The Highway

Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine

Posted By: Anonymous

Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Jun 19, 2002 4:42 PM

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
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Jun 19, 2002 5:26 PM

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,
Posted By: Anonymous

There cannot be two books of life - Thu Jun 20, 2002 4:36 PM

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
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: There cannot be two books of life - Thu Jun 20, 2002 5:29 PM

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,
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Thu Jun 20, 2002 5:41 PM

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.
Posted By: Wes

Re: There cannot be two books of life - Thu Jun 20, 2002 6:17 PM

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

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Thu Jun 20, 2002 11:38 PM

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? [Linked Image]
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Fri Jun 21, 2002 6:54 PM

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
Posted By: Anonymous

Protestant doesn't necessarily mean Calvinist - Fri Jun 21, 2002 7:20 PM

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
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Fri Jun 21, 2002 7:43 PM

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 [Linked Image]). 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.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Protestant doesn't necessarily mean Calvinist - Fri Jun 21, 2002 7:54 PM

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"? [Linked Image] 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

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Fri Jun 21, 2002 8:02 PM

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
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Fri Jun 21, 2002 8:13 PM

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
Posted By: Tom

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Sat Jun 22, 2002 6:13 AM

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
Posted By: Anonymous

Changing a book doesn't change God - Mon Jun 24, 2002 1:44 PM

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
Posted By: carlos

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Mon Jun 24, 2002 3:44 PM

Tom<br><br>That is a good point.. for verse 36 states "But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe..""<br><br>Also, you see a parallel in John 10:22-30. <br>Jesus responds those who refused to believe him by saying: <br> "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. "<br> (25-28).<br><br>JoshT, <br><br> The verse plainly states that, since they do not belong to Jesus Christ's Sheep, they do not believe. ON the other hand, being one of Christ's sheep enables one to respond to his call( which correlates with John 6:37). It is not the other way around( that is: if one responds then he becomes one of his sheep). Jesus calls His Sheep and they respond to his call . Hence, that is why In John 6:37, as TOm pointed out, it says that They "Will" come to Christ.<br>It's not a maybe. See Romans 8:28-30. <br><br>Carlos
Posted By: Anonymous

You read between the lines - Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:00 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>There are several things that I want to address about your letter, you ask, "But, HOW can they humble 'themselves' when they DO NOT even seek for God in the first place." But I clearly stated that they must humle themselves and repent when they are convicted by the Holy Spirit. This is God drawing them, so it is God, then man, not vice-versa. I agree with you on this point.<br><br>You also wrote, "[The unregenerate] WILL NOT seek God, prior to God changing them by His grace." This is not exactly correct, they will not seek God prior to His drawing them. He draws us so that we will seek Him and THEN be changed by His grace, for only Jesus' blood can wash us from our sin.<br><br>Exactly how Acts 7:51 proves Calvinism? You wrote that, "God's elect will only resist until God reveals Himself to their spirit at which time they will be drawn away irresistibly to Christ." But how else does God reveal Himself to our spirits except by the Holy Spirit? It then becomes obvious that if a person resists the Holy Spirit (as many of the Jews did and still do), then they are resisting God as He is drawing them. There is nothing in scripture to indicate that God's drawing is irresistable.<br><br>Concerning coming to Christ, you stated "Well you are assuming they can come of their own supposed free will." You read between the lines here, for I said no such thing (I actually said the opposite in the letter that you responded to). I am of the firm belief that no one can come to Jesus unless he is drawn by the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. I am not an Arminian or a Calvinist, I simply believe what is clearly written in God's word. In addition, your saying, "He calls whom He choose....and ONLY them," cannot be correct, for it is written, "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 20:16 and 22:14).<br><br>As far as what "draw" means. Yes, I am well aware that God's conviction and pulling us towards Christ are very strong, but nothing in scripture indicates that He cannot be resisted, as I pointed out from Acts 7:21.<br><br>I do not know why you put in your last argument, the part you wrote was not even what I discussed, and the part I did discuss you didn't answer. You wrote, "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..."<br><br>I did not argue that those who are given would not necessarily come, I pointed out that there are conditions on a person's part if he/she is to be given to Christ (which goes back to the necessity of humbling yourself before God when God draws you). And as I also stated, Christ does not cast anyone out, but God the Father will cut off anyone who does not abide in His word (John 15, Romans 11).<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Characteristics of sheep - Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:18 PM

Dear Carlos,<br><br>One of the characteristics of Christ's sheep are that they follow Christ. A person who is unregenerate (even if he/she is one of the elect) obviously does not follow Jesus before they come to Him. So your argument that you must be a sheep to respond to the call is invalid. I believe what it is actually saying is that those who love the Father (just as many under the Jewish law did), were Christ's sheep and would come to Him. <br><br>"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)<br><br>Also, I never argued that one who is given to Christ "may" come, I said that there were conditions if a person would be given to Christ.<br><br>Don't get me wrong, I do believe in election and predestination. I simply believe that God doesn't make the decision for you or force you to accept Him, but chooses you on the basis of His foreknowledge. <br><br>"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." (1 Peter 1:2)<br><br>God foresees our choices, not makes our choices, and it is on this basis that He chooses us so that we can accept Him.<br><br>Quid Pro Quo (or however you spell it), how do you justify unconditional election with the clear warnings given in Revelation 22:19?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:18 PM

JoshT,

The verse plainly states that, since they do not belong to Jesus Christ's Sheep, they do not believe. ON the other hand, being one of Christ's sheep enables one to respond to his call( which correlates with John 6:37). It is not the other way around( that is: if one responds then he becomes one of his sheep). Jesus calls His Sheep and they respond to his call . Hence, that is why In John 6:37, as TOm pointed out, it says that They "Will" come to Christ.

It's not a maybe. See Romans 8:28-30.


This is the problem, Carlos. It is "plainly seen" but not "readily accepted". flee

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
Which saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see...
Posted By: Anonymous

One may lose more than the tree of life - Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:24 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>It is incorrect to assume that Revelation 22:19 speaks of only loss of rewards as 1 Corinthians 3:15 does. I don't seem to recall writing anything about the tree of life pertaining to salvation; the warning in this verse indicates a debarment not only from the tree of life, but from the holy city as well, which as you correctly pointed out, is something that a heretic forfeits (I am assuming that you believe a heretic cannot be a saint). But how can a man forfeit what he does not have? To have a right in the holy city, he would have to be written in the Lamb's book of life (Revelation 21:27), to have his name written there, he would have to be one of the elect (I draw this by implication from Revelation 13:8). So then the warning in vs 19 stands for the elect as well -- and it does pertain to salvation.<br>This makes guaranteed perseverance of the saints and unconditional election impossibilites.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: You read between the lines - Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:38 PM

There are several things that I want to address about your letter, you ask, "But, HOW can they humble 'themselves' when they DO NOT even seek for God in the first place." But I clearly stated that they must humble themselves and repent when they are convicted by the Holy Spirit. This is God drawing them, so it is God, then man, not vice-versa. I agree with you on this point.

Josh what does CONVICTED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MEAN TO YOU? Do you think of it as an enablement or a change of heart?......Do you think the Holy Spirit merely assists us in being saved...I see God is your slave.... flee

You also wrote, "[The unregenerate] WILL NOT seek God, prior to God changing them by His grace." This is not exactly correct, they will not seek God prior to His drawing them. He draws us so that we will seek Him and THEN be changed by His grace, for only Jesus' blood can wash us from our sin.

But, Josh when did Jesus wash us from our sins when you rub God's magic lantern by your free will decision or was it on Calvary?

Exactly how Acts 7:51 proves Calvinism? You wrote that, "God's elect will only resist until God reveals Himself to their spirit at which time they will be drawn away irresistibly to Christ." But how else does God reveal Himself to our spirits except by the Holy Spirit? It then becomes obvious that if a person resists the Holy Spirit (as many of the Jews did and still do), then they are resisting God as He is drawing them. There is nothing in scripture to indicate that God's drawing is irresistable.

My statement was to be understood that the ELECT do not FULLY and FINALLY resist the Holy Spirit..........---you need to read the Scripture again---Look at Paul.....

As far as what "draw" means. Yes, I am well aware that God's conviction and pulling us towards Christ are very strong, but nothing in scripture indicates that He cannot be resisted, as I pointed out from Acts 7:21.

Well I am glad you see Christ is very strong, to bad you do not see He is sovereign and ALL POWERFUL also.

So you're not an Arminian? Someone must have changed the definition? puke
Posted By: Anonymous

That doesn't address the issue - Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:51 PM

Dear Pilgrim,<br><br>In reply to,<br>"Then perhaps you would enlighten us as to the true history of Protestantism?"<br><br>I'm sorry, but I'm not the one making far-fetched claims that being a protestant means you are a Calvinist. Why don't you tell us why that is? Especially since John Calvin was only 8 years old when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church. Was Luther a Calvinist as well? That would be a real miracle. You also speak of Calvinism's dominance, I am from a very religious section of the U.S., I didn't even know what a Calvinist was until I was 20. The fact is that most protestant churches don't accept all of the doctrines of Calvinism. Among them are Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Pentacostals, Full Gospel and many others -- traditional and contemporary. And to say that Calvinism is an offshoot of protestantism is not unfair, since Calvin simply followed in the footsteps of Martin Luther, who was not a Calvinist, nor did he accept all the doctrines taught therein. I have no clue as to what these mystical "accepted Church History texts" are, but I'm betting they would back me up as well.<br><br>You also make it sound as if it is my personal interpretation vs. everyone else's. Be assured, I am not alone in my beliefs. But let me ask you: If you don't base your faith on the uninspired writings of mere men, then why do you just gloss over what Revelation 22:19 clearly says in favor of what some scholar wrote 400+ years ago?<br><br>And yes, you heard it correctly: "Gaping holes." Among them are Acts 2:40, Luke 13:34, and of course Revelation 22:19. Instead of tossing out a red herring about the definition of being a protestant, why don't you actually address the issue: the fact that Revelation 22:19 clearly contradicts the doctrines of unconditional election and perseverance of the saints.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

How a man is saved - Mon Jun 24, 2002 5:08 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>In reply to:<br>"......So you think the Holy Spirit merely assists us in being saved...I see God is your slave...."<br><br>Christ washed my feet. I don't see why you have a problem with the Holy Spirit "assisting" (though He was actually guiding) me as you put it.<br><br><br>You wrote:<br>"But, Josh when did Jesus wash us from our sins when you rub God's magic latern by your free will decision or was it on Calvary?"<br><br>We are by nature the children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), someone who is a child of wrath is not washed in the blood, therefore a man can only be washed when:<br>1. The Father draws him by the Holy Spirit<br>2. The man humbles himself and surrenders his will to God<br>3. The man is then given to Christ<br>4. The man truly believes in Jesus Christ<br><br>Then he is washed clean from his sin and is no longer a child of wrath.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"My statement was to be understood that the ELECT do not FULLY and FINALLY resist the Holy Spirit..........---you need to read the Scripture again---Look at Paul....."<br><br>I see nothing in the scripture to indicate that a man cannot fully and finally resist the Holy Spirit (they are only elect if they do not). I also see plenty of proof that they can fall away afterwards.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"Well I am glad you see Christ is very strong, to bad you do not see He is soveriegn and ALL POWERFUL also."<br><br>I do believe that Christ is sovereign and all powerful, I simply believe that He chooses not to exercise the full extent of His power all the time. I do not believe that he forces us to accept Him.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"So your nor an Armenian? someone must have changed the definition? "<br><br>An ARMENIAN? I am not from Armenia, but if you mean Arminian, then define this for me please. Also please explain to me why Revelation 22:19 doesn't contradict the doctrines of unconditional election and perseverance of the saints.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: That doesn't address the issue - Mon Jun 24, 2002 5:42 PM

JoshT,

First of all, the doctrines of Grace, which most every Protestant denomination after the Reformation embraced, didn't originate with Martin Luther. [Linked Image] Perhaps you aren't familiar with Augustine and others after him who also held to the same doctrines?
In reply to:

I have no clue as to what these mystical "accepted Church History texts" are, but I'm betting they would back me up as well.


I don't recall that I or anyone else made mention of any mystical documents? However I did refer to the vast array of documents which were the foundation upon which the vast majority of Protestant denominations stood. I'll just name a few:

    [*]The French Confession (1559) [Huguenots][*]The Belgic Confession (1561) [Dutch Reformed][*]The Second Helvetic Confession (1562, a revision of the First of 1536) [Swiss][*]The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion (1571) [Anglican and Episcopal][*]The Canons of Dort (1618-1619) [myriad Protestant denominations][*]The Waldensian Confession (1655 French) [a group from the 12th century][*]The Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order (1658) [Congregationalists][*]The London Confession of Baptist Faith (1689) [English Baptists][*]The Philadelphia Confession of Faith (early 18th century) [American Baptists][/LIST]
    In reply to:

    The fact is that most protestant churches don't accept all of the doctrines of Calvinism.


    Agreed. From around the mid 1800's most major denominations have abandoned their roots to embrace semi-Pelagianism/Arminianism or even Liberalism. All this proves is that apostasy has entered into the modern church. But it doesn't negate the historicity of Calvinism’s overwhelming acceptance from the beginning.

    Let's now look at the text you put so much weight upon as proving that those who have been predestinated from eternity by God's immutable council, bought with the precious blood of the Lord Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit can lose that salvation by grace.

    Revelation 22:18-19 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 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 of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book."
    The text clearly qualifies the conditions that would facilitate God "taking away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book." The text clearly says that this action will be upon those who take away from the words of the book of this prophecy. It is speaking of those who would remove parts of the inspired text (Revelation) for whatever reason. In doing so, they show that they had no part in the book of life, nor of the holy city, but contrariwise, they are false prophets, enemies of God, etc. Again, there is so much biblical evidence that teaches "eternal security", one has to wonder why you would pick this particular passage in order to try and contradict them? [Linked Image].

    I and others could easily enumerate them if you wish and then discuss them if you are so inclined. [Linked Image]


In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Ordinances Annulled - Mon Jun 24, 2002 5:56 PM

Josh,<br>Welcome to the forum. I have a question for you about your statement:<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>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.<br>"...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)<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>Do you believe that what has been annulled by Christ has been God's handwriting here? <br> <br>OR is it the penalty due to us for breaking those ordinances?<br><br>Consider this Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>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. <p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Doesn't it cause you difficulty to think that God wrote down the name of the apostate in the Book of Life, and then later after seeing he is an apostate, he has to take his name from the book? Since the unsaved are spiritually dead, they cannot have their names in the Book of Life. Doesn't this cause problems with believing in God's omniscience?<br>Susan<br><br>
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: How a man is saved - Mon Jun 24, 2002 6:27 PM

JoshT you make NO SENSE! YOU never answer a question, you merely answer questions with doubts, despair, and more questions:

YOU SAID: Christ washed my feet.

So now you are seeing visions!

YOU SAID: We are by nature the children of wrath

Very true and the 1st verse YOU AND ALL HUMANITY ARE DEAD in trespasses and sin. Now how does a DEAD MAN do anything to effect his own salvation? I leopard may not change his spots and unless the Holy Spirit changes your condition you can not seek for Christ. See the Scripture says that you can not SEE or ENTER the kingdom of God until you are born again (John 3).

YOU SAID: I don't see why you have a problem with the Holy Spirit "assisting" (though He was actually guiding)

So how does the Holy Spirit GUIDE a dead man to do anything without making him alive first?

The Correct Order of Salvation (abbreviated form):

Effectual Calling - Divine Act
Regeneration - Divine Act
Repentance -Divine; Human
Faith -Divine & Human
Justification -Divine
Sanctification -Divine
Adoption -Divine
Progressive Sanctification -Divine ; Human
Perseverance IN Holiness - Divine ; Human
Glorification -Divine

YOU SAID: I see nothing in the scripture to indicate that a man cannot fully and finally resist the Holy Spirit (they are only elect if they do not). I also see plenty of proof that they can fall away afterwards.

So the elect become the elect by the WORK of not resisting? By all means show us that they can fall away afterwards

YOU SAID: I do believe that Christ is sovereign and all powerful, I simply believe that He chooses not to exercise the full extent of His power all the time. I do not believe that he forces us to accept Him.

So God sometimes chooses not to be fully God...interesting theology.

Who said anything about forcing, after He irresistably draws you and changes you you willing come to Him.

And yes the Arminian SPs got me. (Sps= Spelling Police).

By the way Rev was already answered: http://www.the-highway.com/cgi-bin/forum/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=theology&Number=11126&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&vc=1#Post11126
Posted By: Anonymous

What "save yourselves" actually means - Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:55 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>For starters, foot washing is a figurative term. I was referencing John 15:8.<br><br>Secondly, you are correct in stating that a dead man can do nothing to save himself. True. I do believe that man has no potential to seek or serve God until God draws him *and yes,* changes his condition first. Your logical error is assuming that a person is regenerated (or as you also implied, "born again") before accepting Christ. I disagree on that point. 1 John gives a vivid description of one who is born of God, but this is not the state of a person who has not repented yet.<br><br>When the Holy Spirit convicts a person of sin and draws them to Christ, He shines the light of life that Christ brought into the world, so in a sense the person is made alive; but they are only truly alive when they repent and believe on Jesus Christ.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"So the elect become the elect by the WORK of not resisting?"<br><br>Yielding to God is not a work, just as believing in God is not a work. If you think it is, then explain why faith and works are contrasted so many times in scripture. But as far as men are concerned, surrendering to God and believing (though faith is of God, we must live by it) is an element of responsibility on our part if we are to be saved. In Act 2:40, when it says, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" Peter was not telling the men that their good works could save them. As we both know, only Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary could do that. The best analogy I can think of to illustrate what Peter meant is a man drowning. The man who is drowning is approached by a rescue boat, and is tossed a life ring by one of the crew. The man reaches out and grabs it and is slowly hauled into the boat. Now I must ask you, did that man save himself? Well, in a way he did (he wasn't a total moron and grabbed the ring), but in reality, the crew of the ship saved him. The man who was saved has nothing to boast of, he gets no credit or glory, he only saved himself because he responded like he had a wink of sense. In the same way, when the Holy Spirit draws a man to Christ, the man must respond by yielding to God, he does no works of righteousness to obtain his salvation, gets no credit, and receives no glory. He saves himself only because he relies on God to save him. <br><br>You wrote:<br>"By all means show us that they can fall away afterwards." <br><br>I already have. Though your response to my post was well versed, I pointed out in my reply that not only the tree of life, but the holy city would also be taken away if a man violated this final warning in scripture. Please note: There is no in-between, you are either living in New Jerusalem together with God (as all who overcome do -- Revelation 3:12), or burning in Gehenna outside.<br><br>Revelation 22:15 "For without [the city] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."<br><br>You wrote:<br>"So God sometimes chooses not to be fully God...interesting theology. <br><br>Request you stop over-exaggerating my case. It only makes your case look weaker. If God exercises His complete sovereignty in all things, then how did Lucifer fall into sin? We both know that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), so how his fall come about if God was still being totally sovereign? Did He cease to be God then according to YOUR theology? For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication? It is God's will after all (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Why don't all Christians give thanks in everything, it is also God's will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).<br><br>You wrote:<br>"Who said anything about forcing, after He irresistably draws you and changes you you willing come to Him."<br><br>I believe that irresistably drawing would effectively be forcing, be it gentle or not. But pardon my confusion of terms.<br><br>And I was just joking about the Armenian thing, but seriously, if I recall correctly, Arminius didn't exactly teach that it was possible to fall away; he said it was an open question. I do firmly believe it is possible to fall away so I would think I am not exactly an Arminian.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: J_Edwards

Josh You Are Soooooo Confused - Mon Jun 24, 2002 10:30 PM

YOU SAID you are correct in stating that a dead man can do nothing to save himself.

Well I am glad you agree. Now if you will look at the rest of the Order of Salvation it explains the remainder of your questions on this point and on the point of WORKS (your second question). It explains briefly who is involved and in what capacity.......

Rev 22:19 proves NOTHING for the case of Armianism (or Joshism. It has already been clearly shown to you, if you do not desire to believe the word of God no one here can force you....Now concerning your statement I pointed out in my reply that not only the tree of life, but the holy city would also be taken away if a man violated this final warning in scripture are directed towards men such as in 2 Pet 2:1 and not God's elect. Do a word study on 'any, 'all' and the like.........from a Reformed Perspective to learn the truth further. As explained before-- the saints (who will definitely overcome) inherit a part in the holy city (21:7), the heretic forfeits this inheritance.

YOU SAID If God exercises His complete sovereignty in all things, then how did Lucifer fall into sin? We both know that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), so how his fall come about if God was still being totally sovereign? Did He cease to be God then according to YOUR theology? For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication? It is God's will after all (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Why don't all Christians give thanks in everything, it is also God's will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

God did NOT cease to be God when He allowed did Lucifer fall into sin? In actuality it was part of His overall sovereign plan. Think of it this way: the fall of Satan contributed to the fall of man. Man indeed had to fall for Christ was predestined BEFORE the foundation of the world to die for the sins of His elect, thus it was a part of the will of God, but in no way was or is He the author of sin. And you ask why would He will such a thing? Very simply --though Adam and Eve (our Federal Heads) had a relationship with God prior to the fall they in no way understood the totality of God's love. Christ had to die so God's elect could understand the totality of God's love---greater love hath no man........

For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication?----could it be because ahhhhhh, because they are sinners or maybe not Christians at all? But, He still reveals His sovereignty in chastising those whom He loves--not the others....

Now as far as REGENERATION maybe this will help you (if it doesn't then it at least ends my arguement, because after you get out of the scripture, I will have nothing else to say):

The work of regeneration we play no active role at all. It is instead totally a work of God. We see this, for example, when John talks about those to whom Christ gave power to become children of God--they "were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). Here John specifies that children of God are those who are "born ... of God" and our human will ("the will of man") does not bring about this kind of birth.<br><br> The fact that we are passive in regeneration is also evident when Scripture refers to it as being "born" or being "born again" (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:3-8). We did not choose to be made physically alive and we did not choose to be born--it is something that happened to us; similarly, these analogies in Scripture suggest that we are entirely passive in regeneration.

This sovereign work of God in regeneration was also predicted in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Through him God promised a time in the future when he would give new spiritual life to his people:<br><br> A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (Ezek. 36:26-27)

Which member of the Trinity is the one who causes regeneration? When Jesus speaks of being "born of the Spirit" (John 3:8), he indicates that it is especially God the Holy Spirit who produces regeneration. But other verses also indicate the involvement of God the Father in regeneration: Paul specifies that it is God who "made us alive together with Christ" (Eph. 2:5; cf. Col. 2:13). And James says that it is the "Father of lights" who gave us new birth: "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures" (James 1:17-18).

Finally, Peter says that God "according to his abundant mercy has given us new birth .. . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3.....). We can conclude that both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit bring about regeneration.

What is the connection between effective calling and regeneration? Scripture indicates that regeneration must come before we can respond to effective calling with saving faith. Therefore we can say that regeneration comes before the result of effective calling (our faith). But it is more difficult to specify the exact relationship in time between regeneration and the human proclamation of the gospel through which God works in effective calling. At least two passages suggest that God regenerates us at the same time as he speaks to us in effective calling: Peter says, "You have been born anew not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.... That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:23, 25). And James says, "He chose to give us birth through the word of truth" (James 1:18 NIV). As the gospel comes to us, God speaks through it to summon us to himself (effective calling) and to give us new spiritual life (regeneration) so that we are enabled to respond in faith. Effective calling is thus God the Father speaking powerfully to us and regeneration is God the Father and God the Holy Spirit working powerfully in us to make us alive. These two things must have happened simultaneously as Peter was preaching the gospel to the household of Cornelius, for while he was still preaching "the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word" (Acts 10:44).

Sometimes the term irresistible grace is used in this connection. It refers to the fact that God effectively calls people and also gives them regeneration, and both actions guarantee that we will respond in saving faith. The term irresistible grace is subject to misunderstanding, however, since it seems to imply that people do not make a voluntary, willing choice in responding to the gospel--a wrong idea, and a wrong understanding of the term irresistible grace. The term does preserve something valuable, however, because it indicates that God's work reaches into our hearts to bring about a response that is absolutely certain--even though we respond voluntarily.

Exactly what happens in regeneration is mysterious to us. We know that somehow we who were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1) have been made alive to God and in a very real sense we have been "born again" (John 3:3, 7; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13). But we don't understand how this happens or what exactly God does to us to give us this new spiritual life. Jesus says, "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

Scripture views regeneration as something that affects us as whole persons. Of course, our "spirits are alive" to God after regeneration (Rom. 8:10), but that is simply because we as whole persons are affected by regeneration. It is not just that our spirits were dead before-- we were dead to God in trespasses and sins (see Eph. 2:1). And it is not correct to say that the only thing that happens in regeneration is that our spirits are made alive (as some would teach), for every part of us is affected by regeneration: "If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17).

Because regeneration is a work of God within us in which he gives us new life it is right to conclude that it is an instantaneous event. It happens only once. At one moment we are spiritually dead, and then at the next moment we have new spiritual life from God.

Several passages that tell us that this secret, hidden work of God in our spirits does in fact come before we respond to God in saving faith \When talking about regeneration with Nicodemus, Jesus said, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Now we enter the kingdom of God when we become Christians at conversion. But Jesus says that we have to be born "of the Spirit" before we can do that. Our inability to come to Christ on our own, without an initial work of God within us, is also emphasized when Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44), and "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:65). This inward act of regeneration is described beautifully when Luke says of Lydia, "The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:14). First the Lord opened her heart, then she was able to give heed to Paul's preaching and to respond in faith.

By contrast, Paul tells us, "The man without the Spirit (literally, the "natural man") does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14 NIV). He also says of people apart from Christ, "no one understands, No one seeks for God" (Rom. 3:11).

The solution to this spiritual deadness and inability to respond only comes when God gives us new life within. "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses made us alive together with Christ" (Eph. 2:4-5). Paul also says, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ" (Col. 2:13 ).

The idea that regeneration comes before saving faith is not always understood by evangelicals today. Sometimes people will even say something like, "If you believe in Christ as your Savior, then (after you believe) you will be born again." But Scripture itself never says anything like that. This new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe.

The reason that evangelicals often think that regeneration comes after saving faith is that they see the results (love for God and his Word, and turning from sin) after people come to faith, and they think that regeneration must therefore have come after saving faith. Yet here we must decide on the basis of what Scripture tells us, because regeneration itself is not something we see or know about directly: "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). Fruit always comes after a good root .....

Because Christians often tend to focus on the results of regeneration, rather than the hidden spiritual act of God itself, some evangelical statements of faith have contained wording that suggests that regeneration comes after saving faith. So, for example, the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (which has been adapted by a number of other evangelical organizations) says,

We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head. (paragraph 8)

Here the word "regeneration" apparently means the outward evidence of regeneration that is seen in a changed life, evidence that certainly does come after saving faith. Thus "being born again" is thought of not in terms of the initial impartation of new life, but in terms of the total life change that results from that impartation. If the term "regeneration" is understood in this way, then it would be true that regeneration comes after saving faith.

Nevertheless, if we are to use language that closely conforms to the actual wording of Scripture, it would be better to restrict the word "regeneration" to the instantaneous, initial work of God in which he imparts spiritual life to us. Then we can emphasize that we do not see regeneration itself but only the results of it in our lives, and that faith in Christ for salvation is the first result that we see. In fact, we can never know that we have been regenerated until we come to faith in Christ, for that is the outward evidence of this hidden, inward work of God. Once we do come to saving faith in Christ, we know that we have been born again.

By way of application, we should realize that the explanation of the gospel message in Scripture does not take the form of a command, "Be born again and you will be saved," but rather, "Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved." This is the consistent pattern in the preaching of the gospel throughout the book of Acts, and also in the descriptions of the gospel given in the Epistles.<br>
Posted By: Paul_S

Resisting God - Tue Jun 25, 2002 1:31 AM

Josh,
Quote
In reply to:
As far as what "draw" means. Yes, I am well aware that God's conviction and pulling us towards Christ are very strong, but nothing in scripture indicates that He cannot be resisted, as I pointed out from Acts 7:21.
Really? Here are several that come to mind:

The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand"...For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? Isaiah 14:24,27

"I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no Savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed--I, and not some foreign God among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?" Isaiah 43:11-13

"Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. I make the end known from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please...What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." Isaiah 46:8-11

You are confusing two meanings of the word "resist". Resistance commonly denotes the attempt on the part of one force to avoid being overcome by another force, but it also refers to the successful outcome of such an attempt. This enables an English-speaker to say with no contradiction, "Though the German forces in the cliffs above Normandy put up fierce resistance on D-Day, they were utterly unable to resist the onslaught." Did the Germans resist the Allies? Yes, and no. Does sinful man resist God? Yes (in the first sense) and No (in the second sense).

Josh, be aware of the horrible consequences of fashioning a god other than He who is self-revealed throughout the Scriptures. In your haste to cling to some degree of autonomy for man in Salvation, you have made a statement about the Lord which, if you intend it to be understood in the second sense of "resist" (as I infer from your other posts), is simply not true.<br><br>What would be more accurate to say is that:

1) Every human being from Adam, excluding Christ, resists God (sense One)

2) God unfailingly draws to Himself all whom He has chosen to belong to Him, in the process overcoming their resistance by the work of the Holy Spirit. Thus the elect do not resist God (sense Two).

The shorter way to say this, of course, is that all who belong to God through Christ are irresistibly drawn to Him.

And finally:

3) God will unfailingly pour out the fury of His just wrath on all whom He has not chosen to belong to Him. Their continual attempts to resist Him (sense One) ("Hide us from the wrath of the Lamb!") will be eternally overthrown and thwarted in a manner they will be unable to resist (sense Two).

So although all resist God for a season, none will resist Him in the end.

Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden. Romans 9:18

Two last questions, Josh. Do you take comfort in your opinion that you can resist (sense Two=thwart) God's eternal purposes? How does that knowledge help you in your life with Christ?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:18 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:red]One of the characteristics of Christ's sheep are that they follow Christ. A person who is unregenerate (even if he/she is one of the elect) obviously does not follow Jesus before they come to Him. So your argument that you must be a sheep to respond to the call is invalid.</font color=red><p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Well as usual you've mixed your metaphors and have produced a syllogism that is not accurate. Sheep which are a metaphor for the elect come to Christ because His call is effective. The sheep come no matter what their state because they are His (as all elect are) and must come. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:red] I believe what it is actually saying is that those who love the Father (just as many under the Jewish law did), were Christ's sheep and would come to Him.</font color=red><p><hr></blockquote><p> <br><br>Well its nice to know you believe this I have questions with regard to your proofs for this but it can wait for later. Why don't you instead answer what Paul S posted???<br>
Posted By: J_Edwards

Joshism & Revelation 22:19 - Tue Jun 25, 2002 11:04 AM

You challenged the whole structure of Calvinism based on one Scripture:
Rev 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 of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

I replied in summary with a Scriptural interpretation of Rev 22:19 as follows:

[color:blue] Verse 19 is sometimes misunderstood as teaching loss of salvation, but in fact, it teaches loss of reward (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, or 'maintain’ and 'eternal’ are mutually exclusive terms.

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.

YOU ANSWERED [color:red]Though your response to my post was well versed, I pointed out in my reply that not only the tree of life, but the holy city would also be taken away if a man violated this final warning in scripture. Please note: There is no in-between, you are either living in New Jerusalem together with God (as all who overcome do -- Revelation 3:12), or burning in Gehenna outside. :

And you defended your philosophy (Joshism) with
Revelation 22:15 "For without [the city] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."

Once again your interpretation is flawed. [color:blue]Of course you never responded to the tree of life illustration????

As far as the phrase [color:red]take away his part it simply means that he had no part in the first place. Look again at those men in 2 Pet 2:1 and the like??? These men had no REWARD or INHERITANCE in the first place......look at Dabney below for further as it concerns Christians.....

Additionally you state [color:red] as all who overcome do -- Revelation 3:12, but I ask to look at the context of Rev 3:21. Do you understand the meaning of the term Christian? You stated that Perseverance of the Saints is overthrown elsewhere in your posts. But, do you really understand the context of Rev 3:21 (your scriptural defense???)?:

As John concluded the letter to the faithful church at Philadelphia, Christ promised four eternal blessings to the one who overcomes (another name for a Christian; 1 John 5:5 [smile).

The first promise is that Christ will make him a pillar in the temple of God, and he will not go out from it anymore. A pillar represents stability, permanence, and immovability. Pillars can also represent honor; in pagan temples they were often carved in such a way as to honor a particular deity. The marvelous promise Christ makes to believers is that they will have an eternal place of honor in the temple of God (heaven). To people used to fleeing their city because of earthquakes and enemies, the promise that they will not go out from heaven was understood as security in eternal glory.

Christ’s second promise to the one who overcomes is that He will write on him the name of His God. That depicts ownership, signifying that all true Christians belong to God. It also speaks of the intimate personal relationship we have with Him forever.

Third, Christ promises to write on believers the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. Christians have eternal citizenship in heaven’s so-called capital city, the new Jerusalem. That is yet another promise of security, safety, and glory.

Finally, Christ promises believers His new name. Christ’s name represents the fullness of His person. In heaven, believers will “see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2), and whatever we may have known of Him will pale in the reality in which we will then see Him. The new name by which we will be privileged to call Him will reflect that glorious revelation of His person.
The exhortation He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches closes all seven letters. And of course ONLY those whose hearing has been spiritually changed to be enabled to hear will be able to listen and comprehend.

Josh have you listened? Josh have you comprehended? This tells us allot about you!

Please read what Dabney had to say about your topic:

It is objected that this election cannot be immutably efficacious, because we read in Scripture of saints who are warned against forfeiting it; of others who felt a wholesome fear of doing so; and of God’s threats that He would on occasion of certain sins blot their names from His book of life, etc. Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 9:27; Ps. 69:28; Rev. 22:19; 2 Pet. 1:10. As to the last passage, to make sure our election, is most manifestly spoken only with reference to the believer’s own apprehension of it, and comfort from it; not as to the reality of God’s secret purpose.

This is fully borne out by the means indicated—diligence in holy living. Such fruits being the [color:blue]consequence, and not the cause of God’s grace to us, it would simply be preposterous to propose to ensure or strengthen His secret purpose of grace, by their productions. All they can do is to strengthen our own apprehension that such a purpose exists. When the persecuted Psalmist prays, Ps. 69:28, that God would “blot his enemies out of the book of the living,” it by no means seems clear that anything more is imprecated than their removal from this life. But grant the other meaning, as we do, in Rev. 22:19, the obvious explanation is that God speaks of them according to their seeming and profession. The language is adapted ad hominem . It is not intended to decide whether God has a secret immutable purpose of love or not, as to them, whether they were ever elected and effectually called indeed, and may yet be lost; but it only states the practical truth, that wickedness would forfeit that position in God’s grace, which they professed to have. Several of the other passages are in part explained by the fact that the Christians addressed had not yet attained a comfortable assurance that they were elected. Hence they might most consistently feel all these wholesome fears, lest the partial and uncertain hope they entertained might turn out spurious. But the most general and thorough answer which covers all these cases is this: Granting that God has a secret purpose infallibly to save a given soul, that purpose embraces means as fully as ends; and those means are such as suit a rational free agent, including all reasonable appeals to hope and fear, prospect of danger, and such like reasonable motives. [color:blue]Now, that an elect man may fall totally, is naturally possible, considering him in his own powers; hence, when God plies this soul with fears of falling it is by no means any proof that God intends to permit him to fall, in His secret purpose. Those fears may be the very means designed by God to keep him from it.

Robert L. Dabney, Topical Lectures on Scripture, Index Created by Christian Classics Foundation., electronic ed. based on the Banner of Truth 1985 ed. (Simpsonville SC: Christian Classics Foundation, 1996).
Posted By: Wes

Original Sin = No Free Will - Tue Jun 25, 2002 12:46 PM

JoshT,<br><br>I can see by your reply that you don't know much about Calvinism and have some very serious misunderstandings about it as well. I also recognize that you are suggesting that man has a free will even after the fall. How do you deal with texts that deny this? <br><br>Jeremiah 17:9<br>"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" <br> <br>John 5:42<br>"But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you."<br><br>John 6:44<br>"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."<br><br>John 15:4, 5<br>"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."<br><br>Romans 7:18, 23, 24<br>"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find."<br><br>"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" <br><br>Romans 8:7, 8<br>"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." <br><br>I Corinthians 2:14<br>"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."<br><br>II Corinthians 7:1<br>"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." <br><br>Ephesians 2:1-3<br>"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."<br><br>Ephesians 4:18<br>"...having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;"<br><br>II Timothy 3:2-4<br>"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God," <br><br>Titus 1:15<br>"To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled."<br><br>Hebrews 11:6<br>"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." <br><br>Pelagians, Arminians, and Modernists deny total depravity. Since you are arguing from that position the above body of Scripture must take on a whole different interpretation than when Adam sinned death came upon all men. <br><br>Wes<br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Take God's warnings seriously - Tue Jun 25, 2002 3:40 PM

Dear Joe,<br>I don't quite understand how I did not respond to your tree of life illustration. I simply said that the holy city was also mentioned as being taken away. This by itself makes my case. I fail to see how "take away his part" means "never had a part in the first place." This violates the simple denotation of this passage. You make bold assertations that I must take John 6 in its most literal sense (which I do), why can't you say the same here? Concerning Revelation 3:21, this does make a statement of security, but it does refers to when we will enter New Jerusalem, not the present time. Recall also that all overcomers will eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7), thus if one performed the act mentioned in 22:19, it would be an obvious indicator that he was no longer an overcomer.<br><br>And yes, I am well aware that Christ has full ownership of believers. We are also sealed by the Holy Spirit, which guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39). This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His.<br><br>And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away. As I stated before, the fact that a person can have their part in the tree of life taken away proves that it is possible for a believer to fall away and not be classed as "he who overcomes." This promise would not apply to them.<br><br>In response to Dabney's:<br>"As to the last passage, to make sure our election, is most manifestly spoken only with reference to the believer’s own apprehension of it, and comfort from it; not as to the reality of God’s secret purpose."<br><br>and<br><br>"Granting that God has a secret purpose infallibly to save a given soul, that purpose embraces means as fully as ends; and those means are such as suit a rational free agent, including all reasonable appeals to hope and fear, prospect of danger, and such like reasonable motives. Now, that an elect man may fall totally, is naturally possible, considering him in his own powers; hence, when God plies this soul with fears of falling it is by no means any proof that God intends to permit him to fall, in His secret purpose. Those fears may be the very means designed by God to keep him from it."<br><br>This is baloney. God does not make idle threats, false testimonies, or give warnings against things which cannot occur. Since this is a testimony from Jesus Christ Himself, rather than explain it away, I will take Him at His word. Dabney's error is also apparent in light of 1 John 4:16-18 "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." <br><br>How can a God of love that casts out fear promote fear in those He loves? Dalbey's reasoning is simple grasping at straws, but God's word stands firm: He means what He says.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Resisting God - Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:01 PM

Dear Paul,<br><br>Concerning the verses you cited, I too believe that no one can stop God from doing what He is determined to do. But no scripture states that it is God's will to irresistably draw men to Himself. It is apparent from scripture that God does draw men, but He does not exercise His ability to bend the will in doing so. Consider the verse I quoted:<br><br>Acts 7:51, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." <br><br>You might argue that they could not permanently resist the Holy Ghost, but who was being spoken to? The High Priest and the rest of the Jewish council were very hard hearted men who resisted God, and like most of the Jewish leaders, died in their sin. Also note that their fathers died while resisting the Holy Ghost, if it were not so, the Pharisees/Saducees/ect... would not be their fathers' children.<br><br>Mat 23:30-31 "...And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets."<br><br>So we have some scriptural examples of men finally resisting the Holy Spirit. I personally believe from the context of these passages that God does want to draw us to His grace, but from what I can derive here, I also believe that He does not irresistably draw us. If you still believe that man has absolutely no autonomy in being saved, then I suggest you read my post on what it means to "save yourselves."<br><br>You wrote:<br>"Two last questions, Josh. Do you take comfort in your opinion that you can resist (sense Two=thwart) God's eternal purposes? How does that knowledge help you in your life with Christ?"<br><br>1Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."<br><br>I have seen this in effect too many times from my Baptist friends. I have made it a goal to disprove the concept of eternal security. Though it is not quite the same thing, unconditional election is closely related. I do not do this for my health, but to warn others of the dangers this doctrine poses.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:12 PM

Dear Prestor John,<br><br>Mixed my metaphors?<br>You write:<br>"Sheep which are a metaphor for the elect come to Christ because His call is effective. The sheep come no matter what their state because they are His (as all elect are) and must come."<br><br>But I see no evidence as to why your explanation is accurate and mine is not. Mine seems to make a bit more sense considering the context. As to your second question, two notable examples are Simeon and Anna.<br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br><br>"Yeah I said the words, maybe not every little bitty syllable. But basically I said 'em."
Posted By: carlos

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:17 PM

Dear brother Josh T

Since ReformedSbc has already responded to the first few of your sentences, I will deal with your eisogesis of 1 peter 1:2.

Your interpretation of 1 peter 1:2, in my view, is not correct. By the way, just to mention in passing, your view of election is not based on Grace, rather it is merit, in this case your faith. Contrast your position with 2 1 Tim 1:9, which states we are called "not according to our works but According to His Own purpose and grace". In addition, your position implies that it is not God Electing Anyone. Rather it is people Electing him. Ephesians and 1 Peter, as I will show below, state that God’s election is initiated in Himself and because of His own Will.

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, IN ACCORDANCE with HIS pleasure and WILL.....In him we were also CHOSEN, having been predestined ACCORDING to the PLAN of him who works out everything in conformity with the PURPOSE of HIS will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory(1:5, 11).
.
OH, yes God does foresee our faith and everything else that occurs in whole of creation and time. Since God is infinite, omniscient, eternal, etc, then it is easily implied that he knows all, and scripture provides plenty of evidence, unless of course one subscribes to the ridiculous position of “open-theism”. That, however, is NOT the point of the passage in Ephesians nor in 1 Peter and other passages the speaking regarding Election. The text of 1 Peter 1:2 says the Object of the Foreknowledge is the ‘Elect’ for the purpose of Obedience and Sprinkling of the blood Of Jesus Christ, through the means of Sanctification. What does it mean that God Foreknows the Elect “The chosen ones”? What does foreknowledge “prognosis (noun), proginosko (verb)” mean or better yet, how is it used the Biblical context? Well let’s look at the biblical data. The noun & verb forms of Foreknowledge are used of God as the subject 5 times in the New Testament, including the passage mentioned by you. They are 1 peter:2, 20, Romans 8:29, Acts 2:23, and Romans 11:2. We will look at some of these passages in a few, but first let’s look at the use of the word itself.

I submit to you that the word ‘foreknown’ or ‘known’ does not simply include the idea of a general knowledge as grammatical definition denotes, but of an intimate commitment or relationship. The word “fore” is just before time (Jer 1:5-6 is a great illustration of being intimately known before time ). We will look at this in the New Testament and Old Testament passages regarding those words. One of the easiest examples of this is Matthew 7:15-23:

15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I NEVER KNEW [ginosko] you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

The point of Verse 23 is not that Jesus did not know of them, rather He did not have an intimate relationship with them. If that is not the meaning of the text I know not what it is. See the reverse In John 10, where It speaks of Jesus ‘knowing’ of His sheep. Thus, ‘knowing’ denotes more that just a mere intellectual knowledge. Not convinced yet? Well let’s do a closer analysis.

That New testament Greek word ginosko and its associated words is equivalent to that of the Hebrew word yada. One Theologian states:
“This Hebrew term refers to knowing with experience or intimacy. For example, it is used of sexual union (Genesis 4:1, 19:8); of personal acquaintance (Genesis 29:5; Exodus 1:8);..and of knowing the true God (1 Samuel 2:12 - 3:7; Jeremiah 3:22).....In Matthew 1:25, the statement "he kept her a virgin" is literally "he knew her not" (eginosken). Moreover, in Philippians 3:10, the Apostle states his foremost desire, "that I may know Him" (gnomai). The reference in Romans 11:2 also has the meaning of the Hebrew yada: "God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?" (NASB)
I believe the context is clear in that ‘Foreknew’ here means more than forethought. In this context, ‘foreknew’ almost synonymous with ‘forelove’ ( as some theologians prefer to say).

Let’s look at another text that speaks of God’s Knowing of the people of Israel that demonstrates that this is more than mere knowledge.

Amos 3:1-2 states : Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I KNOWN [yada] of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

Some translations ( such NIV) even render yada as ‘Chosen’ in this text. The passage definitely expresses experience or relationship between God and Israel, more than just mere knowledge. Why did God ‘known’ Israel above all the families of the earth. I submit Deut 7:6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has CHOSEN you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The Lord DID NOT SET HIS AFFECTION on you and CHOOSE you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was BECAUSE the Lord LOVED you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt (Deut 7:6-8)

There are many more passages in the old testament that proves the point that ‘know’ is not just mere knowledge. But I will now turn back to the specific passage of dispute.

1 PETER 1:2
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

JoshT, The text states that this Election is in according with God’s Foreknowledge. I have been looking through over and over again, I still can’t see you can come up that God Foresees one’s faith and then based on that He Elects Them. Rather If were are consistent the rest of the scriptures, old and new testament, then Foreknowledge is actually based on a committed that God has made to the Elect , That is, He made a free choice to love them and Elect before time. I like how one theologian put it : “He knew us from eternity past with a sovereign and distinguishing delight.”

Let’s look at another passage in the same book.
1 Peter 1:19-21 "19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was FOREORDAINED [proginosko] before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."


1 Peter 1:20 attributes God’s foreknowledge to the mission of Christ. Cook comments: God not only knew ahead of time that Christ would be the Lamb (a concept that is self-evident and tautological), He determined it. No other interpretation of [foreknowledge] makes sense ...

JoshT,
How is that you can ascribe to a foreknowledge that means that God know who will respond to him and Thus elect him, etc. and then hold to view that Christian Can loose their Salvation. According to Rom 8:28-30, Those He did foreknow, God declares them also as “glorified”.

Romans 78:28-30 “29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

So I ask, Is God mistaken in his foreknowledge according to your system if subscribe to the fact that one can “loose their salvation”

However, believe that this text does not support the Arminian view of Foreknowledge. Rather this text is focusing on God’s doing, not the response of the believer. That is, It is God who Foreknows (foreloving), Predestines, Calls, Justifies, & glorifies. To read "whom He did foreknow would repent and believe" is nothing more than Eisogesis.

So I ask , JoshT, please shown me from the scriptures that God chooses based on the fact that He foresees people’s “Faith”. By the way, this view in my eyes is incompatible with the description of the natural in scripture. I like the way RL Dabney puts its:
This leads to the crowning argument. This Saul was by nature "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph. ii. 1), and, therefore, would never have in him any faith or repentance to be foreseen, except as the result of God's purpose to put them in him. But the effect cannot be the cause of its own cause. The cart cannot pull the horse; why, it is the horse that pulls the cart.”
Praise Be to God who made us live so in we can in turn can forsake our old lifestyle and sins and cling to Christ, our Lord & Savior.

Brother in Christ,
Carlos
Posted By: Anonymous

You misunderstand my position brother - Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:19 PM

Dear Wesley,<br>thank you for your reply. Good case, but you are beating a dead horse. I do not believe that man has the power of his own free will to come to God (I'm not exactly an Arminian either). The scriptures you cited are clear evidence of that.<br>I do believe in free will in a sense, I do believe that when a man is drawn and convicted by God, he must humble himself before God and accept His Son's sacrifice before he can be saved. But I by no means believe that a man can just "choose to be saved." If you want to know more of what I believe, then check out my letter on what it means to "save yourselves."<br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Ordinances Annulled - Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:32 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>Yes, I believe that the law has been annulled, not by destruction but by Christ fulfilling it as you cited.<br> <br>Ephesians 2:14-16 "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby..." <br><br>So I do believe it is possible for God to blot out His own writing if He so chooses. As to your second question:<br>"Doesn't it cause you difficulty to think that God wrote down the name of the apostate in the Book of Life, and then later after seeing he is an apostate, he has to take his name from the book? Since the unsaved are spiritually dead, they cannot have their names in the Book of Life. Doesn't this cause problems with believing in God's omniscience?"<br><br>Not really. I don't know what you believe Revelation 22:19 means, but it is obvious that it is possible to have one's part taken from the holy city. Even if you don't believe that means losing one's salvation (I contend it does), I would then ask: Why would God give a reward or inheritance to someone that He knew would lose it? If He only puts names in the book of life that He knows He will never blot out, then why doesn't He give parts of New Jerusalem only to those He knows will keep them? <br><br>I could venture a few guesses, but the fact of the matter is, I don't know why. I simple believe it because it is written in God's word. Does that make any sense? It does to me anyway.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Paul_S

Ambiguity and Contradictions - Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:28 PM

Josh,

Thank you for responding.

Going from back to front, I'm having trouble interpreting your response to what I thought was a simple "yes or no" question about your taking comfort in your opinion of man's will being the sole ground and ultimate cause of eternal security (a fair statement, no? since you deny that God will override any man's will in this matter). I THINK (though you did not use these words) you are saying, "Yes", that DOES give you comfort and purpose in life, since it gives you...a rationale for refuting those who hold to the opposite view. Am I near the mark?

Far more importantly, since these posts are, after all, about the nature of God rather than your personal motivations, I must point out that you made two irreconcilably contradictory statements in your reply.

First you stated: [color:red]I too believe that no one can stop God from doing what He is determined to do

But later you say: [color:red]I personally believe from the context of these passages that God does want to draw us to His grace

In other words "God wants to draw us to Himself, but He is not determined to bring it to pass"!

Is it possible, Josh, that you have fashioned such an impotent, pathetic "savior" because you do not realize the depth of your necessity for [color:blue]a Savior who is determined, and mighty, and able, to SAVE? who [color:red]was appalled that there was no one to intervene, so His own arm worked salvation for Him?

Maybe you are convinced that God needs a little help from you to help Him achieve His heart's desire--which seems to be your deciding to stay with Him forever.

I know that I need a Savior who truly saves the ungodly, wicked, dead, wounded, sick, blind, deaf, lost, rebellious, foul, weak and ignorant, showing me mercy when I deserve only wrath, graciously giving me all things in His beloved Son, and who has bound Himself with an inviolable oath to accomplish this, to the praise of His glory and grace.

Do we have two different Gospels here?
Posted By: J_Edwards

Josh you need to repent - Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:57 PM

YOU SAID: [color:red]I don't quite understand how I did not respond to your tree of life illustration. I simply said that the holy city was also mentioned as being taken away. This by itself makes my case. I fail to see how "take away his part" means "never had a part in the first place." This violates the simple denotation of this passage. You make bold assertations that I must take John 6 in its most literal sense (which I do), why can't you say the same here? Concerning Revelation 3:21, this does make a statement of security, but it does refers to when we will enter New Jerusalem, not the present time. Recall also that all overcomers will eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7), thus if one performed the act mentioned in 22:19, it would be an obvious indicator that he was no longer an overcomer.

Josh you are the one that is grasping at straws, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Even here you did not respond [Linked Image] you just switch the argument as you always do. You avoid the truth and embrace error as shown by your constant return to it.

Now to ease your understanding look back over what I said. If you THINK this verse has reference to the SAVED then look at Dabney’s illustration I gave in the other post (which of course you failed to understand, as John 3 say you will not [color:blue]see until….), but if you think it is to the UNSAVED then they “never had a part in the first place—.” This last statement was to show you that the verse in question could NOT be speaking about lost people (as you seemed to see from your own analysis of it). Thus, since it CANNOT be in reference to the lost person, but the saved alone, and since the saved can not be lost, Dabney’s explanation is clear as it gets. Sorry I did not make this clearer for you in the original post.

YOU SAID: [color:red]And yes, I am well aware that Christ has full ownership of believers. We are also sealed by the Holy Spirit, which guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39). This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His.

So again you assert man’s free-will above God’s sovereignty. Josh you speak from both sides of your mouth…..you say God [color:red] guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39) and then in the same breath say [color:red] this does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God . Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you.

YOU SAID: [color:red]And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away. As I stated before, the fact that a person can have their part in the tree of life taken away proves that it is possible for a believer to fall away and not be classed as "he who overcomes." This promise would not apply to them.

So now you have God changing His mind, changing our names, changing our eternal state, changing His elective plans which are perfect and which were there before the foundation of the world. You know you DENY so many of God’s attributes it is no wonder you deny Him as Lord as well, for how could you believe in a God that apparently in your theology is constantly unable to make a decision that will stick…….Joshism only works if God is a puppet (for you say WE and not God’s grace see to it that we overcome) and even then a string may break and everything will get changed again [Linked Image]

[color:red] This is baloney. Arminianism at its best, the only theology you throw out is—baloney? You make your case very weak indeed!

You need to re-read what Dabney said—he did not speak as you say [color:red] God does not make idle threats, false testimonies, or give warnings against things which cannot occur, but rather imposes those said fears so they may be [color:blue]the very means designed by God to keep us from the sin in question. And again you exalt one of God’s attributes above another, for God is also a judge. Josh GOD IS MORE THAN LOVE! He is more than the sum total of all His attributes. He is the I AM! He does not change and will not change. He will not exalt one attribute of His above another though at times we may see one attribute more fully than at other times.

You need to take the advice of the Book of Revelation: Take God's warnings seriously!
Posted By: Wes

Re: You misunderstand my position brother - Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:35 PM

JoshT,
In reply to:

(I'm not exactly an Arminian either). "I do believe in free will in a sense..."



As I read your remarks on this thread it seems clear to me and others that you are promoting a works righteousness. You definition of "free will" is really not different from an Arminian. You put a lot of emphasis on man's responsibility and his control over his eternally destiny.

In reply to:

Why would God give a reward or inheritance to someone that He knew would lose it? If He only puts names in the book of life that He knows He will never blot out, then why doesn't He give parts of New Jerusalem only to those He knows will keep them?



Does He indeed give someone a reward or inheritance and then they loose it? I think Pilgrim and others have pointed out that your interpretation of this verse is incorrect. This whole concept that you have of a god who puts names in a book and later erases them subject to their sinful will is totally off base. I find it silly![Linked Image] As I try to picture in my mind this god your describe, who observes mankind and takes notes. Determining one day that someone should be in the book of life and the next day taking them out based on their ability to do what is right. [Linked Image]

If this were true... no one would ever get to heaven and the book of life would be empty. What you fail to realize is what God does in salvation. You keep talking about man resisting God, defying God, disobeying God, without realizing that the man of God doesn't do anything in any way that adds to or takes away from his salvation.

He who has begun a good work in you will also complete it (Phil 1:6). "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one."(John 10:27-30)
It doesn't depend on our ability to hold on to Him but His ablity to hold onto us. Now my question for you is who's sovereign you or God?

Wes

Posted By: Anonymous

A Minor Point - Tue Jun 25, 2002 8:13 PM

about Luther not being a Calvinist.

It's true that Marty never saw the "five points".

Neither did Calvin. If knowing the five points of the Synod of Dort (1619) is necessary to being a Calvinist, then John Calvin wasn't a Calvinist! [Linked Image]

Luther did, however believe wholeheartedly in the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation. To most people that qualifies as "Calvinism", Check out Luther's "The Bondage of the Will" if you don't believe me. I find interesting his discussion of "the light of grace" and "the light of glory" with regard to our inability to understand God's sovereignty and human responsibility.

To sum up, Loraine Boettner said better than I ever could:
It was Calvin who wrought out this system of theological though with such logical clearness and emphasis that it has ever since borne his name. He did not, of course, originate the system but only set forth what appeared to him to shine forth so clearly from the pages of Holy Scripture. Augustine had taught the essentials of the system a thousand years before Calvin was born, and the whole body of the leaders of the Reformation movement taught the same.

From "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" (pp. 3-4)

JDalton

[color:red]Colossians 2:3






Posted By: Anonymous

Consider this Josh - Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:18 AM

Josh,
I suppose that you are trying to prove you can lose your salvation because you have seen something that to you proved this was true. Is this the case?

As others have already stated, Christians are the ones who bear fruit for Christ.
John 15:15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Some people will claim to be Christians, but the Lord will say he never knew them. He doesn't say he used to know them and then they were lost, he says he never knew them.

The Holy Spirit was given to believers to abide with them forever.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you [color:red]forever--
That was Jesus' promise to his disciples and to all Christians. If they do not have the Holy Spirit, they are not His. He promises the Holy Spirit will be with them forever.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for[color:red] if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that[color:red] none of them were of us.

I am thinking that your problems are because of your definition of a Christian.
Jesus promises he will never leave us or forsake us. He has the power to keep us safe to the end.

Josh, I believe that you need to look at more than one verse to see what the Bible is really saying about this issue.
What kind of Savior can you offer people if He is unable to keep you till the end?
Isaiah 49:15
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.
49:16
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.


I have seen an elderly lady who became a Christian about the same time as I did who later was afflicted with alzheimers. How wonderful to know that she was safe in the Lord's hand even when she didn't know her own family!
Susan
Posted By: J_Edwards

Josh if you are coorect THEN - Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:54 AM

Please exegete/interpret in DETAIL Eph 1:4-13 and John 1:12, 13, for if Dabney and the rest of us are wrong, you must have a biblical interpretation of these that will further prove your point, or else we can determine your Revelation interpretation is incorrect????
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Wed Jun 26, 2002 4:49 AM

In reply to:

[color:red]But I see no evidence as to why your explanation is accurate and mine is not. Mine seems to make a bit more sense considering the context. As to your second question, two notable examples are Simeon and Anna.




Sorry, last first, how were Anna and Simeon not of the elect? And thus Christ's sheep? For some reason you seem to think that election applies only to those who have been identified. When in reality it applies to all of God's chosen. Anna and Simeon being one of them.

As to your lack of sight, well that is the crux of the matter isn't it? You fail to see what is clearly taught in scripture. Pilgrim, Joe, Paul, all have pointed out why your statements are incorrect but you just can't see them. Ergo your spiritual astigmatism causes you to proclaim you see clearly when you have need of that eye salve that cures.

On an personal note: the quote was from the original, and while I like a good Bruce Campbell flick as much as the next man, you really ought to see the one where Patricia O' Neal and Michael Rennie made it famous.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: That doesn't address the issue - Wed Jun 26, 2002 3:44 PM

Dear Pilgrim,

Yes, I am familiar with Augustine and his doctrine, I also know of the Essenes and their similar beliefs. I think we crossed our wires here a bit. My only point was that one not need be a Calvinist to be a Protestant. I tried to prove this because you said, "Protestantism" IS Calvinism to one degree or another." And so I thought you were trying to back up the idea that I was not really a Protestant if I wasn't a Calvinist. For this to be true, it would imply that all Protestants were Calvinists (which is of course not true). That Calvinism was dominant at the start of the Reformation, you are correct and I will not contest that. But just as many of the creeds contained ideas and truths that pre-dated the Reformation by a thousand years, the creeds themselves were products of the Reformation. So yes, I do believe that Calvinism proper was an offshoot of Protestantism, even though some of the ideas in Calvinism probably pre-dated the incarnation of Christ. I'll leave it at that.

Concerning Revelation 22:19, you wrote:
"It is speaking of those who would remove parts of the inspired text (Revelation) for whatever reason. In doing so, they show that they had no part in the book of life, nor of the holy city, but contrariwise, they are false prophets, enemies of God, etc."

But my point is that they could not have their part "taken away" (lit. to take from, take away, remove, to cut off) if they had no part in the first place. Read it for what it says, it does not say, "And if any man take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, it shall be manifest that he does not have a part in the book of life, the holy city..." It says "God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city..."


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Consider this Josh - Wed Jun 26, 2002 4:20 PM

Dear Susan,

Yes, I have in fact studied the Bible through looking for what it has to say on the subject. I don't rely on just one verse to back me up, I simply use it here primarily because it is probably the clearest and least refutable passage concerning falling away.

You may wonder how I can reconcile MY beliefs with the passages you brought up. Glad you asked.

John 15 - I agree.

"He doesn't say he used to know them and then they were lost, he says he never knew them."

He says MANY will say to me in that day. Just because there are a bunch of people who never were saved trying to convince Jesus that they were does not mean that there will be no people who actually were saved and now are not. In Hebrews 6:4-6, Paul actually describes some who already did fall away.

1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us."

Upon closer examination, the meaning of this verse becomes clear. What is the meaning of the word "manifest?" It of course means to make plain or visible. People departing from Christ is not visually recognizable, but people leaving the body of Christ is. So these went out from among the body of Christ that it might be manifest that they were never truly a part of it. This does not imply that one who truly is a part of Christ's body cannot turn away from Him and be lost.

You wrote:
Jesus promises he will never leave us or forsake us.

But recall that God's promises are conditional. Consider those to whom He originally spoke those words:

Deuteronomy 4:31 "For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."

But He also said,

Deu 31:16-17 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?"

So God's promise not to leave or forsake us is conditional, for He certainly will forsake us if we forsake Him. As 2 Chronicles 15:2 puts it,

"And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you."

You wrote:
"He has the power to keep us safe to the end."

I agree. But I believe that we must continue to abide in Christ for Him to keep us. The scripture says that we are kept by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5), but that faith can be made "shipwreck" (1 Timothy 1:19).

John 14:16, yes the Spirit was given to the followers of Christ to abide with them forever. But this promise is also conditional. Remember King Saul, who grieved God so much that the Holy Spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14).

You wrote:
"What kind of Savior can you offer people if He is unable to keep you till the end?"

While I do believe that our power to stand comes from Christ, I also believe that man also has a responsibility in accepting Christ and abiding in Him, I see no scripture to the contrary.

God wrote:
Isaiah 49:15
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. 49:16
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

But He also wrote:
"As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence." (Jeremiah 22:24)

I am very happy to hear about the woman you mentioned. My wife's great-grandmother was much the same way (except that she had been a Christian her whole life). Good questions though. I hope that even if you don't agree with me, you can at least understand why I believe the way I do.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: lazarus

Re: Resisting God - Wed Jun 26, 2002 4:25 PM

Josh - as for 'stiffnecke people'... you must remember Christ's own words for WHY they were stiffnecked and resisted God/Christ....<br><br> Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. <br>[color:blue] 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. </font color=blue><br> 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: <br><br>They are not His sheep because they refuse to believe in the first instance...NO....they refuse/can't believe PRECISELY BECAUSE they are goats...and not His sheep.<br><br>blessings,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Consider this Josh - Wed Jun 26, 2002 6:56 PM

Josh,
Thanks for the answers. I think part of your confusion is that you are making no distinction between the Old and New Testaments.
In reply to:

John 14:16, yes the Spirit was given to the followers of Christ to abide with them forever. But this promise is also conditional. Remember King Saul, who grieved God so much that the Holy Spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14).



The Holy Spirit could be taken from a person in the Old Testament, but that is not possible now. You are right that Saul did have the Holy Spirit leave him. In the OT, the Holy Spirit could come to someone in a temporary way. Balaam was a false prophet, yet spoke by the Holy Spirit. All accounts of "believing" in the New Testament are not the same as accounts of saving faith. Even devils believe and tremble. That may be a subject for another thread.

You are right to discern that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is one. You are wrong in your belief that a person, once washed in the blood of the Lamb and made a new creature in Christ , who has been transformed from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light could ever be lost.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Many people do fall away, but if they had been true believers, they could not.
1 John 5:13 says "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may[color:red] know that you have eternal life."

And from John 17:6 "I have manifested Your name to the men [color:red]whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9[color:red] I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name.[color:red] Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.


2 Timothy 1:12 says "12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."
As Laz pointed out there are[color:red] two categories, the sheep and the goats. There is not a third category--the goats who used to be sheep. It doesn't make sense for God to transform a person into the Kingdom of Light and then for them to be lost again into the Kingdom of Darkness because they have fallen away. Wouldn't that make Jesus a liar in his High Priestly prayer?
In reply to:

You wrote:
"He has the power to keep us safe to the end."

I agree. But I believe that we must continue to abide in Christ for Him to keep us. The scripture says that we are kept by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5), but that faith can be made "shipwreck" (1 Timothy 1:19).



I agree with you, but I would say that it doesn't depend on our ability to abide. We will abide because He is holding onto us, not the other way around. We will want to abide because we are His own. I disagree that the faith that was made shipwreck was a true saving faith.
Susan

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Consider this Josh - Thu Jun 27, 2002 2:57 AM

AMEN! That's telling him. Give him a little more of the eye salve there Susan so he might be able to see clearly. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Re 3:18<br>I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou <br>mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, <br>and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint <br>thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

In reply... - Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:49 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>Revelation 22:19 very clearly proves that a person who is one of the elect can have their part taken from the holy city, and hence the book of life. I have read responses to my statement about this verse, but none of them were valid.<br>As I indicated before, not only the tree of life, but the holy city is mentioned as being taken away here.<br><br>Your statement about Lucifer was interesting, but simply conjecture. It could also be that God foresaw Lucifer's rebellion and predestined Christ to die because of that. My whole point in asking that was to respond to your unfounded accusation that "God was only God sometimes" according to what I believe. Because He is sovereign, God retains the right to not use His power as well.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication?----could it be because ahhhhhh, because they are sinners or maybe not Christians at all? But, He still reveals His sovereignty in chastising those whom He loves--not the others...."<br><br>I am talking about real Christians. I don't think that you could effectively argue the case that no believer has ever committed fornication. Yet the scripture says it is God's will that we abstain from it, not be chastised for it; though He will do that if we go against His will. But the mere fact that some Christians have fornicated before is manifest evidence that God sometimes does not exercise direct control over all of His creation, and that some have defied His will (to their peril I might add). Where is it written that God has to exercise full control at all times?<br><br>That was an interesting article, but it provided no real evidence that being born again happens before being saved. The closest he came was quoting John 3:5, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (the implication being one had to be born again before he was saved). Matthew 5:20 makes it clear that we must be righteous to enter the kingdom of God. As is clearly spelled out in scripture, righteousness is by faith upon all who believe in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). So comparing these two, I really can't say that I see a difference between being saved and being born again. I'll leave it at that.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Merits vs. Conditions - Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:54 PM

Dear Brother Carlos,

For starters, my view of election is not based on merit. How can you call faith a merit when it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8)? All I did was accept the faith that God provided. There is nothing meritorious or noteworthy about that, Jesus said in Luke 17:10, "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." So likewise, a man who hears God is doing nothing great or spectacular, he is simply fulfilling the condition that God requires. The big problem with most Calvinist theology is that EVERYTHING a man thinks and believes is considered work. This is not a biblical view. Take faith for instance: How many times is faith contrasted to works? Is hearing God a work? If hearing is a work, I'm earning money the hard way (Yes sir!!). Look in scripture and see if any of these things are classified as works. I can tell you now that there is no scripture backing up the idea that there are no conditions to God's grace. So my position in no way implies that we elect God, it simply implies that there are conditions which are the basis of God's election.

Forknowledge: Foreknowledge can be used in either sense. It can also mean to simply have knowledge of (see Acts 2:23). But I never stated that it could not be in the sense you spoke of as well. It makes no difference. Just because one has been known by God does not preclude them from judgement if they fall away from Him. Galatians 4:9 clearly illustrates that some who were known by God were turning from Him and back to the law. They were "fallen from grace" to quote the apostle. And just because a person is "glorified" as spoken of in Romans, does not preclude them from falling just as the then glorious Lucifer did; also note that we who are alive have not yet attained to the resurrection (Philippians 3:12), and are not yet in our final, eternal, glorious state. And no, God is not mistaken in His foreknowledge; for even if He knows that one may fall away after he or she receives Him, He may still give him or her a chance for the sake of His promises (such as to give of the water of life freely). I won't try to explain His reasons for doing so, just as I'm sure you can't give me a pattern or method about how you think God elects people. I am not God, and I don't think I'll ever quite figure out His ways before leaving this shell. This is simply the idea that scriptural evidence supports. Several scriptures in particular indicate the possibility of losing one's salvation (Romans 11:22, John 15, Revelation 22:19), while others speak of those who already have (Hebrews 6:4-6, Galatians 5), and others indicate the ability in man to reject God's calling (such as Luke 13:34). I simply try to understand what the book says, not explain it away.

As to Dabney's argument:
"This leads to the crowning argument. This Saul was by nature "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph. ii. 1), and, therefore, would never have in him any faith or repentance to be foreseen, except as the result of God's purpose to put them in him. But the effect cannot be the cause of its own cause. The cart cannot pull the horse; why, it is the horse that pulls the cart."

Of course God can see the future in the context of His intervention in human affairs; it just wouldn't be the future without Him. He foresaw what would happen when He confronted Saul on the road to Damascus, not just Saul as a human independent of God. That's kind of a silly argument actually.


Thank you for your reply, though I disagree with you on some points, your reasoning skills are excellent.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: In reply... - Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:04 PM

Well Josh it is indeed unfortunate that you have decided to stay where you are in your faith. But, that is consistent with Scripture. Until the Holy Spirit shows you the truth you will never be set free to understand it.
Posted By: Ehud

Re: In reply... - Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:47 PM

Josh,<br><br> If you have time, I suggest you go to this link because it has fairly short explanations some of the questions you pose with a lot of scriptures which are written out.<br><br>http://www.antithesis.com/conversations/easychairs.html<br><br>It is a good read.<br><br>Ehud<br><br>
Posted By: carlos

Re: Election.... - Fri Jun 28, 2002 12:23 PM

Hi Josht,<br>I too respect you, but however I still believe you err in the matter of election and perseverance. I shall make the reply in 3 titles...”Election“ , “Glorification” and “Perserverance”. <br><br>I am not goint to say much about on your view of ‘Election based on forseen faith’( ehud and pilgrim have provided excellent responses to them). I do want to say few things. In fact, to teach your view of Election is to indeed "EXPLAIN AWAY" the scriputres, such a Ephe 1:3-14, Romans 8:28-9:23. See, The election is spoken as a according to God's purpose and Plan. You have to ‘read into the text’ to come up with your position. My point was that God's ELection is not based on anything man does, whether it is works or the act of faith( receiving & resting in Christ and His righeoutsness..) in Jesus. See Ehud’s points. You said there are conditions to God’s Election. WHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE?You can’t get around Eph 1:3-14, nor Romans 8:28-9:23, and many other texts. Election precedes Belief. See Acts 13:48. Belief Does not precede Election, as we have been pointing out to you.<br><br>I shall respond to your other points on Glorification & perseverance” in a few. <br>
Posted By: carlos

Re: perseverance - Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:07 PM

Josh T,<br><br>You Wrote: " <br>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>This is simply the idea that scriptural evidence supports. Several scriptures in particular indicate the possibility of losing one's salvation (Romans 11:22, John 15, Revelation 22:19), while others speak of those who already have (Hebrews 6:4-6, Galatians 5), and others indicate the ability in man to reject God's calling (such as Luke 13:34). I simply try to understand what the book says, not explain it away. " <br>******<br>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br><br><br><br>John 15 does not support your idea of one can loose one’s salvation. In fact John 8:31, states that "IF" you continue[abide] in my word, then you are my disciples..." Christ’s disciples Will persevere. All true believers endure to the End. The same is the theme of Heb 3:6,14, 2 John 1:9. Rev 2:26 . Jesus bring the illustration of the vine, vinedresser and branches so that “you so that My joy may be in you, and that your (14) joy may be made full.” If this is talking about “loosing one’s salvation”, please demonstrate it to me. Rev 22, as been stated by Pilgrim and others, does not support your position. The same claim can be made for Romans 11. If you read Romans 9-11 in its context, I don't think that conclusion can be made that 'one can loose their salvation'. The whole point of Romans 9-11 to explain the sorrow and argument stated in Romans 9:1-6..that is “ For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel”. Hebrews does not support your view either. See Hebrews 3:6, 14 for description of God’s household and those of share in Christ. See Wayne Gruden for an excellent EXEGESIS of the Hebrew warning passages. “Perseverance is the mark true faith, of real disciples,” says DA Carson. In addition, Warnings, in scripture I believe, is another means that God uses to preserve his people. <br><br>A true believer is one of Christ’s Sheep. A sheep has a Shepard as you know. In this Case, it is Jesus Christ. For one to say that one of Christ’s Sheep can become a Goat, is in essence, teaching that Christ can fail at being the “Chief” Shepherd. Jesus Christ is the Perfect Savior, the perfect Shepard. He has been entrusted to care for the sheep. The whole of John 10 speaks of Jesus Care for His Sheep, how He lays His life down for the Sheep. Why? “This is the Father’s WILL which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath Given me I should LOSE NOTHING”.(John 6:39) . Jesus says that it is the father’s will. Can Christ Fail at the Job He was given to Do? John 8:29 state “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." That’s why you see the concern and love of Jesus in his Prayer for his people in John 17. Jesus is a perfect savior; HE cannot fail to save His sheep. That’s why John 10 states” 27MY sheep LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me. 28I give them ETERNAL life, and they shall NEVER perish; NO one can snatch them out of my hand. Jesus' Sheep Will never perish. This is stated with the double negative in the Greek to emphasize never ‘ever’, denying the possibility. Why is this? <br>“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[4] ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30” Both Jesus and Father are preserving the sheep. He prays for his people( Romans ( 8:34) , John 17. Do sheep wander? Yes. See Peter. However, note that Jesus prayer for him (Luk 22:32). That’s why peter was kept and did not fall away permanently.<br><br>Contrast true disciples( sheep) with that of those apostates in 1 John 2: 19. For John goes on to say in 1 John 3:9-10.. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, BECAUSE God's SEED REMAINS in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This too has been pointed by SWW in earlier response.<br><br><br>“A true Christian cannot alienate his inheritance in Heaven, for the deeds concerning this inheritance are written and sealed, and part possession is given the believer even in this life (Jer 32:40). "I will put My fear in their hearts [present gracious possession] that they SHALL NOT DEPART FROM Me" [perseverance to glorification]. “ said Christopher Ness.<br><br>I would highly recommend you DA Carson’s commentary on the book of John. It would explain some of your misunderstanding on the flow and context of the book of John. <br>
Posted By: carlos

Re: Merits vs. Conditions - Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:21 PM

Dear Brother Josht<br><br>-- YOU wrote <br>----------------------------------------------------------<br>And just because a person is "glorified" as spoken of in Romans, does not preclude them from falling just as the then glorious Lucifer did; also note that we who are alive have not yet attained to the resurrection (Philippians 3:12), and are not yet in our final, eternal, glorious state. And no, God is not mistaken in His foreknowledge; for even if He knows that one may fall away after he or she receives Him, He may still give him or her a chance for the sake of His promises (such as to give of the water of life freely).<br>--------------------------------<br><br><br>Yes, believers are not glorified yet. It is future. However, Romans 8:28-30, makes a bold statement that God pronounces those Whom... He predestined...He Glorified. No in the sense that they are yet, but shall be. See Romans 8:29-30, Goes from God’s actions in eternity past (Foreknew, Predestination), to actions in time( Calling, Justifiaction), to a future action(Glorification). True believers will see their glorification. Romans 8:29 begins with “FOR”. This is an indication of the reason behind the previous statement(s). Thus, Roms 29-30 is the basis of why Romans 8:28 can says all things work together for “GOOD” to those who love God, who have been CALLED ACCORDING to HIS PURPOSE... So I ask, is ‘falling away ‘a good thing’ to those who have been called???? If that is case, I see no force or the logic behind the statement that Paul ends with in the 8th chapter, that NOTHING in ALL of creation can SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD. Does not a Christian’s life begin with regeneration & conversion. Is this not a work of God? Does not Phil 1:6 says that “that HE[GOD] who BEGAN a GOOD work in you WILL carry it on to COMPLETION UNTIL the day of Christ Jesus. God’s plan is not spoke in terms of “Chance”. God’s plan is definite. The believers are sealed for the day of redemption and have the Holy Spirit as His arrabon ( downpayment), “guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession ( eph 1:14)” <br><br> Also I disagree with your comparison of Lucifer’, and the believers Glorificatino in Heaven. I believe that a saint in heaven will be unable to sin. Instead the believers in heaven are like Christ.. for the scriptures state that they are “predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son( Romans 8)” and “shall be like Him[Christ]” (John 3:3).<br><br>God Bless, and pray that we all may continue to learn from one another.<br><br>brother In Christ,<br>Carlos
Posted By: Anonymous

Clarification - Fri Jun 28, 2002 8:53 PM

Dear Paul,<br><br>That was kind of a loaded question, kind of like "have you stopped beating your wife yet?". I believe what I believe not because of how good it makes me feel, but because it is what I read in God's word.<br><br>As to my "irreconcilably contradictory statements," let me clarify if I have been a bit vague:<br><br>I said:<br>"I too believe that no one can stop God from doing what He is determined to do"<br><br>and<br><br>"I personally believe from the context of these passages that God does want to draw us to His grace"<br><br>Then you wrote:<br>"In other words "God wants to draw us to Himself, but He is not determined to bring it to pass"<br><br>When I say determined (in that context anyway), I mean that God is determined to do it no matter what. Some examples of this are the second coming of Christ and God's judgement of the nations (nothing can stop those). The Bible never indicates that God is determined to irresistably draw anyone to Him, He does wish to draw people to Himself, and He no doubt could do it irresistably if that were His will, but this is not indicated in scripture.<br><br>The Saviour that I serve is the one revealed in the Bible, and He can save all who will hear Him. He does not need my help, I need His grace. He recreated me by His grace, but He also requires that I continue in it (Acts 13:43). God made an oath to all that are His heirs, but this oath is only to those who are heirs of the promise by faith (Romans 4:13). <br><br>In response to:<br>"Do we have two different Gospels here?"<br><br>No. All of the basic beliefs that a man must hold to be saved are contained within Calvinism, Arminianism, and whatever it is called that I believe. There is also no heretical teaching, and it is generally accepted among these groups that the other is not heretical, simply incorrect.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: You misunderstand my position brother - Fri Jun 28, 2002 8:54 PM

Dear Wes,<br><br>A "works righteousness?" I don't understand, please elaborate. But yes, I do believe that man has the ability to either accept or reject Jesus Christ. I do not believe that a man can come to God of his own free will, unless God draws him first. <br><br>Concerning Revelation 22:19, no one has yet given me a valid or convincing rebuttal, the responses given me were easily refuted and shown to be unworkable.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"This whole concept that you have of a god who puts names in a book and later erases them subject to their sinful will is totally off base. I find it silly! As I try to picture in my mind this god your describe, who observes mankind and takes notes. Determining one day that someone should be in the book of life and the next day taking them out based on their ability to do what is right."<br><br>First off, I never wrote that God adds names to the book of life. I don't know if He does onr not. Secondly, our remaining in the book of life is not contingent on our ability to do what is right, but on faith in Jesus Christ. I'm sorry if you find my conclusions silly. But consider how I feel: I find it a little difficult to believe in a God that sees billions of people who will be born, all with an identical nature and all of them identical with respect as to how they would react to His life-changing power, and then He just goes and picks some. How? Did He shake them up in a giant bag and then just bestow His grace on whichever ones He randomly picked out? I know that is not what you believe, but you see what kind of sense that makes to me. On the other hand, if it were what the Bible indicated, I would have no trouble believing it at all; I don't have to understand it fully to believe it as long as God's word says it. So despite a few things within my beliefs that I don't fully understand myself, I believe what I have stated because it is what is indicated in scripture.<br><br>You wrote:"What you fail to realize is what God does in salvation. You keep talking about man resisting God, defying God, disobeying God, without realizing that the man of God doesn't do anything in any way that adds to or takes away from his salvation." <br><br>I disagree. There is plenty that one can do to affect one's salvation. Read Acts 2:40 (save yourselves from this wicked generation), Hebrews 4:11 (let us labor to enter into His rest), and 2 Peter 1:5-10 to read how to make your calling and election sure. Let me emphasize, I do not believe in salvation by works, merit, or keeping of the law. But there are conditions which God has placed upon us if we are to receive (and retain) this precious gift.<br><br>You also mention John 10:27-30. You might also try Romans 8:38-39, they both make the same point: God gives the believer security so that nothing in this world can force us away from the love of Christ. There is nothing in either of these passages or the whole of scripture that indicates that one cannot willfully walk away from God. The action indicated in such words as "pluck" or "separate" or "snatch" in these passages is "to take by force." It gives me great comfort to know that nothing can force me away from God. But these say nothing about walking away willingly. In fact the scripture says much about those who have fallen away (read the beginning of Hebrews 6).<br><br>To your question: "...who's sovereign you or God?" God. But even though it is God who works in us, He has also delegated to each of us some degree of responsibility for our souls. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 says, "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Chist Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." So God gives us strength by the Holy Spirit to hold fast to Him. For we are new creations who share in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4)! And we are commanded to hold on to the things which we have heard and not let them slip (Hebrews 1:2). And if we do these things we shall never fall (2 Peter 1:10), and then we too can be confident that God's work will be completed in us (Philippians 1:6).<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Fri Jun 28, 2002 8:56 PM

Dear Prestor John,<br><br><br>I never said Simeon and Anna were not of the elect, I indicated that they were Christ's sheep even before they knew who He was, because they were hearers of God's voice.<br><br>I did not even understand the sentence: "For some reason you seem to think that election applies only to those who have been identified. When in reality it applies to all of God's chosen. Anna and Simeon being one of them." I don't think I know what you think that I'm thinking.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"As to your lack of sight, well that is the crux of the matter isn't it? You fail to see what is clearly taught in scripture. Pilgrim, Joe, Paul, all have pointed out why your statements are incorrect but you just can't see them. Ergo your spiritual astigmatism causes you to proclaim you see clearly when you have need of that eye salve that cures."<br><br>Rest assured if I did see what you are saying, I would be hallucinating-- for there has not yet been a reply to my challenge that holds any water. If you don't believe me, read my rebuttals. <br><br><br>In Christ, <br>Josh<br><br>P.S. I actually have tried to rent "The Day the Earth Stood Still" from my local Blockbuster, but they don't carry it. They must have needed the extra space for two more copies of "Road Trip." Sheesh.<br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Right... - Fri Jun 28, 2002 8:57 PM

Dear Joe,


You wrote:
"Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you."

Incorrect. Since the definition of "force" is "To produce with effort and against one's will." Your own will can't drag you against your own will; that's just playing word games.

You wrote:
"So now you have God changing His mind, changing our names, changing our eternal state, changing His elective plans which are perfect and which were there before the foundation of the world. You know you DENY so many of God’s attributes it is no wonder you deny Him as Lord as well, for how could you believe in a God that apparently in your theology is constantly unable to make a decision that will stick……"

If you have such trouble with God recanting a previous decision, then I suggest you read Exodus 32. If God chooses to punish an apostate by removing his name from His book after the fact and not before, I have nothing to say against Him. I do not make God out to be a puppet any more than you make Him a roulette wheel that saves and damns people in a seemingly chaotic fashion.

In response to:
"Now to ease your understanding look back over what I said. If you THINK this verse has reference to the SAVED then look at Dabney’s illustration I gave in the other post (which of course you failed to understand, as John 3 say you will not see until.), but if you think it is to the UNSAVED then they "never had a part in the first place." This last statement was to show you that the verse in question could NOT be speaking about lost people (as you seemed to see from your own analysis of it). Thus, since it CANNOT be in reference to the lost person, but the saved alone, and since the saved can not be lost, Dabney’s explanation is clear as it gets. Sorry I did not make this clearer for you in the original post."

Yes, it is quite correct that the verse in question could only be referring to either the saved or the unsaved elect, for no one else's name is in the book of life (Revelation 13:8), and therefore no one else has a part in the holy city (Revelation 21:27). But your while your conclusion is based on a valid argument, its one of the premises is false. You reason:

1. it CANNOT be in reference to the lost person, but the saved alone
2. the saved can not be lost

Therefore Dabney's exlanation (that this is a warning against an event which can not occur, it is simply to persuade a believer to persevere) must be correct.

But the second premise is incorrect. There is no part in scripture that states that a man who is saved can never become lost again. There are in fact, several passages that make reference to that possibility, and some that speak of it as alredy having happened (such as Hebrews 6).

You also wrote:
"And again you exalt one of God’s attributes above another, for God is also a judge. Josh GOD IS MORE THAN LOVE! He is more than the sum total of all His attributes. He is the I AM! He does not change and will not change. He will not exalt one attribute of His above another though at times we may see one attribute more fully than at other times."

The only fear that God teaches is a healthy fear of Him (which all men should), and fear of damnation to the wicked. God is a judge as well. Okay. Why does that make Him teach fear all of a sudden? God does not teach fear of damnation to those that believe (though He does warn us), for His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). To say otherwise is not emphasizing another attribute, but denying what His love does.

But consider this, if God's purpose in speaking this passage was to make believers fear that they would possibly lose their salvation so that they would endure, then am I not enforcing God's purpose by trying to persuade Christians that this warning applies to them and they should take it seriously lest they fall? Conversely, are you not going against God's purpose by sayihg that believers can be assured that this could not actually happen to them? Just a thought.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh if you are coorect THEN - Fri Jun 28, 2002 9:03 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>I thought these passages were fairly self-evident, there is nothing in them that contradicts what I believe. But if you have some reason to believe that they make my points invalid, then just post it.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Redirection - Fri Jun 28, 2002 9:13 PM

Dear Lazarus,<br><br>Thank you for your response. I have actually responded to this assertion at length on the post "characteristics of sheep." You can join our discussion there if you like.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Right... - Fri Jun 28, 2002 9:54 PM

Please Josh:
(please excuse the Greek below it did not come out)

Now you are taking what I have said OUT OF CONTEXT. I WROTE: "Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you." but that was in response to this statement of yours having NOTHING to do with initial salvation. I said:
Quote
So again you assert man’s free-will above God’s sovereignty. Josh you speak from both sides of your mouth…..you say God guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39) and then in the same breath say this does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God . Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you.


and NOW YOU RESPOND:

Incorrect. Since the definition of "force" is "To produce with effort and against one's will." Your own will can't drag you against your own will; that's just playing word games.</font color=red>

If your only defense is to take things out of context than the Arminian in you but treads into the deep waters of the abyss.

If you have such trouble with God recanting a previous decision, then I suggest you read Exodus 32. If God chooses to punish an apostate by removing his name from His book after the fact and not before, I have nothing to say against Him. I do not make God out to be a puppet any more than you make Him a roulette wheel that saves and damns people in a seemingly chaotic fashion.</font color=red>

There’s nothing chaotic about election, only the Arminian view of it which makes God a puppet in the hands of sinful man [Linked Image]

As far as Exod 32:

Quote
Yet when we talk about God being unchanging in His purposes, we may wonder about places in Scripture where God said he would judge His people and then because of prayer or the individual repentance (or both) God relented and did not bring judgment as He had said He would. But, we must ask ourselves here, “Is God completely changing His mind or is He merely executing what already was apart of His purpose?” In other words we may say, “Is not this how God normally responds to true prayer and repentance?” The later of course is a better understanding of God and His attributes.


Examples of such withdrawing from threatened judgment include the successful intervention of Moses in prayer to prevent the destruction of the people of Israel (Exod 32:9-14), the deliverance of Lot (Gen 18-19), and the evangelism of Jonah at Ninevah (Jonah 3). Many point to one place in Scripture and say here God definitely changed His mind. The specific verses are those in the Old Testament concerning the life of Hezekiah.

We remember the fact that Isaiah approached Hezekiah with the word of the Lord saying, “Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live” (Isa 38:1). Hezekiah then prayed and God added another fifteen years to his life (Isa 38:2-5). Now did God actually change His mind? No! There are several factors here to understand.

1. Hezekiah repented and thus God acted in normal response to repentance and prayer.
2. Three years after Hezekiah was given this fifteen year extension to his life he had a son—Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1).
3. Hezekiah and Manasseh both were in the lineage of Christ (Mat 1:9-10):

Matthew 1:9-10 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias ; And Ezekias begat Manasses ; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

4. But, Christ was foreordained and predestined to be born before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:19-20):<br><br>1 Peter 1:19-20 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

5. Thus, since Christ had to be born, so did Manasseh (Greek—Manassess), thus God did not change His mind, but rather moved circumstances still consistent with His Being to a place where Hezekiah would change his mind.
Quote
God is consistent with His character.


Heb 6 does not speak of people who were once lost and then saved:
Quote
The Hebrews Rejecting Full Revelation


Hebrews 6:1-8 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here. The writer is specifically talking to Jews who had heard the gospel and not accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, but the warning applies to anyone, Jew or Gentile. All who know the truth of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ, who perhaps have seen it change the lives of many of their friends and family members, who may even have made some profession of faith in Him, yet turn around and walk away from full acceptance, are given the severest possible warning. Persistent rejection of Christ may result in such persons’ passing the point of no return spiritually, of losing forever the opportunity of salvation. That is what always happens to one who is indecisive. He eventually follows his evil heart of unbelief and turns his back forever on the living God.

Such people often have adopted a form of Christianity, but they do not have the reality of it. Jesus says of them, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). This is the issue here in the parenthetical statement to unbelievers from the writer of Hebrews.

Unlike a knife, truth becomes sharper with use, which for truth comes by acceptance and obedience. A truth that is heard but not accepted and followed becomes dull and meaningless. The more we neglect it, the more immune to it we become. By not accepting the gospel when it was still “news,” these first century Jews had begun to grow indifferent to it and had become spiritually sluggish, neglectful, and hard.

Because of the disuse of their knowledge of the gospel, they now could not bring themselves to make the right decision about it. They were, in fact, in danger of making a desperately wrong decision, of turning around because of pressure and persecution and completely going back to Judaism.

That was the situation the unbelieving Jews faced, and it is the theme of 5:11-14. Spiritually they were growing dull, hard, and stupid. The solution is given to them in chapter 6. Actually the key that unlocks the door of understanding Hebrews 6:1-8 is found in Hebrews 5:12-14:

Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 5:13 pa`" ga;r oJ metevcwn gavlakto" a[peiro" lovgou dikaiosuvnh", nhvpio" gavr ejstin:<br><br>What is the meaning of babe?

3516. nhvpio", nepios; of unc. or.; an infant, fig. a simple-minded or immature person:— child(5), childish(1), children(2), immature(1), infant(1), infants(4)

One may ask what type of infant this refers to. After all if one is born again is he/she not an infant in Christ? Yes, but that is not the infant in view here. Notice this infant is childish, immature, and unable to discern anything of value. A better way to understand the meaning of nepios here is to see its use in Job 3:16 “Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.” The LXX reveals its Greek text as:

Job 3:16 h] w{sper e[ktrwma ejkporeuovmenon ejk mhvtra" mhtro;" h] w{sper nhvpioi, oi} oujk ei\don fw`".<br><br>The child in view is not even born. It has NOT seen the light (symbolically the eternal light) of day. The text speaks of a stillborn child, not one that has actually been born. Job literally states that in Job 3:11, “Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?” Thus, the Hebrews we are discussing here are not saved! They are in danger of being stillborn, of dieing within the womb and never approaching eternal life. Now on with our text:<br><br>Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The key ideas are leaving and let us go on unto perfection, and are really two parts of the same idea. Together they are the first step in these Jews’ becoming spiritually mature. They had to leave once and for all their ties with the Old Covenant, with Judaism, and accept Jesus Christ as Savior. They should do it immediately, without further hesitation. The maturity that salvation brings is not a process. It is an instantaneous miracle. The maturity about which this passage is talking is that of leaving the ABCs of the Old Covenant to come to the full revelation and blessing of the New.

Leaving in the Greek is aphieµmi, which means to forsake, to put away, let alone, disregard, put off. It refers to total detachment, total separation, from a previous location or condition. The Expositor’s Greek Testament translates Hebrews 6:1, “Let us abandon [give up] the elementary teaching about Christ.” Alford comments, “Therefore ... leaving (as behind, and done with; in order to go on to another thing).”

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul uses aphieµmi in speaking of a Christian husband’s not sending away (that is, divorcing) his unbelieving wife. Divorce is total marital separation, complete abandonment of the relationship. It is wrong in relation to marriage but mandatory in relation to leaving Judaism for Christ. The unbelieving Jew must completely divorce himself from his former religion before he can be saved.

The same Greek word is often used of forgiveness of sins (as in Matt. 9:2, 5, 6; Rom. 4:7; and James 5:15). When we are forgiven, our sins are put away from us, separated from us, divorced from us. In Matthew 15:14 the same term is used to speak of separating ourselves from false teachers, and in Mark 1:20 it is used of James’s and John’s leaving their father, Zebedee, in order to follow Jesus. As far as their life’s work was concerned, they abandoned, completely separated themselves from, their father and his fishing business.

The principles of the doctrine (elementary principles is a closer translation of the Greek) of Christ (Messiah) that the unbelieving Jews were to leave was the Old Testament teaching about Him-another indication that it is not immature Christians (babes) that are being addressed. We are never to leave the basics, the elementary teachings, of the gospel, no matter how mature we grow in the faith. Remember, the issue here is not that of growing in spiritual maturity as a Christian, but of coming into the first stage of spiritual maturity by becoming a Christian. It is a matter of dropping, leaving, putting away, that which we have been holding onto and taking up something entirely new. Therefore it can only be a reference to unbelievers, because at no time does the Word of God suggest that a Christian drop the basics of Christianity and go on to something else.

It is the provisions and principles of the Old Covenant, of Judaism, that are to be dropped. It is not a question of adding to what one has. It is a question of abandoning what you have for something else. This is precisely what the Holy Spirit asked the Hebrews to do-to abandon the shadows, the types, the pictures, and the sacrifices of the old economy and come to the reality of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. A paraphrase could be, “Leave the pictures of the Messiah and go on to the Messiah Himself,” or “Drop the Old Covenant and accept the New.”<br><br>INCOMPLETE OLD TESTAMENT FEATURES<br><br>The foundation, the Old Covenant, had six features that are pointed out in verses 1-2. These are: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, instruction about washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. These are not, as is often interpreted, elementary Christian truths that are to be abandoned in order to go on to maturity. They are Old Testament concepts. To be sure, they pointed to the gospel, but they are not themselves part of the gospel.

REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS

Repentance from dead works is turning away from evil deeds, deeds that bring death.
Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Ezekiel 18:4 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. <br><br>In the New Testament the truth is expressed as, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

The Old Testament taught that a man should repent and turn from his evil works that brought about death. But this Old Testament pattern is only the first half of repentance. Men only knew that they were to turn away from evil works and turn toward God. That was the whole doctrine they knew. What they HAD NOT done was turn to a Saviour, the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ.

In John the Baptist’s preaching, and even in Jesus’ own early ministry, the basic message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). Only repentance was preached. Turn from evil toward God. But the doctrine of repentance becomes mature, complete, in Jesus Christ. Paul reminded the elders of the Ephesian church of this;

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, AND faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. <br><br>In his defense before King Agrippa, Paul mentioned that he had to repent and turn to God;<br><br>Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

But, he went on to explain that the focus of this message was Jesus Christ and His work of salvation;

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

It no longer did any good simply to turn from evil works toward God. A person could come to God only through Jesus Christ.

Now that the New Covenant is in effect, repentance is meaningless without faith in Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

A person who, no matter how sincerely, seeks to repent of his sins and turn to God apart from Christ will never reach God. Jesus Christ is the only way to Himself that God has provided.<br><br>Repentance from dead works is simply turning from evil, and is an important and wonderful truth of the Old Testament. But it is not complete. It is fulfilled, made effective, only by a person’s also coming to Jesus Christ in faith. An incomplete dealing with sin must be abandoned for a complete one.

FAITH TOWARD GOD

The meaning of faith toward God has already been touched on. It does no good at all today to have faith in God unless there is also faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the only way to God. Peter said, <br><br>Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

There is no acceptable repentance apart from faith in Christ. The only repentance that “leads to life” is that which is related to belief in Jesus Christ (Acts 11:17-18). The only faith toward God that is now acceptable is faith in God the Son. There is no way to the Father except through the Son

The Old Testament taught repentance from dead works and faith toward God. The New Testament teaches repentance in faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Way to God. The distinction is clear. The Jews addressed in this letter believed in God; but they were not saved. Their repentance from works and faith toward God, no matter how sincere it may have been, could not bring them to God without Christ.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

INSTRUCTION ABOUT WASHINGS

The King James translation (“doctrine of baptisms”) is misleading, especially since everywhere else, including Hebrews 9:10, the same Greek word (baptismos) is translated washings. It is not baptizoµ, which is always used for the ordinance of baptism. It may have been that the King James translators assumed this passage was addressed to Christians, in which case “baptisms” might be appropriate. But the use here of baptismos rather than baptizoµ is another strong indication that the passage is not addressed to Christians.

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Every Jewish home had a basin by the entrance for family and visitors to use for ceremonial cleansings, of which there were many. It is these washings that the readers are told to abandon and forget. Even the Old Testament predicted that one day its ceremonial cleansings would be replaced by a spiritual one that God Himself would give:

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

The old washings were many, physical, symbolic, and temporary; the new washing is once, spiritual, real, and permanent. It is the wonderful, effective, and eternal as Paul tells us in:

Titus 3:5 5 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;

It is the being born (regeneration) of water and the spirit that Jesus told Nicodemus was necessary for entrance into the kingdom (John 3:5).

LAYING ON OF HANDS

This laying on of hands has nothing to do with the apostolic practices (Acts 5:18; 6:6; 8:17; 1 Tim. 4:14; etc.). Under the Old Covenant the person who brought a sacrifice had to put his hands on it, to symbolize his identification with it;<br><br>Leviticus 1:4 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

Leviticus 3:8 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

Leviticus 3:13 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about.

Our identification with Jesus Christ does not come by putting our hands on Him; it comes by the Spirit’s baptizing us into union with Him by faith. “Forget the teaching about laying hands on the Temple sacrifices,” the writer is telling these immature Jews. “Lay hold of Christ by putting your trust in Him.”

RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

The Old Testament doctrine of resurrection is not clear or complete. We learn of life after death and of rewards for the good and punishment for the wicked-and not much more about resurrection than this. From Job, for instance, we learn that resurrection will be bodily, and not just spiritual;<br><br>Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: <br><br>There is little else that we can learn of it from the Old Testament. In the New Testament, of course, resurrection is one of the major and most detailed doctrines. It is the theme of apostolic preaching. It comes to fullness in the very Person of Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The resurrection body is described in considerable detail in 1 Corinthians 15; and in 1 John 3:2 we are told, “We shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” The writer of Hebrews is simply saying, Why should anyone be content with trying to understand the resurrection from the limited and vague teachings of the Old Testament?

ETERNAL JUDGMENT<br><br>We can learn little more from the Old Testament about final judgment than what is given in Ecclesiastes: <br>Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. <br><br>Punishment would come to the wicked and blessing to the good.

Again in the New Testament, however, we are told a great deal about eternal judgment-much more than many people like to hear. We know what is going to happen to believers. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). We will have to stand before the Lord and have our work judged-for reward or lack of reward-but we ourselves will not be judged (1 Cor. 3:12-15). We also know what is going to happen to unbelievers. We know about the judgment of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46), and the judgment of the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). We know that to Jesus Christ has been committed all judgment (John 5:21-29). We know this and much more about judgment from the New Testament.

The point of Hebrews 6:1-2 is simply saying that the unbelieving Jews should let go completely of the immature, elementary shadows and symbols of the Old Covenant and take hold of the mature and perfect reality of the New.<br><br>The Holy Spirit is calling for them to leave the:
1. ABCs of repentance from dead works <br>a. for the New Testament teaching of repentance toward God and new life in Christ.
2. Leave the ABC s of faith toward God <br>a. for faith in the Person of Jesus Christ.
3. Leave the ABC s of ceremonial washings <br>a. for the cleansing of the soul by the Word.
4. Leave the ABCs of laying hands on the sacrifice <br>a. for laying hold of the Lamb of God by faith.
5. Leave the ABCs of the resurrection of the dead <br>a. for the full and glorious resurrection unto life. <br>6. Leave the ABCs of eternal judgment <br>a. for the full truth of judgment and rewards as revealed in the New Covenant.

These six doctrines were the basics of Judaism that were to be laid aside in favor of the better things that come in Christ. The Old Testament is incomplete. It is true. It is of God. It was a necessary part of His revelation and of His plan of salvation for man. But it is only partial revelation, and is not sufficient. Judaism is abrogated. Judaism is nullified. It is no longer a valid expression of worship or of obedience to God. It must be abandoned.<br><br>THE POWER<br><br>Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit. <br>Interpreting this verse is difficult, despite its brevity and simplicity. We will look at it from two angles.<br>Some interpreters believe we is an editorial reference of the writer to himself. He is saying;<br><br>1. “I will go on and teach you what you need to know if God permits me,” or <br><br>2. “You will go on to maturity if God permits.”<br><br>I believe that both interpretations could be correct. They are not mutually exclusive and are consistent with the rest of Hebrews. The writer could be referring to himself as Paul referred to himself in the context of Romans 9:1-5 saying;

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. <br><br>Notice Paul’s desire was intense, but then Paul goes forth to explain Election and Predestination (basically saying even his desire can not save or change another and it is only If God permit…..), or, as Paul in

2 Corinthians 3:12-18, speaking to Christians, but still an example….;

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Both service (the writer’s going on to teach) and salvation (the readers’ going on to spiritual maturity in Christ) must be energized by the Holy Spirit (if God permits) if they are to be effective and fruitful.

Everything revolves around the permission of God. Need for divine enablement is the point. <br><br>2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). By teacher and seeker alike, God’s sovereignty should be recognized.

FIVE GREAT ADVANTAGES<br><br>Hebrews 6:4-5 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

The Hebrews being addressed here had five great advantages, which are summarized in these two verses.<br><br>THEY HAD BEEN ENLIGHTENED

First of all, we should notice that this passage makes no reference at all to salvation. There is no mention of justification, sanctification, the new birth, or regeneration. Those who were once enlightened are not spoken of as born again, made holy, or made righteous. None of the normal New Testament terminology for salvation is used. In fact, no term used here is ever used elsewhere in the New Testament for salvation, and none should be taken to refer to it in this passage.

The enlightenment spoken of here has to do with intellectual perception of spiritual, biblical truth. In the Septuagint, the Greek word is translated “to give light by knowledge or teaching.” It means to be mentally aware of something, to be instructed, informed. It carries no connotation of response-of acceptance or rejection, belief or disbelief.

When Jesus first came to Galilee to minister, He declared that He had come to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-2, which, in part, reads,

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. <br><br>All who saw and heard Jesus saw this “great light,” but not all who saw and heard were saved. Seeing God’s light and accepting it are not the same. Those people in Galilee, as all people who hear the gospel, were to some extent or other enlightened (theologically this is called Common Grace, i.e. it rains on the just and unjust the same (Mat 5:45), as compared to Special Grace, which saves the soul, i.e. 1 Tim 4:10); but, judging by the biblical accounts, few of them believed in Jesus. They had natural knowledge, factual information (Romans 1:19-20). They saw Christ, they heard His message from His own lips, they saw His miracles with their own eyes. They had firsthand opportunity to see God’s truth incarnate, an opportunity that only a few thousand people in all of history have had. The Light of the gospel had personally broken in on their darkness (cf. John 12:35-36). Life for them could never be the same again. Their lives were permanently affected by the indelible impression Jesus must have made on them. Yet many, if not most, of them did not believe in Him (cf. John 12:37-40).

John 1:1-13 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness (Common Grace); and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light (Common Grace), that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (both Special and Common Grace, some are saved, other are not). He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him (Special Grace), to them gave he power to become the sons of God (Special Grace), even to them that believe on his name(Special Grace) : Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God(Special Grace). <br><br>The same thing had happened to the Jews being addressed in Hebrews 6:1-8. They were enlightened but not saved. Consequently, they were in danger of losing all opportunity of being saved, and of becoming apostate. It is of such people that Peter speaks in his second letter;<br><br>2 Peter 2:20-21 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. Because of their unbelief, the light that was given to save them became a judgment against them.

THEY HAD TASTED OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT

This group not only had seen the heavenly light but had tasted of the heavenly gift. The heavenly gift could be one of several things. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in Scripture as a heavenly gift, but, since He is mentioned in the next verse, I do not think He is the gift meant here. The greatest heavenly gift, of course, is Christ Himself (God’s “indescribable gift,” 2 Cor. 9:15) and the salvation He brought (Eph. 2:8). Christ’s salvation is the supreme heavenly gift, and no doubt the one referred to here.<br><br>This great gift, however, was not received. It was not feasted on, but only tasted, sampled. It was not accepted or lived, only examined. That stands in contrast with Jesus’ work on our behalf. Having tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9), He went on to drink it all.

Hebrews 2:9-10 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (theological note: every in vs 9 refers to the many in verse 10, thus Christ tasted death for all those that shall be saved—the many, compare with Isa 53)<br>Jesus told the woman at Jacob’s well, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Jesus was speaking of the gift of salvation, the “living water” that leads to “eternal life” (v. 14). Those who drank it-not sipped it or just tasted it, but drank it-would be saved. A short time later in Galilee, Jesus told His hearers, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats (not tastes) of this bread, he shall live forever” (John 6:51; cf. v. 35). Eternal life comes from eating, not simply tasting, God’s gift of salvation in Christ.

One of the pre-salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit is that of giving the unsaved a taste of the blessings of salvation. This is part of His ministry of drawing men to Christ. But tasting is not eating. The Holy Spirit will give us a taste, but He will not make us eat. God placed the blessing of salvation to the lips of these New Testament Jews, but they had not yet eaten. The tasting came from what they saw and heard, as many today have seen the transforming power of Christ and heard the gospel.

THEY HAD PARTAKEN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT<br><br>Partakers (Greek, metochos) has to do with association, NOT possession. These Jews had never possessed the Holy Spirit, they simply were around when He was around. This word is used of fellow fishermen in Luke 5:7;<

Luke 5:7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

and of Christ in relation to the angels in Hebrews 1:9;<br>Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

It has to do with sharing in common associations and events. In the context of Hebrews 6:4, it refers to anyone who has been where the Holy Spirit has been ministering. It is possible to have an association with the Holy Spirit, to share in what He does, and not be saved. As we have seen (2:4) these Jews had heard the word and had seen and even participated in numerous signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were actually involved in some of His work.

If I may make a play on words here: They became PART TAKERS and not WHOLE TAKERS of the Holy Spirit (an easy way to remember it).

The Bible never speaks of Christians being associated with the Holy Spirit. It speaks of the Holy Spirit being within them. Here, however, are some persons who are simply associated with the Holy Spirit. Like perhaps most of the multitudes whom Jesus miraculously healed and fed, they partook of the Holy Spirit’s power and blessings, but they did not have His indwelling. They did not possess the Holy Spirit, nor did the Holy Spirit possess them.

THEY HAD TASTED THE WORD OF GOD<br><br>Again these readers are spoken of as having tasted something of God, this time His word. The Greek term used here for word (rhema which emphasizes the parts rather than the whole) is not the usual one (logos) for God’s Word, but it fits the meaning in this context. As with His heavenly gifts, they had heard God’s utterances and sampled them, tasted them, without actually eating them. They had been taught about God. No doubt they regularly came to the assembly of the church. They may have listened carefully and even thought carefully about what they heard. They took it all in, possibly with enthusiasm and appreciation. But they could not say with Jeremiah;

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

They tasted but they did not eat, just like the nation to whom Jeremiah spoke.

Herod was like this. In spite of the prophet’s hard message, including accusations directly against the king, Herod enjoyed listening to John the Baptist preach (Mark 6:20). He was perplexed but fascinated by this dynamic preacher. He liked to sample the message of God. But when pressed into decision, he forsook God’s man and God’s message. He reluctantly, but willingly, agreed to have John beheaded. His taste of God’s Word only brought on him greater guilt.

Tasting is the first step to eating. It is not wrong to taste God’s Word. In fact David encourages that very thing.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth (eat, compare Jeremiah 15:16 above) in him.

To some degree, everyone must taste the gospel before he accepts it. The problem is stopping with tasting. Like so many who hear the gospel for the first time, these Jews were attracted to its beauty and sweetness. It tasted very good to them. But they did not chew it or swallow it, much less digest it. They just kept tasting. Before long, its appealing taste was gone and they became indifferent to it. Their spiritual tastebuds became insensitive and unresponsive.
Any person who has heard the gospel and perhaps made a profession of Christ, but who is uncertain of salvation, should take Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Such a person needs to learn if he has only tasted the gospel without eating it.

THEY HAD TASTED THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME

The powers of the world to come is the future kingdom of God. The powers of the kingdom are miracle powers.

Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

These Jews had seen the same kind of miracles that are going to come when Jesus brings in His earthly kingdom. They tasted them. They saw the apostles do signs and wonders like those that will be reproduced in the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ. They saw miracle upon miracle. And the more they saw and tasted without receiving, the more their guilt increased. They were like those who saw Jesus Himself perform miracles. How hard it is to explain the hatred and unbelief of those who saw a resurrected Lazarus, who saw the blind given sight and the dumb given voices, and yet who rejected the One who did these marvels in front of their eyes. How guilty they will stand before God in the great white throne judgment.

These Jews had been wondrously blessed by God’s enlightenment, by association with His Holy Spirit, and by tasting of His heavenly gifts, His Word, and His power. Still they did not believe.<br><br>A FOURTH WARNING

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Still speaking to the unsaved who have heard the truth and acknowledged it, but who have hesitated to embrace Christ, the Holy Spirit gives a fourth warning, the crux of 6:1-8. Summarized, the warning is: “You had better come to Christ now, for if you fall away it will be impossible for you to come again to the point of repentance.” They were at the best point for repentance-full knowledge. To fall back from that would be fatal.<br><br>Because they believe the warning is addressed to Christians, many interpreters hold that the passage teaches that salvation can be lost.If this interpretation were true, however, the passage would also teach that,once lost, salvation could never be regained. If, after being saved,a person lost his salvation, he would be damned forever. There would be no going back and forth, in and out of grace.

But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost. The believer need never fear he will lose his salvation. He cannot. The Bible is absolutely clear about that. Jesus said;<br><br>John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Paul is equally clear.

Romans 8:35-39 Who (rhetorical question, he goes on to say no one and nothing can) shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (NOTHING) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. <br><br>Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: <br><br>We receive “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:4) and are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (vs 5). If the power of God cannot keep us, nothing is dependable or trustworthy or worth believing in. A Christian has no reason at any point in his life to believe that his salvation is or can be lost. If by Christ’s death we can be saved, certainly by His life of power and intercession we can be kept saved (Rom. 5:10).<br><br>Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. <br><br>It is unbelievers who are in danger of losing salvation-in the sense of losing the opportunity ever to receive it. The unbelieving Jews were in great danger, because of their spiritual immaturity and sluggishness, of turning back to Judaism and of never being able to repent and come to Christ. They would be lost forever, because they had rejected, at the most vital point in knowledge and conviction, the only gospel that could save them. There is no other salvation message they could hear, no evidence of the truth of the gospel they had not seen.<br><br>These particular Jews had even heard the apostles preach and had seen them perform signs and wonders and miracles (Heb. 2:4). They had been privileged to behold virtually all the manifestations of His saving Word and power that God could give. They had heard it all and seen it all. They even had accepted it all intellectually. Any who are so informed, so witnessed to, so blessed with every opportunity to know God’s gospel, and who then turn their backs on it-for Judaism or anything else-are eternally lost. They not only reject the gospel, but crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. They had either to go on to full knowledge of God through faith in Christ or else turn away from Him, to become apostate and be lost forever. There was no other alternative.

Some have translated adunatos (impossible) in 6:6 as “difficult.” But it is clear even from other passages in Hebrews that such a translation is unjustified. The same Greek word is used in 6:18 (“It is impossible for God to lie”), in 10:4 (“It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins”), and in 11:6 (“Without faith it is impossible to please Him”). All three of these passages would be nonsense if “impossible” were changed to “difficult.” The harsh finality of the danger cannot be escaped or minimized.
A vaccination immunizes by giving a very mild case of the disease. A person who is exposed to the Gospel can get just enough of it to immunize him against the real thing. The longer he continues to resist it, <br>whether graciously or violently, the more he becomes immune to it. His spiritual system becomes more and more unresponsive and insensitive. His only hope is to reject what he is holding onto and receive Christ without delay-lest he become so hard, often without knowing it, that his opportunity is forever gone.

To renew means to restore, to bring back to an original condition. The original condition of these Jews was that of excitement about the Gospel when they first heard it. It was beautiful. They had moved from Judaism right up to the edge of Christianity, evidently even to repentance. They had turned from their old ways. They had tried to turn from their sin. They had begun to turn toward God. They had come all the way up to the edge of salvation. All the revelation God had He had given them. There was nothing else He could say or do. If they fell away they did so with an evil heart of unbelief and they did it against full revelation. They had the advantage of having been raised under the Old Covenant and they had heard and seen all the beauty and perfection of the New. If they now fell away from that, if they now departed from the living God, there was no hope that they could ever be restored to the place where the gospel was fresh, where the gospel taste was sweet, where repentance was a proper response. They could never get back there. When one rejects Christ at the peak experience of knowledge and conviction, he will not accept at a lesser level. So salvation becomes impossible.

They could not return because they had crucified to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame. To themselves simply means that, as far as they were concerned, the Son of God deserved to be crucified. Regardless of what they may still have been professing openly and publicly, they now took their stand with the crucifiers. In their hearts they said, “That’s the same verdict we give.” They had made trial of Jesus Christ and, with all the evidence possible, they decided He was not the true Messiah. They had turned around and gone back to Judaism. To them Jesus was an impostor and deceiver and got exactly what was coming to Him. They agreed with those who killed Jesus, and they put Him to an open shame again. Shame here connotes guilt. They declared openly that Jesus was guilty as charged.<br>When anyone has heard the gospel and then turns away, he has done exactly what these Jews did.

Though he would never take up a hammer and spikes and physically nail Jesus to a cross, he nevertheless agrees to Jesus’ crucifixion. He takes his place with the crucifiers. If this happens with full light, such a person has become an apostate, and for him salvation is forever out of reach. He has rejected Jesus Christ against the full light and power of the gospel. He is incurably anti-God, and for him is reserved the hottest hell. He takes his place with Judas, who walked and talked and ate and fellowshipped with God incarnate, yet finally rejected Him. “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:29).

It is dangerously self-deceptive for a person to think that, by staying on the sidelines, by holding off deciding, by thinking himself tolerant of the gospel simply because he does not outwardly oppose it, that he is safe. The longer one stays on the edge the more he leans toward the old life. Staying there too long inevitably results in falling away from the gospel forever. It may not be, and often is not, a conscious decision against Christ. But it is a decision and it is against Christ. When a person goes away from Him in full light, he places Him on the cross again, in his own heart, and puts himself forever out of the Lord’s reach.

How terribly serious it is to reject Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:7-8 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Do you see the illustration?
1. All those who hear the gospel are like the earth.
2. The rain falls on all the gospel message is heard.
a. (Common and Special Grace are present, see above),
3. The gospel seed is planted and there is nourishment and growth.
a. Some of the growth is beautiful and good and productive (Special Grace).
i. It is that which is planted, rooted, and nourished in God.
b. But some of the growth is false, spurious, and unproductive (Common Grace).
i. It has come from the same seed and has been nourished by the same ground and the same water, but has become
1. thorny (beareth thorns and briers)
2. worthless (nigh unto cursing)
ii. It has rejected the life offered it and become good only for burning.</blockquote>


The only fear that God teaches is a healthy fear of Him (which all men should), and fear of damnation to the wicked. God is a judge as well. Okay. Why does that make Him teach fear all of a sudden? God does not teach fear of damnation to those that believe (though He does warn us), for His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). To say otherwise is not emphasizing another attribute, but denying what His love does.


[color:#CC0000]GLAD TO SEE YOU FINALLY AGREE
God does not teach fear of damnation to those that believe (though He does warn us), for His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

And all those that truly believe will be secure for they are in the hand of God--NO POWER--being able to remove them.....unless of course you believe in a God that is less powerful than mankind.
Posted By: Wes

Re: You misunderstand my position brother - Sat Jun 29, 2002 2:04 AM

Josh,<br><br>First of all I want to apologize to you for the remarks I made in my previous reply. I didn’t mean to sound so condescending. I think you are sincere in what you believe even though I disagree with your conclusions. I should not be so humored by your thoughts. It’s just that your argument is so contrary to what the Bible teaches about perserverance. Your idea that a man who is truely born again spiritually would actually walk away from God and His grace blows my mind. How can one have any confidence in their salvation when it depends on themselves? You just can’t build sound doctrine by interpreting one or two verses that disagree with a larger body of Scripture. <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>A "works righteousness?" I don't understand, please elaborate. But yes, I do believe that man has the ability to either accept or reject Jesus Christ. I do not believe that a man can come to God of his own free will, unless God draws him first.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>The distinction here is that I believe that I am saved by grace alone and you are stating that you believe that we are saved by grace and works. For example your "acceptance" as you define it is something that God waits for you to do. You elaborated on this in the following paragraph as well...<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>"There is plenty that one can do to affect one's salvation. Read Acts 2:40 (save yourselves from this wicked generation), Hebrews 4:11 (let us labor to enter into His rest), and 2 Peter 1:5-10 to read how to make your calling and election sure. Let me emphasize, I do not believe in salvation by works, merit, or keeping of the law. But there are conditions which God has placed upon us if we are to receive (and retain) this precious gift"<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>These conditions as you describe them are what I would call works. If you were to describe them as the result of salvation rather than a condition to be saved I might be inclined to agree with you.<br><br>There are many passages that teach that those who are truly born again, who are genuinely Christians, will continue in the Christian life until death and will then go to be with Christ in heaven. In John 6:38-40 Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."<br><br>It seems clear that everyone who truly believes in Christ will remain a Christian up to the day of final resurrection into the blessed life in the presence of God. As verse 39 states He should lose nothing of all that the Father has given Him. <br><br>Arminians have objected that “eternal life” is simply a quality of life, a type of life in relationship with God, which one can have for a time and lose it. The Hebrews 6 passage that you’ve chosen is one of those that Arminians use as a proof that believers can lose their salvation. But I don't believe that the person described there is a true believer. It's a sober warning and one that has been interpreted in different ways. But I don't believe a true Christian can lose their salvation. I think this Hebrews passage is describing an apostate. They appeared to be a Christian by their profession and participating in the life of the church but the fact that they fell away shows that their faith wasn't genuine and had no roots. <br><br>I know that Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he has a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and do His pleasure. Oh the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints' final perserverance! I am persuaded, till a man comes to believe and feel these important truths, he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these and assured of their application to his own heart, he walks by faith indeed.<br><br>Wes
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Sat Jun 29, 2002 2:37 AM

All right let's clarify. you said: <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:blue]One of the characteristics of Christ's sheep are that they follow Christ. A person who is unregenerate (even if he/she is one of the elect) obviously does not follow Jesus before they come to Him. So your argument that you must be a sheep to respond to the call is invalid. I believe what it is actually saying is that those who love the Father (just as many under the Jewish law did), were Christ's sheep and would come to Him.</font color=blue><p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What I'm trying to state is that you are adding conditions to the term "sheep". <br><br>In John 10 Christ makes no such distinction.<br><blockquote>John 10:3-4<br>To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: <br>and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them <br>out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice</blockquote><br><br>The point is that they were His sheep (whatever their condition) in the first place, they come because He calls there is no other reason.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:blue]Rest assured if I did see what you are saying, I would be hallucinating-- for there has not yet been a reply to my challenge that holds any water. If you don't believe me, read my rebuttals.</font color=blue><p><hr></blockquote><p> <br><br>As far as I can see you should patent that sieve because its useless (as are your rebuttals) for holding any water. there have been many replies most quite good. But you're like a kid with his fingers in his ears doing his best not to hear his parents commands, when they are calling out to him not to run into that freeway. You ought to rethink your position. <br>
Posted By: Paul_S

Contradictions vs. Comfort - Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:10 AM

Josh,<br><br>Others are doing a great job of pointing you to the Savior Who truly saves, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. You would be wise to hear them, and lay down your arguments, which are now self-contradictory and, far worse, in open denial of God's glory in ordering our redemption from beginning to end.<br><br>How self-contradictory? You state: [color:red]He can save all who will hear Him. He does not need my help</font color=red>. On a quick reading, it sounds almost right. But that little word [color:red]will</font color=red> exposes your denial of your following statement. <br><br>You are saying: <br>God saves [color:red]those who will hear Him</font color=red>; the act of [color:red]willing to hear</font color=red> being, in your own view, totally contingent upon the creature, God being unable to overthrow the creature's will and remain the kind of God you hope Him to be; meaning that He absolutely DOES need your help, which, again, you want us (or maybe yourself?) to believe is not the case: witness your following sentence: [color:red]He does not need my help</font color=red>. <br><br>It seems you think you are doing the (un-)sovereign (un-)savior a huge favor, because (in your mind) He will be infinitely disappointed to have had you reject His suit. Of course, He must continue to be a little anxious until you "cross the finish line". Actually, what is to prevent you from rejecting Him in heaven, Josh? Will He override your will there? One begins to suspect that God should praise you eternally for doing the right thing to make Him happy.<br><br>This is what is coming across from your posts, Josh. Your distortion of the entire panoply of redemption, that <font class="big">[color:blue]God will save His people</font color=blue></font>, reminds me most of several conversations with local Jehovah's Witnesses, each of whom admitted that, in the final analysis, their security was directly contingent upon their performance. Which of course, in their denial of their own wretched, fallen condition, they somehow hoped they would be able to achieve.<br><br>I do pray that your eyes will be opened, Josh, to your utter need for a Savior, not one who waits, impotently, for you to accept or reject His suit of you, but One Who truly saves; so that you will be able to confidently state:<br><br>"My only comfort, in life and in death, is that I belong--body and soul, in life and in death--not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him."<br><br>That is the Comfort you so desperately require, Josh, and to which many are pointing you; not what you so glibly dismiss by implying that I am trying to get you to believe something on the mere grounds of "how good it makes me feel". <br>
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Josh if you are coorect THEN - Sat Jun 29, 2002 10:54 AM

Please exegete/interpret in DETAIL Eph 1:4-13 and John 1:12, 13, for if Dabney and the rest of us are wrong, you must have a biblical interpretation of these that will further prove your point, or else we can determine your Revelation interpretation is incorrect????
Posted By: Anonymous

Meaning of Nothing - Sat Jun 29, 2002 12:00 PM

Josh,<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>You also mention John 10:27-30. You might also try Romans 8:38-39, they both make the same point:[color:red] God gives the believer security so that nothing in this world can force us away from the love of Christ.</font color=red> There is nothing in either of these passages or the whole of scripture that indicates that one cannot willfully walk away from God. The action indicated in such words as "pluck" or "separate" or "snatch" in these passages is "to take by force."[color:red] It gives me great comfort to know that nothing can force me away from God. </font color=red>But these say nothing about walking away willingly. In fact the scripture says much about those who have fallen away (read the beginning of Hebrews 6).<p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br><blockquote><br>Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? <br>8:36<br>As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." F22 <br>8:37<br>Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. <br>8:38<br>For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, <br>8:39<br>nor height nor depth, [color:red]nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.</blockquote></font color=red><br><br>OK Josh, here it is plain as day. <br>Nothing means nothing. Nothing includes yourself. You are a created thing, so this includes you or any other true Christian. <br>Nothing can separate us from the love of God, including yourself!<br>Edith Schaeffer told a story of a concentration camp where the prisoners were given their required ration of food each day, but unknown to the prisoners, they were also given castor oil in their food, so that the food could not nourish them. They died of malnourishment. The only ones who survived did so by getting access to the unadulterated food. This is exactly what is happening to you--you cannot "see" this truth because of the evil one's addition to the Word of God, making it completely ineffective to your mind. You are unable to understand what a marvelous truth this is. I pray the eyes of your understanding would be opened. You cannot see that you are adding a "Hath God said?" to every verse that is given you to prove that you are mistaken in your understanding.<br>Susan<br>
Posted By: lazarus

God not a respecter... - Sat Jun 29, 2002 11:57 PM

JoshT<br><br>Your wrote:<br><br>"But consider how I feel: I find it a little difficult to believe in a God that sees billions of people who will be born, all with an identical nature and all of them identical with respect as to how they would react to His life-changing power, and then He just goes and picks some. How? Did He shake them up in a giant bag and then just bestow His grace on whichever ones He randomly picked out?" <br><br>Your "feelings" are part of the sin problem, JoshT. How God 'picks' is His business...and He does so after His own wise counsel and good pleasure. PLUS...when you consider that God is no respector of persons (Acts 10:34)....unconditional election makes even more sense. <br><br>Also consider this with respect to anything taking us out of God's hands. <br><br>You say that NOTHING can take us out of God's hands, EXCEPT ourselves. <br><br>First, you've added a gross assumption to the clear and emphatic teaching of the text. I covered ALL THE BASES...nothing means nothing. <br><br>Second, if someone is born again, a new creature, justified, adopted by God, filled with the Spirit, etc....then SOMETHING, yes, SOMETHING must have been introduced into the equation to make a person CHANGE THEIR MIND/HEART/NATURE. So, can that mind changing 'something' be logic? Can that mind changing 'something' be temptation? Can it be regret? A better argument? Love of money? Sin? What can draws us from God. No, what's strong enough to PRY us out of an all-mighty God's hands? <br><br>God says NOTHING...but NOTHING can separate us from the love (and saving adoption) of God. The sheep are NOT fooled. They are not suckered. They are not cheated out of their inheritance. They do not reject their one and only Love....and if one in 100 'tried'...the Good Shepherd would bring them back.<br><br>In Him...FOREVER!!
Posted By: Anonymous

A consideration for you - Mon Jul 01, 2002 3:30 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>Though it is the same God working throughout, you are right to think that there is some degree of difference between the two testaments. The Old Testament decreed destruction without mercy on any who disobeyed it --in the New Testament the stakes are even HIGHER! Whoever turns from the words spoken in it will only wish they had been stoned to death!<br><br>"He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite (lit. "insulted") unto the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:28-29)<br><br>"See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven..." (Hebrews 12:25)<br><br>Note that in chapter 10, Paul speaks of one who "hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing." We know that an unbeliever cannot be sanctified by Christ's blood, and so this must refer to a believer that has fully rejected Christ after he has been sanctified by Him. Also notice that Paul says in ch. 12, "if we neglect," not "if they neglect."<br><br>To begin with the scriptures you cited, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 John 5:13 reveal some amazing truths about becoming a new creature in Christ and our eternal life in Him, but do not really say anything about their conditionality or the lack thereof. <br><br>You wrote:<br>"The Holy Spirit could be taken from a person in the Old Testament, but that is not possible now."<br><br>The NT never directly says whether the Holy Spirit can be taken from a person or not, but let's see what implication it gives:<br><br>"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17)<br><br>Yet we also read:<br><br>"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?... [to the same people] Christ is become of no effect unto you [lit. "you are estranged from Christ"], whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 4:9 and 5:4)<br><br>Now as if "fallen from grace" isn't clear enough, note that many of these people who have been known of God were now departing from His Gospel of grace and putting themselves under the yoke of bondage, which was the Jewish law. If they had been known of God (4:9), then surely they received the seal of the Holy Ghost; but now many of them put themselves in spiritual bondage. But where God's Spirit is, there is liberty; so while there is not a NT passage stating that the Holy Spirit will depart from a person, I believe that this can be easily inferred from these passages.<br><br>As to John 17, Jesus prayer for His disciples was answered, and none of His disciples were lost except Judas. I do believe that in this prayer, Jesus was also praying for all believers; but the implication was not that He asked God to unconditionally prevent them from turning away, but rather to guard them from wickedness (the literal meaning for 'keep' here is 'to guard'). So this is not a guarantee that every single believer will endure to the end, but rather, that they will not be snatched away. So while I strongly affirm that nothing can force a believer out of God's saving grace, there is much scripture that attests to the fact that a redeemed person can depart from the living God. Consider this, why did Judas fall away? It was so the scripture might be fulfilled. But the scripture also foretells the apostasy of some now.<br><br>"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils..." (1 Timothy 4:1)<br><br>1 Timothy 1:12 does make it clear that God is able to keep what we have committed to Him (namely, our spirits); but my rejection of unconditional security is not based on the idea that God is unable to keep us, it is based on the fact that if we do not hold onto Him, He will cast us away.<br><br>"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached the word to others, I myself should be a castaway (lit. unapproved, rejected, reprobate; some translators use 'disqualify,' but this is a liberal translation at best)." (1 Corinthians 9:27)<br><br>John 15 makes it clear that an apostate doesn't just slip out of God's reach all of a sudden, if he does not hear God (Zechariah 7:11) and lets his heart grow hard through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13), and refuses to repent (Revelation 2:21), then God will cut that individual off from Christ (John 15:2), Who is the source of eternal life (Colossians 3:4).<br><br>So I also believe that while God keeps us, our remaining in Him is contingent upon us holding fast to Him as well --but not by our own strength. I shall elaborate below.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"I would say that it doesn't depend on our ability to abide. We will abide because He is holding onto us, not the other way around. We will want to abide because we are His own."<br><br>Our ability to abide comes from God.<br><br>"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." (1 Timothy 1:14)<br><br>If we are truly new creatures (as you referenced) who share in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4), are given strength to do God's will by the Holy Ghost (see above), have Jesus abiding in our hearts (Matthew 28:20), and security from being snatched forcefully by the power of God the Father (John 10:29), then there is no reason why we should not abide. Some wilfully choose to turn aside after sin anyway (Hebrews 10:26).<br><br>You wrote:<br>"I disagree that the faith that was made shipwreck was a true saving faith."<br><br>If you do not believe that true saving faith can fail, note that some have "erred from the faith" (1 Timothy 6:10, and yes, "the" is also there in the Greek). When it speaks of not just faith, but "the faith," I can only assume it is a reference to the one true saving faith (Ephesians 4:5).<br><br>Let me give you something to consider. In 2 Peter chapter 2, Peter warns against false teachers that will arise. Vs. 1 says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."<br><br>The simple question is that if a saved person cannot be lost, then why does the word of God decree destruction on these men who were bought by the Lord?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Meaning of "separate" - Mon Jul 01, 2002 4:41 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Nothing can separate us from the love of God, including yourself!"<br><br>As I stated previously, the meaning of "separate" in this passage specifically means to "pull apart by force." If something is by force, it is against the will. I can not force myself to do anything against my will, so I definitely cannot "separate" myself in the sense this passage speaks of. But as I have seen from the rest of scripture, this does not preclude me from departing from God of my own accord. Thus, no matter how passionately it is argued, this passage provides no evidence for unconditional perseverance of the saints.<br><br>If a believer does grow cold to God and quits hearing Him, then the only thing that can separate him or her from Christ is God the Father.<br><br>"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" (John 15:1-2)<br><br>He doesn't exactly fall into that "any created thing" category.<br><br>Please understand that my understanding is based on the whole of scripture, not one or two specific passages pulled out of context. If you think I am adding to or misconstruing God's word to justify my position, then I must ask exactly how do you explain my original post about Revelation 22:19?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: lazarus

Sanctification - Mon Jul 01, 2002 5:12 PM

JoshT - you wrote:<br><br>"Note that in chapter 10, Paul speaks of one who "hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing." We know that an unbeliever cannot be sanctified by Christ's blood, and so this must refer to a believer that has fully rejected Christ after he has been sanctified by Him. "<br><br>In the first instance, I'm not sure if "sanctification" is ALWAYS via Christ's blood. The word may also have more than one meaning as a function of context.<br><br>Secondly, notice how the unbelieving spouse is 'sanctified' by the believer...<br><br> 1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. <br><br>The spouse is STILL unregenerate...yet being 'sanctified'.<br><br>You must also recognize that the NT often speaks to 'us' as a corporate whole....making no real distinction between 'seed' that falls upon thorns, rocky ground, eaten by birds, trampled under foot...and that seed falling on good soil. When my pastor preaches....he's preaching to the covenent community (and some yet-to-confess individuals) as they have assembled on Sunday. All who gather to hear the Word of God within the covenent community get the SAME gospel, admonitions, exhortations, etc. Some 'hear'....others only SEEM to be 'hearing'. In the end, only the Elect actually "hear" and remain joined to their Savior by true faith in accordance with God's grace.
Posted By: Anonymous

More comments to consider - Tue Jul 02, 2002 12:40 AM

Josh,<br>I still don't buy your reasoning about having the power to take yourself out of God's hand by your will, [Linked Image] but we'll move on to your other question.<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>If you think I am adding to or misconstruing God's word to justify my position, then I must ask exactly how do you explain my original post about Revelation 22:19?<p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Here are more commentators' views, the same views that just about everyone has already stated who has responded to you so far.<br><br>From Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible<br><blockquote>Rev 22: 12. It is confirmed by the joint testimony of the Spirit of God, and that gracious Spirit that is in all the true members of the church of God; the Spirit and the bride join in testifying the truth and excellency of the gospel. 13. It is confirmed by a most solemn sanction, [color:red]condemning and cursing all who should dare to corrupt or change the word of God, either by adding to it or taking from it, v. 18, 19. He that adds to the word of God draws down upon himself all the plagues written in this book; and he who takes any thing away from it cuts himself off from all the promises and privileges of it.</font color=red> This sanction is like a flaming sword, to guard the canon of the scripture from profane hands. Such a fence as this God set about the law (Deu. 4:2), and the whole Old Testament (Mal. 4:4), and now in the most solemn manner about the whole Bible, assuring us that it is a book of the most sacred nature, divine authority, and of the last importance, and therefore the peculiar care of the great God.</blockquote> <br><br>The most direct answer to your question comes from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. Here is his exposition on v 19. I am sending the link so that you can click the links with the verses cited. I hope this makes it clearer. [Linked Image]<br><br>Susan<br>http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commenta...se=019&next=020&prev=018<br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meaning of "separate" - Tue Jul 02, 2002 2:52 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>As I stated previously, the meaning of "separate" in this passage specifically means to "pull apart by force." <p><hr></blockquote><p><br>Really, hmmm, interesting how Strong's defines it like this:<br>5563. chorizo<br><br>cwrizw chorizo kho-rid'-zo<br><br>from 5561; to place room between, i.e. part; reflexively, to go <br>away:--depart, put asunder, separate.<br><br>Nope don't see pull apart by force. Where did you get this greek translation again??<br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Your comfort must be scriptural - Wed Jul 03, 2002 6:45 PM

Dear Paul,

Your twisting of words and context to find a "contradiction" truly shows what sort of case you build. The phrase, "He can save all who will hear Him. He does not need my help, I need His grace" is only contradictory if you accept the false premise that you have in your reasoning. You reason:

1. God's desire is to be with us
2. I (Josh) think that being with Him is conditional
Therefore, God needs our help to achieve His desire

The first premise is only partially correct, for while God does desire that men be saved, He also desires that they do so willingly.

My reasoning is:

1. God's desire is to be with those who will comply with His will (Matthew 7:21)
2. I cannot comply with God's will on my own (Romans 8:7)
Therefore I need His grace

My view is not contingent on God's being unable to do anything, for God could force me to comply if He so chose. I simply believe that God does not choose to override our wills. It is not a question of God's sovereignty, but of His methods.

IRT:
"Of course, He must continue to be a little anxious until you "cross the finish line"."

Negative. God already knows the outcome of my Christian life. This does not preclude free will, God simply knows what choices I will make.

IRT:
"Actually, what is to prevent you from rejecting Him in heaven, Josh? Will He override your will there?"

No. But I will be finally perfected in Him, my sin nature being taken from me and His divine nature totally permeating me forever. While I am a partaker in His nature right now, my old sin nature also remains, which makes it possible for me to rebel against Him.

IRT:
"This is what is coming across from your posts, Josh. Your distortion of the entire panoply of redemption, that God will save His people, reminds me most of several conversations with local Jehovah's Witnesses, each of whom admitted that, in the final analysis, their security was directly contingent upon their performance. Which of course, in their denial of their own wretched, fallen condition, they somehow hoped they would be able to achieve."

It is true that my condition WAS wretched and fallen, but now that God has redeemed me, I am a new creature in Him, a partaker of His divine nature, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. So while there is no way a fallen man may live "good enough" to inherit eternal life, I am no longer a fallen man. Even so, my salvation is not contingent on "good performance," but on hearing and following Jesus through the Holy Spirit -- good works will naturally follow.

I need no comfort besides that which I already have, because my Saviour truly does save and has sent His Spirit into my heart. I don't live in constant terror of hell, I simply know that if I turn from Christ, I will be damned. I reject Calvinism on scriptural grounds; if it were plainly taught in the Bible, I would believe it. But I refuse to believe in a system of theology that is totally unsupported in scripture.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: lazarus

Re: Your comfort must be scriptural - Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:45 PM

JoshT - you say your salvation is not contingent on good performance...but it's PRECISELY YOUR ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE/DISPOSITION (i.e., YOU, YOURS) that supposedly determines your entrance into God's presence on that Last Day. How can you deny your own contribution...your 'works'....your 'will'? <br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>As for Calvinism being unscriptural? Please....tell that to the hundreds of Spirit-wrought teachers/preachers/theologians and the countless millions of believers across denominational lines over the centuries who have found it not only scriptural...but the very blessed essence of the Gospel. Might it be YOU with the 'problem' NOT seeing 'grace' in all it's fullness, beauty and wonder?<br><br>In Him,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Your comfort must be scriptural - Thu Jul 04, 2002 5:21 PM

Josh<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I simply believe that God does not choose to override our wills. It is not a question of God's sovereignty, but of His methods.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>OK Josh, think about this--Saul of Tarsus was going down the road to arrest Christians. God zapped him with the glory light and his response was "What will thou have me do Lord?" Obviously God did override or change his will. We don't like the term God forces us to change, but what else could Saul do when he saw the Lord? He showed him a reality that he couldn't see before and thus he changed his heart. Isn't that what happens to every Christian when we are converted? We hated God and were His enemies and He changes us so that we are able to love Him. We had a heart of stone and he gives us a heart of flesh. Hearts of flesh do not turn back into hearts of stone.<br><br>Gotta get off now, a storm is coming!<br>Susan<br><br><br><br>
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Your comfort must be scriptural - Thu Jul 04, 2002 9:39 PM

Susan,

That is exactly right!! God doesn't force the will. He [color:red]recreates the will. For the will of man, by nature is totally opposed to God. Every part of man's being since the Fall is in rebellion against God. In fact, all men by nature hate God. Therefore man WILL NOT seek God nor does he have any desire for God. Unless God the Spirit regenerates a man (makes him alive), there will not and cannot be any inclination towards God.

A man's will is BOUND by it's nature. Thus, a sinful nature chooses only that which is sinful. Thus men love darkness and hate the Light. Until God creates within the soul a desire for the Light, he will run from it and cavil against it. The will is subservient to the other two faculties of man; votive (intellect) and emotive (desire).


In His Grace,
Posted By: carlos

Re: Your comfort must be scriptural - Sat Jul 06, 2002 2:57 AM

Laz,<br><br>I would also add that calvinism is by far the most consistent interpretation of the scriptures, more so than any other system....It amazes me the type of interpretations that people come up with to escape the meanings of the texts of Eph 1,2 , Romans 8,9, JOhn 6,10,17,etc. the list goes on...<br><br>Scripture alone,grace alone, Christ alone, faith alone, & GLORY alone<br><br>brother in christ,<br>Carlos<br><br>Eph 1: 5 "He predestined us to adoptions as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, ACCORDING TO THE KIND INTENTION OF HIS WILL.."
Posted By: Anonymous

Glorification - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:10 PM

Dear Carlos,<br><br>IRT:<br>"No in the sense that they are yet, but shall be. See Romans 8:29-30, Goes from God’s actions in eternity past (Foreknew, Predestination), to actions in time( Calling, Justifiaction), to a future action(Glorification). True believers will see their glorification."<br><br>The fact that believers will experience glorification does not preclude conditions on this statement. God's promises are not without conditions; Acts 2:21 says that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This must of course be understood in the context of the rest of scripture, for not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" shall enter His kingdom. So the fact that we are to be glorified does not negate the condition of persevering in the faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-2) and continuing in the grace of God (Acts 13:43); so this passage does not really prove or disporove eternal security.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Thus, Roms 29-30 is the basis of why Romans 8:28 can says all things work together for 'GOOD' to those who love God, who have been CALLED ACCORDING to HIS PURPOSE... So I ask, is ‘falling away ‘a good thing’ to those who have been called???? If that is case, I see no force or the logic behind the statement that Paul ends with in the 8th chapter, that NOTHING in ALL of creation can SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD."<br><br>Well, "all things" refers not to what the person does or decides, but his circumstances. A believer who had rejected the gospel years before but accepts it later was obviously not affected by the former in a positive way, so falling away (which would be a decision, not a circumstance) would not be one of the things that was addressed in Romans 8. Also notice to whom the passage in Romans applies, not only to those who are called, but who love God. It is made quite plain in the scripture that all who love God are born of God and know God (1 Corinthians 8:3, 1 John 4:7,); but Jesus also indicated that in the latter days, the love of many would wax cold (Matthew 24:12). So if a believer lets his heart grow hard and forsakes the agape love of Christ, then it becomes clear that a) he is no longer saved, and b) all things will not work together for his good. Also, the fact that nothing can separate us from God does not mean that we cannot walk away. Some have argued that our own wills then could not separate us from God (I have addressed this issue elsewhere on the board), but then again, it is not our will that cuts an apostate off from Christ, but God the Father (John 15).<br><br>IRT:<br>"Does not a Christian’s life begin with regeneration & conversion. Is this not a work of God? Does not Phil 1:6 says that 'that HE[GOD] who BEGAN a GOOD work in you WILL carry it on to COMPLETION UNTIL the day of Christ Jesus.'"<br><br>The statement that God will complete us in Christ is a conditional statement. For while God is not unfaithful to change us from glory to glory, He does not force this change, but requires that one be a willing vessel. 2 Peter 1:5-11 shows that it is possible for a man not be yielded to God so that the Holy Spirit can work the fruits thereof in him. So yes, God does labor faithfully to complete a good work in us, but He will not do so with a hardened heart. But if we open our ears to Him, then we too can have confidence as Paul did in the Philippians, that God will complete His work in us.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The believers are sealed for the day of redemption and have the Holy Spirit as His arrabon (downpayment), 'guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession (eph 1:14)'" <br><br>The Holy Spirit is God's seal on each believer, and truly is a guarantee of a Godly inheritance on all who have Him. But just because one is sealed by the Spirit does not mean that God may not remove His seal if a person turns away from Him. My posts to Susan detail further why I believe that this can happen. So really, this scripture does not affect the doctrine of conditional salvation.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Also I disagree with your comparison of Lucifer’, and the believers Glorificatino in Heaven."<br><br>I did not compare Lucifer to believer's glorification in heaven, but the glory which believers do share with Christ presently (2 Thessalonians 1:12 - sorry about the confusion). I am trying to say that just because we are glorified with the Son on earth, does not mean that we cannot fall just as Lucifer did. But as far as what happens after we reach immortality, I am in agreement with you, for the old sin nature will be completely destroyed and supplanted by the new nature of Christ. Praise God!<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: perseverance - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:12 PM

Dear Carlos,<br><br>To briefly clarify the passages you cited,<br><br>- John 15 could only apply to believers, for no one could be cut off from what they were never in. At the same time, it must refer to actually abiding in Christ (and not just an outward show), else how could abiding in the vine help us bear fruit if it is mere outward show?<br><br>- John 8:31, is not a guarantee that all true believers will abide. It simply states that those who abide are Christ's disciples. It does not say that those who were abiding but do not abide presently were never disciples, it simply implies that they are not disciples now. Judas was a disciple, but since he did not abide in Christ, he fell from that position. So a believer is a disciple so long as he abides in Christ.<br><br>- Hebrews 3:6 & 14, 2 John 9, and Revelation 2:26 all simply state the condition of perseverance, they do not guarantee that every believer will meet it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Jesus bring the illustration of the vine, vinedresser and branches so that 'you so that My joy may be in you, and that your (14) joy may be made full.' If this is talking about 'loosing one’s salvation', please demonstrate it to me."<br><br>Certainly, Jesus said that if a branch did not abide in Him, it would be cut off, gathered, and burned (vs 6). I don't think it can be illustrated clearer than that.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Rev 22, as been stated by Pilgrim and others, does not support your position."<br><br>I have seen no credible evidence of that. Indeed, I have shown why their arguments violate the context of scripture and present impossible scenarios.<br><br>IRT:<br>"If you read Romans 9-11 in its context, I don't think that conclusion can be made that 'one can loose their salvation'. The whole point of Romans 9-11 to explain the sorrow and argument stated in Romans 9:1-6..that is 'For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel'."<br><br>While the point of Romans 11 is that Israel has fallen, and that not all of Israel's people are truly children of Abraham; a plain fact of scripture is also stated here. Namely, that we should not boast against Israel, for if God did not spare them, He doesn't have to spare us either. So we should be aware of how good and how harsh God is, for He was severe to the apostate majority of Israel, and good to those of us who believed in Him -- If we continue in His goodness, otherwise He will cut us off just as He did to those who did not believe. So while the main point is that much of Israel has fallen from God's grace, the point is also made that we could fall in the same way if we do not remain in God's goodness.<br><br>Concerning Hebrews 6, I have read many a far-fetched explanation for this passage. But the thing that they can't get past is that it says, "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance." For why would God grant people repentance (Acts 11:18) without saving them? And why would they need to be renewed if it were not true saving repentance?<br><br>IRT:<br>"In addition, Warnings, in scripture I believe, is another means that God uses to preserve his people."<br><br>I agree, but I do not believe that God gives warnings against what cannot occur. But if you think He does give those warnings for the sole purpose of causing believers to be more cautious, then why would you teach that what is warned against cannot occur? Wouldn't that go against the purpose of God making those warnings?<br><br>IRT:<br>"'This is the Father’s WILL which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath Given me I should LOSE NOTHING'.(John 6:39) . Jesus says that it is the father’s will. Can Christ Fail at the Job He was given to Do?"<br><br>The thing that you are not taking into account is that God's will being fulfilled is also partially contingent on His people. For instance, it is God's will that His people abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and yet some do anyway. So if a believer falls into sexual sin, did God then fail to perform His will? It is not a failure on God's part, but on ours. In the same way, if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return, even though it is contrary to God's will, it is not Christ's failure for losing it, but the sheeps failure to follow the shepherd.<br><br>IRT:<br>"A true believer is one of Christ’s Sheep. A sheep has a Shepard as you know. In this Case, it is Jesus Christ. For one to say that one of Christ’s Sheep can become a Goat, is in essence, teaching that Christ can fail at being the 'Chief' Shepherd."<br><br>But it isn't. I happen to know a thing or two about sheep; a good shepherd will watch for the sheep and give his life for the sheep, but sometimes sheep stray willingly. I read an account once of a man who was an excellent shepherd, and expert at protecting his sheep, but he had one ornery ewe that kept trying to find "greener pastures" (literally), every time he turned around. The sheep ended up straying from the flock and wriggling through the fence at every opportunity, and would often happily eat of dead grass and drink of polluted water just because it was on the other side of the fence (also literally). This was a big problem for the shepherd, and he tried everything to get her to stop, but he drew the line when her lambs began to pick up the same bad habits. With much grief, he took his hunting knife an killed the ewe. So while a shepherd can guard his sheep, he cannot keep them from straying if they are determined to do so. In the same way, while Christ guards His flock against the wickedness of the world, and gives us warnings and conviction to keep us from straying, there is nothing in the scripture to indicate that He will force us to remain with Him if we are determined to go our own way.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Jesus is a perfect savior; HE cannot fail to save His sheep. That’s why John 10 states' 27MY sheep LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me. 28I give them ETERNAL life, and they shall NEVER perish; NO one can snatch them out of my hand. Jesus' Sheep Will never perish. This is stated with the double negative in the Greek to emphasize never ‘ever’, denying the possibility. Why is this?"<br><br>As I indicated in my last paragraph, Christ will not forcefully keep a sheep that wilfully strays. His sheep listen to His voice and follow Him, but if a sheep stops listening to Him, then it is certain that it will no longer be one of His sheep. "Never perish" is a conditional statement, contingent on remaining one of Christ's sheep. For Christ's sheep never will perish, but if one who strays will not return to Him, it is no longer His sheep. The fact that no one can pluck one out of Christ's hand or the Father's hand simply underscores what I wrote elsewhere: No one can forcefully tear a believer away from God. The word for "snatch" here (harpazo), indicates seizure by force.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Both Jesus and Father are preserving the sheep. He prays for his people(Romans (8:34), John 17. Do sheep wander? Yes. See Peter. However, note that Jesus prayer for him (Luk 22:32). That’s why peter was kept and did not fall away permanently."<br><br>I agree that both the Father and Son work to preserve the flock. Peter was preserved by God's grace, and restored by God. I also believe that God will extend this kindness to all of His children, but this is no guarantee that every one who goes astray will always return (see Luke 13:6-9). 2 Peter chapter 2 speaks of false teachers who have been bought by God (vs 1), and yet have forsaken the right way and gone astray (just as some sheep do, vs 15). But it does not indicate that there is redemption for them, but indicates that their final destination is hell (vs 17). They obviously despised God's patience and grace, and did not give heed to His warnings. Hebrews 10:29 says,<br><br>"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite (i.e. 'insulted') the Spirit of grace?"<br><br>This indicates that it is possible for one who has even been sanctified by Christ's blood to stray and not repent to the point that he despises Christ's blood and insults the Holy Spirit. Though he was once sanctified, I can not see such a person as being saved any longer.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Contrast true disciples (sheep) with that of those apostates in 1 John 2:19. For John goes on to say in 1 John 3:9-10.. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, BECAUSE God's SEED REMAINS in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God."<br><br>1 John tells of many ways to discern a believer from an unbeliever, but does not address fully the issue of falling away. There is a third possibility not addressed here (but it is in other areas of scripture), which is one who has been born of God in the past, but has not kept the word of God in his heart.<br><br>"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Hebrews 2:1)<br><br>If you don't believe that such a class of people exists, then I would point to the book of Galatians. Notice that the people that Paul writes to had been "known of God," and yet were wilfully sinning against Him by returning to the bondage which He had called them out of (Galatians 4:9). If they were known of God, then His word must have been in them at one time; and yet they still continued to sin against Him. My only conclusion is that they had let the word slip from their hearts as Paul warned against in Hebrews 2.<br><br>IRT:<br>"A true Christian cannot alienate his inheritance in Heaven, for the deeds concerning this inheritance are written and sealed, and part possession is given the believer even in this life (Jer 32:40). 'I will put My fear in their hearts [present gracious possession] that they SHALL NOT DEPART FROM Me'"<br><br>I disagree. Though we do have a portion of our inheritance now, a warning to not be like Esau appears in Hebrews,<br><br>"...Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." (Hebrews 12:16-17) <br><br>Oh yes, and Jeremiah 32:40 is speaking of Israel proper at the time when they shall be saved (read the context). This extends into the millenium and into the new heavens and earth which God will create. This is actually what will happen when Israel and all the other true children of Abraham (aka 'the gentile Christians') will be glorified with God. He will take away our old sin nature and make us completely sinless just as Christ was. This is not a present possession (not in full anyway), but God haste the day when it is.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Election.... - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:14 PM

Hey Carlos,<br>Okay, to begin with, you wrote,<br><br>"In fact, to teach your view of Election is to indeed "EXPLAIN AWAY" the scriputres, such a Ephe 1:3-14, Romans 8:28-9:23. See, The election is spoken as a according to God's purpose and Plan. You have to ‘read into the text’ to come up with your position."<br><br>Negative. My view is based on harmonizing what is spoken in the scriptures; there is nothing in either Ephesians or Romans that contradicts what I believe. If you don't agree, you are more than welcome to show me where it does.<br><br><br>IRT:<br>"You said there are conditions to God’s Election. WHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE?"<br><br>Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5-6 - Humility<br>Hebrews 3:7-8, Hebrews 3:15, Hebrews 4:7 - Hearing His voice and not hardening your heart<br>Matthew 18:3-4, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17 - Humble yourself and become like a little child<br>Romans 11:20-23 - Not remaining in unbelief (note in 11:20 that they were broken off because of unbelief, not unbelieving because they were broken off)<br><br>It pretty much boils down to "How does a person react to God's voice. After God has broken their pride, do they humble themselves, hear His voice and obey? Or do they stop their ears from hearing the truth and harden their hearts to the point of unbelief?" You may say that it is God who hardens a person's heart, indeed. But it is also made plain in the scripture that men harden their hearts as well (Exodus 8:15, 8:32, 9:34, 1 Samuel 6:6, 2 Chronicles 36:13, Psalm 95:8, Proverbs 28:14, Jeremiah 17:23, Hebrews 3:8, 3:15, 4:7). It can then be seen that if a man hardens himself against God's words and does not receive them, but abides in unbelief, then God will harden that man's heart to the point that even physical evidence will not convince him (such as in the case of Pharaoh).<br><br>IRT:<br>"You can’t get around Eph 1:3-14, nor Romans 8:28-9:23, and many other texts."<br><br>I don't need to "get around" them. My beliefs are in alignment with them. Indeed, there may be a few scriptures which at first glance may appear to pose a problem for me (but on closer examination, do not), but there is a much larger portion which is totally incompatible with Calvinist doctrine. If you think I am wrong, then don't explain away, but show how what you believe is not contradicted by this passage:<br><br>"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34)<br><br>Clearly, this passage is in direct conflict with the belief that people cannot resist God's will and calling. For why would they be desired by God unless they were elect? Yet they resisted God's will and stopped their ears from hearing the truth.<br><br>"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear." (Zechariah 7:11)<br><br>So we see that while God did desire the people of Jerusalem to come to Him, they violated the condition for being elected.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Election precedes Belief. See Acts 13:48. Belief Does not precede Election, as we have been pointing out to you."<br><br>Already agreed. I have made it clear that I believe this more than once, that God's election according to His foreknowledge precedes our faith. I also agree that election is according to God's purpose and plan, but I believe that God's plan is based on what He foresees in people's hearts.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:16 PM

Dear Prestor John,<br><br>IRT:<br>"What I'm trying to state is that you are adding conditions to the term "sheep". <br><br>In John 10 Christ makes no such distinction."<br><br>I have not read any conditions into the passage. The characteristics of Christ's sheep are made plain,<br><br>* They hear His voice (vs 4 & 27)<br>* They are known of Him (27)<br>* They follow Him (4, 27)<br>* They will not follow a stranger (5)<br><br>The last characteristic proves that the redeemed are Christ's sheep, for His sheep will not hear the voice of another. If you think Christ's sheep include people that are yet to be saved, then it would be logical to conclude that no one who has ever been in a cult could ever be saved, for they have heeded the voice of another, and therefore cannot be of Christ's sheep.<br><br>No one has yet presented me with a scriptural or logical reason to believe that Revelation 22:19 is not a literal and relevant admonition.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: God not a respecter... - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:19 PM

Dear Lazarus,

As I stated previously, I would believe Calvinist doctrine if it were supported by the scriptures, regardless of my feelings on the subject; I simply don't see any support for it. The fact that God is no respecter of persons actually goes against the Calvinist theory of election. You seem to think that not being a respecter of persons means that God does not judge based on the conditions that I have stated previously. But being no respecter of persons means that one does not let who a person is or what position that person holds affect their judgement, but instead judges righteously and objectively according to God's word (Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19, Proverbs 23:24). So in other words, God judges righteously according to a man's thoughts and intents, and not according to who they are; therefore, even one who had been one of His at one time may fall into condemnation, for it is written, "The Lord will judge His people" (Hebrews 10:30).

IRT:
"Also consider this with respect to anything taking us out of God's hands.

You say that NOTHING can take us out of God's hands, EXCEPT ourselves.

First, you've added a gross assumption to the clear and emphatic teaching of the text. I covered ALL THE BASES...nothing means nothing."

and

"God says NOTHING...but NOTHING can separate us from the love (and saving adoption) of God. The sheep are NOT fooled. They are not suckered. They are not cheated out of their inheritance. They do not reject their one and only Love....and if one in 100 'tried'...the Good Shepherd would bring them back."

First of all, the word for "pluck" or "snatch" in John 10 implies taking by force.

Secondly, I believe that the context of the Romans 8 dictates that it also means that nothing can force a believer out of God's hand. But if you want to get technical, then I would also point out that it is not a believer that separates himself from the Vine, but God the Father separates a branch if it does not meet the condition of abiding in Christ.

"I am the true Vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away...If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:1-2, 6)

So if a believer does not abide in Christ, it is the the Father (not himself) who will cut Him off from the Son. God the Father is not a "created thing" as is mentioned in Romans 8. The way that a man can walk away from God is by not abiding in the Vine.

It's funny that you should mention being suckered or cheated out of inheritance. Because Paul warns,

"...Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." (Hebrews 12:16-17)

So we are warned by Esau's example not to be "suckered" out of our eternal reward.

Lastly, while Christ does go and seek His sheep that stray, there is nothing in the scripture that indicates that He will forcibly return them. In fact, it says of some,

"...there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)

IRT:
"Second, if someone is born again, a new creature, justified, adopted by God, filled with the Spirit, etc....then SOMETHING, yes, SOMETHING must have been introduced into the equation to make a person CHANGE THEIR MIND/HEART/NATURE. So, can that mind changing 'something' be logic? Can that mind changing 'something' be temptation? Can it be regret? A better argument? Love of money? Sin? What can draws us from God. No, what's strong enough to PRY us out of an all-mighty God's hands? "

As I have already made clear, nothing can "pry" us away from God. But the sin nature that is still in us can be our downfall if we do not take control of it by the Spirit of God. So a believer can be not forced, but simply lured away if he does not keep his focus on God.

"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling..." (1 Timothy 1:5-6)

So while Christ cares for and protects His sheep, and even goes after those who stray; even so, some refuse to return to Him and go their own way to destruction.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: You misunderstand my position brother - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:25 PM

Dear Wes,

Don't worry, I didn't take offense to your comments. I recognize the difference between a writing that is insulting, and one that is simply passionate (I've done the same myself a time or two...).

IRT:
"It’s just that your argument is so contrary to what the Bible teaches about perserverance. Your idea that a man who is truely born again spiritually would actually walk away from God and His grace blows my mind. How can one have any confidence in their salvation when it depends on themselves? You just can’t build sound doctrine by interpreting one or two verses that disagree with a larger body of Scripture."

I realize that what I believe sounds a bit strange to you, coming from a Calvinist background. You ask how can I have confidence in my salvation? Well, let me pose you a similar question: How can I truly know that I am one of the elect? Even John Calvin himself had to face the problem of those who seemed to follow Christ sincerely for a time (maybe even years), and had what was apparently fruit of the Spirit in their lives, yet afterward fell into apostasy. Calvin concluded that God did give them (I forget the exact translation of the word, so please accept my layman paraphrase) a 'substitute' grace. That is, a grace that would not save them, but would at least make them live better lives. Now the tough question is: Do I truly have God's grace, or do I just have this substitute that makes me act like and think I am a Christian? And if it is only this substitute grace that I have, is it then possible that I am one of the non-elect, making salvation is impossible for me, and I am just living a lie in thinking that I am on my way to be with God? Scary thought.

I corresponded once with a reformed theologian (not a Calvinist, but definitely an eternal securist); after much discussion about people falling into sin and scriptural examples of falling away, his final analysis was that while the saved were eternally secure, one could never (in this life) truly know whether he or she was saved or not. I am not trying to over-exaggerate your position, this is simply what perseverance of the saints theology boils down to. I don't know how you feel about it, you may well differ; but I would rather serve the Lord believing that my salvation was secure as long as I follow Him by the power of His Holy Spirit, rather than believe that God has already taken care of everything for His elect but not knowing for sure if I could even be one of them.

It would be impossible to have any comfort in what I believe if I believed that I were still a pathetic and helpless sinner. I WAS a hopelessly lost sinner, but Christ changed me into a new creation, and gave me the strength I need to endure by the power of His Holy Spirit. So it is true, a human being in his own strength is incapable of living for God or holding fast to Jesus Christ, but God has transformed His children and made them partakers of His divine nature.

I see why you think I believe in a "works righteousness." The problem lies in what you consider works. Works are good deeds, acts of righteousness, or keeping of the law. The same term does not apply to humility, open-heartedness, love, or faith (this specifically is contrasted to works numerous times in scripture). These are neither work nor merit, but simple conditions that God has put on man to receive salvation through His Son. You may think that all of these are the result of salvation rather than conditions to receive the same, but the scripture plainly teaches that some of these are required to be saved. One has to open their hearts and ears to God's word to be saved, one cannot enter the kingdom of God unless one becomes like a little child (Mark 10:15), and one must believe before he is saved. There is no scripture that groups or classifies these conditions which God has set as works; for if faith is not a work, what makes you think that humility and hearing are? Some rely on the argument that there is nothing that one can do to save oneself. This is incorrect, else the term "save yourselves" in Acts 2:40 is meaningless.

These are not the result of salvation, but conditions for obtaining it. You may then counter that God is the one who works all of these things into the lives of His elect, but much of scripture testifies to the fact that men can stop their own ears (Zechariah 7:11), harden their own hearts (Hebrews 3:7-9), and choose to abide in unbelief (Romans 11:20 -- note that they were broken off because of their unbelief, not unbelieving because they were broken off). Let me also state that I do not believe anything man can do in his own power can save himself; I believe that man cannot come to God of his own free will unless God draws him first. So the will is not what saves us, though its compliance with God's will is essential for a man to be saved.

IRT:
"There are many passages that teach that those who are truly born again, who are genuinely Christians, will continue in the Christian life until death and will then go to be with Christ in heaven."

Forgive me for sounding so forward, but I must disagree on that point. I have seen no scriptures in the Bible that support the idea that all believers, without exception, will endure to the end. For instance, John chapter 6 which you cited: The assumption that you have that I do not is that just because it is God's will, it must then happen. There are many things that happen against God's will, it is not because God isn't strong enough to stop them, but simply that He chooses not to interfere in every circumstance. Many people displeased the Lord in scripture (Genesis 38:10, 2 Samuel 11:27, Isaiah 59:15, etc...), but I find it highly doubtful that it was God's will to set up the circumstances that would displease Himself. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says that it is God's will that believers abstain from fornication, yet apparently, not every believer does. Indeed, to say that the will of God is always done would require that no true believer ever commit sexual sin.

Contrarily, I have seen multiple references to people turning aside after Satan (1 Timothy 5:15), denying the Lord that bought them (2 Peter 2:1), forsaking the right way and going astray (2 Peter 2:15), and counting the blood of Christ (even after being sanctified) an unholy thing (Hebrews 10:29); as well as many warnings and commands to keep ourselves in the love of Christ (Jude 21) and continue in His goodness (Romans 11:22).

Susan sent me several theoretical references to eternal security, you can read my responses if you like so I don't end up reinventing the wheel here; and then send me any more if you think they contradict what I say.

IRT:
"Arminians have objected that 'eternal life' is simply a quality of life, a type of life in relationship with God, which one can have for a time and lose it."

Let me throw out a third alternative. Eternal life IS in fact, Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:4, John 14:6, and 1 John 5:20 make it clear that Christ is our eternal life, and so believers do in a sense possess eternal life because they have Christ (1 John 5:11-12). If a man falls away from Christ, that eternal life doesn't end, for Christ will last for all time, but that man is cut off from its source. Eternal life as in "that man's life shall never end" is not received until a believer dies (Titus 1:2, Romans 2:7, 1 Timothy 6:12, etc...).

Concerning Hebrews 6, I have read many explanations for this passage. But the thing that not one of them can get past is that it says, "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance." For why would God grant people repentance (Acts 11:18) without saving them? And why would they need to be renewed if it were not true saving repentance? That is why I believe that this refers to true believers who became apostates, not false believers from the beginning.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meaning of "separate" - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:27 PM

Dear Prestor John,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Nope don't see pull apart by force. Where did you get this greek translation again??"<br><br>The meaning of "separate" in this passage is contextually derived. This passage describes many things that may try or be used to try to force a believer to renounce his faith in Christ. If it were impossible for us to depart from God, I doubt He would have given the commands to continue in His love (John 15:9) and to keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21); it would also be impossible for the love of many to grow cold (which it will for some, Matthew 24:12). Therefore I conclude that the meaning of "separate" in this passage means "to force away," just as I conclude that "sin" in 1 John 3:9 means "continue in sin," even though this is not the literal denotation. But if you insist on getting technical, I would also point out that it is not an apostate's departure that separates him from Christ, instead it is God the Father who cuts him off for not abiding (John 15:1-2, Romans 11:22).<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Sanctification in Hebrews 10:29 - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:28 PM

Dear Lazarus,<br><br>Though different contexts can give different meanings to the word "sanctify," it is clear from this passage that the person spoken of has counted the blood of His covenant, by which he was sanctified, an unholy thing. So whether sanctification is always by Christ's blood or not, it definitely is in this case. And yes, I realize that many messages in scripture are given corporately; that does not affect the meaning of Hebrews 10:29, which speaks clearly about an individual commiting this abomination.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Hebrews 6 - Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:52 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>IRT:<br>"If your only defense is to take things out of context than the Arminian in you but treads into the deep waters of the abyss."<br><br>I pulled nothing out of context, as any rational person can see. I repeat: "force" means "to produce with effort and against one's will." do against the will." So while no power on earth can force me away from Christ, there is nothing implying that I cannot willfully walk away. For my will to drag (and I do mean forcefully drag) me away from Christ, my will would have to drag me against my will (?). Also, I was under the impression that the abyss was hot (little joke).<br><br>Concerning Exodus 32, if God can plan in advance to pronounce a sentence and then recant it (as your article implies), then could He not put a person's name into the book of life (knowing that such a man will not endure to the end), and then later remove it if He so chooses?<br><br>That was quite a long article on Hebrews 6, but two things about it go against your case. For one, his argument is based on the idea that the people spoken of passed up the opportunity to be saved.<br><br>"...who may even have made some profession of faith in Him, yet turn around and walk away from full acceptance, are given the severest possible warning. Persistent rejection of Christ may result in such persons’ passing the point of no return spiritually, of losing forever the opportunity of salvation."<br><br>If I understand Calvinism correctly, those who are eternally lost never had an opportunity to be saved. So the hinge of his argument contradicts the second main point of your doctrine. Secondly, the passage in question could only refer to those that are saved; for it says that "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance." Why would God grant a person repentance to life (Acts 11:18) and not save them? <br><br>Additionally, the author's whole argument:<br><br>"People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here."<br><br>Is clearly contradicted by vs 9, which says,<br>"But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation (literally: 'that you are holding fast salvation'), though we thus speak."<br><br>IRT:<br>"And all those that truly believe will be secure for they are in the hand of God--NO POWER--being able to remove them.....unless of course you believe in a God that is less powerful than mankind."<br><br>I do believe that if He so chose, He could unstoppably compel as many as He wished to willfully accept Him and like it; and then keep them from falling away, even if they wanted to leave Him. I also believe that if He so chose, He could draw a man, but give him the ability to reject or accept Him; keep a man secure from being snatched away from Him, but let this transformed creature decide whether he will abide by the power of the Spirit in the One that saved him, or surrender to his still-present sinful nature and depart from his Lord. So as I stated before, it is not about sovereignty, but method. All evidence considered, I believe the latter to be true.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Hebrews 6 - Mon Jul 08, 2002 10:03 PM

Concerning Exodus 32, if God can plan in advance to pronounce a sentence and then recant it (as your article implies), then could He not put a person's name into the book of life (knowing that such a man will not endure to the end), and then later remove it if He so chooses?

But, Josh that IS NOT what the Scripture states:

Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. and [color:#000099] Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

That was quite a long article on Hebrews 6, but two things about it go against your case. For one, his argument is based on the idea that the people spoken of passed up the opportunity to be saved...."...who may even have made some profession of faith in Him, yet turn around and walk away from full acceptance, are given the severest possible warning. Persistent rejection of Christ may result in such persons’ passing the point of no return spiritually, of losing forever the opportunity of salvation."

Then I submit that you do not understand Reformed Doctrine. Man does have a will, it is not just a free as the Arminian thinks it is. Man makes decisions! They make decisions based on the knowledge they possess. Thus they can turn down a genuine offer. They reason they turn it down though is because they have not been changed by the Holy Spirit to see it (John 3:1-8). This man until he is changed by the Holy Spirit will not seek after God (Rom 3). He can not seek after God because he is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2). Thus as John 1:5 says 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Additionally, the author's whole argument:

"People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here."....Is clearly contradicted by vs 9, which says,
"But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation (literally: 'that you are holding fast salvation'), though we thus speak."



The word "But" refers to a different audience!

This term shows a change of audience and a move towards a change from a message of warning to a message of encouragement. That the address is to believers is further confirmed by the expression of confidence that “better things” [not the same things] could be said of them (as compared to those who were being warned in the preceding verses).

The “things that accompany salvation” are their works which verify their salvation (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18,26). The very statement implies that the things described in 5:11–6:5 do not accompany salvation but are indicative of unbelief and apostasy. though we speak in this manner. Though it had been necessary to speak about judgment in the preceding verses, the writer assures the “beloved,” those who are believers, that he is confident of their salvation.
Posted By: Ehud

Re: You misunderstand my position brother - Tue Jul 09, 2002 12:12 AM

Josh,
In reply to:

rather than believe that God has already taken care of everything for His elect but not knowing for sure if I could even be one of them.




You see to believe that God has already taken care of everything for His elect involves a something called Faith. Your friend who said that no one could know for sure whether they were elect or not wasn't showing much faith at the moment. You say "how can you know that you are elect and that God has secured you?" I say "by faith."

In reply to:

I see why you think I believe in a "works righteousness." The problem lies in what you consider works. Works are good deeds, acts of righteousness, or keeping of the law. The same term does not apply to humility, open-heartedness, love




That is odd, I thought that the two greatest commandment on which all the law and the prophets hung on dealt with love. The first is to love God with all your heart, and the next is to love your neighbor as yourself. If you tell me that these are not law, then I will say that Christ calls them the greatest commandments. If you tell me that you can even come close to keeping these every second of everyday, then I will say that you have decieved yourself.

In reply to:

So the will is not what saves us, though its compliance with God's will is essential for a man to be saved.




This is a contradiction of statements. For you, man's will is what salvation hinges on. God has done all he can, but now it is up to man to help himself. So now the will is what saves man. Christ blood doesn't save anyone, because Christ died for everyone and that didn't help. God's love didn't save anyone because God loves everybody and that didn't help. The Holy Spirit drawing people got everyone up to par, but really didn't secure anything so now it is up to man. So now it is man's will that makes salvation possible.

In reply to:

Forgive me for sounding so forward, but I must disagree on that point. I have seen no scriptures in the Bible that support the idea that all believers, without exception, will endure to the end.




1John 2:19
"They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."

They fall away to show, as evidence, that they are really not Christians in the first place.

In reply to:

harden their own hearts (Hebrews 3:7-9), and choose to abide in unbelief (Romans 11:20 -- note that they were broken off because of their unbelief,




I would also harden my heart, I would also abide in unbelief forever if I were still a lost sinner dead in my sins. But while I was dead in my sins, God by grace through faith, which was a gift, made me alive in Christ(Eph 2:1-8).

In reply to:

For instance, John chapter 6 which you cited: The assumption that you have that I do not is that just because it is God's will, it must then happen.




John 6:44"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

I sure hope that you believe God will raise up beleivers on the last day, or maybe you assume that just because God wills to raise up believers on the last day dosen't mean it must happen.

John 6:40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyoe who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life..."

The Father wills that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, but I guess maybe that wont' happen either. Maybe some who behold the Son and believe will not have eternal life.

Sincerely,
Ehud

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Tue Jul 09, 2002 2:47 AM

Josh:

As usual you are missing the point. I did not say that the Bible added conditions I said you added conditions where they did not exist. Your conditions are :
[color:green]One of the characteristics of Christ's sheep are that they follow Christ. A person who is unregenerate (even if he/she is one of the elect) obviously does not follow Jesus before they come to Him. So your argument that you must be a sheep to respond to the call is invalid.


Your condition is that there must be response before they can be sheep. I say that they Bible doesn't state that just that they are sheep and they hear Christ's call. Their status as sheep (ie: elect even if unregenerate) is first and foremost. That they respond is secondary. They were first sheep, they belong to Christ because the Father gave them to Him. Then they respond not the other way around.

[color:green]If you think Christ's sheep include people that are yet to be saved, then it would be logical to conclude that no one who has ever been in a cult could ever be saved, for they have heeded the voice of another, and therefore cannot be of Christ's sheep.


So now God is impotent to save? Well we like sheep all went our own way remember that verse?? All of us before the effective call of the Gospel, the voice of Christ, heeded another voice, our own, as well as others. But when Christ called us out we came because we are His, and no other. Your logic, if it can be termed that, is in fact illogical.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meaning of "separate" - Tue Jul 09, 2002 3:09 AM

Oh I see you determined the translation, ahh well why didn't you say so in the first place. Well don't worry you've gotten other things wrong besides this, at least your consistent.<br><br>My insistence on getting technical comes from your insistence on making up definitions on the fly. <br><br>God gives us those commands because we still carry our flesh around until our final redemption. So as we are being sanctified we must constantly put to death our "old man" and those are our reminders not because we can lose our salvation. Again if you think those are something we do to keep it then you are referring to a works based salvation no matter how you protest to the contrary.
Posted By: Anonymous

The Good Shepherd? - Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:24 PM

Josh,<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p> I happen to know a thing or two about sheep; a good shepherd will watch for the sheep and give his life for the sheep, but sometimes sheep stray willingly. I read an account once of a man who was an excellent shepherd, and expert at protecting his sheep, but he had one ornery ewe that kept trying to find "greener pastures" (literally), every time he turned around. The sheep ended up straying from the flock and wriggling through the fence at every opportunity, and would often happily eat of dead grass and drink of polluted water just because it was on the other side of the fence (also literally). This was a big problem for the shepherd, and he tried everything to get her to stop, but he drew the line when her lambs began to pick up the same bad habits. With much grief, he took his hunting knife an killed the ewe. So while a shepherd can guard his sheep, he cannot keep them from straying if they are determined to do so. In the same way, while Christ guards His flock against the wickedness of the world, and gives us warnings and conviction to keep us from straying, there is nothing in the scripture to indicate that He will force us to remain with Him if we are determined to go our own way.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>So now we are to believe that the Good Shepherd destroys his own sheep who willingly stray from him! <br><center>[Linked Image]</center> <br><center><font class="big">And some people think Calvinists are mean!!</font></center><br><br> The following quote illustrates the good Shepherd's dealing with the sheep who have strayed. The Lord disciplines those He loves so that they will share in His holiness. If he doesn't discipline them, they are not his--they are goats. The ones who hear his voice and follow Him are His. He will bring them to a godly sorrow that will lead them to repentance. <br><blockquote>Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.</blockquote> <br> Luke 19:10<br><blockquote>For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.</blockquote><br>You seem to have forgotten that the sheep are his elect, and the goats are not. You are having to ignore quite a lot of scripture to continue to hold to your belief, but you seem to have no problem doing this at all.<br><br>I believe that you are guilty before God of adding on to the Word of God and taking from the Word of God in your zeal to "prove" your false doctrine-- that you are responsible for keeping yourself saved. You have denied that you believe in a "works salvation", but at the end of your days when you enter into God's presence, could you give all the glory to the God of your salvation, if you are indeed one of His elect? Whether you realize it or not, you are giving glory to another, yourself, because of your belief that it was your own enduring and your own obedience that has saved you! When we do finally see the Lord, we will all realize that we are unprofitable servants and debtors to his kindness and mercy. We will know that if Christ had not continually interceded for us and His Spirit had not given us His help, we would all have failed.<br><blockquote>Luke 17:? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' " </blockquote><br><br>May God take the scales off your eyes so you can see His truth and give the glory to the only One who deserves it.<br>Susan<br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

The Grip of God - Thu Jul 11, 2002 11:56 PM

Josh,<br>I don't know if you are familiar with John MacArthur, but I just visited his site and saw that he has recently done a whole series on eternal security called The Grip of God. It is on the archives page, so after tomorrow they will be replaced by the newer broadcasts each day. <br>http://www.oneplace.com/Ministries/Grace_to_You/Archives.asp<br> If you want to hear the whole series, you will need to listen to the first one dated 6/17/02 before it is taken off the day after tomorrow. John MacArthur is an excellent teacher. When I was a new Christian, before I ever went to church, I would listen to his program and learn so much from him. His end times views are not the same as most reformed teachers though, but that shouldn't bother you since you aren't reformed.[Linked Image] <br>Susan
Posted By: Anonymous

John Gill's commentary - Fri Jul 12, 2002 4:39 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>This explanation is similar to what some have already tried to produce. It simply boils down to: The book (or tree) of life and the holy city are what the people addressed in this passage think they have, not what they actually possess.<br><br>"wherefore taking away the part of such, is only taking away that which they seemed to have; see (Luke 8:18)"<br><br>A major problem with this interpretation is that this warning is addressed to everyone who reads of the words of the prophecy, elect as well as Sunday christians. So God can take away from those who actually have (Luke 19:26), as well as those who seemed to have. Gill simply begs the question when he assumes that God will take away only from those who seem to have, as he automatically assumes the idea that no one can be blotted out of the book of life, and interprets this passage according to that belief, not any particular scripture.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

What else could Saul do...? - Fri Jul 12, 2002 4:43 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>IRT:<br>"We don't like the term God forces us to change, but what else could Saul do when he saw the Lord?"<br><br>There is no implication in scripture that a person cannot fully and finally resist God drawing him or her, Acts 7:51 proves this point. I do believe that it was fully within Paul's capabilities to resist God even when His glory was fully manifested (the same had been done before by Israel during Moses' time and when Jesus walked the earth); for men who are determined to be wicked will not repent, though the truth is plainly shown to them (Luke 16:29-31). I believe that the misunderstanding we have here is about how we define "regeneration," or being "born again." The idea that is believed by Calvinists is that when God draws a man to Him, He recreates (or regenerates) him so that he will have no other choice but to believe in Christ. I agree with the idea that it is necessary for God to do something to a person's heart before they can truly believe on Jesus Christ; for Jesus made it plain that no man can come to Him unless the Father draws him first. But the scriptures do not support the idea that a man is recreated so that he can be saved. <br><br>Even the reference you gave about hearts of stone and flesh speaks of those who will still cling to their wickedness (Ezekiel 11:21), proving that some will still resist God even then. You wrote concerning this passage:<br><br>"We had a heart of stone and he gives us a heart of flesh. Hearts of flesh do not turn back into hearts of stone."<br><br>That's a bit of an overdrawn analogy. Hebrews 3:8, 15, and 4:7 all give warnings to believers against hardening our hearts. I take them very seriously.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Conditions vs. Performance - Fri Jul 12, 2002 4:44 PM

IRT:<br>"you say your salvation is not contingent on good performance...but it's PRECISELY YOUR ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE/DISPOSITION (i.e., YOU, YOURS) that supposedly determines your entrance into God's presence on that Last Day. How can you deny your own contribution...your 'works'....your 'will'? "<br><br>Ah yes, the classic overdrawing of the other side's case. What I believe is that man does have a responsibility laid upon him by God to be saved. There are several conditions which are neither work nor merit, but simple requirements God demands if we are to be saved and preserved. Several of these are clearly spelled out in scripture (James 4:6, Hebrews 3:15, Luke 18:17).<br><br>As to Romans 9:16, I agree that God is the Author of salvation, and that there is nothing a man can do in his own power to be saved. This passage does not in any way negate the conditions that the Author of salvation has set for those that are to be saved. <br><br>IRT:<br>"As for Calvinism being unscriptural? Please....tell that to the hundreds of Spirit-wrought teachers/preachers/theologians and the countless millions of believers across denominational lines over the centuries who have found it not only scriptural...but the very blessed essence of the Gospel. Might it be YOU with the 'problem' NOT seeing 'grace' in all it's fullness, beauty and wonder?"<br><br>To answer that in order:<br>Gladly and not likely.<br><br>It makes no difference to me if 10 or 10,000,000,000 people all believe the same thing. I would say that there are more Arminians in the world than Calvinists (at least in this century), but this does not prove Arminianism any more than the fact that most of the reformers were Calvinist. No scripture exists that proves unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistable grace, or guaranteed perseverance of the saints (total depravity is debatable, depends on what you mean by it). Neither Calvinism or Arminianism (or any other soteriological doctrine, including mine) is the essence of the Gospel -- Jesus is the essence of the Gospel It's about the One Who saved me, not how I believe I was saved. If a doctrine were the Gospel's essence, then people who couldn't understand predestination (e.g. the senile) could not be saved.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: What else could Saul do...? - Fri Jul 12, 2002 5:11 PM

In reply to:

There is no implication in scripture that a person cannot fully and finally resist God drawing him or her, Acts 7:51 proves this point.


Acts 7:51 "proves" no such thing. JoshT, you are so egocentric in your reading of Scripture that you consistently make God after YOUR own image; correction, far less than YOUR own image. Poor God. . . He tries desperately to save the human race. Perhaps His days are occupied with praying for those who continually reject Him. [Linked Image]

Let's look at this passage IN CONTEXT to see what it is truly saying:

Acts 7:51-52 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:"
The Holy Ghost was not directly resisted, i.e., He did not come to these individuals personally and try to persuaded them to repent and believe the gospel. What the text is clearly saying is that the Prophets who were sent by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel were resisted, even violently. Stephen goes on to show that not only did his listeners' forefathers persecute the prophets, even kill them, but they too were likewise guilty of an even more heinous crime for they crucified the Christ of whom the prophets spoke.

The Scriptures speak of 2 callings; an outward call and an inward call. The outward call is that which we read of in Acts 7:51; Lk 13:34; Rom 10:18ff; et al. The inward call is that which is spoken of in such texts as Jh 10:3ff; 6:45; Rom 8:30; Heb 8:10; Jer 31:33, 34; et al. No mortal creature is capable of resisting God directly. To even posit such a notion is inane. Nebuchadnezzar had to learn this truth the "hard way". What about you? [Linked Image]
Daniel 4:34-35 "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: [color:red]and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
In His Grace,
Posted By: Paul_S

Getting personal - Fri Jul 12, 2002 6:19 PM

Josh,<br><br>Are you a member of a local church?<br><br>If so, what is its affiliation; and are the inferences you have drawn here reflective of the teaching of your elders?<br><br>If not, could you briefly explain why not?<br><br>
Posted By: Wes

Recreated or Born Again? - Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:10 PM

Dear Josh,<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I agree with the idea that it is necessary for God to do something to a person's heart before they can truly believe on Jesus Christ; for Jesus made it plain that no man can come to Him unless the Father draws him first. But the scriptures do not support the idea that a man is recreated so that he can be saved.<p><hr></blockquote><p>John 3:3<br>Jesus answered and said to him, [color:red]"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."</font color=red><br><br>Wes <br>
Posted By: Wes

Re: You misunderstand my position brother - Sat Jul 13, 2002 1:15 AM

Dear Josh,<br><br>This long thread seems to be like two ships at sea in the fog, both blowing their fog horns at each other. Each making their respective noises without making much impact on where the other one is going. There's not a lot more that can be said without repeating what's already been written. I remain hopeful that you will take to heart some of the sound teaching you've been offered. <br><br>I've noticed that there are two things that keep coming up in your posts. <br><br>1. Man can resist God.<br><br>2. Calvinism is unbiblical.<br><br>The basic principle of Calvinism is the sovereignty of God. This represents the purpose of the Triune God as absolute and unconditional, independent of the whole finite creation, and originating solely in the eternal counsel of His will. He appoints the course of nature and directs the course of history down to the minutest details. His decrees therefore are eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise and sovereign.<br><br>Any system which teaches that the serious intentions of God can in some cases be defeated, and that man, who is not only a creature but a sinful creature, can exercise veto power over the plans of Almighty God, is in striking contrast to the biblical idea of his immeasurable exaltation by which He is removed from all weaknesses of humanity. That the plans of men are not always executed is due to a lack of power, or a lack of wisdom, or both. But since God is unlimited in these and in all other resources, no unforeseen emergencies can arise. To Him the causes for change have no existence. To assume that His plan fails and that he strives to no effect is to reduce Him to the level of His creatures and make Him no God at all.<br><br>Psalm 33:11; 115:3; Isaiah 40:18; Dan 4:35; John 5:26; Romans 11:33-36; Acts 17:25; Rev. 4:11<br><br>Wes
Posted By: Anonymous

Ryle on Assurance - Sat Jul 13, 2002 1:10 PM

Well said Wesley! Also, I believe that Josh does not understand Biblical justification. <br>As Bishop Ryle has written in his book Holiness taken from the chapter Assurance,<br><blockquote>One most common cause[of lack of assurance of salvation], I suspect, is a defective view of the doctrine of justification.<br>I am inclined to think that justification and sanctification are insensible confused together in the minds of many believers. They receive the Gospel truth--that there must be something done IN US as well as something done FOR US, if we are true members of Christ: and so far they are right. But then without being aware of it, perhaps, they seem to imbibe the idea that their justification is, in some degree, affected by something within themselves. They do not clearly see that Christ's work, not their own work--either in whole or in part, either directly or indirectly--is alone the ground of our acceptance with God; that justification is a thing entirely without us, for which nothing whatever is needful on our part but simple faith--and that the weakest believer is as fully and completely justified as the strongest.<br>...Redeemed sinners, justified sinners, and renewed sinners doubtless we must be-- but sinners, sinners, sinners, we shall be always to the very last. They do not seem to comprehend that there is a wide difference between our justification and our sanctification. Our justification is a perfect finished work, and admits no degrees. Our sanctification is imperfect and incomplete, and will be so to the last hour of our life.<br>...In this matter as well as in many others, the old Galatian heresy is the most fertile source of error, both in doctrine and in practice. People ought to seek clearer views of Christ, and what Christ has done for them. Happy is the man who really understands "justification by faith without the deeds of the law."</blockquote><br> <br>Susan
Posted By: carlos

Re: Election.... - Sat Jul 13, 2002 4:37 PM

Brother Josht:<br>You Stated :<br><hr width="85%"><br>Already agreed. I have made it clear that I believe this more than once, that God's election according to His foreknowledge precedes our faith. I also agree that election is according to God's purpose and plan, but I believe that God's plan is based on what He foresees in people's hearts.<br><br><hr width="85%"><br>ONCE AGAIN…big difference between saying according to ‘foreknowledge’ and “what He foresees in people’s hearts.” In such verses, it states that God "foreknows" PEOPLE not ACTIONS ( Romans 8:29). BIG DIFFERENCE. Check the grammar. God is foreknowing a personal object. God foreknows (foreloves) his Elect (ver34) as free sovereign choice. I have given you so many scriptures that prove this very fact. Leads me to wonder what you would make of such a passage as 1Peter 1:20. [color:red]The point of Romans 9 is that GOD CHOOSES from the "SAME LUMP" of clay</font color=red>. God is the one that makes one ‘clay’ from differ from another through election and that He purposed within himself. It is his free choice. He decided between Jacob and Esau, without regard to anything they DID. God foresees the good in the people's heart because He caused it to be there (see Old Testament prophesies in Eze, Jer). Also, Paul would not have stated the answers to the objections of election that He did ROMANS in 9:6-24 if He was teaching your Arminian view of election. Matter of fact, WHO would OBJECT to such a view???? Eph 1:4 states that God CHOSE us from the foundation of the world. THE GREEK of the word CHOOSE here is in the middle voice; IT WAS GOD’s OWN DECISION IN HIMSELF. It is interesting that you stated that it his according to His purpose and plan and then you write the BUT. That’s problem within Arminian theology; in one sentence they start with grace, and then comes the BUT, and end up nullifying grace in the same sentence. Rather, The verse of Eph 1:11 ends as such, “ HAVING BEEN PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE WHO WORKS ALL THINGS [note all things] after the COUNSEL of HIS WILL, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY. The very fact that God chooses one because He foresaw how one person would react leaves room for that person to boast and share in the glory. Scripture will not support the statement that it is “based on what He foresees in people’s hearts” [Linked Image]. [color:red] <br> Just as God exercised freedom in loving & choosing national Israel ( Deut 10:14-15, Deut 7:6-8, Amos 3:1-2), so does He with believers (Romans 9:6-24, 1 Cor 1:26-31, Eph., etc). IT IS because of GOD that we are in Christ (1Cor 1:30), and this because He chose us to put in Christ . What GOD foresaw was what GOD would DO (Romans 9)!!!!!!!!!!</font color=red> Clearly in the new birth, it is stated the God the holy spirit has the freedom to regenerate whom He will (1 John 3: 6-8). Romans 8:30 states, “whom HE CALLED, these He also JUSTIFIED”. The calling is effectual. This call leads to faith, which in turn results in Justification (Romans 5:1). Before the Call, God Had foreknown (foreloved) and Predestined them from all eternity. That is WHY they receive the effectual Call, which EFFECTS faith and results in Justification, that will eventually lead to ultimate Glorification (including conformity to the image of Christ as purposed (v 28). Your idea of foreseen faith makes no sense of the passage of Romans 8:28-38. [color:red]I end with this summary, that those verses on God’s foreknowing or foreknowledge state that the object of the divine foreknowledge is not the actions of certain people but the people themselves. In this sense it can only mean, as C.E.B Cranfield’s commentary on Romans notes, “that special taking knowledge of a person which is God’s electing grace. . .” [Linked Image] Put away your tradition and listen to the text</font color=red>. <br><br><br>I asked: “You said there are conditions to God’s Election. WHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE?”<br><br><hr width="85%"><br>You responded:<br><br>Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5-6 - Humility<br>Hebrews 3:7-8, Hebrews 3:15, Hebrews 4:7 - Hearing His voice and not hardening your heart<br>Matthew 18:3-4, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17 - Humble yourself and become like a little child<br>Romans 11:20-23 - Not remaining in unbelief (note in 11:20 that they were broken off because of unbelief, not unbelieving because they were broken off)<br><br><hr width="85%"><br><br>You confuse two things Election and salvation. Election leads to salvation trough the means of sanctification and faith. They are not the same things. Also, election is used in several ways in the bible; some to service and in other contexts to salvation. 2 Thes 2:13-15 : But we should always give thanks to God for you [why?] ..because God has CHOSEN [election] you from the beginning FOR [note the distinction] SALVATION through [means] SANCTIFICATION by the Spirit and FAITH in the truth. And it was FOR THIS that He called you through our Gospel. Once again you have not proven that ELECTION (unto salvation) itself is based on conditions, from the scriptures you have quoted. Indeed, God has also chosen the means by which He will save His elect. You also confuse the election of national Israel as a people and the election to salvation within that nation. See below. It is clear from Romans 8:28-38, that NOTHING CREATED can separate God’s Elect (verse34) from HIS LOVE in Christ. Is there anything ‘not created ‘that can separate the The Elect from Christ???<br><br>Again, I again submit you do not know the context of the book of Romans. For “they are not all Israel[national elect] who are descended from Israel[spiritual elect] (Roman 9:6). Why?? Because “The children of the promise are regarded as descendants (Rom 9:8)”, and “ For though the TWINS were not yet born, and HAD NOT done ANYTHING good or bad, [color:red] in order that GOD’s purpose according to HIS CHOICE might stand, not because of works, but because of HIM who calls( NASB Rom 9:11)</font color=red>, “So then it DOES NOT DEPEND on the MAN WHO WILLs or THE MAN WHO RUNs, BUT ON GOD who has mercy (16), “So then HE has mercy on whom HE DESIRES, and HE hardens whom HE DESIRES (18), “it is the REMANT that will SAVED (27)”, “I say then that God has not reject His people, has HE? May it never be! For I am too am an Israelite, a DESCEDANT of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, GOD HAS NOT rejected His people, WHOM HE FOREKNEW [foreloved, note that God has not rejected those whom he chose to place a special love upon] …I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN who have not bowed the knee to Baal… [color:red]A REMANT ACCORDING to GOD’s gracious CHOICE (Romans 11:1-5)</font color=red>… God’s has always been choosing those to salvation even within the election of national Israel. The whole point of the previous verses is that Who God has chosen for salvation is conditioned in himself. He preservers those He has chosen. God’s word, purpose and decrees will stand and not fail (Romans 9:5, Isaiah 55: 11, Dan 4:35, Prov 16:9, Prov 19:21). <br><br>Praise to The glory of God alone!<br><br>Brother,<br>Carlos
Posted By: Wes

Re: Ryle on Assurance - Sat Jul 13, 2002 4:47 PM

Susan,<br><br>You make a good point. I agree with you that it is very important to understand the difference between justification and sanctification. Arminians have consistantly blurred the lines between these two and that is why works are not optional in their opinion.<br><br><blockquote>[color:red]<font class="big">Justification is an event.<br>Sanctification is a journey.</blockquote></font color=red></font><br><br>Wes [Linked Image]
Posted By: carlos

Re: Glorification - Sun Jul 14, 2002 7:55 AM

Dear Brother Josht,

You Wrote:

The fact that believers will experience glorification does not preclude conditions on this statement. God's promises are not without conditions; Acts 2:21 says that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This must of course be understood in the context of the rest of scripture, for not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" shall enter His kingdom. So the fact that we are to be glorified does not negate the condition of persevering in the faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-2) and continuing in the grace of God (Acts 13:43); so this passage does not really prove or disprove eternal security.



I beg to differ. Actually there is no clearer text in all Scripture that proves eternal security, based on [color:red]GOD’s immutable PURPOSE of Conformity to Christ of his Elect. Those whom He justified, These He also Glorified. That means that God has Glorified (aorist(past) tense) those whom HE justified. And we know from Scripture (1 Cor 15:51,52, 54, 1 Thess 4:17, Phil 3:21, Rom 8:29, Eph 5:27) that Glorification means “The attainment of the goal to which the elect of God were predestined in the eternal purpose of the Father and it involves the consummation of the redemption secured and procured by the vicarious work of Christ…the instantaneous change that will take place for the whole company of the redeemed when Christ will come again the second time without sin unto salvation”, as stated by John Murray. Clearly that has not occurred yet, however, it is certain to come. See in the passage it is stated that it IS [color:red]GOD”S purpose that the elect be conformed to the image of God’s son (29). CAN GOD”S PREDESTINATING PURPOSES FAIL???? OF COURSE NOT. We have all shown many scriptures that state that God’s purpose will stand. God is sovereign. The reason why Paul declares it in the aorist is because it is certain. This backs up the idea that in verse 28 that God is working the for the good, for who those He has called…to the purpose of conforming them to the image of Christ. Surely the context bears that glorification is nothing less than conformity to Christ’s image. IT IS GOD”S PLAN. As far as the Scriptures are concerned, IT IS AS GOOD AS DONE. The elect will persevere (this is shown throughout Scripture, which many passsages have been pointed out to you numerous times, in whole threads, but they can be re-iterated if desired). God has planned the END and the MEANS. So your points about persevering do not even begin to overthrow the explicit teaching that Paul ends with after he states [color:red]“What then shall we say to this??? GOD IS FOR US…..NOR ANY CREATED THING, shall be able to separate us from the love of God..” ( see below for more on this). Oh yes, Not every one who says LORD, LORD will enter..for it is shown that there are plenty of goats in the visible church along with the sheep, through the parables & illustration in the gospels. [color:red]BY the way, I’ve yet to find anything on this earth that is NOT CREATED. One of the problems that people have is understanding “the rest of the scripture” and not differentiating between saving faith and dead faith, sheep & goats, invisible & visible church and false professions.

You wrote:

Also, the fact that nothing can separate us from God does not mean that we cannot walk away



See that’s where we differ. You like to use the word PLAIN and not to explain way scriptures. WELL HERE IS A PLAIN AND SIMPLE ANTIDOTE for your response above: THEY WENT out from US , but they WERE Not of US; [color:red]for IF [I repeat empathically IF] they had been of US, they WOULD HAVE remained with US; BUT they WENT OUT, in order [note the cause] that it might be SHOWN THAT THEY WERE NOT Of us. (1 John 2:19). I know I have quoted this before, but it has yet to be answered (see below). So we must ask John why is this?? Why is that the “US” remain true. Just as you yourself stated, They are born again and as the result, they LOVE GOD and BELIEVE in God (1 John 5:1). Note that the GREEK tense of the word, believe in Joh 5:1 is a present participle (which represents a continuous action). Why do true believers continue to Love and believe and not apostate? [color:red]BECAUSE HIS[GOD's] SEED ABIDES in HIM…NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD PRATICIES SIN” (1 John 1:9 ). You can’t get any clearer than that. What is falling away?? isn't that a lifestyle of sinning?? The very point of the Scripture that God's SEED is the main reason why they don't practice a lifestyle of sinning. Thus, I reject your response which, in my view, has not answered the "BECAUSE" of the text. I WILL REPEAT AGAIN: GOD'S (The Father, The Son, & Holy Spirit) PURPOSE CANNOT FAIL. HE HAS PURPOSED HIS ELECT (v34) TO BE CONFROMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST.

Also, I have been meaning to ask this question, “Does ‘Eternal Life’ mean “Eternal” or “temporal”??? Jesus’ sheep “HAVE” eternal life.

You wrote:

The statement that God will complete us in Christ is a conditional statement. For while God is not unfaithful to change us from glory to glory, He does not force this change, but requires that one be a willing vessel. 2 Peter 1:5-11 shows that it is possible for a man not be yielded to God so that the Holy Spirit can work the fruits thereof in him. So yes, God does labor faithfully to complete a good work in us, but He will not do so with a hardened heart. But if we open our ears to Him, then we too can have confidence as Paul did in the Philippians, that God will complete His work in us.



See, in Believers, it is GOD who is “AT WORK IN US, [color:red]both to WILL and TO WORK FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE. Believers have “Saving Faith” and saving faith means that they are trusting in God continually, (not just intellectually but as a lifestyle), although not perfectly. Those of true, good ‘soil’ as shown in Jesus Parable of Matthew 13:3-9,19-23 are those who Hear (present participle = continuous hearing) and understand (present participle), who indeed bears fruit. My point is that the true believer continues to bear fruit; his new nature was created to bear fruit & do good works (Eph 2:10). His new nature gives him a desire to do these works [although not perfectly, due to the flesh, the devil, and the world]. Man acts according to his desires/motives. See Pilgrim for great discussion on the will of man. In the Covenant of Grace it is stated “A NEW HEART also will I give you [note recreation/change of the desires is not FORCING]…And I WILL put MY spirit within you, and CAUSE [note this] YOU to WALK in MY STATUES, and YE SHALL KEEP my JUDGMENTS, and do them.” That only confirms what Eph 1 , Romans 8, 9, John 6, John 10, John 17 explicitly state, (mind you, you will not find stronger language in all Scripture of Christ praying for His people). As was the case with Peter, Christ is praying for His people and thus they persevere. The Holy Spirit effectually works in the lives of the believers. Yes, at times we falter and disobey. But that’s when we, AS SONS, are scourged for our good (Heb 12). We loose fellowship, NOT SONSHIP. Ultimately, God’s plan will stand and Christ LOOSES NONE of whom the Father has given Him. By the way, God can work in any heart that He wants to for HIS OWN purpose. Do not the Proverbs state that everyone’s heart is in God’s hand and turns as He wills it. [color:red]The statement of Phil 1:6 is not conditional (you are imposing your theology onto the text)..it is basically a parallel of Romans 8:28-30. That is.. What God starts in believer, He finishes, because it HIS PLAN. Your comments lead to the conclusion that God is somehow unable to complete HIS PLANS and PURPOSES.

Praise be ALONE to the GOD of all Glory and GRACE.
Brother in Christ,
Carlos
(oh by the way, I hope to find some time on Monday or Tuesday to answer your "perseverance" response).
Posted By: carlos

Re: Election.... - Sun Jul 14, 2002 3:23 PM

Dear Brother JoshT,<br><br>Here's a follow-up that I forgot to expand upon . . . When I asked the question "who would Object?", I was speaking in terms of it as an unfair objection being raised against the Arminian view of election (verse 14). Hopefully this will clarify that one statement that I made.<br><br>Carlos
Posted By: carlos

Re: perseverance - Sun Jul 21, 2002 3:03 AM

Dear Brother Josht,<br>This is a very, very long response, but I felt the need to clarify a few things. <br>You wrote <br><hr width="85%"><br>Concerning Hebrews 6, I have read many a far-fetched explanation for this passage. But the thing that they can't get past is that it says, "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance." For why would God grant people repentance (Acts 11:18) without saving them? And why would they need to be renewed if it were not true saving repentance?<br><hr width="85%"><br><br>Actually, the explanations we have are not far-fetched at all. Rather, they account for the whole context. Interesting you would use the words “they can’t get past..”. For the whole of arminian theology is based doing just that: doing gymnastics on many passages the teach explicit statements about perseverance of the saints, unconditional election based on God’s immutable decree, etc. Let’s look at the whole context:<br><br>4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,<br>5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,<br>6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.<br>7 [color:red] For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:<br>8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.<br>9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.</font color=red><br><br>Verses 7-10 make the point that those who fall way(verse 6) are covenant breakers, who are in the church, NOT those who are saved. If your idea that everyone in the church is a “Christian”, then I agree with you that those “Christians” can and do fall away. However, not everyone in the church is a genuine Christian, that is those who are born again of God. Both Christians and non-Christians can experience those things listed in Verses 4-5; it may or may NOT describe a Christian. Verses 7 and 8, which starts with ‘for’(because) to indicate the relationship with the previous 4 verses, make a clear distinction that there are 2 kinds of people in the church that heard the word of God and have the experiences listed in v4-5[ alluded as ‘rain’ in the verse]. One ‘earth’ bears [continually (present particle)] useful ‘herbs’ and these receive a “blessing”, and another ‘earth’, having drunk rain, produces Thorns and briers[ continually] and they are burned. [color:red]This illustration represents 2 classes of church folk: One that bears fruit and One that bears NO FRUIT. This is theme is nothing new. It’s repeatedly shown throughout the Gospels, like in Matthew 13 on the parable of the soil or Luke 8 on the parable of the sower, Mark 4, and John 15</font color=red>. Just because one is in the church or covenant and experiences many influences of the Holy Spirit and do works in the name of Christ, It does not follow that they are saved[ see Matthew 7 on the “I never knew you” crowd, or Judas, or Magus in acts]. Thus, I agree wholeheartedly with FF Bruce when He states, “<br> In these verses he is not questioning the perseverance of the saints; we might say that rather he is insisting that those who persevere are the true saints…those who have shared the covenant privileges of the people of God, and then deliberately renounce them, are the most difficult persons of all to reclaim to faith . <br> As as Joe, stated in another post, the author then turns from “they” to “You” as He speaks of “better things” , “things that accompany salvation” to indicate that now He is referring to genuine Christians. Notonly that, but verses 13-20 are one of best passages in all of the scriptures for the true Christian; It states that God’s purposes are immutable and Christ is the “Anchor” of their soul. Now, regarding repentance. The scripture do not state that God gave them a ‘repentance unto life’ in ver 4-6. Esau and Judas were never saved and they sought or had repentance that was not “accompanied by saving faith”. Esau sought a change of mind [metanoia,repentance] concerning the sale of his birthright not salvation. Even that was not genuine as is shown in Heb 12. BTW, God had passed over Esau in election from all eternity(romans 9). Also, the false teachers in 2 peter 2:20-22 for a moment had a change of mind . It is one thing to repent over the benefits lost or being sorrowful of one’s sins and another thing to cling and trust in Christ. In addition, repentance can indicate an “OUTWARD confession of faith, sealed by an outward sign and pledge of that confession”( John Owen in “Apostacy from the Gospel”). Repentance of wrong doing or loss of benefits or a profession does not necessarily imply saving faith in Christ. As Wayne Grudem states “.. not all repentance includes a inward, heartfelt repentance toward God that accompanies saving faith”. Furthermore, being restored again does NOT imply that they had ‘repentance unto life’ to begin with. That’s a huge logical leap. In conclusion, this passage(verse 4-6) is speaking to someone like Judas or those in Matthew 7:22 and not to a born of God Christian. What this passage, along with 2 peter 2, or 2 tim 4:10, etc., teach is that there are such things as temporary, spurious faith which is not true saving faith in Christ at all. These are not face value scriptures that “ teach believers can loose their salvation”. If you want a face value scripture for apostasy go to 1 John 2:19 and that demonstrates only the false professors fall away. <br>In response to my statements regarding John 6:39, You wrote:<br><hr width="85%"><br>The thing that you are not taking into account is that God's will being fulfilled is also partially contingent on His people. For instance, it is God's will that His people abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and yet some do anyway. So if a believer falls into sexual sin, did God then fail to perform His will? It is not a failure on God's part, but on ours. In the same way, if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return, even though it is contrary to God's will, it is not Christ's failure for losing it, but the sheeps failure to follow the shepherd.<br><hr width="85%"><br>Actually, I’m not failing to taking into account God’s perceptive will ( such as the commandments, etc). It is clear from that passage(john 6:37-40), plus Romans 8, Romans 9, John 17, Eph 1, etc, that God’s choosing believers from the foundation of world is according to his own counsel & will [in these passages it implies a decretive will]. Many theologians, at least Calvinist, use the distinctions of God’s preceptive and Decretive will, of which I believe pilgrim has already stated, but I am going to continue a little on it for my discussion. For example here is a good description on the distinctions of God’s will by John piper’s from his excellent article “Are There Two Wills in God?” which can be found at : http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/doctrines_grace/2wills.html " target="_blank">http:// http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/doctrines_grace/2wills.html . <br>John piper states “It implies that God decrees one state of affairs while also willing and teaching that a different state of affairs should come to pass. This distinction in the way God wills has been expressed in various ways throughout the centuries. It is not a new contrivance. For example, theologians have spoken of sovereign will and moral will, efficient will and permissive will, secret will and revealed will, will of decree and will of command, decretive will and preceptive will, voluntas signi (will of sign) and voluntas beneplaciti (will of good pleasure), etc. . After showing this distinction very clearly using the death of Christ as an example, Piper states “[color:black]Therefore we know it was not the "will of God" that Judas and Pilate and Herod and the Gentile soldiers and the Jewish crowds disobey the moral law of God by sinning in delivering Jesus up to be crucified. But we also know that it was the will of God that this come to pass. Therefore we know that God in some sense wills what he does not will in another sense. I. Howard Marshall's statement is confirmed by the death of Jesus: "We must certainly distinguish between what God would like to see happen and what he actually does will to happen."</font color=black>. For further discussion, please read the rest of the article. Nothing can thwart the decretive will of God. But back to discussion At hand. I quoted piper for the distinction of God’s will for this reason, that in John 6:37, Jesus said [color:red] 37ALL that the Father GIVES me will come to me..</font color=red>. The very point of this passage, others in john 6, and previous ones that I mentioned earlier is that believers have been chosen by God according to his will; it is God’s redemptive plan from all eternity[eph 1:4,11]. As Jesus later stated in John 17-6: “I have revealed you to those whom YOU GAVE me out of the world. They WERE yours; you GAVE them to me and they have OBEYED your word. [color:red] Thus, it is stated that it is the Father’s will All that He has given Christ from All eternity be raised up on the last day. As John Murray once posed the question” Are we to entertain even the remotest suspicion that the WILL of the Father will be defeated? Jesus here[john 6:38-40] assures us that it will NOT( Redemption Accomplished and Applied, pg 158)</font color=red>.” God does not fail to accomplish his redemptive purpose. That is why I have stated that Christ will not fail to bring HIS SHEEP to eternal glorification. I disagree with your statement “if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return…”. For the Christ Sheep “…FOLLOW him because they KNOW his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice (John 10:4)". As AW. Pink stated “It is not possible to deceive the elect (Matthew 24:24).” Christ Sheep will not refuse to Come him. Jesus said “I KNOW my sheep and my sheep KNOW me-- JUST as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Jesus and His Sheep have such an intimate relationship that He even gives a comparison to that of Him and The Father. Imagine that! 2 Tim 2:19 “..God's SOLID foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord KNOWS those who are HIS," . And in verse 27 it is stated,” [color:red]27MY SHEEP</font color=red> LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me.. . So your statement about Christ sheep “refusing” to come back to him holds no weight, and that objection comes from, I believe, the arminian’s misconceptions about the will of man. In any case, Christ’s Sheep Love the voice of their Great Sheperd…they know him…and they follow Him. There is no need For Christ to “force” his sheep. His Sheep Love Him. At times when they do stray and get lost, Christ goes and finds them. SWW has added good responses regarding this idea. The arminian objection that goes something like this, “well those passages don’t say anything about a sheep not jumping out the The lord hands” , misses the very point of the passages. Ultimately Jesus sheep “follow him” and they do persevere because Jesus and The Father are preserving them. The picture of the passage is not the sheep holding on the God’s hands, rather it is God’s hand that is holding the sheep. You wrote “but if a sheep stops listening to Him, then it is certain that it will no longer be one of His sheep. Never perishis a conditional statement, contingent on remaining one of Christ's sheep.” I will repeat one final time. Christ Sheep will ultimately follow him and listen to him. Please read the scriptures as they are stated. NO, ‘never perish’ is not a conditional statement. It’s an explicit statement in the emphatic language regarding Jesus’ Sheep. Verse 27 begins with the “MY” sheep. What about Jesus’ Sheep? “They listen and follow His Voice”. His sheep do not stop listening to him and follow another’ voice in the final analysis( verse 10:5). The flow of the sentence is pretty clear to me. True believers have a new heart that CAUSES them to walk in the statues of God. As Francis Turretin stated” For what would it help to be guarded from external enemies if danger always hung over from internal enemies? Believers ought to fear not only from others, but more especially from themselves. The Shepard who promised to guard and keep the sheep absolutely will not discharge his duty if he permits them to wander and perish; but he ought to take care not only that they be not taken away from him by deceit and violence, but that they be not removed by disease or fault, or withdraw themselves from the fold by inborn simplicity and wander into devious paths...Nay He is the SAVIOR of his body, he cannot suffer any of them to perish who were given to him by the Father, but he guards them by his grace, continually dwelling in them and strengthening more and more the bond of union so that it can never be broken.”. Jesus sheep “will never perish” !!!!. Jesus’ Sheep was given to Christ by the Father to be raised on the last Day. . Furthermore, as Dr. Paul Enns states, “[color:red]The Son Has REMOVED the Wrath of God from the believer(Romans 3:25)</font color=red>, Justified the believer( rom 5:1), and sanctified the believer ( 1 cor 1:2)…PRAYS for the believer to be with him (john 17:24)…continues to be their ADVOCATE at the God’s bar of Justice( 1 john 2:1)…and He continues to MAKE intercession as the believer’s High Priest ( Heb 7:25). If a believer could be lost it would imply Christ is ineffective in His work as the believers’ Mediator. “ Thus , your statement “if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return, even though it is contrary to God's will, it is not Christ's failure for losing it, but the sheeps failure to follow the shepherd” Still does remove the fact your position makes Christ’s prayers for His Sheep Ineffective if ‘His sheep were to be lost’. Christ’s prayers ineffective? How foolish of a thought!!! Additionally, as Dr. Robert L. Reymond, stated, “[color:red] This means that if the Son should fail either initially to save all whom the Father gives him or finally to consummate their Salvation in the Eschaton by raising them up from death to glory, he will have violated his Father’s will for him. This we may be sure he will never do</font color=red>( A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, page 783). <br>Thus I think, John Calvin correctly states( regarding John 6:39-40): “And this is the will of the Father. He now testifies, that this is the design of the Father, that believers may find salvation secured in Christ….that He[Christ] is not the GUARDIAN of our salvation for a single day, or for a few days, BUT that HE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT TO THE END, so that he will conduct us, as it were, from the commencement to the termination of our course; and therefore he mentions the last resurrection…. The Father had committed to him the protection of our salvation.” In conclusion, Believers ,the elect, “[color:red]..have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of IMPERISHABLE….</font color=red>"(1 Peter 1:23 ). I know some of these points have only been re-statement from other posts and in this one, but I believe they still have not been understood nor answered. <br><br><br>You wrote:<br><hr width="85%"><br>To briefly clarify the passages you cited,<br><br>- John 15 could only apply to believers, for no one could be cut off from what they were never in. At the same time, it must refer to actually abiding in Christ (and not just an outward show), else how could abiding in the vine help us bear fruit if it is mere outward show?<br><br>- John 8:31, is not a guarantee that all true believers will abide. It simply states that those who abide are Christ's disciples. It does not say that those who were abiding but do not abide presently were never disciples, it simply implies that they are not disciples now. Judas was a disciple, but since he did not abide in Christ, he fell from that position. So a believer is a disciple so long as he abides in Christ.<br><br>- Hebrews 3:6 & 14, 2 John 9, and Revelation 2:26 all simply state the condition of perseverance, they do not guarantee that every believer will meet it.<br><hr width="85%"><br><br>Actually let me clarify them for you. I’ll start with Hebrews 3:6, 14, 2 John 9 etc. Let’s look at Heb 3:6 “ And we ARE His HOUSE IF we hold fast Our confidence and pride our hope.” And Heb 3:14 “ We HAVE become partakers in Christ, if we hold fast our assurance..”. “ Opposite to your statements, the point of these passages is that those who are saved “are those who continue in faith to the end of their lives, those who persevere in their allegiance in Christ”. Perseverance in faith proves that you became a partaker in Christ, a member of God’s household. The opposite being that if one does not persevere in faith, they were never a partaker in Christ( 1 john 2:19). The other passages reiterate the same point. <br><br>Regarding John 8:31..Yes Judas was a disciple, but never a “True disciple”. He was a disciple on the outside. However, Jesus stated that He was a ”devil” a “Son of perdition”. Judas was never saved. A believer permanently abides in Christ. He bears fruit and is pruned so that He continues to bear more fruit. That is a true disciple. Fake or counterfeit disciples, like those in John 6, will fall out. As John Murray stated “The Lord setup a criterion by which true disciple might be distinguished, and that criterion is continuance in Jesus word “.<br><br>John 15, states that those who were cut off, just like the ground analogy in Heb 6:7-8, bear NO FRUIT. These are not believers. Rather, those that have saving faith yield fruit and are pruned to bear more fruit. Just like that Heb 6 analogy, there a two type of branches stated here. Those that are cut are not mentioned in the text as bearing ANY fruit at all. “Throughout Jesus’ parables a branch or plant or tree that is without fruit is abnormal, defective, and does NOT indicate SPIRITUAL LIFE ( James white).” That is what is “clear” about that passage. <br><br>In response to my statement about 1 john 3:9 You wrote:<br><hr width="85%"><br>1 John tells of many ways to discern a believer from an unbeliever, but does not address fully the issue of falling away. There is a third possibility not addressed here (but it is in other areas of scripture), which is one who has been born of God in the past, but has not kept the word of God in his heart.<br><hr width="85%"><br>Sorry but John does indeed address the issue of falling away in 1 John 2:19,more clearly than anywhere else seen, I might add and even states the reason why of those that remain. Furthermore, believers are born of “an imperishable seed”. And stating Heb 2:1 doesn’t prove much. See my earlier responses to Heb 3, Heb 6 for more. <br><br>You wrote <br><hr width="85%"><br><br>Oh yes, and Jeremiah 32:40 is speaking of Israel proper at the time when they shall be saved (read the context). This extends into the millenium and into the new heavens and earth which God will create. This is actually what will happen when Israel and all the other true children of Abraham (aka 'the gentile Christians') will be glorified with God. He will take away our old sin nature and make us completely sinless just as Christ was. This is not a present possession (not in full anyway), but God haste the day when it is.<br><hr width="85%"><br>First thing, Just because something was said in the Old testament concerning Israel, it does not preclude it being applied to believers in the New Testament. For instance, Christ, Himself, applies the prophecy of Israle being ‘taught of God’ to the elect in John 6. That Jeremiah verse along with the verses, below, state that God would devote himself to create a faithful people. <br><br>Deut 30:6<br> And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.<br><br>Jeremiah24<br>7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.<br><br>Ezek 11:19-20<br>19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:<br>20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.<br><br>Eze 36:26-27<br>26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and MOVE you to FOLLOW my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.<br><br><br>Contrary to your statements,” These great promises from the Old Testament describe a work of God that changes a heart of stone into a heart of flesh and cause people to know, love and obey God, “ stated by John Piper. Some of this is alluded to in John 3, and it is clear stated in Heb 8 as part of new covenant. Heb 8: 10-13 “<br><br> I will put my laws in their minds <br> and write them on their hearts. <br> I will be their God, <br> and they will be my people. <br> 11No longer will a man teach his neighbor, <br> or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' <br> because they will all know me, <br> from the least of them to the greatest. <br> 12For I will forgive their wickedness <br> and will remember their sins no more."[3] <br>13By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.<br><br> Thus, you comments really doesn’t change my original point on perseverance. As John Gill states “Whereas it is further objected, that "this text only contains a promise, that when the Jewish nation shall be converted at the close of the world, they should never fall off any more from being his people, as they had done before." This is so far from militating against the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance, that it serves to confirm it; since, when the Jews shall be converted, they shall not fall away, but "all Israel shall be saved;" so all God’s elect, being converted, whether among Jews or Gentiles, shall certainly persevere to the end, and be saved; seeing they are converted by the same grace, and kept by the same power, as the Jews then will be...” . The saints follow God because of the new heart(spirit) within them. <br><br> <br>You wrote concerning Rev 22<br><hr width="85%"><br>I have seen no credible evidence of that. Indeed, I have shown why their arguments violate the context of scripture and present impossible scenarios.<br><hr width="85%"><br>I disagree. You responses have not shown that their arguments violate the context. Rather it is you, who has been violating the hermeneutics of scripture and denying explicit teaching throughout the scriptures. For instance, It is clearly stated that “nothing in all creation” will separate the elect from the immutable, eternal love of God in Christ. Yet in vain, you have been running around mis-interpreting scripture to deny that which is abundantly and explicitly taught. I wonder How one can ever believe that God’s immutable purposes(Heb 6) can fail. As Thomas Watson said “God' s decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saints' perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder." Brother JoshT, open your eyes. <br>You wrote<br><hr width="85%"><br>I agree, but I do not believe that God gives warnings against what cannot occur. But if you think He does give those warnings for the sole purpose of causing believers to be more cautious, then why would you teach that what is warned against cannot occur? Wouldn't that go against the purpose of God making those warnings?<br><hr width="85%"><br>Well lets examine that in light of scripture. “ [color:black]Paul, even though God had ASSURED him on the occasion of the impending shipwreck recorded in Acts 27 that “there shall be NO LOSS of life among you, but only of the ship”[27:22,24,34], YET WARNED the centurion and the soldiers that that unless the sailors who were trying to escape in the lifeboat remained in the ship, they who remained in the ship could not be saved [27:31]. Even though Paul was assured of their ‘salvation’, he knew too that the MEANS[ JoshT, you keep missing this point] of their salvation was for all to remain on board the ship. Thus, HE ISSUED HIS WARNING, and IT HAD THE DESIRED EFFECT-‘ the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat, and let if fall away’ and in the due course ‘they all were brought safely to land[27:44]’. The Calvinist takes seriously the fact that God ordains not the only the end but also the MEANS to the end, and one of the means to his final salvation is the Christian’s perseverance in the faith to the end. The Calvinist clearly perceives that one of the ways whereby God effect this means of perseverance in the elect is to warn them of consequences of their not persevering to the end,</font color=black>’” says Dr. Robert L. Reymond in the New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, page 787. I let Dr Reymond speak because I couldn’t have said it any better. Want more examples?? I pray that you would understand the point that God has planned the end and the means by which the end will come to pass( 2 the 2:12-14, 1 peter 1:1-5,etc). I end with a statement from G.C berkouwer as quoted by Dr. Reymond. “Faith itself can do nothing else than listen to those admonitions and so travel the road of abiding in him”. <br>Your wrote “<br><hr width="85%"><br>I agree that both the Father and Son work to preserve the flock. Peter was preserved by God's grace, and restored by God. I also believe that God will extend this kindness to all of His children, but this is no guarantee that every one who goes astray will always return (see Luke 13:6-9). 2 Peter chapter 2 speaks of false teachers who have been bought by God (vs 1), and yet have forsaken the right way and gone astray (just as some sheep do, vs 15). But it does not indicate that there is redemption for them, but indicates that their final destination is hell (vs 17). They obviously despised God's patience and grace, and did not give heed to His warnings. Hebrews 10:29 says,<br><br>"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite (i.e. 'insulted') the Spirit of grace?"<br><br>This indicates that it is possible for one who has even been sanctified by Christ's blood to stray and not repent to the point that he despises Christ's blood and insults the Holy Spirit. Though he was once sanctified, I can not see such a person as being saved any longer.<br><hr width="85%"><br>I’m sorry to say this, but you badly misuse 2 peter 2. The point of 2 peter 2 passages is that those addressed are “False teachers” or as later described “A Dog[noticed the nature never changed or regenerated] returns to It’s own vomit, and “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire” (2 pet 2:22). These were never believers. I cringe at how you compared the false teachers with Believers(sheep) that wander. Let’s clear what ‘bought’ here means . As John Gill correctly stated “The word buying regards temporal deliverance, and particularly the redemption of the people of Israel out of Egypt; who are therefore called the people the Lord had purchased. The phrase is borrowed from Deuteronomy 32:6; Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy Father that hath BOUGHT thee? Hath he not made thee and established thee? Nor is this the only place the apostle Peter refers to in this chapter; (see vv. 12, 13, compared with Deuteronomy 32:5). Now the persons the apostle writes to, were Jews, the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyna, a people who, in all ages, valued, themselves upon, and boasted mightily of their being the bought, purchased people of the Lord; wherefore Peter makes use of this phrase much in the same manner as Moses had done before him, to aggravate the ingratitude and impiety of these false teachers among the Jews; that they should deny, if not in words, at least in works, that mighty Jehovah, who had of old redeemed their fathers out of Egypt, with a stretched out arm, and, in successive ages, had distinguished them with peculiar favors; being ungodly men, turning the grace, the doctrine of the grace of God, into lasciviousness Hence,…Nothing can be concluded from this passage in favor of Christ’s dying for them that perish; since neither Christ, nor the death of Christ, nor redemption by his blood, are here once mentioned, nor in the least intended. Nor can these words be thought to be a proof and instance of the final and total apostasy of real saints, since there is not anything said of these false teachers, which gives any reason to believe that they were true believers in Christ, or ever had the grace of the Spirit wrought in their souls.” <br>As I have mentioned earlier regarding Heb 6, Heb 10, which is a parallel passage, states that these are covenant breakers(church members) “who deliberately keep on sinning”; they are not the elect, not true believers. For the rest of your points, I have rebutted them pretty well in the rest of this document. If desired I can go through this text verse by verse as I did with Heb 6. For “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those WHO HAVE FAITH and keep THEIR SOULS (Heb 10:39). From these such sayings, as others mentioned earlier, it is evident that the Writer of the Hebrews interprets these “hard passages” Himself. There are only two classes of people. Those who do have have faith and fall away and Those who have faith and keep their souls. And for you statement on luke 13:6, please earlier statements dealing with those don’t bear ANY FRUIT. <br><br>I’ll end here. I could address your “wrenching” of the Galatians passage just like the killing of 2 peter 2.. But I’ve written plenty enough for now and don’t have any more time as of right now. I will do so in the next round . I like the way you imposed the "Willfully Sinning" staement in your response. <br><br>I end this with a quote from the great reformer, Francis turretin( 1623-1687), [color:red]“God…is never without the appropriate means to accomplish what he intends”</font color=red><br><br>And one from Job: <br><br>Job 23:13. [color:red]“The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?”</font color=red><br><br><br>Amen! Amen!<br><br>Brother in Christ,<br>Carlos<br><br>Ps. You need to [Linked Image] your old systems and believe the scriptures for what they say!<br><br>
Posted By: carlos

Forgot "DO NOT" - Sun Jul 21, 2002 2:16 PM

Here is a restatemnt on on the last point regarding HEb 10, I meant to say: <br><br>From these such sayings, as others mentioned earlier, it is evident that the Writer of the Hebrews interprets these “hard passages” Himself. There are only two classes of people. Those who do NOThave have faith and fall away and Those who have faith and keep their souls. <br><br>Somehow, the word NOT got removed when I copied my document into the post. Sorry for the Confusion<br><br><br>Carlos<br>
Posted By: Tom

Re: Resisting God - Sun Jul 21, 2002 5:59 PM

Josh<br><br>You have sited a few times that John 6:37 does not prove that someone can't resist the Holy Spirit’s drawing.<br>I must beg to differ with you, the words "shall/will come to Me" clearly indicate that they will come to Christ.<br><br>You also said:" I have seen this in effect too many times from my Baptist friends. I have made it a goal to disprove the concept of eternal security. Though it is not quite the same thing, unconditional election is closely related. I do not do this for my health, but to warn others of the dangers this doctrine poses."<br><br>I sort of understand where you are coming from in this. For I have argued against some who claim to be Calvinists, but who are also antinominian(sp?).<br>But the regulars on the Highway and most Baptists (like my self) are not antinominian(sp?).<br><br><br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Hope he returns - Mon Jul 22, 2002 1:08 PM

Dear Carlos,<br>You gave Josh T many excellent answers. I am afraid that he has left the forum for now. I sent him a PM over a week ago with A PRIMER ON THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION<br>by Rev. DeLacy A. Andrews Jr. that I posted a while back, but he has never read it, so I believe that he has left. Perhaps he will return to check this thread and consider again what you have patiently and faithfully presented to him.<br>Susan
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hebrews 6 - Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:32 PM

Dear Joe,

I don't see how Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 prove me wrong. It is my guess that you are trying to prove that those whose names are not in the Lamb's book of life were never there to begin with. While it is true, as the scriptures you cited prove, that some people were never written in the book of life, I believe that it is easily understandable from Revelation 22:19 that other people were written in, but will have their names blotted out.

IRT:
"Then I submit that you do not understand Reformed Doctrine. Man does have a will, it is not just a free as the Arminian thinks it is. Man makes decisions! They make decisions based on the knowledge they possess. Thus they can turn down a genuine offer. They reason they turn it down though is because they have not been changed by the Holy Spirit to see it (John 3:1-8). This man until he is changed by the Holy Spirit will not seek after God (Rom 3). He can not seek after God because he is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2). Thus as John 1:5 says 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."

Correct me if I am wrong, but the word 'opportunity' by itself indicates a possibility. Since no man can come to Christ unless God draws him, a person who is not drawn would have no opportunity to be saved at all. So how can you believe that an unsaved person can have a missed 'opportunity' to be saved and still believe in unconditional election?

I wrote:
"Additionally, the author's whole argument:

"People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here."....Is clearly contradicted by vs 9, which says,
'But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation (literally: 'that you are holding fast salvation'), though we thus speak.'"

And you wrote:
"The word "But" refers to a different audience!

This term shows a change of audience and a move towards a change from a message of warning to a message of encouragement. That the address is to believers is further confirmed by the expression of confidence that “better things” [not the same things] could be said of them (as compared to those who were being warned in the preceding verses)."

You misunderstood my statement. The author of the article you sent me was trying to prove that the 'different audience' you speak of (the same ones he addressed in vs 1-5) were not saved. I was trying to show the errors in his logic. The reason why it is significant that they were saved is because the warnings in vs 4-8 were given to them, thereby clearly showing that falling from the faith is possible.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

You sorely misjudge me - Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:38 PM

Dear Susan,

IRT:
"So now we are to believe that the Good Shepherd destroys his own sheep who willingly stray from him!"

Actually, it is God the Father Who cuts off the unfaithful and fruitless branches (John 15:2, 6, Romans 11:22) and destroys them.

I agree with what you are saying about God chastening and trying to bring back those who stray. Note that the shepherd in my story did the same to try to keep this ewe on the right side of the fence. Though God is merciful and patient, some feel it necessary to try to abuse His grace and love; I do not believe that such people will enter the kingdom of God.

IRT:
"You seem to have forgotten that the sheep are his elect, and the goats are not. You are having to ignore quite a lot of scripture to continue to hold to your belief, but you seem to have no problem doing this at all."

I never said the sheep weren't His elect, and I don't see how that proves eternal security either way: for those who are God's are His to do with as He pleases.

IRT:
"I believe that you are guilty before God of adding on to the Word of God and taking from the Word of God in your zeal to "prove" your false doctrine-- that you are responsible for keeping yourself saved."

In my defense, I call 2 Peter 1:5-11

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

I do not believe that men can save themselves or be saved of their own power. But if we yield to God, unlike the man that Paul speaks of who lacks these things, He will faithfully work in us these things so that we will never fall.

Satan can quote scripture too, but Jesus replied "it is also written..." Just because I do not subscribe to your interpretation of the Bible does not mean that I have added or taken away from God's word, but simply that I have understood it in the context in which it was written.

IRT:
"You have denied that you believe in a 'works salvation', but at the end of your days when you enter into God's presence, could you give all the glory to the God of your salvation, if you are indeed one of His elect? Whether you realize it or not, you are giving glory to another, yourself, because of your belief that it was your own enduring and your own obedience that has saved you!"

The glory goes to God, fulfilling my responsibilities and reasonable service to God are nothing to boast of. Just as in the verse you cited in Luke 17, enduring and obeying God don't make me anything special or merit my receiving glory. The fact that I have nothing to glory of concerning my remaining in Christ does not prove unconditional security, it simply proves that those who endure to the end don't deserve any credit for doing so, because they have simply done what they were commanded (and empowered) by God to do. Hence this is not a 'works salvation,' but conditional salvation.

IRT:
"We will know that if Christ had not continually interceded for us and His Spirit had not given us His help, we would all have failed."

I agree. But some people resist His Spirit (Acts 7:51) and despise His grace (Hebrews 10:29). These will be damned.

Let me also say that you judge me wrongly. You make too many assumptions about what I believe and do from you Calvinist paradigms; and you judge me according to them, not the word of God. You accuse me of taking glory for myself when it goes to God alone. Have I ever stated that? And if not, how can you judge my heart? Your judgement is premature, illogical, and sinful. If people have absolutely nothing to do with obtaining salvation, then Acts 2:40 and 1 Timothy 4:16 are meaningless. Instead of throwing railing accusations which you can't back up at me, why don't you check my sources?


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meaning of "separate" - Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:51 PM

Dear Prestor John,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Oh I see you determined the translation, ahh well why didn't you say so in the first place."<br><br>That's why I said "the meaning of 'separate' in this passage," not "the literal denotation of 'separate'."<br><br>IRT:<br>"God gives us those commands because we still carry our flesh around until our final redemption. So as we are being sanctified we must constantly put to death our "old man" and those are our reminders not because we can lose our salvation."<br><br>Those commands are not just reminders, but often include consequences for those who disobey them.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Again if you think those are something we do to keep it then you are referring to a works based salvation no matter how you protest to the contrary."<br><br>Not really. You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works). But if you believe that it is unbiblical to think that there is something that a man can do to be saved, then I suggest you read Acts 2:40 and 1 Timothy 4:16.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:53 PM

Dear Prestor John,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Your condition is that there must be response before they can be sheep. I say that they Bible doesn't state that just that they are sheep and they hear Christ's call. Their status as sheep (ie: elect even if unregenerate) is first and foremost. That they respond is secondary. They were first sheep, they belong to Christ because the Father gave them to Him. Then they respond not the other way around."<br><br>Your position is simply based on a Calvinist presupposition. You are effectively begging the question, for you simply assume that your belief on being one of Christ's sheep is correct because you accept Calvinism. The scripture does not say that one is one of Christ's sheep before he or she is saved, you simply read that into the passage with no supporting evidence.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"If you think Christ's sheep include people that are yet to be saved, then it would be logical to conclude that no one who has ever been in a cult could ever be saved, for they have heeded the voice of another, and therefore cannot be of Christ's sheep."<br><br>Then you wrote:<br>"So now God is impotent to save? Well we like sheep all went our own way remember that verse?? All of us before the effective call of the Gospel, the voice of Christ, heeded another voice, our own, as well as others. But when Christ called us out we came because we are His, and no other. Your logic, if it can be termed that, is in fact illogical."<br><br>So then your own logic turns against you, for if what you said is true (All of us before the effective call of the Gospel, the voice of Christ, heeded another voice, our own...), then it proves my point, because Christ's sheep do not follow another's voice. I did not say that Christ was impotent to save, that is simply the end result of your logic when compared to scripture.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Haven't left, just been busy - Tue Jul 30, 2002 2:00 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>No, I haven't left the forum. Over the past two weeks, I have been busy with a tough field exercise that the Army has been putting me through, my finals for my course, and moving back to my home state (I am currently en route). I have read your posts and shall respond to them when I can.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: lazarus

Re: You sorely misjudge me - Tue Jul 30, 2002 3:21 PM

JoshT - if you are in the military...bless you and your service to the Country. If not....never mind....you're just another Arminian quack. [Linked Image] <br><br>You wrote:<br><br>[color:blue] ...it simply proves that those who endure to the end don't deserve any credit for doing so, because they have simply done what they were commanded (and empowered) by God to do. Hence this is not a 'works salvation,' but conditional salvation.</font color=blue><br><br>"Conditional Salvation"? <br><br>So, salvation is NOT of the Lord as Jonah wrote...it's actually of Him [color:red]AND</font color=red> us? <br><br>I must be synergism since God can't save ANYONE without their cooperation. <br><br>The bottom line is that we bring SOMETHING to the equation? Namely our will/effort/decision....i.e., WORKS! <br><br>In direct contrast to:<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that [color:red]willeth</font color=red>, nor of him that [color:red]runneth</font color=red>, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>How can you not see this?<br><br>By Grace Alone, <br>
Posted By: lazarus

Re: Meaning of "separate" - Tue Jul 30, 2002 3:55 PM

JoshT: you wrote:<br><br>[color:blue]You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works). </font color=blue><br><br>The Bible also teaches that the works AS WELL AS the exercise of our wills (which you erroneously equate with 'faith') are NOT formal causes of our salvation....<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that [color:red]willeth</font color=red>, nor of him that [color:red]runneth</font color=red>, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>It's God's mercy/grace that SAVES. <br><br>Nobody can work hard enough to earn God's favor ... no one can want/will it enough either. <br><br>In Him,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Haven't left, just been busy - Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:10 PM

Josh,<br>Glad you are back again. You might be interested in what I posted on the "What's the point?" thread about our sermon Sunday. Our pastor used an illustration for his sermon from an experience he had as a soldier. <br>If you check your control panel, you will see that there is a personal message I sent you (unless it has been deleted by now). Let me know if it is gone, and I will send it again.<br>Susan
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Hebrews 6 - Tue Jul 30, 2002 8:51 PM

YOU SAID:

[color:red] While it is true, as the scriptures you cited “prove,” that some people were never written in the book of life [Rev 13:8; 17:8], I believe that it is easily understandable from Revelation 22:19 that other people were written in, but will have their names blotted out.

So, you believe in the reprobation of some, (thus, to some extent election) but also the free-choice of others. Uhmmm…sounds like someone is attempting to ride a fence to me [Linked Image]. Go back to my original post on the definition of the Book of Life and I think a clearer picture exists.


[color:blue]IRT:
"Then I submit that you do not understand Reformed Doctrine. Man does have a will, it is not just a free as the Arminian thinks it is. Man makes decisions! They make decisions based on the knowledge they possess. Thus they can turn down a genuine offer. They reason they turn it down though is because they have not been changed by the Holy Spirit to see it (John 3:1-8). This man until he is changed by the Holy Spirit will not seek after God (Rom 3). He can not seek after God because he is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2). Thus as John 1:5 says 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."[color:red]Correct me if I am wrong, but the word 'opportunity' by itself indicates a possibility. Since no man can come to Christ unless God draws him, a person who is not drawn would have no opportunity to be saved at all. So how can you believe that an unsaved person can have a missed 'opportunity' to be saved and still believe in unconditional election?

First, I do not see the term [color:red]'opportunity' used? Maybe an illustration will help. Think of a man in a sound proof box and is completely shut off from the outside world. He can not see any light from outside. The box is completely sealed. He is in darkness. He is dead in trespasses and sin. He is blind, deaf, crippled in spiritual things.

Now all around that box is the light of God [a real offer], but the man in the box does not comprehend it, because he is “dead” inside of his box to everything outside of it and thus cannot see it. He is free to make decisions inside his box, but the Gospel is not in his box, thus he can not comprehend it. A genuine offer is made, but because of his sin he cannot see it (comprehend it). Thus Jesus says a man must be born again before he “sees” the Kingdom of God (John 3). Thus, before a person may be born again God must break through his box (election/calling) at which time comprehension of the Gospel become irresistible. (as all illustration it is limited, but brings to point that a real offer can be made and not be comprehended)


[color:red]I wrote: "Additionally, the author's whole argument: "People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here."....Is clearly contradicted by vs 9, which says, 'But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation (literally: 'that you are holding fast salvation'), though we thus speak.'" And you wrote: "The word "But" refers to a different audience! This term shows a change of audience and a move towards a change from a message of warning to a message of encouragement. That the address is to believers is further confirmed by the expression of confidence that “better things” [not the same things] could be said of them (as compared to those who were being warned in the preceding verses)." [color:red] You misunderstood my statement. The author of the article you sent me was trying to prove that the 'different audience' you speak of (the same ones he addressed in vs 1-5) were not saved. I was trying to show the errors in his logic. The reason why it is significant that they were saved is because the warnings in vs 4-8 were given to them, thereby clearly showing that falling from the faith is possible.

I DID NOT mis-understand, for I am saying it IS A DIFFERENT AUDIENCE in vs 1-5 (unsaved ) then in vs 9 (saved), which is clearly shown in my post. I guess than we need to re-word Paul’s wording in Rom 8 by your definition to read :

Rom 8:3539 (Josh Translator Version JTV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, [only me myself]? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [oh. no just myself]? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors [unless I mess up] through him that loved us. For I am persuaded [well for the most part that is], that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, [but I can separate myself by my works, though I was saved by grace].

Or would you rather translate Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling [as long as I work it all right for I alone am sovereign and not God], and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy [that is if only I work it all out right, for I alone am sovereign and not God],

I am sorry JoshT that just does not make sense. See I serve a Holy Sovereign God who controls all. He never left anything to chance. I do not believe Christ’s blood ever lost its power. Christ says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Here Jesus says that those who follow him, those who are his sheep, are given eternal life. He further says that “no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (v. 28). Now some have objected to this that even though no one else can take Christians out of Christ’s hand, we might remove ourselves from Christ’s hand. But that seems to be pedantic quibbling over words--does not “no one” also include the person who is in Christ’s hand [that is the Christian himself Josh!!]? Moreover, we know that our own hearts are far from trustworthy. Therefore if the possibility remained that we could remove ourself from Christ’s hand, the passage would hardly give the assurance that Jesus intends by it. But more importantly, the most forceful phrase in the passage is “they shall never perish” (v. 28). The Greek construction (ou me plus aorist subjunctive) is especially emphatic and might be translated more explicitly, “and they shall certainly not perish forever.” This emphasizes that those who are Jesus’ “sheep” and who follow him, and to whom he has given eternal life, shall never lose their salvation or be separated from Christ--they shall “never perish.”

There are several other passages that say those who believe have “eternal life.” One example is John 3:36: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (also John 5:24; 6:47; 10:28; 1 John 5:13). Now if this is truly eternal life that believers have, then it is life that lasts forever with God. It is a gift of God that comes with salvation (it is put in contrast to condemnation and eternal judgment in John 3:16-17, 36; 10:28). Arminians have objected that “eternal life” is simply a quality of life, a type of life in relationship with God, which one can have for a time and then lose. But this objection does not seem to be convincing in view of the clear nuance of unending time involved in the adjective eternal (Gk. aionios “eternal, without end”). Certainly there is a special quality about this life, but the emphasis in the adjective eternal is on the fact that it is the opposite of death; it is the opposite of judgment and separation from God; it is life that goes on forever in the presence of God. And he who believes in the Son has this “eternal life” (John 3:36).

Evidence in Paul’s writings and the other New Testament epistles also indicates that those who are truly born again will persevere to the end. There remains “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1); therefore, it would be unjust for God to give any kind of eternal punishment to those who are Christians--no condemnation remains for them, for the entire penalty for their sins has been paid. Then in Romans 8:30, Paul emphasizes the clear connection between God’s eternal purposes in predestination and his working out of those purposes in life, together with his final realization of those purposes in “glorifying” or giving final resurrection bodies to those whom he has brought into union with Christ: “And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Here Paul sees the future event of glorification as such a certainty in God’s settled purpose that he can speak of it as if it were already accomplished (“he also glorified”). This is true of all those who are called and justified--that is, all those who truly become Christians. Another example of assurance that believers will persevere to the end is found in Paul’s statement to the Philippians: “I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). It is not true that God’s good work that began in them will continue and will be completed at the day Christ returns? Peter tells his readers that they are those “who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The word guarded (Gk. phroureo) can mean both “kept from escaping” and “protected from attack,” and perhaps both kinds of guarding are intended here: God is preserving believers from escaping out of his kingdom, and he is protecting them from external attacks. Josh I believe in God Almighty the one that offers the gospel of eternal life. Any other gospel, is another gospel, and not worthy of consideration.
Posted By: carlos

Re: Hebrews 6 - Tue Jul 30, 2002 10:36 PM

Joe,

you wrote


Rom 8:3539 (Josh Translator Version JTV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, [only me myself]? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [oh. no just myself]? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors [unless I mess up] through him that loved us. For I am persuaded [well for the most part that is], that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, [but I can separate myself by my works, though I was saved by grace].

[Linked Image][Linked Image]

I can't stop lauging....I've been meaning to write something like this in the thread, but you've beat to me it. And I've have to say..It's a good one.


Carlos
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Characteristics of sheep - Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:46 AM

Blah, blah, blah, Josh you write just to see yourself in print. Your not really interested in learning what Biblical Christian Soteriology really is for you have made up your mind and the facts mean nothing to you. Continuing in this conversation is a waste of my time, go teach pigs to sing.
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Hebrews 6 - Wed Jul 31, 2002 9:53 AM

Thanks Carlos:<br><br>Really, I just was tired of JoshT's twisting, torturing, and tail spinning of Scripture. He must use a different Greek text or should I say Grievous Text [Linked Image].<br><br>I just hope God opens his eyes so he may see the truth of Scripture.
Posted By: carlos

Re: Hebrews 6 - Wed Jul 31, 2002 7:01 PM

Joe Here is my attempt. Tell me what you think.<br><br>Joh 6: 36: 40 according the arminian view: <br><br>36 "But (50) I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe[ but ofcouse you still have the ability of you own “free-will’ to believe despite being ‘dead’,so don’t mind what what I just said] . <br>37 "(51) All[well perhaps some] that the Father gives[ this means ofcourse that we choose him first, then because he sees that from the past, then he gives us to Christ.] Me will[ shall is kind of too strong, perhaps ‘may’] come [this can’t mean believing..must mean something else] to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out [ well, we will disregard the emphatic greek denying the possiblilty of this ever happnening, but we shall add that we can decide to cast ourselves out, you know, turn from sheep to goat] . <br>38 "For (52) I have come down from heaven, (53) not to do My own will, but (54) the will of Him[ this does not mean that Jesus died for his sheep whom were elected by the father according to his will..we think that Jesus can do a will different from the father] who (55) sent Me. <br>39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of (56) all[ this ofcouse only those who by their mighty strength, their running and willing, etc] that He has given Me I (57) lose nothing[ except for those who choose to loose it themselves], but (58) raise it up on the last day [this seems unclear]. <br>40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who (59) beholds the Son and (60) believes in Him will have eternal life[ this means temporal and quality of life, not eternal as in everlasting...according to the arminian dictianory of words, eternal is ‘temporal’, what else could christ mean. surely it can’t be eternal, if that were the case then we shall turn grace into sin..we will dimiss Paul’s objections in romans 6 at this point], and I Myself will (61) raise him[ this seems vague] up on the last day." <br><br>As our commenatary as shown above....The arminian system is the truth of the bible[Linked Image]. Please disregard the twisting and turning the text on it’s head. It ca’t mean what it says, because of what we believe the natural man to be and How we perceive God to be. Thus, we must make the text says so that It lies with our ideas of man. This must be the first rule of EISEGESIS..oops, meant to say exesegesis. There you go. [Linked Image] [Linked Image]<br><br>Now Here is there text according to calvinist.<br> <br>Joh 6: 36: 40<br>36 "But (50) I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. <br>37 "(51) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. <br>38 "For (52) I have come down from heaven, (53) not to do My own will, but (54) the will of Him who (55) sent Me. <br>39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of (56) all that He has given Me I (57) lose nothing, but (58) raise it up on the last day. <br>40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who (59) beholds the Son and (60) believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will (61) raise him up on the last day." <br><br><br>As you can see the text speaks for itself.<br><br> <br><br>Carlos<br><br><br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh you need to repent - Wed Jul 31, 2002 9:56 PM

Joe,<br><br>Just came upon this long running thread. Wanted to add that it is wrong to tell Josh he needs to repent for having a different view on God's Word than you or the others here. If you haven't noticed, every Christian on the planet is not a Calvinist. Yours and Josh's are not the only views on Scripture. Point is, Josh believes in Christ as his saviour, so do you, the rest is secondary, no repentance needed on your end for that Josh. Josh has strong views that he is standing by and so do you, but don't fault him for standing by them as others in this forum have, you stand by yours just the same. Josh should have the same respect. There seem to be so many people out there that know for sure that they have the facts all wrapped up, and to me that translates into a self-righteous attitude to think one has all of the answers, and from what I have read both he and others have it all right. Quick fact, nobody on this earth, not one, has it all right when it comes to Christianity and Christian living. The debating is wonderful, it is just people getting frustrated and putting others down and telling them they are not right with God because of their view that is foul to me.<br><br>baseball
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Josh you need to repent - Wed Jul 31, 2002 10:44 PM

thebaseball2001: Your in left field.

Anyone who believes that they are saved by works is lost. You need to read ALL the posts and see JosT''s response(s). He believes in salvation by works! It is only by grace he may be or anyone may be saved--Eph 2:8-10.

I am not so foolish to think that ONLY Calvinists are saved (I was saved before being a Calvinist) and not all Calvinists are saved as well. But, I am also not so foolishto believe that someone who promotes and believes a salvation of works is saved! That is another gospel.....
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh you need to repent - Wed Jul 31, 2002 11:31 PM

Joe,<br><br>Sorry that I did not realize that Josh was promoting that. If he truly does and is lost, I pray he finds the truth by Gods grace. I would think anyone who believes in works over grace or works and grace would prefer grace.<br><br>Chad
Posted By: Anonymous

Josh - Wed Jul 31, 2002 11:43 PM

Baseball,<br>Josh says that he believes that no one can come to God unless God enables him. In this he is right.<br>Where he is in error though is that he believes that it is because of his persevering in the faith, and not voluntarily walking away that he will continue to the end. He thinks a true Christian can lose his salvation.<br>I would not assume to know if Josh is or is not a Christian. I do believe he is in error against the plain teaching of scripture. I know that there are Christians who lack assurance of salvation who are truly saved, but perhaps have been influenced by false teaching. I am afraid that this is what has happened to Josh. If he is a true child of God, God is able show him the truth and make this clear to him. <br>Susan
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 10:07 AM

SWW STATES: [color:red]Josh says that he believes that no one can come to God unless God enables him. In this he is right. Where he is in error though is that he believes that it is because of his persevering in the faith, and not voluntarily walking away that he will continue to the end. He thinks a true Christian can lose his salvation. I would not assume to know if Josh is or is not a Christian. I do believe he is in error against the plain teaching of scripture. I know that there are Christians who lack assurance of salvation who are truly saved, but perhaps have been influenced by false teaching. I am afraid that this is what has happened to Josh. If he is a true child of God, God is able show him the truth and make this clear to him.

Let’s look a little closer SWW! (you will need to re-read all the posts above/below to get their full context). The list is not comprehensive, but enough to give you a general gist:

Quotes by JoshT

[color:red]Against, Perseverance of God in the Saints and God’s sovereignty:

1. This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His.

Here God is NOT sovereign in His power of salvation, for one may walk away and ONLY then is God seen to be sovereign to execute justice??? Thus, JoshT sees himself kept by his own works, which is denied in Scripture: Rom 11: 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

2. And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away.

So, I am saved today, the next hour I am lost, but now I pray and I am saved again, O’h, just sinned again, I am now lost, I pray an hour later and I am saved again…….I go in and out of eternity??? SO God is only sovereign in salvation when I obey??? This is works righteousness!!!

3. As far as what "draw" means. Yes, I am well aware that God's conviction and pulling us towards Christ are very strong, but nothing in scripture indicates that He cannot be resisted, as I pointed out from Acts 7:21.

Here God is seen as VERY strong, but not sovereign??? Thus, once again MAN”S sovereignty and God’s puppetry is exalted!!

4. He recreated me by His grace, but He also requires that I continue in it (Acts 13:43).

Salvation by GRACE plus CONTINUAL WORKS. And of course OUR sovereignty in the matter is greater than God’s as seen by the examples above???

5. I said that there were conditions if a person would be given to Christ…. God foresees our choices, not makes our choices, and it is on this basis that He chooses us so that we can accept Him.

Works Righteousness!

[color:red]Works are exalted above grace:

1. 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."

We will not HUMBLE OURSELVES or REPENT (2 Tim 2:24-26) until changed BY the Holy Spirit, as Paul….. The unsaved do resist UNTIL THEY ARE MADE WILLING in the day of HIS POWER (but this is far more than just conviction), and the scriptures teach that all the elect will finally and fully be saved and not resist ultimately to their own destruction for Christ will not lose even one of His elect!.

2. 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.

FAITH plus CONTINUAL OBEDIENCE = salvation? But, if one is truly saved he will desire to obey and has been granted the grace to do so. Not all Israel was elect!

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

3. The first premise is only partially correct, for while God does desire that men be saved, He also desires that they do so willingly.

So, man’s will is SOVEREIGN? Man does accept God’s grace willingly, but they ONLY become willing in the DAY OF HIS POWER.

4. Yielding to God is not a work, just as believing in God is not a work.

Thus JoshT’s order of salvation, I YIELD, and then GOD RESPONDS. So God is my puppet??

[color:red]Denial of God’s elective purpose in salvation:

1. The Bible never indicates that God is determined to irresistably draw anyone to Him, He does wish to draw people to Himself, and He no doubt could do it irresistably if that were His will, but this is not indicated in scripture.

So election does not exist?

2. I see nothing in the scripture to indicate that a man cannot fully and finally resist the Holy Spirit (they are only elect if they do not). I also see plenty of proof that they can fall away afterwards.

May God have mercy and give JoshT grace!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 12:40 PM

Joe,<br>I was in no way trying to say Josh's errors were not serious. I have read this whole long thread and participated in it. I am not disagreeing with you except I would hesitate to say that Josh is unsaved because of his errors. I said " I would not assume to know if Josh is or is not a Christian. I do believe he is in error against the plain teaching of scripture."<br>The reason I am saying this is that Arminians can be saved, even if they are wrong about the sovereignty of God. R.C. Sproul said that for 5 years he resisted reformed teaching until he could deny it no longer. He was confronted with it over and over in the Bible until he could deny it no longer. He was also a Charismatic for a time. I believe it is safe to say he was a true Christian during this time, but he was wrong. I am not saying it is OK to be wrong. God holds us responsible for our errors. It is not His fault if we are not discerning of the truth, it is our own fault. If we have been warned and shown the truth and continue obstinate in that error, then I do doubt whether the Holy Spirit is indwelling that person. But I believe we can all be deceived temporarily in what we believe and still be Christians.<br>I hope and pray that this is the case with Josh and that God will give him a true understanding. If he is not a child of God I pray that God will have mercy on him and draw him to the Savior.<br>Susan
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 1:49 PM

I agree whole heartedly that non-Calvinists maybe saved (I was) prior to knowing anything of the Doctrines of Grace. As matter a fact many NEVER come to know them at all. We are saved by grace alone...which does not imply that ALL will understand what that really entails.<br><br>In Josh T case I see something different than just Arminianism though. I see him believing and defending a righteousness which is by his works. I<br>see him "speaking" and "talking" of grace, but believing in his works. Since he believes this, how may he really be saved?
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 3:38 PM

Joe,

The key issue is always, "Does one TRULY believe in his/her heart what he/she confesses with their mouth?" If JoshT and all those like him, who are incontrovertibly semi-Pelagian/Arminians, are trusting in their "enduring to the end" or even upon their "free-will decision to believe upon Christ" as the ground of their salvation, then it impossible that they are genuinely converted. [Linked Image]
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 3:40 PM

AMEN! Out of the abundance of the heart.....
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:31 PM

I think you're making a leap to conclude that Josh is saying that we are saved by works. It is more evident that he saying our salvation is predicated on the condition of our hearts. <br><br>I don't understand your position that God cannot be sovereign and still allow us to forfeit our salvation. He doesn't lose any of his supreme, permanent authority by allowing believers the option of turning away from Him. And it certainly doesn't make him a puppet, as you say.<br><br>A gift is not forced, it's offered. <br><br>I don't know where I stand on this issue yet, although my default position is that we're unconditionally saved. <br><br>rjskal<br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:44 PM

What??? I totally disagree! According to Romans 10:9, if he has trusted in Christ and believes in His resurrection, he'll be saved. If he believes he also must endure to the end and not fall away, that in no way means he's not converted. He'll probably just end up having lived a more Christ-like life than the rest of us.<br><br><br>
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 8:12 PM

rjskal [Linked Image]

In reply to:

[color:"blue"]I don't understand your position that God cannot be sovereign and still allow us to forfeit our salvation. He doesn't lose any of his supreme, permanent authority by allowing believers the option of turning away from Him.


First of all, welcome to The Highway Discussion Board. I hope you will enjoy your stay here and also take advantage of the great many of books, articles and sermons on the The Highway home page

The problem with the semi-Pelagian and Arminian view is that what God does throughout eternity is determined not by His own eternal, immutable council, but by whatsoever the creature decides to do. Looking at this a bit deeper, it isn't just a matter of salvation but all things inclusively. As you surely realize, that history is dependent and determined (looking at it from the horizontal [human] perspective) upon prior actions and events. Let's consider the following illustration. If a man one hundred years ago decided to commit suicide, then all those who might have come from his loins would be non-existent. Even the smallest action of a man has an effect on what follows after him, not excluding the choices others would be faced with.

Bringing this to the issue at hand; God can only "know" what will happen in the future IF what He allegedly foresaw (Arminian "foreknowledge" aka "prescience", i.e., the availability of knowable raw data/facts <----- misnomer as will be shown below.) actually takes place. The caveat to this entire view is that it elevates the "free-will" of man (i.e., the ability to choose contrary to his nature, which even God is unable to do) to the loftiest place. Thus, it is impossible for God to actually "know" what will take place at any given time since the creature is able to change his/her mind within any given set of circumstances; he/she being able to choose that which is contrary to nature. Therefore, God can only know after the fact (an actuality) and this makes the creature the "sovereign" and not God, Who is bound by the creatures decisions.

One contemporary speaker once described this view by God likening God to a thermometer, which only records the ambient temperature and man as a thermostat, which actually controls the temperature.

The Scriptures, however, everywhere speak of God as the Sovereign Ruler and Creator of the universe. It is HE Who has determined all things according to His will (determinate council, good pleasure, etc.). See Ps. 33:11; 135:6; Prov 19:21; 21:30; Isa 11:1-16; 41:6; 43:13; 46:9, 10; Dan 4:35; Acts 4:27, 28; 13:48; Rom 11:33-36; Eph 1:9-11; Heb 6:17; Rev 19:6; et al An no one can change what He has foreordained.

Lastly, determinism is at the very foundation of biblical prophesy. God, through His appointed prophets, spoke in time past of what would come to pass; authoritatively and infallibly. Unless God was sovereign in both power and authority and by His providence determined and controlled ALL THINGS the likelihood that anything which was prophesied as taking place in the future would take place would be nil. For all it would take to prevent a prophesy from occurring would be the "free-will" decision of one single man. [Linked Image]



In His Grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Josh - Thu Aug 01, 2002 8:28 PM

rjskal,

In reply to:

[color:"blue"]What??? I totally disagree! According to Romans 10:9, if he has trusted in Christ and believes in His resurrection, he'll be saved.


What is "trusting in Christ"? Is this "trusting" (faith) a total abandoning of oneself, even in one's determination to endure to the end, and trusting Christ ALONE for both the remission of sins and the righteousness of Him so as to be reconciled to God? OR, is this "trusting" shared with the recitation of some formula, e.g., "Jesus, please come into my heart"? and with one's determination and success in enduring to the end?

What say the Scriptures?

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

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."

Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:"

1 Thessalonians 5:24 "Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it]."

2 Timothy 1:8-9 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, . . ."
For one of the most excellent articles ever written on the subject of "Justification by Faith, ALONE!" see Dr. Joel Beeke's Justification by Faith Alone: (The Relation of Faith to Justification)


In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Fri Aug 02, 2002 4:37 PM

Found an interesting argument regarding the prophecy and predestination issue.<br><br>http://www.acns.com/~mm9n/sot/pre/proph.htm<br>
Posted By: lazarus

Re: Josh - Fri Aug 02, 2002 5:02 PM

Here's a telling quote from that article which I think sums it up nicely:<br><br>[color:blue]"God is a protector of human freedom and never he violates them."</font color=blue><br><br>This is the pretext...the rest of the article tries to support this "prime directive". <br><br>In order to avoid violating any free wills...He needs to be put down to size...<br><br>[color:blue]"As time proceeds, God changed his plan dynamically so that he could accomplish his plan of redemption of the cosmos." </font color=blue><br><br>Oh really? So there IS a shadow of turning afterall.... <br><br>And finally...<br><br>[color:blue]"Instead God left it for each individual to find his own way back. He left apologetics and evidences and not proofs. God left only road signs so that children will by their own volition will be able to return home. That makes a great God."</font color=blue><br><br>No thanks, not interested in any cheap imitations, please. <br><br>I think I'll just keep the Almighty God I currently worship. <br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Fri Aug 02, 2002 6:22 PM

If Josh "confesses with his mouth "Jesus is Lord", and believes in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, he will be saved." I believe that the term "believe" as it is used here infers "a total abandoning of oneself and trusting Christ ALONE for both the remission of sins and the righteousness of Him so as to be reconciled to God."<br><br>You'll notice that I removed "even in one's determination to endure to the end" from your quote, as I don't see where that's a requirement of salvation. Especially given that fact that there's a great deal of Scripture that says or seems to imply that very position. <br><br>He may very well be wrong in his belief regarding predestination, but he's still saved.
Posted By: carlos

Re: Josh - Fri Aug 02, 2002 6:55 PM

Laz,<br><br>thanks for the summary. You saved me time from reading another foolish article and banging my head against the wall [Linked Image]. <br><br>If God let "every individual to find find his own way back" , He would wait an eternity and not ONE would find "his own way back".<br><br>Laz, I also will stick to my bible and worship the God of scriptures.<br><br><br>Carlos
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Josh - Fri Aug 02, 2002 7:07 PM

rjskal,
In reply to:

[color:"blue"]You'll notice that I removed "even in one's determination to endure to the end" from your quote, as I don't see where that's a requirement of salvation. Especially given that fact that there's a great deal of Scripture that says or seems to imply that very position.

He may very well be wrong in his belief regarding predestination, but he's still saved.


We must be aware that Romans 10:9 is not to be seen in isolation from the rest of Holy Writ. "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, . . ." is not some magic formula which if recited saves an individual. Knowledge of the person of Christ and what He has accomplished, one's sinful condition, being under the wrath and judgment of God, repentance from sin, etc., etc., is essential to a saving "Confession" and "Belief".

Thus I say again, that the "abandoning of oneself" is part and parcel to true saving faith. So that if one is in any way relying upon "self", whether that be one's "decision for Christ" or "enduring to the end", then the "abandoning" is not genuine but fleshly and salvation is not owned. Any embracing of a "sharing with God" unto salvation is synergism, i.e., faith+works=salvation and indisputable not of GRACE alone.

Your wanting to grant without reservation to JoshT or anyone else without being privy to what the person REALLY believes in their heart is thus unwarranted. What IS true is that anyone who is trusting in ANYTHING other than Christ alone (Solus Christus) by faith alone (Sola Fide) and believes that they are saved is self-deceived and yet dead in their sins and destined to eternal damnation. The salvation of God, which is taught in His infallible Word (Sola Scriptura) is by Grace alone (Sola Gratia) and thus to the Gloria of God alone (Soli Deo Gloria).



In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Sun Aug 04, 2002 10:41 PM

Joe,<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]In Josh T case I see something different than just Arminianism though. I see him believing and defending a righteousness which is by his works. I<br>see him "speaking" and "talking" of grace, but believing in his works. Since he believes this, how may he really be saved?</font><p><hr></blockquote><p><br>OK, you have me there. I can see that his view is really no different than CathApol who also is trusting in works for his salvation.<br>Susan <br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Some questions - Sun Aug 04, 2002 11:20 PM

Josh,<br>First a ribbon for the longest thread I have seen on this forum.<br>This is from C. H. Spurgeon's sermon on 2 Peter 1: 1-4 called Faith and Life <br>How would you answer these questions? <br>Susan<br><blockquote>[*]Are we conscious that we have been operated upon by the Holy Spirit?</li><br>[*]Is there a vital principle in us which was not there originally?</li><br>[*]Do we know today the folly of carnal confidence?</li><br>[*]Have we a hope that we have been enabled through divine grace to cast away all our own righteousness and every dependence, and are we now, whether we sink or swim, resting entirely upon the Person, the righteousness, the blood, the intercession, the precious merit of our Lord Jesus Christ?</li><br><br>If not, we have cause enough to tremble; but if we have, the while the apostle writes, "Unto them that have obtained like precious faith," he writes to us, and across the interval of centuries his benediction comes as full and fresh as ever , "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you." </blockquote><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Rebuttal on Perseverance - Mon Aug 05, 2002 1:57 PM

Dear Carlos,<br><br>IRT: (speaking of Hebrews 6)<br>"7-10 make the point that those who fall way(verse 6) are covenant breakers, who are in the church, NOT those who are saved...This illustration represents 2 classes of church folk: One that bears fruit and One that bears NO FRUIT."<br><br>That is really kind of overdrawing the analogy. But if you insist on technicalities, it never says that they bore no fruit, it simply indicates that they began to bear bad fruit.<br><br>IRT:<br>"As as Joe, stated in another post, the author then turns from 'they' to 'You' as He speaks of 'better things', 'things that accompany salvation' to indicate that now He is referring to genuine Christians."<br><br>Actually, the literal translation is not "things that accompany salvation," but "that you are holding fast salvation," to distinguish them from those who did not hold fast their salvation and fell away.<br><br>IRT:<br>"It states that God’s purposes are immutable and Christ is the 'Anchor' of their soul."<br><br>Christ is an anchor against any storm of life that may try to tear a believer away from Him, but ships can cast their anchors, just as a man can wilfully depart from God.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The scripture do not state that God gave them a ‘repentance unto life’ in ver 4-6."<br><br>It does not need to state it exactly the way you insist it must be stated to mean that they were granted true repentance. Tell me, is Paul then lamenting that they could not be renewed to fake repentance, and if so, why should one be renewed to that?<br><br>IRT:<br>"Esau and Judas were never saved and they sought or had repentance that was not 'accompanied by saving faith'. Esau sought a change of mind [metanoia,repentance] concerning the sale of his birthright not salvation. Even that was not genuine as is shown in Heb 12."<br><br>But it does not say that they had repentance, as is clearly stated of those mentioned in Hebrews 6.<br><br>"Also, the false teachers in 2 peter 2:20-22 for a moment had a change of mind . It is one thing to repent over the benefits lost or being sorrowful of one’s sins and another thing to cling and trust in Christ. "<br><br>I don't see where that is written, I also cannot see how an unbeliever can escape the corruption of the world by knowing Jesus Christ (vs 20-22).<br><br>IRT:<br>"In addition, repentance can indicate an 'OUTWARD confession of faith, sealed by an outward sign and pledge of that confession'( John Owen in 'Apostacy from the Gospel'). Repentance of wrong doing or loss of benefits or a profession does not necessarily imply saving faith in Christ. As Wayne Grudem states '.. not all repentance includes a inward, heartfelt repentance toward God that accompanies saving faith'."<br><br>Why would it be impossible to renew a person to a mere outward confession of faith? Many apostates do that all the time.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Furthermore, being restored again does NOT imply that they had ‘repentance unto life’ to begin with. That’s a huge logical leap."<br><br>If you define putting 2 and 2 together as a 'huge' leap. You cannot be restored to what you never had, and it would be futile for scripture to discuss them being restored to something that they did not need to be restored to.<br> <br>IRT:<br>"If you want a face value scripture for apostasy go to 1 John 2:19 and that demonstrates only the false professors fall away."<br><br>I didn't even need to look at the reference. I have already prepared (or post-pared if you follow Pilgrim's logic) to respond to that argument. It states that if those who departed from them were truly believers, they would have stayed in fellowship with the body of Christ. But instead, they departed that it might be made plain that they were never of them. But of course, the presence of some fake believers does not preclude the presence of those who truly believed, were saved, and then fell away.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Therefore we know it was not the 'will of God' that Judas and Pilate and Herod and the Gentile soldiers and the Jewish crowds disobey the moral law of God by sinning in delivering Jesus up to be crucified. But we also know that it was the will of God that this come to pass. Therefore we know that God in some sense wills what he does not will in another sense...Nothing can thwart the decretive will of God."<br><br>I do not believe God wanted Judas to fall away, or that He wanted men to fall into sin at all for that matter (for He is not the author of sin, nor does He delight in evil). He simply knew that they would come to pass. I do not believe that God has two wills, though I do believe that part of God's will is conditional, and part of it is not. So also, I believe that He can use those who defy the conditional part of His will to bring the unconditional part of His will to pass (such as in the case of the crucifixion). If you do not believe that there is a conditional part to God's will, I suggest you read Luke 13:34.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Are we to entertain even the remotest suspicion that the WILL of the Father will be defeated? Jesus here [john 6:38-40] assures us that it will NOT...God does not fail to accomplish his redemptive purpose."<br><br>As I made clear above, part of God's will is conditional and contingent upon man. It is so because God wills it to be so --is that not within His divine right? So many things including salvation and the things described in John chapter 6 are conditional.<br><br>IRT:<br>"For the Christ Sheep “…FOLLOW him because they KNOW his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice (John 10:4)"<br><br>This of course is contingent on remaining one of Christ's sheep. Just as one can be a 'cursed child,' (2 Peter 2) so they can be a 'lost sheep' if they wilfully stray from Christ.<br><br>IRT:<br>"'The Lord KNOWS those who are HIS,' . And in verse 27 it is stated,' 27MY SHEEP LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me.. . So your statement about Christ sheep 'refusing' to come back to him holds no weight, and that objection comes from, I believe, the arminian’s misconceptions about the will of man. In any case, Christ’s Sheep Love the voice of their Great Sheperd 'they know him' and they follow Him. There is no need For Christ to 'force' his sheep. His Sheep Love Him. At times when they do stray and get lost, Christ goes and finds them."<br><br>My objection holds much weight. For if sheep can stray, as you youself also acknowledge, then it makes sense that they can refuse to return. The scripture does not say that Christ forces His sheep to return, it says He seeks after them, to read the former is erroneous. Yes, the sheep do love the Shepherd, but iniquity can cause love (agapeo) to grow cold (Matthew 24:12).<br><br>IRT:<br>"The arminian objection that goes something like this, 'well those passages don’t say anything about a sheep not jumping out the The lord hands' , misses the very point of the passages. Ultimately Jesus sheep 'follow him' and they do persevere because Jesus and The Father are preserving them. The picture of the passage is not the sheep holding on the God’s hands, rather it is God’s hand that is holding the sheep."<br><br>Negative, it clarifies the passages, for they are stating that nothing can force a believer away from his Saviour, not that we cannot leave. It is true that we as believers need the power of God to preserve us, but it is also true that some can reject His help and apostize. BTW, this picture is also one of sheep that follow their Shepherd, not just the Shepherd guarding them.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I will repeat one final time. Christ Sheep will ultimately follow him and listen to him. Please read the scriptures as they are stated."<br><br>They clearly state that some will depart from the faith (not 'a faith' 1 Timothy 4:1). It doesn't get much clearer.<br><br>IRT:<br>"NO, ‘never perish’ is not a conditional statement. It’s an explicit statement in the emphatic language regarding Jesus’ Sheep."<br><br>Use as many caps as you like. If some sheep can fail to follow Him (stray), and violate this description of the sheep (John 10:4), then the same can obviously also violate the description of "shall never perish." If you think that this description of sheep includes no exceptions, one would be forced to conclude that you believe that sheep can never stray.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Verse 27 begins with the 'MY' sheep. What about Jesus’ Sheep? 'They listen and follow His Voice'. His sheep do not stop listening to him and follow another’ voice in the final analysis (verse 10:5). The flow of the sentence is pretty clear to me. True believers have a new heart that CAUSES them to walk in the statues of God."<br><br>If following Christ were not at least partially within the power of believers, then why do any stray at all? Wasn't the work of God perfect? So then why do some stray? The only choices we are left with are:<br><br>1. God gave us a new heart, but it isn't enough to keep us from going our own way<br><br>2. God gave us a new heart, it is enough to keep us from going astray, but it requires that we crucify our old man and walk in the Spirit<br><br>Only the latter finds scriptural support. Where did you get 'final analysis' from? Shouldn't you read the scriptures as they are stated?<br><br>IRT:<br>"If a believer could be lost it would imply Christ is ineffective in His work as the believers’ Mediator."<br><br>How? Jesus is the Mediator of those who obey, not those who cast off their first faith (1 Timothy 5:12). It is therefore not the failure of Christ, but of man.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Thus , your statement 'if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return, even though it is contrary to God's will, it is not Christ's failure for losing it, but the sheeps failure to follow the shepherd' Still does remove the fact your position makes Christ’s prayers for His Sheep Ineffective if ‘His sheep were to be lost’. Christ’s prayers ineffective? How foolish of a thought!!!"<br><br>Not everything that Christ prayed came to pass, God did not take from His hand the cup that He was to drink. The prayers of the righteous avail much, but God only heeds them so far. Though the prophets prayed fervently for apostate Israel, God would not heed their prayers after Israel fully rejected Him. So while God does heed the prayer of His Son and guard His flock as well, a sheep who fully rejects Him will be cast out and destroyed. If you still have trouble believing what I say, consider this: Christ also prayed for the unity of all believers (John 17:22-23), yet the body of Christ is hardly 'perfect in one' yet. This does not make the prayer of Christ ineffective, it simply proves that man can resist God's will.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Dr. Robert L. Reymond, stated, “ This means that if the Son should fail either initially to save all whom the Father gives him or finally to consummate their Salvation in the Eschaton by raising them up from death to glory, he will have violated his Father’s will for him. This we may be sure he will never do..."<br><br>Incorrect. As I proved earlier, falling away is the fault of the sheep, not the Shepherd. So it is man's failure to fulfill God's will, not Christ's. But following that string of logic, is it then failure on God's part if a Christian does not walk in good works (it was ordained by God after all -- Ephesians 2:10)?<br><br>IRT:<br>"Believers ,the elect, '..have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of IMPERISHABLE'."(1 Peter 1:23 ). I know some of these points have only been re-statement from other posts and in this one, but I believe they still have not been understood nor answered."<br><br>The seed does not perish, only the ground which fails to bear fruit. I have thoroughly understood and rebutted a vast majority of those points (and I'm typing up the rest).<br><br>IRT:<br>"Actually let me clarify them for you. I’ll start with Hebrews 3:6, 14, 2 John 9 etc. Let’s look at Heb 3:6 'And we ARE His HOUSE IF we hold fast Our confidence and pride our hope.' And Heb 3:14 'We HAVE become partakers in Christ, if we hold fast our assurance...' Opposite to your statements, the point of these passages is that those who are saved 'are those who continue in faith to the end of their lives, those who persevere in their allegiance in Christ.'"<br><br>My reading is literal. You simply beg the question by reading the passages as you want them to be interpreted, not the way they are written; you are switching cause and effect with no supporting evidence.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Regarding John 8:31..Yes Judas was a disciple, but never a 'True disciple'. He was a disciple on the outside. However, Jesus stated that He was a 'devil' a 'Son of perdition'. Judas was never saved. A believer permanently abides in Christ. He bears fruit and is pruned so that He continues to bear more fruit. That is a true disciple. Fake or counterfeit disciples, like those in John 6, will fall out."<br><br>He was also called 'a familiar friend' (Psalm 41:9), and was present when Jesus said 'your names are written in heaven;' Psalm 69:28 also makes it clear that his name was blotted from the book of life.<br><br>IRT:<br>"John 15, states that those who were cut off, just like the ground analogy in Heb 6:7-8, bear NO FRUIT. These are not believers. Rather, those that have saving faith yield fruit and are pruned to bear more fruit. Just like that Heb 6 analogy, there a two type of branches stated here. Those that are cut are not mentioned in the text as bearing ANY fruit at all. Throughout Jesus’ parables a branch or plant or tree that is without fruit is abnormal, defective, and does NOT indicate SPIRITUAL LIFE ( James white). That is what is 'clear' about that passage."<br><br>It does not say that they never bore fruit, it is conditional on them not bearing (present tense) fruit, you are reading quite a bit into these passages. The disciples did bear fruit, as they were already pruned (vs 3), yet Jesus still says "If you abide in Me..." The presence of an 'if' makes it obvious that there was a possibility of not abiding in Him, else He would have said, "Since you abide in Me..."<br><br>IRT:<br>"And stating Heb 2:1 doesn’t prove much. See my earlier responses to Heb 3, Heb 6 for more."<br><br>It proves very much, first, it warns against letting the things we have heard drift away; and second, it is addressed to believers, showing that it is possible for even the saved to neglect salvation.<br><br>IRT:<br>"First thing, Just because something was said in the Old testament concerning Israel, it does not preclude it being applied to believers in the New Testament. For instance, Christ, Himself, applies the prophecy of Israle being ‘taught of God’ to the elect in John 6. That Jeremiah verse along with the verses, below, state that God would devote himself to create a faithful people...Contrary to your statements, These great promises from the Old Testament describe a work of God that changes a heart of stone into a heart of flesh and cause people to know, love and obey God..."<br><br>And just because a thing is said in the Old Testament does not necessarily mean that it does apply to Gentiles. To use a verse whose context clearly describes Israel in the future to prove eternal security for gentiles now is at best grasping for straws.<br><br>IRT:<br>"This is so far from militating against the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance, that it serves to confirm it; since, when the Jews shall be converted, they shall not fall away, but 'all Israel shall be saved;' so all God’s elect, being converted, whether among Jews or Gentiles, shall certainly persevere to the end, and be saved; seeing they are converted by the same grace, and kept by the same power, as the Jews then will be..."<br><br>Now THAT is a logical leap. Applying the future eternal state of Israel to believers now. I too believe that no one will fall away in Christ's eternal kingdom, same for Jews and Gentiles. That says nothing of what happens now.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I disagree. You responses have not shown that their arguments violate the context. Rather it is you, who has been violating the hermeneutics of scripture and denying explicit teaching throughout the scriptures. For instance, It is clearly stated that 'nothing in all creation' will separate the elect from the immutable, eternal love of God in Christ. Yet in vain, you have been running around mis-interpreting scripture to deny that which is abundantly and explicitly taught. I wonder How one can ever believe that God’s immutable purposes(Heb 6) can fail.<br><br>As I have already established, the meaning of 'separate' in the context of that passage is to 'force away.' But, if you want to be technical, it is not even man's will that cuts him off from the vine of Christ, but God the Father who cuts branches off for not abiding (see John 15). And as I pointed out, some things concerning God's will are conditional -- I find that much easier to believe than believing that God has two conflicting wills.<br><br>IRT: (concerning futile warnings)<br>"Well lets examine that in light of scripture. Paul, even though God had ASSURED him on the occasion of the impending shipwreck recorded in Acts 27 that 'there shall be NO LOSS of life among you, but only of the ship'[27:22,24,34], YET WARNED the centurion and the soldiers that that unless the sailors who were trying to escape in the lifeboat remained in the ship, they who remained in the ship could not be saved [27:31].' Even though Paul was assured of their ‘salvation’, he knew too that the MEANS[ JoshT, you keep missing this point] of their salvation was for all to remain on board the ship. Thus, HE ISSUED HIS WARNING, and IT HAD THE DESIRED EFFECT-‘ the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat, and let if fall away’ and in the due course ‘they all were brought safely to land[27:44]’."<br><br>I think you missed the point. God assured them that there would be no loss of life, but added the condition that they not leave the ship. This is no different than God promising to bless and multiply the children of Israel, but then adding that He would curse and make them weak if they departed from Him (I can supply numerous references). A simple conditional statement, which, unlike the people in the ship, Israel violated.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The Calvinist takes seriously the fact that God ordains not the only the end but also the MEANS to the end, and one of the means to his final salvation is the Christian’s perseverance in the faith to the end. The Calvinist clearly perceives that one of the ways whereby God effect this means of perseverance in the elect is to warn them of consequences of their not persevering to the end,’"<br><br>If God's purpose is to use this warning to persuade believers to abide in Him, am I not enforcing God's purpose by warning others to heed it and believe it? Would it not be fighting God's purpose to tell others that there is no need to worry, for that could not really happen to them?<br><br>IRT:<br>"I’m sorry to say this, but you badly misuse 2 peter 2. The point of 2 peter 2 passages is that those addressed are 'False teachers' or as later described 'A Dog[noticed the nature never changed or regenerated] returns to It’s own vomit, and 'A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire' (2 pet 2:22). These were never believers. I cringe at how you compared the false teachers with Believers(sheep) that wander."<br><br>The fact that they are compared to a dog or pig means nothing with respect to their past identity. It never says that they were never regenerated, it simply speaks of their present state, that is, they have become a worse creature than they were before they were saved. They were regenerated and then degenerated.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Let’s clear what ‘bought’ here means . As John Gill correctly stated 'The word buying regards temporal deliverance, and particularly the redemption of the people of Israel out of Egypt; who are therefore called the people the Lord had purchased. The phrase is borrowed from Deuteronomy 32:6; Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy Father that hath BOUGHT thee? Hath he not made thee and established thee? Nor is this the only place the apostle Peter refers to in this chapter; (see vv. 12, 13, compared with Deuteronomy 32:5). Now the persons the apostle writes to, were Jews, the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyna, a people who, in all ages, valued, themselves upon, and boasted mightily of their being the bought, purchased people of the Lord; wherefore Peter makes use of this phrase much in the same manner as Moses had done before him, to aggravate the ingratitude and impiety of these false teachers among the Jews; that they should deny, if not in words, at least in works, that mighty Jehovah, who had of old redeemed their fathers out of Egypt, with a stretched out arm, and, in successive ages, had distinguished them with peculiar favors; being ungodly men, turning the grace, the doctrine of the grace of God, into lasciviousness Hence, Nothing can be concluded from this passage in favor of Christ’s dying for them that perish; since neither Christ, nor the death of Christ, nor redemption by his blood, are here once mentioned, nor in the least intended. Nor can these words be thought to be a proof and instance of the final and total apostasy of real saints, since there is not anything said of these false teachers, which gives any reason to believe that they were true believers in Christ, or ever had the grace of the Spirit wrought in their souls.'"<br><br>Again, incorrect. The scripture makes it clear that when Israel turned away from God, they were no longer His, for He sold them to their enemies (Deuteronomy 32:30). He goes as far as to say "Ye are not My people, and I will not be your God" (Hosea 1:9). That covenant is long gone and ready to vanish. Since the people who were bought by God initially are long dead, the only people who are bought by God now are those who were bought by the blood of Jesus. If all of Israel (even the unsaved) were bought by Him presently, then there would be no need to redeem them; as I also pointed out, I find it inconceivable that a non-believer can escape the corruption of the world by knowing Jesus Christ. So this passage must be speaking of former believers. Additionally, there is no indication in Peter's letter that these apostate teachers will be comprised entirely of Jews.<br><br>IRT:<br>"There are only two classes of people. Those who do NOT have have faith and fall away and Those who have faith and keep their souls."<br><br>Again, there is no evidence for this. Galatians 4 and 5 prove the opposite.<br><br>IRT:<br>"And for you statement on luke 13:6, please earlier statements dealing with those don’t bear ANY FRUIT."<br><br>It does not say it never bore fruit, it said it hadn't borne fruit for 3 years.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Job 23:13. 'The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?'"<br><br>And what if the Lord of hosts hath purposed that we be able to make the decision to accept or reject Him? I think He has (see Deuteronomy 30:15).<br><br>IRT:<br>"Ps. You need to your old systems and believe the scriptures for what they say!"<br><br>Ah yes...scriptures like Revelation 22:19, Galatians 5:4, Hebrews 10:29...<br><br>IRT:<br>"For the whole of arminian theology is based doing just that: doing gymnastics on many passages the teach explicit statements about perseverance of the saints, unconditional election based on God’s immutable decree"<br><br>I suppose that's why you have God making fake warnings and unbelievers that have had their lives transformed by Jesus Christ. I simply believe what the whole context of scripture says, not what some want to believe a few passages say.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Recreated or Born Again? - Mon Aug 05, 2002 1:59 PM

Dear Wes,<br><br>IRT:<br>"John 3:3<br>Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"<br><br>This issue has been brought up before. It is also written that our righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees before we enter the kingdom of heaven. Now it cannot be argued that we must be righteous before we are saved, so I must conclude that the "kingdom of heaven" in these contexts refers to the eternal kingdom where believers will reign with Christ. Hence being born again is not a requirement to be saved (for it is actually being saved), but a requirement for one to live with Christ in His kingdom throughout eternity.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Resisting God - Mon Aug 05, 2002 2:01 PM

Dear Tom,<br><br>IRT:<br>"You have sited a few times that John 6:37 does not prove that someone can't resist the Holy Spirit’s drawing.<br>I must beg to differ with you, the words "shall/will come to Me" clearly indicate that they will come to Christ."<br><br>You are confusing being drawn and being given. One is not given to Christ until they soften their hearts and hear God when God draws them, but one can resist the pull of the Holy Spirit as is made plain in Acts 7:51, "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you."<br><br>So it is evident that one can fully and finally resist God's call, just as much of Israel has and still does.<br><br>Let me also say that despite our disagreements on more minor issues, one thing I do respect about most reformed believers is that you are not antinomian, but recognize the truth that a life changed by Christ will manifest itself in how we live. The down side is that even though many Baptists (among other denominations) do not officially profess antinomian theology, they do profess it in their lifestyles. I have had many acquaintances who go to Baptist churches that proudly proclaim that "faith without works is dead;" but the members (with some notable exceptions) tend to fall back on 'eternal security' when they are backsliding. I am not saying that you or your church subscribe to this hypocrisy, nor am I saying that believing as I do will make you immune to falling; I simply seek to remove a potential stumbling block.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Resisting the Holy Spirit - Mon Aug 05, 2002 2:03 PM

Dear Pilgrim,<br><br>IRT: (concerning Acts 7:51)<br>"The Holy Ghost was not directly resisted, i.e., He did not come to these individuals personally and try to persuaded them to repent and believe the gospel. What the text is clearly saying is that the Prophets who were sent by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel were resisted, even violently. Stephen goes on to show that not only did his listeners' forefathers persecute the prophets, even kill them, but they too were likewise guilty of an even more heinous crime for they crucified the Christ of whom the prophets spoke."<br><br>The fact that the Holy Ghost was resisted by rejecting the prophets does not negate the fact that He was fully, finally, and personally resisted. Often, God's call is communicated through the voice of a man, though it is still God who speaks. When Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter in Acts chapter 5, did it indicate that they just lied to the representatives of the Holy Spirit? Nay, Peter said that they did not lie to men, but to God. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus said, "He that receives you receives Me, and he that receives Me receives Him that sent me." If it is true that one who receives the gospel message from an evangelist is receiving Christ, and therefore receiving the Father, it also follows that if a person rejects him who speaks by the Holy Spirit, he rejects not man, but God. This is why it is said that they resisted the Holy Spirit, not just His representatives --unless you believe that Ananias and his wife simply lied to men.<br><br>It is true that it is impossible to resist God's will concerning certain matters --I mean, no one is going to stop the second coming of Christ no matter what they do-- but the scriptures indicate that it is possible to resist His calling (both outward and inward). Consider the question I posed to Mikewine, in Luke 10:13, Jesus said that if the miracles He had done in Chorazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented. Now if no amount of signs or miracles will convince a person whom God has not drawn, then we must conclude that God did even draw Tyre and Sidon, else they would not have repented as Jesus said. The truth is that God did draw them by the power of the Holy Ghost, they simply rejected Him. Another strong proof that men can resist God's will is in Luke 13:34, where Jesus weeps because despite His longing that Jerusalem receive the word of God and be gathered to Him, they are unwilling to come.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Getting personal - Mon Aug 05, 2002 2:06 PM

Dear Paul,<br><br>Am I a member of a local church...yes, I have been my entire life. But my situation is a bit odd because I am in the process of moving to another state to finish college, and have not found a church there yet. So I will answer your questions according to the church I have been attending. The church I have been attending is non-denominational/full gospel. I have never believed in or been a member of a church that believes in unconditional security, so I have never believed such; but most of the teaching I have received dealt little to none at all with the issue of predestination, as most modern non-Calvinist churches leave this subject alone. I am not one to blindly accept or reject a doctrine just because a pastor told me so. So I carefully studied the concept, ideas, scripture references, and arguments behind both sides of the eternal security issue, and do fully believe the idea of 'once saved, always saved' to be incorrect.<br><br> But to argue the point of eternal security does little good with Calvinists if one does not understand election and predestination, because the perseverance of the saints doctrine hinges heavily upon unconditional election; so several years ago, I began to study Calvinist doctrine as well and draw my own conclusions about the same. I hope that answers your questions.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: fredman

Re: Rebuttal on Perseverance - Mon Aug 05, 2002 2:14 PM

So Josh, <br>You essentially believe that Jesus can fail in accomplishing the salvation he promises to his people? <br>Are you saying that Jesus lied, or was in error, when he told the people in Capernaum that, "all that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)? One interesting textual note about that passage. The original language has two negatives, so that when Jesus states, "I will by no means cast out," the language of John's gospel is emphatically stating an impossibility. In other words, Jesus is so sure of what he will accomplish with the father giving his people to him, that they could never be cast out. <br><br>In my opinion, you need to stop reading the Bible with humanistic and Greek philosophical glasses, and just let it state what it states. (Of course I am assuming you will be reading it with the proper hermenuetical rules in place!)<br>Just curious as to your thoughts.<br><br>Freddy b
Posted By: Anonymous

The greatest commandment - Mon Aug 05, 2002 2:16 PM

Dear Ehud,

IRT:
"You see to believe that God has already taken care of everything for His elect involves a something called Faith. Your friend who said that no one could know for sure whether they were elect or not wasn't showing much faith at the moment."

Read my letter more carefully, the 'friend' you speak of was John Calvin.

IRT:
"You say 'how can you know that you are elect and that God has secured you?' I say 'by faith.'"

Good. Then when asked how I can abide knowing that my salvation is conditional, then I can give the same answer.

IRT: (concerning love not being a work)
"That is odd, I thought that the two greatest commandment on which all the law and the prophets hung on dealt with love. The first is to love God with all your heart, and the next is to love your neighbor as yourself. If you tell me that these are not law, then I will say that Christ calls them the greatest commandments. If you tell me that you can even come close to keeping these every second of everyday, then I will say that you have decieved yourself."

You are confusing law and commandments. Many commandments are in the law, but many (such as the greatest) exist apart from the law. Even after the law was abolished through Christ, this commandment still stood (1 John 3:10-15). But if you still think that love being a commandment makes it a work of the law, then I would also point out that believing in Jesus is also a commandment (1 John 3:23), yet faith is separated and contrasted with the law (Romans 3:27, 9:32, Galatians 2:16, 3:2-5), and with works (Ephesians 2:8-9). So being a commandment does not make it a work of the law, simply a requirement of God. And you are right, no one can keep these commandments all the time, this is why God sent the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we may remain in His love.


I wrote:
"So the will is not what saves us, though its compliance with God's will is essential for a man to be saved."

You wrote:
"This is a contradiction of statements. For you, man's will is what salvation hinges on. God has done all he can, but now it is up to man to help himself. So now the will is what saves man. Christ blood doesn't save anyone, because Christ died for everyone and that didn't help."

Completely wrong --this is no contradiction, but is harmonious with itself and scripture. You have totally misconstrued a few half truths to make your point, as I will now prove.

Let's examine your points about what you think I believe:

1. For you, man's will is what salvation hinges on.
2. God has done all he can, but now it is up to man to help himself.
3. The will is what saves man.
4. Christ blood doesn't save anyone, because Christ died for everyone and that didn't help.
5. God's love didn't save anyone because God loves everybody and that didn't help.
6. The Holy Spirit drawing people got everyone up to par, but really didn't secure anything so now it is up to man.
7. So now it is man's will that makes salvation possible

My replies:
1. No, salvation hinges primarily on God, for while man must decide to follow Jesus, God must draw him first. So salvation is primarily dependent on God.

2. The only way a man can save himself is to let Christ save him (to 'save yourself' is a Biblical term). But as I have already made abundantly clear, God must call us before we can come to Him.

3. No, it is Christ who saves man, He simply requires that man's will yield to His before He will save him.

4. Christ's blood does save --those who will believe. Of course it helped --those who believe. That argument made no sense.

5. See point 4 (where do you dig this stuff up?)

6. Salvation is contingent on man accepting Christ. Not because it is his acceptance or lack thereof that saves him, but because acceptance is a requirement that God has ordained be necessary before God saves.

7. See point 6


To sum it up:

1. Man's will cannot save him, for man cannot even begin to accept God unless God draws him first
2. Only Christ's blood can save a man
3. God put conditions on receiving salvation through Christ, one of which is receiving Christ Himself
4. Therefore it is necessary for the man to make a decision to follow Christ to be saved, even though it is Christ, not his decision that saves him


IRT:
"1John 2:19
"They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."

They fall away to show, as evidence, that they are really not Christians in the first place."

Not really. What did they go out from? The only thing that could manifest (make plain for all) that they were not of Christ's elect was an outward action, namely, leaving the church. This does not refer to falling away, but to breaking fellowship with the body of Christ. Besides, the presence of some who were never really saved does not preclude the existence of some who were saved and then fell away.

IRT:
"I would also harden my heart, I would also abide in unbelief forever if I were still a lost sinner dead in my sins. But while I was dead in my sins, God by grace through faith, which was a gift, made me alive in Christ(Eph 2:1-8)."

Praise God. So how does that contradict my statements?

IRT:
"John 6:44 'No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.'

I sure hope that you believe God will raise up beleivers on the last day, or maybe you assume that just because God wills to raise up believers on the last day dosen't mean it must happen.

John 6:40 'For this is the will of My Father, that everyoe who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life...'

The Father wills that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, but I guess maybe that wont' happen either. Maybe some who behold the Son and believe will not have eternal life."


Your statement does not follow. I didn't say everything about God's will was conditional, I simply contend that some things about it are. In Luke 13:34, Jesus says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!" (NKJV)

So while gathering and saving the children of Israel was definitely the will and desire of God, it was also contingent upon Israel's obedience. Hence, it can be easily seen that some things of the will of God are immutable (e.g. the resurrection), other things require compliance on the part of the creature (e.g. salvation). Concerning 'Maybe some who behold the Son and believe will not have eternal life,' you are quite right, for the Spirit expressly says that some will depart from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1).


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Redirection - Mon Aug 05, 2002 2:25 PM

Dear ReformedSBC,<br><br>This issue has been raised already, you may check out my arguments under the title 'characteristics of sheep,' which proves thoroughly that the 'sheep' spoken of here must be those that already believe. For example, Jesus said that His sheep would not heed the voice of another (John 10:5). If that is so, then does this also indicate that none of the elect (whom you contend are Christ's sheep) could ever heed the voice of another? If that is true, then no person who ever joined a cult could be saved.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Hence, that is why In John 6:37, as TOm pointed out, it says that They 'Will' come to Christ. It's not a maybe. See Romans 8:28-30."<br><br>I have already addressed this as well, I did not argue that it was a 'maybe,' simply that there were conditions for a person to be given to Christ.<br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Resisting God - Mon Aug 05, 2002 4:48 PM

JoshT,

In reply to:

[color:"blue"]You are confusing being drawn and being given. One is not given to Christ until they soften their hearts and hear God when God draws them, but one can resist the pull of the Holy Spirit as is made plain in Acts 7:51, "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you."


There are two things which one needs to understand in Acts 7:51, which will shed light on the truth of its teaching.

1) Stephen's reference to "always resist the Holy Spirit" was not to the inward efficacious call of the Spirit which no man does nor can resist, but rather he was speaking of the resistance shown to the message of the Prophets who proclaimed God's truth, who were moved by the Holy Spirit and given the message they proclaimed. This is easily seen when verse 51 is taken in CONTEXT:

Acts 7:51-53 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept [it]."
We know that the inward, salvific, efficacious call of God ALWAYS results in justification and final glorification:
Romans 8:30 "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (cf. Rom 1:6; 9:23, 24; Heb 9:15)
2) If we take the text to mean that men can actually resist the Holy Spirit, then I can also agree. But I fear that the text proves too much and thus actually refutes your contention that men can either resist the Holy Spirit or surrender to His "wooing". For the text says, ye do [color:blue]always resist the Holy Ghost: . . . It is not something that the sinner does occasionally but is that which he does repeatedly and continually.
Resisting the Holy Spirit is rejecting the Word of God of which the Holy Spirit is the author. The sinner is resisting the Spirit when he hears the Gospel and rejects it and opposes the one who bears the messages to him. The Jews to whom Stephen preached resisted the Holy Spirit in the same way their fathers did. "As your fathers did, so do ye." were his words to them. Their fathers resisted the Holy Spirit by rejecting the preaching of the prophets and by persecuting them. "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?"

Light is thrown upon the subject by reference to Neh. 9:29, 30. Nehemiah is explaining the cause of Israel's punishment and captivity by saying that Israel hardened their necks and refused to hear (Neh. 9:26). And in all this they were resisting the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit was speaking through the prophets just as He was speaking through Stephen. "Yet man years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by the Spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear." (Neh. 9:30).

Andrew Fuller calls this the indirect influence of the Holy Spirit. The following quotation from him (Fuller's Works page 742) is in full harmony with what I have said above:
I conceive there is what may be termed an indirect influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, having inspired the prophets and apostles, testified in and by them, and often without effect. . . The message of the prophets being dictated by the Holy Spirit, resistance of them was resistance of Him. It was in this way, I conceive, that the Spirit of God stove with the antediluvians, and that unbelievers are said always to have resisted the Holy Spirit.
Fuller then speaks of the direct influence of the Holy Spirit which is effectual in renewing and sanctifying the sinner. This is a good distinction to make. The sinner resists the indirect influence of the Spirit in presenting the truth to him through the preacher; but the direct influence of the Spirit is the direct impact of the Holy Spirit on the human spirit, and this is not resisted, because it is the power of the Almighty.

Why does the sinner resist the Holy Spirit? Acts 7:51 gives a clear and unmistakeable answer to this question. "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit." The sinner resists the Holy Spirit (His indirect influence) because his heart is wrong and his ears are not attuned to the Word of God. He neither understands nor loves the Word of God. God's words are full of wisdom but to the natural man they are foolishness. (1Cor 2:14; Eph 4:17-19) The preached Word is the objective ministry and the indirect influence of the Holy Spirit, and this the dead sinner rejects and resists because it is foolishness to him. Our Lord told Nicodemus that except a man be born from above he cannot see or understand the Kingdom of God. The indirect influence of the Spirit is resisted until overcome by the direct influence of the Spirit in quickening power.

The Gospel must not only be presented to the sinner, but a divine work must be wrought in the sinner if he is to be saved. Objective truth, however plainly presented, is not sufficient for salvation. The person must be given eyes to see and a heart to understand it. Putting a larger lamp in the light socket will not enable a blind man to see; he must be given the ability to see. In the new birth the Holy Spirit gives eyes to see and a heart to understand and love the Gospel. This is His direct and subjective ministry and is not resisted. The child does not resists its birth.

Thus it takes more than the indirect influence of the Spirit in human conversion. Paul describes his conversion as the effect of being apprehended (laid hold of) by Christ (Phil 3:12), and of having Christ revealed in him (Gal. 1:16; cf. Matt 11:25-27). The objective ministry of the Spirit is resisted, but not the subjective. When this distinction is made, the truth of man's impotence and the Spirit's omnipotence is conserved, otherwise we have the creature mightier than the Creator.


In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Resisting the Holy Spirit - Mon Aug 05, 2002 7:50 PM

Josh,<br><br>You wrote:<br>"Consider the question I posed to Mikewine, in Luke 10:13, Jesus said that if the miracles He had done in Chorazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented."<br><br>Actually, I initiated the question on this passage, to which you responded and then I added a rejoinder (still unanswered). You have not responded to my points from that post.....for example, whether you believe that God "turned their hearts to hate his people." But, that might be a difficult question to answer. If the Bible is true in the 105th Psalm, then your faith in freewill is a delusion. Mike
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Wed Aug 07, 2002 11:33 AM

Pilgrim,<br><br>I realize that Romans 10:9 should not be looked at in isolation and that it is not some magic formula which if recited saves an individual. That's why I stated, "I believe that the term "believe" as it is used here infers "a total abandoning of oneself and trusting Christ ALONE for both the remission of sins and the righteousness of Him so as to be reconciled to God."<br><br>Your point about relying on ANYTHING other than Christ alone is well taken. You may be right, but I'm still not convinced that one cannot be saved and hold the position that one's salvation can be forfeited. Again, there is a significant amount of Scripture that seems to support that position.<br><br>I personally believe that salvation is unconditional. If you have the time and inclination, I would appreciate you looking over the dissertation at this site.....<br><br>http://www.john14-6.org/ForfeitSalvation.htm<br><br>I am currently being discipled through the Life Builders Real Faith curriculum and my partner encourages me to come to him with questions and concerns about the Bible and Christianity. Unconditional salvation is what we are going to cover the next two weeks. <br><br>I would love to have you analyze and rebut this man's arguments.<br><br>Thanks for your genuine concern.<br><br>rjskal
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: perseverance - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:01 PM

Hey Carlos,<br><br>My answer for this post somehow got posted under another post. It's called 'Rebuttal on Perseverance.'<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Election.... - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:05 PM

Dear Carlos,<br><br>IRT:<br>"ONCE AGAIN…big difference between saying according to ‘foreknowledge’ and “what He foresees in people’s hearts.” In such verses, it states that God "foreknows" PEOPLE not ACTIONS (Romans 8:29). BIG DIFFERENCE. Check the grammar. God is foreknowing a personal object. God foreknows (foreloves) his Elect (ver34) as free sovereign choice. I have given you so many scriptures that prove this very fact. Leads me to wonder what you would make of such a passage as 1Peter 1:20."<br><br>Not that big a difference. Since God foreknows His people, He foreknows how they will respond to His call; the scriptures make it plain that He foreknows both men and the actions that they perform (as I have already pointed out). Either way, it doesn't back up the case of Calvinism. The meaning of 1 Peter 1:20 is self evident: God ordained that Christ die before the foundation of the world.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The point of Romans 9 is that GOD CHOOSES from the 'SAME LUMP' of clay. God is the one that makes one ‘clay’ from differ from another through election and that He purposed within himself. It is his free choice. He decided between Jacob and Esau, without regard to anything they DID. God foresees the good in the people's heart because He caused it to be there (see Old Testament prophesies in Eze, Jer)."<br><br>We are all of the same lump. Big deal. What you are saying is partially correct: All men are innately sinful and doomed to hell (of the same lump), the difference is that God foreknows those who will receive His grace when it is offered, and shapes their lives and circumstances so that they can receive it. And indeed, He did make His decision about Jacob and Esau without regards to what they had done (for they were not yet even born); but He made His decision because He knew that Esau would not value the things that God valued, but that Jacob would. I do not believe that God ordained that Esau be stubborn and proud, but because He knew that Esau would, shaped him to be a foolish man who would eventually lose his inheritance.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Also, Paul would not have stated the answers to the objections of election that He did ROMANS in 9:6-24 if He was teaching your Arminian view of election."<br><br>I have no objection to the doctrine of election, I fully believe that God has chosen those who will be saved from the foundation of the world. I simply do not accept the Calvinist view of election which makes the basis for election 'just because God felt like it.' I am not saying that is not God's prerogative, I am saying that is not God's method as revealed by scripture.<br><br>IRT:<br>"It is interesting that you stated that it his according to His purpose and plan and then you write the BUT. That’s problem within Arminian theology; in one sentence they start with grace, and then comes the BUT, and end up nullifying grace in the same sentence."<br><br>The 'but' comes from a plethora of scripture. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of grace. Calvinists seem to think that grace is simply 'unmerited favor,' i.e. 'God has already done it all, it's out of your hands entirely.' But this is not what grace is, grace is God's divine power whereby He works to transforms us from darkness to light. The key difference in Arminian or similar theology (such as mine) is that grace can be resisted and even fallen from (see Galatians 5). So grace is not nullified by what we believe, it is simply stated that one may resist God's grace.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Rather, The verse of Eph 1:11 ends as such, “ HAVING BEEN PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE WHO WORKS ALL THINGS [note all things] after the COUNSEL of HIS WILL, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY."<br><br>Concerning "all things," as I stated in my rebuttal to your post on perseverance; God can use the conditional things of His will that are violated to fulfill the unconditional things of His will. I am assuming that you think that 'ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE' and 'COUNSEL of HIS WILL' present a problem for what I believe. Not so, for God's will is to seek those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). So essentially, the purpose of His will is that we willingly yield to Him and believe in His Son Jesus Christ, not 'just because He wanted to.'<br><br>IRT:<br>"The very fact that God chooses one because He foresaw how one person would react leaves room for that person to boast and share in the glory."<br><br>I don't see how. Without God's grace, it would not matter how any person 'would react,' for they would still be lost in sin if God hadn't had mercy. I know that I myself am nothing but a worthless sinner without God's grace, and glory only in knowing that Christ loved me enough to die and save me from my sins. I made an analogy on a previous post: If a man falls from a ship and someone on the ship tosses him a lifering within his grasp, then the same man grabs the ring, and after he has grabbed it, is pulled to the boat safely, who saved him? Did he save himself by grabbing the ring? Hardly! He only reacted as any person that was not too proud to accept help would react. It was the person on the ship who threw the ring to him and then pulled him back in. So likewise, God has given us a way out, a means of escape from the wrath to come. We would be complete idiots (or just stubborn) not to take it. We could not do it by ourselves, and if we do receive it, we receive no glory; for our Saviour is God, not ourselves.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Scripture will not support the statement that it is 'based on what He foresees in people’s hearts'."<br><br>Election is based on God's foreknowledge (2 Peter 1:2). As I have pointed out before, foreknowledge can mean knowledge of things beforehand, as well as people (Acts 2:23). Your stretching of the word to say 'foreloved' violates simple denotation (I am not saying that God does not love people before they are born, but that is not what this passage states). God does foreknow people, and hence, He also knows whether or not they will hear His word. To say that this passage strictly means 'forelove' is to change the obvious meaning and read another one into it (all the while you keep telling me to read it for what it says...). Because both definitions of foreknowledge fit what I believe, then either way it stands that 2 Peter 1:2 is ample evidence that God's election is based on what He foreknows of men's hearts.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Just as God exercised freedom in loving & choosing national Israel ( Deut 10:14-15, Deut 7:6-8, Amos 3:1-2), so does He with believers (Romans 9:6-24, 1 Cor 1:26-31, Eph., etc)."<br><br>Also note that having Israel as His people was conditional. When they turned their backs on God, He cast them out as He would any of the heathen.<br><br>IRT:<br>"IT IS because of GOD that we are in Christ (1Cor 1:30), and this because He chose us to put in Christ . What GOD foresaw was what GOD would DO (Romans 9)!!!!!!!!!!"<br><br>The evidence that men must humble themselves when faced with a Holy God to be saved is overwhelming. For He "resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble," not "humbles those to whom He gives grace, and makes proud those He does not." So while it is God Who brought us into Christ, He requires that we accept His offer, that is His divine right. The idea that 'What GOD foresaw was what GOD would DO' is a bit odd. God predestinates us according to His foreknowledge of what He would do? That seems a bit redundant.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Clearly in the new birth, it is stated the God the holy spirit has the freedom to regenerate whom He will (1 John 3: 6-8)."<br><br>I assume you meant John 3:6-8. True, but whom He will is those that He knows will hear God.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Before the Call, God Had foreknown (foreloved) and Predestined them from all eternity. That is WHY they receive the effectual Call, which EFFECTS faith and results in Justification, that will eventually lead to ultimate Glorification (including conformity to the image of Christ as purposed (v 28)."<br><br>There is no indication in scripture that God's call is irresistable, Acts 7:51 proves the opposite in fact.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Your idea of foreseen faith makes no sense of the passage of Romans 8:28-38"<br><br>I don't see how. This passage says nothing against it, and makes no points that would contradict it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I end with this summary, that those verses on God’s foreknowing or foreknowledge state that the object of the divine foreknowledge is not the actions of certain people but the people themselves."<br><br>And as I have pointed out, it is both. For to divinely foreknow someone is to foreknow their lives as well.<br><br>IRT:<br>"You confuse two things Election and salvation. Election leads to salvation trough the means of sanctification and faith."<br><br>I don't see how I have confused them. Please clarify. If you are referring to my arguments about conditional election, I tend to group them together because conditional election would imply conditional salvation. The two are not exactly the same thing, but very closely related.<br><br>IRT:<br>"2 Thes 2:13-15 : But we should always give thanks to God for you [why?] ..because God has CHOSEN [election] you from the beginning FOR [note the distinction] SALVATION through [means] SANCTIFICATION by the Spirit and FAITH in the truth. And it was FOR THIS that He called you through our Gospel. Once again you have not proven that ELECTION (unto salvation) itself is based on conditions, from the scriptures you have quoted."<br><br>I have actually. If God does not give grace to a man, it is obvious that he is not one of the elect. But since He gives grace to those that are humble, this proves a condition to being elected.<br><br>IRT:<br>"You also confuse the election of national Israel as a people and the election to salvation within that nation. See below."<br><br>That's strange, you were just making comparisons between them a few paragraphs above. But as far as my comparison's, the scriptures state that they are our examples that we may not fall in like disobedience, therefore he who thinks he stands should take heed, lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:11-12).<br><br>IRT:<br>"It is clear from Romans 8:28-38, that NOTHING CREATED can separate God’s Elect (verse34) Is there anything ‘not created ‘that can separate the The Elect from Christ??"<br><br>Yes. God the Father cuts off branches that do not abide (John 15:1-2). So while it is the apostate's fault for departing, it is God who will cast him out.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Again, I again submit you do not know the context of the book of Romans. For “they are not all Israel[national elect] who are descended from Israel[spiritual elect] (Roman 9:6). Why?? Because “The children of the promise are regarded as descendants (Rom 9:8),"<br><br>Right. How does that prove Calvinism?<br><br>IRT:<br>"and “ For though the TWINS were not yet born, and HAD NOT done ANYTHING good or bad, in order that GOD’s purpose according to HIS CHOICE might stand, not because of works, but because of HIM who calls( NASB Rom 9:11), “So then it DOES NOT DEPEND on the MAN WHO WILLs or THE MAN WHO RUNs, BUT ON GOD who has mercy (16),"<br><br>Agreed, but the passage says nothing of the basis for His making that choice. God's choice was not based on man's desires or works, but was based on the fact that Jacob would hear His voice and love Him, and the fact that Esau wouldn't. Despite innumerable objections, these are in fact, not works. So this passage does not contradict what I believe.<br><br>IRT:<br>"“So then HE has mercy on whom HE DESIRES, and HE hardens whom HE DESIRES (18),"<br><br>Yes. He hardens those who will not hear Him. Those who will not hear the words of Jesus will be hardened so that even tangible and physical evidence will not convince them, even if one were to rise from the dead (Luke 16:31). Pharaoh was the perfect example of this: For after he rejected the word of the Lord through Moses, God hardened his heart so that even after seeing God perform all of His mighty wonders (which would convince any rational person), he still stiffened his neck and tried to fight God. Notice in the first chapter of the same book it speaks of some that changed the truth of God into a lie...and it was for this cause that God gave them over to vile affections (Romans 1:25-26). God resists (and hence hardens) the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So the passage you cited here also presents no problem for me.<br><br>IRT:<br>"“it is the REMANT that will SAVED (27)”, “I say then that God has not reject His people, has HE? May it never be! For I am too am an Israelite, a DESCEDANT of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, GOD HAS NOT rejected His people, WHOM HE FOREKNEW [foreloved, note that God has not rejected those whom he chose to place a special love upon] …I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN who have not bowed the knee to Baal… A REMANT ACCORDING to GOD’s gracious CHOICE (Romans 11:1-5)…"<br><br>God has not permanently rejected them as a nation, but many of the people that He foreknew were cut off (as is stated in the same chapter). So likewise, while some elect may turn from Him, He will not cast off the redeemed as a whole, but will destroy those who deny Him.<br><br>"You will say then, 'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said, Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therfore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you will also be cut off." (Romans 11:9-22)<br><br>So even after we have been grafted into Christ, if we do not remain in His goodness, we will be cut off just as the unbelieving of Israel are. <br><br>IRT:<br>"God’s has always been choosing those to salvation even within the election of national Israel. The whole point of the previous verses is that Who God has chosen for salvation is conditioned in himself. He preservers those He has chosen."<br><br>I agree, but I disagree with the notion that His preservation is unconditional. God did reserve seven thousand men unto Himself according to the election of grace. For without His grace, they would have been idolaters like their neighbors. But He reserved them because they heard His voice and received His grace (unlike most of Israel that stopped their ears and hardened their hearts so that they could not hear the words which the Lord sent in His Spirit by the prophets - Zechariah 7:11-12).<br><br>IRT:<br>"God’s word, purpose and decrees will stand and not fail (Romans 9:5, Isaiah 55: 11, Dan 4:35, Prov 16:9, Prov 19:21)."<br><br>As I have already put forth, part of God's will is conditional. Some things cannot be averted, while others can (see Luke 13:34). While the decrees of God are irrevocable, I believe that He permits men the ability to violate the conditional things of His will. Is that not within His right to do?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

In my defense... - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:14 PM

This is a defense against several accusations that have been brought up against me by Joe; he went through the forum and compiled a list of things that I had written, and then inserted comments after them. This is my defense:<br><br><br>I wrote:<br>"This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Here God is NOT sovereign in His power of salvation, for one may walk away and ONLY then is God seen to be sovereign to execute justice??? Thus, JoshT sees himself kept by his own works, which is denied in Scripture: Rom 11: 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."<br><br>Joe attempts to make two points here:<br><br>1. I believe that God is not sovereign<br>2. I believe that I am kept by my own works<br><br>Let me settle the first question right away. I believe that God is totally sovereign, and can do or cause anything He desires. I also believe that in the matter of free will that God has purposefully limited Himself and has delegated to each man some degree of control over his own destiny; thus it is not a question of His sovereignty, but His method.<br><br>The second accusation isn't much tougher to answer. Nothing in a man's power can keep him in the love of God, yet the Bible continuously speaks of enduring to the end, persevering, etc... <br><br>"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:12)<br><br>These two concepts are easily reconciled in 2 Timothy 1:14,<br><br>"That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."<br><br>Notice Paul does not say 'strive to keep the good thing committed to us,' nor does he say that 'the Holy Ghost will keep that good thing that was committed to us,' what he says is to 'That good thing which was committed unto you keep by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us.' So it is not by our own power that we can be saved or even endure; it can only be done through the power of God in us by the Holy Ghost to give us the strength we need. The primary difference between Joe and I is that I believe that God's power can be resisted by stubborn men if they stop their ears to God's word and will not hear the truth (Zechariah 7:11), Joe does not. Again, that is not to say that men can resist God for a lack of power on God's part, I simply believe that He allows it to be so. Do not believe that I think I can endure by my own strength and righteousness; if I am wrong, it is simply about believing that God allows Himself to be resisted, not about serving God in my own power. Even assuming Calvinist doctrine is correct and mine is not, I do not think that my beliefs would be heresy.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"So, I am saved today, the next hour I am lost, but now I pray and I am saved again, O’h, just sinned again, I am now lost, I pray an hour later and I am saved again…….I go in and out of eternity??? SO God is only sovereign in salvation when I obey??? This is works righteousness!!!"<br><br>The Bible never indicates being saved, lost, re-saved, etc... Nor have I ever argued that point. Joe is arguing about things he presumes I believe. I believe that God gives even backsliders space to repent (Revelation 2:21). God is sovereign all of the time, but He has told us in His word that He Himself will destroy the disobedient (John 15:6, 1 Corinthians 3:17, and many more).<br><br>I wrote:<br>"As far as what 'draw' means. Yes, I am well aware that God's conviction and pulling us towards Christ are very strong, but nothing in scripture indicates that He cannot be resisted, as I pointed out from Acts 7:21."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Here God is seen as VERY strong, but not sovereign??? Thus, once again MAN”S sovereignty and God’s puppetry is exalted!!"<br><br>Again Joe jumps to conclusions. I have already addressed the resisting and sovereignty issue.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"He recreated me by His grace, but He also requires that I continue in it (Acts 13:43)."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Salvation by GRACE plus CONTINUAL WORKS. And of course OUR sovereignty in the matter is greater than God’s as seen by the examples above???"<br><br>He sure uses a lot of punctuation and caps. I said nothing of continual works, because salvation is not contingent on good works, it is contingent on hearing and following Jesus.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"I said that there were conditions if a person would be given to Christ. God foresees our choices, not makes our choices, and it is on this basis that He chooses us so that we can accept Him."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Works Righteousness!"<br><br>I do not see how Joe equates things like accepting Christ or loving God (conditions for being saved) with doing good works. Having faith in God is not doing a work, for it is no longer by the works of the law but the hearing of faith; so I don't see how he calculates this illogical equation: conditions of faith, love, humility, etc... = 'works righteousness.'<br><br>I wrote:<br>"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.'"<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"We will not HUMBLE OURSELVES or REPENT (2 Tim 2:24-26) until changed BY the Holy Spirit, as Paul….. The unsaved do resist UNTIL THEY ARE MADE WILLING in the day of HIS POWER (but this is far more than just conviction), and the scriptures teach that all the elect will finally and fully be saved and not resist ultimately to their own destruction for Christ will not lose even one of His elect!."<br><br>It is true that only the Lord can grant repentance. This is why I stated that it is done after one is convicted by the Holy Spirit. The rest of what Joe says is simple speculation without any Biblical backing. By the way, Psalm 110:3 says "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power," not "Thy people shall be made willing..."<br><br>I wrote:<br>"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."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"FAITH plus CONTINUAL OBEDIENCE = salvation? But, if one is truly saved he will desire to obey and has been granted the grace to do so. Not all Israel was elect!<br><br>2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."<br><br>To clarify: Faith + continual obedience by the power of the Holy Ghost = salvation (Romans 6:16-18). Joe is right about the fact that the saved will desire to obey God, but even the love for God in a believer's heart can grow cold through iniquity (Matthew 24:12). Concerning the reference from 2 Timothy, God's keeping of what we have committed (e.g. our souls), just as His salvation, comes with the condition that we abide in Him, otherwise we will be cut off (Romans 11:21-22). If it were not possible to be cut off from Christ, I doubt that the scripture would warn us about it.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"The first premise is only partially correct, for while God does desire that men be saved, He also desires that they do so willingly."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"So, man’s will is SOVEREIGN? Man does accept God’s grace willingly, but they ONLY become willing in the DAY OF HIS POWER."<br><br>Been through this before. Next.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"Yielding to God is not a work, just as believing in God is not a work."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Thus JoshT’s order of salvation, I YIELD, and then GOD RESPONDS. So God is my puppet??"<br><br>See what I mean about the punctuation and caps? Joe has obviously not read that many of my posts thoroughly. It is God who draws people to be saved, otherwise we would have nothing to yield to. So God offers salvation to us and draws us by the power of His Spirit, we yield to Him, He saves us. God is not a puppet at all, but a seeker of the lost.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"The Bible never indicates that God is determined to irresistably draw anyone to Him, He does wish to draw people to Himself, and He no doubt could do it irresistably if that were His will, but this is not indicated in scripture."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"So election does not exist?"<br><br>No. I indicated that unconditional election does not exist.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"I see nothing in the scripture to indicate that a man cannot fully and finally resist the Holy Spirit (they are only elect if they do not). I also see plenty of proof that they can fall away afterwards."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"May God have mercy and give JoshT grace!"<br><br>Praise the Lord! Your prayers have been answered even before you prayed them. It must have been predestined.<br><br><br>Let me comment in closing that Joe's remarks and baseless accusations towards me are very un-Christlike. I will reserve personal judgement on Joe, as God is his judge, not I; but would like to warn him that ungrounded accusations, especially against a brother in Christ, are a serious matter.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

The foreknowledge and sovereignty of God - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:17 PM

rjskal wrote:<br>"I don't understand your position that God cannot be sovereign and still allow us to forfeit our salvation. He doesn't lose any of his supreme, permanent authority by allowing believers the option of turning away from Him."<br><br>In response to what Pilgrim wrote:<br>"The problem with the semi-Pelagian and Arminian view is that what God does throughout eternity is determined not by His own eternal, immutable council, but by whatsoever the creature decides to do."<br><br>But God's predestinating of men to salvation is based on His foreknowledge of people and future events (1 Peter 1:2). So while all ultimate authority rests with God to do with as He pleases, the scripture makes it plain that He plans out the salvation of His elect according to foreknowledge of them.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The caveat to this entire view is that it elevates the "free-will" of man (i.e., the ability to choose contrary to his nature, which even God is unable to do) to the loftiest place."<br><br>God cannot go against His nature because it is divine. But men can. Did Adam have a sin nature before he sinned? Did Lucifer have a sin nature before he fell by his pride? Your argument does not follow, you might as well say, "men cannot lie, for even God is unable to do that!"<br><br>IRT:<br>"Thus, it is impossible for God to actually 'know' what will take place at any given time since the creature is able to change his/her mind within any given set of circumstances; he/she being able to choose that which is contrary to nature. Therefore, God can only know after the fact (an actuality) and this makes the creature the 'sovereign' and not God, Who is bound by the creatures decisions."<br><br>And you think I limit God's sovereignty. Just because you can't understand or don't see how God can precisely know the future actions of a being with free will doesn't mean that He can't. How do you know what God can or can't know? I invite you to show me any scriptural proof of this off the wall theory. The only authority man has over his own soul is what God has given him, nothing more; so God is still the sovereign, though He has willingly delegated a limited amount of control to us.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The Scriptures, however, everywhere speak of God as the Sovereign Ruler and Creator of the universe. It is HE Who has determined all things according to His will (determinate council, good pleasure, etc.). See Ps. 33:11; 135:6; Prov 19:21; 21:30; Isa 11:1-16; 41:6; 43:13; 46:9, 10; Dan 4:35; Acts 4:27, 28; 13:48; Rom 11:33-36; Eph 1:9-11; Heb 6:17; Rev 19:6; et al An no one can change what He has foreordained."<br><br>When the Lord has fully determined to do a thing, it cannot be stopped by any force in the universe. But God permits men the ability to violate some things in His will; Luke 13:34 provides a good example of how men can go against God's wishes.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Lastly, determinism is at the very foundation of biblical prophesy. God, through His appointed prophets, spoke in time past of what would come to pass; authoritatively and infallibly. Unless God was sovereign in both power and authority and by His providence determined and controlled ALL THINGS the likelihood that anything which was prophesied as taking place in the future would take place would be nil. For all it would take to prevent a prophesy from occurring would be the 'free-will' decision of one single man."<br><br>Just because God can change and control circumstances to bring specific things to pass does not indicate that He chooses to determine every aspect of every person's life down to the minutest detail. That logic does not follow. Just because God can do a thing doesn't mean that He necessarily will.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

The sovereignty of God - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:20 PM

Dear Wes,<br><br>IRT:<br>"He appoints the course of nature and directs the course of history down to the minutest details."<br><br>God does direct the course of history, but He chooses not to control some things. God wills that believers abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3), why does it occur anyway? Because God has delegated a measure of control to His creatures.<br><br>IRT:<br>"His decrees therefore are eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise and sovereign."<br><br>And what are His decrees?<br><br>"Now the just shall live by faith; But if any man draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." (Hebrews 10:38)<br><br>"But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven."<br><br>And of course Revelation 22:19 as I put in my original post. God could force men to heed Him if He so chose, but He has given men the capability to reject His words. <br><br>IRT:<br>"That the plans of men are not always executed is due to a lack of power, or a lack of wisdom, or both. To assume that His plan fails and that he strives to no effect is to reduce Him to the level of His creatures and make Him no God at all."<br><br>I never said God's plans fail, for if some men fall short, He will fulfill His plans through others (Romans 11, Matthew 22:1-10). But if you think that God does not allow His will to be resisted, then I ask what you make of Luke 13:34,<br><br>"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!"<br><br>Since God is sovereign, but men still resist His will, I can only conclude that God allows men the space to either hear Him or stop their ears to His word.<br><br>(All verses NKJV)<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Justification and sanctification are inseparable - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:22 PM

Dear Susan and Wes,<br><br>In response to Susan's post and:<br><br>"Arminians have consistantly blurred the lines between these two and that is why works are not optional in their opinion."<br><br>Justification and sanctification are inseperable. Being sanctified comes with the territory of being justified. Regardless of the differences between Arminianism, Reformed Theology, and whatever it's called that I believe, we do agree on this: A man who is not being sanctified is not saved, regardless of past experience. While we may disagree as to whether such a person could have never been saved or not, it is agreed that those who live unrighteously will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9).<br><br>What do you think James meant when he wrote 'faith without works is dead?' We are certainly not justified by works; but by faith which truly changes our character. It isn't faith plus works, it's faith that works. So to say that one can be unsanctified but still be justified is sheer folly. I can provide numerous other references on the subject if you like.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Some answers - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:26 PM

Dear Susan,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Are we conscious that we have been operated upon by the Holy Spirit?"<br><br>Not necessarily. Some have been saved without even knowing that there was a Holy Spirit.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Is there a vital principle in us which was not there originally?"<br><br>Yes. God's grace.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Do we know today the folly of carnal confidence?"<br><br>Let's hope so. Many Galatians fell from grace because of it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Have we a hope that we have been enabled through divine grace to cast away all our own righteousness and every dependence, and are we now, whether we sink or swim, resting entirely upon the Person, the righteousness, the blood, the intercession, the precious merit of our Lord Jesus Christ?"<br><br>I know that I myself have not the strength to endure for Christ, even though this is what His word tells me I must do. But God be praised, He has sent the Holy Spirit Who gives me the strength that I need to live in Him.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

In reply... - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:30 PM

Dear Lazarus,<br><br>IRT:<br>"So, salvation is NOT of the Lord as Jonah wrote...it's actually of Him AND us?"<br><br>Salvation is of the Lord. But we who obtain salvation must obey God; the key is that we cannot obey God unless God draws us to Him first. So even though there are conditions on being in God's grace, it is still God Who comes to us that we might be saved, not vice versa; therefore salvation is of the Lord.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I must be synergism since God can't save ANYONE without their cooperation."<br><br>God can save anyone He chooses to: He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice. But men do not have the power in themselves to follow God, this is why He has given us power by His grace to follow Him.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The bottom line is that we bring SOMETHING to the equation? Namely our will/effort/decision....i.e., WORKS!"<br><br>The error you make is that you assume anything done by man is work. But faith is not a work, nor is repentance, love, forgiveness, humility, and open-heartedness.<br><br>IRT:<br>"In direct contrast to:<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>How can you not see this?"<br><br>Because there is no contrast. God did not choose me because I wanted to serve him or because I was good enough. He chose me because He foreknew that I would repent and believe in Him when He drew me to Himself.<br><br>IRT:<br>"JoshT - if you are in the military...bless you and your service to the Country. If not....never mind....you're just another Arminian quack."<br><br>WELL YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE? YOU'RE JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE blessed redeemed that God adores and sees as most precious. Any child of God is a brother of mine, and I am glad that we can dwell together in the bond of unity in His Spirit.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: In my defense... - Thu Aug 08, 2002 2:50 PM

YOU SAID [color:red]Let me settle the first question right away. I believe that God is totally sovereign, and can do or cause anything He desires. I also believe that in the matter of free will that God has purposefully limited Himself and has delegated to each man some degree of control over his own destiny; thus it is not a question of His sovereignty, but His method. The second accusation isn't much tougher to answer. Nothing in a man's power can keep him in the love of God, yet the Bible continuously speaks of enduring to the end, persevering, etc... </font color=red><br><br>Romans 11:6-7 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded<br><br>YOU SAID [color:red] "And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away." The Bible never indicates being saved, lost, re-saved, etc... Nor have I ever argued that point. …. I believe that God gives even backsliders space to repent Revevelation 2:21). God is sovereign all of the time, but He has told us in His word that He Himself will destroy the disobedient (John 15:6, 1 Corinthians 3:17, and many more).</font color=red><br><br>But if someone who is SAVED dies before he repents AGAIN does he go to Hell? James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all; <br><br>DO you believe in the PERFECT Christian (one without ANY sin?)? Thus, IF ONE sin exists in your view of salvation, then a person will go to Hell, though he was once saved.......<br><br>What you do not understand is the doctrine of sanctification,justification regeneration; et. al.<br><br>http://www.the-highway.com/Justification-Gerstner.html<br><br>http://www.covenantofgracechurch.org/all%20articles.htm<br><br><br>The rest has all been gone through before.--Please do not get upset when someone shatters your theology, by simple quoting you..... Say what you will!<br><br>[Linked Image] [Linked Image]<br>
Posted By: fredman

Re: In my defense... - Thu Aug 08, 2002 3:09 PM

Josh Complains:<br>Let me settle the first question right away. I believe that God is totally sovereign, and can do or cause anything He desires. I also believe that in the matter of free will that God has purposefully limited Himself and has delegated to each man some degree of control over his own destiny; thus it is not a question of His sovereignty, but His method.<br><br>Fred responds:<br>So Josh, can you prove this from scripture? Where, pray tell, does it tell us that God purposefully "limits" himself so as to delegate to each man some degree of control over his destiny? This is humanistic philosophy pure and simple. You are sounding more and more like an Open theist everytime you post. Your comment is so biblically inconsistent that it would be laughable if it were not so serious that you believe such non-sense. I do not wish to be harsh, but I really do not think you have truly pondered the significance of your belief systems. (Which tends to be a problem with most arminian minded evangelicals in our day). You haven't been poisoned by the lies of Dan Corner have you?<br>Fred
Posted By: Anonymous

Justification and sanctification are inseparable but distinct - Thu Aug 08, 2002 10:42 PM

Josh,
Here are more notes I had from a study I did from J. C. Ryle's book Holiness on the chapter on Sanctification that may be of some help to you. You are right that it is important for us to be holy and to please the Lord. No one who has responded to you on this forum wants to minimize this at all. May the Lord make this crystal clear to you and help you to understand that Christ's work of justification is a finished work and our salvation rests on Him alone so that no true child of God could ever lose that which Christ has won for him!
Susan [Linked Image]


[color:red]Justification is a finished work and rests entirely on Christ's work done for me.
"The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another--even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord."

"Sanctification is the inward spiritual work which the Lord Jesus Christ works in a man by the Holy Spirit when he calls him to be a true believer." (J.C. Ryle)[color:red] We can never be more justified, but we can be more sanctified.

Sanctification is God's will for us. I Thess 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:

It is a result of abiding in Christ. Jn 15:5

Without sanctification there is no real spiritual life. James 2:17-20 ; 1 Jn 2:29; 1 Jn 3:9-14; 1 Jn 5:4-18

It is evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence. Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:22,25; Romans 8:14

It is a mark of God's election. 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:22
Thess 2:13; Romans 8:29; Eph 1:41 Thess 1:3,4

It is our own fault if we are not holy.

We can grow in sanctification. 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Thess 4:1; Jn 17:17; 1 Thess 4:3

We must expect inward spiritual conflict. Our hearts are occupied by two rival camps. Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:22

We must be diligent in using the means God has given us such as Bible reading, private prayer, worship, hearing faithful preaching, communion, etc.

All our works are imperfect, but our efforts can be pleasing to God when done with the right heart much as a small child's efforts can please his parent.

[color:red]Sanctification cannot justify us, yet it pleases God. Romans 3:20-28; 1 Jn 3:22

Our works will be examined for evidence of grace. Jn 5:29; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:13

We must be made fit for heaven. God wants to make us holy. We must not become discouraged that so many flaws remain in us. The more light we have, the more we will see our own imperfections and we will be ashamed. We are debtors to mercy and grace every hour.

"The Lord Jesus Christ has undertaken everything that His people's souls require; not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their righteousness, but their sanctification."

1 Cor 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

Jn 17:19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, [3] that they also may be sanctified [4] in truth.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Titus 2:14 ... who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Colossians 1:22,23 ... he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation [7] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
All quotes from the ESV
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: In reply... - Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:42 AM

Hi Josh,<br><br>I'm glad you joined the message board here. I have read countless postings of yours and others to you, but something you said in this post sort of jumped out at me, and this is it:<br><br>[color:blue]God can save anyone He chooses to: He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice. But men do not have the power in themselves to follow God, this is why He has given us power by His grace to follow Him.</font color=blue><br><br>The thing it seems like you're not understanding is that true humility, for example--the kind that is pleasing to God--is good. It's a type of goodness, and without being born from above, we just don't have any of that in us. When the Bible says that we are dead in sin, it means it. We can't DO any good in the sense of godly goodness. True humility is one of those things. We simply don't possess the ability to be truly humble before God when we are outside of Christ. We also don't have a true forgiving spirit or true love for others, or any other of these things that you listed that God sees as good. We can have things which masquerade as them, but at best they are all tainted with sin.<br><br>You're right that we can only follow God when He gives us the power by His grace to do so, but that's SAVING grace. Until God's saving grace has acted efficaciously upon our hearts--until He has brought us to spiritual life--we cannot and will not follow Him, and we will not truly humble ourselves towards Him. <br><br>So, when you say: [color:blue]He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice</font color=blue>, you are basically saying that God has chosen to save those who had this goodness in them in that they were truly humble and listened to Him. <br><br>Something to think about,<br>RefBap<br><br> <br>
Posted By: Wes

Re: The sovereignty of God - Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:54 PM

Dear JoshT,<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]God does direct the course of history, but He chooses not to control some things. God wills that believers abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3), why does it occur anyway? Because God has delegated a measure of control to His creatures.</font><p><hr></blockquote><p>Do you realize how hard it would be for God to control anything if He didn't have control of everything?<br><br>The sovereign exercise of grace is illustrated on nearly every page of Scripture. The Gentiles are left to walk in their own ways, while Israel becomes the covenant people of Jehovah. Ishmael the firstborn is cast out comparatively unblest, while Isaac the son of his parents' old age is made the child of promise. Esau the generous-hearted and forgiving-spirited is denied the blessing, though he sought it carefully with tears, while the worm Jacob receives the inheritance and is fashioned into a vessel of honor. So in the New Testament. Divine truth is hidden from the wise and prudent, but is revealed to babes. The Pharisees and Sadducees are left to go their own way, while publicans and harlots are drawn by the cords of love.<br><br><blockquote>Romans 9:18-20<br>Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"</blockquote><br><br>Wes<br><br><br><br> <br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Resisting the Holy Spirit - Sat Aug 24, 2002 5:16 AM

Dear Mike,<br><br>Concerning Psalm 105, I do believe that God turns peoples' hearts; I simply do not believe that He always chooses to.<br>Yes, I'll give credit where it's due, you did initiate the question; let's just say that your argument 'inspired' me to pose a counter-question. I actually did write a response to your letter, I just didn't post it before because I didn't see that our conversation had been brought to a different thread.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br>
Posted By: Anonymous

What God wills - Sat Aug 24, 2002 6:05 AM

Dear Lazarus,<br><br>I wrote:<br>"You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works)."<br><br>You wrote:<br>"The Bible also teaches that the works AS WELL AS the exercise of our wills (which you erroneously equate with 'faith') are NOT formal causes of our salvation....<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>It's God's mercy/grace that SAVES.<br><br>Nobody can work hard enough to earn God's favor ... no one can want/will it enough either."<br><br>Erroneously equate with 'faith?' You lost me. But as far as Romans 9 goes, it is saying that salvation is not from man's will, but from God's; so it is only by God's grace that a man can be saved. So it does not matter how I would have responded to God's grace; if He had not chosen to save me, then I would not and could not be saved no matter what I thought/believed/did/etc... What I have been saying, that not this scripture, nor any other will contradict, is that God has chosen His elect based on His foreknowledge of their receiving His grace (1 Peter 1:2). To put it in a nutshell:<br><br>1. Salvation is of God's will, not man's; so man can never do anything to earn it or will it<br>2. Whom God wills to be saved is based on His foreknowledge of how men will receive Him<br>3. So essentially, God resists the proud (whom He knows will refuse His grace), but gives grace to the humble<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

In reply... - Sat Aug 24, 2002 6:09 AM

Dear Freddy,<br><br>IRT:<br>You essentially believe that Jesus can fail in accomplishing the salvation he promises to his people?"<br><br>No, I believe that man can fail to remain Christ's people and fall short of His promises (Hebrews 4:1).<br><br>IRT:<br>"Are you saying that Jesus lied, or was in error, when he told the people in Capernaum that, "all that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)?"<br><br>No. I said that all that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, and that if one does not abide in Christ, God the Father will cut him off and cast him out (John 15:1-7).<br><br>IRT:<br>"One interesting textual note about that passage. The original language has two negatives, so that when Jesus states, "I will by no means cast out," the language of John's gospel is emphatically stating an impossibility. In other words, Jesus is so sure of what he will accomplish with the father giving his people to him, that they could never be cast out."<br><br>It does not say that they could never be cast out, it simply says that Jesus won't. But as I pointed out above, John 15, as well as Romans 11 prove that one can be cast out for not abiding in Christ.<br><br>IRT:<br>"In my opinion, you need to stop reading the Bible with humanistic and Greek philosophical glasses, and just let it state what it states. (Of course I am assuming you will be reading it with the proper hermenuetical rules in place!)"<br><br>I was just about to ask the same thing of you: What exactly does Revelation 22:19 mean if not what it is clearly stated? How can a man fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), and still be under God's grace? How can a man escape the corruption of the world through knowing Jesus Christ, and yet not be saved (2 Peter 2:20)?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Sat Aug 24, 2002 6:20 AM

<br>Dear Pilgrim,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Thus I say again, that the "abandoning of oneself" is part and parcel to true saving faith. So that if one is in any way relying upon 'self', whether that be one's 'decision for Christ' or 'enduring to the end', then the 'abandoning' is not genuine but fleshly and salvation is not owned. Any embracing of a 'sharing with God' unto salvation is synergism, i.e., faith+works=salvation and indisputable not of GRACE alone."<br><br>I have already made it clear that I believe that one must endure to the end to be saved, but that I also believe that this can only be done by the grace of God. The fact that I believe in conditional salvation is not salvation by faith + works, but simply meeting the things that God requires of us (repentance, humility, love, forgiveness, etc...) by the power of His Holy Spirit.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Josh - Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:23 AM

In reply to:

[color:"blue"]I have already made it clear that I believe that one must endure to the end to be saved, but that I also believe that this can only be done by the grace of God. The fact that I believe in conditional salvation is not salvation by faith + works, but simply meeting the things that God requires of us (repentance, humility, love, forgiveness, etc...) by the power of His Holy Spirit.


This statement could have come directly out of the pages of the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia. It is pure semi-Pelagianism. It is indisputably synergism. Now if that is what you really believe, then fine...... !! But you can't believe in "conditional salvation" but then deny that salvation is not merited by some form of works. That's inane! [Linked Image] It doesn't make any difference "who" is influential in "helping" a "free-willed sinner" to make an alleged decision for Christ and/or to endure to the end. The bottom line is that it is still the individual's decision/will, according to your theory, that makes one to differ; not divine grace. For if all have the same grace, but some fall away, then it isn't "grace" that saves. You make grace an ingredient that is necessary for the mix, but that's all it is; an ingredient that when mixed with other ingredients, you get the end product, aka "salvation". Dress it up any way you wish, but it still ends up being a system of "grace + works = salvation". Protest as loudly as you will, it's still nothing more than SYNERGISM; God helps man to save himself.



In His Sovereign Grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Re: What God wills - Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:28 PM

JoshT,<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]2. Whom God wills to be saved is based on His foreknowledge of how men will receive Him<br></font><p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>But this is not what the scriptures say.<br><br>I John 4:19<br>"We love him, because he first loved us."<br><br>You statements keep bringing you back to a salvation that you merit which is no salvation at all. You say that it is because I was willing to listen, and you say that because God first saw that we would want Him is the reason God decided to save us. I do hope that God shows you the inconsistency of your doctrine and how much it differs from that of grace. <br><br>Sincerely,<br>Ehud<br><br><br><br>
Posted By: carlos

BUSY.... - Sat Aug 24, 2002 6:24 PM

Hi Josht,<br><br>Nice to see you back. Hopefully your exams went well. Right Now I am busy with my greek class and with work. thus, when I have free time, I will respond to all your posts. In the mean time, most of the things we were discussing are being re-hashed between you and Joe and others. <br><br>alright, til free time then. <br><br><br>God bless, <br>Carlos<br>
Posted By: fredman

Re: In reply... - Mon Aug 26, 2002 6:25 PM

Hey there Josh<br><br>(Josh states):<br>No, I believe that man can fail to remain Christ's people and fall short of His promises (Hebrews 4:1).<br>(fred) You responded to my question about whether or not Jesus could fail saving those whom he calls, and you answered by quoting Heb. 4:1. How exactly does Hebrews 4:1 demonstrate that Jesus is faithful to not fail, but men could possibly fall short? I sort of miss that. As I read Hebrews 4, it looks like to me that these people who may fall short did not have real faith, (see verse 2), and those who do believe will most certainly enter God's rest (see verse 3). You need to re-consider your "pet verses" you believe support conditional security in their contexts. <br><br>(fred asked Josh)<br>"Are you saying that Jesus lied, or was in error, when he told the people in Capernaum that, "all that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)?"<br>(Josh replied to Fred)<br>No. I said that all that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, and that if one does not abide in Christ, God the Father will cut him off and cast him out (John 15:1-7).<br>(fred responds to Josh)<br>Josh, you make me wonder about your theological training. Not that you have to be a graduate from a seminary in order to read the Bible, but you need to have some rules of simple interpretation in place to at least properly handle and study it. You do not seem to employ any coherent rules of interpretation of scripture in order to answer our questions. It is not my intention to be mocking, but point out an observation. Let me show you what I mean:<br>First off, you approach my specific question about this text (as well as this entire debate) with the the theological presupposition that men must act in cooperation with God in order to be saved, or they will loose their salvation. It is a deplorable presupposition, but a presupposition none the less. <br>Next, you have an improper reading of scripture. What on earth does a discussion about salvation to the mass of people who thronged Jesus in Capernaum as recorded in John 6, have to do with an intimate conversation between Jesus and his 11 remaining apostles as recorded in John 15? Because you have this faulty approach to Bible study in place when you come to the Bible, you eisegete the text, (ie, read into the text), what you want it to say. The text of John 6 emphatically states that those individuals given by the father to Christ will not be lost, and they will be raised up on the last day. There are no conditions mentioned any where in the whole dialogue of John 6. Any conditions you want it to promote are brought there to the text by your theological presupposition. <br><br>(Fred pointed out to Josh an interesting grammatical nugget)<br>"One interesting textual note about that passage. The original language has two negatives, so that when Jesus states, "I will by no means cast out," the language of John's gospel is emphatically stating an impossibility. In other words, Jesus is so sure of what he will accomplish with the father giving his people to him, that they could never be cast out."<br>(Josh responds with his expected and typical retort):<br>It does not say that they could never be cast out, it simply says that Jesus won't. <br>(Fred responds)<br>Well Josh, this may shock you to no end, but it exactly does mean they will not be cast out. There is no way any honest evaluation of the grammar and context could yeild any other conclusion. You are basically saying the passage is not saying what it is saying! John means to record these direct statements by Christ like he did, because he wants to tell his readers that those given to Christ by the Father will never, no never, be cast out; even for not abiding (which is an impossibility as well) as you so claim.<br><br>(then Josh adds)<br>But as I pointed out above, John 15, as well as Romans 11 prove that one can be cast out for not abiding in Christ<br>(Fred responds) Yes, Josh, you did point those passages out, but you fail to realize those passages do not prove what you want them to prove.<br><br>(Josh complains)<br>I was just about to ask the same thing of you: What exactly does Revelation 22:19 mean if not what it is clearly stated? How can a man fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), and still be under God's grace? How can a man escape the corruption of the world through knowing Jesus Christ, and yet not be saved (2 Peter 2:20)?<br><br>(Fred responds) <br>Josh, all of these passages, as well as the many other "so-called" problem passages you keep raising are easily answered if you would read the text properly. Now reading the text involves more than reading the Bible with your conditional security glass in place. You need to consider context, grammar in the original language, the point of the book and so on if you wish to handle properly the word of God, or as Paul told Timothy "rightly dividing" the word of God. Maybe you could answer some of my questions to help clarify your position.<br><br>Regarding Rev. 22:19, perhaps you can explain to me why you think this is a reference to loosing salvation? Is it because of John using the phrase "book of life?" How exactly does the addition of plagues mentioned in verse 18 play into your understanding of one loosing his salvation? If I am looking at this passage the way you do, it seems like only plagues are added to the person who adds to the things in the book. Nothing is taken away. So, could the person who only adds to the book of prophecy still maintain his salvation, yet with the addition of plagues? Moreover, perhaps you can explain what it means to add or take away from the book of this prophecy? If doing either of these things is possible for a genuine Christian to do so that they loose their salvation, it would be important to know with certainty what it means exactly to add to, or take from, the book of life. Enlighten us please.<br><br>Regarding Galatians 5:4. How exactly does this teach us that we can loose our salvation? Do you know that the word translated as "fallen" literally means "to lose one's grasp on something?" It is not the word for apostasy, or turning from the truth. Considering the context of Paul's polemical letter to counteract the heresies of the Judiazers, why is it wrong to understand that Paul is telling the Galatians that by them embracing the Judiazing heresy they are placing themselves under a salvation theology that teaches works, rather than the biblical theology that teaches salvation by grace? Why is that not valid to see this verse as Paul telling the Galatians that they have slid into theological ignorance and are in need of simply being rebuked for their lack of discernment and corrected in their doctrine, rather than telling them lost their salvation? Why is it incorrect to undestand what Paul is saying to mean, "you Galatians have lost your grip on the doctrines of grace and have slid away from the truth of salvation by grace; let me help you regain your grip on the truth"? <br><br>Then regarding 2 Peter 2:20. What makes you believe that these individuals addressed by Peter were saved to begin with? It seems like to me that Peter is condemning men who were false prophets and teachers to begin with, not genuine believers who turned from Christ. Their character, as describe in chapter 2 by Peter, demonstrates that they never had any foundational change in their spiritual life. They only wanted to hook up with the Christians and the churches to gain from them for their own selfish interests. Perhaps you can show me where I am wrong with my understanding of this passage.<br><br>Talk at you later<br>Fred
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: What God wills - Tue Aug 27, 2002 5:57 PM

Dear Ehud,<br><br>IRT:<br>"You statements keep bringing you back to a salvation that you merit which is no salvation at all. You say that it is because I was willing to listen, and you say that because God first saw that we would want Him is the reason God decided to save us."<br><br>I do not merit the salvation that God has wrought. God was not compelled to save those who would hear Him, nor do we deserve it; it is simply what God decided to do. This goes back to why I say hearing and following Christ are not merits that earn us eternal life, but conditions which God has set if He is to save us.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I John 4:19<br>'We love him, because he first loved us.'"<br><br>Agreed wholeheartedly. If God had not first loved us, we would not even be capable of loving Him back; for it is only by His grace that we can truly love Him. The essential difference in what we believe is that I believe that some men resist God's grace.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

In reply... - Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:17 PM

Dear Joe,<br><br>You quote Romans 11:6-7, but make no statement as to how it connects to what I said. I don't see your point<br><br>IRT:<br>"But if someone who is SAVED dies before he repents AGAIN does he go to Hell? James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all..."<br><br>I believe that God gives men space to repent of their wickedness (Revelation 2:21). He doesn't just re-save and damn a person every time they repent or sin.<br><br>IRT:<br>"DO you believe in the PERFECT Christian (one without ANY sin?)? Thus, IF ONE sin exists in your view of salvation, then a person will go to Hell, though he was once saved......."<br><br>Besides our Lord Jesus, a perfect man has not walked the earth. You make too many assumptions about what I believe. God is each man's judge, not me. Personally, I believe that God is very gracious and will give men the opportunity to repent of their sin, but will damn those that despise His goodness.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Please do not get upset when someone shatters your theology, by simple quoting you..... Say what you will!"<br><br>Someone would have had to shatter my theology for me to be upset. I am not ashamed of anything you have quoted from my posts. To contradict them you would have had to say something to disprove them, not just type the phrase, "Works righteousness!" a few times.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: lazarus

Re: What God wills - Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:43 PM

JoshT - you wrote:<br><br>[color:blue]"This goes back to why I say hearing and following Christ are not merits that earn us eternal life, but conditions which God has set if He is to save us."</font color=blue><br><br>Are you not simply doing the double-speak? You say that believing and making a decision are not 'works'....now you say that FOLLOWING (i.e., persevering for a lifetime even) Christ is also NOT a work...but merely a 'condition'.<br><br>If it walks and quacks ....<br><br>In Him, <br>
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: In reply... - Tue Aug 27, 2002 7:55 PM

YOU SAID:<br><br><blockquote>You quote Romans 11:6-7, but make no statement as to how it connects to what I said. I don't see your point</blockquote><br><br>Sorry you do not understand the Scripture: You had said that [color:red] God has purposefully limited Himself and has delegated to each man some degree of control over his own destiny</font color=red> and my point is the ONLY limit God placed upon Himself was His elective grace and not being submissive to “our works” for [color:blue] if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (Rom 11:6-7)</font color=blue><br><br>YOU SAID: <br><br><blockquote>[color:red]I believe that God gives men space to repent of their wickedness (Revelation 2:21). He doesn't just re-save and damn a person every time they repent or sin.</blockquote></font color=red><br><br>Josh, stop taking verses OUT OF CONTEXT : Revelation 2:21 was written to the CHURCH which is, was, and is to come. The space He gives is only to the elect, no others, for their space was already prepared for them before the creation of the world (Rev 13:9, 17:8)<br><br>YOU SAID:<br><br><blockquote>[color:red]Besides Personally, I believe that God is very gracious and will give men the opportunity to repent of their sin, but will damn those that despise His goodness. </blockquote></font color=red><br><br>Opportunity, yes, God does give each the opportunity. To the blind, He says see, but they don’t see. To the cripple He says walk, but they don’t walk, to the ….I hope you get the point…..only if Christ ‘heals’ them and raises them from the deadness of their sins will their opportunity ever come to salvation. Plus, your personal opinion means nothing as weighed by Scripture<br><br>YOU SAID”<br><br><blockquote>[color:red]Someone would have had to shatter my theology for me to be upset. I am not ashamed of anything you have quoted from my posts. To contradict them you would have had to say something to disprove them, not just type the phrase, "Works righteousness!" a few times. </blockquote></font color=red><br><br>Of course you are right here [Linked Image]. I should have known that saying you believed in “works righteousness” and supporting it with all your quotes would not have offended you, for you believe it to be so. May God give you grace!<br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: In reply... - Tue Oct 01, 2002 4:35 PM

Dear Joe,

IRT:
"...the ONLY limit God placed upon Himself was His elective grace and not being submissive to “our works” for if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (Rom 11:6-7)"

Really? Then please tell me why Jesus was grieved over Jerusalem not coming to Him, despite His desire that they do.

IRT:
"Josh, stop taking verses OUT OF CONTEXT : Revelation 2:21 was written to the CHURCH which is, was, and is to come. The space He gives is only to the elect, no others, for their space was already prepared for them before the creation of the world (Rev 13:9, 17:8)"

I was talking about people that were saved. This was in response to your suggestion that I believe that God repeatedly saves and damns people.

IRT:
"Opportunity, yes, God does give each the opportunity. To the blind, He says see, but they don’t see. To the cripple He says walk, but they don’t walk, to the ….I hope you get the point…..only if Christ ‘heals’ them and raises them from the deadness of their sins will their opportunity ever come to salvation. Plus, your personal opinion means nothing as weighed by Scripture"

My opinion is from the scripture. An opportunity without possibility is no opportunity.

IRT:
"Of course you are right here . I should have known that saying you believed in “works righteousness” and supporting it with all your quotes would not have offended you, for you believe it to be so. May God give you grace!"

Your quotes do not support your case. I invite you to prove that humbling yourself and hearing God are 'works'.


In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: In reply... - Tue Oct 01, 2002 5:06 PM

Dear Fred,<br><br>IRT:<br>"4:1. How exactly does Hebrews 4:1 demonstrate that Jesus is faithful to not fail, but men could possibly fall short? I sort of miss that. As I read Hebrews 4, it looks like to me that these people who may fall short did not have real faith, (see verse 2), and those who do believe will most certainly enter God's rest (see verse 3). You need to re-consider your 'pet verses' you believe support conditional security in their contexts."<br><br>It does not indicate that Christ can fail, but that man can. Paul is speaking not to those who have not true faith, but who have truly believed (vs 3), and warning them not to fall short of entering His rest just as those in the wilderness did, vs 11 also restates this warning.<br><br>IRT:<br>"First off, you approach my specific question about this text (as well as this entire debate) with the the theological presupposition that men must act in cooperation with God in order to be saved, or they will loose their salvation. It is a deplorable presupposition, but a presupposition none the less."<br><br>I invite you to disprove it Biblically.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Next, you have an improper reading of scripture. What on earth does a discussion about salvation to the mass of people who thronged Jesus in Capernaum as recorded in John 6, have to do with an intimate conversation between Jesus and his 11 remaining apostles as recorded in John 15?"<br><br>It is the same truth about the same subject spoken by the same Man. Romans 11 also confirms this teaching.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The text of John 6 emphatically states that those individuals given by the father to Christ will not be lost, and they will be raised up on the last day. There are no conditions mentioned any where in the whole dialogue of John 6. Any conditions you want it to promote are brought there to the text by your theological presupposition."<br><br>There is also no mention of election or predestination in John 3:16, am I to assume that such a doctrine is not taught in the Bible? A verse that does not state a condition does not negate a verse that does.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Well Josh, this may shock you to no end, but it exactly does mean they will not be cast out. There is no way any honest evaluation of the grammar and context could yeild any other conclusion. You are basically saying the passage is not saying what it is saying! John means to record these direct statements by Christ like he did, because he wants to tell his readers that those given to Christ by the Father will never, no never, be cast out; even for not abiding (which is an impossibility as well) as you so claim."<br><br>No, you are reading more into it than is written. John 15 and Romans 11 clearly state that those who do not abide will be cast out. If not abiding is an impossibility, then why are there so many warnings in the scripture against it, or warnings like Revelation 22:19?<br><br>IRT:<br>"(then Josh adds)<br>But as I pointed out above, John 15, as well as Romans 11 prove that one can be cast out for not abiding in Christ<br>(Fred responds) Yes, Josh, you did point those passages out, but you fail to realize those passages do not prove what you want them to prove."<br><br>Show me how they do not prove it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Josh, all of these passages, as well as the many other 'so-called' problem passages you keep raising are easily answered if you would read the text properly. Now reading the text involves more than reading the Bible with your conditional security glass in place."<br><br>Then answer them conclusively.<br><br>IRT:<br>"You need to consider context, grammar in the original language, the point of the book and so on if you wish to handle properly the word of God, or as Paul told Timothy 'rightly dividing' the word of God."<br><br>I do, thank you.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Regarding Rev. 22:19, perhaps you can explain to me why you think this is a reference to loosing salvation? Is it because of John using the phrase 'book of life?' How exactly does the addition of plagues mentioned in verse 18 play into your understanding of one loosing his salvation? If I am looking at this passage the way you do, it seems like only plagues are added to the person who adds to the things in the book. Nothing is taken away. So, could the person who only adds to the book of prophecy still maintain his salvation, yet with the addition of plagues?"<br><br>I would think that taking away is a worse transgression than adding, but to answer your question, possibly, but I don't think I would like to find out the hard way.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Moreover, perhaps you can explain what it means to add or take away from the book of this prophecy?"<br><br>Adding to or taking from the book or Revelation specifically (which has been done by some scholars before).<br><br>IRT:<br>"If doing either of these things is possible for a genuine Christian to do so that they loose their salvation, it would be important to know with certainty what it means exactly to add to, or take from, the book of life. Enlighten us please."<br><br>Anyone not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). The meaning should be obvious. If it is not possible for a true Christian to do this, then why is God giving us a warning?<br><br>IRT:<br>"Regarding Galatians 5:4. How exactly does this teach us that we can loose our salvation? Do you know that the word translated as "fallen" literally means "to lose one's grasp on something?" It is not the word for apostasy, or turning from the truth. Considering the context of Paul's polemical letter to counteract the heresies of the Judiazers, why is it wrong to understand that Paul is telling the Galatians that by them embracing the Judiazing heresy they are placing themselves under a salvation theology that teaches works, rather than the biblical theology that teaches salvation by grace? Why is that not valid to see this verse as Paul telling the Galatians that they have slid into theological ignorance and are in need of simply being rebuked for their lack of discernment and corrected in their doctrine, rather than telling them lost their salvation? Why is it incorrect to undestand what Paul is saying to mean, "you Galatians have lost your grip on the doctrines of grace and have slid away from the truth of salvation by grace; let me help you regain your grip on the truth"?"<br><br>"Christ will profit you nothing" (vs 2) "You have become a stranger to Christ" (vs 4). Consider this, the scripture says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, it also says that if any man has not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His; so it follows that all who are Christ's have His Holy Spirit and are free. How then can you think that those who turn again and put themselves in bondage are Christ's? And besides, if one has let go of grace, how can he be under it any longer?<br><br>IRT:<br>"Then regarding 2 Peter 2:20. What makes you believe that these individuals addressed by Peter were saved to begin with? It seems like to me that Peter is condemning men who were false prophets and teachers to begin with, not genuine believers who turned from Christ. Their character, as describe in chapter 2 by Peter, demonstrates that they never had any foundational change in their spiritual life. They only wanted to hook up with the Christians and the churches to gain from them for their own selfish interests. Perhaps you can show me where I am wrong with my understanding of this passage."<br><br>Certainly: Several quotes show that they are not only false teachers, but apostates from the Christian faith. Vs 1 indicates that they will deny the Lord that bought them, and vs 14 calls them accursed children. The character they are shown to have does not prove that they never had any change in their lives, but that they have fallen away from what is right "forsaken the right way and gone astray." And my original argument, one cannot escape the pollutions of the world unless one has partaken of the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4)<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Conditions and works - Tue Oct 01, 2002 5:10 PM

Dear Laz,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Are you not simply doing the double-speak? You say that believing and making a decision are not 'works'....now you say that FOLLOWING (i.e., persevering for a lifetime even) Christ is also NOT a work...but merely a 'condition'."<br><br>No, they are not works but conditions met by abiding in Christ and through the power of the Holy Ghost. I invite you to show me where these are ever referred to as works.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: In reply... - Tue Oct 01, 2002 5:19 PM

Dear RefBap,<br><br>IRT:<br>"The thing it seems like you're not understanding is that true humility, for example--the kind that is pleasing to God--is good. It's a type of goodness, and without being born from above, we just don't have any of that in us."<br><br>It is true, men do not have any inherently; but it does not mean that one has to be born from above (regenerated, in your lingo) to have it, it comes when God draws a sinner, when God shines His grace on a fallen man, he may decide to humble himself and listen to God or stiffen his neck and stop his ears.<br><br>IRT:<br>"So, when you say: He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice, you are basically saying that God has chosen to save those who had this goodness in them in that they were truly humble and listened to Him."<br><br>Incorrect. Unless God calls the sinner first, there can be no good in him, including humility; for nothing good is present in our flesh. The big difference in our beliefs is that I believe that one can decide to be humble or not. To clarify, God does choose to save those who humble themselves in response to His drawing and conviction by the Holy Spirit, not those who are just not as proud as their fellows.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: lazarus

Re: Conditions and works - Tue Oct 01, 2002 11:57 PM

JoshT - welcome back.<br><br>You say that persevering is a 'condition'.....not a work.<br><br>No...you are mistaken.<br><br>Persevering is the same as being obedient (til the end even) ....and obedience is an active (and passive also when we refrain from sin) response to God's law....i.e., WORK! <br><br>No?<br><br>So, your system is works based.<br><br>
Posted By: fredman

Re: In reply... - Wed Oct 02, 2002 5:56 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]It (Hebrews 4:1) does not indicate that Christ can fail, but that man can. Paul is speaking not to those who have not true faith, but who have truly believed (vs 3), and warning them not to fall short of entering His rest just as those in the wilderness did, vs 11 also restates this warning.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Josh, you did not even address my assertion. I am not arguing that men do not fail, but I pointed out that Hebrews 4:2 states that these individuals did not have true faith to begin with. You start with the assumption that they were saved; I let the text tell me that they were not saved at all to explain why they come short of the promise. The warnings are legitimate, but those with genuine faith will heed them and not fall away. Those who do fall away demonstrate they are disobedient and were not saved at all. Why is that not a legitimate understanding of the passage?<br><br>Moreover, you do not even take into consideration the whole analogy of the OT Exodus the author is employing back up in the verses at the end of Hebrews 3. It is obvious from what is being written here, that there were many delivered from Egypt at the Exodus, but they did not have true faith in the God that delivered them, and thus they did not enter the promise of rest. How exactly would you understand Hebrews 4:1,11 in light of what is established before beginning in Hebrews 3:16 and following? <br><br>I asked Josh:<br><br><ul>"First off, you approach my specific question about this text (as well as this entire debate) with the the theological presupposition that men must act in cooperation with God in order to be saved, or they will loose their salvation. It is a deplorable presupposition, but a presupposition none the less."[/LIST]<br><br>Josh offers an invitation<br><br><span style="background-color:yellow;">I invite you to disprove it Biblically.</span><br><br>I will be happy to take up your invitation. First, would you say that your position would be something like, God did his part to provide salvation to men through Christ, but now it is up to men to avail themselves of this salvation? Thus any appropriation of salvation must come by the faith of the sinner, correct? But the Bible is clear that man has no ability to exercise this saving faith. In fact, as I have already demonstrated to our old heretic friend Jacques last month, Ephesians 2:8,9 states emphatically that the faith to believe the gospel is a part of that grace that God gives. With out the gift of faith given to the sinner, he can never cooperate with God's plan of salvation. <br>Furthermore, Paul writes in Romans 8:6-8 that those not in the spirit (non-christians) are considered "carnal" or "fleshly." They can not do anything to please the Lord, and are in fact, enemies of God. The phrase "nor indeed can be" in 8:7 is translated from the words oude gar dunatai which literally means indeed powerless. According to Paul's words here, the sinner does not have it in his ability to cooperate in any fashion with God's plan of salvation, because he lacks the spiritual "power" to be obedient; he is unable to please God in a spiritual manner. <br>Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 2:14 say the same thing. Natural men do not have the spirit of God, and are thus rendered powerless to understand spiritual things. Paul uses dunamus here in this verse as well, and it means the same thing he stated in Romans 8:7. The gospel is a spiritual message. It is impossible for a sinner to cooperate with God by obeying the commands of that spiritual message, because they have no ability to do so. It is only by God's illuminating grace that a natural man has the power to believe. <br>The really burden of proof, however, is for you Josh, to show us, from the text of scripture, why you believe men have the ability to cooperate with God in salvation.<br><br>In actuality, the real issue is how bad you think sin impacts a person. It is obvious from your statements, that you do not think sin is that big a deal in hurting man. It has not killed man, just gimped him up some with a broken leg or something. Thus, I would imagine with all the passages outlining the destructive nature sin has on all men, you either think Paul was exaggerating, or you water down what he is saying. <br><br>I asked Josh<br><ul>"Next, you have an improper reading of scripture. What on earth does a discussion about salvation to the mass of people who thronged Jesus in Capernaum as recorded in John 6, have to do with an intimate conversation between Jesus and his 11 remaining apostles as recorded in John 15?"[/LIST]<br><br>Josh responds<br>It is the same truth about the same subject spoken by the same Man. Romans 11 also confirms this teaching.<br><br>Really? Are there any principles of hermenuetics you utilize when you study the Bible? Could you show me how this two passages are even remotely similar? And on top of that how does Romans 11 confirm your understanding of these two unrelated passages? I look forward to your response.<br> <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]There is also no mention of election or predestination in John 3:16, am I to assume that such a doctrine is not taught in the Bible? A verse that does not state a condition does not negate a verse that does.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I acutally wrote out a lenghthy exegetical essay about John 3:16 which I can email as an attachment to you if you wish, or to anyone else for that matter. You are correct in pointing out that it is not mentioning election or predestination, but the one thing you fail to take notice from this passage is that it emphatically establishes that those who believe can not loose their salvation. The text literally states that the believing ones will not perish. The purpose of God giving the son was so that those believing will not perish. There is a grammatical hina clause in this verse, and the hina clause expresses purposeful results. The aim of the action in the main verb. It explains why X does Y. This hina clause, along with the phrase "should not perish" establishes the fact that there is no loss of this eternal life. The result of the father giving the son was that every believing one will never, without a doubt, perish. There is no way you can get around the force of the grammar in this passage Josh. Unless of course you do what the JWs do, and physically change the text. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]No, you are reading more into it than is written. John 15 and Romans 11 clearly state that those who do not abide will be cast out. If not abiding is an impossibility, then why are there so many warnings in the scripture against it, or warnings like Revelation 22:19?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>First off, I think several othes who have been posting to you have offered up their understanding of these various texts. The issue is that you do not like their interpretation, but it is your burden to show us why we are wrong with that interpretation. Several of these folks offered up some solid exegesis, but you do not interact with that exegesis. Below, I will send you to a link that will give you an extensive understanding of John 15 and the article will show you why Jesus is not teaching conditional security. <br><br>As for the warning passages, like Rev. 22:19 (which, by the way, I answered in my last post several weeks ago, but you gave a rather, pathetic non-answer, see below), there is no debate about the warning passages. Everyone will agree they are in the Bible. The debate comes down to how we understand them. I believe the warning passages weed out false believers from true ones. Your position has no room for the fact that there are many individuals claiming they are Christians, but in actuality, they are not truly saved. That is because they have no genuine evidence of spiritual fruit in their lives. Why exactly do you not consider this possibility? The truly saved will heed the warning passages, not because they are fearful of loosing their salvation, but because they love their Lord, and they do not want to dishonor him. That is perseverance. True Christians persevere. They struggle with sin, they confess it, they pursue godliness. Fake believers wallow in self pity, don't take sin serious, and don't care to be godly. They attend church on a minimial level, if at all, and live their life the way they please, and not under the Lordship of Christ. They could care less about those warning passages. That is what John summed up in his epistle that they went out from us, because they were not of us (1 John 2:19). These people were not Christian to begin with. If they had been, their would had been perseverance on their part. <br><br>Fred offered up a couple of thoughs about Josh's proof texts:<br><br><span style="background-color:yellow;">Yes, Josh, you did point those passages out, but you fail to realize those passages do not prove what you want them to prove."</span><br><br>and<br><br><span style="background-color:yellow;">"Josh, all of these passages, as well as the many other 'so-called' problem passages you keep raising are easily answered if you would read the text properly. Now reading the text involves more than reading the Bible with your conditional security glass in place."</span><br><br>Josh responded <span style="background-color:yellow;">Show me how they do not prove it [b]AND Then answer them conclusively.[/b]</span><br><br>Like I stated above, those you have been interacting with here, have offered you some fairly solid interpretations of these problem passages, as well as showed you why you are wrong about your position. You choose to ignore it. I will give you a link to an extensive article on John 15. My hope is that you will be a Berean, read the article, and see if these things be true. <br>http://aomin.org/John15.html<br><br><br>fred stated<br><ul>"You need to consider context, grammar in the original language, the point of the book and so on if you wish to handle properly the word of God, or as Paul told Timothy 'rightly dividing' the word of God."[/LIST]<br><br>Josh replied<br><span style="background-color:yellow;">I do, thank you.</span><br><br>Huh? you have yet to show us that you have any competence in handling the word of God. You are pulling verses out of context, cross-referencing unrelated passages, and not even considering the original language. <br><br>Fred pointed out<br><ul>"Regarding Rev. 22:19, perhaps you can explain to me why you think this is a reference to loosing salvation? Is it because of John using the phrase 'book of life?' How exactly does the addition of plagues mentioned in verse 18 play into your understanding of one loosing his salvation? If I am looking at this passage the way you do, it seems like only plagues are added to the person who adds to the things in the book. Nothing is taken away. So, could the person who only adds to the book of prophecy still maintain his salvation, yet with the addition of plagues?"[/LIST]<br><br>And Josh's stunning reply<br><span style="background-color:yellow;">I would think that taking away is a worse transgression than adding, but to answer your question, possibly, but I don't think I would like to find out the hard way.</span><br><br>Why should I even bother responding? This is basically a non-answer. Come on Josh, you're a student in electrical engineering. You can do better than that. You replied further that "taking away or adding to this prophecy" is to be understood as taking away from the Revelation specifically. But the transgression to get your part taken away from the book of life is defined as just that, adding to or taking away from the prophecy of the Revelation. So, if we use your logic, as long as a person doesn't add or take away from the Revelation, their salvation is secure. Would that not be accurate to say? To answer your question once again, "why does God give us this warning?" To weed out false professors from true possessors. The true believers will never do this. <br><br><br>In response to my thoughts on Galatians 5:4, Josh stated:<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]"Christ will profit you nothing" (vs 2) "You have become a stranger to Christ" (vs 4). Consider this, the scripture says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, it also says that if any man has not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His; so it follows that all who are Christ's have His Holy Spirit and are free. How then can you think that those who turn again and put themselves in bondage are Christ's? And besides, if one has let go of grace, how can he be under it any longer?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Again, you totally miss Paul's thoughts here. He is speaking about the influence of false doctrine. Someone was spreading false leaven among the Galatian church (5:9). This is another area where you seem to have no room in your system. You do not see that Christians can come under the influence of errant doctrine, yet still be saved. Thus, in your system, if an immature believer happens to come under the influence of false teaching, he looses his salvation? Did Peter loose his salvation when he came under the influence of the Judaizers as Paul relates in Galatians 2? <br>Moreover, if Paul is saying the Galatians lost their salvation, what does he mean when he writes in 5:10 that he has confidence in them that they will have no other mind? It seems like to me that Paul is contradicting your beliefs, because he had confidence in their assurance and that there is no loosing one's salvation being taught here.<br><br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Certainly: Several quotes show that they are not only false teachers, but apostates from the Christian faith. Vs 1 indicates that they will deny the Lord that bought them, and vs 14 calls them accursed children. The character they are shown to have does not prove that they never had any change in their lives, but that they have fallen away from what is right "forsaken the right way and gone astray." And my original argument, one cannot escape the pollutions of the world unless one has partaken of the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4)</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I would encourage you to check out Gary Long's article listed under the home page on this passage. At any rate, Peter distinguishes between false teachers and the people in verse 1. These false prophets were present among the people of Israel, and will be present in the church. They were not first of the people and became false teachers; they have always been false teachers who came in among the people. That is what Peter means when he says they secretly bring in heresies. This is something from the outside being brought it. Nothing in Peter's description of these false teachers suggests that they were partakers of the divine nature of Christ. They were corrupt from the beginning. <br><br><br>By the way, you haven't answered my question about Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach. Are you a fan of his?<br><br>Fred<br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: In reply... - Wed Oct 02, 2002 6:15 PM

Hi Josh,<br><br>I had said in my post to you: <br><br>[color:blue]The thing it seems like you're not understanding is that true humility, for example--the kind that is pleasing to God--is good. It's a type of goodness, and without being born from above, we just don't have any of that in us. When the Bible says that we are dead in sin, it means it. We can't DO any good in the sense of godly goodness. True humility is one of those things. We simply don't possess the ability to be truly humble before God when we are outside of Christ. We also don't have a true forgiving spirit or true love for others, or any other of these things that you listed that God sees as good. We can have things which masquerade as them, but at best they are all tainted with sin.</font color=blue><br><br>I also said:<br><br>[color:blue]So, when you say:</font color=blue> [color:red]He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice,</font color=red>[color:blue] you are basically saying that God has chosen to save those who had this goodness in them in that they were truly humble and listened to Him. </font color=blue><br><br>You responded with this:<br><br>[color:red]Incorrect. Unless God calls the sinner first, there can be no good in him, including humility; for nothing good is present in our flesh. The big difference in our beliefs is that I believe that one can decide to be humble or not. To clarify, God does choose to save those who humble themselves in response to His drawing and conviction by the Holy Spirit, not those who are just not as proud as their fellows.</font color=red><br><br>My reply to that is that Scripture shows mankind (after the Fall, before Glory) who are living on the earth to be in one of two states. Either man is: (1) dead in sin or (2) alive in Christ. In which state would we find the person you are talking about? This person who you are saying has not humbled himself or herself but is able to, are they dead in sin or alive in Christ? I just don't see Scripture showing us any "in-between" state. It is my belief that we are dead in sin UNTIL we are alive in Christ and that while we are dead in sin we can do no good, which would include truly humbling ourselves before God. Further, I see that while we are dead in sin we have absolutely no desire to even do so. <br><br>Looking forward to your reply,<br>RefBap<br><br><br><br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Josh - Fri Oct 11, 2002 2:49 PM

Dear Pilgrim,<br><br>IRT:<br>"But you can't believe in 'conditional salvation' but then deny that salvation is not merited by some form of works. That's inane!"<br><br>It is not merited, it is conditional, there is a big difference.<br><br>IRT:<br>"For if all have the same grace, but some fall away, then it isn't 'grace' that saves."<br><br>It is grace that saves, they have simply fallen from it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Dress it up any way you wish, but it still ends up being a system of 'grace + works = salvation'."<br><br>The conditions of grace are not works. Prove me wrong if you think I'm lying.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Protest as loudly as you will, it's still nothing more than SYNERGISM; God helps man to save himself."<br><br>God worked for our salvation, God guides us to receiving and retaining that salvation.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Josh - Fri Oct 11, 2002 3:19 PM

JoshT,<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]The conditions of grace are not works. Prove me wrong if you think I'm lying.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What is the difference in saying that "I've met the right conditions, so I get to go to heaven" than saying "I've done the right things, so I get to go to heaven." Or I've done the correct things that I am supposed to do so I get to go to heaven. Or I've done the things that God has asked of me and based on me meeting those requirements then I get salvation. Finally, God has saved me because I have met the conditions while this other poor soul has not met the conditions, therefore my salvation is not based just upon Christ, it is now based on who met the right conditions. <br><br>All of this is the same as merits. There is no difference than meeting the right conditions and meriting something. You have simply changed the words around and instead of calling it grace and works, you call it grace and conditions. Martin Luther said that we could do this with anything. We could say that the thorn tree is a good tree and that the fruit tree is a bad tree. We can just change names and call it anything we want to. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]It is grace that saves, they have simply fallen from it.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>For you grace is some sort of tool that you use to get right with God. If grace saves, then it is not up to the person, it is up to grace. "Oh yes grace did a whole lot for me, but if it were not for me meeting those conditions, boy oh boy I sure would be lost. Thanks a lot grace, but with my actions grace was effective." <br><br>I think the burden of proof lies with you. I would love to see logically, how meeting a condition to gain a prize is different from doing a work to merit a prize. <br><br>Sincerely,<br>Ehud<br><br><br>
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: In reply... - Fri Oct 11, 2002 3:52 PM

I notice Josh didn't answer my question. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/frown.gif" alt="frown[/img]
Posted By: Ehud

Re: In reply... - Fri Oct 11, 2002 3:54 PM

RefBap,<br><br>I rather liked your question[img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin[/img]<br><br>Ehud
Posted By: lazarus

Re: Josh - Sat Oct 12, 2002 10:50 PM

Excellent post!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>How on earth will/can Josh get out of that pickle???<br><br>conditions, merit, works....if it quacks like a duck....<br><br>blessings,
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: In reply... - Sun Oct 13, 2002 1:36 PM

IRT:
[color:red]Really? Then please tell me why Jesus was grieved over Jerusalem not coming to Him, despite His desire that they do.

Josh, I continue to be amazed of your taking things out of context to attempt to prove your point. You crucify the Scriptures afresh because you will not believe in the crucified Saviour alone for salvation. Of course, the natural mind can not comprehend the things of the Spirit of God. We will continue to pray for your salvation.

Now, to answer your question….Yes, really! God does love all with a GENERAL love…I believe you and I have discussed this before…if not then I know it has been discussed in this forum before.

Though you did not quote the text of Matt, it reflects I believe what you were attempting to say:
[color:blue] Matt 23:37-38 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.


Now, Josh if you ever asked yourself the question, “Why did not Israel desire to come” and looked at the parallel Scriptures (to Matt 23), you would have come upon Deut 32. They would not, because they were not God’s called, or as Deut 5:29 so stated, they did not have “the” heart that would--which only God can put within one (John 3)!

Unless reprobate, you MUST agree with Scripture that God is utterly sovereign and therefore fully capable of bringing to pass whatever He desires (Is. 46:10)—including the salvation of whomever He chooses (Eph. 1:4-5). Yet, He sometimes expresses a wish for that which He does not sovereignly bring to pass. I can safely say that all are NOT SAVED, but look at a parallel passage:
[color:blue] Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

All are not saved, because “such an heart is not in them,” and this by sovereign design or all would have this “type of heart” and all would be saved. But, God is still full of compassion (Ezek. 18:32; 33:11) towards those that do not have this type of heart. While affirming God’s sovereignty, one must understand His pleas for the repentance of the reprobate as well meant appeals—and His goodness toward the wicked as a genuine mercy designed to provoke them to repentance (Rom. 2:4):

Judges have approved the death penalty for murders. A violation of a righteous law. Judges give out and enforce this penalty. They righteously support the law. The penalty is deserved and fully warranted. But when the judge reflects on his day do you not think that one, full of compassion and mercy, would weep at such a sentence? Do you not think it causes them thought of what they had to do?

----

IRT:
[color:red]My opinion is from the scripture. An opportunity without possibility is no opportunity.

Josh the only surety in grace is election and not the work (possibility/opportunity) of your will. Without election grace loses its total meaning.

God is not a God of possibility or probability, but of surety and of “Thus saith the Lord.”

Your statement [color:red] An opportunity without possibility is no opportunity merely affirms your heresy of believing in the sovereignty of Satan’s power and man’s will over the power of the blood of Christ, for not all are saved--P.S. An [color:red]opinion not supported by Scripture. Man will only be willing in the day of HIS POWER and that being the giving a new heart that is capable of believing!

May God humble you so you will see and understand His mercy, grace, and Word.
Posted By: Anonymous

conditional salvation and God's warnings - Wed Apr 02, 2003 4:53 PM

Dear Fred,

IRT:
"First, would you say that your position would be something like, God did his part to provide salvation to men through Christ, but now it is up to men to avail themselves of this salvation? Thus any appropriation of salvation must come by the faith of the sinner, correct?"

To receive salvation, a man must be drawn and called by God (for salvation is of God, not of us), and then answer His call and receive His grace. If any man will hear God and receive His word, he will be granted faith in Christ and repentance to life.

IRT:
"The really burden of proof, however, is for you Josh, to show us, from the text of scripture, why you believe men have the ability to cooperate with God in salvation."

Certainly, John 5:25 says,

"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."

As you can see, there is regeneration does not precede hearing the call of God, but those that hear will live. How can they hear while they are dead? If God's call can even reach those who are physically dead, then why not those that are spiritually dead as well? Does God compel them to hear, I don't think so; for while it is God who opens the ears and the heart, man can resist him and shut himself off to God's word.

"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear." Zechariah 7:11


IRT:
"Really? Are there any principles of hermenuetics you utilize when you study the Bible? Could you show me how this two passages are even remotely similar? And on top of that how does Romans 11 confirm your understanding of these two unrelated passages? I look forward to your response."

They don't have to be similar, simply about the same subject, salvation specifically. I have, by the way, already seen the article you wrote me about at Alpha and Omega ministries (believe it or not, I am somewhat of a fan of James White's work on the KJV only controversy). But back to the subject. Many contend that the phrase "in Me" does not necessarily mean saved. But I cannot think of an example from scripture where a person can be 'in Christ' and not be saved. But if being 'in Christ' is 'not necessarily being saved', then why would Christ command us to remain in that in order to bear fruit? 'Abide,' indicates continuation, and a person who abides in Him will bear fruit. If a person were not really saved, then abiding anywhere or in anything would do no good at all. To put it simply, you cannot remain in what you were never in, and it does no good to remain in where you should not be. That is why I believe that this is a reference to conditional salvation.


IRT:
"I acutally wrote out a lenghthy exegetical essay about John 3:16 which I can email as an attachment to you if you wish, or to anyone else for that matter. You are correct in pointing out that it is not mentioning election or predestination, but the one thing you fail to take notice from this passage is that it emphatically establishes that those who believe can not loose their salvation. The text literally states that the believing ones will not perish. The purpose of God giving the son was so that those believing will not perish. There is a grammatical hina clause in this verse, and the hina clause expresses purposeful results. The aim of the action in the main verb. It explains why X does Y. This hina clause, along with the phrase "should not perish" establishes the fact that there is no loss of this eternal life. The result of the father giving the son was that every believing one will never, without a doubt, perish. There is no way you can get around the force of the grammar in this passage Josh. Unless of course you do what the JWs do, and physically change the text."

You have leveled the accusation against me that I don't take into account the original language. You say this without even knowing or asking, and have made a hasty conclusion; for nothing could be farther from the truth. Perhaps your deductions of me are as far-fetched as your conclusions about eternal security.
To go back to the original language, 'believes' in John 3:16 is present active tense, indicating a presently occuring event. So those who "are believing" in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. The question is then, can a person lose their faith? I believe so, consider 1 Timothy 5:11-12, which speaks of younger women who are supported by the church, but begin to turn against Christ, it says,

"But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith."

People sometimes ask me, "well, what was their first faith?" Not to be condescending, but one does not have condemnation for casting off a false faith.

IRT:
"First off, I think several othes who have been posting to you have offered up their understanding of these various texts. The issue is that you do not like their interpretation, but it is your burden to show us why we are wrong with that interpretation. Several of these folks offered up some solid exegesis, but you do not interact with that exegesis. Below, I will send you to a link that will give you an extensive understanding of John 15 and the article will show you why Jesus is not teaching conditional security."

Concerning Romans 11, it is clearly speaking of salvation for individuals. The example of the root and branches is used to illustrate Israel's fall and the Gentiles obtaining mercy through their fall. Even John Calvin could not escape the conclusion that this was a reference to individual salvation. He simply concluded that it was something that God said to push believers to obedience, but would never really do.


IRT:
"That is what John summed up in his epistle that they went out from us, because they were not of us (1 John 2:19). These people were not Christian to begin with. If they had been, their would had been perseverance on their part."

What John was saying was that those who were not of God departed from out of the church, not from following God.


IRT:
"Huh? you have yet to show us that you have any competence in handling the word of God. You are pulling verses out of context, cross-referencing unrelated passages, and not even considering the original language."

Fred, if your goal is to tease and infuriate me till I give up or get flustered, you are targeting the wrong individual, and your method of persuasion is, to put mildly, somewhat ineffective. A soft word says much more than a sarcastic one; and even if your allegations had a hint of truth to them, I can't think of anyone I have ever persuaded of anything by insulting them.

IRT (in regards to Revelation 22:19):
"Why should I even bother responding? This is basically a non-answer. Come on Josh, you're a student in electrical engineering. You can do better than that. You replied further that "taking away or adding to this prophecy" is to be understood as taking away from the Revelation specifically. But the transgression to get your part taken away from the book of life is defined as just that, adding to or taking away from the prophecy of the Revelation. So, if we use your logic, as long as a person doesn't add or take away from the Revelation, their salvation is secure. Would that not be accurate to say? To answer your question once again, "why does God give us this warning?" To weed out false professors from true possessors. The true believers will never do this."

If you don't like the simple answer, I'll give you a more elaborate one. Though it is not specifically stated that God will take one's part from the book of life for adding to His word, I believe He is simply emphasizing different parts of the punishment for each offense. As an example from the same book, the seven churches were each promised a different reward for overcoming. Ephesus in particular was promised that they would not be hurt by the second death. Let's hope for our sakes that He meant that for all who believe (I'm sure He did). So in the same way, I think God saw it fitting to emphasize the punishment that best fit the crime in Revelation 22:19 (If you add to My word, I will add plagues to you, if you take away from my word, I will take your part from the book of life...). Secondly, no. One's salvation is not secured by just not committing a particular sin. It does not follow that just because I show a condition, that I believe that is the only condition; you simply jumped to conclusions about me again. I'll elaborate on your third point below.


IRT:
"Again, you totally miss Paul's thoughts here. He is speaking about the influence of false doctrine. Someone was spreading false leaven among the Galatian church (5:9). This is another area where you seem to have no room in your system. You do not see that Christians can come under the influence of errant doctrine, yet still be saved. Thus, in your system, if an immature believer happens to come under the influence of false teaching, he looses his salvation?"

You're on a roll, aren't you? No, I do not believe that a small doctrinal error is damnable, this is evidenced by the fact that I do consider Calvinists to be Christians, albeit errant on a secondary point. But the Galatians were a bit different you see, Paul said that they had been taken by another gospel, and noted in Galatians 1:8,

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

It's kind of funny talking to a Calvinist about this, because the charge that I believe in works righteousness is often leveled falsely against me. But the Galatian believers were moved from the true gospel into a false on, and some who had known God embraced it.


IRT:
"Moreover, if Paul is saying the Galatians lost their salvation, what does he mean when he writes in 5:10 that he has confidence in them that they will have no other mind? It seems like to me that Paul is contradicting your beliefs, because he had confidence in their assurance and that there is no loosing one's salvation being taught here."

"Of course not all of the believers were taken in by this, it was not to these that Paul wrote,
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

But to those who had embraced this false gospel, he proclaimed that Christ had become of no effect to them, and that they had fallen from grace; and contrasted them with those who still waited for righteousness by faith, that is to say, the ones who had not gone after the false gospel. So he was confident that those who had not fallen from grace would heed his words in one accord.


IRT: (Concerning 2 Peter 2:20)
"At any rate, Peter distinguishes between false teachers and the people in verse 1. These false prophets were present among the people of Israel, and will be present in the church. They were not first of the people and became false teachers; they have always been false teachers who came in among the people. That is what Peter means when he says they secretly bring in heresies. This is something from the outside being brought it. Nothing in Peter's description of these false teachers suggests that they were partakers of the divine nature of Christ. They were corrupt from the beginning."

Not really, the false prophets often (I would say usually) came from the holy people of Israel. Peter's description of them shows that they were believers at one time, for how can one "escape the pollutions of the world by knowing the Lord Jesus Christ," and not be saved? As most of you are so fond of pointing out to me, the spiritually dead can do nothing to be subject to God's law. So how then did they rid themselves (even for a time) of the world's pollutions -- much less by the knowledge of Christ?

Concerning Hebrews 4:2, you only assumed that I believed that the people of 4:2 were saved, I never claimed as much, but simply implied that they were our example, that we should not act as they did.

IRT:
"I believe the warning passages weed out false believers from true ones. Your position has no room for the fact that there are many individuals claiming they are Christians, but in actuality, they are not truly saved."

Where did I ever state that? I think you just assumed that, because I believe there are many who go to church and claim Christ who are not (and never have been) saved. This does not exclude the fact that others fall away from Him. Now about the warnings in scripture, if it is impossible for a thing to happen to us, then why are we warned of it? You seem to think that this is to 'weed out' the true believers from the false, that not one true believer will be lost, and that the scriptures do not imply conditional salvation. Here is where I have a problem, if a conditional statement is made (such as in Revelation 22:19), then that is a condition that is set. It would not matter if the fulfillment or violation of that condition ever occured, it is still a condition. So I cannot see why you fault me for believing in conditional salvation.

Secondly, I do believe that God's word clearly states that some will not remain in God's grace, but will fall away. Matthew 24:12 says,
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

Yep, 'love' in this passage is agape love. And we read in 1 Corinthians 16:22,
"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."

So I believe that it is a Biblical fact that many will fall away in the latter times.

Thirdly, if the warnings in scripture are given by God with the intention that we receive them and believe them, (such as: If I do not abide in Christ, then I will be 'cut off,' or that my name will be 'removed from the book of life'), then why do you fault me for taking them quite literally? If it was God's purpose that believers actually believe His warnings, then am I not serving God's purpose by teaching the same and believing it to be so? And are you not defying God's purpose by stating effectively that such could never happen, therefore making His warning of no effect? Just a thought.


IRT:
"By the way, you haven't answered my question about Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach. Are you a fan of his?"

Oh gee, let's see, I don't feel particularly inclined to answer a question that begins with the words "You haven't been deceived by the lies of...?" So I hope you'll forgive my obstination in answering such an inquiry. But since you've put a bit more politeness into your tone, I will say that I have read some of Dan Corner's work, but it was long after I knew about eternal security. His articles on eternal security are usually pretty good, but haven't really tell me anything new. My favorite thing that he wrote was his critique of Gail Riplinger's book on KJV onlyism (Riplinger claims one of her books was written by God Himself).



In Christ,
Josh
Posted By: li0scc0

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Apr 02, 2003 5:21 PM

For clarification see Luke 8:18. Taking this away is only taking away that which it appeared they had. Thus, what we have here in Revelation 22:19 are those who seemed to be elect.

Steve
Posted By: carlos

Re: conditional salvation and God's warnings - Fri Apr 04, 2003 3:49 PM

JoshT,

I'm sure Fred will give a response. But one thing that I saw and disareed with is your comments regarding Calvin on Romans 11.
In reply to:
[color:"blue"]Concerning Romans 11, it is clearly speaking of salvation for individuals. The example of the root and branches is used to illustrate Israel's fall and the Gentiles obtaining mercy through their fall. Even John Calvin could not escape the conclusion that this was a reference to individual salvation. He simply concluded that it was something that God said to push believers to obedience, but would never really do.



First, Pilgrim has already given u an expostion/exegesis of that chapter in another thread.
Romans 11

Secondly, Let's let Calvin speak in full because your make his commenatary too simplistic and a bit misleading.

"Otherwise thou also shalt be cut off, etc. We now understand in what sense Paul threatens them with excision, whom he has already allowed to have been grafted into the hope of life through God's election. For, first, though this cannot happen to the elect, they have yet need of such warning, in order to subdue the pride of the flesh; which being really opposed to their salvation, ought justly to be terrified with the dread of perdition. As far then as Christians are illuminated by faith, they hear, for their assurance, that the calling of God is without repentance; but as far as they carry about them the flesh, which wantonly resists the grace of God, they are taught humility by this warning, "Take heed lest thou be cut off." Secondly, we must bear in mind the solution which I have before mentioned, -- that Paul speaks not here of the special election of individuals, but sets the Gentiles and Jews in opposition the one to the other; and that therefore the elect are not so much addressed in these words, as those who falsely gloried that they had obtained the place of the Jews: nay, he speaks to the Gentiles generally, and addresses the whole body in common, among whom there were many who were faithful, and those who were members of Christ in name only.

But if it be asked respecting individuals, "How any one could be cut off from the grafting, and how, after excision, he could be grafted again," -- bear in mind, that there are three modes of insition, and two modes of excision. For instance, the children of the faithful are ingrafted, to whom the promise belongs according to the covenant made with the fathers; ingrafted are also they who indeed receive the seed of the gospel, but it strikes no root, or it is choked before it brings any fruit; and thirdly, the elect are ingrafted, who are illuminated unto eternal life according to the immutable purpose of God. The first are cut off, when they refuse the promise given to their fathers, or do not receive it on account of their ingratitude; the second are cut off, when the seed is withered and destroyed; and as the danger of this impends over all, with regard to their own nature, it must be allowed that this warning which Paul gives belongs in a certain way to the faithful, lest they indulge themselves in the sloth of the flesh. But with regard to the present passage, it is enough for us to know, that the vengeance which God had executed on the Jews, is pronounced on the Gentiles, in case they become like them" (Calvin).


Posted By: fredman

Re: conditional salvation and God's warnings - Fri Apr 11, 2003 10:25 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]To receive salvation, a man must be drawn and called by God (for salvation is of God, not of us), and then answer His call and receive His grace. If any man will hear God and receive His word, he will be granted faith in Christ and repentance to life.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I am in totally agreement, and would add that everyone drawn and called by God will come to the father. If a person is drawn and called, there is no option to reject this work of God. Would you agree with that? I am going to venture a guess and say not, but if so, you are in danger of calling Jesus a liar. Jesus states in John 6:37 that, “all that the Father gives me will come to me and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out.” Then a little be further, in verse 39 Jesus says, “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” Then in 6:44,45, Jesus states, ”No one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be taught of God, there for everyone who has heard and learned from the father comes to me.” <br><br>It is patently clear, Josh, that if you are going to maintain that to receive salvation a man must be drawn and called by God, then you are going to have to recognize that only those who are drawn and called are the elect, those given to the son by the father as Jesus said in John 6:37. Moreover, those given to the son by the father will be raised up in the last day, which eliminates your idea of a person loosing salvation, and the only way a person can come to Jesus is if the father draws him and he will come. That means that salvation is not an open door for people to come and go as they please like they do in a lounge. Those drawn and called will come, they will believe and follow Christ, and they are eternally secure. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"](Fred Asks) "The really burden of proof, however, is for you Josh, to show us, from the text of scripture, why you believe men have the ability to cooperate with God in salvation."<br><br>(then Josh replies)<br>Certainly, John 5:25 says,<br><br>"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."<br><br>As you can see, there is regeneration does not precede hearing the call of God, but those that hear will live. How can they hear while they are dead? If God's call can even reach those who are physically dead, then why not those that are spiritually dead as well? Does God compel them to hear, I don't think so; for while it is God who opens the ears and the heart, man can resist him and shut himself off to God's word.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Just a couple of questions: first, are these dead spoken of by Jesus spiritually dead or physically dead? Why or why not? Then secondly, do you agree with Jesus words in the previous verse, 5:24, that, who hears my words and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not pass into judgment? In other words, if you are going to use this as a proof text that men have the ability to receive or reject the gospel (even though this section of scripture doesn’t even address that issue), are you ready to also accept the teaching that those who believe will not face judgment, or put another way, loose their salvation?<br><br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] (Fred had asked) Are there any principles of hermenuetics you utilize when you study the Bible? <br><br>(Josh Responds)They don't have to be similar, simply about the same subject, salvation specifically.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>That is a rather naïve assumption. Any proper way to study the Bible would first deal with the exegesis of the text at hand then move out to other texts under consideration. Furthermore, it would first be helpful for you to determine if the text you are using as a proof text is actually talking about salvation specifically, or if you wrongly think it does because it helps under gird your pretext. In other words, you may think a particular verse or passage supports your ideas about salvation, but when placed in the context of where it is found, the author has something else in mind when he wrote. Romans 11:32 is a good example. Paul is not talking about universal salvation, at least not in the manner that you advocate it. The text of Romans 11 is in the broader context of Paul’s discourse about Israel and the Gentiles, and he is specifically addressing the point of why Israel is disobedient, and the purpose of that in relationship to Gentiles. Because of those over riding exegetical factors, it is muddleheaded to suggest Paul is talking about Christ dying for every single person without exception. I believe many others on the board have answered your objection to this, and I will let them answer for me as well.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Many contend that the phrase "in Me" does not necessarily mean saved.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Could you list some of those many who contend that the phrase “in me” does not necessarily mean saved? Are they reputable Biblical teachers, or fruitcakes like Dan Corner?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]But I cannot think of an example from scripture where a person can be 'in Christ' and not be saved.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Really? Now why is that do you think?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]But if being 'in Christ' is 'not necessarily being saved', then why would Christ command us to remain in that in order to bear fruit? 'Abide,' indicates continuation, and a person who abides in Him will bear fruit. If a person were not really saved, then abiding anywhere or in anything would do no good at all. To put it simply, you cannot remain in what you were never in, and it does no good to remain in where you should not be. That is why I believe that this is a reference to conditional salvation.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>First, who is to say that those people were in to begin with? What brings you to that conclusion? John understood that there were individuals claiming to be “in Christ” but left the church and thus demonstrating that they were never apart of Christ to begin with. (1 John 2:19) How exactly do you understand that passage? Moreover, 2 John and Jude are written to warn believers against false teachers who would try to lead them astray. Nothing in 2 John, Jude, or 2 Peter 2 remotely even suggests that these false teachers were once really saved, but then somehow lost their salvation. That is something you are reading into the Bible.<br>We are told to abide, because like you state, Christ wants us to bear fruit. Those who continue to abide demonstrate the proof of their salvation; those who do not show they were never saved to begin with.<br><br> <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]To go back to the original language, 'believes' in John 3:16 is present active tense, indicating a presently occuring event. So those who "are believing" in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Actually, the word is a participle, as Pilgrim pointed out from a post last week, and is literally rendered “every believing one.” John is not talking about belief as an abstract notion of belief in a set of principles, or the gospel. He is talking about a group of individuals, the believing ones, or the ones believing, ie, the Church, or God’s people. Moreover, you do not deal with the remainder of the verse, or the entire context of what John is talking about. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]The question is then, can a person lose their faith? I believe so, consider 1 Timothy 5:11-12, which speaks of younger women who are supported by the church, but begin to turn against Christ, it says,<br><br>"But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith."<br><br>People sometimes ask me, "well, what was their first faith?" Not to be condescending, but one does not have condemnation for casting off a false faith.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>This is a perfect example of how you have a skewed Bible study methodology. First, you leave the context of John 3 and go over to 1Timothy to bolster your claim of conditional salvation. Second, you do not even consider what Paul is talking about by not looking at the context. Let me ask you, why do you think Paul is talking about a woman’s salvation here? Is it because he states they cast off their first faith? Are you actually saying that because a young widow desires to be married that she is in danger of loosing her salvation? If you look at the entire context of the passage here, you will notice that Paul is laying out directions on taking care of widows. More than likely, what Paul is talking about is not a loss of salvation, but a young woman who may have pledged to remain a widow in service to the church; then after they have a period of time to grieve for their deceased husband, become desirous to remarry. The point Paul is making is that young widow women should not be taken care of by the church so that they become idle and busybodies. Paul is encouraging the church not to be a stumbling block to young ladies who may be thinking immaturely. So, the thought Paul is making when he states that the women cast off their first faith is not referring to loosing salvation, but disregarding their service to the church they had pledged after becoming widows. Paul is not talking about personal salvation, but a person possibly breaking a vow. <br> <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] (Fred had stated) "That is what John summed up in his epistle that they went out from us, because they were not of us (1 John 2:19). These people were not Christian to begin with. If they had been, their would had been perseverance on their part."<br><br>(Josh responds) What John was saying was that those who were not of God departed from out of the church, not from following God.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What exactly is the difference and how do you arrive at this conclusion? Are you saying they left First Baptist church and moved their membership to Bible community church?<br> <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]No, I do not believe that a small doctrinal error is damnable, this is evidenced by the fact that I do consider Calvinists to be Christians, albeit errant on a secondary point. But the Galatians were a bit different you see, Paul said that they had been taken by another gospel, and noted in Galatians 1:8,<br><br>"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."<br><br>It's kind of funny talking to a Calvinist about this, because the charge that I believe in works righteousness is often leveled falsely against me. But the Galatian believers were moved from the true gospel into a false on, and some who had known God embraced it.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>If you are correct, then Peter temporarily lost his salvation, along with Barnabas. So, did the Holy Spirit leave them both and then came back after Paul rebuked them?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]"Of course not all of the believers were taken in by this, it was not to these that Paul wrote,<br>For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. <br>Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. <br>For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."<br><br>But to those who had embraced this false gospel, he proclaimed that Christ had become of no effect to them, and that they had fallen from grace; and contrasted them with those who still waited for righteousness by faith, that is to say, the ones who had not gone after the false gospel. So he was confident that those who had not fallen from grace would heed his words in one accord</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Was Peter and Barnabas part of this second group? Paul says that both of them were to be blamed.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Not really, the false prophets often (I would say usually) came from the holy people of Israel. Peter's description of them shows that they were believers at one time, for how can one "escape the pollutions of the world by knowing the Lord Jesus Christ," and not be saved? As most of you are so fond of pointing out to me, the spiritually dead can do nothing to be subject to God's law. So how then did they rid themselves (even for a time) of the world's pollutions -- much less by the knowledge of Christ?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Peter has specific OT illustrations in mind when he wrote his epistle. None of them are examples of false prophets coming from with in the people. Most importantly, however, Peter states in 2:1, that the false teachers brought in destructive heresies from the outside, meaning that the false teachers were not a part of the congregation, but crept in unnoticed, sly moving along side the people of God. Jude confirms Peter’s words in his epistle when he writes that these men who crept in unnoticed, indicating that they came in from the outside. These were not well intentioned believers who happened to go bad, but bad unbelievers who happened to come into the church from the outside. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] Now about the warnings in scripture, if it is impossible for a thing to happen to us, then why are we warned of it? You seem to think that this is to 'weed out' the true believers from the false, that not one true believer will be lost, and that the scriptures do not imply conditional salvation. Here is where I have a problem, if a conditional statement is made (such as in Revelation 22:19), then that is a condition that is set. It would not matter if the fulfillment or violation of that condition ever occured, it is still a condition. So I cannot see why you fault me for believing in conditional salvation.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Your problem is that you gloss over the context of where the condition is found. You do not consider the intention of the writer, as well as the overall theme of his epistle. Also, you ignore the obvious eternal security passages that we have been pointing out to you. And one textual note. If you have a reputable study Bible, it should note that Revelation 22:19 is a textual variant. In the bulk of good NT manuscripts of Revelation, the text adds the word “may” to Revelation 22:18 and 19. Thus, they are not conditional statements of threat, but John’s personal commentary in the form of a curse against those who would take away from, or add to the Revelation. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Secondly, I do believe that God's word clearly states that some will not remain in God's grace, but will fall away. Matthew 24:12 says, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."Yep, 'love' in this passage is agape love.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What difference does the word agape mean? Are you assuming that any use of the word agape implies Christian love? That is a boneheaded assumption, and it would do you well to read some reputable Greek grammarians on the use of agape and philo love. DA Carson has a good study in his short little book, “Exegetical Fallacies.” Nothing in Matthew 24:12 means these are Christians loosing their salvation. You are reading that into the passage. The same goes for 1 Corinthians 16:22.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Thirdly, if the warnings in scripture are given by God with the intention that we receive them and believe them, (such as: If I do not abide in Christ, then I will be 'cut off,' or that my name will be 'removed from the book of life'), then why do you fault me for taking them quite literally? If it was God's purpose that believers actually believe His warnings, then am I not serving God's purpose by teaching the same and believing it to be so? And are you not defying God's purpose by stating effectively that such could never happen, therefore making His warning of no effect? Just a thought.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Again, as I stated above, you have some flawed Bible study skills that need to be corrected. I do not say that to make fun of you, but to point out a weakness in your argumentation. With these warning passages, your don’t consider context, purpose of writing, the intention of the writer, and the theme of the epistle when throwing up your proof texts. Those factors are key in making an effective argument in favor of a particular position, let alone understand the Bible. By taking the Bible “literally” as you state, perverts the work of Christ on the cross, and casts disdain upon the promises of God to save a people unto himself. <br> <br>Talk at you in a couple of months<br>Fred<br><br>
Posted By: Ricky

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:26 AM

Interestingly enough, there are even people who do not agree with Calvinism, and who say they are not Arminians either, like Anonymous here, who agree with Pilgrim. Remember, Anonymous that the issue here is the preservation of the saints, thus, Calvinists and some others (Non- Calvinists) who agree with this doctrine do agree with Pilgrim's interpretation. Check it out.

http://bible.org/seriespage/revelation-appendix-6-book-life

http://net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=Book%20Of%20Life

http://www.learnthebible.org/the-book-of-life.html-0

Of course, I believe that Calvinism is the most logical, and of course biblical, worldview if you hold to the "two books" position. Since mankind is dead in sin, people can not stay saved, thus God preserves our salvation.
Posted By: Ricky

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:32 AM

Amen to that J edwards. Agree with that 100%
Posted By: Kez

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:43 PM

A newbie here.

Election is simple to the ones who have ears to hear.

(John 10:25-27 KJV) Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. {26} But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. {27} My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

His sheep hear and follow. The reason people don't is because they are not His sheep.
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:06 PM

Hi Kez, Welcome to The Highway Discussion Board! I hope that you will enjoy your time spent here. [Linked Image]

Note that there are many articles on the web site that might interest you. We look forward to getting to know you. There is an FAQ section which may help answer any questions about how this board works but feel free to PM us or ask questions that you may have.



Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Cross Reference
[quote=Pilgrim]

Quote:
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.


You are saying Jesus doesn't mean what He says. Sortta strips Him of credibility, wouldn't you say?

In light of all else He says and means, it is pretty amazing [and amusing] how you conclude that.

1. Having fun yet?

2. Please provide a link to where you extracted this quote allegedly from me.

3. Why is it so amazing to you that I am countless others understand that whoever has his name written in the Lamb's Book of Life it shall forever be there and cannot be removed? Those who are truly united to Christ on the ground of His substitionary atonement given by grace and appropriated through faith will not and cannot fall away. Consider the following passages: Ps 1:3; 48:14; 125:1; 138:8; Isa 46:4; Jer: 32:40; Rom 6:14; 8:29,30,35-39; 11:29; 14:4; Jh 4:14; 5:24; 6:47,51; 10:28; 14:19; 2Cor 2:14; Eph 4:30; Phil 1:6; 2Thess 3:3; 1Jh 5:11,13; Heb 7:25; 10:14 2Tim 4:18; 1Pet 1:5. Many more could be added but those should be sufficient enough to establish the eternal preservation of the saints by the God who loved them from eternity, predestinated them to salvation and elected them to be redeemed by the blood of Christ and by whose Spirit they are sanctified.

In short, Scripture interprets Scripture, aka: the Analogy of Faith determines how a passage should be interpreted. To take any text in isolation is simply asking for problems and to wrongly divide the Word of Truth.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Revelation 22:19 Contradicts Calvinist Doctrine - Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:32 PM

1. I'm not about to spend time looking through 17 pages of this old thread to find my own quote.

2. Your anti-intellectualism is quite amusing. But my Bible says:

Romans 12:2 (ASV) "And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

That is what the Spirit does THROUGH MEANS which God has providentially provided. In this particular case, God eternally and providentially had me provide you with myriad texts that show that no true believer, one for whom Christ died will ever be lost. Thus, Rev. 21:19 is to be understood by the plethora of didactic passages which teach the eternal security of Christ's sheep; those whom the Father gave Him and in whom the Spirit dwells to provide the promised perseverance and eternal life which was given when the sinner first believed. This is true, of course, in the case of every TRUE believer but it is not applicable to everyone who simply professes to believe. No true believer will be nor can be stricken from the Book of Life. However, the majority of those who simply profess to believe never have nor will have their names written in the Book of Life.

[It would appear that you are hostile to the doctrine of the Perseverance/Preservation of the Saints, correct? In short, you believe that someone for whom Christ died can be ultimately lost and be cast into eternal hell... would that be a fair assessment of your view?]

Therefore, the warning is an inducement to persevere and to make one's "calling and election sure". This is not rocket science nor is the understanding of it to be relegated to some alleged 'voice from God' telling you how you should understand such things. It is ascertained by intellectual study with the mind being enlightened to see and then embrace the truth of it by the Spirit of God. The Spirit doesn't by-pass the natural faculties God created man with but rather uses them no less than he did to those men who wrote the Bible.

Lastly, your attitude is becoming rather brash and it might be well that you temper your hostility. On this board it is encombant that you maintain civility and respect. It's your first day and you haven't made a good impression upon me nor the others on Staff. Catch my drift, Snowbank? wink
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