The Gospel as Ridicule and Entertainment
The self-proclaimed “World’s Most Outspoken Bible Scholar” professes to have all the answers for “freedom-seekers,” but the only freedom he imparts is from God’s ways and His righteousness. He has mistaken carnal knowledge of the Scriptures for Life, feeding others the bitterness and cynicism he labels “theotainment.” While rejecting the illegitimate church systems of men, he has more importantly rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, wrongly equating being anti-church with being Christian. He ridicules the ridiculous and the holy alike, making no distinction because he cannot see any, but we have come to make them known in the Light of all men.
Paul wrote Martin Zender:
Just to refresh your memory, I am the fellow that sent you The True Marks of a Cult, and to whom you sent your chapter on cults. I also have been sending you The Issues of Life, from which you recently unsubscribed. May I ask why?
Regarding your chapter on cults, I have one question at the moment. In it, you write:
“Evil is temporary; happiness is forever. The temporary evil buys the eternal happiness. This eternal happiness is for everyone—eventually. Eighty years of freaking misery, mixed with some joy and happiness and Cocoa Pebbles. Half of it you’re sleeping. Then an eternity of happiness to follow.”
By what event is one transferred from evil to happiness? It seems you are suggesting that physical death will accomplish this; “eighty years followed by an eternity of happiness.” How does one enter into happiness? Is happiness only for the next realm, and not this life? Is there not evil in the next realm (Revelation 12:7)? OK, that was more than one question, but all of one family!
Hello. Death certainly does not accomplish it. Death is sleep, so there is no sensation there, not even happiness. One enters happiness when one becomes immortal; this is the great event. This occurs upon vivification. There is evil in the next eon, but it won’t bother immortals, not mortals. Cocoa Pebbles is to be abolished at the consummation of the eons, but Fruity Pebbles will remain.
Your original statement:
“Evil is temporary; happiness is forever. The temporary evil buys the eternal happiness. This eternal happiness is for everyone—eventually. Eighty years of freaking misery, mixed with some joy and happiness and Cocoa Pebbles. Half of it you’re sleeping. Then an eternity of happiness to follow.”
Your explanation of where this happiness begins:
“Death certainly does not accomplish it. Death is sleep, so there is no sensation there, not even happiness. One enters happiness when one becomes immortal; this is the great event. This occurs upon vivification. There is evil in the next eon, but it won’t bother immortals, not mortals. Cocoa Pebbles is to be abolished at the consummation of the eons, but Fruity Pebbles will remain.”
What you are saying does not add up. The person mentioned in the first quote goes from eighty years of misery to bliss, which events you indicate are separated by death and some undetermined dormant period. Yet you contradict Jesus Christ, Who said that He came to bring us life, “vivification,” in the here and now, and not as you imply, as something only following an insensate period after death:
“I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 MKJV)
Those in Christ are raised from the dead, and are no longer insensate, whether in this world or the next.
This is also what Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, taught about those who have been “vivified,” here on earth:
“If, then, you were raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right of God; mind the things above, not the things on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3 LITV).
You are in contradiction, Martin, to yourself, because in contradiction to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I went through the cult chapter of your book, which chapter you had emailed me after I had sent you our paper, The True Marks of a Cult. In your writing you rightly point out that man-made religion in the Name of Christ often fits its own definition of a cult. What you fail to mention, or to apply to yourself or others, are God’s standards in defining what is a cult, a work of men.
Yes, the churches of men are by and large hypocritical. So what? All the more reason one should not be looking to such for a godly, useful measure of what is true. How could one expect to know what is true by the standards of the false? Yet you do. Telling us it is dark outside does not make it day. Critiquing the church systems of men does not bring salvation.
What does bring salvation is God’s Word, His Standard and Way. I am speaking of the Light of all men, the living and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Word made flesh, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By His Spirit He has made us heirs and living testimonies of His Nature, by our common salvation in Him. Therefore, we not only speak of the errors of men, but do so through the life that is found in Him, and by His standards, the ancient landmarks, which can be identified and corroborated in Holy Scripture. We outline these standards by which one can, without bias, determine what is false in The True Marks of a Cult. Judged by His standards, Martin, you also are a cult, no different in essence than those you condemn.
I am not asking you to take my word for it, as you so readily tell your readers; the standards are His, as noted in His Word of Truth, and give an impartial judgment, which you can see for yourself. However, I note that it is a gift to see anything and furthermore, to believe and obey Him.
Here are some of the marks that you display:
#2 – Money solicitation. You make it known that you are taking donations, and from anyone. This has not ever been the way of Christ or His saints. You also sell your spiritual teachings. No true saint of God has ever done that, either. The very idea is anathema, no different than selling your children’s or wife’s body in prostitution, and if you can believe it, which you cannot, it is even worse.
#10 – Easy to join. You think it is easy to join men’s churches? Next to your requirements for being part of the Body of Christ, they are excruciatingly demanding. To be part of the Body of Christ, according to you, requires absolutely nothing. You are already part of it; you just have not mentally grasped or acceded to the fact. This is a false gospel, described in The Deadly Error of the Universalists.
The real Church is composed of those who have repented and are crucified with Christ. No flesh is able, or dares, to join this Church. As it is written:
“And of the rest, no one dared to be joined to them, but the people greatly magnified them” (Acts 5:13 LITV).
#23 – Persons revered. Ask anyone going to your web site what it is about. The obvious answer – Martin Zender!
“Step right up folks, and get ‘Zenderized!’ by ‘the world’s most outspoken Bible scholar.’ Yes, come hear the ‘Sgt Pepper of Evangelism,’ the creator of a new genre of literature, ‘Theotainment,’ where you will be entertained by ‘Mr. Wizard of the Scripture Set,’ and ‘get real.’ Come join the next Martin in the next revolution!”
Your name is the one in lights, not the Lord’s. It is the abomination of desolation, sitting on the throne of God. It is the same nature by which men create their church systems, giving lip service to the Lord Jesus Christ while hiding the man of sin behind a pious front, not keeping His commandments. You have cunningly taken another tack, showing off your uncircumcised flesh proudly, without apology or shame, as if by doing so you conclusively demonstrate that you are not a phony like those who are self-circumcised. But the Scriptures declare that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything. That you condemn others when you are in the same unbelief as they are makes you that which the Lord abhors most, a hypocrite. Your own words condemn you:
“Everyone is pointing. Everyone is in a cult except the people who are pointing. But everyone is pointing.”
And the biggest pointer of all is Martin Zender, who has even put his name in lights so everyone can see where he is pointing and what a profound and prolific pointer he is.
#24 – Denial of gifts and manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Martin Zender says:
“As for the gift of prophecy, I believe that to be obsolete. There was a time for it, when the Word of God was not yet complete. But now that the Word is complete, people don’t need to hear “a direct Word from God” anymore. I’m not saying God doesn’t speak to us personally, but I do not trust anybody who comes up to me and says, ‘I have a word of the Lord for you.’ Sorry, but if God wants to talk to me, He’ll tell me personally. I put no stock in modern day prophets, even if they get something ‘right.’ God is our confirmation, and so is His Word.”
“Do not despise prophesying” (1 Thessalonians 5:20 MKJV).
The Scriptures, which you call the “complete” Word, also say this:
“So then, brothers, seek eagerly to prophesy…” (1 Corinthians 14:39 LITV).
And: “I bowed down at his feet to worship him, but he told me, Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold on to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy!” (Revelation 19:10 ISV)
If you deny prophecy in the present, you also deny the testimony of Jesus Christ in the present, and you do both. This is a mark of a cult. It only takes one mark to identify you as a cult, just as by breaking one commandment you have broken them all. You are not in the City, Martin, but without it, with the dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters and liars.
You say that God, if He has anything to say, will only say it to you. That is as false and diabolical a doctrine as any. The Scriptures, which you say are “complete,” are replete with example after example of God speaking through men to people, both individuals and nations. Nowhere is there any indication that this would or has changed. Why would it? If, by the laws of physics, nuclear fusion taking place on the surface of the sun provides energy to warm the earth today, why should I suppose it will cease tomorrow? If we have sunlight tomorrow, then we still have the sun. Yet the sun can go away, but we will yet have the Light Who created all things, within, by Whom we shall and do reign forever and ever. Therefore we speak with certitude, and without apology.
More important than your gross error is the reason behind it. You believe what you do because you choose to sit on God’s throne, showing yourself as God, disallowing Him from telling you, or anyone else, anything contrary by His chosen means of speaking, through His body, which is composed of earthen vessels. You prove my very words by denying and defying all that you hear in this letter.
At the same time that you deny the Word of the Lord in the mouth of His servants you also presume to teach others about God, as though you are His minister. How could you possibly minister by Him if you do not have His specific and applicable Word in your mouth? Can you not see that you are in a constant state of contradiction? Did Jesus not know what He was talking about? Did He use opinion and Scriptural analysis to answer the rich young ruler, or did He speak by revelation, prophetically?
You are in rebellion, and lead others in the same, despite the true things you teach. Yours is a ministry of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, which puffs up, fosters pride, stubbornness, and iniquity. The only thing that can serve to deliver from such is the fire of God, which thankfully is here for that very purpose. The will of the Lord Jesus Christ be done.
Contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, which has myriads of imitators, all vying for glory and proudly fighting amongst themselves, while the army of Heaven comes to rebuke them all,
Martin’s reply, only posted on his site – not sent to Paul:
You’re a tad strange and not much fun. But hello just the same.
Right off the bat, you misquoted John 11:25-26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Check it in literal texts. It says, “Shall not die for the eon.” It’s the coming eon in which these blessed people will not die, not this one. Right now, they’re dead. John 11:25-26 is one of the places that our beloved King James translators decided not to translate “eon,” and it has sent you off on the wrong track concerning the dead—oops—I mean, the insensate.
As for the bit of Paul you quoted on the resurrection, we have died and are raised with Christ in identification only, not yet in reality. If you think you died with Christ in reality, then you are not only deceived, you’re crazy. There just weren’t that many crosses on Calvary. Besides, you weren’t even born yet. Or maybe you were. Were you? Oh, you couldn’t have been. Besides, we are not to be vivified apart from the dead, and the dead in Christ rise first (1 Thess. 4:16.) Read: the dead in Christ. This hasn’t happened yet. If it had, I’d be much less susceptible to gravity right now and I wouldn’t need deodorant. Apparently, you don’t know what death is. You should find out; it will do wonders for your doctrine. For one thing, you will actually be able to believe one of the cornerstone truths of the evangel, namely, that Christ died.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians, chapter 9, that the evangelist is to live off the evangel: “Thus the Lord prescribes that those who are announcing the evangel are to be living of the evangel” (1 Cor. 9:14). Paul despoiled other ecclesias (2 Cor. 11:8), so that he could give freely to his beloved Corinthians. He took money from lots of people because they gave it; they wanted to support his worthy mission. People do not give me money out of compulsion, but from their heart; I have never compelled anyone to give.
I let people know I accept contributions toward my work, yes. Why? Because many people ask. People need to know that I’m sustained by the Body of Christ and not by some large, soulless corporation such as whatever church you belong to. They need to know that this is my only job and that I do it full time. Not many people do what I do full time, and this is one reason why the truth languishes today. I am a soldier and people want to support me because they believe in my work. Without them, I can’t do what I do. And truth be known, the biggest blessing is theirs, not mine. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
If you think I’m getting rich via this gospel—or trying to—then you should have a look at my car. I have stood at Wal-Mart for several minutes debating whether or not to buy name-brand cotton swabs. I resent you questioning my integrity and the supposed unscripturalness of my actions. Through the years, I have laid out my situation for all to see.
True, I sell my books, but Scripture does not speak against that. Selling books does not mean I’m selling truth. A person can easily get truth from me without buying my books. Every facet of the truth is readily available for free on my website in the form of sound files, articles, letters such as this one, and all manner of free stuff. But here’s something you may not have ever heard of, and it is my privilege to be able to hand you this remarkable revelation: IT COSTS MONEY TO PRODUCE BOOKS. Even so, I give a lot of them away.
If anyone is peddling the Word of God, sir (2 Cor. 2:17), it is you. As an orthodox Christian “believer,” you are taking the gospel and making it available only to those who can exchange the proper amount of human faith for it. This is what Paul means when he accuses some of peddling the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 2:17. He’s not saying that people are selling Bibles on the street corner, he is saying that people are exchanging salvation for human effort. I make the good news of Jesus Christ available for free, not only to those who visit my website, but to anyone who asks. I don’t tell them, “This great blessing of salvation can be yours—if the price is right.” No, that’s your gig.
I remember the day I had to look up the term “Universalist” to see what it was. And this was years after I believed in the salvation of all via the success of Christ’s cross. Apparently, you think I’m a Universalist. Well, you’re wrong again. It’s a good thing I’m not keeping score of your errant statements and assumptions because I would need to demand more money from my flock to hire an accountant.
It is true that I am revered and that I crave worship at least three times a day; this is my only fault. Some people have built statues of me and put them in their back yards, though I discourage the practice whenever I can, preferring that shrubbery be clipped into my likeness. Now I hear that people in Chile are minting coins with my profile. The profile looks more like Jeff Foxworthy, so I am pissed off royally—not that there is any other way for a person of my eminence to be pissed. I thought seriously of sending lightning bolts to destroy the misguided South American mint-meisters, but I changed my mind (it does happen! even to deities!), and have allotted myself 1000 years to cool off. If I’m still mad after that, I will be harming those Chilean coin-crunchers with much harm.
Listen, not-my-friend. I’m a showman at heart. I’m excited about my work and I love putting timeless truths on a modern platter. I love spicing-up my work with a little razzle-dazzle because it suits my personality. Didn’t Mary Poppins say that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? Oh, maybe that was Jeremiah in Lamentations; I can’t remember; I’m too busy putting chlorophyll into plants. Anyway, I am not a dry, unhappy announcer of doom who says “insensate” instead of “dead,” and so I’m not going to force myself to be like you; I’m going to be like me.
How is it that, by coining cool words like “theotainment” and calling myself “the world’s most outspoken Bible scholar,” I’m putting myself above Christ and God? That’s a ridiculous assertion, but you’re full of those. There are people like me who are showy on the outside but humble toward God on the inside, and then there are people like you who are humble on the outside but showy toward God on the inside, glorying in their decision to believe in God, content for the rest of the world to suffer in hell for eternity. Obviously you’re one of the latter types. I’d rather be like me than like you. I feel sorry for you; I haven’t decided yet what to do with you at the Great White Throne; say your prayers while facing my shrubbery.
As for prophesy, it went out the door when Paul completed the Word of God. Paul wrote the prophecy verse you quoted before he completed the Word of God. You quoted a portion of scripture from a time when prophecy still functioned. But Paul himself said in 1 Corinthians 13:8 that prophecy would cease. Well, it has. And languages are for minors—read the entire context of 1 Corinthians 13. Many things in the Bible that were formerly correct have ceased, which is why we don’t sacrifice lambs anymore (or maybe you do), or pray toward the temple (or maybe you do; but wait, there is no temple; but wait, this should not bother one who thinks he is already vivified, beyond the reach of death—I mean, insensateness).
As for me breaking the commandments, I’m afraid that is impossible, seeing as how I’ve never been under them: I’m not an Israelite! I’m one of those people of the nations, “who have no law”—that’s Romans 2:14. Read the whole book of Romans; you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find there.
You’re right in that I’m not going to be in the City you speak of, but neither will I be among the dogs and whoremongers—bitter disappointment for you, I know. I’ll be among the celestials at this time, ministering God’s grace. What did I do to deserve such a glorious fate? Nothing! God has simply chosen to lavish me with grace. It’s crazy, I know.
It is news to me that I sit on God’s throne. Wow. Thank you for the enlightenment; I could have sworn I was enduring an evil eon. I show myself to be God? Hm. That’s a serious accusation. I honestly can’t recall ever doing that. Was I funny? How long did it last?
Unless I am mistaken, you have—at the close of your blessed and gracious letter—sent me to hell. I should not worry; I think that God will let me off the hook now that I have read your letter, which is hell enough for anyone.
Have a good day, if you can.
Martin, I did not receive the reply to my letter that you posted on your site. A sister in Christ found it there and forwarded it to me. Is that how you answer people, using them to entertain your fan club, while not inviting or allowing them to even hear your reply, let alone respond? Is that what you consider the mark of an honest truth seeker? God says, “Come let us reason together,” but Martin says, “I can have an easier time of it making sport of Paul, or anyone who takes God’s Word seriously, if I shut him off from answering.”
If what you have to say to me were true, as a brother in Christ, why would you not want me to have the benefit of your wisdom and rebuke? Or is your answer strictly for yourself because it is defensive, an exercise in self-justification served up as “theotainment” for your audience? I will show everyone what you are all about in this response, you will receive my answer directly, and the answer will not be in doubt. It will also be posted at our site, name and all.
Your response is full of false accusations, careless errors, lies, hypocrisy, self-justification and glorification, and blasphemy, all bundled together and served up as frivolous jocularity, as though cynical witticisms are proper spiritual nourishment in Christ. Only the deceived and dead consume such fodder, not knowing or recognizing that your way is as far removed from Christ as darkness is from light, because they are in the dark themselves. You feed them the toxic bile from your well of bitterness and cynicism. You promise them a cheap and worthless salvation, which costs nothing and is worth less, stoking the false confidence of fools who are entertained by you while remaining firmly entrenched in their sins. True salvation in Christ remains hopelessly out of reach, until such as we, sent by God, come to reprove the works of darkness by the Light of Christ.
The sin in particular that I am addressing here is cynicism, born of pride and bitterness. In taking this path and teaching it to others, you are also guilty of promoting all sins of the flesh, though you may not indulge in many of them yourself. You have much blood on your hands, Martin Zender, and are now held accountable. You joke about the Great White Throne. I do not. You are there.
Let any honest and sincere seeker of truth consider and contrast your ways with the glorious Lord Jesus Christ, Who is not bitter, but gracious, not cynical, but just and wise, not a court jester, but King of kings. In His court there are no jesters:
“And let there be no low behaviour, or foolish talk, or words said in sport, which are not right, but in place of them the giving of praise” (Ephesians 5:4 BBE).
“The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of laughter” (Ecclesiastes 7:4 MKJV).
“For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool; this also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 7:6 MKJV).
Am I saying there is no humor or laughter in Heaven? Not at all. I am saying that the business of salvation, which cost our Lord His life, is deadly serious, but you make light of it, which is particularly wicked because you also presume to represent Him. You are a devil posing as an angel of light. That is why we are sent to unmask you.
You say I misquote John 11:25-26. Such a statement implies I knowingly misquoted the words. That is untrue, and is one of your many lies. You should have said that you think the translation I used does not convey the intended meaning, according to you. You are wrong on this count, too. I know the original wording and agree with it; it is your perverse and ignorant interpretation that is wrong, and I can prove it. All we need do is look at the Scriptures in context. I will use Young’s Literal Translation here, as you wish:
John 11:11-26 YLT
(11) These things He said, and after this He said to them, Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep, but I go on that I may awake him;
(12) therefore said His disciples, Sir, if he has fallen asleep, he will be saved;
(13) but Jesus had spoken about his death, but they thought that about the repose of sleep He spoke.
(14) Then, therefore, Jesus said to them freely, Lazarus has died;
(15) and I rejoice, for your sake, (that you may believe,) that I was not there; but we may go to him….
(20) Martha, therefore, when she heard that Jesus did come, met Him, and Mary kept sitting in the house.
(21) Martha, therefore, said unto Jesus, Sir, if You had been here, my brother had not died;
(22) but even now, I have known that whatever You may ask of God, God will give to You;
(23) Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again.
(24) Martha saith to Him, I have known that he will rise again, in the rising again in the last day;
(25) Jesus said to her, I am the rising again, and the Life; he who is believing in Me, even if he may die, shall live;
(26) and every one who is living and believing in Me shall not die–to the age….
You say that what Jesus meant by His words in verse 26 is that no one will be raised out of death until “the coming eon.” But Martha said the same thing as this in verse 24, and the Lord corrected her. He said that He, and not a specified time in the future, is the rising again from the dead. Everlasting life is in Him, not an event. He said that the one believing in Him would always have life, regardless of what happened until the physical resurrection had taken place.
Jesus also said the same thing when He corrected the Sadducees, who taught that there was no resurrection from the dead. He told them that all God’s people are alive to Him. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for examples, are not presently dead, or unconscious:
“But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31-32 MKJV).
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Zender says, “The coming eon is the resurrection.”
You, along with all the religious institutions you condemn, put into the future what the Lord has willed and established in the present. You are a hypocrite in condemning them because you are no different in that you also present error as truth, and are therefore even worse because you ridicule them and show them no mercy while you are doing the same thing. Woe to you, you bastard! Yes, a bastard, one born out of the lawful wedlock of Christ, refusing correction:
“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons” (Hebrews 12:7-8 MKJV).
What the Lord demonstrated by raising Lazarus from the grave is that death has no hold over Him, which includes all those that believe in Him. This is the glorious gospel.
The only reason you do not know this is because you do not believe in Him. You believe in Martin Zender. You have been preaching the gospel of Martin Zender, and you are correct when you add the caveat that Martin Zender does not have eternal life in him – a plausible explanation and convenient excuse for your continuing sin. You warn your listeners that they won’t have life until“the coming eon,” which will never come for them, because they must first come to the Lord Himself and follow Him according to His ways to have life. Diverting them from the path of truth, you destroy them. You pull the same scam that competent con men have always pulled – they are all well out of town when those to whom they sold the snake oil find out what it is.
But don’t think there won’t be a price to pay for your ways, though you appear to have escaped judgment for a time.
You are selling another “Jesus,” one that cannot deliver from sin and death today, but is promised to do so at a later, unspecified date. Very convenient for you, but not for your hearers, who are not cleansed of their sins or brought to His cross and raised up to new life.
You are earthly, devilish, exalting your carnal thinking as if you are giving godly explanations of the Scriptures. For example, you write:
“As for the bit of Paul you quoted on the resurrection, we have died and are raised with Christ in identification only, not yet in reality. If you think you died with Christ in reality, then you are not only deceived, you’re crazy.”
Here is what I quoted:
“If, then, you were raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right of God; mind the things above, not the things on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3 LITV).
Did I say I had physically died? No. Is Paul saying that? No. Do you understand what he is saying? No. So why mock what you do not understand, especially in God’s Holy Scriptures, whenyou claim to be a minister of His gospel? Do you not realize that you are mocking Him? You say I am crazy because I say that I have been raised from the dead. I am not speaking on my own authority, but on the authority of the same One Who inspired Paul to report this startling truth:
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. And that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith toward the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf” (Galatians 2:20 MKJV).
Paul died, just as Christ did when He was crucified, or Paul would not declare that he is still alive, just as Christ is. Because this death and resurrection takes place in the spiritual realm, you say it has not happened in reality. For you the Kingdom of Heaven has not come. Because you have not experienced the resurrection life of Jesus Christ does not mean that such is the case for Paul or for many others, including us:
“But God, being full of mercy, through the great love which He had for us, even when we were dead through our sins, gave us life together with Christ (by grace you have salvation), so that we came back from death with Him, and are seated with Him in the Heavens, in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6 BBE).
To you these words are unreal and fantastic because you plainly do not know or have these things. You are yet in your sins and unbelief. You are in wrongness, and plain wrong: There are many more crosses at Calvary than what you see. There is one waiting for you someday, too, but you have yet to turn to the One Who has it for you, much less have you taken it up. You are on the opposite track altogether, sitting in the seat of the scornful, as one of the mockers of which David and Peter wrote, and Enoch prophesied:
“These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks puffed up words, flattering people to gain advantage” (Jude 1:16 EMTV).
You mock the holy and blessed state of salvation that God’s chosen experience in Christ, saying that, according to 1 Thessalonians, we cannot be raised from the dead until the physical resurrection. Obviously Paul, in Ephesians, was not saying that he or we have been physically resurrected, even though we are seated with Christ. Instead of looking for things to disprove what he wrote, why don’t you simply explain what he had written? You don’t because you have no idea what he is talking about, not having experienced it, and have no desire to hear or to know the Truth. Concerning the resurrection, you opine, “in identification only,” because you have no substance; face it, Zender, you are the foretold evident mocker and a fraud.
You ridicule me for using the word “insensate,” but I was just using the appropriate word to describe what you said about those who physically die in Christ and are, according to you, “unconscious” until the “age.” It is your doctrine, not mine, or, more importantly, God’s. You used the word “vivification” to explain how believers will receive eternal life at some future date, when the next “eon” has arrived. Since when is “vivification” common everyday language? Yet you find fault with me for using a somewhat uncommon word to precisely answer your “vivification” theory? Are you not a vile hypocrite and mocker? I try to help you, but all you can do is despise and ridicule the very same thing you do and started, only you do it in the flesh, to glorify yourself, whereas I do it in the Spirit of Christ, to glorify God.
How kind and loving of you, Martin! Are these the fruits of your “Christ”? The Scriptures testify against you, your doctrine and behavior on every count:
“We know that we have passed over from death to life, because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:14-15 EMTV).
It is the one in death who does not know what death is. The one who has passed from death to Life (1 John 3:14) knows the difference. It is not I who does not know what death is, but you who does not know what Life is.
In my previous letter to you I pointed out some areas where you blatantly violate God’s commandments and ways, according to The True Marks of a Cult. For example:
“#2 Money solicitation – You make it known that you are taking donations, and from anyone. This has not ever been the way of Christ or His saints. You also sell your spiritual teachings. No true saint of God has ever done that, either. The very idea is anathema, no different than selling your children’s or wife’s body in prostitution, and, if you can believe it, which you cannot, it is even worse.”
You contest this by saying you do not compel anyone to give you money. I did not say that you did, and that is not the issue. I said that you put it out there that you will receive money from anyone. Men of God do not do that. Paul the apostle certainly did not. He received offerings only from bona fide believers.
I bring up these points not in expectation that you could comply, but to point out that you are not of the family of God, as indicated by your fruits and ways. The marks of a cult are there not because you have not learned the right doctrines, but because you are in wrongness. The problem is one of nature, not doctrine. The wrong practices and doctrines are the product of the nature. The Lord put it this way:
“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” Matthew 7:18 MKJV).
You are a corrupt tree, described by Jude as one that casts its fruit, barren, doubly dead and uprooted. You are a cloud without water, driven away by the wind. You feed yourself on the things of God, unrestrained by fear, caring only for yourself; a wild wave of the sea, foaming out your shame; a wandering star for whom is reserved the dense darkness of age-long duration (Jude 12-13).
You try to justify your robbery of what rightfully belongs to God, taking offerings in His Name, while despising and mocking Him and His ways. You are found out as a true son of your father, Satan, who was a liar from the beginning. You write:
“People need to know that I’m sustained by the Body of Christ and not by some large, soulless corporation such as whatever church you belong to.”
I belong to a church of men? Obviously you did not read The True Marks of a Cult, or anything else on our site. I was brought into the faith from outside men’s institutions, and the Lord has kept me in this manner these past 30 years, just as He calls all His children to “come out of her.” So where does that leave you? If I am of the Body (and I am), who are you and those supporting you? You are the tares, and if there were any true believers supporting you, you would be acting as a parasite on its host, infecting them with your deadly disease of cynical bitterness and self-justification in lawlessness. But true believers do not support you because they have the Spirit of Truth.
We speak to deliver all seeking for the truth from such as you.
“I resent you questioning my integrity and the supposed unscripturalness of my actions.”
Proud man! It is a common trait of false prophets to be offended by questions of their integrity. It is, after all, as you say, Martin Zender’s integrity that I am questioning. But what does the Lord Jesus Christ say? He has no problem questioning your integrity. After all, you have ripped off His Name, so just who do you think you are that you should not be scrutinized or resentful when questioned? On the contrary, He commends me in this investigation:
“I know your works and your labor and your patience, and how you cannot bear those who are evil. And you tried those pretending to be apostles, and are not, and have found them liars” (Revelation 2:2 MKJV).
You write, in reference to people supporting you financially:
“Without them, I can’t do what I do.”
Doesn’t that tell whom you serve? Your eyes and dependence are on “the arm of the flesh.” God is nowhere to be found, is He? You don’t serve the Omnipotent One but a figment. He won’t finance your blasphemies so you must find suckers to do it.
“True, I sell my books, but Scripture does not speak against that.”
The Scriptures do speak against making a business out of the profession of faith, and commend me for, and, indeed, encourage me in, questioning charlatans:
“They’ve got to be shut up. They’re disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck” (Titus 1:11 MSG).
(Does that remind you of any of your dupes, Martin?)
“Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text: My house was designated a house of prayer; you have made it a hangout for thieves” (Matthew 21:12-13 MSG).
And that is what you have done. It doesn’t matter if all you have gathered is enough to eat crackers and drive and live in a well-used Hyundai.
You are not called of God and do not have personal revelation from Him, so you do not offend by selling the Truth, rather, you offend by selling your opinions as if they are the Truth. You are another of the multitude of contemporary religious authors, which sell men’s teachings; because you think yourself so much better than they are in your religious “pureness,” however, you end up being a more vile and loathsome stench in God’s nose because of your hypocrisy and the lawlessness you encourage.
For example, I red one of the letters on your site where a man told you of the effect of one of your books on his wife. He writes:
“My wife had found your theology liberating enough for her to sleep with another man, and then later ask for a divorce and justify the whole thing based on the worldview presented in your book.”
While the wife is not blameless, I have no doubt that your book did have that effect, according to your rejection of the Law of God and His present power to deliver from sin. Yet you defend yourself and mock the fellow in your answer, even titling the letter “Dear Oh Me, Oh My.” What a scoundrel you are, and you have the gall to complain about being offended? Bastard! Can the contradiction be any greater, coming from one who so greatly offends?
Your books, the selling of them, and your advertising for donations are all very positive IDs for the works of men, the paths of the destroyer.
More of your lies:
“A person can easily get truth from me without buying my books. Every facet of the truth is readily available for free on my website in the form of sound files, articles, letters such as this one, and all manner of free stuff.”
You have some true doctrine, as do almost all religious groups and persons. The Pharisees said many true things, yet they crucified the Truth. You feed people from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but not from the Tree of Life. And as I have shown, much of what you so easily call “truth” is lies. You say here that your reply to me is an example of the truth found on your site. If speaking without knowing what you are saying, not caring to know, and being wrong most of the time, is the truth, then just what is a lie?
“If anyone is peddling the Word of God, sir (2 Cor. 2:17), it is you. As an orthodox Christian ‘believer,’ you are taking the gospel and making it available only to those who can exchange the proper amount of human faith for it.”
“Orthodox”? As in “mainline religious”? Did you even bother looking for anything factual to back up this statement, or were you just divining? But your doctrine does not allow for the Lord to speak to you, so it must be more of your negligent and non-existent research speaking here. Even the things you already had in front of your eyes in the very letter to which you replied prove the opposite of this false label, but you are completely blind to reality, so full of self-righteous madness you are, that you insist not only in shooting yourself in the foot but also in the head.
The gospel we preach is not adulterated, as is yours, with life-killing lies such as the whopper that one cannot receive Christ (eternal life) now. We speak the Truth by His grace and power, the One Who is with us presently and is ready to receive all those who confess and repent of their sins.
Fighting for your reputation, you continue on about “peddling” the Word of God:
“Paul …is saying that people are exchanging salvation for human effort. I make the good news of Jesus Christ available for free, not only to those who visit my website, but to anyone who asks. I don’t tell them, ‘This great blessing of salvation can be yours—if the price is right.’ No, that’s your gig.”
The real gospel that brings salvation cannot be bought or perverted. All Paul was saying was that some were adulterating the Word of God for selfish gain. Isn’t that what you are doing? For this reason you despise God’s standards and the scrutiny of the Light of all men, demanding to be free in Christ to do as you please. You have nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ but serve your own loathsome flesh. You are a complete fraud. You disguise your lawlessness (iniquity) in a cloak marked “grace,” fooling only those who also are determined to have a free rein to pursue their ungodly lusts, often bitterly opposing the Truth (you prey on the bitter and the ignorant).
And do you accuse me of expecting something in return from those who would receive the free gift of the grace of God in Jesus Christ? You, who ask people to indulge you in your lawless pursuits? On this, I confess I am 100 percent with John the Immerser rather than Martin the Zenderizer. John knew the hearts of men, and told the vipers, who, as you, strike when approached:
“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8 MKJV).
John told them what God would expect of them in return for receiving His grace, unlike your false god, who gives you a free pass to maintain your independence and pursue your prideful agenda.
I am with Jesus the Christ, not Martin the Christ mocker. Jesus Christ knew the high cost and value of the gospel He preached, and was upfront about warning everyone that would follow Him of the price and expectation:
“Then a certain scribe approached, and said to Him, ‘Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head’” (Matthew 8:19-20 EMTV).
“And he who had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter… His lord answered and said to him, Evil and slothful servant! You knew that I reaped where I did not sow, and gathered where I did not scatter”
(Matthew 25:24,26 MKJV).
Jesus, the One Whose Name you have ripped off, but Whose gospel you trash, most definitely spoke of the price of the free gift of God:
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he found one very precious pearl, went and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46 EMTV).
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33 KJV).
There is a price; there is a fearful one and commensurate responsibility. Only charlatans and imposters preach a Christ Who has no strings attached:
“Saying that they will be free, while they themselves are the servants of destruction…” (2 Peter 2:19 BBE).
I had written to you about this matter previously, because of your violation of Mark #10 in our paper of what defines a cult, an unwholesome gathering or teaching by men:
“#10 – Easy to join. You think it is easy to join men’s churches? Next to your requirements for being part of the Body of Christ, they are excruciatingly demanding. To be part of the Body of Christ, according to you, requires absolutely nothing. You are already part of it; you just have not mentally grasped or acceded to the fact. This is a false gospel, described in The Deadly Error of the Universalists.”
I provided this, not because I expected you to read it (which you did not), but to allow you to expose yourself, which you have. It describes, to a “t,” the false gospel you preach of a salvation that comes without discipling and the cross. That you disagree with being called a “Universalist” is irrelevant. You also say you believe in the ultimate salvation of all, which is the definition of Universalism.
I affirm that truth as well, but you were too lazy and dishonest to follow through on anything to ensure that you would know what you were talking about when you opened your mouth. Playing the wise guy, here is what God says about your ways:
“Whoever gives an answer before he listens is stupid and shameful” (Proverbs 18:13 GW)
So you say things like:
“There are people like me who are showy on the outside but humble toward God on the inside, and then there are people like you who are humble on the outside but showy toward God on the inside, glorying in their decision to believe in God, content for the rest of the world to suffer in hell for eternity. Obviously you’re one of the latter types.”
So you boast of humility, do you? We are “obviously…one of the latter types” only to self-confident fools who do not know what they are talking about and do not care to know. Read The Reconciliation of All Things. Not you, Zender – you must proudly resist the truth and go down with your ship of fools; the writing is for whomever else is reading this and is interested in the Truth.
In what dictionary do you, Martin Zender, find that the definition of “humble” is “quick to assume lies and to use them to slander others who speak the truth”?
Am I not your friend, as you say, or are you the betrayer of Christ, acting the part of His friend but playing the part of His enemy? What you do to His brethren is what you are already doing to Him.
You choose the right word for your antics – “razzle-dazzle,” which means, “complex play intended to confuse (dazzle) the opponent.” You are the enemy of Truth, and hence of all men, a servant of Mystery, Babylon the Great, disguised as an outsider, yet totally infected on the inside and spreading venereal disease of the spirit with those who fornicate with you in your vileness. The pernicious infection poisons the mind, leaving those afflicted to babble in confusion, rendered unfit for service to man or God.
The sugar you give your listeners, which tastes sweet, is refined white sugar, a poison with healthful constituents removed, to which you have added the deadly poison of mockery of all that is holy. Shall I smile and act light while I describe the ugliness of what you have sown and reap? Do I take pleasure in announcing doom for you, and for those who follow you? God says:
“Tell them that as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God, I do not enjoy seeing sinners die. I would rather see them stop sinning and live. Israel, stop the evil you are doing. Why do you want to die?” (Ezekiel 33:11 GNB).
But Zender says:
“Screw You, God, I have my own thing going here, and don’t You dare mess with me. Don’t You know who I am? How dare You question MY integrity? I am the ‘world’s most outspoken Bible scholar,’ not some sad-faced sack like You, Who dwells on the consequences of sin, obsessed with the Truth. The Bible says what I say it says, get it? So while I will entertain my audience at Your expense, You go find your own dupes to follow You, and I will make fun of them too, because I am the great ‘theotainer.’”
Who is ridiculous, Martin?
You say that prophecy “went out the door when Paul completed the Word of God.” Know that I am prophesying to you right now, because I give you the testimony of Jesus Christ:
“I fell at his feet to worship him, but he wouldn’t let me. “Don’t do that,” he said. ‘I’m a servant just like you, and like your brothers and sisters who hold to the witness of Jesus. The witness of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’” (Revelation 19:10 MSG).
He is the Word of God made flesh, the Life of my being, as with all His children, and there is no quenching Him or His work. How absurd to think that the One Who made the mouth can no longer speak! Only the antiChrist does not confess that Jesus Christ comes in the flesh. For those wishing to know the truth, you may read more about these Diabolical Doctrines, in particular The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Not for Today and Believers No Longer Hear God’s Voice.
Did Paul really mean to say that we no longer have prophesying? He wrote:
“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they shall pass away; whether there are tongues, they shall cease; whether there is knowledge, it shall pass away. Now we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial shall pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10 EMTV).
What Paul is saying is that prophecy is not an end in itself. Knowledge is not an end in itself (Is Martin saying we have no more knowledge? I answer that he speaks for himself). The end is Jesus Christ. Paul most certainly promoted the gift of prophecy because it edifies the Body of Christ and brings it to maturity in Him.
You can also ask yourself this question: Would God give prophets who do not exercise the prophetic gift?
“And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. And this UNTIL we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the SON OF GOD, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13 MKJV).
Are you, Martin Zender, telling us that you have come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ? If you are the complete representation of Christ, God help us all, because that would make Christ a lying, cheap-shot artist, who disdains all sincere expression of godliness, and dismisses such as bondage and rubbish.
But we know better, and we prophesy of you that no good will come of your works, but they are to be utterly burned with fire, and your carcass eaten by worms.
You think to have escaped the judgment of the Law, claiming you have never been under it. You point to Romans 2:14, as your defense. How about what comes before – verses 12 and 13?
“For as many as have sinned without Law shall also perish without Law, and as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law (for not the hearers of the Law are righteous with God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified” (Romans 2:12-13 EMTV).
Am I amazed, as you suggest I would be, at what I find in Romans? No, by God’s grace I understand and divide the Word of God correctly. What is amazing to me is how those like you will try, in broad daylight, to pervert what is in the Bible, as if no one can see your knavery. And you would have us believe that the Word of God is complete in you! How shameful a representation of God! You blaspheme.
Here is what the Word of God says about keeping His commandments, which you say does not apply to you:
“He that has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21 EMTV).
It is not news to us that you do not consider these things applicable to yourself. It is not news to us that you do not keep His commandments, and have nothing to do with Him. However, it is good news to have it publicly proclaimed so that some might be warned off of following you and your ways, ending up in the pit with you. If only one soul is spared your vile influence, it will be worth it. Those who follow you deserve what they get, choosing to believe lies.
The Law of God, contrary to your nonsensical view that it has nothing to do with non-Jews (and you are a non-Jew in spirit) is universally applicable; it is God’s Nature and Essence. Do any people do well to abrogate the Ten Commandments? How can there be abundant life without His Law? Jesus made no differentiation between the Law of God and His Word spoken by the prophets. If you throw out the Law, you also throw out the prophecies of God’s promises and His salvation in Christ, which is precisely what you have done:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you, until Heaven and earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle shall by no means pass away from the Law until all things are fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18 EMTV).
Those who say all things are fulfilled in this present world, and its ways are harmonious with God’s righteousness as expressed in the Law, are in the greatest delusion imaginable. Can anyone looking around them today declare that the inhabitants of this world are surely reflecting all of God’s ways and His glory? What a devastating and disastrous denial of reality that would be!
All things are not fulfilled until such a time as described by the apostle Paul:
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then those who belong to Christ at His coming. Then will be the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He abolishes every ruler and every authority and power. For He must reign till He puts all His enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:22-25 EMTV).
So we speak and wield the Sword of the Spirit. It is indeed a good day, a glorious one, as the evil is exposed and burned with fire unquenchable. You speak as if we believe our honor to serve God in this capacity has somehow been earned. While we are faithful to speak the Word, we reckon ourselves to be unprofitable servants, only doing that which has been our assigned duty from God. So you once again charge us falsely and without true knowledge.
Neither does it please me, as you suggest, to find you with the dogs and whoremongers (being one of them yourself), any more than it pleases God. He is vexed all day long with your arrogance and blasphemies, and it is our pleasure to bring Him relief by cutting off your head. That pleases Him.
You are also mistaken in this – I have not sent you to hell, you are already in hell. I have only shackled you there until full payment is made so that you can be released. Be certain that you will pay up to the last red cent, for God is not mocked, a man does reap as he sows, and there is a sure reward to those who persevere in His righteousness.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he also will reap” (Galatians 6:7 MKJV).
Serving Him that is Faithful and True, and Who does not share His glory with another,
The Scriptures say to mark the perfect man and note the upright, for his end is peace (Psalm 37:37). It is safe to follow such a one. But it isn’t safe to follow a mocker and scorner like Martin Zender, who reaps bitter fruits with the promise of more to come, because he hardens himself in evil. Woe to those who follow him.
Martin’s paradise is revealed to be hell when his idol turns on him. This is the fate of all wicked idolaters who love themselves while insisting they love and serve God, caught in their own trap of pride and seeking the praise of men.
My, how the wicked come to the defense of evildoers, not because they care about anyone or anything besides themselves – they are compelled to speak up for their own justification. The advent of light threatens their darkened hiding places. Here is what God says of them: “But these, as unreasoning natural brute animals having been born for capture and corruption, speak evil of the things that they do not understand. And they will utterly perish in their own corruption” (2 Peter 2:12 MKJV).