Below is a writing that was posted to an email forum that I was part of back in 2005. This initial post and the reply that I was granted to give at the time was recently brought back to my attention. Reading it again, I thought that it might be of benefit to others so I hope that it will prove to be a blessing to the reader. If you have any questions,please don’t hesitate to ask. I have removed the name of the initial poster for a couple of reasons. It was quite a while ago that it was originally posted and I have not ventured to ask the poster’s permission to use their name.
In hope,Tom 11/07/19
P.S.,this initial post was in response to an article on Assurance of salvation by Bill Parker and had been on the web since 1998 at www.rofgrace.com/assurance.html
In this article, Parker teaches that,
Here are each of the quotes in full,
“No true believer has perfect assurance to the point that he never doubts, but he needs to look upon such doubt in the same way as we would view any other sin. It is sin, not humility, and we should not promote it. We should discourage and seek relief from it by studying and applying God’s Word to our lives.”
“Believers may and many times do have doubts, but these doubts are to be viewed as we would view any other sin, such as adultery or lying. These are things we should not promote, and doubts are not to be promoted as humility. We are to look upon such doubts as sinful unbelief, and we are to seek the remedy which is -- Hebrews 12:2 -- Looking unto Jesus ...”
My response --> Parker promotes the Satanic Lie that someone can believe the gospel, and not know they are a believer. In reply, I challenge him and every other doubter on the face of the earth to show me a SINGLE believer in the Bible -- Paul, John, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, etc etc -- doubting their salvation. You will not find one. Why? Because they DID NOT CALL GOD A LIAR. God has declared that “everyone believing in this One IS JUSTIFIED”, “IS born of God”, “HAS everlasting life”, and “will NOT come into Judgment”.
And God does not leave His promises unknown to believers. The Apostle John says, “The one believing in the Son of God has the witness IN HIMSELF.” And what is the witness? “And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life...” Furthermore, Christ says, that “the one receiving His testimony has SEALED that God is true” and that “whoever may drink of the water which I will give him will not thirst, NEVER! But the water which I will give to him will become a fountain of water in him, springing up into everlasting life.”
From these passages it is clear that ALL believers have the WITNESS that THEY have everlasting life. How could a man have “the witness in himself ... that God has given us everlasting life” and DOUBT that he is saved??
We also see from those passages the unchanging and continual nature of the infallible assurance of the believer. He will NEVER thirst. And Christ is emphatic about this -- He uses the illustration of a fountain of water -- which in everyday life run continuously (unless they dry up: and who will dare say the Holy Spirit’s witness “dries up”).
Those passages give a quick summary of the PERPETUAL nature of the believer’s infallible assurance.
Now, here are some passages that describe the spiritual state of doubters. James wrote, “For the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, being driven by wind and being tossed; for do NOT let that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” John testified that, “The one not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son.” And Paul asks, “do you not yourselves perceive that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?”
I mentioned earlier that all believers have “the witness in himself ... that God has given us everlasting life”. So what about those who doubt they have everlasting life (the witness)? They are calling God a liar. As Paul said, they cannot perceive Christ in them, so they are DISAPPROVED (i.e., lost). Elsewhere, James stated that doubters can expect nothing from God. And since salvation is something from God, can they expect that? No. They do not have the witness, the witness is the Holy Spirit testifying to the Word, and those without the Holy Spirit are lost. Interestingly, Parker does say that “we are to look upon such doubts as sinful unbelief”. Here he is ADMITTING that he calls God a liar. “The one not believing God” -- i.e., with unbelief in God’s witness -- “has made Him a liar”.
But before you think, “Oh Parker’s just another person who thinks believers can doubt their salvation”, READ ON. If Parker is right, and believers can doubt their salvation, then it doesn’t stop there. You can expect MORE DAMNABLE HERESIES. First of all, let’s see that Parker’s position actually teaches that believers can perform “dead works, fruit unto death.” He writes, “...assurance of salvation based on the right ground is the only right motive for acceptable obedience, good works, fruit unto God. Without assurance of salvation based on the right ground, all obedience is legal and mercenary, dead works, fruit unto death. ”
My response --> If a believer can doubt their salvation for a moment, then they will be doing “dead works, fruit unto death” (Parker’s own words).
But elsewhere, Bill Parker says that it’s the lost religionists who bring forth “dead works”!!
“A person who is a legalist, no matter what else they claim, is a lost person. All they promote is dead works and fruit unto death.” (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/9170/PARKER1.HTM)
In fact, a question Parker asks unbelievers is, “Have you repented from dead works and idolatry?” (http://www.rofgrace.com/art18.html )
Well, I can ask Parker EXACTLY the same question, since he admits that he is an idolater and a bringing forth fruit unto death.
And as a final note -- didn’t Parker’s teaching play out in history!! In 2001-2002 Parker started speaking peace to Mark McCulley, who was teaching “There is nothing that is repented of upon conversion that is never repented of again (i.e., a Christian continues to bring forth dead works and fruit unto death and continues to be an open idolater and a believer in a false gospel, and needs to continually repent of these things).” ( http://www.outsidethecamp.org/noprcsgceagc.htm)
It is a very sad time when we find out that the churches that we thought were solid have compromised the truth. And it is especially incumbent upon those of us who ...
On the other hand, “Happy is he that condemns not himself in that which he allows”.
Full assurance is the privilege of every believer.
You speak with the knowledge of Job’s friends and you make belief out to be an idol!
I do not endorse Mr. Parker in the least, and I want to make that known in the beginning. But I agree that “No true believer has perfect assurance to the point that he never doubts…” If you can truly say that you have no doubts whatsoever, then you obviously have mastered your flesh! And yet, scripture makes it abundantly clear that “that which is born flesh is flesh and that which is born spirit is spirit.” This flesh of ours will ALWAYS be flesh and we shall never master it until the Lord gives us a new body in glory.
The first verse you bring up, is 1 John 5:10 – “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:..” Notice the difference than what you quoted. You quote “believe IN” which is a lot different than to “believe ON”. The child of grace is granted belief ON the Son, but even the devils believe IN the Son. Then the next verse read: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” When you quoted this verse you used the word “witness” instead of “record.” There is a big difference here as well. This record mentioned goes back before the foundation of the world and is in reference to Christ’s eternal seed or better known as Eternal Vital Unity of the Son and His people. Christ’s people were chosen in Him from all eternity.
Enough of the little side-track that I got on. Now to your main point. It is quite amazing that you talk of “assurance” and yet the word is only used 5 times in the New Testament (Acts 17:31; Col. 2:2; 1 Thess. 1:5; Heb. 6:11 & Heb. 10:22). None of them speak of man having full assurance that he/she is a child of God. They speak of “assurance of understanding”, “he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him (Christ) from the dead”, “gospel came … in much (not full) assurance”, “full assurance of faith” and “full assurance of hope”. And yet there are 53 times that the word “hope” is used. And one of them is one of the verses above. Let me quote it: “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:” And in Titus 1:2 it says: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”. Paul continues that thought a little later on in the same letter: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (3:4-7)
The true believer has a HOPE of eternal life that the Lord has given him. Yes, at times he sees glimpses of that assurance that you are talking about, but they are few and far between. You talk of assurance and make no mention of HOPE, but what saith the Scriptures? “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit (not the flesh), that we are the children of God: And if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (the flesh) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature (the flesh) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subject the same in hope. Because the creature (the flesh) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:16-21) The Spirit (of God) beareth witness with the spirit (new man) of His children that they are heirs of God. Notice that nowhere does it say that we get that revelation in our flesh (old man). The New Man rejoices in the fact that he/she is an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ, but the Old Man is constantly battling it.
Continuing on in the same letter and chapter, we read: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” If you are correct and the true believer is to have complete “assurance” then where does HOPE fit in? It doesn’t! In fact, this verse clearly states that hope that is seen, which would be assurance, is no longer hope. So, I guess that means that this verse just really doesn’t belong. What was Paul thinking in writing it?
Going back to the first letter of John the apostle. I wanted to bring up another verse. But first, I just wanted to remind you of what you said in your letter. In your third paragraph you say: “God has declared that “everyone believing in this One IS JUSTIFIED”, “IS born of God”, “HAS everlasting life”, and “will NOT come into Judgment.” Because of your arguments here, you believe that the if a believer doubts, then he is not a true believer, correct? Do you sin? Do you commit sin? The reason I ask, is because of what John says in verse 18: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” Again, I ask, Do you sin? If you do, then you must not be a true believer. At least by your judgment and what you say in your letter.
It is very clear that no one while still in this flesh will ever be sin free. What this verse is referring to is the New Man. The New Man which is the eternal seed of Christ has never sinned and will never sin. Just like the New Man has complete and perfect assurance but is in a constant battle with the Old Man.
You go right ahead and keep that idol of assurance that you are clinging on to. I will keep, by God’s grace, the hope of eternal life that He has granted me.
Jeremiah 15:18 – “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?”
Jeremiah 20:7 – “O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.”
You said: “I challenge him and every other doubter on the face of the earth to show me a SINGLE believer in the Bible -- Paul, John, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, etc etc -- doubting their salvation.” In the first place, Jeremiah is calling God a liar and in the second one he is calling God a deceiver. I would venture to guess that he was having serious doubts.