This article is in continuation with our previous one in which we informed you that one gentleman had few conversations with us. He wanted to inform us how beautiful TPM doctrines are. He said, “I stand with you guys, but to tell you fact TPM that you are seeing today is clay part.” According to him, TPM in its initial days was in its golden period, – the period of which we writers of “fromtpm” are not aware of! He was informing us that a present lot of white clads has corrupted TPM, but TPM in its golden days preached its doctrines rightly. He said he has a treasured collection of great Alwyn’s writings and he has read all scholars like Robert Govett, DM Panton, J A Seiss, G H Pember G H Lang etc, from whom TPM oldies have copied and fabricated TPM doctrines.
So I thought to myself let’s look at these names to see what exactly they said and how TPM twisted it. I started with this person called Robert Govett who wrote a book titled “Entrance into Kingdom or Rewards according to works.” In his book, Robert Govett says that he agrees with justification by faith and fruits as a product of justified life. But then he asks a question [with the intention to introduce his theory]. He asks “what are effects of good work or evil works on the future position of one already justified…” He concludes that our eternal rewards will be based on works done by us – if good then rewarded and if evil then punished. Having said that, he uses it as the foundation to germinate his pet “partial rapture theory,” which divides the second coming of Christ in rapture 1 rapture 2 etc. According to partial rapture theory, most holy people will be caught up in the first part of Jesus’ second coming [called as secret rapture], then subsequently after the punishment of the left behind people in the tribulation period, other leftover Christians will be taken in successive stages. It seems as if it is the Catholic version of purgatory, where God punishes all those souls who have not become perfect, in a temporary place of punishment called as purgatory. In the partial rapture theory, the purgatory is replaced by the tribulation period.
Anyways Partial rapture theory is not the subject of our discussion today. Partial Rapture theory is basically a child doctrine of parent doctrine known as categorization of eternal reward theology. The “Different Degrees of reward” theory proposes that our good works and holy life post our justification decides what degree of glory we will obtain in eternity.
Bible does have scriptures where rewards are promised, but wisdom is in reading those scriptures as they are. Instead of twisting them for self-glorification. This article is not about whether there are varying degrees of reward in heaven or not, but it is about TPM’s extreme perversion of such scriptures to establish those things in minds of self-lovers which scriptures do not deal in particular. This article is to show people like the gentleman mentioned above, that TPM’s teachings are not beautiful or scholarly but perversion and corruption of wisdom and truth.
The intention of Reward promising scriptures
When you go through that reward promising verses in the Holy Scriptures, you can notice that they were never intended to spawn those feelings which TPM and other cults instil in their followers using them. These scriptures were practical pieces of advice to motivate people so that they would keep running the race in the days of persecution. When apostles wrote the letter to churches, they were addressing all kinds of people. Some were converted genuinely, some were merely following Christian fellowship, some understood depth of the gospel, some were not very expert in comprehending the depth of gospel and so on.
As a result church in those days had people with all kinds of opinion and behaviour. Therefore, it was normal for epistle writers, to rebuke few of those members, who purposefully used liberty in Christ to sin. And similarly when apostles addressed churches undergoing persecution, then it was practical and natural for them to motivate believers using phrases like the crown of glory or crown of righteousness etc to encourage people to stay grounded in faith. Therefore these reward promising motivational bits of advice were not meant for people to make doctrines of three-tier heaven or the multi-staged second coming of Christ, out of these practical encouraging pieces of advice. But people like TPM, Mormons, JW & Shakers have created spectacular rewards for themselves and their followers twisting these scriptures.
Implications of having categorized reward system
A firm belief in hierarchical reward system has some serious implications. It is not necessary that these implications will always be manifest in them who believe in categorized reward theology. In the case of TPM and people like TPM, these implications are crystal clear. See what it has done to TPM
Made TPM possessed with megalomaniac Spirit:
It seems that this wind of Robert Govett’s teachings made the primaeval leadership of TPM, inject a spirit of megalomania into the TPM system. I suspect that after reading these degrees of eternal reward theology, TPM elites of those days began dreaming of becoming the best church in the world. They started it by positioning the rest of all Christian brethren to a lower category, in eternity. Scriptures which were meant for motivating people who were undergoing persecutions were used by TPM for self-glorification. Motivation transformed into spiritual pride. This pride made TPM put Abraham in a third category place and assign Zion for TPM celibates. All this just because TPM guys knew deeper secrets to get the most glorious reward in heaven, which Abraham knew not! This also made TPM cultic because they tried to control TPM believers by instructing them to not to go to other churches or read other church literature. Recently they became more stiffnecked by forbidding marriage with other Pentecostal church members. They do all these acrobatics to isolate their believers from the true knowledge of Christ.
Made TPM trust in their own consecration forgetting the foundational truth of Gospel:
Let me be very clear that we are not of any opinion that man is supposed to sin or live lawlessly post his justification. But this does not mean that we start again believing in the same old “work of human hands” to impute righteousness to our accounts. It is one thing to do good works and it is another thing to believe in them as the source of your righteousness. The Fundamental tenet of Pauline Gospel is that “We are declared righteous not according to our obedience in reference to principles of law, but by our faith in Jesus.” If righteousness comes by law then Christ died in vain [Gal 2:21]. We should therefore never [neither prior to justification nor post justification] try to derive righteousness into our accounts, from any other source than the righteousness of Christ which comes by faith. To do so, would mean making the death of Christ in vain. However, TPM’s arrogance made them demean the righteousness which comes by faith in comparison to righteousness that they will gain from human consecration and human deeds.
Violates the fundamental intent of Gospel:
Jesus said that all laws and commandments of God hang on two main principles, one of which is to LOVE NEIGHBOURS LIKE WE LOVE OURSELVES. This is what we should be able to do, or what we should be found doing post our justification. James writes “What? Are you saved by faith? I cannot see those works which ought to have to be proceeding from genuinely saved faith. A rich man arrives in your church and you respect him by his gold and behave inappropriately with the poor man. You say to naked men depart in peace and be warm, instead of providing him clothes! You do not appear to be fulfilling the royal law of love. You do not love the poor man as yourself. [James 2 paraphrased].” The fundamental teaching of Jesus was no different. He said “Ye have two coats..? give one to the person who has not even one and if one comes to you asking you to go a mile along with him, then go two with him. Behave with people as you want them to behave with you. Love them as you love yourself [Teachings of Jesus paraphrased].” That is what a converted heart must make us do post justification by faith – i.e. to make us love others like ourselves. Now wherever you don’t see this heart, i.e. to love, care and treat others like ourselves, there we can say that person is a mere claimant of being Christian but in reality, he is but a dead soul having an old heart, which desires superior things and best reward for itself as compared to others. This old heart despises others and thinks that they are not going to highest place in eternity. Instead of desiring that my brother in Christ must go to better place in eternity [if there exists one], this old wicked heart of TPM oldies dared to put Abraham in a lower category of heaven [not loving Abraham like unto themselves] James might still question them “What are ye justified by faith?…...”!
There is a divided opinion on the theology of “different degrees of reward in heaven” among theologians. Scholars like Craig Bloomberg disagrees with this theology and theologians like John Piper & Jonathan Edwards believe that people might get various degree of happiness in heaven depending on their work on earth. However, unlike TPM, you won’t find these theologians claiming special places and highest glory for themselves. They seem to have nothing more to do with this “categorized reward theology” other than proposing their honest opinion or motivating people to live righteously. However, TPM’s case is weird. TPM’s “deeper truths” appears to have been founded upon the extreme perversion of this theory. They have seized an opportunity and created the varying degree of glorious layers in eternity from this. Such a perversion is diametrically opposite to the spirit of Jesus.
The heart to love others like ourselves seems missing from TPM’s teachings. Motivational scriptures are twisted to exalt TPM saints and demean fellow Christians. I seriously doubt whether TPM workers who glory in TPM’s claim to Zion, are converted or not, – especially A. C. Thomas who demeaned other churches, and who might have been the main architect of TPM’s megalomaniac teachings.
To TPM White Clads: Stop assigning rewards for yourself, Don’t try to hijack even God’s place.
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. Rev 22:12