit may be an evidence that a person is a believer but absolutely does not determine or prove to anyone whether or not one is a believer in Jesus Christ. Catholics, Buddhists, Mormons and many other false religions may demand and produce “good works” (which some call “fruit”) but these folks, by their teachings, are not believers in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior.2
Does Paul Washer know Jesus is the narrow way? Is Paul Washer truly concerned you may not have believed the gospel, or is he teaching a gospel of works? Ask yourself, in this quote, does the Christian make his way to the celestial city in order to be able to even enter the gate? When he accuses people of bad fruit and therefore not being saved, does he do like Philip did with the Eunuch in Acts 8 and ask “do you really believe with all of your heart?” Does he explain what good fruit is?
WHAT HAS PAUL WASHER DONE BY RE-DEFINING THE NARROW WAY AS WORKS?
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Pet 2:1-3
Does good works = good fruit?
Let’s look at the passage he likes to use. He picks and choose certain verses, and is not rightly dividing God’s Word as he should.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Jesus is the only way that leads unto life. These same people were told, “and you will not come to me, that you might have life” (Jn 5:40).
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Does good works = good fruit?
Didn’t these false prophets claim to speak God’s Word & do good works? Didn’t they prophesy in His name? Cast out demons? Didn’t they do MANY wonderful works in His name?
As one of the administrators (John) from expreacherman says, “The misuse of Matthew 7 glosses right over the fact that Jesus never challenges these peoples’ claims of good works.”
Inwardly they are ravening wolves. (you cannot see to judge inwardly. We are not to judge by the appearance anyways)
Outwardly they look like sheep and do many wonderful works. (sounds like it would appear like good fruit)
So what ‘fruit’ is Washer really judging? What fruit are WE supposed to be looking for in false prophets?
Please consider answering these questions regarding the passage in Matthew 7:15-21.
Remember who is being spoken of; False Prophets a.k.a. ravening wolves.
1. What do you see to be the work God tells us to do vs. the ones they justified themselves by? What work can we do for salvation? (Romans 4:5, Romans 11:6)
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29
2. What do you see to be the will of the Father spoken of in Matt. 7?
And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:39-40
3. Note that He NEVER KNEW them. (Look up John 10:14) They were never His in the first place.
4. Sadly, they call Him Lord, Lord… (Lordship teachers certainly do that. These same teachers accuse the sheep falsely, saying we don’t want to submit to His Lordship. Not true, we just do not submit to their false definition of what it means)
5. Ask yourself, who did these false prophets in Matt 7 glory in? Is it about what God is doing in their life? Or about how radical a disciple they are? What their wonderful works are? 1 Cor 1:30-31
6. What makes one righteous? Who are the unrighteous? Or workers of Lawlessness? Who is our righteousness? Doesn’t it seem these false prophets are seeking to establish their own righteousness? Rom 10:3-4
Do you call Him Lord? Plenty of Lordship teachers, pastors and church goers say they submit to His Lordship. Have they? Have they done His work, or followed His will? Or do the boast right up until the end about their own wonderful works? We were ungodly when he justified us. We were yet sinners without strength.
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. Rom 4:2, 5
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Gal 2:16
For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. 2 Cor 10:12-13
HAVE THESE MEN DENIED THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL?
ARE THEY COUNTING ON THEIR MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:17-18
LASTLY, WHAT HAVE THEY BUILT THEIR HOUSE UPON?
IS IT FOUNDED UPON SOLELY THE ROCK WHICH IS CHRIST?
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. vs. 24-29
CITATIONS: (I only recommend expreacherman, I do not recommend challies.com, I am only citing Paul Washer from an interview with Tim Challies.)