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Bryan Ross's video refutation of the joint-heir paper:

By Matt W Stutzman: Over the last month I have spent earnest time evaluating Mr. Ross's arguments put forth in his video presentation of 12/8/13 that aim to refute a core conclusion put forth in the joint-heir paper; namely that there is a distinction between an Heir of God and Joint-Heir with Christ. While Mr. Ross and I are in agreement about the conditional nature of 2 Timothy 2:12 (i.e. that a saint's doctrinal comprehension and voluntary suffering for the truth of the rightly divided gospel is an absolute requirement in order to reign in the Heavenly places) we unfortunately remain at an ever widening impasse concerning the connection of 2 Timothy 2:12 and Romans 8:17. Therein lies the crux of our disputation. In short, Mr. Ross vehemently rejects the assertion that these two verses share any contextual relationship whatsoever and therefore believes my written position on this to be in error. While I appreciate Mr. Ross and esteem him as a beloved member of the Body of Christ, I do find his evaluation and subsequent conclusion of this matter to be remiss and rather myopic on many points. I'd like to share just a few issues I have with his video refutation and ask that he and any others who may be investigating this topic give sincere and judicious consideration to it. In preface to this, I'd like to first clarify some of the semantics of my paper which I now believe may be causing some confusion here (particularly the use of the term "two inheritances"). For the record, I purposefully used the term two inheritances to delineate the two different portions that are incorporated within the singular word inheritance. The idea here would be paralleled to the precedent Old Testament principle of the inheritance (singular) as compared to the "double portion" of inheritance (Duet 21:16-17). As the Bible student will recall, the double portion of the inheritance (otherwise known as the birthright) bestowed certain rights and privileges that were exclusively given to the firstborn son by his father. In addition to inheriting a double portion of the estate itself these privileges also bestowed honor, authority, and exaltation of the firstborn son as the head over all the affairs of his family. Naturally, along with those privileges also came the responsibility to provide for those under his headship (specifically his mother until death and any of his unmarried sisters in the household). In other words we might suitably define this birthright inheritance with the words "reigning" or "governance". In fact we can see this connection of the firstborn birthright and reigning clearly exhibited in the verse below:

Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead. And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn. - 2 Chronicles 21:1-3 Again, my assertion here (which was seemingly misunderstood in my paper) is that this Old Testament principle of inheritance and double portion of inheritance is mirrored in our present dispensation of grace. The essence of this parallel in our dispensation being that the heir of the single portion of inheritance (the heir of God) is bequeathed with both a glorified incorruptible body and full entitlement as a citizen in the Heavenly places of the Kingdom. In contrast, the second portion (i.e. the reward of the inheritance Col 3:24) is synonymous with reigning in the Heavenly places. As previously stated Bryan Ross does not at this time dispute this assertion of the paper regarding 2 Tim 2:12 i.e. that the qualification to reign in the Heavenly places is conditionally predicated upon a saints voluntary faithfulness to labor in and suffer for the Pauline gospel rightly divided. With that preface aside, I'd like to begin by quoting Bryan Ross from his video at the 25:20 minute mark in order to convey his position: "If you just read verse 12 (2 Timothy 2:12), is there clearly something that is being denied for suffering? Yes, and what is it? It says reign. The question is though, is that passage (although it contains similar wording) talking about exactly the same thing that is being discussed in Romans chapter 8 verse 17?....I believe the answer to that question is no." At 40:12 of the video, Mr. Ross goes on to explain his line of reasoning by expounding his thoughts on Romans 8:17: "The English word joint heir...the word in English simply means an heir having a joint interest with another....All it means is that us and Christ are inheriting something together...Is Christ an heir of God? So that would make us what? Joint heirs. Because He has an inheritance and we have an inheritance that we are receiving together with Christ...Is that not the common sense reading of that verse in English? I would say yes, absolutely." At face value of Bryan's logical reasoning of a joint-heirship here I am inclined to agree. However, the difference between our perspectives is rooted in the details as to how we

perceive and define the inheritance that Christ Himself receives. What is seemingly absent from Mr. Ross's evaluation of the word is that the inheritance that Christ Himself receives is also delineated into two portions. We can see both portions of Christ's inheritance delineated in the book of Psalms: The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. - Psalms 16:5-10 As can be seen in this Messianic Psalm, the focus of Christ's inheritance in view here is centered in His faithful expectation that His flesh would not see corruption. This is to say that death (the tyrant king who had previously reigned supreme) would not thwart the resurrection of Jesus into everlasting life with a glorified and incorruptible body. In contrast to this, the second portion of Christ's inheritance (i.e. the reigning) is exhibited in Psalms chapter 2: I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. - Psalms 2:7-8 Here we can see the focus of Christ's inheritance being centered upon His preeminent position of reigning over people. In the context of prophecy, the heathen of course would be the Gentiles of the Kingdom who will one day be subject to the ordained governmental ruling of Israel (with Christ presiding as King of Kings) over all nations of the Earth. Additionally we can see the association of the firstborn to reigning in Colossians chapter 1: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the

dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. - Colossians 1:16-18 In light of these two-folds of Christ's inheritance (everlasting life and reigning), the question at hand remains concerning which portion of Christ's inheritance is contextually being referred to in Romans 8:17? I believe that the answer to that question is made clear in the last seven words of the verse: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.- Romans 8:17 Keep in mind that Christ has already received the first portion of His inheritance (a physical glorified body) but has not yet appropriated the second portion of His inheritance (the reigning). Given that Romans 8:17 makes it abundantly clear that the glorification spoken of is a simultaneous glorification (that we may be also glorified together) the verse therefore demands that this glorification must include the aspect of reigning. That's the only part of Christ's inheritance that has not yet been fulfilled! For what it is worth to reader, the Websters 1828 dictionary defines the term "glorified" (as in that we may also be glorified together) as follows: GLORIFIED, pp. Honored; dignified; exalted to glory Subsequently the secondary word in this definition "dignify" is also defined as follows: DIGNIFY: To invest with honor or dignity; to exalt in rank; to promote; to elevate to a high office. To honor; to make illustrious; to distinguish by some excellence, or that which gives celebrity. Moreover, the verses that immediately follow Romans 8:17 also corroborate in context the fact that glorification spoken of there is speaking in reference to reigning. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. - Romans 8:18-21

The particular use of the word "creature" here is referring to the higher sentient order of God's creation. This equally includes both angels and man (this phrasing being distinguished from the rest of God's "creation" spoken of in Romans 8:22). Now as Romans 8:21 declares, the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. In the context of our present dispensation this bondage of corruption spoken of here is particularly and specifically referencing the present defilement of the Heavenly government by Satan and his fallen angels (Job 15:15). As such, God's manifold wisdom of the mystery that has now been revealed to both angels and the church (Eph 3:10) becomes a welcomed proclamation of God's remedy to resolve the age long standing question that has ailed and confounded the faithful of God's angelic elect: The Heavens are not clean in His sight, how will He restore Heaven unto righteous governance? Romans 8:21 provides the answer to that age long question. Naturally, the resolution here is in God's plan to use the faithful saints of His Body (i.e. the joint-heirs found faithful in their labor in the mystery) for the purpose of supplanting the seats of government now currently occupied by the angelic host. Again, to this point there should be no disputation between us that the reigning is absolutely predicated upon a saints faithfulness to the mystery. For as it is written by our apostle: Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. - 1 Corinthians 4:12 Despite this fact Mr. Ross has chosen to frame his argument by appealing to the emotion of his listener (a manipulative tactic and logical fallacy known as argumentum ad passiones) by exhibiting and leveraging the suffering of Calvary pastor Saeed Abedini. In doing so the idiomatic "elephant in the room" has been entirely ignored. While I don't wish to disparage nor trivialize the very real suffering of Mr. Abedini the doctrinal fact of our apostle remains: And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. - 2 Tim 2:5 To this I would ask Mr. Ross: Is Mr. Abedini striving lawfully? Has he taken heed to build upon the proper foundation of 1 Corinthians 3:10? Is he preaching "another gospel" according to Galatians 1:7-9? I assert to you from the authority of our apostle that such a man despite all ostensible sincerity will be disqualified i.e. accursed or cut off (at the judgment seat of Christ) from reigning.