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Fear Is The Tool That “Priestcraft” Uses To Maintain Control
From the fall of man in the Garden of Eden until this very hour, Satan continues in his quest to convince men that eternal life is attained by good works. And of course that is a lie straight from the “father of lies” himself—a descriptive label placed on him by the Lord Jesus Christ when He denounced the Pharisees:
“You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. John 8:44, (Amplified Bible).
The New Testament is replete with teaching that thoroughly refutes the possibility of anyone being able to save themselves. To obtain (not attain) eternal life, one must receive it through the grace of God or not at all.
“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;  Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]” Eph.2:8-9, (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
However, because of our depraved human nature, “working one’s way to heaven” seems to be logical. And the primary reason every false religion and occult organization on Earth stresses the concept is there is an insidious logical element included within that point of view which strikes fear in the hearts of all who believe it. It goes something like this: “I was granted salvation because of my good works and if I fail to continue them, I will lose it!”
Bingo! That, my friends, is the devilish fear by which untold millions have been—and are continuing to be—kept in spiritual slavery!
“Priestcraft” is a term occasionally used to describe those who utilize such fear to control/manipulate their parishioners. Roman Catholicism honed it to perfection, but some Protestant denominations have also succumbed to its siren call. Because it is a sad fact that many people can be led around by the nose if the specter of eternal damnation is held over their heads.
Is such fear justified? Can doctrinal teaching be found in the Word of God to support it? NO!! Quite the contrary—the Scriptures clearly teach just the opposite, when everything it says on the subject is studied carefully. Please consider the following:
“And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.  In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].  We love Him, because He first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.  And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also” 1 John 4: 16-21, (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control” 2 Tim. 1:7, (Amplified Bible).
So being fearful of losing one’s salvation is, for the believer, as ridiculous as that of a child having loving parents who thinks they will send him away if he is bad. Would those parents ever entertain serious thoughts of “getting rid” of that child—no matter how disobedient and difficult he or she may be? The very thought of such a thing is abhorrent! Yet many born again believers allow themselves to be convinced that their heavenly Father—the Holy and loving God Who graciously took them into His family “warts and all”—will capriciously toss them into hell if they are disobedient. And they spend their lives wringing their hands and worrying about whether or not they will go to heaven when they die. “Oh me, I have committed such awful sins that surely my salvation is forfeited.” To such pathetic (and totally unfounded) fears, we only have to point out that 100% of your sins and mine were still far in the future when the Lord shed His precious blood to pay for them on the cross.
Then there is the silly matter of becoming “unborn.” Is it possible to reverse one’s physical birth? Of course not and neither is it possible to become unborn spiritually. Once we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and He literally takes up residence within us, eternal life in heaven is as sure as if we were already there! How do we know that is true? The Word of God says so!
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.  For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.  And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]” Romans 8:28-30, (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
So in spite of the fact that it is hard to comprehend—the words “foreordained,” “called,” “justified,” and “glorified” are all in the past tense. Therefore, from God’s perspective, all believers have been elevated to the point of glorification. Our eternal existence with Him in heaven is “a done deal” and irreversible because we have become part of His family!
“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” Hebrews 13:5, (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Please be advised that the Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest says those three negatives (“nots” highlighted in red) precede the verb in the original Greek. One such statement by God would be infinitely sufficient, but He says it over and over to comfort the fearful and depraved hearts of His children—those whom He rescues from the devil’s family and adopts as His own.
“For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]” Eph. 1:5, (Amplified Bible).
Finally, in Romans chapter 8 the Apostle Paul answers every possible “what if” that a fearful heart can imagine where losing salvation is concerned:
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]  Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?  Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?  Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.  Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.  For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,  Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:33-39 (Amplified Bible).
So in light of all these authoritative statements made by the Apostle God specifically commissioned to deliver the great doctrines of the faith to the Church, why would any genuine believer ever allow a practitioner of priestcraft to control them by insisting upon the opposite? All preachers who hold the doctrinal position that loss of salvation is possible—whether they realize it or not—are attempting to get people “to walk the straight and narrow” by holding that awful threat over their heads.
While we must understand that God does discipline His children, punishment is meted out by a loving Father and not the Judge of all creation:
“For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes” Hebrews 12:6, (Amplified Bible).
Love—not fear—is the guiding principle taught in the New Testament Scriptures and our wonderful heavenly Father will protect us forever in His loving arms.
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you.