Friday, February 21, 2020

Hyles-Anderson College & First Baptist of Hammond: Do They Now Please God?

Do Hyles-Anderson College and First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, please God?

Hyles-Anderson College, of course, receives the first part of its name from the late Jack Hyles.  

Mr. Hyles was, and is, extremely influential in the independent Baptist movement.  Hyles-Anderson has had, for many years, 1,000 to close to 3,000 students, pumping out people to spread Hyles's philosophy throughout the United States and the world.  Mr. Hyles invented the "Romans Road" method of evangelism where a few verses are cited and the lost person is led to repeat the "sinner's prayer."  The church and college run a mission agency and has thousands of graduates spreading the Hyles message everywhere, claiming falsely that it represents independent Baptist fundamentalism.

Jack Hyles preached a false gospel.  The Bible says:

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. . . . But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. . . . Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? . . . Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? . . . Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. . . . Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 14:6; 18:21, 23, 30-31; 33:9, 11)

Ezekiel is calling unconverted Israelites to salvation, not simply calling backsliders among the true people of God to live up to their privileges.   Ezekiel calls the Israelites to enter into the promises of the New Covenant of a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:25-27). Similarly, the fact that Ezekiel calls on the “wicked” to turn from his evil ways proves that the prophet exhorts the lost to turn from their sins in order to be saved. Ezekiel never employs the word “wicked” for a saved person (3:18–19; 7:21; 13:22; 18:20–21, 23–24, 27; 21:3–4, 25, 29; 33:8–9, 11–12, 14–15, 19); he uses the word for lost people, such as the idolatrous Babylonians who destroyed the Jerusalem temple (7:21). Indeed, not one of the 264 references to this Hebrew word for “wicked” in the Old Testament is clearly to a saved person—the wicked are uniformly those headed to damnation, who are “turned into hell” (Psalm 9:17) under the curse and wrath of God, in contrast to those who trust in the Lord, (by grace) are righteous, and receive salvation (Genesis 18:23, 25; Exodus 2:13; 9:27; 23:1, 7; Numbers 16:26; 35:31; Deuteronomy 25:1–2; 1 Samuel 2:9; 24:13; 2 Samuel 4:11; 1 Kings 8:32; 2 Chronicles 6:23; 19:2; Job 3:17; 8:22; 9:22, 24; 10:3; 11:20; 15:20; 16:11; 18:5; 20:5, 29; 21:7, 16–17, 28; 22:18; 24:6; 27:7, 13; 34:18, 26; 36:6, 17; 38:13, 15; 40:12; Psalm 1:1, 4–6; 3:7; 7:9; 9:5, 16–17; 10:2–4, 13, 15; 11:2, 5–6; 12:8; 17:9, 13; 26:5; 28:3; 31:17; 32:10; 34:21; 36:1, 11; 37:10, 12, 14, 16–17, 20–21, 28, 32, 34–35, 38, 40; 39:1; 50:16; 55:3; 58:3, 10; 68:2; 71:4; 73:3, 12; 75:4, 8, 10; 82:2, 4; 91:8; 92:7; 94:3, 13; 97:10; 101:8; 104:35; 106:18; 109:2, 6–7; 112:10; 119:53, 61, 95, 110, 119, 155; 129:4; 139:19; 140:4, 8; 141:10; 145:20; 146:9; 147:6; Proverbs 2:22; 3:25, 33; 4:14, 19; 5:22; 9:7; 10:3, 6–7, 11, 16, 20, 24–25, 27–28, 30, 32; 11:5, 7–8, 10–11, 18, 23, 31; 12:5–7, 10, 12, 21, 26; 13:5, 9, 17, 25; 14:11, 19, 32; 15:6, 8–9, 28–29; 16:4; 17:15, 23; 18:3, 5; 19:28; 20:26; 21:4, 7, 10, 12, 18, 27, 29; 24:15–16, 19–20, 24; 25:5, 26; 28:1, 4, 12, 15, 28; 29:2, 7, 12, 16, 27; Ecclesiastes 3:17; 7:15; 8:10, 13–14; 9:2; Isaiah 3:11; 5:23; 11:4; 13:11; 14:5; 26:10; 48:22; 53:9; 55:7; 57:20–21; Jeremiah 5:26; 12:1; 23:19; 25:31; 30:23; Ezekiel 3:18–19; 7:21; 13:22; 18:20–21, 23–24, 27; 21:3–4, 25, 29; 33:8–9, 11–12, 14–15, 19; Daniel 12:10; Micah 6:10; Habakkuk 1:4, 13; 3:13; Zephaniah 1:3; Malachi 3:18; 4:3).

Similarly, the New Testament commands the lost to repent of their sins. The New Testament warns those who do not “repent of their deeds” that they will enter “into great tribulation” (Revelation 2:22). That is, those unsaved people who do not “repent of their deeds” will miss the Rapture and enter into the “great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14; Matthew 24:21) with the rest of the unsaved, those who “repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21), those who “blasphemed the name of God . . . and . . . repented not to give him glory. . . . blasphemed the God of heaven . . . and repented not of their deeds” (Revelation 16:9, 11).

While all of the above is very clear from Scripture, Jack Hyles taught exactly the opposite.  Mr. Hyles taught that the lost only need to repent of unbelief in order to be saved:

What keeps a person from seeing life? Believing not! What makes the wrath of God abide on a person? Believing not! So, from what must a person repent in order to be saved? He must repent of that which makes him lost. Since “believing not” makes him lost, "believing" makes him saved. In repentance there is a turning from the thing that keeps him from being saved to the thing that saves him. So, yes, there is a repentance from unbelief in order to believe. . . . In order to believe, you have to repent of unbelief. That which makes a man lost must be corrected. . . . There are those who say we have to repent of our sins in order to be saved. No, we have to repent only of the thing that makes us unsaved, and that is unbelief. . . . There are those who say we have to repent of our sins in order to be saved. No, we have to repent only of the thing that makes us unsaved, and that is unbelief. (Jack Hyles, Enemies of Soulwinning, “Misunderstood repentance: an enemy of soulwinning”)

Scripture teaches that belief also involves surrender to Christ as Lord:

Deissmann in Light From the Ancient East gives several convincing quotations from the papyri to prove that pisteuein eis auton ["believe in/on," the most common Greek phrase for saving faith in the New Testament, John 3:16, etc.] meant surrender or submission to. A slave was sold into the name of the god of a temple; i. e., to be a temple servant. G. Milligan agrees with Deissmann that this papyri usage of eis auton is also found regularly in the New Testament. Thus to believe on or . . . into the name of Jesus means to renounce self and to consider onself the life-time servant of Jesus.” (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, H. E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey. New York, NY: MacMillan, 1955, pg. 105)

By contrast, Jack Hyles taught that saying one needs to receive Christ as Lord and Savior is a false gospel of works salvation:

Now exactly what is Lordship salvation?  It is a doctrine embraced by some who say that one must receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord in order to be saved.  A careful took at this doctrine will show that it is really nothing more but salvation by works rearing its ugly head. (Jack Hyles, “Salvation is More than Being Saved,” Chapter 11)

Jack Hyles's rejection of Biblical repentance explains why his religious organizations have 99%+  false professions in their widely publicized “soulwinning” statistics.  When I was a student at Fairhaven Baptist College, when Hyles-Anderson and First Baptist would have their “Big Days,” they would attract many children to their services by turning God's house into a worldly carnival, lead the children to say the “sinner's prayer” (although salvation is by repentant faith, not by repeating a “sinner’s prayer”) and then baptize them on the back of their church buses.  I personally heard testimonies of the children, coming back to church with us a week after the big day at Hyles, having been led to say the magic prayer and having been baptized, and being just as lost as they were before--many children were baptized five, six, seven, or even double-digit numbers of times.  Hyles-Anderson would claim thousands and thousands of people were saved when they were manipulated into repeating the “sinner’s prayer”  but 99%+ were made two-fold children of hell and showed no fruits of repentance (Matthew 3:8).  For example, on May 3, 1998 Hyles claimed over 15,000 people were saved, and they baptized over 5,000 people, but zero of these people joined the church that day, and a very, very tiny percentage ever joined it.

In light of Jack Hyles’s false gospel, it is not surprising that he affirmed many other heresies, including:
  • Christ was human from all eternity: “Jesus Christ . . . did not become human when He came to Bethlehem. He’s always been human.”
  • Jack Hyles’s good works helped his father in hell.
  • Fallen man is not human and does not have a spirit.
  • It was good for Adam and Eve to sin.
  • All men are “mental homosexuals” and the only difference between someone who has committed adultery and one who as not is that in the latter the sin of adultery was “in remission.”
  • “It wasn’t God the Father that forgave; the Man, the human Christ Jesus, forgave.”
  • Hyles would pray to the dead, asking his dead mother to help and intercede on the big days when they would use extra salesmanship to manipulate more people into repeating the “sinner’s prayer.”  (See The Hyles Effect-A Spreading Blight, by David Cloud, pgs. 23ff.; hear audio of Hyles teaching the heresy of the eternal humanity of Christ in the message “Why I am not 100% for Jack Hyles” by Roger Voegtlin here; also see here.

It would not be surprising in the least if the demons who, unlike Jack Hyles’s mother, actually could hear and answer Mr. Hyles’s prayer, were very active on their “big days” while his congregation was deceiving people into thinking they were saved because they repeated a magic prayer and baptizing thousands of lost people.

In light of his teaching on all men being “mental homosexuals” and those who were not adulterers simply being those with adultery “in remission,” it is sad but not surprising that overwhelming evidence proves that Jack Hyles committed immoral acts.  Nor is it surprising that his son, Dave Hyles, was a sexual monster; nor that many other leaders at First Baptist of Hammond were adulterers; nor that the pastor of First Baptist after Hyles, Jack Schapp, was a child molester who was sentenced to prison for twelve years.

The current senior pastor at First Baptist of Hammond, which still runs Hyles-Anderson College, is John Wilkerson.  

Pastor Wilkerson has done some good things at First Baptist of Hammond.  Unlike Jack Hyles, Mr. Wilkerson does not quote a verse at the beginning of a message and then just say stuff without ever referring to the Bible again.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that Mr. Wilkerson is a child molester like the previous pastor, Mr. Schapp.  That is great.  Also, Mr. Wilkerson does not seem to be full of pompous boasting but appears to be humble.  That is very good.  Also, Mr. Wilkerson does not appear to believe some of the most bizarre stuff that Jack Hyles taught; he is not teaching the eternal humanity of Christ, teaching that all men are “mental homosexuals,” and so on.  There is no evidence that he follows Hyles in praying to the dead.  Nor is there any evidence that Mr. Wilkerson has been immoral and disqualified himself from the ministry the way Jack Hyles was immoral and was disqualified from the ministry.  All of the above is good and a vast improvement from the hellish evils under Hyles and Schapp.

However, John Wilkerson has not led First Baptist of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson to reject Jack Hyles’s false gospel.  The heretical books by Jack Hyles quoted above, where Biblical repentance is called an “enemy of soulwinning” and saying one must receive Christ as Lord and Savior is (allegedly) works salvation, are still on sale in their bookstore, as are resources by Jack Hyles on how to do salesmanship soulwinning, and so on.  Of course, nothing defending the Biblical gospel or Biblical repentance is for sale.  When Mr. Wilkerson gives someone his idea of the gospel on the First Baptist website, he completely omits the word and the idea of Biblical repentance but says that one must do two things, believe and then say the sinner's prayer in order to be saved.  The Hyles-Anderson doctrinal statement says nothing about repentance, leaving out the word and the idea from how the lost must be saved.  The mission agency run by First Baptist of Hammond, most improperly called "Fundamental Baptist Missions International," totally omits both the word and the idea of repentance in its doctrinal statement about salvation, rejecting what Baptists have historically believed about repentance and the gospel.  

I am glad a woman does not need to be afraid if she crosses paths with Mr. Wilkerson alone in a dark alley at night.  That’s great.  It is also true for many faithful Mormons, members of the Watchtower Society, Catholics, and atheists.  Mr. Wilkerson has not repudiated the false gospel preached by Jack Hyles, but continues to promote Jack Hyles and his false gospel.

Furthermore, corporate repentance involves acknowledging corporate guilt.  Consider the prayer of Nehemiah:

And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. ... (Nehemiah 1:5-7)

There has been no corporate repentance for the sins of Jack Hyles and First Baptist.  They still have the name of this immoral man on their college--it is still “Hyles-Anderson College.” It still has its “Jack Hyles Memorial Auditorium.” It still promotes the books and videos of Jack Hyles. It still produces videos saying Hyles was a great man, covering up his immorality, covering up his heresies, covering up his culture of corruption that filled First Baptist Church and Hyles-Anderson College with adultery.

First Baptist Church and Hyles-Anderson College still promote Jack Hyles--they still promote the man, they still promote his false anti-repentance “gospel,” and they still cover up his well-documented immorality and wickedness.  They still seek to spread the influence, the books, the sermons, and the teachings of Jack Hyles to the ends of the world.

In Revelation 2-3 Christ called on disobedient churches and their pastors to repent.  If First Baptist of Hammond takes the name of Jack Hyles off from their college, publicly rejects and warns about Jack Hyles’s false gospel, stops selling Jack Hyles’s heretical books, stops covering up his immorality and admits he was disqualified from the ministry both for his own sins and those of his son (1 Timothy 3), renames its Jack Hyles Memorial Auditorium, cries out to God for mercy for the millions of people now in hell whom its members and others it has influenced with its wicked pseudo-soulwinning philosophy around the world have led into false professions, and is honest about its past, then we could conclude that perhaps, based on Revelation 2-3, Christ is now pleased with First Baptist of Hammond.  Until then, no--no way.

If you fellowship with First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana and Hyles-Anderson College, don’t fool yourself.  You are not pleasing Jesus Christ.  Christ did not say to cover up well-documented sin in people who are “big shots” and pretend it never happened. On the contrary, He commanded in His Word: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” (1 Timothy 5:20-21).

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are helping people be saved either. Hyles-Anderson is just the excuse the world needs to think that all this Baptist and Bible talk about being holy and God changing people’s lives is just fake, externalist hypocrisy.  When Baptists allow Hyles-Anderson and First Baptist staff into their pulpits after the church and college just sweep Hyles’s immorality under the rug without repentance, they are telling the world that Christianity is fake, just like Hyles’s “gospel,” “soulwinning,” and spirituality were fake.

Unless there is real repentance at Hyles-Anderson, it has well been said:




Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas,

Good article. Thanks for writing that. It’s much needed. Hyles was a wolf in sheep’s clothing indeed (Matt. 7:15-20; Ac. 20:29-30). Those that partake with Hyles churches are guilty by association. I have often heard men proclaim that they are for repentance yet embrace Hyles. Hmmm.

You clearly demonstrated that the wicked are always lost. I would include the “wicked person” in 1 Cor. 5 who is often said to be a true believer disciplined out of the church. But not only are the wicked always lost, so are backsliders. You wrote concerning “backsliders among the true people of God to live up to their privileges.” I cannot however find anyplace in scripture where the term is used to describe the true people of God.

Please consider a brief exposition of the term.

The word and its derivatives is a noun translated from meshûbâh meshûbâh, which means apostasy, to apostatize. It refers to an apostate, one who falls away from the faith, and I can find no example in scripture showing an apostate to be saved. Apostates are always lost, false deceptive and hypocritical teachers living in a false pretence (e.g. Rom. 16:17-18; Phil. 3:18-19; 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 18-22; Ju. 1:3-16; Heb. 3:7-4:11; 10:38-39). Their heart is full of themselves and their ways, and not Gods ways (Pr. 14:14; cf. Ac. 14:15-16; Rom. 16:18). We also see no example anywhere in scripture where the apostate was a true believer but all examples of true believers being chastened of God (De. 8:5-6; Job 5:17; Pr. 3:11-12; I Cor. 11:27-32; Heb. 11:5-11), for God never stops working in His own (Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13).

In Scripture, namely the O.T., none of the sixteen occasions the word and its derivates show up does it ever refer to saved people but always to lost people and almost entirely to Israel as a lost nation: Pr. 14:14; Jer. 2:19; 3:6, 8, 11-12, 14, 20-22; 5:6; 8:5; 14:7; 31:22; 49:4; Hos. 4:16; 11:7; 14:1-4. The NT is silent on it, even on its principles. The term appears to only apply to the Jewish nation and individual Jew (the only context it’s ever used) with whom God has everlasting covenants and who’ve had incredible privilege and opportunity to be converted (Rom. 3:1-3; 9:4-5; 10:8; Ps. 78:1-72; 81:10-13; etc).

Both the O.T. and N.T. specifically state that the one who goes back, the backslider, is unsaved. “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.” (Jer. 7:23). “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:38-39).

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for the comment. You are correct in part, namely, that the common assumption that all backsliders are genuinely converted people is erroneous. Texts such as Hebrews 10:38-39 properly demonstrate that this is not the case.

I don't have time to get into a longer discussion, but based on my study here:

I concluded that backsliding can indeed characterize those truly regenerate, as well as the lost, although God will chasten His own who do backslide.


Andrew said...

Very interesting article. I am not interested in defending the integrity of any person mentioned here, but I am very much interested in defending the integrity of Scripture. With that in mind I was wondering if you had any other scripture passage to support the central thrust of your claim here, other than a list of all the occurrences of "wicked" in the Old Testament.

Is there some reason you aren't mentioning some of the central passages on this such as Acts 26:18-20 or others? I'm sincerely interested why we are staying focused only on Old Testament passages and seemingly leaving out what seems to me the obvious. Is the New Testament not as clear on this subject so we left it out?

But with regard to book of Revelation 2:22, that is one interesting context you've given. I feel it is necessary to mount a defense of this verse here. It's true that with God, there is no respect of persons, and so we know that his method of judging the situation of churches there would be the same today. However, we also have to keep in mind Thyatira was a real church located in the day of John on Patmos. Are you suggesting that this verse was a warning to those 1st century Christians that if they did not repent, they would be time-warped to the great tribulation? In fact, I've often heard this verse misquoted as saying "the great tribulation," which tends to suggest this, but it actually says "great tribulation." Is this what you are actually suggesting, and if so, how do you defend it?

I'm most interested by what you left out, however: that you chose only to mention this one (1) passage out of the whole New Testament.

I'm not interested in defending Jack Hyles. It is also very unsettling to hear anyone use the term "mentally homosexual." Can we get any more info on this? On the face of it, it reminds me a bit of the people today who are trying to bring toleration of sodomy into churches, and that has to be stopped.

I will bookend this with a comment: I sure am glad that people, such as Roman Catholics, are not the ones who will decide I haven't shown sufficient "fruits of repentance" (i.e. going to their church, performing the mass, doing penance, etc.) and therefore am not saved. Or, that I haven't done as many good things as they have; or That I haven't met some checklist of works that they've decided on. I am glad it's not up to such persons that have such tendencies of thought. It's actually based on God's judgement— See, 1 Corinthians 4:1-4.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Andrew,

You are correct that many NT and OT passages teach this truth about repentance. I have a study at that provides more detail. It is also in texts that do not even use the word "repent," such as 1 Thess 1:9-10. It is in Acts 26, which you mentioned. The human response to the gospel is the same in both the OT and the NT, so OT texts are very relevant. The same Greek is used for the great Tribulation in Matthew 24 and in Revelation 2:22, and, yes, I believe the risen Christ is warning the unconverted that they would be left behind were He to return. Of course, if you die and go directly to hell instead of enduring earthly tribulation judgments you are still not out of great tribulation--you have the worst possible of all tribulation; eternal judgment is the consummation of eschatological judgment. I appreciate you don't want to misinterpret Scripture.

I have no idea what Hyles meant by "mental homosexuals." You can examine the sources referenced in the blog post and examine his original sources. It isn't something taught in Scripture, just some garbage idea he made up. Furthermore, it would be one thing if he had said it and had later said that he had not been careful in what he had said, but I am aware of no evidence that he ever admitted this concept is unbiblical.

Thanks for the 1 Cor 4 thought.

Andrew said...

I am going to make an educated guess that you are Thomas Ross, but correct me if I'm wrong.

I would definitely, absolutely recommend including those passages that you mentioned just now in an explanation of this subject. They will surely help to get the Biblical and doctrinal point across for those who are concerned with it. Like Romans 10:17 says, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

I definitely think the New Testament greatly helps and clarifies what the Lord wants to teach— I would even go so far as to say it does the best job of explaining the Gospel out of anything.

As far as the doctrine in Ezekiel reflecting the gospel: I agree— this is also evident in other verses, such as 33:13. It bears strong resemblance to Matthew 7:22. And at the end of the day, this also accords with the Gospel, since, as the apostle Paul says "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Consider James 2:11-13. Romans 7:4 and 8:28. 1 Corinthians 15:10. 2 Corinthians 5:21. Philippians 1:6 and 2:13. And so on.

"I believe the risen Christ is warning the unconverted that they would be left behind were He to return."

I don't see a conditional in the book of Revelation 2:22. I see a very direct statement that those who did not repent WOULD BE cast into great tribulation, absolutely. No conditions like "if I return while you are still alive." Just, they will be. And I, at very least, accept that absolute statement.

So that means to go with this must imply they are, as a matter of fact, time-warped to the actual great tribulation. Otherwise, it is talking about great tribulation generally.

This leaves the latter case, unless we can explain time-warping from the 1st century to the great tribulation.

I would also add that Matthew 24 also uses the same Greek for trumpet as 1 Thessalonians 4:16 does. So context is everything. Thanks for the article and reply.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad we agree on the main teaching, even if we disagree on Revelation 2:22. I would just point out that the word "trumpet" is much more common than the phrase "great tribulation," which only appears on the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 and Revelation 2:22 in the NT. Also, the post was not specifically an exposition of repentance, but an expose of Hyles. Finally, while considering the original audience is a very important point and well taken, I don't view the fact that the return of Christ did not happen before the people in that church died as a problem any more than Paul's "we which are alive and remain" in 1 Thess 4 means that Paul must still be alive before Christ returns.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for your reply. I had failed to also thank you for your stand and contending for the truth and refusing to kowtow to the fear of man. It is good that you are willing to count the cost and pursue the praises of God rather than the praises of man (Gal. 1:10).

I read what you wrote in your article on backsliding, but I’ll have to continue standing behind what I wrote. You do make a fairly decent argument but none of the uses of backsliding in Scripture is referencing actual true believers but false ones, apostates, ones who professed but didn’t possess. No apostate is ever saved. Israel as a nation has never been converted (with the exception when it consisted only of the patriarchal fathers). They have perpetually been apostate, backslidden. In the article you stated that “The distinction between the clean or pure-hearted Christian and the backslider is clear throughout the canon.” I do not see that, but what I do see is the distinction between the clean or pure-hearted Christian and the false “Christian” is clear throughout the cannon. Thousands of places, literally everywhere. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, besides maybe the Israelites in the wilderness, the prototype of the false believer, who were almost entirely lost, which Moses said (De. 4:23-40; 5:27-29; 9:4-8, 12-13, 16-24; 11:1-32; 29:2-4, 10-28; 30:11-20; 31:16-20, 24-29; 32:15-43) as did the Psalmist (Ps. 78:8-72; 81:8-16; 106:4-33) and Paul confirmed (2 Cor. 3:12-16; Heb. 3:6-4:11) and Jude (Ju. 1:5), as did Stephen the deacon (Ac. 7:51-52), and others. Those that are truly born again and fall into sin, do not stay there very long. God chastises immediately in our age, who have the indwelling Spirit of God. False believers do not endure and persevere, but fall away, apostatize, which is precisely what soog means (backslider).

You referenced Ps. 80:18 as saved people backsliding but you’re not interpreting that according to what is said there to the nation of Israel. “So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” (Psalm 80:18-19). This passage is all about salvation; repentance (“turn us again”) and faith (“call upon thy name”) which brings quickening (“quicken us”) and salvation (“we shall be saved”). It is the theme of the entire epistle (e.g. salvation specifically in reference also in vv. 3, 7, and Gods wrath upon them, vv. 4, 16) and actually further demonstrates that backsliding is only applicable to lost people (if God would save them, they “not go back from thee”), specifically the Jew who turns back from the great privilege and opportunity he has to be saved, God ever so near him, a subject that dominates scripture, everywhere in the OT, and NT passages such as Heb. 3:7-4:11 and the rest of Hebrews, 2 Cor. 3:12-16; etc. The passage itself supports my point; if you save us Lord, we will not go back from thee. Truly saved people do not go back. Lost, false professors do.

At the personal level, no true born again believer ever backslides. It contradicts what happens at salvation and all of Scripture and it contradicts Gods chastisement of His children. God is always working in His children, and He doesn’t wait prolonged periods of time to chastise them, since they have the indwelling Spirit of God, as we see with the Corinthians (1 Cor. 11:28-32). I also know that personally. No apostate is saved, something addressed in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Many more passages reflect this truth.


Andrew said...

To Thomas,

I just found it strange to dedicate that amount of space to explaining Scripture about the Gospel, while leaving out such important passages.

But then, I saw the book of Revelation being used in this way. If someone had bound themselves to believe all of the glosses of someone such as Darby, I can see how they might see this conclusion as necessary. But, as no such person is among us, these things cannot possibly be exegetically sound from this passage, taking all things into account. They had to be read in. Not only this, but from this situation, other disastrous issues arise.

For this reason, even though I may reach functionally the same conclusion regarding the main point, this has not been my concern. My only concern has been, on this line, to defend the perfect word of the Lord, when necessary, from diminution. One needs not resort to misleading tactics to bring any one in line to the truth. I find it additionally disturbing that this is an item on which the point has been made to rest.

Because of that fact, that— you think the warning is, that they will enter the end times period (even considering such passages as Luke 21:36, of which we are aware) you therefore conclude that this is a proof text to show that unsaved persons are being called to repentance— this then diminishes the absolute nature of the statement that the persons will without any doubt enter great tribulation with the sole exception that they repented.

Furthermore, in order to uphold this conclusion of their being unsaved, you then made the exception that: those who did not repent would instead find themselves in hell, and that this MIGHT be what is spoken of— All this so as to avoid admission of the simple idea that great tribulation could refer in some cases to grievous tribulation of any sort (but not at all abandoning the possibility that it may refer to the end times in some cases, see Luke 21:36).

Yet, by making this very exception, you therefore overturned your own basis. Because you originally said, that this prophecy ONLY refers to the great Tribulation, and that this is even the proof text to show that these individuals were unsaved. But then in response to me you said: This could also refer to being in hell, relying on your assumption that said individuals were unsaved. Therefore you assumed that they were unsaved in your interpretation of the verse, so how are you using it simultaneously as a proof text to show that they are unsaved?

As regards the parallel use of terms, I find no objection even to this particular connection because great tribulation may refer to the great tribulation and to tribulation typologically connected to it; So I accept this connection in this case. I do find objection to the principle that because two phrases, even specific phrases, co-occur, they MUST be a perfect, complete link, and we may rely on this all by itself solely for proof of something. And I am sure that many examples that contradict this may easily be drawn. I suppose my point may have been missed... I'm sure you might find an objection, then, why we can't rely only on the parallel of fig trees giving forth figs in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and book of Revelation 6, as well as in Isaiah 34:16, Joel 2:22, and Cant. 2:13. Nor of the other parallel of Isaiah 34:16 and book of Revelation 6 regarding heaven being rolled together as a scroll. Rest assured, I wouldn't try to make that connection, solely based on the similar phrase, without considering first context.

"I don't view the fact that the return of Christ did not happen before the people in that church died as a problem"

Yes, it's not because great tribulation can refer to things other than the end times great tribulation, so there's no problem. But if you diminish an absolute statement then there suddenly is a problem.

"any more than Paul's "we which are alive and remain" in 1 Thess 4 means that Paul must still be alive before Christ returns."

Yes, this isn't a problem with this absolute statement either.

Dave Mallinak said...

Thank you for writing this, Thomas. I have been asked about the current Pastor of Hyles quite often as well, and my answer has been the same as yours, though possibly a little lite on the details you include. I would add that, so far as I know, the church has never rebuked the sin of Jack Schaap before all as I Timothy 5:20 requires. I do not know of any discipline carried out by the church against Schaap. Not only this, but the church and the college still retain on their staff men who stood by silently consenting while Jack Schaap wrote some of the most heretically perverted things ever written about the Lord's Supper. Ray Young, who regularly and publicly proclaimed that he would commit sin if Jack Hyles told him to, was retained on staff by Mr. Wilkerson until his retirement. All of these things added together make it impossible for me to act as if the church or college can be cleared of their past sins or embraced by New Testament churches.

Again, thank you for writing what you have written.

Dave Mallinak

KJB1611 said...

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for the comment. There is no reason to conclude that "repent" means something radically different for a justified and a lost person, so the verse in Revelation still proves repentance involves turning from one's sins even were I to grant your argument.

Dear Bro Mallinak,

Thanks for the comment. If they never obeyed 1 Tim 5:20 even on Schapp that would be awful. I don't know what Schapp taught about the Lord's Supper, but I am not surprised it was perverted in light of how perverted he was.

I just don't get it how "big shot" people can just pretend this all never happened and embrace 1st Baptist and Wilkerson, so that, for example, Jack Trieber from Golden State Baptist College will preach at 1st Baptist of Hammond:

and Baptist College of Ministry will have Wilkerson in for their biggest yearly conference:

Andrew said...

Hey Thomas, I just wanted to apologize. Because I ran out of space to thank you in the previous post. Thanks for the responses and for letting me still post. I also strongly respect your answers. Have a fantastic rest of your week.

Anonymous said...

This explains so much! My daughter was raped by her father. The father was deep into following Jack Hyles way which was taught in a rural kansas town! This "man of God" who was the Pastor, bully supported and helped cover up the doings of my ex husband.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

That sounds absoutely awful, I am very sorry about that.

KJB1611 said...

Thanks, Andrew.

Anonymous said...

The church may very well have rebuked Pastor Schapp inside the church. Unless you were there or talked to someone who was, you are making an assumption and not believing the best. It’s very easy to look and determine what they should have done when you are not involved in the situation. Just like it’s easy for Presidential candidates to say this is what I would do in the Middle East and then as soon as they sit in the big chair they realize their are a lot more details they never knew before. So while I abhor some of the things Hyles did, I think we should still be understanding that there are probably a lot of details you don’t know and maybe he was brought before the church and dealt with and all that would have happened prior to the new Pastor coming. I am sure that Thomas or Pastor Brandenburg would have jumped on the opportunity had the pulpit committee at FBC Hammond come and asked them to be the Pastor. In fact, I imagine Kent would probably enjoy running a Bible College.


KJB1611 said...

Hi Don,

You are right that we ought to think the best. Unfortunately, if they are still promoting the same false gospel, we need to conclude they still believe it. If they are still "Hyles" Anderson college, are still making videos promoting Hyles, etc. then they still promote Hyles are are not honest about his sin.

What if they were called Jezebel-Anderson or Judas-Anderson College? Schapp-Anderson?

If they had asked me to be the pastor there I would tell them that I would be leading the church to change the name of the college, we would not sell Hyles books, and, in light of his very public sins, we would have a very public repentance, and see if they still wanted me to come. I would also tell them that I feared a very high percentage of the members were unconverted and would be preaching on texts like 2 Cor 13:5, etc., that we would no longer lure people in with gimmicks and marketing, etc. People on staff who were not going to support this or in any way helped to cover up immorality would be let go at a minimum or placed under church discipline.

That is if I thought they were still a church that had a valid baptism.

KJB1611 said...

We would also separate from other churches that were unwilling to repent of the carnal weaponry and 1-2-3 pray after me stuff that we had previously been so zealously promoting, thank people like David Cloud for exposing Hyles, etc., again, on the assumption that they still had a candlestick.

This is all kind of like "what would I do if they asked me to be the Pope for a day"; I would proclaim infallibly that justification was by faith alone, that it was idolatry to bow down to images, that the wafer of the Mass remained unchanged, would infallibly tell everyone to leave Roman Catholicism, etc. I would do it on public TV so that there was evidence that I was actually proclaiming all of this before they all jumped on me and took me away, never to be seen again.

KJB1611 said...

Actually, what I would do before accepting the pastorate is declare, in addition to all of the above, that we would be dissolving the church because of the false gospel it had proclaimed for decades, and those who gave evidence of true conversion and had received baptism at 1st Baptist would receive baptism at the hands of a sending church or at my hands as an evangelist sent out from, say, Bethel Baptist, and then we would re-constitute with a genuinely converted church membership.

Yet in my blog post I didn't even call on Hyles-Anderson to dissolve and reconstitute--just start preaching the true gospel, stop promoting a false gospel, and stop promoting an immoral and disqualified man.

Anne said...

In 2 Chronicles 29, we read of the great difference Hezekiah’s reign was from that of his father: in the first year, he opens the house of God, commanding a clean-up crew of Levites to get the place in order and “carry forth filthiness out of the holy place” (verse 5). Recognizing the evil of the previous generation in departing from the living God, Hezekiah openly defies the criminal actions of the former reign (his father’s) to defile God’s temple. Furthermore, he recognizes the impact these deeds have had on the kingdom—they have made Israel “an astonishment and a hissing” (verse 8).

It seems this would be the kind of thing appropriate for a pastor to do who has stepped into a ministry where sin has defiled and corrupted the people, in which many of the sheep have been spiritually slain, and where the testimony before the community has been darkened. Would it not be appropriate for this leader, like Hezekiah, to clearly break from the past, showing from his actions that the benighted church, the ruined testimony before the world, will be rectified? As in Hezekiah’s case, would it not be right for him to appoint (under church leadership) godly individuals, as described in Titus 2, to stand before God? As Hezekiah did, would it not would be proper for him to follow the biblical order in making God’s house a place of prayer and worship of a holy--not a carnal or fleshly--God? As Hezekiah made certain that each vessel was washed and sanctified, fit for service in the temple, should not every aspect of the place be rededicated and made holy to the Lord?

A rededication service and a time of confessing sin (as displayed in the multitude of sin offerings presented in the temple at this first service under Hezekiah) certainly seems an appropriate display of repentance before a holy God. It would seem that only then might true praise and worship be offered, as was done in Hezekiah’s time, when sin was confessed and atonement was appropriately made before the Lord.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anne,

That would be absolutely appropriate, since the church is the holy God's house, not a place to hide sin under the rug.