The Mission and Purpose of Present Truth Magazine
Present Truth Magazine was raised up in the providence of God to finish the work of recovering the truth of the Gospel. This recovery began in the Protestant Reformation and will finish with the complete unmasking of the "mystery of iniquity" which has invaded the Christian church in the guise of an "angel of light".
The Gospel is not a hidden mystery. It has been fully revealed and declared in Jesus Christ. The Apostles were bidden to go to every nation and tongue with the simple message that Christ has borne the penalty for our sins, and that God is calling all men and women to repentance from dead works and to faith in the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. The proclamation of the true gospel is always attended by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit tells us that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. God's wrath and righteous hatred of sin are real. Those who do not tremble before the revelation of His glory and fear His just punishment of sin are not drinking from the pure water of life, the Bible, but rather are drinking from the polluted waters of humanistic sophistries which speak smooth things to those with itching ears to hear something that removes the pillars of the faith that God has erected. God does not always tell us the "why" of the truth and He does not always answer us when we inquire "you say this but don't you really mean that". God has told us plainly that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and He also tells us that He judges and destroys those who reject the clear plan of salvation that He has revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God's judgments against sin are much more than merely allowing us to suffer the natural consequences of our actions as an outcome of natural law. Not only are those who willfully rebel against God's holy will "given up to their vile affections", but as the scripture further states, "for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men". "Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance?...God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?" God deals in just and righteous holy indignation against sin and unrepentant sinners in both this life and on the final Day of vengeance and just reward.
When the Bible speaks of the "blood" of Christ pleading for us, it is in a legal context representing the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ which answers all the demands which God's holy Law makes upon all mankind—namely a sinless life, and if sin is found, death for all who fall short of the Law's demands. This is not a man-made paradigm. It is the clearly revealed truth of the word of God as expressed in both the Old and New Testaments.
A testament is a covenant and a covenant is a legal contract which spells out all the conditions of "Life" for the benefactor of the covenant. All of the conditions of God's Everlasting Covenant have been fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ, and we who "Live" by faith in Christ are incorporated into His covenant and receive all the blessings of that covenant. By the unmerited grace of God through the doing and dying of Christ, we receive the free gift of having our sins forgiven, are accounted "worthy" of eternal life, and receive the blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit to continue to seal us in the covenant that we might continue to trust in the finished work of Christ and be faithful and repentant unto the end.
These are the Biblical themes in which God has seen fit to reveal His dealings with Man in his fallen condition. Those parables and illustrations and similes which use other terms to express the truth of the plan of salvation must be interpreted within the context of the Everlasting Covenant. We are not to interpret the Everlasting Covenant from the context of the parables. In other words, the parables must point to the Covenant. The parables are not to be an end in themselves. The Legal paradigm must be the head and not the tail. The tail must always point to the head.
The parent/child simile, the master/servant/friend simile, husband/wife simile must not be allowed to swallow up the Law Court/legal paradigm. It is this Law paradigm that is primary in all of scripture and it is this paradigm that the Protestant Reformation has been called to re-establish as the proper context for all of the truth of the Gospel and this context is most faithfully expressed in the of Day of Atonement of the tabernacle service as the background and setting for all of the truth of the Gospel that is being restored by the Reformation. We evangelical Christians are called to restore the Gospel, not to seek to go beyond the gospel that the apostles have laid as the foundation for the city of God.
The point that we must not overlook in this discussion is that "legal" forgiveness of debt—justification—makes effective "personal" reconciliation between God and Man possible. This personal relationship is called "sanctification". Justification is a legal reconciliation with God's law wherein the repentant sinner is accounted righteous and adopted into the family of God. This allows those who are justified to receive the free gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit in order to bring about a personal fellowship between God and Man. This fellowship between God and Man is called "sanctification". After God legally justifies a repentant sinner for the sake of the imputed righteousness of Christ, He can then begin to write the Law of God in the heart of the forgiven sinner and have fellowship with the believer.
This work of sanctification is the work of a lifetime and while this growing into the image of God is taking place, God continues to justify the individual believer by the imputed righteousness of Christ. Not even the most mature Christian who is partaking of the divine nature is sinless. Thus God must continually account the believer sinless before His Law by unmerited grace alone, because Christ, as our mediator between God and Man, continually imputes the sinless perfection of Christ unto the repentant believer as he continually puts his faith in Christ as his substitute and surety and High Priest before the Law of God. Thus legal "justification" and moral purification, called "sanctification", go hand in hand until the coming of our Lord. We cannot say we are sinless until our Lord comes in the clouds of heaven BUT we are accounted sinless in the merciful reckoning of God, because we continually acknowledge our sinfulness and trust in Christ's imputed righteousness for our acceptance before the perfect Law of God.
The point that we must emphasize is that without the legal justification before the Law of God, which Christ has secured for us upon the cross and continually imputes to us as our mediator and High Priest, we could have NO fellowship with God and could NOT receive the Holy Spirit to enable God to indwell us. The human family has been "sold into the slavery of sin" and we are legally under the authority of Satan's headship since the fall of Adam. Thus all are born naturally as the "children of wrath" and naturally alienated from the kingdom of God. Satan can rightly claim all who are not justified by faith in Christ as his lawful servants. The carnal mind is at enmity with God is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be.
It is in this fallen helpless condition, lost in trespass and sin, that God comes to the lost world with the gospel of Jesus Christ that Christ has paid the price for the liberation of the entire human family. He has cancelled our debt to the Law of God and become the new Head of the human family for all who will believe in Christ and repent of their sins. It is the Holy Spirit who attends the proclamation of this good news and enables whosoever will to be personally legally set free from the kingdom of darkness in the service of Satan and to be adopted into the family of God and to be infilled with the Holy Spirit to give enabling power to the repentant believer to begin to become a partaker of the divine nature, become an overcomer in the daily lifelong battle with sin.
God has made a legal cancellation of the legal guilt of the human family before the Law of God by giving of Himself in the person of Jesus Christ as our substitute, propitiation, and purchaser of our legal pardon. Without this legal provision which Christ has provided for us, we cannot receive the Holy Spirit to indwell us and begin to transform us.
Since the need for this legal provision is DENIED by the erroneous "moral influence view" of the plan of salvation, there can be no forgiveness, no indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and no eternal life to those who deny the need for legal justification. They in effect deny that the Law of God must be satisfied by the death of our Lord for our sins. Thus they make the cross of Christ of no effect and deny its actual need to purchase our pardon and redemption.
Redemption in the New Testament means to "buy back" as in the sense of buying back a slave from the slave market or buying back a piece of property that has been mortgaged by paying off the debt. This is why the Bible is so full of legal terms. Not because these terms are merely shadowy human similes, but because in REALITY God's Law must be legally satisfied before God can forgive a sinner and be adopted into the family of God. In Christ every demand of the broken Law of God has been satisfied and Satan can be rebuked and his objections silenced.
Zechariah 3:1 "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.... 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua..., I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day."
Only as we believe in and declare the true Gospel of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone through faith in the imputed righteousness of our sinless Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ alone, can we begin to be partakers of the divine nature and enter into the "rest that He has chosen". This is the three angel's message (see Revelation 14) in verity and this is why the blessed Protestant Reformation has been raised up to restore the pure evangelical gospel of Jesus Christ and expose the lies of the false gospel which the "man of sin" has set up in casting the truth of the Gospel to the ground.
Christ has for sin atonement made. What a wonderful Savior!!!