Definition and Purpose
[Lamb’s Harbinger is not associated with, nor in full agreement with Jonathan Cahn’s Harbinger]
An harbinger is one who seeks proper lodging for royalty when the crown travels. Of course, that means the harbinger goes ahead of the royal figure in order to prepare the way, so that when the King arrives, all is ready. Consequently, the harbinger is also responsible for everyone’s knowing royalty will soon grace the city or town. “Lamb’s Harbinger,” indicates Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, as the Royal Person who wishes to reside in every heart.
Lambs Harbinger exists to confess the sins of Christianity to the masses in a way that describes how things might have been better said or done. Many people either have been hurt or put off by Christian “religion,” by people who call themselves Christian, or by things done in the name of Church or Christ or God. Furthermore, the Bible, which is apparently meant to be a revelation of God to mankind, often has been misinterpreted, misunderstood or misrepresented, to the abuse and dismay of many. Traditions are commonly placed (knowingly or unknowingly) on the Bible like a bad wood veneer on solid gold. Only when apology is made for such atrocities and lies, can Light and Truth begin its freeing work. Only then is the heart opened to receive the Lord Jesus.
Lamb’s Harbinger is, at the same time, an exercise in preparing room in the reader’s beliefs for Jesus Christ by presenting accurate descriptions of reality. That is, Lamb’s Harbinger is about thinking from a biblically-informed worldview (seeing from God’s perspective). Its end is not Christianity; its end is the Lamb. It is not about denominationalism, movements, trendy theology, or popular leaders; though posts may coincidentally expose their blindness, weaknesses or oversights. It is not about pet doctrines. Rather, it is about being honest with already-relevant Scriptures, about normally interpreting the Bible’s books and passages in their varying genres, as one would interpret any other piece of literature–according to kind, in all of its context, with an eye to historic setting and original audience, and with special attention to the grammar… all in an effort to discover the Author’s intent–in this case, to know what God has had written about this or that. When one thinks with a biblically-informed worldview, then one will ultimately find out Jesus is the focal point of all existence, past, present, and future. The rest is detail.
Chances are, despite my sincerity, I will get some things wrong at some point or another. But, I am still learning, and my desire is to be biblically accurate above all else. All I desire for the reader is to know and love Christ as He can and should be known and loved. In that effort, I beg the critic’s indulgence.
Doctrine and Affiliation
Without question, the writer of Lamb’s Harbinger is theologically a Trinitarian, ‘essentialist, evangelical protestant‘ (see works by B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, and R. A. Torrey). While non-denominational, Sam Kean describes his faith as historic Anabaptist in theology, without the social isolationism and with a good dose of evangelistic fervor. By ‘non-denominational,’ he means: “a refusal to acknowledge those denominations which deny Christ, the essentials of the Christian Evangel, and/or create carnal divisions based on extra-biblical, man-made teachings.’
One’s eternal soul is rescued from sin and Hell by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. All of this is based on the completed and final standard—the Holy Scriptures (Christian Bible) alone. Baptism and Communion are not sacramental means by which saving grace is conferred on a soul, but they are symbolic acts of personal testimony, done by those who have already received eternal pardon and new spiritual birth through faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism and Communion are ordinances done in obedience by one who already has Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Kean shies away from the term “fundamentalist” due to its global connotations and trivial perversions by late 20th century independent fundamentalism. He is a pacifist in the face of religious persecution but is proactive in averting the suffering of others. Furthermore, as Francis Schaeffer and George E. Ladd understood Christ’s Kingdom is nothing institutionally physical/political until the return of Christ Himself, Kean affirms the same understanding. So, neither the democracy of the enlightenment nor the historic state churches of Europe are the rule of Christ. Thus, there is no legitimate claim to theonomy, or reconstructionism, let alone a perverted ecumenism which seeks to shape society through sociopolitical means. Therefore, Kean is not a sociopolitical (governmental) activist but seeks to aid mankind and animals and ecosystems as much as possible without government aid and through individual relationships and independent Christian organizations. He believes every believer is both the space (temples) and the subjects of God’s kingdom at present. And, the law of God at present is Christ’s Law, being the laws of faith in Christ (Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:27; Gal. 3:11) and agape love (Matthew. 5-7; John 14-17). The collective body of all true believers is the universal church.
While not ordained or commissioned under the Christian and Missionary Alliance (PDF Handbook), Sam Kean self-identifies his Christianity as very closely expressed by that faith group and by the Missionary Church (see also Wikipedia) & Calvary Chapel and Harvest Christian Fellowship association network. He would affirm a statement of faith similar to that found on CARM, strong exceptions taken with irresistible grace & limited atonement (as opposed to unlimited provision of atonement – see C. Ryrie, L. S. Chafer). Kean rejects the faulty notions of preterition and reprobation, since they each are built on a faulty premise. Predestination is toward the benefits of salvation, not to salvation itself (see The Faith of God’s Elect). Only those who are elect (have already received salvation) can and do say that God chose them “in Christ” (Eph. 1:4). As Christ is the elect (Is. 42:1), even so those who place faith in Christ at Divine invitation (Gospel call) by the Spirit step into the sphere of that election, and so, receive the title, elect. [please see Jesus Christ, the Elect of God]. All in all, there is a balance between Divine Initiation (grace) and human responsibility (faith): Ephesians 2:8-9. [See also this article by Ravi Zacharias]
There are four aspects to the Gospel: “Christ our Savior, Christ our Healer, Christ our Sanctifier, Christ our Coming Lord.” While Kean sees the definite biblical prescription for repentance of the sin nature (the “fallen self”) and false gods/religion before placing faith in Christ, he does not hold to extreme Lordship Salvation (whereby one must somehow completely do away with sins before he can be saved), but he agrees with scholars like John Walvoord and Zane Hodges… and the Apostle Paul… that salvation is by grace and no works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4). That being said, after someone is redeemed by God’s grace, their life will certainly show fruits of repentance and submissive love for the Lord Jesus.
Sam Kean is likewise, moderately dispensational (as opposed to classic, progressive, hyper, ultra) in his view of biblical covenants and distinctions between Israel and the Church. The Church is neither secular nor spiritual Israel, but non-Jew believers have been made one with believing Israel (Messianic Jews) through Christ. Those of Abraham’s faith (as opposed to lineage) are the children of promise (Romans 4; 9:7-8; Gal. 3:29).
Kean is futurist in eschatological interpretation and pre-millennial in his view of the return of Christ, finding these the result of a normal, literary, historical, grammatical and Analogia Scriptura approach to Bible interpretation. [please see Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus The Old, The Hermeneutical Spiral and Dominion and Dynasty, ch. 1]
Regarding sanctification, the author holds to the Antiochian Orthodox articulation of Theosis, and he considers it to be both the historical anchor and temper for Keswickian and Wesleyan teachings. If salvation comes by grace and no works, then it is kept by grace and no works (Galatians 3:3). Yet, unfrustrated grace leads to true holiness and a correct definition of the world / worldly. One’s view on eternal security affects his view of sanctification more than how one is born again spiritually.
Regarding spiritual gifts in sanctification, Kean does not teach a direct line of Apostolic Succession but does reject “cessation” of sign/spiritual gifts. During this–the Church Age–the Spirit has not yet been removed from the earth, and the Bible describes ways and rules to function in (as well as verify) the exercise of spiritual gifts, which are bestowed, directed and empowered by the Person of the Spirit (see Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12-14, Eph. 4 & Spiritual Gifts by CMAlliance.org and Strange Fire: A Calvary Chapel Response and Spiritual Gifts Chart via Precept Austin).
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