Totally in agreement on Womack as a false teacher

Correspondence regarding various false teachers.
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Totally in agreement on Womack as a false teacher

Postby Bill » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:44 am



(This is an archived correspondence at The Path of Truth. We have sent notification to the correspondent.)


Totally in agreement on Womack as a false teacher. That's how I came across your site as a result of his growing deceitful influence in our home church group I may be abandoning. HOWEVER, I am concerned about what seems to be be your argument supporting what is called “ universal salvation”, that all human beings will ultimately be saved. Years ago, after much study, I laid it down as false doctrine. As I spend a lot of time in pursuing “knowledge of God and His Son Jesus Christ”, would you spare me some time and effort and direct me to you thoughts on this matter if true. Thanks in advance, Bill.
Bill
 

Re: Totally in agreement on Womack as a false teacher

Postby Paul Cohen » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:46 am



Hi Bill,

We're thrown off by your statement “what seems to be [our] argument supporting what is called 'universal salvation,'” because we've clearly stated what we believe in the section about God's Restitution of All Things through Jesus Christ, supported by the Scriptures. Have you not red these writings?

In another section we plainly denounce Universalism The False Kind, articulating the difference between Christ's true work of salvation and men's erroneous interpretation and application of the Scriptures describing His work.

After you've heard and considered what the Scriptures and we say on these matters, tell us specifically how we err (if you aren't persuaded otherwise by God's witness of the truth).

Paul
Paul Cohen
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:01 am

Re: Totally in agreement on Womack as a false teacher

Postby Bill » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:16 am



Thanks. You've provided me with a lot of homework as I had only previously read your Wommack review. For now, for me in my ministering, the important thing is that the cross of Jesus has "provided everything we need that pertains to life and godliness" by setting us free "from the bondage of sin and death". Our responsibility, for our own good and His glory, is to pursue His will by obeying His word to the best of our ability in the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. To "hunger and thirst for righteousness" is the way to go whether everyone gets there eventually or not.
I wrote my own critique on Wommack's series called "Hebrew Highlights".This recent work of his basically the crux of his ministry without studying it. My commentary is somewhat long but I'd appreciate your feedback if you find the time.
Please find my commentary in the attached folder.

Thanks again, Bill

COMMENTARY ON ANDREW WOMMACK'S “HEBREW HIGHLIGHTS”

Upon hearing of the desire of some in our house church to view Andrew Wommack's Hebrew Series, I decided to do some study in advance on my own. It turns out that his 5 part DVD study is available in audio form online for free. I confess that I have only listened to lesson #1 on “boldness” thus far. However, Womack also published an adjunct written brief article entitled “Hebrew Highlights: What Do You Believe?” This article presents the foundation of his seminar and is the catalyst for what I am about to say. But first, may I open in prayer. Father God, let the words that follow be true to your Holy Word and Spirit, written and received with a heart of love in humble meekness and gentleness as the Truth of the Living Word, your son Jesus Christ. May they exhort and edify the reader in Christ and overcome any fleshly bias, confusion, anger or resentment that the evil one may foster in accompanying this challenging effort on my part in obedience to your command. Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name, I pray.

I do not question the sincerity or the motivation of Andrew Wommack, only God knows his heart. I base my position purely on the Word of God - in context and in sync with the whole of Scripture. I will use his own words and the scripture he quotes to show the errancy of what I believe is bad theology at best but more importantly, destructive for the Kingdom and Glory of God as well as the spiritual well being of individual christians.

I suggest that you view a copy of Wommacks “Hebrew Highlights: What do you Believe?” to help in understanding. He begins by attempting to establish his credibility as a Bible Teacher “over the last forty years”. This is a prideful way to begin a study. How often do we find Jesus flaunt His Divinity? Did he typically begin a teaching with some version of “I am the Son of God so you better listen up”. He was much more likely to say “go and tell no one” when manifesting His Godly Wisdom and Power. As a servant in the bodily form of sinful man, He only did the will of His Father.

Wommack continues with this clever statement: “Unfortunately, one of the things I've learned is that most Christians (DVD #1 says 90%) never let the Bible get in the way of what they believe”. In spite of whatever truth this may contain, this comment sets the stage for his defining the problem and solution using out of context Bible verses in a distorted attempt to free the believer from his responsibility before God. As we will see, he seems to be proposing an “it is all over at salvation” theology. In rebuttal, I see that what is getting “in the way of what many Christians believe” is their not being true “Bereans”(Acts) through diligent personal Bible research and study in challenging the false teaching of some in recent years.

Wommack then draws an incorrect conclusion in this matter, improperly explaining the meaning of scripture. He states that “the result is what Jesus spoke of in Mark 7:13 'making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition' ”. The true context actually contradicts his central theme. This portion of God's word is actually a demand for obedience in the right spirit to the law today in the New Testament (N.T.). Mark 7:13 is not so much directed to God's people but to the Pharisees who in rebellious disobedience “reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (MK 7:9) in a preceding verse.And it is the undiscerning followers, as usual, who pay the price. Verses 10-12 condemn the Pharisees, who in their greed and/or desire to make their followers feel good about their parental care, actually deceive them in their commanded responsibility. These corrupt leaders labeled the legitimate honoring of one's parents through expected and God glorifying obedience “Corban…a gift” when in fact it is God's fifth commandment through O.T. Moses- to “honor thy father and mother”. Jesus goes on to say that whatever profit might have been gained in giving is now lost through this bad teaching. I am afraid this problem is exploding today with the self-consumed view of God as a kind of “don't worry, be happy” cosmic Santa Claus.

Consistent in his devaluing of law and sin in favor of grace alone, Womack next states “It comes as a complete shock to most believers that there are traditions instituted by God that can make His Word of no effect”. This is simply not true. In Hebrews itself, upon which his study is based, verse 3:8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever”. Is not Jesus “The Word”? Notice, not coincidentally, the very next verse states “be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines”.

The Bible in several places verifies the importance of the Old Testament (O.T.) today, in
relating the sin of the Israelites to the potential for sin and apostasy in N.T. Christians, 1Cor 10:11,12 states “now all these things happened unto them for ensembles (KJV): and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. In line with this, 2Pet 1:17-19 validates the O.T. as “a more sure word of prophecy”.


Wommack next quotes Hebrews while once again attempting to validate his authority, saying “I have spent decades meditating on this book and especially Heb 10:16-23, which I believe summarizes the whole book of Hebrews”. Not true! Please read these verses as they are too long to quote here. It truly saddens me that he is totally off base in making this claim.

As N.T. believers, we need to understand who these verses are mainly speaking to - and they are the newly converted and potentially converted Jewish people, who ONLY knew law and tradition. This was not the big issue for the first century gentiles nor is it for us today. The problem for most of us today is not the truth that the gospel of our salvation is by grace through faith alone. Our problem is the unwillingness to come under Holy Spirit conviction of sin and calling self examination and sin confrontation “legalism”. God's saving grace is given that we may “grow in grace and knowledge” and put to death sin in our lives. Every book of the Bible gives instruction towards this end- “for it is God who works in us both to will and to do according to His good pleasure” (Phil2:12,13). Peter tells us in 2Pet 1:5-9 how to “make our call and election sure” on our end by being “diligent”, adding “to our faith” all those things he mentions culminating in “love”. By our patient efforts we “will be neither barren nor unfruitful” in our walk. We might do well to someday study what it truly means to “love” as it seems to connote
“tolerance” with very little truth in this day and age.

Wommack continues by negating the need for repentance of sin in the life of the believer. He says “if you have made Jesus your Lord, you've become a new creature, and sin is no longer an issue between you and God”. This is a distortion of the truth. He quotes Heb10:10,14, which you can read for yourself in his article, in support of this statement. However, please keep in perspective once again that what he believes as summarizing the whole book of Hebrews is actually just that portion written to the Jews who only knew the law of Moses and of whom many, especially the Jewish leaders, were trying to “catch” Christ in wrongdoing. They exchanged God's truth for “traditions” and ignored or forgot their historical past rebelliousness as a people. Pharisiacal legalism of outward performance are the “traditions that make the Word of God of no effect” and not legitimate, ongoing confrontation of sin in repentance.In reality, the
writer of Hebrews is simply trying to point out the supremacy of Christ over the O.T. system of dealing with sin.The value for us today is that we might avoid the many dangers of sin, idolatry and rebellion that befell so many of the ancient Jews and that we may become more like Jesus. To repeat, for the N.T. Christian, this book is written to encourage them in this endeavor. Yes, Our Lord wants us secure in our salvation. But that is just the beginning. “All promises of God in Him, are yea and Amen” (1Cor1:20). However, on our part, the responsibility is to “work out our salvation…”

Andrew Wommacks most stunning observation is his take on Psalm 51:10-12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…”. He shockingly states that “for us as N.T. believers to pray this same prayer would be an insult to what Christ has done for us”. I say without hesitation that his comment is an insult to God - maybe even blasphemy. He goes on to say that because of our new heart and indwelling Holy Spirit, the Gal 5:22 Holy Spirit fruit “are now a permanent part of our born again spirit”. This will be true someday when we are free of these “vile bodies” of Phil 3:21, but for now we still have to deal with “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life” (1Jn 2:16). Our spiritual enemies include the world, the flesh and the devil. Wommack implies that every trial and sin is akin to saying “the devil made me do it”. He is quoted as saying “if it's good it's God, if it's bad it's the devil”. The above scripture proves this false. The idea that the devil is the source of all of our problems today and the twisting of what it means to “take every thought captive” lies behind the success of many healing and “word of faith” ministries today and explains why the “casting out of devils” and “signs and wonders” are so popular today. These ministries tend to ignore the consequences of
sin as they relate to sickness, trials, even death. 1Cor 11:28-31 counsels the believer to
“examine himself” and “judge ourselves that we should not be judged”.

Remember that even in legitimate apostolic miracles and healing, Christ downplayed any euphoria in favor of their true purpose - to validate the Gospel, end sin and encourage righteousness. Many of Christ's own miracles were followed by the command to “go and sin no more” and “lest a greater calamity befall you”. Countless N.T. scriptures support this with many from “Hebrews”with all of them spoken to believers.
Heb 12:1 Lay aside every weight and sin that doth so easily beset us.
Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin.
James 4:8 Purify your hearts…
Matt 12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, followed about a tree being know by it's fruit - either good or bad.

Do these and many more that could be quoted suggest that sin is not a N.T. issue? I, for one, want The Lord to “change my heart, O God and make it ever true…and make it more like You” - everyday, more and more.

Following the Beatitudes in Christ's world famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks His Word, His Law-stressing it's value in an even stricter and deeper light than just the outward observance of Mosaic Law - yet without negating it. “You have heard it said, but I say…”Murder, adultery and all the rest are to be judged by the inward motivations and thoughts of the heart, even if they are not acted upon outwardly. These are some of the thoughts and judgements of ourselves and others we need to “take captive” that we don't become “whitewashed tombs”. God indeed has “given us everything that pertains to Life and Godliness” (2Pet 2:3) and “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). Now we, by His Spirit and Grace need to perform “the doing of it” (2Cor 8:11).

The purpose of Christ's atonement in the life of the disciple is deliverance from “the bondage of sin and death unto the glorious liberty of the sons of God “by His indwelling life- to empower us in our fight against sin. To say that “sin is no longer an issue between us and God” is a misrepresentation of the truth. I, for one, still struggle with it.

Now, on the other side of the same coin, a point needs to be on a topic addressed earlier, concerning the idea that God would not allow disease or other seemingly bad things to happen to His children. We are told to “glory in your tribulations…” Wommack's viewpoint is simply not scriptural, O.T. or N.T. Note a few examples:

Job - in his conversation with the devil, God Himself suggests “Have you considered my
servant, Job?” You know the rest of the story.

Ps 119:67 - David was glad he “was afflicted… for now I kept thy word”. God allowed David's affliction for a reason.

Luke 22:31 - Jesus allowed the devil “to sift” Peter, but He “prayed for him”.

Heb 12:5,6 - “Whom He loves, He chastens and scourges every son whom He received”.

It was no accident when Lazarus “died” and that Jesus was “late” or that the dead daughter was really just “asleep”. Remember also that the apostle Paul was “given a thorn in the flesh” (by God) through a “messenger of Satan” to prevent any future pride. God indeed is sovereign in His creation. He ultimately will be found to control everything including the devil himself.

There is much more that can be said in refuting Wommack's theology but I have digressed from the last theme of his invalidating Ps. 51 “create in me a clean heart…” for N.T. Christians. In wrapping up my comments on this error, I suggest that O.T. David, as “a man after God's own heart”, understood the unchanging and appropriate heart posture toward God as expressed in the last verses of the same Ps.51. Verse 17 reads “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not deny”. Among other N.T. scriptures validating this are “God resisteth the proud but giveth grace unto the humble” (Js. 4:6), “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (Js. 4:10) which is repeated by Peter in 1Pet 5:6.

Our boldness before God must go hand in hand with the humility that a proper understanding of the cross demands. Christ #1 Beatitude's “poor in spirit” is not only the entrance gate to the kingdom but also “the narrow way” heart posture until we get there and see our Lord face to face. “He must increase and I must decrease”. “Let this mind (that of a willing obedient servant) be in you that is in Christ Jesus”.

The new heart (of flesh, not stone) is one that aims to please God, to love His word and law, and desire to obey it - out of love and awesome Godly fear.

The great commandment summary to love God followed by our neighbor as ourselves is a natural response from the heart of a truly redeemed saint and is marked by a humble spirit of ever growing love, thankfulness and hatred of sin.

This idea of humility makes a perfect segway to Womack's next point and the title of his first DVD - concerning “boldness”. He says that “worshipers once purged should have no more consciousness of sin”, referring to Heb. 10:19. Yet he fails to acknowledge subsequent verses 36-38 regarding perseverance, obedience, and the potential of falling away by “drawing back”.

Then, Womack moves on telling us to “quit trying to mix the old with the new” by
“understanding the promises that have been made to us”. While we all need to acknowledge that the promise of God in the salvation of the Christian is solid and unconditional, I believe Andrew Womack is the one mixing things up here. Many promises of what the Bible calls blessings or peace for the believer in the here and now are conditional. The word “if” is used over 1,500 times in the King James Bible. “If” means something happens as a result of the performance or lack thereof, of the “if”. - And the result is either good or bad depending on the situation in question.

Consider, once again, the Beatitudes in Matthew. These are conditional blessings, possible for any believer but not necessarily availed of by obedience, The Christian has Christ as his righteousness as far as heaven is concerned, but to access the benefit of this righteousness in our mortal bodies now, the fourth Beatitude of Mt. 5:6 must apply. This states “Blessed are they which DO hunger and thirst AFTER righteousness: for they shall be filled”. These words of Jesus, spoken to His disciples, clearly imply that this blessing is not the reality of all professing Christians - at least not at this point in time.
Next, Wommack's misinterpretation of “new wine into old bottles” will take too long to
discuss. Suffice to say for now that it is out of context based on the question Christ was asked in responding to it.

Moving on, Wommack now refers to Eph. 4:24 and again emphasizes, in effect, how we have it made, and again is totally out of context. The crux of this verse is actually a command in the very same verse “that we put on the new man” - requiring obedience from us and is not automatic (read the verse). All the verses that follow Eph. 4:24 are Paul's loving commands beginning with “put away lying and “be ye angry and sin not”. Read for yourself.

He then quotes 1 John 4:7 and wrongfully concludes “that you are identical to Jesus in your spirit”. I do not understand how the man is scripturally supporting nearly everything he says, at least in this study. Regarding this particular 1 John verse, if his analysis is correct, then why are we commanded elsewhere to:

“Quench not the Spirit” (2Thes 5:21)
“Grieve not the Spirit that is in you”
“Cleanse yourself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit”
“Mortify the deeds of the flesh”
“Purge yourself from…(a listing of bad things)”

Look these up - and the list could go on and on.

Finally, Wommack expresses his desire that through his teaching his followers would be
helped to “enter into the presence of God without condemnation or judgement”. No
condemnation? - correct. No judgement? - not correct. The scripture clearly states that
“Judgement must begin in the house of God”, where “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do”. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes sums it up by saying “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man, for God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (11:13). Anyone who throws this out as a foolish mixing of O.T. contradicting the N.T. better disregard the value of most of the book of Proverbs. Both were penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by God's own “wisest” man Solomon.

Wommack rightly desires that Christians see themselves “free from sin consciousness”. This is scriptural and truly the only way to impact others for Christ. The books of James and 1 John address this issue big time.

We surely are free from the penalty of sin under Mosaic Law as it “was weak through the
flesh” (Rom,8) and could not save us. As we all know only the cross could accomplish our salvation. But it may come as a surprise to learn that we are still under law. James 2:12 says “so speak and so do, as those that shall be judged by the law of liberty”. God's plan has delivered us from “the bondage of sin and death…” and “if the Son shall set you free you shall be free indeed”. As believers, we are now free to love and obey and defeat sin which was impossible before the new birth.

Freedom from sin consciousness demands (1) that we reject satanic false accusation
denying Christ's cleansing blood, but also and equally important (2) that we do not fight the Holy Word and Spirit of God and remain in known sin. As stated earlier, God's love and justice demand that we will pay a price if we do.

There is much more that can be said. I have pages of Bible based notes regarding this
commentary, but mostly want to stress the importance of testing anyone's interpretation of scripture, including my own,in light of the context in which it was written and that it makes sense in light of entirety of the Bible.

I also want to say that I understand the attraction of Andrew Wommack. He's got southern style down home warmth and provides a sense of peace, stability and security. Yet I believe his theology is indeed misleading, intentional or not, and herding many sincere seekers in the direction of the apostasy described in Revelation 3:14-19 of the last days church of Laodicean. Jesus himself, in describing them as “lukewarm” says in verse 17 “Because thou sayest I am rich (satisfied) and increased with goods (already saved), and have need of nothing (complacent); and knows not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”. This is spoken to the church - one that ought to frighten any Christian to be a part of. The advice of Christ in verse 19 is “as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent”. Apostasy does not happen overnight. Discernment is critical.Jesus completes chapter 3 in the concluding verse of Rev. 3:22 saying “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit sayeth unto the churches”.

We are living in a time of a self centered as opposed to a God centered version of Christianity that is being manifested in various churches and ministries everywhere today. It is the subtle undergirding foundation of the seeker friendly, prosperity, signs and wonders, “feel” the presence of God type, church growth, etc. movements. The spirit of these all so mimic the world (which we are told to “come out of her” and not have “friendship” with). It is truly grieving. Specifically concerning Andrew Wommack, it is not uplifting to look at his $86 million ministry headquarters center which happens to be located in the leading “new age” state of Colorado.

Finally, and worst of all, I believe all these skewed versions of “the faith that was once
handed down to the saints” (Jude) is the perfect set up for the arrival of “the false prophet” of Revelation. As you know, he will point the tolerant, ecumenical church at that time to worship a different savior, the antichrist - operating “…with all signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness…”(2Thes2:9+10. Let us not be so foolish to think that any today are immune to the present subtleties of this deceit. In addition, look around. Who can not fail to notice the growing strangleholding control of the other two arms of the false satanic trinity - the economic and the political - and it is no coincidence that all of this is happening at the same time - and right before our eyes

Let us indeed “open our eyes” as Christians that we “not fall with the deception of the
wicked” because of “somethings hard to be understood which they that are unlearned and unstable wrestle…scriptures unto their own destruction. Beware…”(2Pet 3:14-17) AMEN.

In Love, In Christ,
Bill
Bill
 

Re: Totally in agreement on Womack as a false teacher

Postby Paul Cohen » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:08 pm



Hi Bill,

Tell us more about your ministry, if you will. You asked for feedback on your Wommack paper, in which you say a number of true things. There are several things I can point out for your sake, however, where you err and need further instruction, if you are able to receive it. I'm writing these things also for the edification of believers amongst us and those who come to hear the truth.

You write:

I do not question the sincerity or the motivation of Andrew Wommack, only God knows his heart.

Whether Wommack is sincere or not isn't the point. His heart isn't right with God, which is made evident by the fruits he produces and the things he teaches. As Jesus said, you'll know them by their fruits. It's not true that we can't discern these things.

“But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16 MKJV).

Didn't the Lord know what was in men? How can we not know then, IF we have His mind? I'm not talking presumption here, which is what Wommack is all about, but the reality of Christ's promises fulfilled in those who believe. These are His Words and credibility on the line. Can we believe Him? A rhetorical question, if there ever was one!

Next, you talk about verses that Wommack considers to summarize the Book of Hebrews. Whether or not they do isn't my point here, but to show what is lacking in your interpretation.

Here are the verses:

Hebrews 10:16-23 MKJV
(16) "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put My Laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"
(17) also He adds, "their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more."
(18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
(19) Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus,
(20) by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;
(21) and having a High Priest over the house of God,
(22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies having been washed with pure water.
(23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised),

Of which you say:

As N.T. believers, we need to understand who these verses are mainly speaking to - and they are the newly converted and potentially converted Jewish people, who ONLY knew law and tradition. This was not the big issue for the first century gentiles nor is it for us today.

These verses apply to everyone, not just the narrow group of Jews you mention. Consider what Paul said to the Gentile believers in Galatia, whom he was exhorting not to put their trust in the works of the Law:

Galatians 3:22-26 MKJV
(22) But the Scripture shut up all under sin, so that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
(23) But before faith came, we were kept under Law, having been shut up to the faith about to be revealed.
(24) So that the Law has become a trainer of us until Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
(25) But faith coming, we are no longer under a trainer.
(26) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

How can that be, if the Law was only for the Jews? But the moral precepts summarized in the Ten Commandments are for everyone, and every believer must first acknowledge God's standards (His nature and ways) before they can truly repent and receive His grace to fulfill them.

You're certainly right that Wommack isn't coming from the right place when he says “sin is no longer an issue between us and God.” He brashly walks and talks as the man of sin, teaching others to do the same. But I'm not hearing you say there is a life without sin in Christ as promised in the Scriptures.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law, but under grace? Let it not be” (Romans 6:14-15 MKJV).

“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV). Have you been born of God, receiving The Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Speaking of the Law, you also write:

But it may come as a surprise to learn that we are still under law. James 2:12 says 'so speak and so do, as those that shall be judged by the law of liberty'.

You aren't entirely correct here. The children of God who walk in the Spirit aren't under the Law, as with those who are “shut up to the faith about to be revealed,” being under the Law as trainer. “But faith coming, we are no longer under a trainer” (Galatians 3:25 MKJV).

And again:

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law, but under grace? Let it not be” (Romans 6:14-15 MKJV).

Being judged by the Law of liberty doesn't mean one is under the Law. It's only an exhortation to continue in the faith of Christ that alone brings perfection. This James goes on to say:

James 2:17-22 EMTV
(17) Thus also that faith, if it does not have works, is dead, being by itself
(18) But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by means of my works.
(19) You believe God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe--and they shudder!
(20) But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
(21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
(22) Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by means of his works faith was made perfect?

The works of the Law do not bring liberty:

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; because no flesh shall be justified by the works of the Law” (Galatians 2:16 EMTV).

Whoever walks in the faith of Christ enters the Law of liberty and is justified, blessed in his doing:

“But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25 MKJV).

Also read Do Christians Sin? and Law and Grace.

You're also right that Wommack saying God “would not allow disease or seemingly bad things to happen to His children” is wrong. Not only does He allow it, He may send it when His children refuse to believe and obey His commandments:

“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your Healer” (Exodus 15:26 ESV).

Regarding the matter of disease and bad things happening to believers:

Now, on the other side of the same coin… we are told to 'glory in your tribulations…' Wommack's viewpoint is simply not scriptural, O.T. or N.T. Note a few examples:

Job - in his conversation with the devil, God Himself suggests 'Have you considered my servant, Job?' You know the rest of the story.

Ps 119:67 - David was glad he 'was afflicted… for now I kept thy word'. God allowed David's affliction for a reason.

Luke 22:31 - Jesus allowed the devil 'to sift' Peter, but He 'prayed for him'.

Heb 12:5,6 - 'Whom He loves, He chastens and scourges every son whom He received'.

Being afflicted on account of sin (breaking God's commandments) isn't what Paul was talking about when he wrote of glorying in tribulation. As for your examples:

While Job was an upright man, he also was walking in self-righteousness, which we see came into conflict with God's righteousness. Job certainly wasn't glorying in his tribulation - he was complaining against God.

David was afflicted BECAUSE he went astray. There's no glory in that, but God was merciful to him and he repented. David's affliction disciplined him to keep God's Word.

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word” (Psalms 119:67 ESV).

The devil sifting Peter had nothing to do with illness or bad things happening without cause. That sifting was necessary and evident when Peter denied the Lord three times. Nothing to glory in there, either - quite the opposite as we see from Peter's reaction of deep sorrow. But as you say, Jesus had prayed for Peter that his faith wouldn't fail and it didn't. He went on to receive the Spirit and fulfill his calling.

Finally, the chastening of God isn't something believers glory in, as the Book of Hebrews goes on to say:

“Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11 KJV).

And as Peter puts it:

“For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you suffer while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God” (1 Peter 2:20 MKJV).

Chastening is part of the judgment of God, which you rightly point out begins at the House of God.

Coming back to your letter, you say to me:

The important thing is that the cross of Jesus has 'provided everything we need that pertains to life and godliness' by setting us free 'from the bondage of sin and death'. Our responsibility, for our own good and His glory, is to pursue His will by obeying His word to the best of our ability in the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Yes, He did it all, as only He could, and now it's our part to obey and take up the cross, those of us who have His faith. By the Christ nature in us through the new birth, we live out who we are.

Paul
Paul Cohen
 
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