Church of Christ Cult

CoC Collusion: A Keeper of Secrets

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There’s a major difference between privacy and pretense. Such a distinction is even recognized in secular circles, for confidentiality has always had its limits, especially when it comes to situations that involve a criminal-level of collusion.

However, the implications are even MORE serious when it comes to spiritual issues that have eternal consequences. Jesus’ apostle’s even named names when it came to disclosing information that had eternal implications that were crucial for bringing out into the open.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love” (Prov. 27:5).

Apostle Paul openly rebuked Peter for committing the sin of dishonest dissimulation (pretending), for he was hypocritically hiding his ham sandwich, so to speak, from legalistic Jews (Gal. 2:11-21). The cause of Christ was being obscured by a cover-up scheme, so Paul exposed it for the sake of the gospel. As a result, he was “loving his neighbor as himself” by rebuking such sin before all (1 Tim. 5:20-22), so that Peter would repent and so that others would also fear committing the same sin of pretense.

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

Imagine if Peter had been self-centered (like so many today), rather than God-centered. What if he had taken personal offense at Paul’s rebuke and tried to guilt-shame him for being so “disrespectful” of his public image? Worse yet, what if Paul had acquiesced to such an accusation and become a dishonest slanderer who disregarded truth and just began to bandy-it-about casually, instead of openly rebuking sin for the purpose of honoring God and His truth?

According to Scripture, it would’ve been considered hate for his neighbor and for God (e.g., Lev. 19:16). If Paul had succumbed to such false guilt manipulation and become a false flatterer (Prov. 20:19), he would’ve probably ended up having a grudge against Peter, and may have even become vengeful against him, for he would’ve incurred the same guilt and ended up having Peter’s blood and the blood of the others on his hands for not loving them and God enough to be open and honest about the truth.

But thankfully, by God’s grace, Peter seems to have humbly accepted Paul’s brutal honesty and must have recognized it as a blessing in disguise, for Peter never seemed to be portrayed as being resentful or bitter toward Paul for calling him out publicly. In fact, he seemed to respect him more than ever after that, for Paul was being a faithful friend (Prov. 27:6). Because, thanks to God’s glorious grace, Paul did not ignore or excuse sinful behavior that directly dishonored the gospel, but was obedient to God and His Word, which he obviously knew so well, for Leviticus 19:17-18 states the following:

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Although it is honorable to withhold many personal details for the sake of privacy, it is never honorable to disregard the cause of Christ by allowing it to be blasphemed without repercussions. We are never bound by honor to disobey God. For instance, honoring dishonorable parents cannot ever mean “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness,” for one commandment cannot be kept by breaking another.

“Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies” (Psa. 40:4).

So bearing false witness by keeping up a superficial front that obscures the cause of Christ cannot ever possibly be a way to honor immediate ancestors who are involved in cultic collusion. It’s also no way to live, for such demonic oppression leads to pent-up anger, bitterness, resentment, depression and anxiety, which is all par for the course in secret keeping cults.

And personally, facing the truth about my own cultic background has been one of the most difficult challenges that I’ve had to come to terms with while sharing my testimony in Christ as honestly and as openly as possible.

For in doing so, it has not only been necessary to share some of the personal details of my own life, but it has also been necessary to reveal how my own family of origin has been deeply embedded in CoC collusion for generations. And how there were severe consequences whenever one’s cultic conditioning started to crack under pressure, including the likelihood of being over-dosed with prescription drugs when CoC cultism was combined with the belief that “psychotropic solutions” could fill the spiritual void that the CoC created.  

But despite pressure to please, perform and pretend, a God-given love for Jesus and His truth enabled me to finally face reality with authenticity, transparency and integrity, in order to expose such cultic collusion and how it has played out within the context of family, while maintaining a fair amount of discretion without compromising the truth.

Only after careful consideration, unceasing prayer and a diligent study of Scripture did I fully realize the necessity of disclosing information that was crucial for exposing just how spiritually dangerous and abusive false religion really is, so that others could be warned.

“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad” (Lk. 8:17).

God’s Word also convinced me that it would be terribly wrong to waste the sanctifying afflictions that He has allowed me to suffer through, because they were meant to be set forth as examples and warnings for others, which is clearly exemplified throughout Scripture.

At the same time, I’ve discreetly withheld many details that were not absolutely necessary, for “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). So this labor of love has been a very delicate balance to try to maintain, and I’m sure I’ve probably not done it perfectly, but the Lord knows my heart.

Only by God’s saving grace have I been able to even attempt such a feat from a place of forgiveness and understanding. And, in light of such wonderful healing and insight, the disclosure of some very painful and bitter details has always been accompanied by biblical perspectives that have also helped others to excavate the important life lessons that are meant to be gleaned from such painful experiences.

But, even so, there will be some readers who are left with a bitter taste in their mouth, because not everyone will be able to spiritually comprehend those life lessons or to clearly see and appreciate those blessed biblical perspectives, especially if they’ve not personally experienced them for themselves.

CoC’s are especially notorious for denying what Scripture actually conveys, for they don’t want to be held accountable for the eternal ramifications of teaching the exact opposite.  As a consequence, CoC captives often end up suffering under spiritual bondage, due to developing an emotional attachment to its heretical theology.

As a result, they grow so accustomed to it that they are no longer able to see things for what they really are.  So, when faced with the truth, a biased prejudice can often cause them to become neurotic in their opposition to it, for they have not been spiritually equipped to handle it. But God does not want us to worship Him in ignorance (Jn. 4:23).

For years, my grandmother kept several CoC pamphlets and booklets (the CoC’s secret creeds that they claim not to have) tucked away in her desk, which I’ve had in my possession since her death. Ironically, on the very front cover of the October 2001 issue of “The Spiritual Sword” it states: “Things Most Surely Believed,” which happens to be the Bible passage that Reformed confessions of faith also base their creedal stance upon (Lk. 1:1).

Apart from the obvious hypocrisy, this particular issue also happens to reveal the CoC’s real reasons for trying to hide and distort the truth concerning what it falsely calls Calvinism, and the undeniable, historical fact that Alexander Campbell was indeed at the headwaters of the CoC’s water gospel, for he laid the groundwork for the very first “Church of Christ.”

Campbell openly expressed his hatred against the true gospel after realizing he was not truly born again by the Spirit, so he began to hope the truth wasn’t really true. As a result, he devised his own scheme of salvation. And, like other cult leaders, he even came up with his own version of the Bible, called “The Living Oracles,” in order to further his sinister agenda.

Instead of trusting in the power of the biblical gospel, which compels undone and desperate sinners to throw themselves upon the mercy of Christ as their only hope, Campbell grew impatient, angry and down-right rebellious against God. Subsequently, he invented a short-circuited way of salvation; a salvation that bypasses all of the humbling spiritual struggles involved in waiting upon the Lord and submitting to His way of dealing with guilty sinners.  

This is why the CoC has been marked with an inbred authority structure based on Campbell’s man-centered, synergistic concept of salvation, which the Bible calls “another gospel.” It is so contrary to God’s way of salvation that He places it and those who promote it under a divine curse (Gal. 1:6-8), which puts those who are entrenched in such CoC collusion on extremely dangerous ground.

Though CoC’s fervently attempt to keep it a secret, Alexander Campbell was a prominent leader of the very Restoration Movement that has bred so many American grown cults, including Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostalism, etc., all of which initially claimed to restore “unity,” based on what was termed “the ancient gospel.” But what was actually “restored” was the Roman Catholic, sacramental concept of salvation, primarily, Baptismal Regeneration. 

Consequently, this Campbellite collusion has secretly infiltrated many towns, churches and families, under the guise of “Church of Christ” (a misnomer) for over two centuries, which explains why these “keepers of secrets” will often display an irrational revulsion to being identified as Campbellites, because such clear category distinctions expose the CoC as being a full-fledged cult. So, they’ll try to save face by falsely accusing people of “name calling” if they point out these obvious and undeniable facts.

Though the CoC denies and tries to hide its history, or at least tries to revise it, (for it claims Christ as its founder), its literature proves that the CoC still holds its true founders in high-esteem and continues to teach their peculiar doctrines, which my grandma’s CoC pamphlets clearly revealed. 

Although the CoC denies teaching baptismal regeneration, by trying to re-define it as something that only Roman Catholics do when they baptize babies, or when they ascribe saving power to the water itself. But despite its attempts to distinguish itself from Romanism, the CoC’s baptismal regeneration formula still dictates that one can only be spiritually born again through water baptism, just as Romanism does. Yet CoC’s secretly gloss over these facts. They don’t want to be “confused with the facts,” for they must deny what they have no excuse for. 

Formerly well-known as Campbellism, this counter-reformation began to hide its true identity, for many Christians, especially those who were doctrinally equipped in the reformed Baptist camp, stood strongly against this Romanist system in the 1800’s. Because they could see it for what it really was…a heretical cult. But by claiming to have no formal creeds, the CoC managed to start flying more under the radar, so that it could spread like an undetected cancer.

Because, once its false doctrines are detected, they are easily destroyed by the power of the true gospel. As it has been demonstrated repeatedly, the CoC is embarrassingly incapable of defending itself against the onslaught of biblical exegesis which brings out the original and intended meaning of Bible passages that the CoC attempts to pervert with its own special brand of eisegesis.

No wonder so many CoC operatives seem to have the audacity to think that reality should conform to whatever they dictate it to be, which is why they’ve warmed up to other secret societies that also have sinister agendas. For in their mind, whatever is unthinkable to them must not really be true.

So, either they will have to continue to exist in a vacuum of cognitive dissonance; hoping the truth isn’t really true, or they will have to come clean, stop aligning with works of darkness, repent of all their damnable heresies and confess that the CoC’s baptismal regeneration formula is a false gospel.

Or else CoC captives will invoke the same dreadful judgment upon themselves as their false prophets, for “the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him” (Ezek. 14:10). Because once the CoC’s premises have been removed (and they have been, time and time again), its entire secretive sacramental system collapses.

But sadly, it seems that CoC collusion can get so deeply embedded, especially within the context of family dynamics, that the facts no longer have any bearing on its generational patterns of deception. So, when its operatives refuse to engage with Scripture and accept the reality that it presents, it’s no wonder when they begin to lose touch with reality in other aspects of their lives as well.

“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? (Prov. 6:27-28).

Those who are involved in cultic collusions can only operate at the level they are so adapted to. But those of us whom God has given a strong sense of reality to, have been called to be peacemakers, “for the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (Jas. 3:18). Unlike CoC operatives, we’re not called to be “peacekeepers” who secretly keep peace with evil where there is no peace (Isa. 48:22, Jer. 8:11, Mt. 5:9).

Instead, we carry the message that corresponds to reality, for Jesus laid down His life to make peace between God and sinners. For, “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (Jas. 3:17). So that sinful CoC secrets do not have to be swept under the rug but can be openly acknowledged and brought to the forefront by the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only then can cultic sin cycles finally be broken, forgiven and healed, so that biblical generational patterns can be established.

If it’s possible, as far as it depends on us, we, as born-again believers, are called to pursue peace with all others (Rom. 12:18). But not everyone will cooperate, for there are those who have bitter envy and strife in their hearts, which is why they lie against the truth (Jas. 3: 14-16).

In such sad cases, we forgive them on a personal level, yet not to the detriment of truth by allowing them to continue in a sinful pattern of behavior toward us and the gospel, for they are still accountable to God for unrepentant sin (Jn. 20:23, 2 Tim. 4:14-15, Rev. 6:10).   

Even in 3 John vv. 9-11 we find a biblical distinction between forgiving and forgetting, because forgiveness brings us freedom, NOT a mindless enslavement to ongoing trauma. The natural outworking of true honor toward a cultic family is a life of peace and joy in the Lord, NOT a life of blindly subjecting ourselves to their spiritual abuse.

…”he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (Prov. 13:18).

Honor does not mean compulsively subjecting oneself to sinful and toxic behavior or excusing it for the sake of “peace.” Honor does not mean blind obedience, pleasing or pretending. Honor also doesn’t mean having inordinate affections toward cultists by rescuing, enabling, excusing or hiding their cultic collusions. Such attempts at playing god would be idolatry, and God will not share His position with anyone or anything (Col. 3:5).

So, they must be allowed to incur the natural consequences of their cultic collusion (1 Cor. 5:5), in hopes that God will rescue them and restore their sanity. Only then can they learn to depend solely upon Him, rather than a wrongful reliance upon the CoC’s all-too-familiar-abuse-by-proxy, shaming and false guilt-manipulation tactics against those who reprove their heresies; those who refuse to blindly submit to heretical CoC cultism.

The Pharisees used the same cultic tactics against Jesus. So, in order for Christians to endure such persecution we must follow Jesus’ example, for He “despised the shame” that false accusers tried to place upon Him, for He was focused upon the joy that was set before Him (Heb. 12:2).  Hallelujah!!!!

True honor does not mean keeping up a façade of enshrining a false family image, for that would also be idolatry and bearing false witness. Therefore, any relationships with CoC family must be based upon honesty, mutual respect, repentance and their acceptance of responsibility for any level of involvement in cultic collusions.

Whereas, if they maintain a position of excusing themselves and being deceitfully divisive, defensive, dishonest slanderers and gossips that are hostile toward the gospel, then a separation is in order (Titus 3:10).

Such biblical boundaries encourage them to be honorable by not allowing them the opportunity to replicate the same sinful CoC patterns of spiritual abuse. We can honor them without being compelled to accept their cultism or to remain in ongoing close relationships with them, especially when extremely abusive and horrific circumstances may limit and rule out certain ways of showing them honor.

In such cases, we can honor them by trying to help them to grasp God’s time-honored truth by modeling what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. For He commands our complete consecration to Himself and an alienation of affection toward anyone or anything that would restrain or hinder us from following Him in truth, for He plainly stated:

“If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk. 14:26).

Copyright©2022 by Lee Anne Ferguson

The Thief on the Cross

Dedicated to the Memory of My Beloved Grandmother

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Personal note: If only I could’ve presented the sum of all this to my CoC grandmother before she died. But it was not meant to be. Yet thanks to the testimony of the penitent thief, I still hold out hope that my grandma may have been saved. After all, I had sowed many seeds of the gospel in her life that may have even sprung up at the last minute. Only God knows. So I dedicate this article to her memory, for I loved her so very much, and today would’ve been her birthday. And who knows, maybe someone else’s grandmother is meant to come to Christ after reading this. I commit it all into God’s hands. May He be gracious to pardon this author and preserve the reader from anything that would not be solely for the honor of His glory.

THE PENITENT THIEF: A POWERFUL TESTIMONY OF GOD’S GRACE

The CoC is notorious for dishonestly claiming to have no creeds, while hypocritically condemning Christian confessions of faith that have been passed down for centuries, which even have Scriptures to back them up. This means that CoC’s are inadvertently condemning Luke, for he spoke of Christians setting in order declarations of faith that state the things most surely believed among them (Lk. 1:1-4).

So, CoC’s are obviously trying to be silent where Scripture speaks (Acts 19:36). But they boast that they are silent where Scripture is silent, and yet, they cannot even produce one biblical piece of evidence that says one is justified by water baptism! Still, they falsely teach that one must obey their water gospel once one has reached the mystical “age of accountability.”

Yet, the CoC is going to have a REAL problem trying to explain why Jesus Himself was not water baptized until He was in His thirties!! That fact alone indicates that water baptism is only part of our discipleship and ongoing sanctification, NOT a part of justification and the gospel itself.  Thankfully, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Jesus was faithfully obedient to His heavenly Father before He was ever water baptized, and we’re to follow His example.

But the CoC labors to instill legalistic fear, by repeatedly hammering it into people that they will go to Hell if they don’t believe in its Pharisaical formula for salvation that requires the external availability of water and a CoC mediator.  So anyone who believes the true gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, will be cruelly ostracized and demonized by the CoC and its staunch defenders who can no longer think for themselves.

Unfortunately, the cults are full of emotionally and spiritually immature people who have never been truly born again by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. This is why so many of them want to be controlled and told what to “do” to get themselves saved, for they have no internal substance.

So whenever they encounter a true Spirit-guided faith in Christ, it is such a shock to their system that they become bound and determined to try to destroy that faith wherever they find it. Their CoC conditioning causes them to tolerate and enable those who are on the same surface-level as themselves, no matter how wicked. But free and faithful followers of Christ pose too much of a threat to their false support system, so they will be shunned and/or scourged in their presence (Mt. 10:17).

And sadly, this is one reason why CoC’s have always bent over backwards to try to underhandedly debunk and undermine the common salvation that all true believers have with the penitent thief on the cross. No wonder they mercilessly make up things about us that aren’t true, for their heretical movement has been doing that to the penitent thief for centuries!

Because God has graciously provided us with his testimony, which happens to be a glaring witness against all of the destructive heresies that the CoC heavily indoctrinates its captives into. It especially testifies against the CoC’s re-packaged version of baptismal regeneration.

To further prove this point, it’s finally time to go even deeper and re-examine the CoC’s dispensational heresy concerning the penitent thief. This overwhelming task has not been taken on lightly. After much prayer, many sleepless nights and decade’s worth of intense Bible study, it seems to be God’s timing to finally bring the CoC to the plumb line once and for all.

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:1-2).

So dear reader, you may want to brace yourself for this long, but well-worth-it journey into God’s Word, for He has “laid it on the line” when it comes to the CoC and other cults like it! For His righteousness is being exalted, and self-righteousness is being plummeted, as the plumb line of God’s Word dismantles and overflows the CoC’s hidden things of dishonesty.

“Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place” (Isa. 28:17).

Here goes:

Just to recap:  Although the penitent thief was saved in EXACTLY the same way that every sinner has EVER been saved, CoC’s deceptively claim (or at least until they’re exposed) that he was saved without being baptized ONLY because he was still under the Mosaic Dispensation. But God’s Word plainly reveals the EXACT opposite, for the thief died AFTER Jesus.  

As I’ve pointed out before, Scripture discloses that the two thieves had their legs broken in order to speed up death, but NOT Jesus, for He had already died (Jn. 19:31-33)! So the thief on the cross was NOT still under the Mosaic dispensation right before he died. Jesus died BEFORE the thief, so the New Covenant was immediately in force upon the thief BEFORE he died!

“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth” (Mt. 26:28, Heb. 9:16-17).

And when confronted with the fact that Jesus Himself never water baptized anyone (because His main focus was THE GOSPEL) the CoC makes the excuse that it was because Jesus hadn’t died yet, for they point out that one must be baptized “into His death” (Jn. 4:1-2, Rom. 6:3). At first glance, that may seem plausible, but such a biblically illiterate evasion can hold absolutely no water (pun intended). 

For one, the CoC is still cornered by the fact that Jesus died BEFORE the penitent thief on the cross, and yet, the thief was STILL not required to be water baptized symbolically “into His death” before he could be saved!  Because a symbol cannot literally effect what it signifies. When one is truly saved they have been baptized by the Spirit, into the body of Christ. Water baptism is a ritual re-enactment of Holy Spirit regeneration (1 Cor. 12:13, Titus 3:5).

These revealed truths are just a few of the reasons why so many CoC’s are floundering to come up with new sophistry. Even to the point that they are entering into ecumenical alliances, for they are losing more and more ground every single day.  So whenever their dispensational heresy is biblically and publicly exposed and annihilated, they will then flip-flop all over the place by saying things like…..“Oh, well, we’re not that big on dispensationalism anyway.” 

Seriously? No repentance for deceiving the masses for centuries?  No confession of sin? No humility or remorse whatsoever? Why??  Because, that’s how cults operate. For instance, the Jehovah’s Witnesses (which sprouted from the same “restoration” movement) continue to pull the same deceptive wool over their follower’s eyes today, rather than humbly repenting of all their failed prophecies and heresies that have ruined so many lives and eternal souls.

So, like their heretical counterparts, when CoC’s are confronted with the truth, they will attempt another route to deceive, by saying something along the lines of…. “Well, Jesus had authority to forgive sins THEN, because He was still on earth. So no one today can be saved like the thief on the cross.”  REALLY?!

Does the CoC truly believe that Jesus could ONLY forgive sins while He was physically on earth? Because that would imply that Jesus no longer has the ability and authority to forgive sins today! And that is such a terrible contradiction of Scripture. Jesus is God and still has pre-eminence in ALL things, and He is alive forevermore (e.g. Col. 1:18; 1 Jn. 1:9).

Jesus wasn’t incarnate in the Old Testament, and yet, He was STILL forgiving sins even then (e.g., Num. 14:18-20). Or do CoC’s NOT believe that Jesus is God? Because that is what their doctrine implies. OF COURSE Jesus had the power to forgive sins on earth during His incarnation, and even BEFORE His incarnation, and even BEFORE His actual atonement, and He STILL has the power to forgive sins today, apart from men’s works and their so-called “freewill” authorization.

Because, Jesus’ atonement was timeless. It was a spiritual reality before it even became a physical reality in time. God knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). His eternal existence transcends time, so He is NOT limited by it! Even from everlasting to everlasting, He is God (Ps. 90:2). In eternity past, the Lamb of God was already considered slain, even before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). So the atonement covered the entire realm of time itself; past, present and future (Heb. 4:3).  

Therefore, even though Jesus forgave sins before His physical sacrifice occurred, that forgiveness was STILL based on His atoning sacrifice, which was grounded upon the eternal decree of God! And since He is Infinite, He suffered an infinity on that cross that cannot be measured by time, for God is eternal, which means there is absolutely no way that our feeble finite minds could ever comprehend the torture He went through for His own.  What unimaginable, indescribable LOVE!!!! 

“Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (Jn. 13:1).

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). So, the gospel has also always been the same, for He is the very substance of the gospel (Psa. 119:89). The timeless nature of the atonement proves that its saving benefits have never depended upon the time of its accomplishment. The propitiatory sacrifice of Christ was once for all time (Heb. 10:10, 12).

Therefore, all Old Testament saints essentially experienced the same New Covenant blessings, revealed vaguely in types and shadows, in virtue of the eternity of the cross and their eternal union with Christ (e.g., Deut. 30:6, Psa. 103:1-14, 130:4, Isa. 38:17, Micah 7:18-20, Jn. 3:3).

Even when the gospel call goes out within the realm of time, it is always presented as an already accomplished fact. When Paul said “Be ye reconciled to God,” he was outwardly calling for sinners to “enter into” the blessed benefits of the reconciliation that God has accomplished, in His Son, to save sinners (Jn. 10:9, 2 Cor. 5:20, Rom. 5:10, Col. 1:22). Because Paul had faith in God’s promises that there would be some who would be irresistibly prompted by the effectual inward call of the Holy Spirit, to respond in faith and repentance (e.g., Isa. 53:10, Jn. 6:37, 10:27).

Even in the Old Testament, sins could only be forgiven based upon the foundation of what the Savior accomplished on the cross in fulfillment of the everlasting Covenant. Therefore, O.T. saints were looking to Yahweh (the pre-incarnate Christ) for their salvation, just as believers today are looking to the SAME SAVIOR, for the SAME SALVATION.

Paul quotes Joel 2:32 in Rom. 10:13, which reveals that Yahweh (or Jehovah) in the O.T. WAS the pre-incarnate Christ!  After all, didn’t Adam and Eve walk and talk with Him in the Garden (Gen. 3:1-15)? Wasn’t Abraham in communion with Him also (Gen. 18:13, 17-33, Jn. 8:58)? Didn’t Jacob wrestle with the pre-incarnate Christ for a blessing (Gen. 32:24)?

No wonder Hebrews 1:8-12 also applies Psalm 102:25-27 to Jesus! The O.T. saints were always looking for a fuller manifestation of God’s revelation, as they spoke of Christ “by the Spirit of Christ which was in them” (1 Pet. 1:9-11). Because Old Testament saints were saved by the God Who gave them the Old Covenant, but they were NOT saved by the Old Covenant! They were saved by the same God, with the same salvation that believers have today.

The superiority of the New Covenant is that God’s people can now have a fuller assurance of salvation, for a new and living way of revelation has been more abundantly opened to them, because the O.T. types and shadows have now been fulfilled, in the realm of time, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:1). As a result, they can now have a fuller view of the gospel, but it is essentially the same gospel!

However, to try to escape the clear force of Scripture, the CoC deceitfully claims that its so-called “terms” for salvation were not enforced until after Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Spirit’s outpouring at Pentecost. Hence, the CoC’s obsession with Acts 2:38.

But, according to Scripture, Jesus’ blood of the Covenant was “poured out” for the remission of sins, in the realm of time… AT THE CROSS!... NOT at Pentecost!! (Lk. 22:19-20, Mt. 26:28, Rom. 11:27, Heb. 9:22)

“Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Heb. 10:18).

Jesus’ blood was no longer being poured out for the forgiveness of sins after His resurrection!! Despite the CoC’s dishonest claims, there were absolutely no further “terms” to be fulfilled on “our part” for the remission of sins in order to make His work effectual, for Jesus said, while still on the cross, “It is finished.” Because salvation is NOT about what we do but is about what He has done.

How else could He have been resurrected? For the resurrection itself was PROOF that God the Father had ALREADY accepted His Substitutionary Atonement as “the blood of the everlasting Covenant” (Heb. 13:20). Jesus’ blood had already effectually sealed and fulfilled the terms of the New Covenant, in the realm of time, in order to “save His people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).

“For this is My covenant unto them, WHEN I shall take away their sins” (Rom. 11:27).

So again, exactly WHEN did this occur in the realm of time? According to Scripture, it occurred at the time of HIS DEATH! (e.g. Heb. 9:26)…. NOT AT PENTECOST!!  

How else could the official discharge of the Holy Spirit’s work be ushered into public ministry at Pentecost? For the assignment of the Spirit’s outpouring in Acts was grounded upon the already enforced terms of the Everlasting Covenant of grace, sealed by Jesus’ blood, so that the Spirit could then apply the benefits of those terms, in a unique and special way, to all whom the Lord would add to the church (Acts 2:47).

In this sense, all of the Holy Spirit’s operations today are in subordination to what Jesus has already executed/enforced/put into operation (i.e., John 16:13, Joel 2:11, Acts 2:16). Christ’s ministry to His disciples in the upper room, before His crucifixion (Lk. 22:11-12), and their further receiving of the Holy Spirit after His resurrection (Jn. 20:22), preceded the commencement of the Spirit’s work in the upper room at Pentecost.

Such perfect parallels not only reveal a conjoined mission in the Godhead, but they also reveal a difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for salvation, and the filling of the Holy Spirit for greater evangelistic empowerment (Also see: Num. 11:25, Mt. 3:16, Lk. 1:15; 24:49, Acts 1:8; 5:8; 6:5-8; 7:55-56).

But, the CoC would deceptively have us to believe that the filling of the Holy Spirit, in the book of Acts, was a saving operation that had never occurred before. However, the same group of already saved disciples in Acts 2:1-4, were again filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 4:31. Therefore, we must ask CoC’s: Were those saved disciples in Acts 2:1-4, saved again in Acts 4:31? Furthermore, we must ask them: Was the Apostle Peter saved again in Acts 4:8?

Contrary to the CoC’s false doctrines, the Holy Spirit permanently indwelt and sealed believers who were alive during the Mosaic dispensation, even before they were ever filled with the Holy Spirit” during the new dispensation (Acts 2:4, 32-33; 4:31; 6:5, 8; 7:55, 56). Or else they couldn’t have ever been saved (e.g., Lk. 10:20, Jn. 15:13; 17:14). No wonder Paul commanded those who were ALREADY SAVED to then be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18-19).

The permanent regeneration, indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit has ALWAYS been essential to salvation (e.g. Jer. 31:31-34, Ezek. 36: 26, 27, Jn. 3:3, Rom. 8:9-11, 1 Cor. 2:10-16). Just because the Spirit’s outpouring in Acts was a unique and special gift to believers, doesn’t mean that it was a new way of being saved, as the CoC would so deceptively have us to believe (Acts 15:8).

For instance, John wasn’t referring to the saving operations of the Spirit when he said, “the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified,” because Jesus’ disciples were already saved. Besides, the word “given” is not even in the original Greek (Jn. 7:39). So, John was obviously referring to the Spirit’s special outpouring, or else no Old Testament saints could have ever been saved, because no one can be saved apart from the saving operations of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Scripture interprets Scripture.

In direct opposition to the CoC’s false doctrines, believers in every age have ALWAYS been permanently indwelt, sealed and regenerated by the Holy Spirit (e.g., Deut. 30:6, Lk. 1:15, 41, Jn. 3:10). Or else no one could have ever been saved, or filled with the Holy Spirit afterwards.

This alone reveals that the CoC is in grave error when it teaches a conditional and temporary indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers. It also reveals that the CoC is deceiving people when it leads them to believe that the Holy Spirit had never indwelled, sealed and regenerated believers before Pentecost, for Scripture proves otherwise.

Think about it:

Even O.T. observance of the law was derived from the righteousness of faith. When Paul referenced Deuteronomy 30:12 in Romans 10:6, he clearly connected the true purpose of the law with the gospel of God’s promise of free righteousness by faith, because the impossible demands of the law has ALWAYS been meant to reveal our desperate need to be spiritually regenerated by God’s mercy and grace.

For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16).

Both Paul and Moses declared the gospel by placing the pardon of sins in God’s free promise of divine grace alone, which is why they both preached repentance and faith.

Now dear reader, please also prayerfully think this through:

The Old Covenant was established AND enforced on Mt. Sinai by the giving of the Law through Moses. The exact reverse parallel was demonstrated when the New Covenant was established AND enforced on Mt. Calvary by the giving of a fuller revelation of God’s grace through Jesus Christ! The providential parallels are astoundingly undeniable!!

“He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second” (Heb. 10:9).

For even MORE evidence, please read the following verses:

“Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Mt. 27:50-51, Mk. 15:38, Lk. 23:45).

The tearing of the veil, at the moment of Jesus’ death, indicated that His sacrifice was a definite, complete and effectual atonement for sins. It signified that “the Holy of Holies” was open for all of His people, for all time, both Jew and Gentile.

They have access through faith into this grace (Rom. 5:2). For Jesus is the object of their faith, because He ALONE (apart from our own works)… is the way through the veil (Ex. 26:31-33, Jn. 14:6, Heb. 6:13-20; 9:1-28). Even the observance of God’s perfect standard of righteousness springs from faith in Christ alone, for faith alone has ALWAYS been the only way to “enter into” God’s promises.  

Jesus’ death inaugurated and ratified the restoration of “all things” (i.e., Mt. 17:11-12; 3:1-15; 20:28; 26:28, Phil. 3:9). And this was confirmed by the fact that the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, to reveal that the Old Covenant was completely eradicated and no longer in force (Mt. 27:51), for its types and shadows were fulfilled in Christ.  

The torn veil revealed permanent and unparalleled access to God the Father through Jesus Christ.  All spiritual barriers to a fuller revelation of God’s grace were immediately REMOVED, and a believer’s free access to God by grace, through faith, was immediately REVEALED by the death of Christ.

It was a dramatic illustration that the Mosaic dispensation was completely done away with and that the New Covenant was everlastingly established in its place, so that believers could have a fuller assurance and “confidence to enter the holy places” by the blood of Jesus, Who is the “new and living way” through the veil, His flesh, without the burdensome animal sacrifices that had only foreshadowed the reality (Heb.10:20-22).

The legal transaction was FINISHED and revealed publicly AT HIS DEATH. Therefore, the CoC’s so-called “terms” of the New Covenant were NOT awaiting “enforcement” at Pentecost, as the CoC so blasphemously claims.  Jesus had already “enforced the terms” of the New Covenant AT THE CROSS!  And those “terms” did NOT include water baptism for salvation!

The torn veil further reinforced the fact that the “terms” of the New Covenant were immediately in force, and that the “terms” of the Old Covenant were immediately obsolete (Heb. 8:13), for Jesus fulfilled all that had previously been prefigured in types and shadows. It also revealed that God was done with the visible temple and its religious system, for it was left “desolate” and was finished off by the Romans in A.D. 70, just as Jesus prophesied (Lk.13:35; 19:41-44; Mt. 24:15-28).

Through HIS DEATH, Jesus removed all spiritual barriers, for all time, between God and men (Heb. 7:27; 9:15).  Only then did the way into the most holy place become fully manifest (Rom. 16:25-26, Eph. 3:9-12, Col. 1:26, Heb. 9:8). Just as the old gospel hymn proclaims, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”….which is why …. “My anchor holds within the veil.”

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Heb. 6:19).

Because the blood that Jesus shed was the blood of the everlasting Covenant! According to Scripture, even Jesus’ resurrection was only possible because it was founded upon the very Covenant that He sealed with His very own blood.  For we read the following….

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant” (Heb. 13:20-21, underlining mine).

But CoC operatives seem to have a very low reading comprehension when it comes to Scripture.  Even when faced with indisputable evidence, they continue their charade when they try to utilize 1 Corinthians 15:17 to prove their false claim that the CoCs water gospel and its so-called “terms” didn’t come into force until after Jesus’ resurrection.

Are CoC’s REALLY that clueless? For one, the thief on the cross was NOT required to acknowledge Jesus’ actual resurrection, for it had NOT even occurred yet!! But he was STILL blessed with the benefits of God’s Covenant of grace, for the “law of Christ” had been written on his heart (Psa. 37:31; 40:8, Gal. 6:2).

Are CoC’s REALLY willing to dismiss the fact that Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, has ALWAYS been the very HEART of the gospel (1 Cor. 2:2)?? For that’s EXACTLY what their false doctrines entail!

Are CoC’s REALLY willing to be consistent with their false doctrines, which imply that all of the Old Testament saints died in their sins due to Christ not yet being incarnate, sacrificed and resurrected? LET’S HOPE NOT!! Because Jesus’ resurrection actually proved that God discharged ALL of the sins that He bore for ALL of His people (past, present and future).

Yet, in order to double down on their false gospel, CoC’s ignore the eternity of the cross and attempt to hide Old Testament pointers to faith in Christ alone, for they PROVE that the thief on the cross was saved in exactly the same way that every sinner has ever been saved, including all O.T. saints who were also saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Messiah ALONE.

But CoC’s “suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” by trying to explain away the fact that the true gospel was preached long BEFORE Pentecost.  For example, New Testament passages, such as Acts 8: 32-35, referred to THE GOSPEL in the Old Testament. Romans 3:29-30 referred to THE GOSPEL in the O.T. Also, Galatians 3:6-8 referred to THE GOSPEL in the O.T. And Hebrews 4:2; 9:15; 10:1-4 referred to THE GOSPEL in the O.T., etc., etc.  How much clearer can it be?!

“There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

God’s people have ALWAYS been justified by faith in Jesus alone. Abel was killed by his jealous brother Cain, because his righteous works were the result of his faith in the promised Seed (Gen. 3:15, Heb. 11:4, 1 Jn. 3:12). Old Simeon, the woman at the well and all of God’s people had faith in the Messiah (Lk. 2:34, Jn. 4:25, 1 Tim. 3:16). Abraham seen His day and rejoiced (Jn. 8:56, Gal.3:8, 16). Moses believed in the pre-incarnate Christ (Ex. 3:3-6, 14).

By faith, Daniel declared the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for Himself” (Dan. 9:26). And David urged all to believe in the Son of God (Psa. 2:11, 12), for he knew that O.T. sacrifices were only pointers to a fuller revelation of God’s love and mercy in Christ (Psa. 40:6; 51:18-19). Compare Psalm 40 to Hebrew 10 for further confirmation. Agur even revealed that he knew the Son of God (Prov. 30:4). By faith, Isaiah also foreseen the coming glory of the Messiah (Isa. 12:41; 45:22), which was reiterated in John 12:32-41.

Even Hebrews 11:13, 39-40 proves that all of the O.T. saints never received the promises of God based upon any other way of salvation other than by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, just as God’s people do today, who ALL have the SAME eternal inheritance and share in the SAME saving grace that He bestowed upon Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David and every other prophet, patriarch and godly king in the O.T. 

The only difference is that we now have even STRONGER consolation during this present reign of Christ and His kingdom, which is why God encourages us to overcome obstacles just as effectively as the O.T. saints did, and even more so, due to the fact that we have an even firmer foundation for belief than they did, because all of God’s promises have finally been fully manifested in Jesus Christ (e.g., Hebrews 11:40 and 12:23).

Yet, the CoC teaches another way of salvation, a different gospel, which blasphemously implies that there’s more than one God. But, in Romans 3:29-30, Apostle Paul made it clear that since there is only one God, there has always been only one way of salvation, and that is by God’s grace, through faith. Paul even confirmed this in Romans 4 where he reveals how Abraham was justified by faith BEFORE the Law was given, and how David was justified by faith AFTER the Law was given.

If only CoC’s could follow Apostle Paul’s example, for he publicly renounced his former Pharisee-ism when he submitted to Christian baptism, which comforted those believers who had been fleeing his previous persecutions, for he publicly confirmed his conversion through the ritual that represented it.

Having already been justified by faith alone BEFORE GOD, Paul was then justified BEFORE MEN, when he demonstrated his God-given faith by his works (Jas. 2:17-26). 

After that, Paul went forth preaching the gospel of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus, with absolutely NO mention of water baptism being a part of that gospel (i.e., Acts 20:21, 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Because baptism is NOT a part of gospel preaching!  

Instead, water baptism is part of the sanctification and discipleship of Jesus’ called out ones” (the elect, His church, His body, His scattered sheep), who obey the gospel… by coming to Christ through saving faith!! They are “grafted into Christ” by the Holy Spirit, through faith alone (Rom. 11:17-20).

There are other examples given to us in the Old Testament that foreshadowed how God’s people, His church, has ALWAYS been “engrafted into Christ” by faith. For instance, Rahab, a Gentile harlot in the O.T., is even highly commended in the “hall of faith” (Heb. 11:31). Her son Boaz also married a Gentile named Ruth, and because of her God-given faith, she gave up her entire family and culture to serve God and His people (Ruth 1:16). And these three are all honorably mentioned in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Mt. 1:5).

The mystery of the gospel was there all along (e.g., Col. 1:26, Eph. 3)!! No wonder Paul often quoted Old Testament prophets when he spoke of justification by faith (i.e., Acts 17:3, Hab. 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Rom. 4:6-8, Joel 2:32, Rom. 10:12-13, 2 Tim. 3:15, 1 Cor. 15:3). Peter even quoted an O.T. prophet in Acts 2:31, who had spoken of Christ, the object of that faith whereby one is justified.  For Jesus Christ is the central focus of ALL the Scriptures!

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Lk.24:27).

Job spoke of his faith in the Redeemer (Job 19:25:26). Micah prophesied of Jesus’ birth (Mic. 5:2). Zechariah spoke of Him when he said a fountain would be opened for sin and uncleanness (Zech. 13:1). Enoch spoke of Jesus when he prophesied that He was coming with thousands upon thousands of His saints (Jude 14). Moses chose the reproach of Christ over the riches of Egypt (Heb. 11:26).

All the Old Testament saints drank from the same spiritual Rock, “and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:3-4). For all works of the law pointed to Christ, Whom they were to believe in. Even now, the law (which extends to all works) points to Christ, Whom we are to have faith in. For God’s people have ALWAYS been justified by faith, NOT by works (i.e., Rom. 11:6, Gal. 2:16).

And Jesus severely rebukes any who will refuse to believe what the O.T. prophets spoke concerning Him (Lk. 24-25; 24:44-47, Jn. 5:39). So this puts the CoC and its heretical agents on EXTREMELY dangerous ground, for its false doctrines are an out-and-out denial of what those prophets spoke of!!

Only in Christ Jesus do we have the key of knowledge that unlocks all of the Old Testament types and shadows, which happens to be the very key that all Pharisees, in every generation, have always tried so hard to keep hidden under loads of legalistic luggage (Lk. 11:51-53).

But despite their dishonest deceptions, Jesus fulfilled all righteousness on behalf of His people (past, present and future), which irrefutably proves that the penitent thief on the cross was saved in EXACTLY the same way that EVERY sinner (past, present and future) has EVER been saved.  And that was by saving faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by his own works.

He didn’t have to be told by cult leaders what to “do” to get himself saved (1 Jn. 2:26-27), because his heavenly Father drew him, with cords of love, to Jesus (Hos. 11:4, Jn. 6:44), Who spiritually revealed Himself to the heart and mind of that thief, while the Holy Spirit applied to him all of the blessed benefits of the Covenant of grace, which Jesus procured for him, so that he was able to spiritually apprehend Jesus by faith.

What a beautiful testimony of God’s grace that completely destroys all of the CoC’s damnable heresies! May all glory be to God alone!! For He sets the captives free!!!!

Copyright © 2022 by Lee Anne Ferguson