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#696 - Wednesday, June 19, 2002 11:42 AM Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello. I have a question/challenge to pose to those who believe in the five points of Calvinism: How do you reconcile your views with Revelation 22:19?

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book [some translations say "tree"] of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

The reason I believe this presents problems for Calvinist doctrine should be obvious. Since everyone whose name is not written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), this passage very clearly undercuts both unconditional election and perseverance of the saints. Some have told me that this passage is simply saying that a real Christian would never take anything out of God's word, but I do not believe that God speaks idle threats, vain testimonies, or warnings against things that could not occur.

Others have said that this applies only to unsaved individuals, but I must ask why their names are then written in the Lamb's book of life? For everyone who has the right to enter the holy city has their name written in the Lamb's book of life (see Revelation 21:27), so this would still contradict unconditional election.
I have even heard it said that the translation "tree of life" could affect the meaning of the passage, but the passage also states that God will take away ones' part from the holy city as well. Since only those whose names are in the Lamb's book of life can enter the holy city, then it stands to reason that a person who has been deprived of the right to enter New Jerusalem does not have his/her name written in the book of life. Your thoughts?<br><br> In Christ,<br> Josh

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#697 - Wednesday, June 19, 2002 12:26 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13239
Loc: NH, USA
JoshT,
In reply to: JoshT

How do you reconcile your views with Revelation 22:19?


Conversely I could ask you how you can possibly reconcile an Arminian/semi-Pelagian view with the mass of Scriptural evidence which teaches the absolute sovereignty of God in all things, not excluding but particularly including salvation? grin

The answer to your question is actually quite simple. There are TWO BOOKS which are presented in Revelation. One is the "Book of Life", which includes all men. And the second is the "Lamb's Book of Life" wherein are written all the names of those who belong to Christ. The fact that there is a warning that one may have his/her name removed from the Lamb's Book of Life does not mean that anyone will actually be removed. But rather it is a "prod" to motivate believers to endure to the end.

If you are wanting a fuller explanation and/or exegesis of these passages, just ask and I and/or others will provide one for you. However, I suspect there is resident within you far more issues to which you object to concerning Calvinism other than taking this one text from the Revelation and thinking it is sufficient to bring down something which has withstood the myriad attacks from people much more learned than yourself. smirk



In His Grace,
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#698 - Thursday, June 20, 2002 11:36 AM There cannot be two books of life [Re: Pilgrim]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've been through the book a time or two, and I see no overwhelming mass of scripture supporting Calvinism. But if you have something that you think proves your point, please tell me.

I do believe in the sovereignty of God, but I do also believe that He has delegated some measure of responsibility to each of us concerning our souls; the question then is not one of sovereignty, but of God's methods.

Concerning the two books of life: utterly impossible.
Rev 17:8 says "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." So we have people dwelling on the earth whose names are not written in the 'book of life,' please note, not the 'Lamb's book of life,' but their names are not written in the 'book of life.' If you think that the 'book of life' in this context is actually the 'Lamb's book of life,' then let me ask: If there is such a big difference between these two, then why doesn't the scripture go to greater lengths to label them properly? The answer is simple: They are one and the same book.

And it is true, such a warning does not necessarily indicate that someone WILL commit such a vile sin, and thereby be removed from the holy city's registry; but it is clear cut proof that it CAN happen. I mean, just because I could possibly eat at McDonald's today does not mean that I will, it simply means that I can. The simple possibility of such an occurrance (having one's name taken from the book of life, not eating at McDonald's) still disproves unconditional election and perseverance of the saints. And since this passage is a testimony from Jesus Christ Himself, I suggest it be taken as a serious warning and not as a simple 'prod.' But I must also ask, if all true believers automatically endure to the end, why do we need a 'prod' anyway?


In Christ,
Josh

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#699 - Thursday, June 20, 2002 12:29 PM Re: There cannot be two books of life
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13239
Loc: NH, USA
JoshT,

In reply to:

I've been through the book a time or two, and I see no overwhelming mass of scripture supporting Calvinism.


Indeed I can easily accept that statement as being true. For I have known several who have "been through the book a time or two" no less than you are remain enemies of God and have no interest in Christ. The "quantity" of your reading is far less important and convincing that the "quality" of that reading. Although it wasn't called "Calvinism" until after the appearance of John Calvin, the truths of what is known as Calvinism is ancient. However, its resurgence and dominance from the time of the Protestant Reformation is indisputable. "Protestantism" IS Calvinism to one degree or another. And Calvinism is a true teaching of the biblical record. It has been documented in tomes. Perhaps you should read some of them? wink

Here's one place you can start: Objections to the Doctrine of Predestination



In His Grace,
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#700 - Thursday, June 20, 2002 12:41 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, December 9, 2001
Posts: 4843
Loc: USA
Verse 19 is sometimes misunderstood as teaching loss of salvation, but in fact, it teaches loss of reward (compare I Cor 3:15 with I Cor 9:27). This can be reasoned through: if one has eternal life, then one surely will not need eternally to eat the fruit of the tree of life in order to maintain eternal life.

Furthermore, there is both the ‘water of life’ and the ‘tree of life’ (22:1–2), and this debarment is from the tree only. It seems best, therefore, to understand that the tree of life represents the benefits, or rewards, of eternal life—the enhanced quality of eternal life which is an element of reward. Likewise, as we saints inherit a part in the holy city (21:7), the heretic forfeits this inheritance.
_________________________
Reformed and Always Reforming,

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#701 - Thursday, June 20, 2002 1:17 PM Re: There cannot be two books of life
Wes Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Saturday, August 25, 2001
Posts: 3553
Loc: Northwest Indiana, USA
JoshT,
In reply to:

I've been through the book a time or two, and I see no overwhelming mass of scripture supporting Calvinism. But if you have something that you think proves your point, please tell me.



One has to wonder what you think the overwhelming mass of Scripture does support. What do you know about Calvinism?

In reply to:

...they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world,



Your comments in both your posts seem to be concerned about God's adding or deleting names in the "book of life." In your life and mine there may be inconsistency and changes but God sees the end from the beginning and never changes. What He has written will stand the test of time.

Pilgrim has provided some excellent links that may answer your questions if you are sincerely looking for answers.

Wes

_________________________
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts

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#702 - Thursday, June 20, 2002 6:38 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello. I have a question/challenge to pose to those who believe in the five points of Calvinism: How do you reconcile your views with Revelation 22:19?

John 6:37; 44 (ESV)
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

NOW what do you do?

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#703 - Friday, June 21, 2002 1:54 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear ReformedSBC,

So glad you asked. I assume you take these passages as proof for unconditional election and perseverance of the saints. In vs 37, where it says "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;" some may take this as absolute proof that everyone who is predestined for salvation will come to Christ with no exceptions. But who does God the Father give to Christ? I believe that God gives a person to Christ when they humble themselves and repent when convicted by the Holy Spirit. This passage does not say that a person cannot resist the Holy Spirit's conviction. In fact, the scriptures affirm that this already occurs. Act 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."

Concerning the phrase, "and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out," some may take this to mean that no person can ever be cast out if they are a true believer, but this is not the meaning of this passage. What it means is that Christ will not reject a person that comes to Him, regardless of their race, gender or past sins. But if you want to get technical, it is not Christ who casts a person out if they fall away. John 15:1-2 says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." So then it is not Christ who casts the apostate away, but God the Father.

And if you think, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day" is proof that a person must be chosen by God before he/she is saved, you are absolutely right. I too believe that a man cannot be saved unless God draws him first. And just as God's many promises of blessing to Israel (Deuteronomy 7:13, 30:16 ect...) were contingent on their obedience to the voice of God, so is the promise of the resurrection of the righteous. Good question.


In Christ,
Josh

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#704 - Friday, June 21, 2002 2:20 PM Protestant doesn't necessarily mean Calvinist [Re: Pilgrim]
Anonymous
Unregistered


It makes little difference to me which beliefs are dominant or popular. Calvinism is an offshoot of protestantism. I am protestant only in the sense that I do not believe the Catholic church to be the one true church, that does not make me a subscriber to all of the particular doctrines of the reformers themselves. In other words, being a protestant doesn't make me a Calvinist any more than it makes you a Lutheran. Besides, my faith is based in the Word of God, not what a few theologians several hundred years ago (or today) have written. <br><br>Secondly, being documented in an old book doesn't make a concept true. I have read quite a few Calvinist apologetics pages, none of them could prevent Revelation 22:19 (and other scriptures) from punching gaping holes in their theology.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

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#705 - Friday, June 21, 2002 2:43 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, December 9, 2001
Posts: 4843
Loc: USA
I am sure ReformedSBC will post, but I thought this may keep you till she does.

YOU SAY [color:red] I believe that God gives a person to Christ when they humble themselves and repent when convicted by the Holy Spirit. This passage does not say that a person cannot resist the Holy Spirit's conviction.

But, HOW can they humble 'themselves' when they DO NOT even seek for God in the first place. Paul definitely did not seek for God, rather God stopped him FIRST, revealed Himself, and THEN and only then did he seek God and humble himself. God humbles man so he may then be humble. God first, than man--Rom 3:11 and of course you know that repentance is also a gift of grace (2 Tim 2:24-26).

YOU SAY [color:red] Stiff-necked--Acts 7:51

STIFFNECKED is here speaking of the unregenerate. ALL, as I pointed out above WILL NOT seek God, prior to God changing them by His grace. You simply picked out a beautiful verse that proves Calvinism (of course it is impossible not to ). We are all stiff-necked prior to conversion--again look at Paul....., God's elect will only resist until God reveals Himself to their spirit at which time they will be drawn away irresistibly to Christ. Every DEAD person resists LIFE, but true LIFE seeks after true LIFE.

YOU SAY: [color:red] Concerning the phrase, "and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out," some may take this to mean that no person can ever be cast out if they are a true believer, but this is not the meaning of this passage. What it means is that Christ will not reject a person that comes to Him, regardless of their race, gender or past sins.

Well you are assuming they can come of their own supposed free will. But can a man who IS DEAD come....Lazarus did not come [color:red]till called and neither will any other person. ...and by the way this is not Christ Equal RIghts Amendment...He calls whom He choose....and ONLY them.

YOU SAY: [color:red] And if you think, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day" is proof that a person must be chosen by God before he/she is saved, you are absolutely right. I too believe that a man cannot be saved unless God draws him first. And just as God's many promises of blessing to Israel (Deuteronomy 7:13, 30:16 ect...) were contingent on their obedience to the voice of God, so is the promise of the resurrection of the righteous. .

I think you need to do a word study on the word draw here. I believe you will find out it means far more than just a gentle tug:

helkoµ; a prim. vb.; to drag:— drag(1), dragged(2), draw(1), draws(1), drew(2), haul(1).
Thomas, Robert L., Th.D., General Editor, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries, Updated Edition, (Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publications, Inc.) 1999, c1998.

or if you rather interpret it using another verse just above it:

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Only the ones FIRST given SHALL (no doubt about it) COME, and He will in NO WISE cast them out, for they are God's GIFT to Him.............

So in conclusion we know: God leads to faith all whom He plans to redeem. The redemption of the elect is certain. The Son promises acceptance to anyone who truly believes and to those and those alone God gives saving faith.
_________________________
Reformed and Always Reforming,

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#706 - Friday, June 21, 2002 2:54 PM Re: Protestant doesn't necessarily mean Calvinist
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13239
Loc: NH, USA
In reply to:

Calvinism is an offshoot of protestantism.


Then perhaps you would enlighten us as to the true history of Protestantism? and the doctrines embraced by it? I'm all ears, but not ready to throw out all the accepted Church History texts; at least not until you have shared your insights that thousands have somehow gotten wrong over the centuries.

In reply to:

Besides, my faith is based in the Word of God, not what a few theologians several hundred years ago (or today) have written.


Great! Then you are in good company here. Because there aren't many who base their faith on the writings of men. But seeing as we probably hold to antithetical and irreconcilable differences, then it boils down to YOUR personal exegesis and interpretation of the inspired text vs. everyone else’s.

In reply to:

I have read quite a few Calvinist apologetics pages, none of them could prevent Revelation 22:19 (and other scriptures) from punching gaping holes in their theology.


"Gaping holes in their theology"? You do have a sense of humour to be sure. I think I'll reserve any further comment until I read your personal account of church history, the origin of Protestantism, it's notable members and their theology. grin

_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#707 - Friday, June 21, 2002 3:02 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine [Re: J_Edwards]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am sure ReformedSBC will post, but I thought this may keep you till she does.

Whoa! Dear brother, I am no she! I am a fully grown, (6', 285) 43 yr-old, testosterone wielding, male Baptist pastor takethat

Please correct your data base scold

laugh

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#708 - Friday, June 21, 2002 3:13 PM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, December 9, 2001
Posts: 4843
Loc: USA
Data Base corrected, sorry about that. It must have been JoshT's use of regardless of their race, gender or past sins that threw me off smirk
_________________________
Reformed and Always Reforming,

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#709 - Saturday, June 22, 2002 1:13 AM Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine [Re: J_Edwards]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3838
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Joe<br><br>I think it is also important to mention that the context of John 6:37 Jesus mentions "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;" is a response to show why the people did not come to Him. <br>I also don't understand how anyone can take the word "shall" to mean "make it possible". The word "shall" here means "will", in other words if the Father gives someone to Jesus, it is a forgone conclusion that they shall/will come to Jesus.<br><br>Tom

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#710 - Monday, June 24, 2002 8:44 AM Changing a book doesn't change God [Re: Wes]
Anonymous
Unregistered


In response to:
"One has to wonder what you think the overwhelming mass of Scripture does support. What do you know about Calvinism?"

In that order:
1. Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8), conditional election (2 Peter 1:10, Matthew 22:14), the offer of God's salvation to all men (1 John 2:2), free will delegated from God to men (Luke 13:34), conditional security (Romans 11:22), the inability of men to choose God on their own (John 15:16), but our responsibility to accept Christ when God calls us (Acts 2:40), predestination and election according to God's foreknowledge of men's hearts (1 Peter 1:2).
2. Enough to know that it is unsupported by scripture.

I also want to address what you wrote about God, you said:
"God sees the end from the beginning and never changes. What He has written will stand the test of time."
Truly, God knows the outcome of things before they even begin. But just because He already knows the outcome of our lives does not prevent Him from blotting names out of the book of life after He has written them if He so chooses (He is sovereign after all). Blotting names out of the book of life does not constitute inconsistency or change on God's part. Reversing an action does not reverse God's nature (just as when He blessed Israel when they served Him and cursed them when they went astray), therefore God can blot His own writing out if He so chooses, and still remain the same.
"...hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross..." (Colossians 2:13-14)
If the ordinances and law which were written by God Himself could be annulled, I don't find it hard to believe that He could do the same to an apostate's name in the book of life. God is still the same. Some other references to the fact that God can and does blot names from the book of life are Exodus 32:32-33, Psalm 69:27-28, and possibly Deuteronomy 29:20 and Revelation 3:5. So no matter what line of reasoning is used to prove that God never changes His record of saints, the sheer weight of scripture testifies otherwise. So the fact remains that Revelation 22:19 clearly indicates that it is possible for God to take one's part from the holy city, and hence, from the book of life.


In Christ,
Josh

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