The Probationary State of Man on Earth

We read the obvious concerning every individual in James 4:14: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?   It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

The false gospels which abound in the realm of professing Christianity negate or misrepresent God’s authority.  To deny the probationary state of man on earth (like many professing Christians indeed do) is to deny that all have sinned and need to come into line with God’s authority in this life.  His authority and power are of a magnitude that man cannot fully comprehend nor sufficiently put into words.  Yet we can, and must, properly esteem Him so that we adjust our attitudes, our conduct, and our overall direction in life to come into line with the truth, and the requirements for us which the truth demands of us, that He has revealed to man in the Bible.  Views of forgiveness, justification, and redemption in Christ which depart from that context are deceitful and will lead to those who heed them to being shut out of Christ’s coming kingdom as workers of lawlessness.

Psalm 130:3-4 says: “ If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”

1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh (the body), but quickened (made alive) by the (Holy) Spirit.”  

Very shortly afterwards, we read in 1 Peter 4:1-2: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh (the body) to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”

Jesus implied and affirmed the probationary state of man on earth in the Gospels by statements such as the following.

Matthew 5:29-30: “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Luke 12:4-9: “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.  Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings (half a penny), and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”

Considering that the Word became flesh in Jesus Christ makes it evident that confessing Him properly is receiving the Word of God and following in His steps to walk in the light of the Word.  Several Scriptures say this directly as well (Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:3-6, etc, etc).   

With these things considered, you can’t logically deny the probationary state of man on earth.  

Many who say that they are not Calvinists are nevertheless tainted with the Calvinistic concept that there is no free will after conversion to Christ (they might say that there’s free will before conversion to Christ, but they deny that there is free will after conversion to Christ).  They don’t see works of faith, works of obedience to the commandments and principles in God’s Word, as necessary to justify an individual before God.  They think that good works in God’s sight are just an inevitable product of conversion to Christ.  That thinking is Calvinistic to the core.  

Those who think like this don’t adequately recognize the test.  Those who think like this cannot pass the test.  They cannot pass the test because they do not adequately recognize the test nor what is at stake in the test.  They are thus ill prepared to overcome in their probationary trial.  

James 2:14-26: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?  can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

This is speaking of works of coming into line and complying with the requirements of God’s Word for Christians; works which demonstrate that one embraces the entire package of Christian doctrine and living.  It is not speaking of works which one puts together as their own package which they presumptuously think that God ought to accept (like Cain).

Matthew 3:7-12: “But when he (John the Baptist) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore fruits meet (fit) for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn (chopped) down, and cast into the fire.  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Yes, we must follow Abraham’s obedient faith by continuing in Christ’s Word in order to be of Abraham’s spiritual seed (and being Abraham’s spiritual actually matters before God, unlike being his physical descendant- though the Zionists lie and say otherwise).  There is no other way to be a partaker of Jesus Christ who has a saving interest in Him.

John 8:31-39: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word (note the implication of probation here), then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  I know that ye are Abraham’s (physical) seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.  Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children (spiritual seed), ye would do the works of Abraham.”

He knows that they are Abraham’s physical seed yet they are not Abraham’s spiritual seed.  They don’t do the works of Abraham because they do not walk in the faith of Abraham.

Galatians 6:14-16: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”

Since Abraham is the model of justifying faith for us in the Bible, and Abraham was under probation to the end of his life on earth, you can be sure that no man is ever lifted from probationary status in this life.

Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24:9-13: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity (anomia; lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

The very opportunity for grace through Jesus Christ presents a test, thereby putting those who have been given this opportunity under probation (see Titus 2:11-14).  To deny the probationary status of man on earth is to blatantly turn God’s grace into lascivious and an overall license for sin and ungodliness.  We are warned in the Book of Jude about those who do this.  They are ungodly people who deny Jesus Christ’s Supreme Authority and their extreme condemnation is set forth in the Bible.  

Elymas the Sorcerer got a foretaste of this condemnation in the Book of Acts for seeking to turn another away from being under Jesus Christ’s Lordship.

Acts 13:6-12: “And when they (the Apostles Paul and Barnabas) had gone through the isle (the island of Cyprus) unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.  But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.  Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.  And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season.  And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.  Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”

I have heard of a man who said “Amen” to the concept that God is not mocked.  Yet the same guy didn’t agree with the concept that life is a test.  Yet with the true God’s inherent Supreme Authority over man considered, the two concepts are inseparable.  You can’t logically receive one statement without receiving the other- at least without omitting and/or twisting many things in the Bible.  

Life is a test;; receiving Jesus properly means taking up our cross to align with the light of His Word; those who refuse His cross or abandon it so they can return to sin thereby mock God- and inevitably ensure they will fail the test and receive damnation.

Hebrews 2:5-9 says: “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.  But one in a certain place (the eighth Psalm) testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him?  or the son of man that thou visitest him?  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.  For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.  But now we see not yet all things put under him.  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

This life, in this age when all things are not yet put under Him, is the time to let Him know that we choose His righteous ways above and over all else.  His grace delivers those who wholeheartedly turn to Him from the condemnation they are due for their sins and His grace enables them to live worthy of His kingdom- as they continue to receive Him as the Great King and High Priest that He truly  is.

Colossians 1:20-23: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  And you (remember that Paul is writing to first century Apostolic Christian church members), that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.”

And then Paul wrote in Colossians 2:6-9: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught (taught by the writers of the Bible; you have probably been taught wrong by those who add to, subtract from, and/or twist the Bible), abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

And we read in Jonah 2:8: “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

Hence the need to overcome our probationary test.  The Lamb who was slain must get the glory from those who pass this test and are ultimately redeemed.  Those who fail must take the blame themselves for not making use of the grace of God in Jesus Christ like they ought to have- grace which was truly made available to them with the goal of delivering them from their due condemnation and enabling them to live worthy of His kingdom.  Their failure cannot to any extent, in any way, be justly blamed upon the Lord.

Look at what the Risen Jesus told a lukewarm first century church.

Revelation 3:14-22: “And unto the angel (messenger) of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning (“arche” in the Greek- the first in rank; the architect) of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (clothing), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (note the intention; the end goal which needs to be achieved and thus must be followed through in pursuing).  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Also look at what He told a faithful Christian church in the same letter.  

Revelation 2:8-11: “And unto the angel (the messenger) of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan (and the same group still blasphemes and slanders Christ and His true people).  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (note that there is no alternative to this besides the second death in the lake of fire).  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

Those who do not overcome will be.

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]