This is a summary of the theological fundamentals and biblical interpretations set out in the two books that my website and Facebook page are promoting. It also acts as an interim summary with regard to the 95 related theses currently being posted on this and other platforms.
GOD’S SECRET PLAN
The catalyst for the radical reinterpretation of the bible being presented was an understanding (or rather I believe a revelation) concerning why Paul had unexpectedly been appointed as thirteenth faithful apostle [Matthias had replaced Judas as #12]. It was in order “to preach to the gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to enlighten all people regarding the secret plan which had been hidden in God from previous ages (Eph3:8-9). For that secret plan is something that no one appears to have discerned the providential and dispensational implications. Effectively it means that the current age is not a spiritualized fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy, but in terms of the salvation history outlined in the Law and Prophets is an inserted epoch. Paul tells us this came about to provoke God’s disbelieving chosen race to envy – by enlisting members of the Gentile nations into the messianic community (Rom11 vv11,12,15,30).
A CHANGE IN THE MESSIAH’S SUPPORTING CAST
It had long been prophesied that a coming Jewish Messiah would bring salvation to the world, but the supporting cast (Israel) who themselves had a salvific role to enact (Ex19:6; Deut4:6) had failed to fulfil God’s purposes for them. They were therefore to be replaced, or rather enhanced. That radically altered the timing for the establishment of God’s rule on earth. Observe how Paul subverts the OT prophecy concerning that rule: the feet are still beautiful but there is no longer a mention of God’s earthly rule which had been the focus of Isaiah’s proclamation [Rom10:15 vis-à-vis Is52:7]. Likewise, John the Baptist had warned of the wrath to come, and it is clear he meant pretty darn soon, for he believed it would impact the scribes and pharisees that he had scolded. And (more problematically for some), Jesus’s Olivet prophecies, especially Mt10:23 but all of them really: the Son of Man would NOT be returning in glory for a very long time. For God the Father, under whose personal authority such matters of timing are placed (Acts1:7), will have known the Jews would fail their mission, but also that in technological and intercommunicative terms the world was nowhere near ready 2000 years ago for what needed to be enacted in preparation for Christ’s rule on earth. As the Romans11 references affirm (which in view of how the rest of the New Testament has been interpreted are not taken as read), it had not been anticipated (i.e. prophesied in the Old Testament) that non-Jews could be “saved” in the sense of being raised to eternal life in the current age, hence Peter and others’ surprise and confusion when they were (Acts11:17-18; 26:18).
THE REALLY GOOD NEWS
This dispensational shift, once comprehended, is wondrous news. The providential implications are glorious, especially with respect to the prospects for the many who do not, and unless spiritually aided cannot encounter the grace of Christ in the gospel. For let there be no dissembling: Jesus, Paul, John and Luke (in Acts) affirm that fallen man is incapable of coming to salvation in Christ unless fore ordained and divinely enabled to do so (e.g., Jn1:13 & 6:44; Rom8:29; Acts13:48). It is the Church, like Isaac who are the children of promise (Gal4:28). Ishmael, Isaac’s half-brother, though blessed by God and Abraham was excluded. Likewise today, for those who have been cleansed and regenerated through infant baptism, it will have been a matter of grace and election. Even for adult converts, faith in Christ “is not of oneself, it is a gift of God” (Eph2:8 cf. Acts13:48). Nor can these references to predestination be referring to God foreknowing who would accept the gospel, for that would be election based on merit. For nothing can be more meritorious than being prepared to give up one’s worldly ambitions to serve Christ. No, Paul is adamant that election is not based on merit, either actual or foreseen – and so was Jesus (Jn6:44). As I have been explaining, attaining the prize of final salvation and the rewards that go with it (co-heirship with Christ, no less) is another matter (e.g.,1Cor9:24). For to remain within the covenant of promise requires personal cooperation and active participation in the life of Christ (Rom5:10). One must suffer with Him if one is to be glorified with Him (Rom8:17).
CONTEXT OF THE CHURCH WITHIN BROADER PROVIDENCE
But such election/predestination does not determine who are the children of God (cf. Rom8:21) but who shall be THE FIRSTBORN of God’s human family. That is why the Church is described as “the assembly of the firstborn” (Heb12:23: “πρωτοτόκων” being plural – it is not referring to Christ but His people): the royal priesthood of God (1Pet2:9). And as just shown, these must potentially be prepared to give up everything in this life for the privilege (Mt16:24-25), affirming once again God’s sublime equity. He IS fair to all. That is something which can only be perceived applying a dual perspective interpretation on salvation (next paragraph). Otherwise one must either “go liberal”, rejecting the bible’s teaching on the matter altogether, or adopt the Protestant Reformers’ maxim, “Let God be God”, i.e. He may appear unjust and cruel to us but that is His prerogative. It is but He isn’t, and Paul has affirmed it – God is no respecter of persons but is fair and just to all (Rom2:6-16). That is a passage I once regarded as anomalous, but now I delight in it – it’s the rest of Romans I had failed to understand. It affirms the Creator’s thoroughly intelligible justice as Someone not only to fear but adore. Truly, we shall praise God with uprightness of heart once we have learnt of His righteous judgements.
CLARIFYING MATTHEW 25
Once the bifold nature of salvation has been identified, Paul can be taken at his word (especially in Romans 11). That is, that Gentiles would not have “been saved” in the current age if Israel had not failed its mission. But that would not have meant they would have had to proselytise or face perdition. The soul going to heaven or otherwise is rarely if ever what Paul is referring to, whereas Jesus clearly was making such a delineation in His parable of the sheep and goats (Mt25). But note, it is a passage where religion is not mentioned or even implied, merely that the “sheep” had exercised compassion and that Jesus regarded their help of the poor as service to Himself (v40).
For the Lord, as is sometimes the case with the Apostle John, is here distinguishing between those who are of God and those who are the children of the devil (1Jn3:10). Gospel salvation on the other hand relates to spiritual cleansing and empowering to relate to the Godhead whilst still in human flesh. Such is necessary for those who are to be most closely associated with Christ in the age to come. Such faithful disciples are also described as God’s elect: the firstborn of God’s human family and a kind of first fruit of the created order (James1:18). The rest (i.e., man by nature) Paul describes as being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph2:1). But the “death” to which Paul refers pertains not to the soul but to the procreated intellectual vessel that the spiritual/eternal part of us currently inhabits, preventing the soul from experiencing a cognisant relationship with God, our conscience becoming defiled by “dead works” (Heb9:14). The restoration of such a relationship is what the bible means by eternal life (Jn17:3 cf. 1Jn3:15 – note the present tense).
THE INNER CONFLICT
Relatedly, in one of the most crucial yet misunderstood passages in the New Testament, the apostle describes the vessel inhabited by the soul as “the body of THIS death” (Rom7:24 check Greek), for he is referring to the condition he had been describing in the preceding passage. That pertained to the inner conflict between the bodily senses processed through the brain (resulting in the aforementioned “dead works” and defiled conscience) and the nobler instincts of the inner man or spirit: “For I joyfully agree with the law of God in the inner man but I see a different law in the members of my body waging war against the law of my (spiritual) mind, making me a prisoner of the law of sin – that law which is in my body’s parts” (Rom7:22-23). That is affirming that it is not the God-given soul per se that is the source of mankind’s problem with sin but the procreated intellectual vessel (body and brain) with which it is associated whilst in mortal flesh.
This is MORE good news, given that is something temporal that prevents mankind from rightly relating to God and falling into sin, not that which is eternal (1Pet4:6 & 3:19-20; cf. Gen6:3 strictly YLT). Note from the Genesis verse, God’s reference to “My spirit” cannot be the Holy Spirit for the latter is not possessed by all men whereas a God-given spirit is (1Thes5:23), albeit the post-Augustinian Church teaches otherwise. God did mankind a favour by shortening his lifespan as recorded in Genesis, knowing that the spirit He provided would always contend and fail against the flesh (body and brain) whilst they were co-existent. At least that is the case for the many who would not respond to the gospel to partake of Christ’s body and blood and be raised to eternal life (Jn6:53).
HEAVEN AND THE NEED FOR THE OTHER PLACE
The events of Eden did not change God’s ultimate intentions towards those He had made in His image. He wanted them to “become like one of Us” (Gen3:22) – but not before they were ready. Satan persuaded Eve and Adam there was no need to wait. As a result of the fallout, it became necessary that man become re-accustomed to god and the things of God; likewise, the Word of God condescended to become accustomed to man through His incarnation. For the Christian, such divine pedagogy commences during earthly life through a living relationship with that same incarnate Word. But such reacquaintance with God and the things of God shall be required for all who are to play a positive role in the new heavens and earth where righteousness prevails, so for most the refamiliarization must continue after physical death (cf. 1Pet4:6). Depending on what one’s soul has become, the transformation required may be difficult and painful, but infinitely worth it, but for a few it will prove to be impossible – because they are unsaltable (below).
As a palliative to what I wrote in a recent post concerning the true Church and the eucharist, those who in their lifetime have worshipped Christ and sought to serve Him, regardless of their denominational allegiance, will clearly be at an advantage in respect of their citizenship of Christ’s Kingdom. As, to an extent, will all those of faith who fear the god of their understanding or cultural upbringing. Indeed, such allegiance will have been the only right and proper response to their consciences given their ignorance of the gospel (cf. Acts17:29-31KJV). It will have been a preparation for the worship and service of the true God, Son and Spirit. Likewise, everyone regardless of any religious faith at all, who in the language of second century Irenaeus, “attend to moral discipline” [Ref#1], “paying heed to the natural precepts of the law by which man can be justified” [Ref#2]. Regrettably for those of my former ilk, “imputed righteousness” will have no role to play. It is our soul that enters eternity in the state it is at death, or else it would not be our life. For “righteousness” or the lack of it is what we are or have become. It is our true self with which God wishes to relate and unite to Himself; He already relates to His Son.
HELL – A DIVINELY ORDERED ESTABLISHMENT
At this point it is helpful to refer to Jesus’ teaching in Mt5:22, carefully noting THE GRADATIONS. “I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, whilst whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into hell fire”. This reflects the absurdity of traditional Western teaching on hell: It is never “all or nothing”. Nevertheless, for those whose misuse of their bodily members and senses has compromised the integrity of their soul (Mt5:29-30), Jesus affirms directly in the context of hell’s punishments that such must “be salted with fire, SALT BEING GOOD. However, “if the salt becomes unsaltable, how shall it be made salty again? Better to have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another” (Mk9:49-50).
Neither is hell administered by demons with pitchforks as depicted in some medieval paintings, but by God, His saints and angels (cf. Lk16:25 – it is strictly Hades but note the administrator and why Lazarus is being comforted – it has nothing to do with religion or having lived a sinless life). For, Jesus insists, everyone must be salted, if not in this life, then in the next (cf. Lk6:24-25). My book explains why this must be (ch.7). Your Church is unlikely to, for most have yet to grasp this mystery, yet it’s potentially the most wonderful news of all. Hell incorporates an element of punishment (for sure) and is best avoided. But for most attendees it is primarily a place of learning (the hard way), self-enlightenment, preparation and purification. For there is no distinction between the fires of hell and “purgatory” either in the bible or the writings of those who had received the Faith directly from the apostle.
In the worst cases, in view of what a few individuals have become in life (irredeemably corrupt), they could never still be themselves and exist within “new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells” that Peter sought after. It is best for such and everyone else that after due punishment they cease to exist. For they are “unsaltable, good for nothing, to be cast out and trodden under foot” (Mt5:13). God’s hatred of evil, proportional punishment and redistributive/compensatory justice are the outworking of his love, as all who possess the mind of Christ should discern. Such was third century Origen: “God confers benefits justly and punishes with kindness; since neither goodness without justice nor justice without goodness can display the real dignity of the divine nature” (Origen de Principiis Book II chap5 para 3).
As already intimated, the souls of all people of good will (who already have salt in themselves), regardless of their faults and failings or any religious faith shall ultimately be accepted into God’s kingdom and have the joy of being reunited with those they have loved and lost. The Son of Man teaches that heaven’s requirement is simply to have possessed and practiced “agape”, being the essence of God Himself (Mt25:40; cf. 1Jn4:8). In other words (and this will confuse many but is explained in my post on the subject) the Mt25 “sheep” were justified BY FAITH working through love (Gal5:6).
THE DISCIPLES’ REQUIREMENT
However, Christian faith, obedience to the laws of Christ, self-discipline and attendance to the sacraments of Holy Church are required to be “saved to the uttermost”. That is to be fitted to become the corporate bride of Christ, even to share His throne (Rev3:21). This is for the proportionally few who are called, chosen and faithful. Like Paul they “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phi3:14). 😲What? “Did you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (1Cor9:24).
GOD’S SALVIFIC AGENDA
Yet the Creator has made it clear that He sent His Son to SAVE THE WORLD and desires that ALL would be soul-healed and come to a knowledge of the truth. He does not achieve that by despatching the bulk of humanity to a lost eternity for failing to do what we have already shown from Scripture they were incapable of doing. Being, like Paul, an athlete for Christ to attain to God is one thing; avoiding perdition by showing oneself to be truly human (Mt25) is another. EVERYTHING fits into place once this salvific distinction has been apprehended – and God is shown to be what He truly is: comprehensively and comprehensibly adorable.
There are yet more interpretative errors that God will have determined should be sustained until these very last days: an eluded covenant (Gen4); misunderstanding aspects of faith and justification; failure to distinguish “children of the devil” from “the unsaved”; the non-imputation of Adam’s guilt to his offspring… I could go on (and on). With respect to traditional systematized Western biblical theology, what I have effectively been saying is “rip it up and start again”. Except there is no need – the task has already been completed and set out in The Little Book of Providence, albeit with about as much erudition as this retired London bus driver (aka “Charton” – Note#1) could be expected to muster. Yet the book’s ability to enable scripture to cohere is, I believe, unprecedented. For knowing myself and my own limitations I am convinced it is the work of God and the fulfilment of prophecy. That such a process as this should occur at all is more explicitly intimated in the Book of Enoch – extra-canonical scripture written to be a blessing to the final generation of Christians, as its opening verse declares.
LESS RADICAL THAN LUTHER
I sense what many might be thinking (🤣 or 😒) but what Luther and the Reformers proposed and implemented 500 years ago was far more radical than this. Their “rip it up and start again” approach applied not only to doctrine but to the universal Church – the very body of Christ. Not only that, but in view of the traditional dualistic interpretation of biblical salvation they shared with the medieval Catholic Church, Protestants were effectively saying that what was required of men and women to escape eternal torment had been largely unknown and untaught by the churches for the previous thousand or more years. And for the first 28 years of my Christian life I, albeit unwittingly, went along with this travesty. I now know it to be an extraordinary affront on our loving Heavenly Father’s providential care of humanity and Christ’s stewardship of His people through the centuries. Yet I in the past and Evangelicals today are typically oblivious to the implications of their founders’ assertions. For many are simply not au fait with the earliest Fathers’ writings, nor aware of Luther’s preposterous proposal that those men, some of whom had been directly tutored by the apostles, could uniformly have been in darkness concerning the essentials of saving faith [Quotation below].
I on the other hand have made it clear throughout that a true Church has always existed, albeit divided for the last 1000 years into East (Orthodox) and West (Catholic). Each has provided everything necessary (and some more besides) for fulness of salvation. What has been lacking, more particularly in the West, apart from the vital contribution of the many sincere believers in Christ who became Evangelical) is nevertheless radical, indeed almost laughable “(יִצְחָ֔ק)” [note#1]. That is a right understanding of what humanity is intended to be saved from: not the pollution of an intrinsically corrupted soul but the moral degeneracy of the temporary intellectual vessel it inhabits (cf. Rom7:24). And what salvation is for: not to escape a wrathful God’s predisposition to condemn imperfect souls to hell, but to partake of the divine nature whilst still in mortal flesh (proto-theosis). That is so that those predestined to the role are fitted for immediate participation in Christ’s rule in the age to come.
PREMILLENNIALISM – PREVALENT WITHIN THE EARLY CHURCH
As Wikipedia affirms [Link#2] such a premillennial perspective was the prevailing understanding of the early Church. The first notable opposition was from Marcion, a heretic who rejected the incarnation of Christ and the canonicity of the Old Testament. More significantly, third century Origen came openly to oppose the doctrine, having an over-spiritualized perspective on events relating to the second coming of Christ. Still more influential was Augustine’s change of mind on the subject. That typically ensured the doctrine was dropped by the Church thereafter. For as a leading Anglican scholar in the wiki article rightly observed, all medieval theology is essentially Augustinian – and the Protestant Reformers built on it. [If Augustine got it wrong, we are all in trouble, so here we all are]. Apart from the witness of those early premillennialists who had most immediately received the Faith from the apostles, my opening point concerning God’s secret plan (the inserted epoch) reinforces the rationale for a terrestrial age to follow the current one.
Unlike the separated assemblies, the true Church (East and West) has not been guilty of implicitly trashing Christ’s historical care and oversight of the very people He regards as His OWN FLESH AND BONES (Eph5:30KJV). But largely in view of her incomplete understanding of salvation’s nature and purpose, the Apostolic Church since the time the biblical canon was finalized and its doctrine systematized around the 4th/5th century, has (to put it mildly) failed to do justice to God’s munificence. Hence “The Little Book” (link#1) – sweet to the taste but likely to create bitterness in the abdomen (Greek: koilos) through that which had previously been assimilated, once God’s magnanimous providence has been ingested (Rev10:10). For in terms of the Catholic Church, it was not until the 1960s Vatican II’s “Lumen Gentium” that God’s broader benign providence towards “people of good will” was articulated at the conciliar level. But in this former Evangelical’s estimation, such broader benign providence has not been adequately underpinned from Scripture. Nor could it be without deconstructing much Augustinian-derived theology – a matter I have been attending to since I was made aware of these truths.
WAITING AND PRAYING – FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Having begun my 50+ year Christian journey from a diametrically opposite position, I was made aware after my first spiritual encounter in the middle of training for the Baptist ministry (1998), that the Church at Rome is the assembly whose bishop is intended to be primus inter pares for the whole Church militant – the one with whom every Christian assembly should ideally be incorporated or affiliated. That is “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ when we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph4:12-13).
But as I have been intimating, that cannot occur until all assemblies, Rome included (and to a lesser extent the Greek Church) acknowledge substantial doctrinal error – summarized in my 95 theses and set out in full in The Little Book of Providence [Link#3]. Clearly such an acknowledgement would only be forthcoming if it became widely recognized that I, though a spiritual and intellectual pygmy, am in accordance with God’s good humour, an instrument for this purpose (Mt11:25; cf. Rev10:7). That is why I earnestly pray for YOU, the reader. For if the Spirit affirms in your mind and conscience that I write the truth, you could have a pivotal role to play in taking the matter forward, especially if you have any personal influence yourself as a priest/pastor/leader/writer or have an association with those who do. I have planted, others may water but only God can bring forth the increase.
REF#1: Irenaeus against heresies Book III chap. 25 (para 1)
REF#2: Ibid. Book IV chap. 13 para 1
NOTE #1: These are two of the three names by which I was addressed in the recording referred to in my “Mystery Acoustics post” (Link#3). יִצְחָ֔ק (Yitshak) aka Isaac, denotes one who laughs (or is laughed at), whilst “Charton” is an obscure surname denoting a carter or coachman (in modern times a busman). According to sources I have identified on internet, the Hebrew and English names are linked. The third personal address I received on the recording is still more extraordinary, being my birth-name “Richard”, for the one who I am sure uttered it is no longer with us.
LINK#1 Free PDF download of The Little Book of Providence: https://richard777.blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/HERE.pdf
“OF THE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH”
Behold what great darkness is in the books of the Fathers concerning faith; yet if the article of justification be darkened it is impossible to smother the grossest error of mankind… Augustine wrote nothing to the purpose concerning faith for he was first roused up and made a man by the Pelagians, in striving against them. I can find no exposition upon the Epistles to the Romans or Galatians where anything is taught pure and aright. Oh, what a happy time have we now in regard to the purity of the doctrine, but alas we little esteem it.
 Martin Luther “Table Talk” #DXXX Marshall Montgomery Collection