Lyn Mize believes that we need our souls saved as well as our spirits and some of us will therefore miss the rapture unless we WORK toward attaining eternal salvation. The following article will attempt to show how that theory has no Scriptural basis in fact.
(all scriptures are NIV except those quoted by Mize which are KJV Mize's words are in bold, mine in plain type.)
I will begin my critique of Mize's beliefs by commenting on a portion of Mize's About the Author.
Lyn Mize has been studying the Bible for the last 22 years. His particular emphasis has been on the doctrines of redemption and Bible prophecy, and his spiritual gifts are teaching and prophecy. His consuming desire has been to understand and obey the doctrines of the Bible, and to teach them to anyone who desires to understand and obey these doctrines.
Mize claims to have the Spiritual gifts of Teaching and Prophecy. One with the gift of Prophecy has a keen sense for discerning dishonesty and a strong passion to expose sin in the Body. They accurately speak from God's Word, the Bible and have a strong desire to keep false doctrines out of the Church by defending the truth of Scripture. A person with the gift of Teaching also wants to defend the Word but they are more interested in indepth research of the Bible, insisting on accuracy of the facts, and are natural detectives of the Word because they have an incredible memory for details. They keep error out of the church by examining every statement made by false teachers. Both of these gifts understand God's Word and are focused on defending the Word against false teachings. Does Mize accurately understand and defend the Word? This will hopefully be more clear as we move along.
The following is a critique of a portion of Mize's article called First John-Verse By Verse where he claims our souls are saved separately from our spirits and the salvation of our souls is directly related to how hard we work towards eternal life.. I have only included those portions that I intend to comment on.
An exegetical discourse on the First Epistle of John. In this epistle John addresses Salvation of the soul as found in the Life of Christ. Soul salvation is something that Christians must lay hold onto, and it is not the same as spirit salvation or the new birth.
The First Epistle of John is addressed to Christians, and it warns against the dangers of false teaching. It also exhorts believers to lives of obedience to God and love for Christian brothers and sisters. The primary theme is fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (1:3).
The first four verses of this epistle constitute the prologue, and affirm the reality of the incarnation of Christ. The goals of the epistle are fellowship and joy, and have nothing to do with testing to see if a person is really a born again Christian. It appears certain that the author of this epistle was John the Apostle-the disciple whom Jesus loved.
I. Prologue (1:1-4)
(1 John 1:1 KJV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
John declares his subject to be that which was from the beginning, and he then describes the Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently, the beginning referred to in this verse would be the beginning of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the First Coming of Jesus
Is this an acccurate statementthat John was speaking about the beginning of the proclamation of the Gospel or Christ's first coming? What did John say about Jesus's beginning in the very first verses of the Gospel of John?
"In the BEGINNING was the WORD, and the Word was with God and the WORD was GOD. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him noting was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood" (John 1:1-5).
John just said that Jesus is the creator of the Universe and he was from the beginning. If he is the creator then his beginning started long before he ever came to this earth at his first coming or before the proclamation of the Gospel either. Therefore Mize is not rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
This verse also describes Jesus as the Word of Life. We know that the Bible is the Written Word, but Jesus Christ is the Living Word, and this reference is to the Living Word. As the Living Word of Life, Jesus Christ is the source of eternal life. It must be emphasized here that eternal life pertains to soul salvation and not spirit salvation. Eternal life pertains to appropriating the Life of Jesus Christ and the rewards for doing this. Eternal life is something the Christian attains to by allowing Christ to live His live in the Christian. The Christian must lay hold on eternal life. The following verses are just a few that confirm this:
(1 Tim 6:12 KJV) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
(1 Tim 6:17-19 KJV) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
(1 John 1:2 KJV) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
This verse confirms that eternal life is in the life of Christ, and it has been manifested or shown to Christians. We can lay hold on to eternal life by allowing Christ to live His life through us. Eternal life is a result of good works as stated in the verses in 1 Timothy above.
Is it true that one can attain eternal life through works? Lets take another look at the verses that Mize quoted above and this time let's use the NIV:
"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called WHEN you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses"(1 Tim 6:12 NIV).
Now, this puts a whole different spin on the interpretation doesn't it? The NIV says that we are called to eternal life WHEN we confess Christ, and the KJV doesn't say when it occurs at all. Let's look at the other verses Mize quoted and see if we can confirm when we receive eternal salvation. I'm not going to use the 1 Timothy 6:17-19 verse because it does NOT indicate WHEN we receive eternal life. I'm going to quote both 1 John 1:1-3 so we can see the context.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our yes, which we have looked at and our hands have touchedthis we proclaim concerning the Word of life" (1 John 1:1).
I would like to point out that Mize said above that the Proclamation of the Gospel or the 2nd coming of Christ was what was being referred to as from the beginning. And yet, as we saw above, John in his Gospel said it was Christ that was from the beginning. Therefore, the word that in the verse above is referring to Christ as creator of the Universe. Christ as the creator, i.e., God, is what John was proclaiming in this verse, not the Gospel as Mize claims.
"The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:2).
Please notice that John continued with his thought, now changing the word that which we saw above has to be referring to Christ, he changed the "that" into the Word of life. And then he states this Word of Life, i.e., Christ as Creator God is what he saw, testified to, who was with the Father, whom they saw and heard, and who appeared to them, and he is now proclaiming this Word of life/Christ as God to them. Look at what a big difference one word makes. It changes the whole perspective on this verse. Does this look like Mize has the gift of Teaching?
The following verse provides the Biblical definition of eternal life:
(Rom 2:6-11 KJV) Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.
Please note that eternal life pertains to the good works that we perform. The Biblical
definition of eternal life is the glory, honor and immortality that a Christian attains to by
patient continuance in well doing.
Ok, now Mize is trying to tell us that this verse proves that eternal life is contingent on good works. Is this true? Lets move back a few verses and get the complete context of what was really being discussed in the passage above. According to verse 1-5 Paul was scolding the Romans for judging others and then doing the same things, i.e., they were hypocrites and it is hypocrites that were going to be judged here. Then Paul continues in verse 6-11 condemning those who do evil, i.e., the hypocrites. Nowhere in this passage does it condemn those who are not hypocrites, nor does it indicate when eternal life is given which is the whole point of this study. Has Mize chosen Scriptures that support his theory. It doesn't appear so. He has instead taken scripture out of context and therefore has failed to prove his own theory.
Let's take a look at what John says about eternal life in his gospel:
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life"(John 5:24).
Does the above scripture say anything about works entering into the equation for eternal life after one believes. No. And neither does the next one which was also written by John:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. . . . Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:16-18).
Ok, here are two verses written by John that state eternal life is contingent on believing with no mention of works involved. Does the Bible contradict itself, which would mean God is the author of confusion, or is Mize taking scripture out of context? I would have to believe it was the later.
(1 John 1:3 KJV) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also
may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his
Son Jesus Christ.
John continues the affirmation that eternal life is in the life of Jesus Christ, and it pertains
to our fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Eternal life pertains to
soul salvation and not spirit salvation. Our spirits were saved by the death of Jesus Christ,
but our souls are saved by the life of Jesus Christ.
Has Mize proven his point about Soul Salvation or that Eternal life is gained through good works? No. Has Mize proven that he can rightly divide the Word of Truth and has the Spiritual gift of Teacher or Prophecy? No. Therefore it is pointless to listen to the rest of his theory which is all based on the foregoing erroneous interpretation, and would be a waste of your time and mine. Therefore I'm not going to continue any farther with this critique, and besides it's past my bedtime.
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