by Thomas Bass | Les Feldick
Ok, it’s so good to have you all back again today and as we do every week, we’re just going to pick right up where we left off last week, so if you’ll turn with me again to Genesis, chapter 7. And just for a little quick review you remember that last time we were together we explained the Ark and its tremendous size and how it was certainly capable of holding all that the Bible says it did. But I think the main thing that I tried to get across, and I hope that I succeeded, was that the Ark was a picture of our salvation.
And you remember that I pointed out that the word “atonement” is also the same Hebrew word “pitch” and it was the pitch that sealed the Ark against the waters of judgment and consequently then made the Ark a place of safety for those within. And then I pointed out that the blood of Christ is what makes our salvation secure. If we’re not under the blood then we have no salvation. And so I pointed out also that God must have been in the Ark as He made the invitation then to Noah and his family, as well as to all of creation, to “come into the Ark.”
It was now time for judgment to fall but God waited seven more days with the door open and if you want to call it that, with the gangplank down. And anyone could have still come into that Ark of safety, it was there for the taking, but none responded. And then we found and this is what I want to start with then tonight is in Genesis chapter 7 in our verse by verse we left off at verse 10, but I want to skip across at least in my Bible across the page to verse 16, where it says:
“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: (then if you haven’t underlined it in your Bible before, underline because this is so crucial, it is so tantamount to New Testament doctrine I think and it’s shown here again in type and what is the word?) and the LORD shut him in” Now I pointed out in my earlier classes back in Genesis chapter 2, that the word in our King James capital ‘L’ capital ‘O’ capital ‘R’ capital ‘D’ is always a reference to Jehovah and Jehovah in the Old Testament with maybe two, possibly three, exceptions is always God the Son. Jehovah is Christ in His Old Testament personality and so when the LORD, Jehovah, God the Son, invited them into the Ark and He became as I said before then that gyroscope, that maintained the safety of the Ark throughout all of the flood.
And when I begin to explain the flood if not this half-hour hopefully the next one, you’re going to know what I’m talking about. That old box didn’t float up on some calm ocean of water. Quite the opposite, but we’ll come to that later. But what I wanted you to see as we start out tonight is that God shut the door. Now remember there’s only one door in this Ark. Only one. And again this is all so typical. As we come into the New Testament economy we are told over and over “there is only one door.”
John uses the analogy in his Gospel in chapter 10 that it’s the sheepfolds door and there’s only one door into the sheepfold. And who is it? The Lord Jesus! And then Paul makes it so plain in the book of Acts that there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. And then later on, Paul also uses that same analogy in I Corinthians I think it is chapter 3, where he says, there is only one foundation. There is no other foundation than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.
And so this is the reason that there was only one door going into the Ark and when that door was shut, there was no possible way for entrance by anyone else. There was only one window and it was not in the side where it had any access to someone from the outside, it was in the top of the Ark. In the roof. And there was only a band, somehow under the roof line for ventilation. And no doubt that eave of ventilation was constructed in such a way that the air could flow but the water would not splash into it as the seas rose and so forth.
But all these things I think are pertinent with regard to our own salvation experience. There’s only one door into salvation and there is no other way except through that one door. Once we go into that door of salvation, who seals it? God does. There’s not a human latch on that door. God shuts us in!
And so with that as a backdrop, since there is so much confusion and argument, and of course I won’t argue. I don’t think I’ve had an argument with anybody in twenty years. There’s no point to be made in arguing things, but yet there is so much controversy today and I’ve been accused of taking the stand that I stand and so be it. I teach as I think the Lord has opened it up to me and I feel that’s where my responsibility lies.
But I’m talking a little bit about this whole concept of eternal security. Oh it just riles some people up, and on the other hand there are those who have beaten it into the ground. They have totally taken it out of context and as I said, they have overdone this doctrine of eternal security. And so with this concept now then coming from the Ark, my wife and I have often talked, you know all the teachers that we ever heard and sat under they usually take a subject, you know, they’ll teach maybe for a week on the Holy Spirit, and may teach a week on the Trinity. And I’ve never done that. Those of you who have been with me a long time know we always start in Genesis and just go on through. But just like now, as we come to a certain point, you have to stop and analyze a particular doctrine. And that’s the way I’ve always taught. And as we come through Genesis – Revelation, I think we hit every major subject in Scripture – all of them. So tonight, we’ll just take a look, briefly at eternal security.
Are we secure once we have entered into that Ark of safety? Is the blood of Christ sufficient to take us through those times of testing and in the final judgment and so forth? Let’s go to Romans first but in the back of your mind always remember what we’re trying to get out of this is that God shut the door. And it was the pitch, the atonement as it were, that sealed out those waters of judgment for Noah and it’s the blood of Christ that secures us from any judgment from whatever source.
Well, if you’ve got Romans chapter 8, I like to just start right there with verse 1. A verse that’s been precious to me for many, many years. What a promise! And always remember, God cannot lie! If we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and I trust you all do, then we have to rest on the fact that if God said it, that settles it. There’s no room for controversy.
“There is therefore now (how much?) no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus….” See, that’s conditional. That’s qualifying. That doesn’t cover the whole human race, but all those members of the human race who are in Christ Jesus, now the promise of God is, we will never face condemnation. There is “Therefore (now then) to them no condemnation who are in Christ Jesus.”
And I won’t even use the rest of the verse because just about every commentary I’ve ever read and every scholar that has really looked into these things, maintain that the last part of this verse 1 was never in the original manuscripts. Only in a few and so they feel that somewhere along the line, someone not inspired added that “who walked not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Because it comes up a little later in the chapter where it’s appropriate. So just take verse 1 for that first part and that says all we need to have, that there is “therefore now no condemnation.” You know what that means? It means what it says.
There is nothing that God can bring against us in condemnation if we’re in Christ Jesus. Why? For the same reason that once Noah and his family went into the Ark and the door was shut, and the Ark was sealed against the waters of judgment, what could touch them? Nothing! And the same way here. All right, let’s come on down through chapter 8 and go to verse 14. This whole chapter and some of you were in my class where we’re studying the book of Romans right now and in the first seven chapters of Romans the Holy Spirit is only mentioned once or twice. And that’s what leaves Paul in such a dilemma in chapter 7. Why is it Paul says, that the things I want to do and the things I do do I shouldn’t do? And then it breaks out in chapter 8. What’s the remedy? The Holy Spirit. And then in chapter 8 we have 19 times the Holy Spirit is used in just one chapter because that’s the answer for all the dilemma of chapter 7.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they (might be? They can hope to be? No. But what?) are the sons of God.” That’s a present tense verb. What? “The sons of God, or children of God.” Now let’s just take a contemporary situation. Let’s say a family, husband and wife, have borne two or three children. But one of those children becomes a belligerent renegade. He is an embarrassment to everything the family stands for. And finally that parent says, “He is such an embarrassment. We don’t want that kid to even partake in our inheritance. Let’s just go to the law and let’s totally disinherit him. Let’s not even recognize him as a son.” And that can be done. But no matter where that son may roam, whose blood is flowing in his veins? His parents.
And it’s the same way here. Once we have entered into this kind of a relationship and we have become bona fide children of God by virtue of all the acts of God that are attendant to our salvation, who can change that? It just can’t be done. Oh we may think that God should kick that person out of his family. And we may have all kinds of ideas but listen, the Scripture stands. If that person has GENUINELY, now that’s where I make the qualifications, those of you who have heard me teach over the years, you know that. I am a firm believer in eternal security ONLY for those who have been genuinely saved. Yes, for that person, there is no condemnation.
But I’m not talking about people who have gone through maybe a set system whereby they become a church member and automatically by rote repetition of things, well now you’re a Christian. No, I don’t buy that. I don’t buy people just simply walking the aisle and following whatever procedure may be given to them. And they also do it by rote description. No, that’s not salvation. But, for the person who has genuinely come under the power of the Holy Spirit and has genuinely believed Paul’s Gospel of salvation with all his heart, which is“That Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again!” which is found in I Corinthians 15:1-4, then I have to maintain, the Scripture says, there is no condemnation, they are a child of God and always will be.
“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have (past tense, this has been done) received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.” We’ve come into that relationship with God that places us as a complete mature son and then you see that is brought about even to a fuller extent in verse 16.
“The Spirit itself (or Himself) beareth witness with our spirit that we (and again what’s the verb?) we are. (no ifs, ands or maybes about it. The Spirit makes relationship with us known) that we are the children of God.” And then verse 17, look at the promises that follow.
“And then if children, then heirs (if we’re a child of God) of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ,…” You know what it means to be a joint heir? Yeah you do. Everything that’s His is ours. But on the other hand how does it work? Everything that’s ours is whose? His. A lot of believers don’t like to accept that part. But this is where it comes in, that just as surely as everything that’s God’s is now ours, He expected everything that’s ours to be His. Now that’s that He expects it. He doesn’t command it. He doesn’t demand it and this is the beauty of living under Grace. Once in a while, people will say things that just make my day. And the other night as I was leaving a class I heard a dear lady that I know has been a believer for years and she said to a friend of hers as she was going out the door, she said, “You know it wasn’t until the last two or three weeks that I’ve come to understand the Grace of God.” And oh, that just made my day!
Because we had been talking of course, back in Genesis where Ishmael comes on the scene. Now here I go chasing rabbits, I’m sorry, but you’ll remember that Hagar was now pregnant and she was causing such a problem in the home that finally Sarai, and that was before the name was changed, Sarai finally said what? Abraham get her out of here. I can’t stand it. And so Abraham did. But who came on the scene and says, now you go back to Sarah’s tent? God did. Well, why didn’t He just leave her there because that’s where they ended up, some years later? Oh, God had an eternal purpose in the whole thing because that was going to be a living example of a New Testament truth.
And so you know the story and we’ll be there in a few months I guess, here in this class, but anyway. Some years later now, the son of promise comes on the scene, Isaac. The one that God had said in the beginning would be born. And so Isaac is now a young lad and what’s Ishmael doing to Isaac? Making life miserable for him. And now God comes into the picture and what does He tell Abraham?
“Send Hagar and Ishmael out into the wilderness” Why? “For Ishmael will not live under the same roof with the son of promise, Isaac.” Now that sounds almost cruel but remember God’s doing all this because Paul is going to use that as an allegory in Galatians chapter 4. And what’s the allegory? Oh, he says, “Abraham had two sons. The one was born of the flesh, Ishmael. The other was born of promise, Isaac. Ishmael stood for law and legalism. Isaac stood for Grace.”
Now to prove that you cannot let those two live under the same roof, Paul says, “Even as Ishmael was sent out, so also legalism has to be send out. Because law and legalism cannot live under the same roof with the son of promise Isaac, or Grace.” And so we have to come to that understanding that to live under Grace, the Grace of God, it’s just beyond our human comprehension.
And that’s the only reason that I can stand here and teach that if you’re once a genuine born again child of God,you can never be cast out of God’s family. Now the first thing I know people say, “Well I know people who have done such and such. And they’ve done such and such.” Even preachers. Bless their hearts. But you know what my answer is? If God hasn’t begun a disciplining process in their lives, I doubt, I don’t care if they’re a preacher or not, I doubt if they’ve ever been a child of God because the Bible makes it so clear that if we’re a child of God, and if we begin to waver in our discipline, what’s God going to do? The same thing you did with your kids. You begin to discipline.And then we know that the Bible also promises that if discipline doesn’t work and they get rebellious God takes them home. He’s not going to let someone stay and continue to bring reproach to His name.
Now isn’t all of that enough to tell us that a child of God, first by choice, remember several weeks ago, I used the illustration of the Redeemer and I think that’s probably already been on the television. How that we’re bought out of the slave market, remember? And we’re totally removed from anything that is tying us to the slave market. And then what would the Roman slave master do? Now he says, “I’ve given you your freedom. You’re free to go anywhere in the Roman Empire, you’re a purchased citizenship”. And what would that servant more than likely say? “You’ve done so much for me, I want to stay right here and be your servant.”
All right, now this is exactly how salvation works. Once we’ve come into the Grace of God and we comprehend all that God has done for us, how can we help but want to serve Him? All right, now we’re in Romans chapter 8, come on down just a little further. Come down to verse 22. Now this is another whole thought in here but I’m going to leave that for now, we’ll come up with that in another time, but here in verse 22, Paul continues,
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain unto now. 23. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, (We as believers have the first fruit of the Spirit) even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is to say the redemption of our (soul? No. That’s not what it says. Redemption of our what?) body.” Now if you’re like myself and my wife, we’ve been under the preaching for years and years and 90% of the time all we hear is the salvation of the soul; the concern of the soul. And I’ve come to understand since I’ve been teaching and getting into the Book, that God isn’t concerned just for the soul, He’s concerned with the whole person. God is concerned in the salvation and the redemption of the body, soul and spirit.
All right now in light of that then, come with me if you will to I Corinthians chapter 12, now we’re on this same concept now. Once we enter into that Ark of Safety, which for us is the Gospel of salvation – that Christ died. His blood was shed, He was buried, He arose again. And when we believe that with all our heart, then we enter in to this Ark of Safety, which we call salvation.
Now then, in chapter 12 of I Corinthians. We have Paul expressing this concept of being in the Body. Instead of the Ark, we’re going to use the Body, the Body of Christ. Now in verse 12, he’s going to use the illustration of the human body as a type, if I may use that word, of the Body of Christ. Now the human body is made up of all of our various members, isn’t it? Our fingers, our toes, our legs, our hearing, our sight, these are all different organs, these are all different functions but they all operate under one center of operation in the mind and we’re one body, but we’ve got all these different members. All right, now look at the analogy in verse 12:
I Corinthians 12:12-13a
“For as the body (the human body) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.(and of course he’s making reference to the Body of Christ, the True Church) 13. For by one Spirit are we (and that’s capitalized, so it’s the Holy Spirit. Now what’s the next word?) all (not just the most spiritual believers. Not just those who say they’ve arrived. But how many? All) baptized into one body,…” Now stop right there. Does the Holy Spirit baptize with water? No. So this is not water baptism.
Now all you have to do is just stop and think for a moment. Almost, and I’ll protect myself by using the word almost, every Christian group will not accept membership without water baptism. Isn’t that right? All right now I’ve always got a question for all of them, and I don’t care who they are. Do you firmly believe that every member in your congregation is a born again child of God? Well, now you’ve got to be honest. Of course not. We’re all in memberships where there are unbelievers who have been baptized in whatever form of baptism you may use. Or whatever time in life you may use. There are still people coming in to every group who are totally unsaved, but they’re baptized. And they’re ‘member-ized’. But not the Body of Christ, there will be no unbelievers in the Body of Christ.
Because you see, that’s the Holy Spirit’s work that when a person becomes a child of God, the Holy Spirit immediately places them and that’s what the word baptized here means, the Holy Spirit places them in to the Body of Christ. Now the reason Paul uses this analogy of the human body, some believers, their role is nothing more than a little pinkie. Some may even have the role of a little toe, which most people never see. Some are going to be more visible, but every one of us, regardless of where God has placed us in the Body have a function in that Body, be it small or great.
The other night we were studying Romans chapter 12 and I’m going to come back to that in just a moment but in Romans chapter 12, it’s laid out so clearly of what God expects of His children. And there are listed the gifts that really amount to something. The various gifts that every believer has at least one of. All right, so we are baptized or placed into the Body of Christ by an act of the Holy Spirit who can search the heart. The Holy Spirit will never place an unbeliever into the Body of Christ. None of us can examine one close enough to screen him from the membership in our local church. We can’t do it and we’re not supposed to. That’s why Jesus gave the illustration back in His earthly ministry, of tares and wheat. You remember?
I remember a few months ago – years ago, I was teaching on that very concept of tares and wheat and the agronomists down at the college brought in some tares and some wheat and you couldn’t tell the difference. But, one would never give a grain and the other would. And it’s the same way in the church. We can’t judge and say well now that church member is not a child of God, that’s not our job. We can’t do that. But we have to be aware that in the Body of Christ, there are no false professors. Only the genuine believer is in the Body of Christ and that’s the only criteria.
And so I tell everybody, that’s the membership you’d better be sure of. Don’t worry about whether you’re a member of the biggest church in town or the smallest or whatever, are you a member of the Body of Christ? And remember the qualifications here is, it’s for all, see?
I Corinthians 12:13b
“…for by one Spirit are we all baptized into that body….”