Posts Tagged ‘Calvinism’

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Ephesians 1:3-6 (King James Version) – Pt. 2

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

This article has been combined with another article and moved to the following location:
Ephesians 1:3-6 (King James Version)

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An Aside – Of the Nature of God: Part 2

Saturday, March 14th, 2009
  • Man cannot understand why God just doesn’t destroy all the wicked people and leave the good people.
  • Man cannot understand how that turning from righteousness, even for a second, warrants permanent destruction in the sight of God, when the wicked are given a (many) chance(s) to repent.

Briefly, we can answer the two contentions with other Scripture:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:16-17)

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:9-19)

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Romans 11:32)

Hmm . . . So you think the LORD God should destroy all the wicked out of hand instead of granting then space to repent and believe?

If so, say “Goodbye” to the race of man. Tomorrow will not exist for us. All are equally guilty before God, all are wicked in the sight of God, all deserve destruction. Remember, there is:

none good but one, that is, God:

And:

none that doeth good, no, not one

Here then is also the righteousness of the LORD God:

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

For this reason:

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Romans 5:18)

So much for Limited atonement . . .1

But I digress.

In returning to look at righteousness and what it is, we should particularly note verses 29-30 of Ezekiel, Chapter 18, and add to that verses 17-20 of Ezekiel, Chapter 33:2

Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. (Ezekiel 18:29-30)

Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. (Ezekiel 33:17-20)

In both the above passages, there is the use of the phrases “my ways equal” and “your ways unequal” contrasted, and then the LORD God stating “turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity . . .” It is this tying of “iniquity,” and “my ways equal” and “your ways unequal” together that are the center of understanding righteousness. To strengthen this, when the LORD proceeds further and states “When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity,” He is clearly setting righteousness in direct opposition to iniquity, and saying that “iniquity” is being “not equal” in one’s doings. Therefore sin, which is a result of iniquity, is the result of being unequal in one’s way of being. This is to say that if the very way we think is unequal, that when we do not treat everything equally, we are in sin, and are not righteous. This is confirmed in the New Testament in James, Chapter 2:

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (James 2:8-9)

Beyond this, it is inherent in being equal or righteous, that one must, to be equal, see everything that exists, physical and spiritual as it is, not as one thinks or wants it to be. To clarify, one must be able to see infinitely, knowing that all things that can be seen, are seen and perceived accurately, or as they are.

To simplify somewhat, it is like examining a plain white sheet of paper, letter size. For us, we specify that it is 8.5 x 11.0 inches, and is .012 inch thick, an weighs “X” amount. However, all that is described by us is approximate, and not actual. In fact, we cannot actually know exactly how wide, long and thick the sheet of paper is. Nor can we know exactly how much it weighs.

Why?

Because we do not have instruments that can measure the absolute size and weight of the sheet of paper. We are strictly limited by our capabilities and will never know exactly the physical aspects of the sheet of paper, we can only approximate. This makes us inherently unrighteous when we attempt to describe a single sheet of letter size printer or copier paper.

When we look at righteousness from this perspective it demonstrates to us just how incapable we are of being righteous. Moreover, it illustrates our inability to truly understand the extent of the LORD God’s righteousness, which is intrinsic to His being. Perhaps then, a description of the LORD God’s righteousness can be understood by the following illustration:

It is as if there existed an infinitely large mathematical equation that extended in every dimension, both physical and spiritual, with an equal sign right in the midst. In all that would be done in this infinite, multi-dimensional equation, it is never not an equation. Meaning it is never, not even for the slightest of an instant, unequal as it is worked. Moreover, in every thought and action that occurs in this equation and the outworking or ramifications thereof, everything balances perfectly and remains equal at all times, from infinity to infinity in every and all possible dimensions.

Now then, if we begin to grasp that concept, we begin to understand how that in all that is done, the LORD God is ever and always righteous in all that He does, from infinity to infinity, and just how incapable we are of being righteous outside of the salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, all that is to bring us to the point of understanding that the LORD God’s righteousness is not something that even relates to being “happy” or “unhappy” and such concepts are not even open for discussion in the context of who the LORD God IS. Rather, the pleasure of the LORD is found in His righteousness, even as His will is found within His righteousness. We also find, if we study, that the love of God is found within the confines of His righteousness, as I Corinthians tells us:

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (I Corinthians 13:4-7)

“Charity” as given here, is the Love of God that is spoken of in Romans 5:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:3-4)

Which love is intrinsic to His being, one with, and in perfect concert to righteousness. Hence, when we see such statements as:

“If God were unhappy, if he were in some way deficient, then he might indeed be constrained from outside in some way to do what he does not want to do in order to make up his deficiency and finally to be happy.”

I have to wonder what kind of mind would even consider such questions. After all, as a child of God through the shed blood of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I cannot even conceive that another child of God could even think of such a statement to make in answer to any question concerning the LORD God. Knowing all that has been presented, how can there be any issue of “happy” or “unhappy” with the LORD? The LORD God is not driven by such transient things, but is driven by His inherent righteousness, holiness, love, mercy and judgement. As the LORD God reminds us all:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

But aren’t we told?

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16)

Perhaps the problem is that someone is not thinking like the LORD . . .


  1. This should not be taken as justification for Universal Salvation, or for the Arminian doctrine fo salvation. Both are just as wrong as Calvinist/Reformed doctrine.
  2. This is taken from the article “Adam and the Fall – Part 4” and revised to fit this article.
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An Aside – Of the Nature of God: Part 1

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

NOTE: Yes, there are only two parts to this one. I originally intended for this to be a brief post on a comment by John Piper (a Calvinist), and it simply did not turn out that way. I pray you find it a blessing.



While researching what Calvinists like to teach concerning their doctrine and the justifications for said doctrine, I came across the following statement by John Piper:

A second lesson to learn from this truth is that God is not constrained by anything outside himself to do anything he does not want to do. If God were unhappy, if he were in some way deficient, then he might indeed be constrained from outside in some way to do what he does not want to do in order to make up his deficiency and finally to be happy.1

What? Where in the world does this come from? Where out of this world does this come from?

Though I teach (as the Scripture does) that the LORD is separate and apart from His creation, I have to really question the entire underlying system of thought that would give rise to such a statement. Granted, it is fronted with an assertion that can be proven from Scripture, but the framing of the statement is odd:

“God is not constrained by anything outside himself to do anything he does not want to do.”2

Where does “want” come into this? In relation to the LORD God, “want” does not even enter into the picture. The LORD God does things that are necessary, essential, working in righteousness. Now granted, we could say that it was “want” that motivated(?) the LORD God to create man as the Scripture states:

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:8-11)

Except that the Scripture never speaks of “want” with regard to the LORD. In researching the word “desire” there were only a couple of instances where it was spoken of Christ desiring the church, as in being pleased with her company and presence. It never speaks of “desire” as in “wanting something to be” as if it were not in existence, but ought to be. Thus, I cannot understand the logic underlying the statement where it is expressed ‘God wants, or does not want’ something to be. Scripturally, that makes no sense. Although, he could possibly mean “will” instead of “want,” making the statement:

“God is not constrained by anything outside himself to do anything he does not will to do.”

Which would be more accurate, but still badly worded, as it contains a presumptive, that God could will Himself to be controlled by something external to Himself. This would indicate a reactive nature in the LORD, which does not exist. And worse, creates the logical impossibility of an infinite, holy, and righteous LORD subjecting Himself to a part or portion of his own finite creation which is presently unholy and unrighteous. Even if His creation were righteous and holy, it is nonetheless finite, and “God” cannot constrain Himself to fit within the confines of His creation. All in all, a wrongly thought out statement altogether.

Now I know, some will argue about Christ, who is God manifest in the flesh, constrained Himself to live in a body of flesh, and suffered the will of evil men. However, they seem to forget, that the Word, who became Christ, is only one Person of the Godhead. What John Piper is plainly indicating here concerns the Godhead, and not just the Word. This is an error that has been propagated in various places, by various individuals and runs along the lines of “God died on the cross,” “God’s blood was shed on the cross,” etc. These kind of statements are ill-informed at best, and does not indicate an understanding of the nature of the Godhead, and the nature of the office of Christ which the Word took to fulfillment. It must also be understood that when the statement is made of the Lord Jesus Christ:

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)

It is not speaking of God the Father and the Holy Ghost being in the body of Christ as well as the Word. Rather, what is speaks of is the nature, character and power of the Godhead. Though the Word is one with the Father and the Holy Ghost, He is not the same Person as either of Them, as they are separate, distinct Persons as the Scripture testifies:

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (I John 5:7)

And again:

Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (Isaiah 48:16)

Hence, it is Christ that died on the Cross. It is Christ’s blood, pure and sinless, that was shed on the cross on our behalf.

Now in continuing with John Piper’s statement, I was totally mystified by what came after that first sentence:

“If God were unhappy, if he were in some way deficient, then he might indeed be constrained from outside in some way to do what he does not want to do in order to make up his deficiency and finally to be happy.”

Shall I say, it should not even be broached as a subject? “Happy” and “unhappy” are never used in relation to the LORD God. Now, the LORD is both pleased and displeased with various things men do, but that refers to the pleasure of the LORD, and the working of the LORD in righteousness. It does not refer to pleasure or happiness as we (meaning man) know pleasure and happiness. It is simply not light and transient, but is driven by the very nature of the LORD God in righteousness and holiness.

Here it is essential that we understand that happiness and unhappiness as we know it, have nothing to do with the LORD God and his pleasure and displeasure. To begin with, the word “unhappy” never appears in the Scripture, and the word “happy” ever only applies to men the 25 times it is used to describe someone. The word “pleased” appears 61 times, but pleased refers to pleasure, not being happy. Whether we think it quibbling or not, they are different words with different meanings and focus. The reason for that is the difference in cause, and focus of the two states. One can be happy, yet not be pleased about any particular thing, or anything at all. Scripturally, to be “happy” means to be blessed, which is not the same as “pleased” meaning “seemed good to” which relates to the express will of a person. The word “pleased” can also mean “to accomodate” or “accomodating,” neither of which refer to the LORD God, but to men only.

Moreover, we should also understand that what the LORD God does is driven by His righteous nature. We can understand this nature, and what righteousness is as the LORD God instructs us as to the constitution of righteousness:

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Ezekiel 18:21-32)

The setting here is apostate Israel and their contention with the LORD God concerning His forgiveness of sin and gospel of grace, without works. The problem Israel had was the same as everyone else:

  • Man cannot understand why God just doesn’t destroy all the wicked people and leave the good people.
  • Man cannot understand how that turning from righteousness, even for a second, warrants permanent destruction in the sight of God, when the wicked are given a (many) chance(s) to repent.

To be continued . . .


  1. The Pleasure of God in All That He Does, text of sermon by John Piper, February 1, 1987
  2. Ibid
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The Calvinist Verses – Part 2

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Here then, we have cause to ask, as Calvinism/Reformed theology raises the issue:

Were they born again, (regenerated) so that they might believe?

After all, Calvinist and Reformed theologians claim the following as true:

5) Calvinists do believe in man’s responsibility, but deny his ability to repent and believe the gospel. The two terms are not synonymous. Calvinists believe that man’s inability to repent and believe are caused by his own sin … not any positive imposition on God’s part.

14) Calvinists do believe that men can resist the Holy Spirit. They believe that even the elect can resist the Holy Spirit, and do – but only up to the time when the Spirit regenerates their heart so that resist Him no more. The non-elect effectively resist Him all their lives.

15) Calvinists do not believe that men are brought kicking and screaming irresistibly to Christ. We believe in irresistible grace. The will is not passed by in salvation. No man ever came to Christ unwillingly, or regretted that he had been brought.

19) Calvinists do believe that regeneration precedes faith in Christ. We do not confuse the term regeneration with that of justification or salvation. The Spirit of God regenerates the elect sinner enabling him to forsake the deadness of his sin and willingly embrace Christ and so be justified by faith and saved for eternity. Regeneration therefore is not synonymous with justification or salvation any more than conviction of sin is synonymous with conversion to Christ.1

By the way, if you find the above points contradictory, you are not alone — they are contradictory to both the Scriptures and logic. There are only two places where the word “regeneration” appears in Scripture. One refers specifically to the new heavens and new earth, and the other is expressly addressing the new birth in salvation and being made righteous — born of the Holy Ghost.

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

Hence, to arrive at the statement made in point 19 above, where it is stated:

We do not confuse the term regeneration with that of justification or salvation. The Spirit of God regenerates the elect sinner enabling him to forsake the deadness of his sin and willingly embrace Christ and so be justified by faith and saved for eternity. Regeneration therefore is not synonymous with justification or salvation any more than conviction of sin is synonymous with conversion to Christ.2

Is to specifically deny the meaning of the passage in Titus which states:

. . . but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; . . .

Here in Titus it is made quite plain — the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost are synonymous with salvation. The construct of the language and grammar permit no other conclusion. What it states in Titus is that in keeping with the mercy of God, we are saved through the means of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Hence, if one is washed in regeneration and renewed by the Holy Ghost, then one is saved. Here we must also understand that “regeneration”3 and “renewing”4 mean the same thing.

Thus, to hold to the language of point 19 above, one MUST redefine the Scriptural meaning of the word “regeneration” to cause it to be less than salvation. Otherwise, though we might entertain the idea of regeneration before repentance and belief for some brief period, we cannot long hold the position as that doctrine generates a paradox and irresolvable conflict in Scripture. In fact, no statement in Scripture supports that doctrine, and number of statements contradict it:

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Galatians 3:6)

Since this verse is a quote from Genesis, we would be benefited by looking to see how the original was worded:

And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:4-6)

Here we see plainly in both the original and the quote that Abraham was counted righteous after he believed. He was not made righteous so he could believe. We find additional Scriptures that specifically support this in numerous places. In the following two passages we see that repentance precedes belief:

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him. (Matthew 21:32)

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14-15)

And here we see that believing precedes salvation (or regeneration):

Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. (Luke 8:12)

And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:19-25)

Thus, under Calvinist/Reformed doctrine the following passage becomes extremely problematic:

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13, See also Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)

Here, by the direct statement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we find that the call to repentance is for sinners ONLY, not for any of the righteous. Thus, if you are made righteous (born-again/regenerated) so you CAN believe, then you are righteous WITHOUT believing (even for an instant, as you would be since time doesn’t stand still), and thus you now fall OUTSIDE the scope of the call of the Lord Jesus Christ as you now have NO NEED of repentance, NO NEED of belief – you are righteous WITHOUT REPENTANCE OR BELIEF. This leads to the following questions for the adherent of Calvinist/Reformed theology:

  1. If one is regenerated/born again, what is the point of bothering with faith, repentance and belief then?
  2. Why doesn’t God just “make everybody believe” and have done with it?
  3. What is the point of picking and choosing to send some to Heaven and some to Hell?
  4. Does God play games?

Are there valid answers to those questions in Calvinist/Reformed theology? Not likely, as they like to claim the following:

25) There is a difference between a paradox and a contradiction. We know that God is sovereign, yet man is free to follow the dictates of his own will. Where the two lines meet is not for us to say. Calvinist ignorance on the matter is to be excused on the basis of Deuteronomy 29:29

Never mind that “where the lines meet” is explained rather well in John 1:12-13, where it is explained that it is man’s responsibility to exercise the faith granted, as it is also man’s responsibility to exercise repentance and belief. It is the LORD’s responsibility to create a new creature in Christ Jesus when one believes. We see these things in order when it states:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

In continuing the examination of the passage which Aaron claimed supported “unconditional, sovereign election” we find that there are actually conditions placed on the election addressed in verse 13 by the phrases in verse 12. There are three phrases in verse 12, which is the superior clause, that set forth specific conditions for one to be “born of God”:

  • But as many as received him, (faith)
  • to them gave he power to become the sons of God, (repentance)
  • even to them that believe on his name: (belief)

To be continued . . .


  1. http://www.oldtruth.com/calvinism/avoidingconfusion.html
  2. Ibid
  3. 3824 paliggenesia {pal-ing-ghen-es-ee’-ah} from 3825 and 1078; TDNT – 1:686,117;
    n f AV – regeneration 2; 2 GK – 4098 { παλιγγενεσία } & 4100 { παλινγενεσία }
    1) new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration
    1a) hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death
    1b) the renovation of the earth after the deluge
    1c) the renewal of the world to take place after its destruction by fire, as the Stoics taught
    1d) the signal and glorious change of all things (in heaven and earth) for the better, that restoration of the primal and perfect condition of things which existed before the fall of our first parents, which the Jews looked for in connection with the advent of the Messiah, and which Christians expected in connection with the visible return of Jesus from heaven.
    1e) other uses
    1e1) of Cicero’s restoration to rank and fortune on his recall from exile
    1e2) of the restoration of the Jewish nation after exile
    1e3) of the recovery of knowledge by recollection

    Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

  4. 342 anakainosis {an-ak-ah’-ee-no-sis} from 341; TDNT – 3:453,388;
    n f AV – renewing 2; 2 GK – 364 { ἀνακαίνωσις }
    1) a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better

    Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

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The Calvinist Verses – Part 1

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

In one of the comments left concerning the Unwanted Answers – Part 2 post, the following challenge was given:

Are you willing to acknowledge the truth in these scriptures? I challenge you, and everyone who reads this, to meditate and study those scriptures, and prove to me that these scriptures do not support unconditional sovereign election.

Now, this challenge concerns the following verses:

(Ephesians 1:3-11; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:13; Romans 8:28-30; Romans 9: 15-16; 11:4-8; 2 Timothy 1:9 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Titus 1:1; Revelation 13:8;17:8; 20:15; 1 Corinthians 1:25-31; James 2:5)

There are a couple of things that we should note prior to answering this challenge. First, there is a presumption in this challenge that we cannot let stand. That presumption is found in this statement:

prove to me that these scriptures do not support

Notice this does not state:

prove to me these Scriptures support conditional election

Rather, for whatever reason, Aaron chose to issue a challenge wherein we are supposed to prove the NEGATIVE. Now, this is a logical fallacy. One cannot prove the negative without having an absolutely positive statement in the verses and passages presented. Now, if that were the case, those particular passages would have never been offered as “proof.” Additionally, there is also the reason of the second presumption in the challenge:

prove to me that these scriptures do not support unconditional sovereign election.

The presumption here is that “unconditional sovereign election” is a valid, proper, Scriptural doctrine, and silence concerning how one is elected in any passage where election, or salvation is spoken of, is automatically interpreted as supporting “unconditional sovereign election.” This is called the “argument from silence” and it also is a logical fallacy. The following excerpt from the Wikipedia article on “argument from silence” explains:

The argument from silence (also called argumentum ex silentio in Latin) is generally a conclusion based on silence or lack of contrary evidence.[1] In the field of classical studies, it often refers to the deduction from the lack of references to a subject in the available writings of an author to the conclusion that he was ignorant of it.[2] When used as a logical proof in pure reasoning, the argument is classed among the fallacies, but an argument from silence can be a valid and convincing form of abductive reasoning.1

Given the one condition in which “argument from silence” could be valid for determining Scriptural doctrine, we must devise a test to see whether “argument from silence” is valid for determining doctrine. In making that determination, we can accurately and properly state:

If there is a single instance where conditions for salvation are laid out, or put forth, then unconditional sovereign election is not true. If even one person, one single time is told “this do and you will be saved” then we have salvation that is conditional, based upon the actions of the person. If this is ever the case, then the argument from silence falls flat as it must now be considered that silence in the text means the conditions found in other verses are operative, they simply are not spoken of at this place in the text. Moreover, just because there is a distinct lack of mention of conditions in the verses we are challenged with, does not mean that conditions for salvation do not exist elsewhere in the Scripture. It would be foolish to assume that the issuer of the challenge has provided all scriptures that apply to salvation that exist in the Bible. Certainly the brevity of the list of Scripture references informs us that he did not.

Moreover, there are other factors that come to bear in taking on this challenge. It is plain that violation of clear rules of English grammar or deliberate mis-definition of words are grounds to go beyond the challenge given, so that we may determine, and then demonstrate whether bad faith on the part of the issuer of the challenge exists. Bad faith is a term used to describe ill motives or deceitful intent and is revealed by the deliberate misuse of clearly known precepts and concepts for the express purpose of gaining advantage – regardless of the truth.

As we have already seen, bad faith was clearly demonstrated on the part of Westboro Baptist Church when, in a published article they clearly lied about the definitions of an underlying Greek word, so that they could “prove” the view they hold. If this is done, that is: the deliberate misconstruction of grammar or mis-definition of words; then we have sufficient grounds to charge the issuer of the challenge with “bad faith” in issuing the challenge. Moreover, operating in bad faith does invalidate whatsoever doctrines are put forth as true by that individual.

With the foregoing explained, let us examine certain of the verses given in the challenge. As is customary and proper, all verse are taken from the King James Version, 1769 Edition.

Romans 9:15-16
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

This verse does state that the bestowing of mercy is strictly the option of the LORD God, and no one can force the LORD to grant mercy by simply willing it to be, or by any number of good works. The problem here is that this passage is not addressing salvation per se, but addresses how the LORD deals with man generally, and specifically how He dealt with the children of Israel and Esau. Hence, though no conditions are given, neither is salvation expressly spoken of here. To draw the conclusion that “unconditional sovereign election” is proven here is to depend upon a very flimsy argument from silence and the drawing of the verses out of the context of the passage in which they reside.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

While it is true that salvation is a gift from God, it does not follow that this gift is given unconditionally. The above passages does not state that the gift was given unconditionally, it simply states the gift was given. Hence, this is another argument from silence. However, we may note here the similarity of logic between the Universalist (who believes God will save everyone, regardless of that person’s free choice) and the Calvinist who believes God will save whom He will regardless of that person’s free choice. (Same logic — radically different conclusions)

1 Thessalonians 1:4
Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

Here we find a need for “the rest of the story” as it were. Why? Simply because verse 4 is a fragment of a sentence. More properly, it is a clause at the end of a (somewhat) long sentence:

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. (I Thessalonians 1:2-4)

This does not say anything one way or the other how God elected those who believe, and is thus, another argument from silence. However, it does give rise to question the legitimacy of the Scripture references given, as this is a clear violation of English grammar and is plainly an instance of a deliberate pulling out of context.

Indeed, we find this to be particularly the case with the next verse cited:

John 1:13
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Here again, it would seem at first glance, that this indeed does point to unconditional, sovereign election; except that the “evidence” comes only from an argument from silence, and would be true if sovereign, unconditional election was directly supported in some other Scripture, and conditions that one could meet were never delineated in Scripture. However, we also find that this verse to, is a sentence fragment, and thus a violation of clear and plain rules of English grammar. Perhaps this was done (though we can’t really be sure — the LORD knoweth) due to the content of the rest of the sentence.

The problem here is the fact that verse 13 is not a sentence. Rather, it is a dependent clause in a sentence. The reality is that the sentence actually begins in verse 12 and states:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: . . .

There are some very interesting things to consider about this clause of the sentence; but first an explanation of the grammar is in order. Now, we know verse 13 is a dependent clause as there is that little punctuation mark at the end of verse 12, which is a colon (:). Colons delineate dependent clauses and instruct us that the clause following the colon is dependent upon, or subordinate to the clause going before the colon. This means everything in verse 13 is dependent upon everything in verse 12, and that verse 13 cannot stand alone. It is verse 12 that then defines the context of verse 13. Absent this context, verse 13 might mean something entirely different. But the meaning that appears to be existent, is completely altered and dependent upon the environment set forth by verse 12. It is this environment set forth in verse 12 that bears great examination. But before examining it, let us look at the whole sentence together, which is verses 12 and 13:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Here we see the dependency or subordination of verse 13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” to verse 12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

The most outstanding portion of verse 12 lies in the middle phrase of the superior clause, and states “ to them gave he power to become the sons of God,” If we carefully note what is stated here, we plainly see that something is bestowed upon those who the first phrase of the superior clause tells us “received him.” That thing which is bestowed is this:

“power to become the sons of God”

Here we are plainly instructed that He did not make them “sons of God” but rather “ to them gave he power” which is to say — ability — to become sons of God: where before they had none. Moreover, this ability or power is predicated upon those (as many as) receiving him. This is not Him causing them to receive him, rather, it is freely done, meaning they receive Him of their own free will. This is no more than what is stated in Revelation, Chapter 22:

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)

Here in John, Chapter 1, it is the same “whosoever will” stated a little differently using “as many as” in the place of “whosoever will,” but the meaning remains the same. That is, anyone who wants to, or anyone who will receive Him, He will grant them power:

“to become”

Which is not making them be “sons of God, but is placing in their hands the ability, the means, the way, hence the “power” to “become” which is to arrive at, attain, or otherwise achieve the position of a son of God.

But by what means? It is answered thus:

“even to them that believe on his name:”

To be continued . . .


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_silence
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Unwanted Answers – Part 2

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

NOTE: In dealing with Calvinist/Reformed doctrine, there are some questions the proponents of that theology like to throw at people to silence them as the Calvinist believes there is no legitimate answer to the question. However, as I, and many others have found out, the Calvinist doesn’t actually want a valid answer, and will either try to shut down any proper response, or belittle the answer given. The following questions and attendant answers are a continuation of such examples:





3)If Christ paid for this sin of unbelief as all others, then why must this sin stop anyone from entering heaven more than any other sins (murder, adultery, homosexuality, etc.)?

How obvious does this have to be? Since the requirement for salvation is “Believe the gospel” it is obvious that the sin of unbelief would be, and is, the greatest hindrance to salvation. The very nature of our sin is that it is engaged in periodically, except for the sin of unbelief. Though one is a murderer, or an adulterer, or even a sodomite, one is those things because one once thought of engaging in, or actually carried it through and engaged in the behavior at one time, and thus they carry that label. A murderer is not continually murdering people, or even continually thinking about murdering people. This is not so with the sin of unbelief. Before anyone and everyone who is saved comes to Christ and believes the gospel, they are in unbelief, and they remain in unbelief unless and until they actually believe the gospel. Thus, the only time they are not in unbelief is when they decide to trust Christ for their salvation. The apostle Paul made this plain:

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (I Timothy 1:12-13)

Thus, if one continues in unbelief, then it is patently obvious they can never be saved.

Though all sins are the same with respect to penalty (all warrant death), not all sins have the same effect. Consider this: stealing a pencil is a sin; however, the effect is very limited. Nonetheless, it will still send someone to Hell. On the other hand, thinking about pushing a button that you know will kill millions, and following through with the act, is also a sin, and will send someone to the same Hell as the pencil thief. However, the effect of that sin is far more egregious than simply stealing a pencil.

It is the same when comparing unbelief to every other sin out there. The reason people sin is because they do not fear God, because they do not believe there is a penalty that will be levied against them by God or anyone else. Hence the root cause of all sin, beginning even before the Garden of Eden, is unbelief. The effect of unbelief is far greater than any other sin, and is the root of all sins. The very reason Lucifer fell was because he did not believe that God was truly greater than he, and that God truly was his Creator. (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28) Hence, Lucifer disbelieved the truth and believed a lie — which is the very definition of unbelief. Therefore, this sin is plenty sufficient for condemnation.

We must then understand that a single sin is sufficient for condemnation, and it is plain in Scripture that this is the case:

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

Since both angels and men have souls, and the word “sinneth” means simply “to sin” it is clear that a single sin, committed by anyone, warrants damnation to Hell. We are also expressly told in Scripture that no sin warrants any greater or lesser penalty from God, than any other sin:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (James 2:10-11)

Hence, the PENALTY for any sin is not different than the penalty for any other sin, but the EFFECT of any particular sin may be greater or lesser than the effect of any other sin, due to the scope of influence of that sin. It is plain that all sin springs from the sin of unbelief, hence the sin of unbelief has a much greater effect upon the individual than all other sins springing from it.

Therefore, continuing in the sin of unbelief, whether it is of unbelief of the existence of God, (which would necessarily include unbelief of the truth of the gospel), or unbelief that salvation is not of works but by grace through faith alone, in Christ alone (which is a particular truth of the gospel) even though they believe in God and that Christ came as Saviour, and persisting in that unbelief until the day of one’s death, is sufficient to consign one to Hell. On the other hand, though one be a murderer, adulterer, sodomite, or thief; if one believes the gospel and departs the sin of unbelief, then one is saved {i.e. the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), the woman at the well (John 4:1-41), etc.} though they still be a murderer, thief, etc.

Part of the problem here is that Calvinist doctrine does not sufficiently distinguish between things spiritual and things physical, and certainly does not view sin the way the LORD God does.




4) Furthurmore (sic), if Christ did not die for the sin of unbelief, then one cannot say that He died for all the sins of all men.


Since the Scripture hath before proved that unbelief is a sin, then by Calvinist/Reformed logic, Christ did die for all men.


To be continued . . .


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Unwanted Answers – Part 1

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

NOTE: In dealing with Calvinist/Reformed doctrine, there are some questions the proponents of that theology like to throw at people to silence them as the Calvinist believes there is no legitimate answer to the question. However, as I, and many others have found out, the Calvinist doesn’t actually want a valid answer, and will either try to shut down any proper response, or belittle the answer given. The following question and answer is just one such example:

1) Paul if you hold to position 1, that Christ died for all sins of all men, if this is true, then why are not all men freed the punishment of all their sins? Are there not people in Hades or Hell that are being punished for the sin of unbelief, that Jesus died for?

This conclusion/question presupposes a doctrine: that doctrine being the doctrine of Universal Salvation, which is taught nowhere in Scripture. It does not follow that “if Christ died for all men, then all men will be saved.” That is a fallacy that attempts to negate the fact men have a choice to make. This “question” leaves no room for man’s choice in the matter, as if men cannot choose one way or the other. In this way, the Universalist and the Calvinist walk the very same path of logic and come to radically different conclusions. This ought to scream loud and clear that something is wrong with the logic.

The problem with the logic is that it is assumed that men have no choice in whether they are saved or not. The Universalist claims that men will be saved regardless of whether they want to have anything to do with God or not. The Calvinist claims that only the elect will be saved because God particularly chooses to “regenerate” some and pass others by without criteria, rhyme, or reason.

Both systems of logic ignore Scriptures that are not favorable to their particular theology, and that would indeed set aside both systems as being invalid. The reason for this is that both systems contain inherent contradictions that cannot be overcome. For instance, in the listing of the points of Calvinism that you sent me, (for which you did not cite the source) the following two points are given:

14) Calvinists do believe that men can resist the Holy Spirit. They believe that even the elect can resist the Holy Spirit, and do – but only up to the time when the Spirit regenerates their heart so that resist Him no more.(sic) The non-elect effectively resist Him all their lives.

23) While Calvinists believe that saving grace and repentance are the gifts of God, given only to His elect, they do not believe that God exercises faith for them or repents for them. The elect sinner, enabled by the power of God, actually repents and believes for himself.

However one chooses to dissect this, it is inherently contradictory. One cannot repent and believe for him/herself, and yet have their heart forcibly regenerated so that they resist no more. No matter how this is examined it is either totally contradictory, or one is being made compliant to the will of God by force. You cannot say that one is able to resist, but only up to the point where “the Spirit regenerates their heart so that resist Him no more” and then blithely claim that this is not forced conversion of the will. On its face it is, and it is undeniable.

Of course, to cover that the word “regeneration” is redefined:

19) Calvinists do believe that regeneration precedes faith in Christ. We do not confuse the term regeneration with that of justification or salvation. The Spirit of God regenerates the elect sinner enabling him to forsake the deadness of his sin and willingly embrace Christ and so be justified by faith and saved for eternity. Regeneration therefore is not synonymous with justification or salvation any more than conviction of sin is synonymous with conversion to Christ.

The problem with article 19 is that “regeneration” is not defined in Scripture the way that article 19 claims it is defined. In Scripture, the word “regeneration” only appears twice. In both instances, the term is clearly defined by the context of usage. Once it is defined as the new heavens and new earth time frame, and once it is defined as expressly salvation:

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:1-6)

Very plainly, the reference in Matthew is to the time when there will be the new heaven and new earth, after this heaven and earth are gone, and after the resurrection has occurred. The second reference in Titus is plainly concerning salvation, and describes salvation as “the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” which states nothing about which, or what comes first in the process of salvation. That is left up to other places in Scripture. What the passage does tell us is the following:

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, . . . (Titus 3:3-4)

Which is to say that every one (even the “elect”) were wicked and evil before they were saved, and that the kindness and love of God is toward man, without qualification or limitation. This can be easily seen as the statement “toward man” appears without any limiting or qualifying language. Thus, by definition it is open-ended in application. Moreover, application cannot be “general” without also being “specific.” By that, I mean that it is pointless to say salvation is generally available to all men, but not specifically available to any particular person, because they were predetermined to be “passed by” without them having any say in the matter.

Thus by the Scripture, the word “regeneration” is salvation and is such a part of salvation that without it, there is no salvation. Moreover, the phrasing is constructed in such a way as to indicate, by the passage in Titus, that regeneration happens after faith, repentance, and belief, and not before those are evidenced. This is directly contrary to what is stated in article 19 quoted above. However, there is further Scriptural evidence as to the error of article 19, which I will address later in my response.

Now, the fact that salvation is available to all is demonstrated in the following passage from I Timothy:

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. (I Timothy 4:10-11)

Unless one does gymnastics with the English language, verse ten gives us two defined groups of individuals here, the first listed is “all men” and is inclusive of everyone, everywhere, at all times. This larger group identified as “all men” necessarily includes the sub-group “specially of those that believe.” The second or sub-group of individuals is listed as “those that believe,” which is that group some identify as “the elect,” but most simply identify as “believers” meaning they have been born again in Christ Jesus. The common umbrella that includes both groups is the statement “the living God, who is the Saviour of” in which the apostle Paul states “because we trust” indicating plainly why “we both labour and suffer reproach.” This view is also consistent with the general call to salvation expressed in the Old Testament:

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:1-7)

And in Isaiah 45:

Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:21-22)

Not only do we find that the LORD calls every man, but he also works in the lives of everyone to bring them to the point of understanding certain basic truths. This is what Elihu speaks of when he testifies to Job and his three friends about the working of God in the lives of men. Please note there is no implicit reference to the “elect” as defined by Calvinist doctrine. This passage, like the passages in Isaiah, simply include all men.

For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. (Job 33:14-30)

Here now, both Isaiah and Elihu’s testimony to Job match the testimony of Psalm 107, the entirety of which is about the working of the LORD God in the lives of all men everywhere to bring down their pride, and humble them to see that they need a Saviour. In Psalm 107, the term “they cried unto the LORD” has the same meaning as the statement in Romans, chapter 10:

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:11-13)

The use of the word “whosoever” and the phrase “all that call” do not carry any limitation, or qualification such as Calvinist/Reformed doctrine places upon them. There is no context in any of the above passages that would give any idea of this call, and subsequent answering of the call by anyone, to be confined to only the “elect” as Calvinism defines the “elect.” For that to be there, one must overlay the passages with a doctrine and interpretation that inserts “only the elect” into each and every passage, thus forcing it to fit Calvinist/Reformed doctrine. Plainly, the call is to every person, and every person is capable of responding to the call, and is responsible for their rejection of the call. Their failure to heed the call will keep them in condemnation, and will not allow them any recourse if they die having refused to accede to the call.

What has been done here by Calvinist doctrine is to render meaningless some very significant passages of Scripture that specifically address how the LORD God chose to deal with man:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

The above passage from Jeremiah tells everyone four very important things that we all need to know:

1. The heart is deceitful above everything else out there. Since the statement is framed “The heart is deceitful above all things . . .” and does not limit application, except by the context of the passage which is dealing with all men, it necessarily applies to all men, even the “elect” as Calvinist/Reformed theology defines the “elect.” Hence, all men are on a level playing field, with the law of God equally applicable to all.

2. We cannot know our own hearts. The rhetorical question “who can know it?” presupposes the answer “No one, save the LORD God only.” The only conclusion one can then come to is that we are never really certain what we really are unless we are shown what we are. This then leads to the third item:

3. The LORD God searches the hearts of every man, and tries the mind of every person, regardless of where on earth, or time in history. In this, we are confirmed by the verse from Proverbs which states:

The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Proverbs 20:27)

Hence, we can safely determine that the LORD God has a purpose for this, even though in His foreknowledge He already knew what each and every individual would be, how they would think and what they would think. This ought to cause us to consider the why of the next statement.

4. Here the purpose is revealed, but not in its entirety. The LORD tells us “even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” This would have a certain effect upon man, and that effect would be to cause individuals, to a greater or lesser degree, to question who and what they really are. After all, when things seem to blow up in one’s face, or life doesn’t seem to go “right,” it does cause the normal person to question whether they are really right about what they are doing and what they believe.

What then is the rest of the purpose for this? If we return to the passages of Isaiah 45 and 55, Job 33 and Psalm 107, we can see that the LORD God has issued a call to all men, and tries to get men to respond to the call. We find that some men respond not at all, some respond to a greater or lesser degree, but fall short of actually heeding the command to repent and believe the gospel, and a few do obey the command and are actually born again in Christ. Which leads us to the point of Romans, chapter 10:

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:16-17)

In this, we find the rest of what is wrong with the redefining of “regeneration” by Calvinist/Reformed theology: its place in the sequence of events that leads to salvation. Quite plainly in Scripture, faith is not salvation, but is indispensable to salvation. It is the same for repentance. One cannot be saved without repentance, but repentance alone, and even with faith, is not salvation. Salvation is the culmination of the sequence of three events (so to speak). Faith, then repentance, then belief. As the passage from Romans 10 tells us, faith comes only when one hears the word of God in a certain way.

It is this certain way that throws people off. The reason for this is they ignore the call of the LORD God in Isaiah, chapter 1:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

It is manifestly impossible to reason about something if one never hears about it. However, merely hearing it spoken, or reading it without taking it in and considering it, is equally as bad as not hearing it at all. In either case, it is impossible to reason anything about the subject at hand. The LORD God’s call here is beyond simply hear my word, but rather, attend to it, consider it, let it sink into your heart, and I will reason with you about it. The context here is to all the wicked in Israel, and those who were contrary to the LORD. Plainly, this call is a call to the wicked for the purpose of effecting their salvation, if they will indeed hear, consider, be reasoned with, turn and believe. This is where the role of faith comes into play.

When the Scripture states that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” it is plainly a promise of God that if one hears the word, takes it in, and considers it, the LORD God will grant the faith necessary to perceive the truth of what He states. We can know that faith is a thing that must be granted, as Hebrews, chapter 11 describes faith as specifically an object, a noun:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. (Hebrews 11:1-2)

“Substance,” “evidence,” and “it” all are specific to objects or things we describe as nouns. The only thing that would possibly confuse someone is the fact that this object, and the use of this object are both described with exactly the same word — faith. However, this usage is not all that unusual in language, as we do the very same with the word “truck.” For instance, the statement “I will use my truck to truck it across the country.” is not an uncommon application of the word “truck.” In the first instance “truck” is plainly the object, the noun, and in the second instance “truck” is the verb usage meaning the specific method of movement, or conveyance. Hence, having faith, and the use of the faith that one is granted upon consideration of the word of God, are described by exactly the same word — faith.

Upon this, we should understand that the sequence is:

1. Hear and consider the word of God.

2. The LORD God grants faith, the instrument necessary for perceiving the truth of His word.

3. Either accept or reject what faith shows.

What we then encounter is the necessity of repentance. The Scripture is also plain that it is the LORD God that grants repentance, as we are incapable of repenting on our own. In Acts, we are clearly told that repentance is a gift that the LORD God grants. Please note that repentance is necessary for the regeneration that occurs with salvation, and does not occur after the regeneration that is described as salvation in Titus, chapter 3, verses 1-6:

Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (Acts 11:17-18)

As can be plainly seen by the phrase “repentance unto life,” repentance must precede salvation. Without citing all the Scriptures that apply, this should be without question.

Hence, the sequence of events is now:

1. Hear and consider the word of God.

2. The LORD God grants faith, the instrument necessary for perceiving the truth of His word.

3. Either accept or reject what faith shows.

4. Exercise the repentance granted, having a change of heart and mind about your sin.

5. Believe the gospel.

6. Be regenerated by the Holy Ghost, which is to be “born again.”

Now where in any of this does any man have anything to boast of, or claim any merit before God?

Yet, the answer of the Calvinist/Reformed theologian is that believing is an act that man can claim as meritorious.

This is directly contrary to Scripture, which teaches that believing is not meritorious, and in fact, is what we are required to do. After all, the command is “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Moreover, if we have done so, we are told:

Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luke 17:9-10)

There is a principle stated here that transcends all contexts: That is, doing one’s duty, as one is commanded, is no cause to say “I have done anything worthy of merit, or boasting, or that is profitable to whose I am.” Hence, when one does all they are employed to do, they should not receive any recognition, as they have only done that which they were supposed to do. So likewise, all men everywhere, at all times are commanded to repent and believe the gospel, if they do so, of what special significance is that? If they do not, then they are in violation of the commandment, because they have not believed and obeyed the commandment, and are set for destruction.

Above all, we must remember what we are told in Ezekiel, chapter 18:

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

Thus, the burden lies upon man to make the choice, which man is fully capable of doing. Man is capable of believing the truth, especially since the LORD God has provided everything else man needs to see and believe that truth.


To be continued . . .

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The Hebrew and the Greek

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

You call yourself a student of the bible, and do not have the original Hebrew/Greek translation? Are you serious? I forgot, its KJV, or nothing for Paul.1

The Interlinear Bible is the OT in Hebrew and the NT in Greek, translated in literal English by Jp(sic) Green.You would no(sic) this if you had one. It is not a study bible, it is the original Hebrew/Greek translation of God’s Word! Every serious Bible student would have this original translation and would no(sic) this.2

I get challenged from time to time about where I stand on the Scripture, as I am King James Version only. Specifically, I use the 1769 Edition of the KJV, which is the last edition and incorporates standardized modern punctuation and spelling. I hold to the King James Version for several reasons that are well-grounded Scripturally, of which I will address a couple. Unfortunately, it means that I am going to get hammered as being “backward” and a “stick in the mud” as I steadfastly refuse to use any modern version, except to show the corruption of those versions. Worse yet, I am even more uneducated and unlearned as I also refuse to use interlinear bibles, commentaries and such like, choosing to remain with the Bible and a couple of authoritative unabridged English dictionaries and a thesaurus.

In the minds of some, this makes me ignorant, presumptuous and a bit of a dunce. However, that would fly in the face of certain facts about my abilities as a technician, able to grasp complex technical subjects like interferometric principles and laser interferometry, machine geometry and design, electronics, control systems, etc. It also is to have an attitude devoid of understanding some very significant things the LORD God has declared in His word. What I am stating here is plain: I deliberately chose this particular route to take against advice to the contrary, as I see certain things in Scripture that confirm and validate what I believe. With that stated, here is a portion of my case laid before you:

First, it is essential to understand that the LORD God is the Author of all languages, no matter when and where they come into existence. The LORD demonstrated this at Babel:

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

Additionally, the LORD God performed the reverse of Babel on the day of Pentecost:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (Acts 2:1-11)

At Pentecost the LORD did not undo the languages. Rather, He ensured that everyone present, regardless of where in the world they originated from, heard what was spoken in their own language, even down to the particular dialect they spoke. Thus we find the LORD fully capable of controlling and commanding not only the language, but the way we hear what is spoken, regardless of what language the words are spoken in.

The day of Pentecost had a specific and express function for the New Testament church, but is also applicable to the issue of what Bible we use and whether we need the Greek and Hebrew source texts to refer back to. At Pentecost the LORD made it very plain to all who heard, and to the apostles who spoke, that He intended to have His word in every language on the face of the earth. That is, after all, the only reason for having anyone speak in tongues on that particular day or any other day. We find this confirmation to spread the Scripture throughout the entire world confirmed and reinforced by the Lord Jesus Christ when He stated:

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45-47)

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Now, it would be quite the stretch to believe the Lord Jesus Christ plainly commanded and intended for the gospel and all of the word of God to go to every single nation on the face of the earth, and then believe that everyone needs to learn ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek so they can understand what the LORD God requires of us, and what Jesus Christ did for us. Somehow, that simply does not work — at all. Thus we are forced to ask another question:

Did the LORD know that His word would need to be translated?

The answer is an obvious “Yes.” Certainly He knew. The only other option would be to require everyone on earth to learn ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek. Certainly we find that not practical, nor do we find anywhere in Scripture the LORD God requiring any particular language to be learned before one can learn of Him. Instead, what we do find is an outreach to every nation on earth, regardless of the language spoken. The particular preservation of the Old Testament Scripture was in Hebrew as the LORD’s covenant was with Israel.3 After all, what could we make of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon? Certainly it would be far, far from reason to assume that his court and kingdom spoke Hebrew, or that he allowed Hebrew to be spoken in His court during the conduct of business. Rather, they spoke Chaldee, or Aramaic and conducted business accordingly. So then another question arises which we ought to consider seeing the following declaration is in the Scripture:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

And again:

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7)

Since all the words of the LORD are pure and unadulterated, how did the LORD God intend for everyone in the world to have His word? Certainly the LORD God knows of the problems inherent in translating anything from one language to another, and certainly He has a plan for insuring that all who want His word can have it. If we care to note the passage from Psalm 12, where it is stated:

Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:7)

We will understand that the preservation of the Scripture lies within the province of the LORD God, and is not given unto man. Moreover, we should understand that the Scripture is not given to man to have and to hold, rather what is given to man is actually a copy of the Scripture, and not the original. Whether we wish to understand it or not, the original is held inviolate in Heaven:

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)

And again:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160)

Thus man has absolutely no power to change the original which is in Heaven. Moreover, all that results in men changing the Scripture to suit themselves, is to bring utter condemnation upon their own heads. Because the Scripture is so held inviolate, the Lord Jesus Christ made it utterly clear the standard by which man is to be judged:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:47-48)

If then, these things are true (and they are) and the LORD God is a righteous Judge, then He will insure that man always has access to His written word — the Scripture. Moreover, we can plainly see that the LORD fully intended for people to have His word in their native language so they know and understand how and why He judges them. Here then we turn to the problem of translating the Scripture, and yet retaining the purity of the word of God. However, before proceeding, we should consider how the LORD God views His own word, and consequently what our view of His word ought to be:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2)

By this we should understand that mishandling the word of God — the Scripture, is worse than blaspheming the name of God. Therefore, we should be the more careful and cautious how we handle the Scripture, lest we outright condemn ourselves.

What this means is that those who do any translating of the Scripture into another language must be led and guided of the LORD God to do the translating, and must do it on a proper basis, else the work they undertake will not be blessed and will not result in an accurate and proper translation. Moreover, we do have examples in Scripture that demonstrate plainly the LORD’s ability to use individuals to present His word in multiple languages accurately. First, we have the several incidents recorded in Acts where Hebrew, or other known tongue was spoken and it was recorded in Greek. (Acts 22:1-2, 26:14, 10:44-46, 19:1-6) And, we have the apostle Paul’s own testimony of speaking the word of God to others who did not speak Hebrew, in which he effectively and accurately translated what is stated in the Old Testament:

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (I Corinthians 14:18-20)

Here the apostle Paul testifies to the Corinthians that he spoke the word of God in several different languages, and refused to speak in an unknown language. This would not, and should not be surprising as the ministry of the apostle Paul encompassed a number of countries, and the LORD God equipped and enabled him to carry out that ministry. The one “language” the apostle Paul refused to speak was the “unknown” tongue, as there was and is no profit in it.

What this plainly demonstrates is the ability of the LORD God to carry forth His word into many different languages utilizing the individuals He has called and gifted for particular ministries. Moreover, the LORD is able to do so and maintain the purity of His word, all without the need for interlinear Bibles and constantly referring back to the Hebrew and Greek. Rather, what the LORD plainly intended was the translation of His word into every language on earth.

Though there is much more to be said about this, particularly as to why I hold to the King James Version only, for now this will suffice as I certainly am no better than the Waldensians, who had a Bible in their own language, and their doctrine was sound for quite a long time. However, we should also note that merely having a right Bible, or the correct underlying Scripture text, or even having the originals (which do not exist anymore) does not in any way guarantee that one will have right doctrine. Rather, having right doctrine is a matter of attentiveness and obedience to the LORD and His word, not merely possessing it and reading it.

There is one further item of note here as to why the particular interlinear Bible Aaron chose to use is J.P. Green’s “literal” interlinear. It really is quite simple, and it has everything to do with the doctrine interwoven in the English text of the “literal” interlinear Bible:

FOUNDER OF SOVEREIGN GRACE PUBLISHERS, INC
JAY P. GREEN, SR.4

Hmmm . . . . a Bible that would validate Augustinian/Calvinist/Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Primitive Baptist theology. What better way to insure your doctrine is “valid.” After all, the “Bible” says so.

Oh, and Mr. Green had to attack the King James Version to support his new version (else why would we need a new version):

Although it is admitted that Erasmus has added to his Received Text two or three readings from the Latin Vulgate, without Greek manuscript authority (e.g. Acts 9: 5, 6), and one from the Complutension Bible which as no Greek manuscript authority (1 John 5: 7), we have not deleted these from the Greek text as supplied by the Trinitarian Bible Society – though we do not accept them as true Scripture.5

And, we also see that J.P. Green ignores the Formal Translation method and lumps it in with Dynamic Translation, smearing both the KJV translators and the Bible they produced (Should we wonder why?):

THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS

There are two translations in this volume, one appearing as the literal translation of the Greek words, with English equivalents directly under each of the Greek words, and the other, The King James 2 Version, on the side of the page, which serves to provide a straight-forward translation for the purpose of making it easy for the reader to see the proper word order in English, and to thus easily essiminate the message given in God’s word on that page. Both translations are accomplished in a word-for word translation.

The ‘conceptual idea’ form of “translating” the word of God has been rejected, studiously avoided because no person has the right, nor the inspiration, to rewrite God’s word to conform it to his own concepts.

Those passing off their conceptual ideas are, in our opinion, despising the words originally given, and carefully preserved……. It is hoped that these literal word-for-word translations will demonstrate that a true word-for-word translation can also be a readable and easily understood representation of the Scriptures.6

Now we have somewhat of the rest of the story. . . .


  1. e-mail from Aaron dated 20 Feb. 2009
  2. e-mail from Aaron dated 19 Feb. 2009
  3. There are the minor exceptions of part of the book of Daniel, minor portions of Ezra, and a verse in Jeremiah.
  4. J.P. Green Study Archive @ PreteristArchive.com – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
  5. J.P. Green Study Archive @ PreteristArchive.com – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – THE GREEK TEXT IN THIS VOLUME
  6. J.P. Green Study Archive @ PreteristArchive.com – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
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Unteachable?

Monday, February 16th, 2009

NOTE: I underline for emphasis. All emphasis is mine.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (I Thessalonians 5:21)

Well, it’s not the first time I have been called “unteachable,” and I am certain it won’t be the last.

What is the problem?

I demand proof — not assertions. I also demand that competency be demonstrated in the English language and in knowledge of the Scripture. Additionally, honesty is paramount, along with a strong sense of respect for the rights of others. What this means is you do not take the materials of others and appropriate them for your use, not acknowledging they are not your own. Moreover, when using the material of others, citation is given as to the author and publisher. Failure to abide by the foregoing will certainly cause me to lose respect for whosoever it is that is attempting to teach me. This is when I become “unteachable.”

What I was told was this:

Paul, your spirit is unteachable, and I”m(sic) no longer going to bang my head against the wall for someone who has no respect for me.1

And:

You are unbelievable. Paul, I have a feeling you have to be right and argue about everything. That is a sign of an unteachable spirit.2

Of course, there is a reason for my “unteachable spirit,” which is duly noted above and in my personal testimony. When I was saved back in 1996, I determined that I would never be deceived again — and I have steadfastly, rigorously tested everything that I encounter. Initially, I had a learning curve which coincided with my learning of the doctrine. However, as time has gone on, I have come to know why certain doctrines, no matter how they are presented, are inherently wrong. Additionally, I have also learned when someone is dodging questions and not being honest with the Scripture.

Of course, my willingness to listen and understand what they are teaching diminishes greatly when I am given “correction” like the following:

No Paul, my analogy is not saying we control God, really bad understanding of my analogy. God controls our decisions to further his will. Our will is the hand and God’s will is the glove, His will and purpose are behind our decisions. We can’t make a decision with out God’s will and purpose being behind it, hense(sic) the glove over the hand. Why did you erase all the evidence that refuted your commentary? When are you going to give scripture reference to your view of foreknowledge? When are you going to explain how one receives Jesus by grace alone without merit according to your foreknowledge view?3

In looking at Aaron’s analogy of the hand and the glove, I really have to raise the question of which is in actual control: the glove — or the hand. The fact that a glove covers a hand does not and cannot change the reality that it is the hand which is in control. The glove has no actual ability to influence what the hand does, it simply is a slave to the hand — which was my point to Aaron. However, as you can plainly see, he missed it totally. The problem here is the analogy stinks, especially for the point Aaron is attempting to make.

As for the erasing of the commentary, I didn’t. It was held in Moderation until I decided what to do with it. The reason I could not decide what to do was the comments were plagiarized. There was absolutely no citation or acknowledgment that the comments made belonged to someone else, and were being appropriated for use as “Comments.” This is theft of intellectual property. This was not the first instance either. Back when this whole debate started some months ago, Aaron plagiarized R.C. Sproul’s work, and when called on it, blew it off with this remark:

First, I never claimed the questions to be originally to be my own, Second, Who cares if the commentary did not come from me originally, where the truth comes from is irrelevant if I believe the content.4

To which I replied:

You have a very real problem that you don’t even see. Using or sending material that you do not cite the source, and allowing someone to think it is your own is called “plagiarism” and it is fundamentally dishonest. Everyone who has ever gone through school and written any paper that used other sources has been instructed as to what constitutes plagiarism, and that it is fundamentally wrong. It constitutes intellectual theft of property.

What is even more distressing is that you don’t see a problem with appropriating other people’s material as your own. This is very disturbing and indicates plainly that you have no problem with dishonesty. None of this is “irrelevant” and is not mitigated in any way by whether you agree with the authors of the material or not. You took of their labor, and appropriated it for your own, passing it off as your own after citing J.I. Packer, which means that you knew you should cite your sources.5

To which I received the following reply:

I’m not in school writing a paper for you to grade, therefore, in the future I will recite the source if that makes you happy. I did not realize this was important to you. Again, I was not in any form trying to take credit for anyone’s work, just giving you information that I agree with and asking you to respond. If I gave that impression I apologize. If I believe in the content, what does it matter where it comes from? If I can copy and paste someone elses commentary that I believe in and save typing time, whats wrong with that.6

When I pushed for an acknowledgment of wrongdoing in the midst of addressing a closely related issue, I received the following:

Still waiting for you to respond to my foreknowledge/predestination and Romans Chapter 9 emails, quit dodging PAUL and answer the emails. Who is plagiarizing? Not me, I have sited(sic) all my sources professor Davis. Quit shifting the attention on false non-issues and answer the emails that are fatal to your theology.7

The supposed “false non-issue” is a reference to the thread of discussion in which I pressed for an answer to the following contradiction in Calvinist/Reformed doctrine:

Even though you cannot seem to see the inherent contradiction in this (Just like you cannot seem to see how plagiarism is theft and wicked sin.):

“People make decisions for themselves. OK Paul, Good. People are responsible for the decisions they make,”

and

“WHO DECIDES? GOD DOES, AND HE DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.”

We will go on, specifically since you stated the following:

“Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will.”

So, this was all God’s will:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea , hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons . And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:1-8)

By your words, it was the will of God that Adam fell, and sin entered into the world. Correct?8

Now, for those who are familiar with Mormonism and the Book of Mormon, my question should ring a bell. Additionally, if we understand the point of the question, we will understand that this is one of the core issues of Calvinist/Reformed doctrine concerning salvation. It is not, as Aaron claimed, a non-issue. Nonetheless, my bringing up again the unresolved issue of Aaron’s plagiarism touched a nerve, and I was called “professor Davis” in reply.

After cutting communication with him and rebuking him sharply, he finally sent this “apology” of sorts:

I did not realize I was not being honest and decent ,and discussing docrine(sic), I am willing to do that. We got on the wrong foot some how, I apologize for my part. I would like for you to respond to this email and the others. Thank you9

To which I replied:

Do you understand how wrong plagiarism is? And that one should never do it, no matter how much you agree with the source?

The only exception to this rule is to protect the identity of an individual that may not, or does not wish to have their name published. Obviously, this does not apply to published materials. When I quoted you in the blog post, I did not name you expressly, only stated that “a Calvinist” sent me an e-mail. That way, you were cited without focusing on your name, only on what you said.10

And I also sent another letter to him detailing the problem with Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps, where they outright lied about a meaning to an underlying Greek word:

My larger point here was that Westboro lied – outright lied. Westboro claimed that a meaning didn’t exist, when it plainly does exist. Once you lie, it really doesn’t matter about your argument. Bald-faced lying will kill any credibility one has. I could have ended the whole series about Westboro with the point below, and been fully justified.

My second point was this:

“Since we now know that outright distortion of the meaning of passages and verses is not beyond them . . .”

If someone will lie about one thing, especially something so obvious, what else will they lie about and distort? Why should I believe anything Westboro Baptist Church says?

If we want to discuss whether the context of the passage is “all men everywhere” or only “the elect,” that is a separate discussion altogether.11

Aaron then agreed that he knew plagiarism is wrong:

1) Yes, I know plagiarism is wrong. 2) My intentions were not to plagiarize, but to simply challenge your views with other people’s commentary that I believe refute your thinking. My mistake was not telling you in advance my sources, which I have since aplologized(sic) for.12

However, I should have known that he was not sincere, and that plagiarism is the normal mode of operation for him as is shown by the comments referenced above that are plagiarized. They were posted in late December well after he stated he knew what plagiarism was and that it is wrong. The comments can be found here and here.

The long and short of this is that I am “unteachable” when someone has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt they are a thief and a liar. I simply refuse to take anything they state with anything other than a grain of salt. Why should I accept what they say? If I allow myself to receive “teaching” from a thief and liar, then I too will become like the thief and liar. The Scripture tells me that. Before I will believe any man, I will look to Scripture for my instruction. I expect everyone else to do the same.

I do not expect anyone to believe what I say simply because I say it or write it. Rather, I expect it to be tested and rigorously examined by the standard of Scripture. I firmly believe that, if I am correct, the LORD will confirm it without question in His word. In this sense, I expect everyone else to be “unteachable” as well. After all, the Scripture, the word of God instructs us with the following:

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (John 6:45)

And again:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:19-21)

And yet again:

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:13-17)

The reason for this is summed up in the following statement by the Lord Jesus Christ:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:47-48)

Hence, whether anyone listens to me or not, a failure to adhere to the Scriptures will cause one to be judged and condemned by the very Scriptures they failed to pay heed to and handle properly.

As for Aaron, well . . . . he obviously thinks he has something in him folks want as this statement was in one of the final comments he left:

There are people that are starving to have what is inside of me.13

Oooo-kay. It’s breathtakingly arrogant, but if you believe it . . . . . . . . . . Hell awaits.

  1. http://www.reproachofmen.org/blog/?p=788&cpage=1#comment-1370
  2. e-mail from Aaron dated 13 Feb. 2009
  3. http://www.reproachofmen.org/blog/?p=579&cpage=1#comment-1328
  4. private e-mail dated 24 Nov. 2008
  5. e-mail to Aaron dated 24 Nov. 2008
  6. e-mail from Aaron dated 24 Nov. 2008
  7. e-mail from Aaron dated 26 Nov. 2008
  8. e-mail to Aaron dated 26 Nov. 2008
  9. e-mail from Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008
  10. e-mail to Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008
  11. e-mail to Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008
  12. e-mail from Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008
  13. http://www.reproachofmen.org/blog/?p=788&cpage=1#comment-1370
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Adam and the Fall — Addendum – Part 1

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

NOTE: This is a continuation of the series “Adam and the Fall.” If you have not read those posts, please do so as it will yield a far better understanding of what this series deals with. The posts can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part3, Part 4, Part5, Part 6.

“Ok. This is what I believe and think you meant in the commentary’s above. Correct me if I’m wrong. In a nut shell, Pre-Fall man(Adam) had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. I believe Adam’s righteousness was the equivalent to a “born again” Christian’s righteousness, a reborn believer has the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. Pre-Fall man and the Reborn man had the same abilities and desires. As far as what Adam knew, what he didn’t know, what he understood, what he didn’t understand is debatable, and one that I wish not to participate in.” 1

There is a misconception that exists concerning Adam and the righteousness he possessed with respect to the born-again child of God and the righteousness that child has imputed unto them. As was made plain earlier, Adam was righteous, but only within the confines of his existence. By and large, it is not understood that Adam was righteous only in the context of his creation. Instead, what is assigned to Adam is precisely what the comment quoted above states:

“I believe Adam’s righteousness was the equivalent to a “born again” Christian’s righteousness, a reborn believer has the ability to sin and the ability not to sin.”2

This simplistic view does not take into account, nor does it incorporate an understanding, of what happens to someone when they are born-again. This failure to understand or incorporate the extent of, and change in the nature of a person when they are born again, brings about many false teachings that could be easily resolved if the totality of the change in the nature of the individual were correctly understood. This change in nature is so radical a departure from what the believer once was, it is described in this way:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

And again:

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. (Galatians 6:14-15)

This becoming a “new creature” is reinforced in the Old Testament, in the book of Jeremiah:

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. (Jeremiah 13:23)

Just as it is impossible for the leopard to change its spots, or a man to change the color of his skin, it is equally impossible for someone who has the nature of Adam to do good or become righteous in the sight of God. The reason for this is the corruption of the natural man — the man that is in Adam. As we are expressly told in Scripture, this natural man cannot please God as it is the nature of the flesh only that exists in the natural man, the one who is in Adam:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)

Moreover, no matter how hard any man tries of his own ability, the attempted effecting of righteousness, and righteous acts only brings greater condemnation as we cannot possibly see the real end of our works and will invariably select a course of action that falls far short of matching the righteousness of God. There are numerous reasons for this, which will be dealt with later, but suffice to state at this point, that once a transgression has been committed, it must be paid for, and no subsequent finite act, however righteous, is going to be sufficient to pay for the transgression that has occurred. Hence, whatsoever is done must be of God as man is incapable of effecting any sort of infinite payment that is required of God for transgression of His law.

Here then we arrive at the event called the “new birth.” It is an event that man cannot effect and cannot duplicate. It is solely and expressly a work of God. This event is of such magnitude of change that, were we to physically see it, we would never believe it possible, except that we could not deny that it obviously occurred. In Romans, Chapter 6, it is described thus:

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:3-7)

What is described above is nothing less than what would be if we saw someone die, and then immediately come to life, but they were entirely different when they came back to life than what they were before they died. When it states “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed . . .” it is stating nothing less than the fact that when someone believes the gospel, who and what they are — their very nature that caused them to behave and think in a certain way, ceased to exist. This is further described in Galatians:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Here, quite plainly, the apostle Paul states “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:” which is to say that who the apostle Paul was, died when he came to personally know the Lord Jesus Christ through faith, when he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation. Now, the Holy Ghost, by the apostle Paul insures this is very clear, so that we understand fully — who he was before, has departed — ceased to exist, died. This is the “old man” spoken of in the passage from Romans 6 above:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, . . . (Romans 6:6a)

Here then is a change that is beyond reformation, or “turning over a new leaf.” This change is better described as transformation or translation, both if which are terms the Scripture uses to describe the change that occurs at salvation:

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: . . . (Colossians 1:12-14)

Which translation was pictured in the taking of Enoch:

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)

Above, when it declares that “Enoch was translated that he should not see death;” it is the perfect picture of what the Lord Jesus Christ described in John, Chapter 8:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? (John 8:51-53)

And again:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:24-25)

And yet again:

Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:23-26)

All of which are confirmation of that which is stated in Revelation, Chapter 20:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

Thus we see in Enoch’s translation a picture of the fact that a born-again child of God cannot die — ever. In addition, we should note that Enoch ceased to interact with this world, and ceased to partake of troubles of this flesh. This also is a picture of what occurs at salvation. It, like the picture of death Enoch portrayed (Enoch escaped it) also applies to the soul.3 The problem that arises here is that problem highlighted by Aaron’s comment quoted above:

“I believe Adam’s righteousness was the equivalent to a “born again” Christian’s righteousness, a reborn believer has the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. Pre-Fall man and the Reborn man had the same abilities and desires.”4

The problem here is that Adam could, and did die. However, the Lord Jesus Christ is express that the born-again believer cannot die. This is not “will not” die, which would leave open the possibility of death based upon some as yet unforseen change or event. Rather, this is “can not” die, which eliminates all possibility of death and dying. Thus, to understand this, we need to establish a perspective, and view everything from that perspective, not allowing any other perspective to cloud our vision. Once we have established that perspective and understand it, then we can examine all other perspectives in light of that one perspective, which would eliminate considerable confusion.

Quite obviously the perspective we are going to view all this from is the perspective of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God manifest in the flesh. There are several reasons for this, but the plainest and simplest is that His perspective is correct, He being the Creator of the “box” we live in and the Author of salvation. Hence, it is His perspective that is automatically correct, with all other perspectives taking a “back seat” to be considered only in light of the perspective of the LORD God.

In establishing this perspective, let us turn to a passage from the Old Testament in which the prophet Samuel was rebuked for having a wrong perspective and reminded of the perspective of the LORD:

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (I Samuel 16:6-7)

When the LORD tells Samuel that He “seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” He does not speak here of the physical heart of a man. Rather, the LORD speaks of the soul, which is the part of man that He judges and holds accountable:

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

Therefore, our perspective, if it is to be correct, must focus upon the soul and all things that pertain to the soul. Additionally, we must understand that when the LORD God makes the soul the single element of the individual to be judged, He is quite plainly stating that the flesh, and what happens in the flesh are secondary.5 We can confirm this by the following:

When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:61-63)

And again:

Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. (Matthew 15:17-20)

And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:17-23)

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

The reason Proverbs tells us that the “issues of life” all stem from the heart, (which is the soul), is because the condition of our heart is what we are judged on. Moreover, in telling us that, the LORD God is also stating that a certain perspective we have is never correct — that is, we look at the flesh of a person first, and then say that person ‘has a soul,’ when in reality, it is entirely the other way around. What we should automatically say is ‘there is a soul’ understanding that people are souls, not ‘they have a soul.’ However, the reason we have that wrong perspective is because we are overwhelmed by the flesh, even to the point of not perceiving our soul at all.

Thus, we must change our perspective if we are to understand what the LORD God means when He speaks of life and death in relation to salvation, so that we also are not totally confused and mistaken about the condition of a person, even as the disciples were before the Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead:

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. (John 11:11-14)

To be continued . . .

  1. http://reproachofmen.org/blog/?p=382#comments
  2. Ibid
  3. There are quite a number of things that could be discussed at this point. However, to remain with the subject at hand, we shall have to forgo them for the moment.
  4. Ibid
  5. This is not to say the things that happen in the flesh are not important, but only to say they are secondary.
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