Posted in: 2003
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 14, 2008 - 7:23:24 PM

June 19, 2003


The lamentable truth is that those who profess to be Christians have chosen to believe what some men say, or teach. Their theology is based upon the creed of their church, or based upon hymns, or their pastors, or teachers. Do they really know, for sure, that the creeds, or church doctrines, or statements of faith are trustworthy? When one places his confidence in the flesh, he is, in reality, staking his eternal future on the fallibility of men.

It has been said, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”  Likewise, to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free, means responsibility. Most Christians will not accept their responsibilities for the liberty given them. Liberty in Christ is maintained by continuing in His Word. To continue in the liberty of Christ, we are to be workmen whose work is studying the Word of Truth for ourselves. We are not to be ashamed of what we learn from our study. Even, if it is not in harmony with what we have been taught by man.

In fact, the last command in the Bible is not found in the book of Revelation. Revelation was not the last inspired writings. The last inspired writing was from the pen of the Apostle Paul when he wrote his second letter to Timothy. The last divinely-given command is 2 Timothy 2:15. It reads, “Study”—now that's a command—“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”

Do you see the personal responsibility to study for yourself? God will hold each of us accountable for what we believe. Some Christians rationalize that since no-one can understand the Scriptures except the Church, whatever that expression means, “Why should I try to?”  Then, they seek to shelter themselves by shifting their responsibility of believing God from themselves to the Church. Thereby, while refusing to believe God, they believe man, and they swallow, with credulity, all that man may say.

In my judgment, a believer will fare better before the Righteous Judge, in “that day,” if he has erred in his own understanding as he endeavored  to show himself approved unto God as an unashamed workman, attempting to rightly divide the word of Truth. To err by refusing to exercise your own responsibility in studying for yourself, you are made twofold more the child of hell than the one who taught you wrongly.

The thing that matters to God is WHO and WHAT we believe. In the spiritual realm, safety is found in believing only God and His Truth—not man and his imaginings.

If God says, in His Word, that no man hath immortality except Christ, and man says we have an immortal soul, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe?

If God says, there is One mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, and man says there are other mediators, chiefly Mary, the mother of God, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe? If God says no-one can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ, and man says there are many ways to the Father, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe? If God says without faith, it’s impossible to please Him, and man says it does not matter what a man's faith is, as long as he is sincere, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe?
If God says the dead know not anything, and man says the dead know, either, heavenly bliss, or hell's torments, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe? If God says the inspired Scripture is what perfects the man of God, and man says university degrees prepare the man of God, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe?

If God says that in the Person of Christ, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, and man says that's not necessary, “Lord, for I will die and come to You,” WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe? If God says that death is an enemy, and man says it is just a transition, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe?

If God says that the hope of the Church Which is His Body is “the Appearing of the Glory of God” (Titus 2:13), and man says it is either the Pre-Tribulation rapture, or it is the 2nd Coming (Parousia) of Christ, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe? If God says the Kingdom begins when Christ begins to “judge the quick and the dead at His Appearing (Epiphaneia) and His Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1), and man says the Kingdom begins when Christ returns to be Personally present on the earth, WHO are we to believe and WHAT are we to believe?

Mountaineers, the more we sincerely believe a lie, the worse it will be for us; whether it be an investor who believes a lying balance-sheet, or a woman who believes the promises of a lying imposter. One loses his property; the other loses what is dearer than life and gains a living death.

Sincerity is of no avail. The greater the sincerity with which we believe what is untrue, the more certain and real will be our ruin.

It is WHO and WHAT we believe that matters, and in the spiritual realm, safety is found believing, only, God and His truth. Those who continue in their refusal to believe what is the truth must not be surprised if they are left to believe the lie.

We are in a fight! In the arena of truth─it is Light against darkness; it is Truth against the lie. The Bible says, “The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” The Bible, also, declares that we are to  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

The spirit of the age cries out that we need fearless and passionate defenders of the faith in all walks of life. As Bible Mountaineers, we ought to be those defenders, standing in the gap, holding forth the Word of Life.

As defenders of the faith, we need to recognize that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

The truth is not the subject of popular appeal. It never has been. It never will be. Multitudes will never flock to a stadium to hear the truth. Truth divides.

It is better to be divided by truth than united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and, then heals, than falsehood that comforts, then kills. It is not love, and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling the lie. It is impossible to find, in the Bible, anyone who stood with God and His truth who did not have enemies and was not hated. It is better to stand alone with the truth than to be wrong with the multitude. It is better to succeed, ultimately, with the truth than to succeed, temporarily, with the lie.

The seducing spirits and their doctrines, today, emulate the original lie perpetrated on Eve. The serpent said to Eve, “Ye shall not surely die. Ye shall be like the gods.”
One of the dominant views of Christianity is the doctrine of immortality. It is not the doctrine of the inspired Word of God. It was not the doctrine of Moses, the prophets, or the psalmists. It was not the doctrine of the Son of God, nor his apostles, or prophets. It is the devil's doctrine!

It is satanic in origin. Immortality can be traced through muddy channels of a corrupted Christianity, a perverted Judaism, a pagan philosophy, and a superstitious idolatry, to the great instigator of mischief in the Garden of Eden. The Protestants borrowed the notion of immortality and immediate consciousness, at death, in heaven or hell, from the Roman Church. The Roman Church got it from Greek philosophers, and the Sadducees got it from the Pagans, and the Pagans from that Old Serpent who first seduced our original parents amid the splendors of Paradise.

This doctrine was the “New Theology” of the Garden. “New Theology,” today, is the same as it was in the Garden. Its the theology of not believing God. Satan added to this theology by inventing a double-entity theory that man is a dual-being with a material body and an immaterial soul, consisting of the real man whose soul leaves his body, at death, and continues to exist as a conscious personality, either in conscious bliss forever, or conscious misery forever.

When this theory is accepted, God is discredited, and Satan is believed. This is the standard belief of millions-upon-millions of churchgoers. This is the insidious paganization of original Christianity.

Satan's cunning craftiness was adopted by the pagans down through the channels of time. It was popular in Egypt and led to the concept of transmigration of souls. The Greek concept of natural immortality became a philosophy. Plato was its chief proponent, and he coupled it with preexistence. The mingling together of Christianity and Platonic philosophy permeated the church. This unholy leaven worked until the whole lump was almost defiled.

Pope Leo X affirmed that the soul is immortal and decreed that those who assert, otherwise, were “heretics.” And dear hearts, amazingly, most of the Protestant reformers sided with the Pope in this matter. These are the imaginations and reasonings of men under the guidance of the Prince of Darkness.

Look at 2 Timothy 2:1–2, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Notice, Paul said, “the things that you have learned from me, commit it to faithful men.” A faithful man is one who believes what God says, even if it cuts across the grain, and against, orthodoxy. He doesn't say to pass on the traditions you have learned from men who, in reality, are the ministers of Satan who have transformed themselves into ministers of righteousness.

That which we have learned from God, Paul says, we are to commit it to faithful men who shall be able to teach others, also.

The idea of never-ending existence is the doctrine of demons. It is satanic in origin.
1 Timothy 6:16, emphatically, declares that only Jesus Christ has immortality.

“Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who [Jesus Christ] only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:15-16)

In 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, we are told that immortality will be put on in resurrection. But now, most of Christendom proclaims that dead folks are really alive, somewhere, either in heaven, or hell.

Think of it. In Christian churches, the preachers announce with all sincerity that when a believer dies, he is ushered into the presence of Christ, or he has graduated to heaven. Or, as I used to say as a young soul-winner, “When the lost die, they bust hell wide-open.” This doctrine in the Christian church amounts to the virtual DENIAL that immortality is the gift of Christ, alone, for those who are found in Him, not having their own righteousness, but the righteousness which is of God, by faith.

Now, what I am going to say is a “hard saying.” Very few can receive it. If Christian creeds, or church doctrines embrace the noxious doctrine of the immortality of the soul, we must conclude that those who teach and preach such doctrine are heathen teachers and preachers of paganism.

We cannot reform the churches, or the denominations. Don't waste your time, or your energy trying to change their systems. Well, you may ask, “What should I do?”

 I'll let the Apostle Paul answer that:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temples of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14–18).

        Tom L. Ballinger

Note: The use of the terms, “Who and What we believe,” in this study, was an idea I picked up from Dr. E. W. Bullinger’s book, “The Great Cloud of Witnesses.”