Monday, February 20, 2017


Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins] (1Jn 1:9)

You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with God the Holy Spirit and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth. (Joh 4:24)



     In remote mountains, jungles, and deserts, peoples of primitive culture have lived for centuries far removed from the mainstream of commerce and civilization. How can these individuals decide for or against the Lord Jesus Christ? The skeptics ask, “What about the heathen who have never heard the Gospel?”
     Right away, we will correct at least one point in such a question: “What about the heathen who have apparently never heard?”
     This is not really a topic of debate. In this book, we are not primarily concerned with satisfying skeptics, (Although any honest skeptic will find the answers he needs). The answer to the question about isolated, heathen people sheds light on God’s character, on the all-inclusive extent of His plan, on the alternatives which the free will of man must face. As a category of basic Doctrine, this study of heathenism is important to positive believers; it is not merely a reason why there are those who are negative toward the Word of God.
     In our approach to the subject of heathenism, we need to understand the soul of man. In, (Isa 43:7) three Hebrew words connected with the creation of man establish the origin of the soul.

     Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made. (Isa 43:7)

     First, “created” is the verb bara: “to create something out of nothing.” The “something” created is not necessarily visible or observed. (Gen 1:27; Gen 5:1-2; Isa 45:18) Second, “formed” jatsar: “to sculpt, to fashion.” (Gen 2:7; Isa 45:18) And third, “made” is asah: “to construct out of existing materials.” (Gen 1:26; Isa 45:18; Isa 57:16) Bara indicates that out of nothing was created an unseen, immaterial part of man. This inner essence is identified in passages throughout the Bible as the soul. We must turn back to the Book of Genesis, however, to discover the difference between bara and asah in relation to man’s soul.

     Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Gen 1:26)

     This statement of the plan of God uses asah to anticipate the creation of man’s personality out of the essence of his soul. The noun tselem describes the soul of man as a “shadow image” of Divine personality. Man has personality of soul, just as God has personality; both personalities are real but invisible. The three Members of the Godhead have identical essence; yet each is a different Person — Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Similarly, all members of the human race have basically the same essence of soul, but each is a different personality.
     Man’s soul contains self-consciousness, mentality, faith, volition, conscience and emotion. The mentality has two lobes. The left lobe, called the nous or “mind” in the Greek, initially receives information and temporarily retains what is not transferred to the right lobe; the right lobe, called the kardia or “heart,” contains the frame of reference the memory center, the area for storing vocabulary and categories, the conscience with its norms and Standards, and the launching pad for application to experience. The Trinity designed man “after Our pattern,” demuth, stressing that man’s personality stems from man’s soul-essence, tselem.

     God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen 1:27)

     This refers to man’s soul, body, and spirit. (God the Father is the soul; God the Son is the body and God the Holy Spirit is the spirit; and they are ONE IN ESSENCE!) Here are the mechanics for the beginning of the human race. The souls and spirits of both the man and the woman were created at one time, but only the man’s body was formed, jatsar, on the sixth day of creation.

          Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Gen 2:7)

     “Soul-life,” ne’shamah, or the life of God, is the spark that ignites life — that actually gives life. Adam did not become a living being until God breathed into his soul the breath of life. This pattern continues for all of Adam’s descendants: at the moment of physical birth, God imputes human life to the Divinely prepared format soul, and the fetus becomes a real person. The first man possessed both the soul and human spirit and was a trichotomous being. (Body, soul, and human spirit) However, in the Fall, the human spirit was lost, and man became dichotomous. (Body and soul only) Since that time, the human spirit is activated only at the second birth — regeneration — which occurs at Salvation. (Tit 3:5) The human spirit enables the individual to have fellowship with God and to understand Spiritual phenomena. Notice the reason given in, (Isa 43:7) for the creation of man’s soul: “For I have created him for my glory.” When human freewill responds to grace in a non-meritorious way, God is free to bless man without compromising His own character. Divine blessings to undeserving man manifests the grace solution to the angelic conflict and glorifies God. Therefore, it is essential that we examine briefly this ancient conflict, for it has a definite bearing on our subject.


     Not only was man created to glorify God, but he was placed on the earth to resolve the controversy between God and fallen angels. How long the conflict has been raging is unknown. We do know that prior to the creation of man, angels were originally in a state of perfection, just as man was. But when Lucifer, the highest angel, revolted against God, one-third of the angels chose to defect with him. (Dan 8:9; Rev 12:4-9) From this time on, there were two categories of angels, elect and fallen. (1Ti 5:21; Isa 14:12-14) Isaiah recounts the five arrogant “I wills” of that super-creature as he “walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire,” “the throne room of God. (Eze 28:12-19)

     But you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (Isa 14:13-14)

     From this passage, it is clear that the angelic creation possessed volition and thus could act independently of God’s will. The first sin committed by any creature was one of negative volition. Satan and the angels who followed him refused the plan of God. Therefore, sometime in eternity past, a trial was held in which Satan and the fallen angels were sentenced to the Lake of Fire. (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:10) From the fact that the sentence was pronounced before man’s existence but not executed until after mankind’s time on earth, we can draw two conclusions. First, Satan objected to his sentence as unfair; thus he impugned the character of God and appealed the case. The titles ascribed to the super-angel after his fall lead us to this first conclusion. “Satan” and “the devil” mean “adversary, accuser, attorney” one who goes to court and appeals. His obvious objection: “How can a loving God cast His creatures, (Fallen angels, in this instance) into the Lake of Fire?” This complaint has been disseminated in the human race; it overlooks the fact that God loves His righteousness and justice!
     Second, man was created to demonstrate to Satan that God’s character is consistent, that His decisions are always perfectly just. (Psa 8:3-5; Heb 2:7) To prove to Satan that God’s judgment was fair and compatible with His Divine character, God brought upon the scene a new type of creature, lower than the angels, whom He called Adam or “man.” Man’s body and the angels’ bodies were fashioned differently, but inside resided the same tremendous free will. As with angelic free will, man’s volition has two poles, positive and negative. God placed man in perfect environment on the earth and provided for his every need. But there had to be a test in order that his volition might function.
     Therefore, two trees were planted in the center of the Garden. The first tree, the tree of life, (Or literally, lives) from which man was allowed to eat, represented positive volition toward the plan of God. To partake of this tree meant continued response to God, appreciation and orientation to His plan. The second tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden, related to negative volition. (Gen 2:17)
     The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was prohibited in order to give man a choice: to obey or to disobey God. This tree represented the plan and policy of Satan. Evil is the thinking of Satan expressed in moral and immoral degeneracy; which hinders man’s relationship with God. Under Spiritual death and or carnality; man lacks a blessing relationship with God and is oriented instead to systems of evil and human false reality. These systems embody Satan’s plan; and are the sum total of his genius. Moral degeneracy is Satan’s modus operandi. (An unvarying or habitual method or procedure) Immoral degeneracy, his modus vivendi. (A manner of living that reflects the person's values and attitudes) (2Co 11:13-15; 2Ti 3:5; Rev 2:14-16)
     The tree of the knowledge of good and evil become the focus of the angelic conflict: The prohibition was a warning against Satan’s policy as well as a test of man’s volition. Since God created free will. He could not and would not coerce man’s decision. Human volition would eventually demonstrate the solution to the angelic conflict!
     Man, who was created perfect and without sin, was capable of only one sin in the perfect environment of the Garden, and that was to act independently of Godto elect to take of the forbidden fruit. (Sin and the sin nature) Once man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would come under Satan’s plan. Of his own free will, man chose to act apart from God: he partook of the restricted tree. (Gen 3:6) At that moment, he acquired the sin nature, to which his first sin was immediately charged, (Or imputed) resulting in Spiritual death. (Rom 6:23) Man lost his human spirit; his body and soul continued to operate but under the old sin nature! Now the question was, would God send this new creature, fallen man, to the Lake of Fire along with the fallen angels?
     God cannot change His character to accommodate any creature, whether angel or human being. God’s perfect character includes love; but God cannot love in a way that is inconsistent with His other characteristics. When Satan sinned, God made a decision compatible with His righteousness and justice as well as with His love. Now, in answer to Satan’s appeal, God would demonstrate that His Decisions are always perfect. He would take the most extreme case; He would provide the offer of Salvation for this totally condemned, Spiritually dead creature called man without violating His own righteousness.


     When the Second Person of the Trinity came walking in the Garden, Adam and the woman attempted to hide themselves. No one can hide from omniscient, omnipresent God; the first pair were simply manifesting their condition of Spiritual death inability to have fellowship with God. Therefore, it was Jesus Christ who in grace broke the silence, called Adam from his hiding place, and began to question him. Out of this interrogation and subsequent sentencing of all the offending parties, a Savior was promised a Savior who would assume the guilt of the man and woman and indeed that of the entire human race.
     In his sinful state, Adam faced a second test of volition. A new tree, the Cross, was now the issue, as announced by the Lord’s indictment of Satan.

       And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on [And with] the heel. (Gen 3:15) cf. (Psa 41:9; Joh 13:18)

     There will always be hostility between grace and evil between God’s plan, represented here by the woman, and Satan’s plan, represented by the serpent. The woman would be the means of bringing Jesus Christ into the world; Christ would win the strategic victory of the angelic conflict. After Satan failed to win a decisive victory by luring the woman to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would strike at Christ; in what he hoped would be the fatal blow — “you” [Satan] shall bruise Him with your heel. [Christ was tempted, betrayed, denied, treated with contempt, punched, spit on, whipped, was turned over to beating, mocking and the Crucifixion] But the Resurrection, Ascension, and Session of Christ hails the Lord as the Victor in this first phase of the strategic victory in the angelic conflict! Believers are in union with Christ and therefore are identified with this victory. The ultimate victory, stated first in our verse “He [Christ] shall crush your [Satan’s] head” — is that time when all fallen angels will be removed from the earth; at the Second Advent of Christ. There is no way Satan can win.
     When Jesus Christ died on the Cross for the sins of the world, the justice and righteousness of God were satisfied, and He was free to provide Salvation for man. Condemnation precedes justification. The Cross forces a decision: man can choose the saving work of Christ on his behalf, or he can elect to stand on his own works. If man goes negative and chooses his own plan, he must inevitably wind up in the Lake of Fire with Satan and the fallen angels. (Psa 73:27)


     Now that Jesus Christ has returned to heaven, the believer’s soul is the battleground for the angelic conflict, which has escalated into full-scale warfare. God has furnished the weapons for overcoming the satanic onslaughts! He has armed us with the indwelling Holy Spirit, the royal priesthood of the believer, the Written Canon of Scripture, and the function of the “Operation Z,” by which every believer is able to understand the whole realm of the Word of Truth and advance to Spiritual maturity.

     As the believer avails himself of the Divine assets, (Eph 6:10-18) and reaches maturity, he develops the capacity for God to bless him, even in the devil’s world. Divine blessing to the believer is the tactical victory in the angelic conflict. 


     God in His sovereignty made a decision which we call Operation Grace. This is the plan for the Salvation of the human race: God’s decision was based upon the fact that He is not willing that anyone should perish. Immediately, the problem arises: but people of the human race do perish. People have died without accepting Christ as Savior. Now, if it is God’s will that no one perish, how can this be? What about the Papuans? The Hottentots? What about the heathen?
     The answer is quite simple: while God’s will is that no one should perish in the Lake of Fire, people do die the Second Death because they choose to act independently of God in rejecting Christ as Savior. (Joh 3:18) And this is never a paradox. It is simply two situations which coexist because there are in existence two wills — God’s will and man’s will. “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance [A change of mental attitude toward Christ; and believers to stay in fellowship and Think with Truth]” (2Pe 3:9). The choice is available to the human race, but often it is man’s will to reject God’s perfect plan. There is a continual conflict, then, between the Divine will and the human will.


     Let us emphasize a very basic point: God has created a will which can act independently of Himself; otherwise, God might be construed as the Author of sin. The same free will that demonstrates the solution to the angelic conflict also makes it possible for man to sin. Satan set the pattern: his was the first sin, and it was a voluntary act involving his free will. Many angels followed suit by making decisions of negative volition. Likewise, original sin in the human race, involving first the woman and then the man, stemmed from the exercise of negative volition. In both cases, the origin of sin came from a creature, not the Creator. The Creator is perfect, and nothing which is imperfect can originate from perfect God!
     Had man been created without the freedom to make his own choice, (Either negative or positive) there would have been no parallel to the case of Satan and the fallen angels, and the angelic conflict would not have been resolved. Angelic sin was judged; the sins of the world were judged. Christ chose of His own free will to go to the Cross. He elected to be judged for the sins of mankind. Homo sapiens possess free will to either express faith in Christ and be saved or to reject Him and be judged.


     Keep in mind our primary issue: What about the people who apparently have never heard the Gospel? In other words, if the heathen do not hear the way of Salvation, how can they be saved? First, let me say that this question has been escalated into a problem far exceeding the facts — primarily from ignorance of historical evangelism.
     Most people talk about world evangelism as if it had been neglected for centuries. Missionaries often say, “There are certain parts of the world that have never been touched!” The trouble with this statement is that people do not know history, much less, the history of evangelism.

     The standard historical work of the English-speaking peoples are the Cambridge Histories, which include Ancient, Medieval, and Modern History. Just about the time historians had decided that the Bible was in error because it did not jibe with traditional history concerning the Hittite Empire, a startling development occurred. Archeology uncovered such vast new information that scholars finally had to conclude that the Hittites were a great empire, not just a small segment of people in Palestine. The first two volumes of the Cambridge Ancient History were then withdrawn from publication to be revised to include the Hittite Empire — whose existence, by the way, the Bible has always affirmed! The same is true of other periods of history where tremendous gaps exist. We can thus assume that there is a great deal we do not know about history!
     One of the major problems, therefore, in the evaluation of heathenism is that we are not aware that people everywhere have heard the Gospel. We assume that the world has never been completely evangelized. In reality, the historical glimpses available reveal that it has been evangelized many times. In a thirty-year ministry which began circa A.D. 240, Gregory Thaumaturgus evangelized nearly the entire city of Neo-caesarea, Pontus. (East of Bithynia) His great missionary zeal became famous through stories which told of his finding only seventeen Christians in the city when he arrived and only seventeen unbelievers by the time he died!
     The letters of Pliny the Younger contain abundant information about Christians. Pliny was the governor of Bithynia, (Northern Turkey today) and his correspondence with the Emperor Trajan furnishes valuable information as to the position of the Church in the early years of the second century.
     When Pantaenus of Alexandria traveled to India in A.D. 190, he found many who were Christians as a result of Matthew’s work in the previous century. He also discovered there the Epistle to the Hebrews.
     It is said that very little of the Gospel has been received in China. Yet we know from history that there have been great revivals there. In the sixth century, long before Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission, the Nestorians went to China. Discovered in Shensi province in 1625, the Sian Fu tablets record something of the Nestorians’ great work of evangelism in China. These tablets also preserve the decree of T’ai-tsung, (A famous prince) issued in A.D. 638, in favor of the new Truth. Arabia, Mesopotamia, India, and Persia were also reached by the Nestorians.
     In addition, we have the quotations of the Church fathers. For example, Justin Martyr, an early apologist, made a few observations on history:
     There is no people, Greek or barbarian, or of any other race, by whatsoever appellation or manners they may be distinguished, however ignorant of arts or agriculture [And you really had to be primitive in those days to be ignorant of agriculture] whether they dwell in tents or wander about in covered wagons [an allusion to the Scythians] among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered in the name of the crucified Jesus to the Father...

This reference to the Scythians indicates the evangelization of the southern plains of Russia to the fringes of Mongolia.

     Tertullian said, “We are but of yesterday, and yet we already fill your cities, islands, camps, your palace, senate and forum; we have left to you only your temples.”
     Origen noted, “in all Greece and in all the barbarous races within our world, there are tens of thousands who have left their national Laws and customary gods for the Word of Jesus Christ.”
     Eusebius, the famous historian of the third century, said with regard to evangelism in the second and third centuries:
     There flourished at that time many successors to the apostles, who reared the edifice on the foundations which they laid, continuing the work of preaching the gospel... A very large number of disciples, carried away by fervent love of the Truth, which the Divine Word had revealed to them... taking leave of their country, fulfilled the office of evangelists, coveting eagerly to preach Christ and to carry the glad tidings of God to those who had not heard the Word of faith. And after laying the foundations of the faith in some remote and barbarous countries, establishing pastors among them and confiding to them the care of those young settlements, without stopping longer, they hastened on to other nations, attended by the grace of God.
     These missionaries of the second century established indigenous churches in many nations. The Gospel spread and with it, the whole realm of Truth.
          Evangelism began with the Fall of man when Adam and the woman first needed the Gospel. The Lord sought them out in the Garden and personally presented them with information about the Seed of the Woman. (Gen 3:15) The Gospel is the heritage of the entire human race and spread throughout the world as the population spread. This is reiterated in the family of Noah, all of whom were believers. The Gospel is not something new; it is something extremely old. But let us note how the message of the historical Cross spread throughout the world.
     The Bible itself records numerous instances of evangelism throughout the world. For example, we know from, (1Ti 3:16; Col 1:6; Act 17:6) that the world was evangelized in the first century. The word which is used for “world” in these passages is a term for the inhabited earth. In other words, you evangelize people!
     The Day of Pentecost was itself a time of extensive evangelism. As recorded in, (Act 2:9-11) people from many countries of the far-flung Roman Empire heard the Good News on that day. Many of them responded to the Gospel, and they returned to their own countries with the message of Salvation.
     We find concentrated evangelism throughout the book of Acts. Peter started in Judea, Philip in Samaria, Barnabus in Cyprus, Nicolas in Antioch, and the eunuch returned to Ethiopia with the Gospel where a large population of believers developed. For several hundred years Christianity flourished in northern and central Africa. As Paul traveled the Roman world, there was tremendous evangelization wherever he went — Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, Dalmatia, Italy and Spain.
     By the end of the first century, the Gospel had been carried from Jerusalem to the four corners of the earth. No amount of persecution could arrest its advance. Toward the East it had reached Mesopotamia and Parthia. In the West it had spread to Gaul and Spain. The Church was growing in the great cities of Rome, Alexandria, and Carthage. It was very strong in Antioch and Ephesus, as well as in Corinth. Christian groups could be found throughout Syria, Arabia, and Illyricum. Such was the result of seventy years’ work in the face of constant opposition.
     The historical record affirms that world evangelism has never ceased. There is no village so small or isolated as to elude the gaze of our omniscient and gracious God. Where positive volition exists. He provides Gospel information. Furthermore, Prophecy in the book of, (Rev 7:1-17; Rev 14:1-7) teaches that the world will be evangelized in the future. These examples of evangelism are not cited to give you the impression that you are excused from the responsibility of personal evangelism, but to show that the question, “What about those who have never heard?” is a false issue.


     In spite of advanced technology in communications, people in remote areas have very little contact with the outside world. What about them? Who is to tell them the Good News? There are several ways to answer this question. First, let us consider them from the standpoint of God’s essence.

     God is sovereign and possesses supreme volition. He is absolute Righteousness. (+R in contrast to -R, man’s relative righteousness) Justice is the complete fairness of God. God is perfect Loveenduring, uncompromising, exclusive of human sentimentality.
     God not only possesses eternal life, but He is absolute Existence. The omniscience of God is His perfect knowledge and wisdom; omnipotence. His limitless power and ability; omnipresence, His personal presence everywhere. God is Immutable unalterable, unchangeable. In veracity, we see the absolute Truth of God. How does God’s essence apply to the problem of heathenism?
     Sovereignty. This is the application of God’s volition to the situation. According to, (2Pe 3:9) “The Lord is not slow about His Promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” [Change of human thinking to Divine Thinking] It is not God’s desire for anyone to perish in the Lake of Fire; therefore, if anyone does so, it is by an act of his own free will. No one perishes by God’s direct will. While there is only one way of Salvation, (Joh 14:6) every member of the human race is free to accept or to reject that way!
     Absolute Righteousness and Justice. These two characteristics, which form God’s holiness or integrity, guarantee impartiality and fairness toward ALL mankind, for there is neither iniquity nor respect of persons with God. (2Ch 19:7; Rom 2:11) This means that in the judgment or condemnation of the human race, it is impossible for God to make a wrong decision. A human being might return a good judgment today and a bad judgment tomorrow, as indeed we have witnessed in the court system of our country; but it would be incompatible with God’s perfect Righteousness to render a decision that was not just. Righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity; justice is its function. Righteousness demands righteousness; justice demands justice. What righteousness demands, justice executes.
     Love. Like all other Divine attributes, God’s love was never acquired but belongs eternally to His Being and exists independent of external objects or occasions for love. Internally, each Member of the Trinity loves His own righteousness. And since the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each possess the same perfect righteousness, Divine love is also external, from one Person of the Godhead to the Others: God the Father loves God the Son and God the Holy Spirit with the same absolute love which He has for Himself. Likewise the Son loves the Father and the Spirit, and the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. This external aspect of God’s love extends to Divine righteousness wherever it is found even when it is imputed to each believer at Salvation. (Psa 11:7; Rom 4:3-6) Thus God loves imperfect believers without compromising His own perfection!
     Related to the problem of heathenism, God is eager to impute His righteousness to anyone who might believe and to make that person an object of His magnificent, infinite love.
     Eternal Life. God is Eternal Life, and He knows that unless we possess His life we cannot have a permanent relationship with Him. He desires that we have such an eternal relationship, and He has a plan which, at great expense, (The Cross) has provided everything necessary. There is no way that He would let so thorough a plan go unrevealed: He will impute eternal life to anyone who believes in Christ. Furthermore, eternal life means that God has always existed. ALWAYS He has known about and provided for every possible hindrance to anyone’s Salvation. (Rom 2:4) If anyone does not receive eternal life it is solely by his own choosing.
     Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence. These three attributes insure God’s ability in every situation. Because God is omniscient, He knows about every individual. His omnipotence gives Him the power to deal with each human being on a personal basis. Omnipresent God is always everywhere; He therefore overlooks no one. (2Ch 16:9; Psa 34:15) We tend to limit God to our own finite abilities; but God has placed upon Himself only one restriction: He will not tamper with our volition! (He will not make us believe in Him; or believe and Think with His Word)
Immutability. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; (Heb 13:8) it is impossible for Him to change; (Mal 3:6) He is always faithful. (Lam 3:21-28) In eternity past, God formulated one plan for the Salvation of man, and this has never changed. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (Joh 3:36)
Veracity. “God is not a man that he should lie...” (Num 23:19) He has Promised to reveal Himself in every generation, and He will keep His Word. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, Promised before the world began.” (Tit 1:2; cf. Heb 6:18) God is absolute Truth; His character is unassailable; there is no deception in Him. When we read in the Bible that “God is not willing that any should perish,” we know that God’s plan includes everyone!
     So, when we consider the characteristics of God’s essence, there can be but one conclusion: God is fair to every person in the world, regardless of geographical location, linguistic barrier, or any other factor of isolation. But do not distort this concept into a non-aggression pact! There is a bona fide need for aggressive evangelism, and this should be supported by the local church. Everyone will have the opportunity to be saved, and God uses individuals in the human race to accomplish this. We call this “missionary activity.” However, successful missionary operations depend on the positive volition of those who hear.


     We have seen that everyone who wants to hear does receive Gospel information. Let us look at heathenism from a second point of view: the Truth of unlimited atonement. “Atonement” is the work of Christ on the Cross on behalf of mankind. In the Old Testament times, the Hebrew word for atonement meant “a covering,” and foreshadowed the Cross. The animal sacrifices were a “covering” for sin until the literal sacrifice of Christ propitiated, (Satisfied) the Father. In the New Testament, atonement always refers to the saving work of Christ. The idea that atonement is limited to the elect, rather than accomplished for all mankind, is unfounded. “Whosoever” in such passages as, (Joh 3:15-16) extends Salvation to any and all members of the human race. Christ died for everyone!
     If God wants everyone to be saved, if He is not willing that any should perish, then in Operation Grace He must provide a Salvation which includes everyone, regardless of geographical location. And He did! Therefore, Salvation is perfect because it does not exclude any human being. Christ did not die for the elect alone; He died for those who would not believe as well as for those who would believe.

     For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died. (2Co 5:14)

You see, Christ paid the penalty for all who were Spiritually dead — for everyone who has ever lived. Remember, every person is born Spiritually dead because of Adam’s original sin.

     Therefore, as by one man [Adam] sin [Sin and the sin nature]entered into the world, and [Spiritual] death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned. (Rom 5:12)

For whom did Christ die? For everyone, because everyone is born under Divine condemnation.

     And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2Co 5:15)

     Notice the important phrase, “He died for all.” In, (2Co 5:19) unlimited atonement is amplified: “Namely, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself...” This is not the elect, but the world! (1Ti 2:6) speaks of Jesus Christ, “Who gave Himself a ransom for all...” 

     Christ is the Savior of all men in the sense that He died for all men. “For therefore we both labor and wrestle, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men...” (1Ti 4:10) Of course, this does not imply that all men are saved; it merely says that Salvation is provided for all. Each man must accept or reject Salvation. Peter recognizes that some will reject God’s gift of Salvation.

     But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2Pe 2:1)

     There will be believers who deny the Lord Jesus Christ, although He bought them with His own blood! (His saving work and judgment on the Cross) Salvation is complete even for these false teachers; they need only accept it!

     And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.  (1Jn 2:2)

     Who enters the plan of God? Any individual in the human race who accepts Christ as Savior! You enter this plan by an act of volition. (Act 16:31) Once you enter God’s plan, you are under Operation Grace forever, and you can never get out from under it! (Joh 10:28)

     We have covered Salvation as God’s perfect grace provision for all members of the human race. But how does man become aware of this provision? How does he recognize his need for Salvation? How can he desire a relationship with God, of whom he has no knowledge?


     God-consciousness can be defined as recognition of the existence of a Supreme Being. At some point in life, every normal person reaches God-consciousness. The specific age varies among individuals and depends on several factors, including mentality, geographical location, and education. In some cases the point of God-consciousness, also termed the “age of accountability,” might not be reached until the late teens or early twenties. But in every individual, God-consciousness involves mental activity and information on which to act. Let us first see how man acquires information.

(1) Empiricism: is perception of reality through the senses. What you see, touch, taste, hear, or smell are real to you.

(2) Rationalism: is perception through reason.

(3) Occultism: is demon thoughts transmitted to and through the sin nature.

(4) Faith: is acceptance of an established criterion as the basis of real or false reality.

(5) Spiritual Faith: believing what God the Holy Spirit makes real to  unbelievers and believers Supernaturally by the Word of God.

     Whether you know it or-not, you have used all of these systems — all of your life, a teacher said, “1 + 1 = 2.” You didn’t know this until you heard it, and at that point you believed it! This was the exercise of faith. As you advanced through algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, you developed your capacity for math by applying rationalism and empiricism.
     In learning geography, do you remember when you first found out that there was a country called England and a city called London? Did you question these facts? No, you accepted them on faith. In the same way, you accepted by faith that the U.S.A. is comprised of many states and that the world is made up of numerous countries and different types of people. These facts could be verified through empiricism and rationalism.
     Faith is a normal mental process through which you assimilate a vast amount of information. Using faith, each generation can build upon the learning of previous generations. We accept many things as being true without having to experience them personally or discover them for ourselves through reason. You can see that faith is non-meritorious.
     How does a person reach God-consciousness? Man has the ability to arrive at God-consciousness through the activity of his own mind. I would like to suggest a number of different ways by which the human mind becomes aware of God.
     The Religious Approach. When you first hear about God, you may draw a complete blank! But as you hear more and discover that other people believe in His existence, you eventually become aware that God is an actual Being.

     The Moral or Anthropological Approach. Every person has volition and conscience; he has the ability to distinguish right from wrong. The very structure of society is based on the human recognition of Virtue and Truth. This phenomenon has no explanation apart from the existence of God. A material, ungoverned universe can know nothing of God's values and distinctions apart from the absolute righteousness of a Supreme Being.

     The Ontological Approach. Since the human mind possesses the idea of a perfect and absolute Being, such a Being exists. Apart from religious tendencies previously considered, the existence of God is a necessary ideal-tendency of the human mind. Beyond the relative which man measures, there is the Absolute, which gives character or value to the relative.

     The Teleological Approach. The structure of the universe demands a Designer. Both telescopic and microscopic phenomena display order, design, arrangement, purpose, adaptation, behind which there must be a Master Planner. The orderliness of all matter, from the structure of an atom to the configuration of galaxies, is as likely to occur spontaneously as a Shakespearean sonnet in a can of alphabet soup!
     Stellar bodies of enormous dimensions hurtle through space at staggering speeds, yet their paths are perfectly and consistently patterned. When you observe the design of the universe, you realize that Someone was behind it all.

     For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)

     The Cosmological Approach. The intuitive law of cause and effect demands the existence of God. As you ask, What caused this? Then, What caused that? And What caused that? You eventually reach the original cause. In no sense can the universe be its own cause. Order and arrangement in the universe demand both a Creator and a Preserver. (Col 1:16-17) If we exclude God, then for us the design, arrangement, order, function, and operation of the universe become unsolvable problems of infinite proportion!
     These are just five representative ways in which man can reach God-consciousness. There may be combinations of these approaches, and there may be other ways. My objective is not to exhaust the subject, but rather to develop the Principle that all normal members of the human race do reach God-consciousness.
     There are cases in which people do not reach God-consciousness, and we need to look at these exceptions. When any member of the human race dies before reaching God-consciousness, that person is saved by grace. Who would come under this category?
     (1) Babies who die are saved because they never reach the age of accountability. (2) Mentally deficient, individuals who lack the intelligence to reach God-consciousness are automatically saved.


     Upon reaching God-consciousness, you have a choice: do you desire a relationship with God or not? If your volition is negative, then God is not obliged to provide Gospel information. But if you have positive volition toward God, then He will supply the Good News of Christ by which you can be saved.
     These Principles were evident in my own life. You see, I was an adult before I believed in Christ as Savior. As a child I never went to church, except on rare occasions. As a little boy I heard people talking about God, and I came to an awareness of His existence. Apparently I had a real interest in learning about God, but I did not pursue that interest until much later. The point is that I recall instances from my childhood which I can definitely identify as positive volition. So, even though there was a lapse of time, the responsibility was God’s to provide the information on which I could make a decision. I heard the Gospel and believed. This fulfilled the Principle that if any member of the human race, after becoming aware of God, desires relationship with Him, then God will give him the opportunity.

     Remember, positive volition at God-consciousness does not constitute Salvation. This awareness calls for action from the justice of God to reveal the Gospel. Many times missionaries have had the experience of going into some remote area where there are linguistic barriers. When they finally overcome this hindrance and establish communication, immediately the people respond to the Gospel. Often they ask, “Where have you been? We have been waiting for this all our lives!” This is a perfect illustration of positive volition waiting for Truth.
     We should note several verses that link positive volition at God-consciousness with the Promise of more Revelation.

     If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the Teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. (Joh 7:17)

     “His will” connotes purpose and design: the plan of God for Salvation. (1Jn 3:23) “Truth” means categories of Divine information: the Principles of Christ’s Person and saving work are in view here. Desire for relationship with God is also expressed in: (Jer 29:13)

     You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart! 
     In, (Act 17:1) Paul addresses the Athenian intellectuals. To their demanding ears he makes clear the mechanics of Salvation. In doing so he explains why mankind is divided into nations the fourth Divine institution: the Laws of Divine establishment protect human freedom so evangelism can occur in every generation.

     And hath made of one blood [Origin] of all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. (Act 17:26)

     The Divine institutions are essential; they preserve the human race during the course of the angelic conflict. Without Law and order provided by the Principles of nationalism, the function of volition would be stifled and evangelism would be virtually impossible.

     That they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. (Act 17:27)

     To “Seek the Lord” is positive volition at the point of God-consciousness. The phrase, “might grope for Him,” means to grope for Him in the dark. Aware of God’s existence but ignorant of His nature, the positive unbeliever seeks enlightenment.
     God sometimes directs Gospel information toward a person with negative volition so that those with positive volition will have the opportunity to hear and believe. Such was the case with the Pharaoh of Moses’ time. Moses told Pharaoh not only how to receive personal Salvation, but how to deliver Egypt from Divine discipline as well. But Pharaoh’s volition had been negative at the point of God-consciousness. Therefore, when he heard the Gospel, he rejected the Truth and hardened his own heart. Moses repeatedly warned Pharaoh of the consequences of his unbelief and disobedience; Pharaoh repeatedly failed to heed the warnings, further hardening his heart. Divine judgments against Egypt — the ten plagues demonstrated God’s power, and news of Moses’ words to Pharaoh was widely disseminated. Before Pharaoh relented and released the Jews from slavery, there was a great revival throughout the empire. When the Jews moved out in the Exodus, a large number of saved Gentiles went along, too.


     We have seen that all normal members of the human race reach God-consciousness. Then, volition is either positive or negative toward God. If positive, they will hear about the Lord. Consequently, the heathen are heathen not because they have never heard, but because they have either heard and rejected the Truth, or because they had negative volition at God-consciousness. Very simply, the heathen are those who have not believed in Christ as Savior.

     (Rom 1:17-32) outlines the history of heathenism and carnality and describes the consequences of rejection of the Truth.

     For in it [In the Gospel of Christ] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH. (believing GOD'S THINKING) (Rom 1:17)

     When the righteousness of God, revealed in the Gospel, is rejected, the consequence is a revelation of the wrath of God. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the Truth in unrighteousness. (Rom 1:18)

     “Ungodliness” is a mental attitude of rejecting Christ and the Gospel, while “unrighteousness’ indicates the carnality of believers. Those who hold or resist; (Katecho) the Truth of the Gospel have taken the path of negative volition toward God and His Word: this is the formula for heathenism and carnality!

     Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (Rom 1:19)

     Here, the ontological approach to perception of God is in view. The individual who is aware of God but negative toward Him and or His Word is personally responsible for making that decision. The Reality of God has become evident to him, yet he repudiates that knowledge! The wrath of God against negative volition at God-consciousness is both just and fair.

     For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)

     Here are the teleological, (Greek: Telos: end, purpose) is the philosophical study of design and purpose. A teleological school of thought is one that holds all things to be designed for or directed toward a final result, that there is an inherent purpose or final cause for all that exists) And cosmological approaches to awareness of God. (A cosmological argument is an argument that the universe demands the admission of an adequate external cause which is God) Even from the creation of man, God has made known His power and Divine nature. He has chosen to reveal His existence at God-consciousness and His plan of Salvation at Gospel-hearing. Consequently, if the unbeliever has no excuse for his negative attitude at God-consciousness, he has even less of a defense for rejecting Christ as Savior. God is totally just in condemning the unbeliever at the Last Judgment. (Rev 20:12-15)

     For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom 1:21)

     When the unbeliever becomes aware that “the God” is Jesus Christ, the only Savior, and yet rejects Him, a vacuum, (Futile — Emptiness) is developed in his thoughts, (Speculations) and darkness fills the right lobe of the soul. (Heart) This is the precursor of heathenism.

     Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the Incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Rom 1:22-23)

     The delusion of the heathen is his assumption that human solutions to life are wise; yet when darkness in the right lobe is applied to life; it can only amount to foolishness! Whenever Truth is rejected, falsehood is embraced. Inevitably, therefore, unbelievers and carnal believers must find a substitute for the Truth they have rejected. They seek to fill the void with false thoughts — gods of polytheism, pantheism, or animism, (The doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls) and endeavor to explain life by evolution, deism, (The form of Theological rationalism that believes in God on the basis of reason without reference to Revelation) or materialism. (The philosophical theory that matter is the only reality) Thus the pattern of heathenism: God-consciousness and Gospel-hearing; rejection of Truth; acceptance of falsehood.

     Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the Truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Rom 1:24-25)

     “Therefore” is literally “because of which” and refers to “their foolish heart was darkened” in, (Rom 1:21). God allows man to carry his stubborn volition to its logical conclusionheathenism. Heathenism is broadcast by a perversion of Truth. The mechanics of both religious and political liberalism are explained in these two verses. Liberalism exploits the ignorance of man by appealing to his emotions and lusts. Liberals satisfy their own egos and guilt complexes by trying to play God! By their own mental distortions and machinations, (Satan's thoughts) they seek to establish a perfect world without God! Whether socialism, communism, or some other form of philosophical materialism, their “new world order” always represents the same pattern of human “sin nature good”: man by man’s efforts attempting to create perfect environment. Liberalism is just another brand of heathenism behind a veneer of “good.” The remainder of, (Rom 1:26-32) describes the ramifications and perversions which accrue from heathenism.
     The manifestations of heathenism are rampant in our own country today. We have a breakdown of authority at all levels. We see revolution in our streets, every form of sexual perversion, a soaring crime rate, drug addiction, the breakdown of marriage and family ties, a loss of national esprit de corps, the undermining of our military establishment and national defense, the release of criminals and traitors to repeat their crimes, the ridicule of prayer and the Bible. All of this gives us pause; will history record the twentieth century United States of America as a heathen nation? Remember that heathenism knows no boundaries. It is found in every area of the world and in all walks of life where people are negative to the Word of God. How may its insidious advance be halted? Paul states the answer in this same chapter of Romans.


     I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. (Rom 1:14)

     Paul, along with every believer, has an obligation to unbelievers — namely, to communicate the Gospel to them. In addition, the pastor-teacher is responsible to teach Truth to all believers: to the wise those who are mature; to the unwise the immature; as well as to reversionistic believers who need to relearn Truth. (Joh 21:15-17)

     So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:15-16)

     A mental attitude of readiness should characterize every believer. Whenever the Lord opens the door to witness, the believer must be fortified with accurate and clear information from a thorough knowledge of the Thoughts of Salvation. Only as the Gospel is disseminated and Truth communicated can the tide of heathenism in this nation or in any nation be halted!


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