God Has Chosen You From the Beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Below is the video broadcast walking through 2 Thess. 2:13 with a response to Calvinistic pastor, Paul Washer. Or you can download the podcast version HERE.

2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is commonly quoted text by Calvinistic scholars seeking to prove that certain individuals were chosen for salvation to the neglect of all others. I, along with many scholars, believe this is very Western individualized interpretation of the scripture, however. We tend to read texts from an individualized (me, I, my) perspective in our egocentric society. This was not the common way of understanding such texts in the first century’s collectivist society where people were seen as under the headship of their cultural heritage, not merely as individuals.

We must understand that the predominately Gentile congregations of Paul’s day were constantly being told they were not the elect of God, but instead barbarian rejects. The Judaizers of the first century insisted that only Jews were chosen by God and Paul spent much time attempting to debunk this commonly held false belief (see the book of Galatians).

In the “Jew versus Gentile” context of Paul’s ministry (and this passage) he often references himself and the Jewish apostles as “us” and “our” in contrast to the Gentile believers as “you” and “your.” For instance, in verse 14 Paul seems to indicate that “you” (the Gentile believers) were called “through our” (the Jewish Apostles’) gospel. Therefore, it makes perfect sense, in Paul’s context, to thank God for his Gentile audience being chosen, or engrafted (Rom. 11:13-24), into the means salvation through faith. This, after all, is the mystery which had been hidden for generations which is just now being made known through men like Paul (Eph. 3:1-11).

In short, the “Apostle to the Gentiles” is likely combating the false view that the Gentiles were not the elect of God by writing this affirmation of God’s choice to include them from the very beginning.

737 thoughts on “God Has Chosen You From the Beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

  1. Thanks. Yes it is a broad “we” “us” ….much the same as Romans 9-11 is comparing Jew and Gentile, Esau and Jacob.

    These verses are plucked out of context and used individualistically and quoted as some of the 40-50 gotcha verses to prove Calvinism. I am often surprised that scholars allow themselves to be duped like this. But in the case of Washer, he comes to the text “wanting” and needing it to say what he is looking for.

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  2. I also think a word study of “beginning” as used in the NT, and especially by Paul, might lead others as it has me to see Paul talking about the “beginning” of his gospel ministry in Europe, which included Philippi and Thessalonica (Acts 16-17). God was directing Paul and Silas during that second missionary journey to focus primarily on Gentiles, and Thessalonica was one of the first cities receiving extensive ministry from them.

    Phl 4:15 NKJV – 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the BEGINNING of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.

    But Calvinism also has the continued problem of wanting to hear “before the beginning” in this phrase that only says “from the beginning. They constantly have trouble believing that God is still making choices after creation. They would rather have Him neatly locked up in an immutable determinism of all things forever, where He never makes any more decisions, and they can “freely” control the public perception of the “settled” information of how He does things. 😉

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    1. Another way to look at “from the beginning” is to take it as a reference to the book of Genesis. I think that when a Jew said that something was ‘from the beginning’ one thing he could mean by that is that it is written in the book of beginnings. Paul’s statement in Gal.3:8 could confirm this understanding: “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham, ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ ” So God had chosen to save the Gentiles way back when he chose Abraham, and this was written from the beginning.

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      1. Good suggestion, Troy… I’ve been reading through the Scripture this year with the intention of looking for instances of Gentiles showing some knowledge of and perhaps faith in the true God. It’s amazing how many references I’ve seen so far that confirms God has always chosen from the beginning that Gentiles could be saved by faith in His righteousness.

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  3. Agreed. The many verses concerning God’s election of all WHO WOULD believe in Christ have been perversely distorted into a false claim that God elected a select few TO BELIEVE in Christ. Along with many non-Calvinists, it is not the concept of divine election I reject – I most definitely read and rejoice that God has elected to forgive and redeem all who believe in Christ – but the faulty Calvinist definition of Election which asserts a cruel partiality on the part of God that leads to a deliberate, heartless refusal to save the vast majority of men who could have indeed been ‘elected’ to salvation along with the alleged chosen few.

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    1. ts00 writes, “The many verses concerning God’s election of all WHO WOULD believe in Christ have been perversely distorted into a false claim that God elected a select few TO BELIEVE in Christ.”

      ts00 complains but then he limits the elect to “all who believe in Christ.” Either way, there are only a few who believe. So, what is the complaint against Calvinism. The Calvinist deals with those who reject Christ under ts00’s philosophy and it is from this group that God personally saves some. Thus, Calvinists have God saving more people than would be saved under ts00’s system. Yet, ts00 complains. Perhaps, his real complaint is that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct.

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      1. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘ts00 complains but then he limits the elect to “all who believe in Christ.” Either way, there are only a few who believe. So, what is the complaint against Calvinism.’

        This is a deliberate pretense of ignorance. Rhutchin knows, full well, that ‘the complaint against Calvinism’ is that the number of potential believers is arbitrarily limited under this monstrous system, as opposed to the true gospel, which offers grace to all men. Hence the ‘good news, which shall be to all people’. The issue is not over which system achieves greater numbers, but which system is just and loving vs. which is cruel and partial. Of course, God states that he desires that none perish, but that all turn and live. Impossible to turn such a statement into a limited atonement that deliberately omits the vast majority of men, rather than allowing all the freedom to receive or reject God’s unlimited grace. True, all but Universalism result in less than ‘all’ believing; however, only Calvinism asserts that it is God’s deliberate rejection of men that leads to the alleged damnation of countless millions for whom Jesus did not even die.

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      2. Ah c’mon TS00 why cant you just be like the rest of us and “be glad that God lets any in at all”?

        After all for their sin (that God determine that they commit) all men deserve never-ending torture, so just be quiet and be glad you are among the chosen. And enjoy eternity with the God who planned that 99.85% go to endless torture.

        He picked you bro, so just relax that God is love.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. FOH writes, tongue in cheek:
        ‘Ah c’mon TS00 why cant you just be like the rest of us and “be glad that God lets any in at all”?’

        I guess I just don’t have God’s ability to ‘love’, you know, the kind that would gleefully torture those who one could just as easily redeem and grant eternal blessing like the lucky elect. I guess I just don’t have the heart to write off mother, father, grandmother, children, neighbors and strangers as potentially hell fodder; created by God with no intention, ever, of offering them any alternative or escape. It’s not easy to love like that.

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      4. You know when I first moved toward Calvinism (after careful tutoring —since I would never have found it by myself), one of the most repulsive ideas to overcome was this “God planned on and gets glory from the 99% being eternally tortured” idea. But like others, I just bit the bullet and said “Well if that’s what the Bible teaches, then I gotta believe it.”

        But that the beauty of the thing!!!

        The Bible doesnt teach it!! In fact this whole blog is about dismantling the scaffolding of the 40-50 key verses that the whole house of cards is built on!

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      5. FOH writes, “one of the most repulsive ideas to overcome was this “God planned on and gets glory from the 99% being eternally tortured” idea. But like others, I just bit the bullet and said “Well if that’s what the Bible teaches, then I gotta believe it.”…The Bible doesnt teach it!!”

        Even the Calvinist knows that the Bible doesn’t teach such things as you have invented. The Scriptures tell us in speaking of Christ in Revelation, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

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      6. ts00 writes, “I guess I just don’t have God’s ability to ‘love’,…”

        No one does until God gives it to them.

        Then, “…you know, the kind that would gleefully torture those who one could just as easily redeem and grant eternal blessing like the lucky elect. I guess I just don’t have the heart to write off mother, father, grandmother, children, neighbors and strangers as potentially hell fodder; created by God with no intention, ever, of offering them any alternative or escape. It’s not easy to love like that.”

        The argument of the Universalist. Well-spoken but ignoring the Scriptures. Rather than “gleefully” Gd says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked…” God certainly offers a way to escape but Paul says, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The sexually immoral, the idolator, the impure, etc. will all die if they do not repent and God will not take pleasure in their death and exclusion from heaven.

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      7. TS00

        Dont fall for it! I know you will be tempted to answer thinking this is legitimate, sincere, rational dialog, but it ain’t.

        1. First of all it starts with the “you are a universalist” stick in your eye. (they play that card early and often!).

        2. Then there is the conflicted quoting of the verse that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (which we feel is true!). Piper often quotes slave-owner Jonathan Edwards …..pointing that God DOES in fact take pleasure in evil since He needs it to contrast with His goodness.

        “Unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.”

        3. Then there is the meaningless throw-away line: “God certainly offers a way to escape …” Because we all know that in Calvinism, no such offer is made. Indeed it is the most insincere, non-offer ever conceived! Man is not rejecting an offer from God since —before time—Christ’s Limited Atonement was never given for him!!!

        So…..Dont fall for it… bothering to dialog with Calvinists when they offer non-Calvinist verses to support their man-made philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. FOH writes, “…for their sin (that God determine that they commit) all men deserve never-ending torture,…”

        That they do. That is why Christ died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead.

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      9. ts00 writes, “Rhutchin knows, full well, that ‘the complaint against Calvinism’ is that the number of potential believers is arbitrarily limited under this monstrous system, as opposed to the true gospel, which offers grace to all men.”

        No. The complaint against Calvinism is that it holds that God is omniscient and knew before He created the universe those who were to be saved (the elect) and those who would not (the reprobate) and this outcome cannot be changed. The Arminians agreed with the Calvinists on this point, so the issue was not who would be saved but how the elect are brought to salvation. Pretty much everyone agrees that all will not be saved, and that God may love the world, but He has instituted a system in which all the world is not to be saved and it is not God’s intent to save everyone in the world.

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      10. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘ts00 complains but then he limits the elect to “all who believe in Christ.” Either way, there are only a few who believe. So, what is the complaint against Calvinism. The Calvinist deals with those who reject Christ under ts00’s philosophy and it is from this group that God personally saves some. Thus, Calvinists have God saving more people than would be saved under ts00’s system. Yet, ts00 complains. Perhaps, his real complaint is that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct.’

        What does this even mean? Sounds like a whole lot of Gobbledygook that no one actually ever said or believed.

        Should we rejoice that God only decided to create those other disposable people for eternal suffering and damnation, and chose us – the lucky ‘elect’ – to be spared from such a dastardly fate? (Anyone who would ‘believe’ in this God would naturally believe himself ‘elect’.) Of course, God tells us – we don’t have to trust the ‘opinions’ of Calvin and his minions – that if he were doing the choosing, he would choose all, because he desires that none perish. Calvinists do a lot of dancing around that verse, but it is pretty hard to interpret any other way than its obvious meaning.

        If God had chosen to create a tyrannical, deterministic world – had he not created men in his image, desiring to have a genuine, voluntary relationship with them – he would not have allowed any to perish, but ‘determined’ that all would come to him. If this salvation thing was involuntary, you can be sure that all would be saved. Thus, if God desires that none perish – as he insists – and yet many do, we can safely assume that something other than God’s determining will is at play in said events. (This is where Calvinists try to sneak in a second or third will, with God being literally at war with himself, desiring that none perish, yet decreeing that many, before they were ever born or could possibly sin, be condemned to a life of sin and death from which there would be no rescue.) We do not have to read far in scripture to discover the real truth, as we quickly come across many verses that compel men ‘to choose you this day whom you will serve’ and the like.

        Nor do I even have to address the obvious absurdity of the suggestion that any non-Calvinist’s real complaint is ‘that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct’. Said nobody ever about Calvinism.

        Instead, I call out the false, hypocritical Calvinist pastors I have heard in my day suggesting how they ‘weep’ (and my former Calvinist pastor emphasized that he meant literally ‘weep’) over the millions who will go to hell, which he dared suggest was our fault for not living more pious lives. Huh? I could never decide which part was more absurd. If you think sending millions to hell was all part of God’s good and perfect, eternally predetermined plan, the last thing in the world you would do is ‘weep’ over his bad judgment; and if all things are ordained and brought to pass by God’s irresistible decree, then men’s piety or lack thereof is not their fault, and would make not a whit of difference. Calvinism forces its defenders into not only defending the indefensible, but into sounding downright silly. As in, ‘Perhaps, his real complaint is that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct.’ 😉

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    2. AFTER THE FALL,GOD HAD THE SOVOREIGH RIFHT TO SEND ALL MEN TO HELL.BUT HE CHOOSE TO SAVE SOME.WE CAN’T DO A ANYTHING ABOUT THAT.ONE DAY YOU MAY IN ETERNITY UNDERSTAND.THEN YOU WILL.YOU WILL SAY God is right,even them in he’ll will now down,and glorify him…God didn’t choose to send men to hell,every person in he’ll will be responsible for his own choice.and God will be glorifed..man can’t understand or council God.

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      1. Janet, we appreciate the comments but I deleted the others because each one of them is almost impossible to read without any complete sentences nor paragraph breaks and each one of them has the same message as this one “Just believe Calvinism, it’s true, stop fighting it even though none of us can fully understand it”. If you have something substantive you would like to discuss I’d be happy to approve it.

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      2. Janet:
        “Just believe Calvinism, it’s true, stop fighting it even though none of us can fully understand it”

        This is really not gonna work for those who comment here. Any person with a newly-found idea/ doctrine feels the same, whether it is: spiritual gifts, tongues, baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, prophecy timing (a-, post-, pre-mil), Israel’s place, women’s role in the church, etc, etc.

        Just saying “its’ true” doesn’t work. Most believers of various doctrines (and dare I say other faiths: Islam, Buddhism, etc) will play the “I know it’s true” card.

        Please look at the many posts on this site and read / watch them. They cover most of the go-to Calvinist verses (that’s not hard, since Calvinism is built on 40-50 key verses).

        Please read our comments. We are not “fighting a truth.” We love the truth.

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      3. janet
        AFTER THE FALL,GOD HAD THE SOVEREIGN RIGHT TO …….

        br.d
        Hi Janet – this statement avoids a critical foundational proposition underlying Calvin’s doctrine.
        1) Calvin insists “not only is his god willing but he is the author of Adam’s fall”
        So the truth is – Calvin’s god’s sovereign right to treat humans as disposable assets is dependent upon and is the consequence of nothing more than his own will.

        2) Therefore to say that Calvin’s god didn’t choose to send persons to hell is to deny the foundational tenet of Calvin’s doctrine.

        3) Calvinism’s interpretation of the potter and the clay is to assert that Calvin’s god designs a few pots as vessels of honor, and designs the remaining as vessels of wrath – for his good pleasure. This interpretation is logically consistent with Calvinism’s foundational tenet.

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      4. Janet,

        Your post is a bit hard to follow and it seems like you are shouting.

        We all agree that God had the sovereign right to set up the world anyway He wanted. What we are discussing here is the Scriptural message of what it appears that God did.

        It is not enough to say “BUT HE CHOOSE TO SAVE SOME” (and I predicted in a post one hour ago that a Calvinist would propose that). It is not enough because Calvinism actually says more.

        The Calvinist model is not that God came along with a life boat and chose/arranged to save some of those drowning from a sinking ocean liner. In that case everyone says “I’m so glad that boat was there to save as many as he could!” (we would all agree with that).

        The Calvinist model says that from the beginning God designed that man would sin (God sunk the ocean liner) and that all would be condemned through Adam and that only a few would be allowed/ irresistibly drawn to repent. There was never any intention/desire/ plan to save the others. They were created for the purpose of eternal torture…… not really as a result of what they did or did not do (that would be “man-centered” and a real no-no for Calvinists), but simply as a result of what God did. It is His doing that they are in Hell, not man’s. There is no way around that doctrine within Calvinism.

        Now, you may want to hit the reply button and say, “You don’t know Calvinism FOH!” but please dont bother since I am a seminary trained former Calvinist and understand my former position quite well.

        I hope this helps. I realize you interest is to honor God. We need to look closely in the Word to see what He says about Himself and His creation.

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      5. FOH writes:
        “The Calvinist model is not that God came along with a life boat and chose/arranged to save some of those drowning from a sinking ocean liner. In that case everyone says “I’m so glad that boat was there to save as many as he could!” (we would all agree with that).”

        You are so right, and may I expand upon your thought?

        To the Calvinist, God did not send along a life raft to save as many as he ‘could’ from the sinking ocean liner. God made the ocean. God gave men the wisdom and skill to craft the ocean liner and ordained them to do so. God ordained that the ocean liner would sink. God knew exactly how many people were on the ocean liner, and could have sent a boat big enough to save them all. But he only wanted to save a few.

        The ‘We should be glad God saved any’ argument is very, very hollow. No, if I believed what Calvinism taught, I would not be glad that God saved ‘a few’ when he could have saved all. I would look him in the eye and declare, ‘Even I am more loving than that.’ If it is all up to God, and he did not save all that he could, then he is unloving, unjust and totally untrustworthy. He is not ‘kind’ to save a few, he is evil to sink an ocean liner and not provide the lifeboat he could have. No, I would not want to spend eternity with such a deity, and would gladly give up my place on his lifeboat, and I am not the least bit afraid to say so. Because God is nothing like Calvinism falsely claims.

        The only concept that makes sense, preserves God’s goodness and justice and lines up with all of scripture is the ‘Whosoever will’ concept set forth by Jesus. The ocean liner is sinking, and God has sent a lifeboat named Jesus to save mankind. It is big enough for the job, because God is not unloving, unwise or incapable. But God never intended to bind, gag and toss all onto the lifeboat. Those who scoff at the idea that the ship is sinking are allowed to ignore the lifeboat and continue to enjoy the entertainment on the ocean liner. They have been duly warned, they have been offered adequate rescue, and they have chosen to resist and reject the greater wisdom of the Creator.

        It is not unloving or in any other way demeaning to the character of God to assert that he offers salvation to all who will take it, but will never force it upon anyone. It is most definitely maligning to suggest that God could have saved all, but deliberately chose not to – just to demonstrate his own (misnamed) ‘glory’. In the Calvinist scenario, God deliberately creates a sinking ocean liner and deliberately leaves many, whom he could just as well have saved, to perish. Y’all can think it’s grand that you were chosen to be tossed into the lifeboat, but I’m going to stand my ground and go down with those God rejects. Because that is not a God I would want to spend eternity with – or even a moment.

        But let me tell you about the true God, who is utterly loving, gracious and merciful. Who loves men more than his own ‘glory’. Who pities the weak creature who is ensnared by the clever wiles of the devil, and crafts an astonishing solution – sending a man, his only begotten Son, to stand in the gap. This Son of God chooses to submit fully to his father, even unto death, earning himself the position of King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This Son of God came to serve, to heal, to bind the wounds of those who have been used and oppressed by false, wicked shepherds, and to show them The Way to God and everlasting, righteousness and life.

        The real story is so beautiful, so unbelievably merciful and gracious, it is hard to believe that any would be willing to exchange it for a selfish, heartless God who uses and destroys men for his own good pleasure. I am not too ‘soft’ to believe in the God of Calvinism – I am too in love with the God who has walked with me all of my days, keeping me, helping me, encouraging me and comforting me. Could I turn and say coldy “I have no more desire to be with you”? Absolutely. But why would I? Who have I but the One who has proven faithful and true, gentle and kind, patient and willing to teach as I am able to learn? I have precious family, who I love dearly, but they cannot compare to the One who reached out to me as a frightened, wounded child and faithfully walked beside me for over fifty years. You may be able to believe the cruel, wicked assertions Calvinism makes about God, but I tell you, I know him, and he is gracious, loving and trustworthy.

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      6. ts00 writes, “To the Calvinist, God did not send along a life raft to save as many as he ‘could’ from the sinking ocean liner.”

        This is wrong. God did send out the life raft in the form of the gospel telling believers to take that gospel into all the world. All those who climbed into the life raft God saved. Then God went out and pulled even more from the waters – those who were content to drown and actually swam away from the life raft. Then people complained because God did not save all.

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      7. FOH writes, “The Calvinist model says that from the beginning God designed that man would sin…”

        God did this by:

        1. Preparing a garden that Adam could maintain;
        2. Opening the gate so Satan could enter and tempt Eve.
        3. Not intervening as He watched Satan tempt Eve and as Eve ate the fruit,.
        4. Not intervening as He watched Adam take the fruit from Eve and eat.

        God had already decided on this course of action before He created the world or Adam or Eve.

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      8. rhutchin
        God did this by:

        1. Preparing a garden that Adam could maintain;
        2. Opening the gate so Satan could enter and tempt Eve.
        3. Not intervening as He watched Satan tempt Eve and as Eve ate the fruit,.
        4. Not intervening as He watched Adam take the fruit from Eve and eat.

        br.d
        Firstly, we should be very honored to have someone in our midst like rhutchin who was there with Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world and who now graces us with a 20th Century cannon of scripture detailing all of these minute divine details!
        Or perhaps rhutchin was up in the 3rd heaven with the Apostle Paul and John when he discovered all of these details.

        However a person who would assert the fallacious proposition:
        Calvin’s god decrees everything that comes to pass, but then doesn’t intervene in what he decrees – is probably just blowing smoke. :-]

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      9. br.d writes, “Firstly, we should be very honored to have someone in our midst like rhutchin who was there with Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world and who now graces us with a 20th Century cannon of scripture detailing all of these minute divine details!”

        Do we have br.d denying that God is omnipresent and could not be present in the garden and then that God is not sovereign over Satan and has no control over Satan? Hmmmmm.

        Then, “Calvin’s god decrees everything that comes to pass, but then doesn’t intervene in what he decrees – is probably just blowing smoke.”

        That which God decrees is that which God executes. At least, I am not the one suggesting that God is not omnipresent or that God is not sovereign over Satan.

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      10. br.d writes, “Firstly, we should be very honored to have someone in our midst like rhutchin who was there with Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world and who now graces us with a 20th Century cannon of scripture detailing all of these minute divine details!”

        rhutchin
        Do we have br.d denying that God is omnipresent and could not be present in the garden and then that God is not sovereign over Satan and has no control over Satan? Hmmmmm.

        br.d
        Br.d doesn’t have to deny what is in the established cannon of scripture in order to recognize when someone is making up their own. :-]

        Anyone who asserts the fallacious appeal:
        Calvin’s god decrees everything that comes to pass, but then doesn’t intervene in what he decrees”
        is blowing smoke

        rhutchin:
        That which God decrees is that which God executes. At least, I am not the one suggesting that God is not omnipresent or that God is not sovereign over Satan.

        br.d
        Too funny!.
        That which Calvin’s god decrees is that which he executes – and he doesn’t intervene in what he executes.
        You’re simply asserting the same fallacious thinking – but in this case its even easier to see.

        Calvin’s god arm wrestling against himself – its pretty funny! :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      11. And Rhutchin’s comment that God is ‘sovereign over Satan’ – hadn’t heard them put it like that before. Just shows all the more that they believe God is the real driving force behind all of the wickedness and evil in the world, using the cleverly crafted Satan sock puppet to be the bad guy. They simply do not believe the story of scripture, that an angel became inflamed with pride and a desire to be God, and has wrought all of the wickedness and evil in an attempt to slander, if not overcome, the true God.

        No one is doubting God’s sovereignty, or that he could, in an instant, destroy or put down anyone who challenges him. The fact that he allows Satan, for a time, to wage his futile battle suggests that man needs to learn the sad lesson of what revolting against a good and perfect God leads to. What it does not suggest, in my opinion, is that God deliberately cooked up a scheme to wreak havoc upon his own creation, and ordains the evil with one hand, while doing battle against it with the other. It is not only illogical to think God is fighting himself, it is, as you say, downright funny to imagine God arm-wrestling himself.

        Perhaps the angel Michael didn’t realize the demons he was battling before reaching Daniel were sent by his own dear leader, and that we are all just tools in a twisted, destructive game God is playing upon all living creatures. Paul must have been chortling to himself as he described ‘the armor of God’, designed to fight that great foe of God . . . er, God. I imagine he could barely write: ” Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” In the last days, God will finally put down . . . God?

        If your definition of sovereignty demands that God deterministically controls everyone and everything, all of scripture becomes a silly mythology, like the Greek gods fighting among themselves. If God is equally behind good and evil, there is no point to any of this, and life is a stage upon which we merely perform our prescribed roles. My father’s cancer and my neice’s lost baby were mere entertainment for a bored god. Why pray? (Dear God, please don’t let yourself do anything evil today?) Why have faith? (I believe the good God will overcome the bad God!) Why persevere? (I am going to keep going, even as God sends all of this evil to ensnare and overcome me.) Why put on the armor of Calvinism affirms Shakespeare more than scripture.

        Of course, as frequently pointed out on these threads, few people think their Calvinist theology through to its inevitably absurd conclusions. They simply read the books, listen to the sermons and trust their beloved ‘authorities’ to do all of the thinking for them. They simply do not know that which they claim to believe.

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      12. Good post TruthSeeker.

        Yes Calvinists always comes off looking like puppets obsessed with making their strings disappear. :-]

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      13. ts00 writes, “Just shows all the more that they believe God is the real driving force behind all of the wickedness and evil in the world, using the cleverly crafted Satan sock puppet to be the bad guy.”

        Are you really taking the position that God is not sovereign over Satan? Apparently not, since you then state, “The fact that [God] allows Satan, for a time, to wage his futile battle suggests that man needs to learn the sad lesson of what revolting against a good and perfect God leads to.” By “God allows,” we know that God made a sovereign decision to give Satan freedom to wage war against Christ and God’s elect. How this makes god the “driving force” behind all the evil in the world escapes me.

        Then, “What it does not suggest, in my opinion, is that God deliberately cooked up a scheme to wreak havoc upon his own creation, and ordains the evil with one hand, while doing battle against it with the other. ”

        God is omniscient with perfect knowledge of the future. Joseph understood this telling his brothers, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Thus, we see God ordaining an evil act against Joseph to bring about His plan for good to save many people.

        Then, “If your definition of sovereignty demands that God deterministically controls everyone and everything, all of scripture becomes a silly mythology,…”

        Then, maybe you can explain how God is sovereign over His creation but not really in control of His creation.

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      14. JM writes, “God didn’t choose to send men to hell,every person in he’ll will be responsible for his own choice.and God will be glorifed.”

        God did choose not to save every person when He has the power to do so. God can open any person’s heart to receive the gospel even as He did for Lydia. God can confront any person just like He did with Paul. God can arrange for a Phillip to meet with anyone as he did with the Ethiopian eunuch. God’s Spirit can initiate the new birth in any person. God can use any and all means to save anyone and not be thwarted. If God wants to save everyone, He can do so – and no one would complain.

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  4. Having seen/heard a sermon video on Election from Ephesians 1 by Dr. Eric Hankins, pastor of FBC Fairhope, Ala., and having read his upcoming and not-yet-released paper on reprobation from Romans 9, and having read/heard Dr Flowers on these matters, I am convinced that God’s elective purpose was intended for Israel, the people through whom the gospel (“our” gospel, ala Paul) would be delivered to the world, or the “unchosen.” See Eph 1 for this enlightenment. Note the distinct shift in pronouns there as similarly noted in 2 Thess. 2.13 by Dr. Flowers.

    Clearly, God chose Abram and moved him from Ur of the Chaldees unto that natural land bridge between the sea and the dessert – the land of promise – where God’s chosen people would/should be a lighthouse for Yahweh, and ultimately where God’s elective and salvific purposes were fulfilled in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Election: it’s just not that complicated nor that mysterious.

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    1. You will have to forgive me Norm. I did not quite get where you were going with your definition of election.

      I will make one comment though. You said, “Clearly, God chose Abram and moved him from Ur…”

      True God chose him but He didn’t move him! Abraham followed in faith. Never in the whole Bible is there an indication that he was given any special faith….just “by faith Abraham…”

      The Bible is FULL of these kinds of stories and examples where God moves or calls, but men and women follow in faith. Gotta be something to that!

      Like

      1. Agreed.
        Cals oft’ say sola gratia, but that renders Eph 2.8 false. We also are saved by faith, the same way Abraham was. God called. Abraham moved.
        As one who embraces corporate election as seen through Abraham and in Eph. 1, I am pondering that election applies to the Jews who were the ‘vehicle’ by which God’s elective purposes are accomplished.
        CS Lewis wrote: “The chosen were chosen for the sake of the unchosen.” Granted, Lewis was an inspired writer, but not as were the biblical writers. Nonetheless, I think his statement sheds considerable light on election. At least it has caused me to re-think the matter to the point that I now believe it is not as mysterious or complicated as Cals need it to be.
        See Eph 1 and the obvious pronoun shift. Paul uses personal possessive words early on, like we and us and our.

        And then v 13:
        And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit

        There it is, Paul moves from first person to second person pronouns. Curious!
        Hankins says in his sermon that the 1st person refers to the Jewish believers, “and you also” refers to his Gentile audience. Cals make no such distinction.

        Notice when and how the Gentiles were included. I see no Calvinism in that verse. In fact, I see the unraveling of that faulty view.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Doing my daily through-the-Bible reading. Came to Deuteronomy 30:

    19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

    Here (and in hundreds of passages like this) it doesn’t remotely sound like all the decisions have already been made from the foundation of the world!

    It also sounds like God is saying…..a lot of the choices are up to us.

    He even says “Oh that you would choose…” demonstrating that He is pleading, desiring, but still allowing the decision either way.

    It must be boring for determinists to read the same 40-50 passages of Scripture each day! Get out and smell the coffee man! There are hundreds of passages out there like this that demonstrate how God created the world!

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  6. Today’s daily reading included Proverbs 12:24

    24 Work hard and become a leader;
    be lazy and become a slave.

    ——there are tens of thousands of conditional verses like this in the Bible demonstrating that it is not all set in stone…. and we make choices that matter…that change the outcome.

    Everybody knows this to be true in their daily lives.

    Determinist-Calvinists deny it in their theology.

    Sad.

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    1. FOH, I know we point this out frequently, but it is so significant. If one buys into the fatalism of Calvinism, there really is no hope or meaning in life. There is no looking to God for guidance and help if he has already determined what is to occur, and all must do as preordained, without fail. So, our failures – God’s fault. Our weaknesses, struggles, ignorance and so forth will not lead to striving with God’s help, but a mere shrug of the shoulders that ‘Hey, if I’m a lazy, good-for-nothing bum, that must be what God ordained me to be. Who am I to argue with God?’ There are no incentives to overcome weaknesses and no hope to overcome seemingly hopeless situations. I saw how this led to hopelessness and despair in my own life, and I am fairly sure it must do the same for others. Understanding that sin is NOT God’s desire for anyone, and that he has promised not only to deliver us from its curse (death), but to deliver us from its destructive grip on our lives. Calvinism short-circuits this process, and encourages the hapless believer to just ‘accept’ what God has brought into his life as his irresistible will. Thus, to me, this is no mere academic exercise – my desire is to help others see that there is meaning, hope and joy in life. We are not limited to some preordained destiny, for better or worse, but should humbly, trustingly, seek God’s assistance to grow into all that he desires us to become.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You refer to my non-dialoguing dialogue – it’s a skill I learned under Calvinism. 😉 The Universalist at least starts with the proper premise – unlike the Calvinist: ‘God so loved the world’. Yet both fall on the same stone, which is a deterministic God which compels men like robots to his desired destiny. I agree with Universalism, that if God was a Meticulous Determinist, all men would be saved. But he is not, thus each and every individual ever loving created must choose, some day, at some moment in time, whom they will serve. All of history, with its terrible dichotomy between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is a reflection of the genuine freedom of choice that a good, holy, omnipotent Creator granted to his lovingly crafted creatures, and the choices that they made to choose evil over good.

    Or, as per Calvinism, God secretly decreed the evil along with the good, causing WHATSOEVER comes to pass in his meticulously controlled creation. If I help a senior across the street, it is because God planned that I should. If I brutally murder my own child, it is because God planned that I should. Much as they hem and haw about compatibilism, and how the unregenerate ‘might’ believe if they so ‘desired’, they are just blowing smoke. Under their tidy little system, man has no choice. He will only believe, indeed only CAN believe, if God ‘makes’ him believe; and it does not matter what euphemism they employ.

    But seriously, how can any honest Calvinist (Is that an oxymoron?) try and escape the central plank of their theological system, which is that the only reason any man will suffer eternal punishment is because God did not desire to extend to them his gracious offer of forgiveness. Worse, he created them for the very purpose of eternal torture. Which of Calvinism/Reformed Theology’s planks does Rhutchin wish to negate?

    Total Depravity, or better Total Inability, which supposedly necessitates that God alone does whatever ‘believing’ is done in this world, because ‘dead men’ don’t ‘believe’? They don’t walk, talk and breathe either, but we’ll let that pass.
    Unconditional Election, which is God’s arbitrary, irrevocable ‘decision’ necessitated by Total Depravity, to choose who will be saved?
    Limited Atonement, which asserts Jesus only died for ‘some’, because God would never waste that precious blood? This plank alone assures that God most definitely did not offer all men a way to escape their predetermined destiny of eternal torment.
    Irresistible Grace, also necessitated by that nasty little curse of Total Depravity, placed on utterly innocent men and women before they were born, which requires God to do some mystical, magical unforced forcing of men to do as HE chooses, and ‘believe’. (Hey, what’s a little brute force when its for the greater good? You’ll thank me someday. Said every cruel despot known to mankind, but never God.)
    Perseverance of the Saints, which is the hook that draws so many well-meaning Baptists into such rank apostasy. I mean, who can pass up a ‘Get Out of Hell Free Card’ which allows one to keep a few pet sins to pass the time?

    In spite of deceptive attempts to claim allegiance to scripture, Calvinism insists that God does NOT and NEVER DID desire to save ALL men. Why would he, when he dreamed up the whole sin, hell and cross scheme to ‘reveal’ his ‘glory’? Calvinism’s God needs sin, needs sinners and needs to have fuel for his eternal, wrathful fodder in order to impress the lucky few with just how lucky they are.

    Calvinism’s God sent Jesus to die for only SOME (Calvinism’s elect) and all others, for whom Jesus did NOT die, most certainly DO NOT and NEVER WILL have an opportunity to turn from their preordained wickedness and ‘escape’ their preordained destiny – because it was not written in the cards for them. What possibly could they have ‘faith’ in even if Calvinism’s God repented of his stinginess and gave them some – the blood of Jesus which was not shed for them?

    Alas, under Calvinism, men do not fit themselves for destruction because God respects the free choice which shaped men ‘in the image of God’ rather than animals, and sadly allows those he loved enough to die for to reject this marvelous, undeserved, Universal offer of grace. Oh, no, Calvinism wouldn’t want a namby-pamby God like that . . . they prefer the one who irresistibly breathes life into some, as in the first birth. (Even Calvinism grants a certain measure of Universalism – we were all born once, without choice.)

    But the second ‘birth’ must be freely chosen, a ‘choice’ revealed and demonstrated throughout God’s history of dealing with men. No man, anywhere in scripture, was forcefully ‘born again’ as he was, initially, forcefully ‘born’; this is the clear meaning that somehow escapes Calvinists, who assert that God indeed coerces (by secretive ‘secondary means’) the new birth of a select group of individuals who alone will escape God’s inexplicable ‘wrath’ at those he created to carry out his predetermined ‘sin’ plan. Even Saul, temporarily stricken with blindness, had the freedom to refuse the call of God. God got Saul’s attention in a unique manner, but he was also called to a very unique mission – yet Saul had to choose to be ‘born again’ to become ‘Paul’ as Abram became Abraham, and Jacob became Israel. (I speak in the language of men, as God’s unfathomable omniscience knew which way Saul’s heart would lead him, before Saul or Paul was ever born.)

    Hence Jesus pointed out the absurdity of a ‘teacher’ of Israel not understanding the groundwork that the history of Israel had laid for the message of the gospel: Although no man ever chose to be ‘born’ into existence, God graciously grants men the ability to choose to be ‘born again’. That is, for all men can choose – or refuse – to embrace the free offer of God’s atonement for sin and receive new life, which will be without sin, suffering or end. The first birth gives physical life, the second, spiritual life. The first birth is unchosen, the second, equally unattainable by man’s own effort, nonetheless must be freely chosen.

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    1. TS00
      You made me notice something.

      Our Calvinist friends play the “dirty universalist” card on us all the time….but it is actually the Calvinists who are universalists. Albeit, a small …very small universe.

      They agree with the universalist that —in the end, God forces/ directs/ decrees all men to be saved. They just define the number as .015% and not 100%. It’s the same “forcing”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. FOH, writes:
        ‘….but it is actually the Calvinists who are universalists. Albeit, a small …very small universe.

        They agree with the universalist that —in the end, God forces/ directs/ decrees all men to be saved. They just define the number as .015% and not 100%. It’s the same “forcing”.’

        Exactly! Calvinists and Universalists alike believe that God predetermines who will be saved. The Universalist, at least, recognizes that a loving and gracious God, if deterministic, would save all. The Calvinist thinks God is a monster, who would deliberately predestine many to an unthinkably terrible fate, when he could so easily have saved them, in the exact same manner he chose to save the few.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think of them more as ‘stingy Universalists’ – They both believe God does the exact same thing, but Calvinism’s God is so stingy he only saves a few.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Seriously, if you are going to believe it salvation all God’s unilateral choice and doing, why not at least go with the ‘choose ’em all’ bandwagon? You still have a tyrant for a God, but at least he is a benevolent tyrant.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sorry for the mangled sentence. Should read: Seriously, if you are going to believe salvation is all God’s unilateral choice and doing, why not at least go with the ‘choose ’em all’ bandwagon? You still have a tyrant for a God, but at least he is a benevolent tyrant.

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      5. FOH writes, “it is actually the Calvinists who are universalists.”

        Actually, the universalists are Calvinists. Calvinists believe that God saves whom He will but not all; Universalists, like the Calvinists, believe that God saves whom He will and will save all

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  8. Let me first address the question…

    Has God chosen you from the beginning (for salvation)?

    No. Not me at least.

    Isaiah 45:4 (KJV)….
    For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect……

    Could it be just that simple?

    How many times have our Calvinists brothers asked…. “Do we know who the elect are?” or say “we don’t know the identity of the elect, so we preach to all indiscriminately.”

    So, do we really believe when Paul spoke of the elect, his audience had no clue to whom he was referring? Since all the people of Israel had during and up to Paul’s writings were the OT scriptures, do you really think the people had no clue who the elect were? Did Paul know?

    I say “yes”. Paul knew exactly who the elect were.

    2 Timothy 2:10 (KJV)……
    Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    Romans 9:3-4a (KJV)….
    For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; Who are Israelites…

    Romans 10:1 (KJV)….
    Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

    Romans 11:13-14 (NKJV)….
    For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.

    Acts 28:20 (KJV)….
    For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

    So, with these scriptures in mind, we get the following…

    2 Timothy 2:10 (KJV)……
    Therefore I endure all things for Israel’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    That is the only interpretation that works. Both the Calvinistic and Arminian views of election fall short. The Calvinist view of unconditional election (to salvation) doesn’t work because of both “may” and “also”. “May” suggests the possibility that the elect won’t obtain salvation (which within their scheme the elect’s salvation is a certainty) and “also” suggests inclusion, not exclusion. For Calvinism to be correct, the verse would have to read….

    Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they, and they alone, will obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    However, because “also” implies inclusion, whoever the elect are, the non-elect are not excluded. The non-elect may also obtain salvation. That would be the gentile nations. The Arminian view of election doesn’t work because for them the elect are those who are already “in Christ”. This is how the Arminian view would read….

    Therefore I endure all things for those in Christ Jesus, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    These people are not in a position where they “may” obtain salvation. Those “in Christ” have already obtained salvation. The Arminian view, as well, suffers from the word “also”, because salvation is excluded to those in Christ.

    I believe what Paul is writing to Timothy is to remind him that although he is out preaching the gospel of Christ to the gentiles, don’t think for a minute that he has turned his back on the people of Israel.

    Acts 9:15 (KJV)…..
    But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel….

    God bless.

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    1. In the face of all these verses, why, o why do Cals continue with a death grip to hold on to Calvin’s faulty doctrines? I think one reason is that they do not have the courage to admit that the Emperor has no clothes. There have been too many books, too many sermons, too many “Gospel” conferences for them to admit by the 1000s, “Hey, we’ve been wrong.”

      Calvin’s soteriology is entirely bankrupt. When will our brethren admit it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Blessings Norm.

        Well, I agree with you that there is a form of “brainwashing” (for lack of a better term) going on, but we all suffer from that to some degree. There are even some non-reformed Baptists who would struggle with the verses/evidence provided. Also, there are some non-Calvinistic rebuttals that fall flat on their face.

        Most people within Christendom see election as one or two options. The Calvinistic answer being unconditional and predestined. The basic non-Calvinistic, and Arminian response, is that we become elect once we are “in Christ”. According to this view, I am “elect” because I elected to believe. In other words, God chose me because I chose Him. I believe that view is just as weak (even laughable), perhaps even weaker than the Calvinist view.

        The biblical fact is the word “elect” doesn’t appear in scripture until Israel is mentioned. In other words, prior to Israel there was no “elect”. Period. Even though Abram might have been chosen to be the father of that tiny nation, Abraham, himself, was not part of the elect (Abraham was not an Israelite). That distinction was reserved for the nation of Israel.

        Satan knows full well who the “elect” are. That is why he has been after that tiny nation ever since God made His covenant with Abraham. All biblical prophecy is directed at Israel. All Christendom could be completely destroyed and wiped off the face of the earth and God’s promises could still be fulfilled. But if Satan could be successful in annihilating the nation of Israel, then God’s promises have failed and would make Him a liar. He would have lost His sovereignty and Satan knows it.

        Matthew 24:22 (KJV)……
        And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (the nation of Israel) those days shall be shortened.

        Revelation 12:13 and 17 (KJV)….
        And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child……. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

        There are actually people (preachers) out there declaring that “the woman” is the church. O the error of replacement theology. It should be obvious to the brain dead that “the woman” is the nation of Israel. “Mine Elect”.

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      2. Norm writes, “Calvin’s soteriology is entirely bankrupt. When will our brethren admit it?”

        When those who claim it to be bankrupt are able to provide counter arguments to RC Sproul and others (e.g., Gertsner, the Puritans such as Edwards and Owens) who produced reasoned arguments from the Scriptures for Calvinist positions.

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  9. nurluhouse writes, “1. First of all it starts with the “you are a universalist” stick in your eye. (they play that card early and often!).”

    If one uses the Universalist argument, then why isn’t he an Universalist? ts00’s primary point is that God loves all people. Yet, God knew before He created the universe that all people would not be saved nor was it God’s intent that all people would be saved. So, does God really love all people or some more than others. ts00 is somewhat shallow in his arguments.

    Then, “Piper often quotes…Jonathan Edwards …..pointing that God DOES in fact take pleasure in evil since He needs it to contrast with His goodness.”

    Maybe you could explain why God permits people to do evil when He could easily stop it. Certainly, God does not allow anything to happen unless it is according to His plan and serves His purpose. Do you know God’s purpose for the evil acts in which people engage while God watches and does not stop.

    Then, “…we all know that in Calvinism, no such offer is made….”

    It is not an offer; it is a command. “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17)

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    1. Hutch: You wrote this,

      “When those who claim [Calvinism] to be bankrupt are able to provide counter arguments to RC Sproul and others (e.g., Gertsner, the Puritans such as Edwards and Owens) who produced reasoned arguments from the Scriptures for Calvinist positions.”

      Your words were in response to my words: “Norm writes, ‘Calvin’s soteriology is entirely bankrupt. When will our brethren admit it?'”

      The “counter arguments” you say are needed before Calvinism can be declared bankrupt already are voluminous. First, there is the BIble. Then, I refer you to former Calvinist Ronnie Rogers and his book, “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist: the disquieting realities of Calvinism.” It’s an outstanding academic and theological treatise that shows Calvin’s utter bankruptcy. If you would read it, you will see that Rogers debunks the soteriology of Calvin as espoused by Sproul, Gertsner, Edwards and Owens and any other calvinistic writer for that matter. They may have provided “reasoned arguments,” but they are not reasonable.

      At SBCToday, a blog where you once frequently commented, Calvin’s notions have repeatedly and roundly been exposed for their theological vacuity. Many times, the Calvinists who would normally comment there would not venture into the “room” when Rogers’ had a post on that “wall.”

      I also commend the post on this blog by Dr. Eric Hankins on Romans 9 and reprobation. His sound hermeneutics and exegesis demolish Calvin’s invention of reprobation, and thus renders Calvinism impotent, bankrupt, pointless (multiple choice!).

      Of course, this blog has done the same thing. So, it rings incredibly hollow for you to require counter arguments to Calvin’s progenitors on a very blog that continually offers such.

      Come back after you have read Rogers’ book. You can get an e-version for $6.99 on Amazon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norm,
        This is a common occurrence.

        “You sleeping-in-class universalists have never given a response to _________________. ”

        You can fill in that blank with any one of the scores of posts from this very site….with the very title!

        Brian is incredibly patient answering the John 6:44 question many more times than I would have….. only to hear “you never dealt with John 6:44.”

        Motto: When a biblical answer is not what you want, just claim you’ve never heard it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some Calvinists are like cult members. They need de-programming. Despite sound biblical evidence of Calvin’s bankruptcy, the Calvinites refuse to admit their error. They have too much invested in the faulty system to admit it is false. They are much more prone to quote Piper, Sproul or the Puritan writers than they are the Bible. I know this to be true b/c I moderated for two years the SBCToday blog. And I have just recently begun to regularly visit this blog.

        I could hardly ascribe to the soteriology of man who says that God sends people to hell “for his good pleasure.” And Calvin wrote just that! That falsehood alone is enough for me to reject Calvin. But he also provides many others reasons for rejection as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Norm,
        Many will quote Piper at length.

        I have quoted him in dozens of comments in the comment section of quite a few different pages of SOT101.

        He is so conflicted, organizing a campaign (bumper stickers!) and writing a book called “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

        In the book, 100% of the time he is making the case that we can be different, think differently, impact the world, change our direction…… all good things but all “man-centered”. ((and all very —-the future is not settled —- on their face)).

        At the same time, numerous places on his desiringgod site he affirms and re-affirms that all that happens —-good or bad— is orchestrated by God.

        So….no real way to waste your life if you are just doing what you are programmed to do.

        Determinism is not a way of life.

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      4. FOH writes, “Brian is incredibly patient answering the John 6:44 question many more times than I would have….. only to hear “you never dealt with John 6:44.”

        It appears to me that Brian is still working out the kinks in his explanation of 6:44. Nonetheless, I haven’t seen the “Traditionalists” going the route he has taken.

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      5. FOH… there will always be those who will see “kinks” where there aren’t any… and then ignore the clear teaching of God’s marvelous grace and mercy sufficiently available to all, enabled by Him to freely receive or reject it… I believe they just can’t picture God being more merciful then they are! Very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. brianwagner writes, ” there will always be those who will see “kinks” where there aren’t any…”

        If I remember correctly, your explanation involved something about something being “distributed” across something. Kinda shows the impression your explanation made on me that I don’t remember the details. I then asked how that works given that the verbs are singular – how do you distribute anything over a single object. I don’t remember you responding to that question. Wouldn’t that count as a kink?

        Then, “I believe they just can’t picture God being more merciful then they are! ”

        Are you kidding! All Calvinists hope the Universalists turn out to be right. Doesn’t everyone??

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      7. First… you must not understand the term “distributed” as it relates to logic. Get someone to help you there. Geisler’s book – Come Let Us Reason, is good.

        Second, I don’t hope universalism is true, because I exalt in God’s justice also. But creating people to be damned in not just.

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      8. brianwagner writes, “you must not understand the term “distributed” as it relates to logic. Get someone to help you there. Geisler’s book – Come Let Us Reason, is good.”

        That supports my point. You cannot explain it yet, so that is a “kink” in your theory.

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      9. Very funny, Roger. Just because I don’t explain terms doesn’t mean I can’t. You really do need a course in logic. You could just ask what the term “distributed” means instead of saying I have “kinks” in my explanation. Perhaps the “kinks” are in your faulty education that didn’t teach you the basics of logic, or in your pride of not being willing to ask for the explanation but to just put forward a denial that one actually exists, even though an adequate one was given. You just didn’t understand it!

        Basically – “distributed” means the term in the premise is true in all circumstances, and “undistributed” means the term in the premise is only by this statement proven to be true in some circumstances. So when the premise uses “all” or “none” with a term, that term is distributed in that premise. If there is not “all” or “none” used with a term, that term is undistributed in that premise. I won’t charge you for this lesson in logic, because I count you a friend, in spite of some of your seemingly haughty comments. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. brainwagner writes, “Basically – “distributed” means…”

        I guess I was not clear. I meant to ask how “distributed” contributes to our understanding of John 6:44? Originally, you said something to the effect that the Calvinist understanding of John 6:44 was not necessarily the right one since the terms could be distributed (I don’t recall you saying that anything was undistributed, but if it fits, do so). I then asked you what you meant by that. You never explained. that I know of, and here we are.

        We read, ““No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

        The logical argument would seem to run like this:

        Initial condition: No one can come to Me..
        Premise 1 – If the Father draws him, he will come to me
        Premise 2 – If he comes to me, I will raise him up.
        Conclusion: If the Father draws him, I will raise him up.

        If you do not accept that sequence, you can offer another. Otherwise, we see the initial condition is distributed as we would expect from an universal negative. As the premises are in the singular, we look at this as undistributed or true only in some circumstances, i.e., those in which God draws a person. However, we could easily render the above as “All the Father draws…I will raise all.”

        Somehow, I don’t think you had that in mind. Thus, I asked to explain what you were thinking with regard to 6:44.

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      11. Brian,
        Dont fall for any request for further explanation. Your words (and lots of others like them) are easily found on the net for anyone with ears to hear.

        As for the God having mercy part…. in the many years since I left the Calvinist camp, I have noticed that when people talk a tad ‘too much’ about God’s love and mercy, Calvinists are quick to pounce with justice and wrath. Calvin made no effort to hide his position that wrath, double-predestination, and even the having-people-think-they-are-saved-but-are-not idea all serve to better show His justice and glory.

        Pretty hard to really be too merciful when you are carrying that wrath-is-good, torture-for-His-glory card up your sleeve.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. If your theology dictates that God has unavoidable, inescapable, predetermined-to-bring-him-glory wrath toward any person then you absolutely have no right to talk about God’s mercy. Only the most merciless being could condemn – without even a possibility of escape – another being to suffering and death when he ‘rescues’ a select few in this exact same state, who are no more or less deserving.

        It is this false and hideous corruption of God’s nature and revelation that has given many an excuse to reject him. All genuine believers should know, and defend, the true character of God, which is absolutely loving and merciful, extending grace to all without exception – conditioned only upon their putting their trust in Him and turning from the destructive paths of sin.

        Yes, I believe it is another great error of Calvinism to claim that God is unconcerned with our life after regeneration, overlooking our sinful ‘works’ as long as our ‘doctrine’ is correct. Understanding the nature of God’s limitless love and grace introduces the ‘power of love’ to transform hearts and lives, which IS what God seeks, not doctrinally correct Pharisees.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. ts00 writes, “Only the most merciless being could condemn – without even a possibility of escape – another being to suffering and death when he ‘rescues’ a select few in this exact same state, who are no more or less deserving.”

        OK – that is the argument made by the Universalists. Perhaps you mean to waffle on the meaning of “possibility of escape.”

        Like

      14. Rhutchin writes (once again!):
        ‘OK – that is the argument made by the Universalists.’

        The Universalists are absolutely correct when they state that a good, gracious, loving and just God would never perform as Calvinism asserts. With this, nearly all non-Calvinists would agree. Where they part ways is in whether or not God warns of punishment and wrath against those who know and refuse his loving offer of grace. I agree with Universalists that there is no hint of unjustice with God, thus reject Calvinism’s assertions as not only ‘horrid’ but utterly inconceivable and untrue. Must God save all men to be just? Rhutchin, as well as most Calvinists, know full well that is not the argument of non-Universalist non-Calvinists. Rather, they assert that he ‘must’ – really ‘would’ – not pretend to desire that none perish while providing atonement for only a select few, and orchestrating inescapably the destruction of the rest and be just.

        Like

      15. TS00

        Here is the most pertinent idea in both your recent posts:

        “…not pretend to desire that none perish while providing atonement for only a select few, and orchestrating inescapably the destruction of the rest and be just.”

        One of the biggest flaws of Calvinism is that it promote a God who PRETENDS to want all/ love all, but really one makes atonement for .0015%. That does not make Him very “loving.”

        It only makes Him monstrously deceptive.

        Like

      16. fromoverhere,

        You had said:
        “That does not make Him very “loving.”

        It only makes Him monstrously deceptive.”

        My response:
        “…for His TWISTED PERVERTED COSMIC enjoyment in entertainment called…GOD’S GLORY.”

        Like

      17. FOH writes, “Calvinists are quick to pounce with justice and wrath.”

        That is because Calvinists are convinced that the Scriptures clearly tell us that God will not save each and every person. Those who died at God’s hand – through means – such as in the flood of Noah, Sodom and the cities, the Amalekites and other tribes in the promised land, etc. are not thought to have been saved.

        Like

      18. Hutch:

        Yes, I read Ronnie’s book. But I never was convinced of Calvin’s tripe well before that.

        I don’t intend to re-hash with you or anyone else the matters already settled by God, His word, and explained by Rogers, Flowers, et al.
        If you will honestly interact with Ronnie’ book, I believe you will be pressed to re-evaluate your Calvinism.

        I am sure we can get some of Ronnie’s posts from SBCToday to be posted here, and you can interact directly with him if you want. He will stay with you as long as you don’t restate his position in order to try to prove your own, which is a habit among many of the Calvies I’ve seen who post at SBCToday.

        BTW: Citing John 6:44 is typical of Calvinists. It raises a point not at issue with the Trads I know. Neither does it undermine what Trads believe about the salvific process.

        “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

        I know no Trad who would say this opposes any part of their beliefs. So if you believe it too, then, well…..

        It is as simple as Leighton has said in the video above: Who finally decided that you would follow Christ, you or God? If you say God decided, then you hold to Calvin’s view.

        Calvinists believe that God has decided for the “elect” that they will be saved irresistibly (even though there is not one single verse to support that notion. if you know any, please list them.) Where we part company is whether God’s drawing is the final action in one’s coming to Christ for salvation. Trads believe that God does draw, no question, but also that the one drawn has a choice in how to respond and is thus not irresistibly drawn.

        If you want to deal directly with these matters, then further dialog is possible. But if you want to engage in the issues jn a manner as you did at SBCToday, then you will be talking to yourself.

        Liked by 2 people

      19. Norm:
        No need of biblical reference. They start with their own interpretation of “dead” and have to figure a way out from there….

        And yes they talk to themselves a lot. My (adult) son saw the Bible study he was attending morph right in front of him over the space of a year. It went from studying passages systematically to studying only the “doctrines of grace.” He described it like a shark tank after about a year….all of them circling for the lone fish who was not following….

        All topics, passages led to Calvin….ending often with internet perusing of Dordt and Westminster.

        He left. Was no longer a Bible study.

        Like

      20. Norm,

        I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes on this one, but I saw you mention a popular John 6:44.

        I gotta ask a stupid question, cuz I don’t know the answer as to where that argument goes.

        My question:

        Doesn’t the very next verse continue the conversation of verse 44? To wit:

        45 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.

        Doesn’t that show a qualifier, that one must hear, and learned of the father first?

        And if so, doesn’t that say that THEY that have, will be CONVINCED IN THEIR OWN MIND? Convinced in their own mind. Convinced in their own mind…

        I think this goes along the line of a topic that was to the audience ONLY…the Jews…not the Gentiles. Why do I say that?

        Simple…verse 45 again…and they shall e ALL TAUGHT OF GOD. If it’s written in the PROPHETS, that kinda tells me that this prophesy is in regards to Jews, not Gentiles.

        ALL will be taught of God, not most, not some, but ALL, and that word convinces me that ALL is Jews…Hence ALL Israel will be saved (Romans 9-11)

        So, to me, the whole context of Chapter 6 is regarding the Jews only, since it was THEIR forefathers that were fed MANNA, and Jesus is contrasting to THEM that he is the Bread of Life.

        Jesus time and time again tells them of the one who the FATHER sent…and Jesus said that he was NOT SENT BUT TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.

        Later, after he resurrected did he talk about us OTHER SHEEP.

        Yes, many things that Jesus said pertain to us, but I think from time to time we need to separate between what is prophesy for the Jews that Jesus discusses with the Jews only, vs. everyone else, us lowly Gentiles.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      21. chapmaned24 writes, “So, to me, the whole context of Chapter 6 is regarding the Jews only, since it was THEIR forefathers that were fed MANNA, and Jesus is contrasting to THEM that he is the Bread of Life.”

        Had Christ said in 6:44, “None of you can come to me,,,” it would be easy to conclude that Christ was speaking directly of the Jews and specifically His audience. Instead, He says, “No one can come to me…” He uses a universal negative. However, there is no reason to limit this to the Jews. Certainly, if the Jews could not come to Christ, there is no reason to think that a non-Jew could do so.

        Like

      22. chapmaned24 writes, “Yes, there is a reason, and that reason is so stated in the very next verse. PROPHECY. That is not prophesy to the Gentiles, but to the Jews.”

        However, it is only through prophecy that any person, Jew or gentile, can believe in Christ. That is Paul’s message in Romans 10. Jesus is using generic language, and while the Jews in His audience would certainly understand that His teaching applies to them, God inspired John to write these words so that we today would understand that this applies to us equally.

        Like

      23. chapmaned24 writes, “That very next verse is also key as it states a PROCEDURE on how the Father draws them. ”

        I agree. So, we should not think that God’s drawing has to force the person against his will nor does God merely persuade (not really meant by “draw”). Rather God opens his mind to understanding thereby Christ becomes irresistible to him.

        Like

      24. It has nothing to do with IRRESISTIBLE. I’ll never forget the first time I heard that word in your circles. It’s misleading.

        They have the ability to reject. They will CHOOSE from their own free will by in fact being persuaded. Why? Because Jesus REVEALS HIMSELF to them.

        Deuteronomy 29:4 (TO THE JEW ONLY)
        Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

        That is a quote that Paul mentions in Romans 9-11.

        The Lord BLINDED the Jews, so that they may NOT SEE.

        John 9:41 (NOTE THE WORDS “NO SIN”????????????????????????
        Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

        Blind Jews have NO SIN until they say that they can see.

        It’s up to God to UNBLIND whom he blinded. He did allow SOME Jews to understand. The REST of the Jews are in a SLUMBER.

        He didn’t blind the Gentiles.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      25. chapmaned24 writes, “It has nothing to do with IRRESISTIBLE…They have the ability to reject.”

        Reject what?? God’s drawing? God’s teaching? The drawing and teaching are irresistible. Perhaps you mean that once drawn, they have the ability to turn around and go back to where they were or that they decide not to follow God’s teaching. That would require motive – What motive would a person have to draw back from God or not do what God had taught him? Maybe, you mean that a person draws back because God blinds him to truth. So, what are you trying to say??

        Like

      26. Stop using that word, “irresistible”. Only a steak dinner is irresistible. You Calvinists need to ditch that word, because YES, the fathers drawing is indeed irresistible. They WONT reject, because they will finally KNOW, because Jesus will REVEAL HIMSELF to them. Irresistible has NOTHING to do with it. Get rid of that word, man. Free will.

        Do you know WHY God used the Pharaoh? Do you? He was going to let the people go several times. God tells Moses to go tell the Pharaoh to let the people go. Pharaoh says, “OK”, but God hardened his heart to change his mind so that he would NOT let the people go?

        WHY?

        Let’s hear your NATURAL MAN routine of an explanation!

        See, now YOUR religion will tell you that this is the forefront example that God does what he will to people. NO NO NO NO.

        God has a STORY to tell, THRU the Pharaoh, but you people don’t get it because you are the NATURAL MAN.

        Like I said about Joseph. The natural man only thinks it’s a story about Joseph. But God USED Joseph to tell a story about Jesus. God used Abraham to tell a story about Jesus. God used David to tell a story about Jesus. God used Noah, to tell us a story about Jesus. God used Soloman to tell us a story about Jesus. God used ALL of the Jewish required FEASTS to tell us a story about Jesus. God used Jonah to tell us a story about Jesus.

        So, your unregenerate garbage is just that….garbage. Natural man sees none of what I said above. Expository preaching sees none of that stuff, either.

        The Pharaoh was indeed shown mercy by God all because God USED him to tell a story. Pharaoh is in heaven. There is no doubt in my mind at all. BASED ON THE BIBLE.

        Ed Chapman

        Liked by 1 person

      27. Norm and Brian:
        Calvinists will say just that!! Piper’s site, referring to the man’s wealth says…

        “But its power is so blinding that when Jesus held out real treasure to this man in exchange for the counterfeit, he wouldn’t trade. And what he did was choose poverty over incalculable eternal wealth.”

        The story says that Jesus loved him and offered him life (and the site makes that clear), and then goes on to say that the man chose not to follow.

        We are left with the idea that God has really given man the possible choice…… or that

        Christ loved the man wanted and wanted him to come, but the Father had immutably NOT enabled him.

        That means either Christ was not able to achieve his goal, or his offer was really insincere.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. Norm and Brian:

        If you think this story (Rich young man) leaves Calvinists conflicted (Christ loves and calls but man resists)…. oh no!

        They just preach like Arminians “earthly prosperity can make people spiritually destitute.” (meaning: you aren’t destitute inherently, but money might make you that way!)

        Have a look at this message on Piper’s site and see that several times they make Arminian claims about money making the man able to resist the call of Christ.

        Then they say rather shamelessly…. “Your generosity is helping make others rich.” Meaning….you give to us and we tell others about the riches they have in Christ. They become rich because you give to us. Notice a real lack of immutable, eternal call in the whole message.

        Determinism is not a way of life.

        https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/rich-young-man-the-impoverishing-power-of-financial-prosperity

        Like

      29. norm writes, “The rich young ruler was drawn to Jesus, but found the God-man’s teaching resistible.”

        Many find the teachings of Jesus attractive but Jesus will say to some of them, “I never knew you.” Such is the rich young ruler. However, as it says that Christ loved him, there is implied here that God will draw him to Christ and this drawing will not be resisted.

        Like

      30. Norm;
        Be prepared for those who say that the “rich young man” eventually did come to Christ.

        If Christ’s love and call are irresistible…. then the man must have come later (they will say).

        But this demonstrates clearly that they MAKE the Scripture say what they want it to say.

        The Scripture gives us the very clear passage that this man outright resisted/ rejected Christ. Calvinists will say “yes, but we dont want this example since we know better!”

        Wait for it….

        Liked by 1 person

      31. FOH, already implied, with no valid evidence for doing so – merely the desire to ‘make up’ whatever is necessary to cling to faulty theology.

        Like

      32. Hey Norm,

        This just in….

        I went to monergism.com (a hub for determinists) and looked for their interpretation of the rich young man…..

        https://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=rich+young+man&format=All

        If you listen to their posted recording you will hear a very, very Arminian message all about the choice of the young man.

        This preacher does not pretend that the young man went on to accept Christ. He says that the man goes away “haunted by what might have been.”

        Is there anything that “might have been” for a determinist? No!

        Is there any way (within Calvinism) for a man called by Christ to resist? No! (and yet….this story, and this “Calvinist” pastor, show it to be the case).

        More statements in this message:

        “Wealth is a handicap. The greater your wealth the higher your handicap.” “It’s difficult to have a lot and trust a lot.”

        “It is easy for an earnest person wanting to serve God to be drug away and enslaved.”

        “Wealth can pervert one’s values.”

        “Wealth can corrupt attitudes.”

        “Wealth can destroy and steel one against the objective requirement to enter the kingdom of God.

        “What you do with your wealth will determine your spiritual health, and to a great extent, the destiny of your family.”

        “If you are becoming wealthy, then you stand in great danger.”

        “Give this way [a lot] so that if affects your life…for your soul’s sake.”

        “Divestment and investment. That is what God calls us to.”

        “Everyone needs to drop the thing that they are holding on to; whether it is their wealth, or their pride, or a passion, or a person…. you are to drop it. And Ask God to come in His grace. And change your life. And He can do the miracle which you cannot do.”

        I fail to see how this message made its way on to the monergism site!!!

        If this guy was not a card-carrying Calvinist, his words would be excoriated BY Calvinists as extremely “man-centered”. His Calvinism makes absolutely no difference in his preaching.

        Determinism is not a way of life.

        Liked by 1 person

      33. Reminds me of the sermon my former (Calvinist) pastor taught, telling us how he ‘literally’ wept for the millions who would be ‘lost’ because we – ‘The Church’ – were not faithful to our calling. WHAT??? I looked around expecting others to be either stunned or laughing, but all just nodded their unthinking heads in heartfelt sorrow and repentance. My spouse gave me a dirty look for not just submitting humbly to the teaching of the dear leader.

        Liked by 1 person

      34. TS00

        Dont forget we can just pick up a copy of Piper’s best-selling “Don’t Waste Your Life” where he says similar things many times!

        His disciple Jon Bloom says it over and over in all of his books and articles.

        It is like the proof-reader is living in two worlds (the every-dust-particle determinist world, and the “we can possibly waste our lives” world).

        Oh…that’s right…. they ARE living in both those worlds. It’s ALL good! Just claim Calvinism —- and then you can say whatever Arminian thing you want!

        Like

      35. Will the Calvinist god be crying for the unsaved, as well? And I will bet that the Calvinist preacher was flat out lying about crying, too. I get the feeling that Calvinists boast with a “neener neenner, neener, I was chosen, but you are not!”.

        But what I want to know…How does a Calvinist KNOW that they are IN THE CLUB of chosen or not? How do they know that THEY HAVE FAITH? It could be that Satan gave them a counterfeit faith. How do they know?

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      36. chapmaned1924 writes, “How does a Calvinist KNOW that they are IN THE CLUB of chosen or not? How do they know that THEY HAVE FAITH?”

        The same way all believers know – they find Christ irresistible and hope in Christ for forgiveness of sin, justification, and eternal life.

        Like

      37. chapmaned24 writes, “Only Calvinists see Christ as irresistible.”

        If you say so. Somehow, I don’t think that is the case for all non-Calvinists.

        Like

      38. If the Jews were NOT blind, then Jesus would have never been crucified. And I know that would make many in Christendom happy, because they can’t stand the Jews for crucifying Jesus.

        But what if Jesus wasn’t crucified? Peter drew his sword to stop it from happening.

        You would still be in your sins, with no savior if he hadn’t died on that cross. It pleased the Father to bruise him.

        Why? So you can be saved.

        That is why the Jews are blind. For YOUR SAKE. But people want to bad mouth the Jews for rejecting Jesus. Pffffft.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      39. chapmaned24 writes, “That is why the Jews are blind. For YOUR SAKE. But people want to bad mouth the Jews for rejecting Jesus. Pffffft.”

        I agree.

        Like

      40. And please note that verse 45 states:
        “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

        EVERY MAN EVERY EVERY EVERY MAN. Not some, not a few, not many, but every. Heard and Learned. Therefore, no one rejects.

        Hmmmmm….where can you find an example of this? How about the PROPHESY of Joseph and his BRETHREN?

        Joseph is Jesus, and the BRETHREN of Joseph is the JEWS. Hence, Romans 9-11.

        Jews are the clay that God is USING to show us that righteousness cannot be by the law that God gave THEM ONLY, and told them to obey,and God fully knew that NO ONE can obey.

        Why would God give them a list of do’s and don’ts, knowing that they would fail?

        Wouldn’t it be to SHOW US the way? So that he could give THEM mercy?

        The Jews treated Jesus badly, just like the brothers of Joseph. Joseph HID himself so that his brothers had no clue as to who he was.

        But his brethren went to him for FOOD (BREAD OF LIFE, Jesus), and then Joseph REVEALED to his brothers who he was, and Joseph gave them mercy.

        Not one brother was doomed.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      41. chapmaned24 writes, “And please note that verse 45 states:
        “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
        EVERY MAN EVERY EVERY EVERY MAN. Not some, not a few, not many, but every. Heard and Learned. Therefore, no one rejects.”

        That is wrong. We have a conditional. It is not every man in the world but every man “who has heard/learned from God” The phrase “comes to me” has the meaning, “believe in me.” The Universalist argues that every man means that each and every individual in the world will learn from God, so all are saved. The non-Universalist argues that the conditional, “who learns from God,” can be some number less than each and every individual, so the statement does not mean that all will be saved. We have a similar situation in John 3:16. God loves the world but not every individual is saved – only those believing in Christ inherit eternal life.

        then, “where can you find an example of this? How about the PROPHESY of Joseph and his BRETHREN?”

        I like your explanation. I don’t think it applies to John 6:44-45.

        Like

      42. I am not a universalist, so let’s dispense with that nonsense. All Israel will be saved. The Jews were given a law of Moses that God knew that they would fail at.

        You people spread a fairy tale about God imputing faith, yet that is not the truth.

        God BLINDED the Jews, and God will UNBLIND the Jews. Simple as that. Therefore, DUE to the fact that God gave them a law of Moses fully knowing that they will fail, God will show them mercy.

        You see, I am NOT from the circles of REFORM theology. And because of that, we do not argue “regeneration”, a topic that you guys can’t seem to shut up about.

        Righteousness is the word to concentrate on.

        Self, and God’s.

        Law vs. No Law. Self is by the law, which equals FAIL, NO LAW at all equals WIN WIN. Belief is YOUR OWN, not an imputation.

        Because that is where you will find the truth, rather than a mysterious fairy tale about a god that must FORCE you to believe. No one outside of reform theology buys off on that stuff.

        I will give you an example about that NATURAL MAN thing that you guys always bring up.

        The Story of Joseph is PROPHESY of the relationship between Jesus and the Jews that rejected him. The SPIRITUAL MAN sees that.

        The NATURAL MAN will reject that the story of Joseph is anything other than JUST a story of Joseph.

        That is what that means, and since you guys are all about Expository preaching, you do indeed reject the story of Joseph being prophesy of Jesus, regarding his relationship with the Jews that rejected him.

        So you guys can’t even interpret that NATURAL MAN doctrine right. You would have missed Jesus, too..all because YOU would be looking for a man named Emanuel.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      43. chapmaned24 writes, “All Israel will be saved.”

        Does that include each and every Jew from Jacob down to judgment day?

        Then, “You people spread a fairy tale about God imputing faith, yet that is not the truth.”

        Actually, I say God gives His elect faith, but He imputes righteousness to them.

        Then, “And because of that, we do not argue “regeneration”, a topic that you guys can’t seem to shut up about.”

        Just think new birth of John 3 as it is one and the same to the Calvinist.

        Then, “…rather than a mysterious fairy tale about a god that must FORCE you to believe. No one outside of reform theology buys off on that stuff. ”

        No one inside reformed theology buys that stuff either.

        Then, “The NATURAL MAN will reject that the story of Joseph is anything other than JUST a story of Joseph.”

        Good think the Calvinists understand that the story of Joseph is more than just an event in history. Joseph was a type of Christ.

        Like

      44. Just a couple of drive-by comments, as I have no interest in being drawn into one of these slug fests:

        I would suggest that the ‘blinding of the Jews’ describes what occurred in order for what would seem unthinkable to take place: the crucifixion of their own long-awaited Messiah. Once this occurred, Paul and the other apostles were free to reveal the ‘mystery’ of what Jesus was all about, hence the New Testament. The Jews are not still ‘blinded’ by God and awaiting some future unblinding – all of that took place long ago. At this point in time, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; all distinctions have been forever eradicated. Read Paul a little more carefully.

        Hint to Ed: Many Calvinists seek to assert an illogical irresistible ‘force’ that does not force. God irresistible, irrevocably determines ‘whatsoever comes to pass’, yet men somehow ‘choose’ to follow this irresistible, inevitable plan. Not sure if they actually believe this, or if it is just an argument they use to mask the cruelty and injustice of God ordaining evil then punishing the patsies who performed his will.

        Like

      45. TS00
        Your 2nd paragraph is especially accurate. There are some who ignore biblical answers to Calvin’s “irreconcilable tensions.” They would rather argue than discover truth, obviously. I choose not to engage such types, and that is usually borne out to be a wise decision since such people eventually are banned from commenting because their true motives eventually become evident. Besides, the Bible tells us to stay away from contentious people.

        Like

      46. Speaking of contentious people!

        Have you ever gone to Amazon and looked at the book reviews of a good Arminian or non-Calvinist book? Amazing. Just go to the one-star reviews. Most of them will not be reviews at all—in fact no indication that the person has ever even seen the book!

        They just paste in there some ranting tirade against anything but the “doctrines of grace” (which is kind of ‘ungracious’ and ironic if you think of it). Give it one star, call him a universalist, add some aggressive no-one-is-right-but-us comments, and call that a review!

        Why do they allow themselves to do such an ungracious and disingenuous thing? They feel like they are on a mission for God… a mission for the truth, and the end justify the means!

        Like

      47. ts00 writes, “Many Calvinists seek to assert an illogical irresistible ‘force’ that does not force. God irresistible, irrevocably determines ‘whatsoever comes to pass’, yet men somehow ‘choose’ to follow this irresistible, inevitable plan.”

        The “illogical irresistible ‘force’” is regeneration or the new birth. Then, “men somehow ‘choose’ to follow this irresistible, inevitable plan” because of the faith (i.e., hope in Christ) that they receive through hearing the gospel.

        Like

      48. truthseeker,

        You had said:
        “The Jews are not still ‘blinded’ by God and awaiting some future unblinding – all of that took place long ago.”

        My response:
        YES they are still blinded and are indeed still awaiting some future unblinding.

        Like

      49. truthseeker,

        You had said:
        At this point in time, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; all distinctions have been forever eradicated. Read Paul a little more carefully.

        My response:
        Read Paul a little more carefully. There is a difference UNLESS both are “in Christ”. In Christ there is no difference. But if one or both are NOT “in Christ”, then there is indeed a difference between Jew and Gentile.

        However, comma, try telling Calvinists that there is no difference between male and female in Christ. Males, in Calvinism, want female slaves for wives, barefoot and pregnant, that gets a new mop for a birthday gift, and a vacuum for an anniversary present, and a washer/dryer for a Christmas gift.

        Ed

        Like

      50. rhutchin,

        You ask:
        “Does that include each and every Jew from Jacob down to judgment day?”

        God shows mercy to the IGNORANT.

        Romans 10:3
        For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

        Paul, talking about himself for receiving mercy:

        1 Timothy 1:13
        Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

        Do you have a problem with knowing that ALL ISRAEL will be saved?

        I guess all doesn’t mean everyone in Calvinist minds, huh? Just some. A few. Paul didn’t add any adjectives to that, no adverbs.

        Ed

        Like

      51. chapmaned24 asks “Do you have a problem with knowing that ALL ISRAEL will be saved?”

        No. Do you have a problem with God saving all Israel? Or anyone else He wants.

        Like

      52. chapmaned24 writes, “God does NOT save WHO HE WANTS. He saves those who wants to be saved,…”

        Why can’t God do both? Man has free will; God has free will. God can save people who want to be saved and God can save people who don’t want to be saved.

        Like

      53. God does not have free will. God cannot do things. God cannot lie…can he? Free will? God cannot do evil deeds…can he? Oh, but wait…in Calvinism he sure can…a sick and twisted god who uses people for his sick and twisted cosmic pleasure called God’s Glory…I forgot.

        Like

      54. God can’t lie, can he? If not, he is LIMITED in what he can do. He can’t do evil. But Calvin’s God does all the time. It is God’s will that a woman get raped…so that good can come out of it. God’s will that a woman gets raped. So he THOUGHT of evil for that woman. And Jesus said of adultery, if you think it, you are guilty. So Calvin’s god is guilty of THINKING evil, so he is evil.

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      55. Norm writes, “At SBCToday, a blog where you once frequently commented, Calvin’s notions have repeatedly and roundly been exposed for their theological vacuity.”

        Why don’t you get me reinstated and let’s interact on Calvinist issues. But then, most of what you see about Calvinism other than Rogers is Leighton Flowers and those are just re-runs of his stuff here.

        I’ll guess and say that you have not personally read Rogers’ book. But, I will read it anyway. Not expecting much given what he puts on SBCToday.

        Liked by 1 person

      56. Hi Norm,

        You wrote… “I refer you to former Calvinist Ronnie Rogers…”

        I know this is what a lot of those at SBC Today believe, but brother Rogers is not a “former” Calvinist. In fact, he is a 2 point Calvinist (or Arminian if you prefer). Brother Leighton is a true “former” Calvinist.

        Leighton rejects all 5 points of Calvinism, while Rogers still adheres strongly to total depravity (evident by his articles) and a form of irresistible grace (evident by his logic). Now while his form of irresistible grace might not force someone to believe, it does however force someone to a point where they can choose. Either way, force is not grace. Its coercion.

        If our brothers and sisters over at SBCT would read his writings more carefully, they would see this.

        Something to think about, brother.

        God bless.

        Liked by 2 people

      57. Phillip – I actually believe God irresistibly enables at least a few times in a person’s life to be able to choose to seek His mercy. I know illustrations don’t prove doctrine… but don’t you think it is grace to save the life of one who has overdosed on drugs so that they can decide if they want to get the help they need to stay sober?

        Liked by 1 person

      58. Blessings, Brian.

        Always enjoy your input and perspective.

        I just don’t think fallen man is in a comatose state. At least generally speaking.

        There are those folks who make me wonder. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      59. Norm wrote, “Come back after you have read Rogers’ book.”

        I got the book and have started reading it. This guy is one confused little puppy. Don’t know if I can sort out what he writes, but I will start with something easy. His chapter 2 is titled, “Predestination and Foreknowledge” It has nothing to do with predestination and is all about foreknowledge, so I found the title amusing. Regardless, he agrees completely with the Calvinists on foreknowledge writing, “God has always known all contingencies (decisions yet to be actualized) because even though they do not exist external to the mind of God, they have eternally existed in the mind of God by virtue of the nature of His being…I further affirm God’s omniscience…God knows everything about the future including every potential and actual choice of every person.”

        So, Rogers has not rejected all of his prior Calvinist beliefs. Yet, having said these things, he ignores the major implication of omniscience/foreknowledge – Before God created the world, He knew who would be saved and who would not be saved. The big issue between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is not who will be saved but the manner in which people come to Christ – specifically God’s role in making this happen.

        Rogers does make an interesting commenting the chapter – “Therefore, contrary to Calvinism, foreknowledge establishes certainty but not causation.” However, he must know that Calvinism attaches causation to God’s decrees (thus, God’s sovereignty) and not to foreknowledge. In addition, he writes, “I disaffirm that foreknowledge is the same as causation because epistemology (study of knowledge) deals with foreknowledge and etiology (study of cause) deals with causation, and to conflate the two is a fallacious confusion of categories. I am not saying that all knowledgeable Calvinists do this, but it is a common mistake among young Calvinists, as well as many others who label themselves as Calvinist.” It seems he has confused that which Calvinism teaches with that which some Calvinists (young ones) mistakenly think Calvinism teaches.

        There was so much more that Rogers could have said about God’s omniscience especially as it relates to Calvinism, but he didn’t. I found it disappointing.

        That was an easy chapter to sort out.

        Liked by 1 person

      60. Brian,
        For further clarity, let me add the following…

        Acts 9:3-6 (NKJV)….
        As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

        Now, was Paul irresistibly thrown of the donkey? Yes. Did it have anything to do with overcoming Paul’s depravity? Nope. Not one little bit.

        And that’s just it. For the Calvinist/Arminian, grace (of the irresistible nature) is the solution for total depravity/total inability.

        Now does that mean that God can’t (forcibly) tap us on the shoulder from time to time? Of course not. But I don’t think that means God is overcoming our fallen nature and restoring us to a pre-fall condition either; which Calvinists/Arminians (like brother Rogers) insist must happen first.

        Liked by 1 person

      61. Phillip and Brian:
        Another example is Jonah. I would say that God intervened significantly there!

        I think we all agree that Jonah could have STILL said no —and many in similar situations have said no.

        I tried to make it hard for my kids to make bad decisions. they still did sometimes.

        That’s why we call it a “personal relationship.”

        Like

      62. FOH writes, “For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.”

        The issue is not whether Jonah “could” have said, No. Nothing suggests that this option was unavailable to him. The issue is what Jonah “would” do under the circumstances in which he made the choice. God does not work against the will of a person, but bends the will of a person to want and choose God’s will.

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      63. Thanks for the clarification Phillip. Not sure there was a donkey… 😁 but he certainly was blinded and heard Jesus voice. The issue is the needed opportunity of grace not the ability of the will. “Ability is nothing without opportunity” the great theologian Napolean said. 😉

        But Barnabas said – Hebrews 3:7-8 NKJV — “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion….'”

        I believe God overcomes the hardness sufficiently a few times at least with opportunities that the will can respond to, and then will be given more light if it responds positively. But hardness without opportunity leads nowhere. And God sometimes hardens those who have rejected their opportunities so that they never “see” the grace right in front of them any more.

        Liked by 1 person

      64. phillip writes, “For the Calvinist/Arminian, grace (of the irresistible nature) is the solution for total depravity/total inability….I don’t think that means God is overcoming our fallen nature and restoring us to a pre-fall condition either; which Calvinists/Arminians (like brother Rogers) insist must happen first.”

        Ronnie Rogers, in his book, “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist,” has agreed with the Calvinists that God is omniscient and knows all future decisions, including salvation decisions, I also have found that he agrees with the Calvinists on Total Depravity and the need for grace to enable a person to freely choose salvation – of course, rather than just enabling His elect, Rogers has God enabling those He knows are not to be saved (for reasons that I I am trying to sort out).

        The only real complaint I have come across (and I have only read about half the book) concerns free will and Rogers’s complaint that Calvinism does not give people real freedom to choose salvation. I look forward to his definition of “real freedom” (or words to that effect).

        He does have an issue with the regeneration-faith order, but I think he mistakenly takes regeneration to be salvation when it is not.

        I don’t think he is as disenchanted with Calvinism as he implies in the title and in some of the comments in the book. He will make a harsh comment about Calvinism on a point and then later affirm that point. He is really caught up with the free will thing and that is his only consistent objection to Calvinism that I am reading of.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. As you well noted, the key word in that verse i the word, “THROUGH”, and the subject is NOT chosen. The word THROUGH shows the procedure by which anyone is saved. He was talking to the already saved, telling them how they were saved. THRU faith. He was not telling anyone that they were chosen at all. This same kind of context is in ALL of the CHOSEN references in Ephesians, too. In THIS case, the key word was THROUGH. In the case of Ephesians, the key words are “TO BE”, not chosen. The subject of the context is AFTER the TO BE, not before the TO BE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. chapmaned24 writes, “The word THROUGH shows the procedure by which anyone is saved. He was talking to the already saved, telling them how they were saved.”

      All agree on this.

      We have, “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through…” The issue is with, “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation…” You say, “He was not telling anyone that they were chosen at all.” However, the translation of the verse suggests otherwise.

      Like

      1. chapmaned24 writes, “Bad translation.”

        How about giving us your better translation. And tell us why it is better – maybe explaining how all the current translations are “bad.”

        Like

      2. How about??????? Ya gotta ask me nicely…you see Danny, I can live with the bombs and the bullets…

        How about it…phhhhh.

        THRU is describing a PROCESS by which anyone is SAVED. Salvation is the SUBJECT, not YOU, not CHOSEN. Salvation was PREDETERMINED by a process.

        The YOU is the ALREADY SAVED that he was talking to.

        The word CHOSEN is in DIRECT RELATION TO “THRU”, not “YOU”. From the beginning, salvation is THRU Faith…HENCE ABRAHAM HAVING FAITH, and get this….NOT THE LAW OF MOSES.

        THE LAW OF MOSES IS WHAT CAUSES WRATH, NOT FAITH.

        Faith came first. From the beginning.

        What I want to see from you is how you think that faith is a work.

        Ed Chapman

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      3. chapmaned24 writes, “What I want to see from you is how you think that faith is a work.”

        Faith is a work where a person has some inherent natural ability to exercise faith when unregenerate and who can exercise that faith without God’s help (i.e., without regeneration). Exercising faith to believe is an act of the individual and obligates God to regenerate the person. Faith is not a work if it can only be exercised by a person who has been regenerated by God and is received through the “hearing of the word.” Regeneration provides the environment necessary for faith to manifest outwardly as belief. Exercising faith is a synergistic act requiring God’s help. The unregenerate do not receive faith through “hearing the word” because the gospel is foolishness to them (or a stumbling block where one is a Jew).

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      4. Wrong…the word “works” is ONLY ONLY ONLY pertaining to the obedience of the law of Moses.

        Hence, the phrase, “works of the law”.

        The law is not of faith. The law is a barrier to faith. It’s EITHER law OR faith. Not both

        Works is SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS in the law of Moses. Works requires a WAGE.

        If you can obey perfectly, you WORKED for a wage ,and that wage is…ETERNAL LIFE.

        But no one can, so the WAGE is death, for by the LAW, which is not of faith, is the knowledge of sin.

        Did ABRAHAM have the Law of Moses?

        No Works

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20
        the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Romans 5:13
        For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

        Romans 4:15
        where no law is, there is no transgression.

        Romans 4:8
        Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

        Romans 6:7
        For he that is dead is freed from sin.

        Romans 6:11
        Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead

        Romans 7:4
        ye also are become dead to the law

        Galatians 2:19
        For I through the law am dead to the law,

        Romans 7:8
        For without the law sin was dead.

        Galatians 2:21
        if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

        Romans 3:21
        But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested

        Romans 4:5
        faith is counted for righteousness.

        Romans 4:13
        not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

        Romans 4:16
        Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace

        Galatians 3:12
        the law is not of faith

        Galatians 3:21
        if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

        Romans 4:2
        For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

        Romans 4:5-6
        But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

        Romans 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.

        Faith is NOT imputed.

        There is ONLY two things that can be “IMPUTED” to us.
        1. Sin
        2. Righteousness

        Righteousness can only be imputed in two different ways.
        1. Works (DEEDS/OBEYING/OBSERVING) The Law of Moses
        2. Faith

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      5. chapmaned24 writes, “the word “works” is ONLY ONLY ONLY pertaining to the obedience of the law of Moses.”

        We also have from James 2, “…just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
        Also, Ephesians 2, “we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

        There are the works of the law and the works that God does through a person. You refer to those works done by the person apart from God to obtain salvation. In this context, we speak of the “faith” that is the foundation for these works and ask how Calvinists can label the “faith” that gives rise to works of the law as a “work.” Calvinist mean that such faith is not of God but of the man – that faith is not rooted in Christ but in the desires of the person. Have the Calvinists mischaracterized it as a “work”? Perhaps, but the point being made by the Calvinist is that the “faith” that does not lead to salvation (not being of God) reflects man’s effort (work) to obtain salvation through obedience to the law – whether the law of Moses or the persons’ personal law.

        Then, “Faith is NOT imputed.”

        OK. Here, we refer to Paul’s explanation that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” The meaning here is that a person has no faith (that faith required for salvation), then hears the word with the result that they now have faith. Such faith is the substance and evidence a person’s hope in Christ for forgiveness of sin, justification, and eternal life.

        Then, “There is ONLY two things that can be “IMPUTED” to us.
        1. Sin
        2. Righteousness”

        I don’t think sin is imputed to us. The term, “impute,” suggests the crediting of something to a person that he does not deserve . Sin is not imputed to a person – the person actually sins.

        Then, “Righteousness can only be imputed in two different ways.
        1. Works (DEEDS/OBEYING/OBSERVING) The Law of Moses
        2. Faith”

        I don’t think righteousness can be imputed by obedience to the law. I think this is Paul’s point when he wrote, “For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.” (Galatians 3)

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      6. The works that James speaks of has nothing to do with the works that Romans speaks of. This is what also confused Luther, which is why he didn’t like the book of James.

        Works, as it relates to James is LIVING what you believe.

        Abraham believed God, in that the promised land would be given to the descendants of Isaac. So, Abraham had no problem sacrificing his son on the mountain. That is the works that James discusses. Also:

        James is discussing LOVE. Your WORKS OF FAITH is THRU Love.

        Living your life of faith thru love is the works James discusses.

        But works that Romans discusses…that is works of the Law of Moses.

        To WIT:
        Note the word “DO”, and “RIGHTEOUSNESS” in the following:

        Exodus 24:3
        And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.

        Notice the last word in that verse, “do”. Later, in Deuteronomy 5, Moses once again reiterates what was spoken in Exodus 20 – 24. After that review, the children of Israel responds:

        Deuteronomy 6:25
        And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

        That is self righteousness. That is deeds, aka works of the law. Do.

        OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is shown in the verse, vs. God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS without the law.

        Ed Chapman

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      7. chapmaned24 writes, “Works, as it relates to James is LIVING what you believe….Living your life of faith thru love is the works James discusses. But works that Romans discusses…that is works of the Law of Moses….That is self righteousness. That is deeds, aka works of the law. Do.OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is shown in the verse, vs. God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS without the law.”

        No disagreement from me on this. Well said.

        Like

      8. One thing that you are really missing out on is that God is the one who gave the law to Moses and told everyone to OBEY, knowing full and well that no one can.

        But most importantly, that Abraham did not have the law.

        I noticed that you completely missed the quoted scriptures:

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20
        the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Romans 5:13
        For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

        Romans 4:15
        where no law is, there is no transgression.

        Romans 4:8
        Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

        Sin is indeed imputed when you sin…UNLESS there is NO LAW. Abraham was in an era where there was NO LAW. Romans 5:13, therefore, sin was not imputed to Abraham, EVEN THO for all have sinned.

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      9. chapmaned24 writes, “Salvation is the SUBJECT, not YOU, not CHOSEN. Salvation was PREDETERMINED by a process.
        The YOU is the ALREADY SAVED that he was talking to.
        The word CHOSEN is in DIRECT RELATION TO “THRU”, not “YOU”.”

        I understand 2:13 to say directly, “God choose you to salvation (i.e., to be saved).” The means that God used to bring them to salvation is “through” a process that included sanctification by the Spirit and belief of the truth.

        God is the subject; chose is the verb (God’s action), and you is the object for God’s action.

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      10. chapmaned24 writes, “So, you put a period after the word salvation, which changes the whole topic.”

        No, I don’t. I agree with you that the phrase beginning with “through” describes the means whereby God is working. However, Paul describes that means after saying that God chose them for salvation. The order of thought in the verse is:
        — God has chosen you
        — for salvation
        — through…

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      11. No, that is not how one is to comprehend that sentence at all. English Composition does not work that way. The procedure for salvation is what was chosen from the beginning, and you just so happen to be the one Paul is speaking to.

        That is how it is to be interpreted by English Composition. The subject is not “you”, but “salvation”. IF the subject was “YOU”, there would be a period after the word Salvation. So you are indeed putting a period after the word salvation. Based on your breakdown, you are putting a period after the word salvation, all because you are indicating that the subject is “you”, even tho you don’t, what is word, “explicitly” say it.

        I know English Composition. When you put a period after the word “salvation”, salvation is NOT the subject. “YOU” is the subject.

        And YOU is what you are really talking about. The person(s).

        Ed Chapman

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      12. chapmaned24 writes, “The subject is not “you”, but “salvation”. ”

        The verse: “…God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

        The subject is “God.” The action God takes is the verb, “CHOSEN.” The object of God’s action is “YOU.” We then have several prepositional phrases that modify, and provide more information, about what God has done and how He has done it.

        I do not understand how you take a prepositional phrase, “for salvation,” and make it the subject.

        Like

      13. Because the subject is not about you, but the PROCEDURE of salvation. Another example…your Ephesians.

        Ephesians 1:
        4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

        5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

        The subject is what is to the right of THAT WE, not before.

        You have to remember, this is 1611 English, not modern day English re-translated from Old English. It’s almost like reading Japanese. I was stationed there. Tomoko Takigamisan imaska in English is: “Is Tomoko Tagami there? FORGET ME NOT means DON’T FORGET ME. LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED…LET, being the first word, isn’t the way we speak today. God intends the saved TO BE Holy and Blameless in Love. That is what he chose from the foundation of the earth, and YOU were the people he was talking to.

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  11. A couple of observations.

    First, I agree with my non-reformed brothers about engaging rhutchin. I question (unfortunately) his motives (and sincerity).

    Second, “All Israel will be saved” is referring to the 12 tribes, or the nation as a whole (check out Revelation 7:4-8), and not every single Israelite.

    “At this point in time, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; all distinctions have been forever eradicated.”

    In a salvific sense, that is true. However, Paul writes…

    Romans 3:1-2 (NKJV)…

    “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.”

    And Romans 9:4-5 (NKJV)…

    “….who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”

    All present tense. 201 times in the Bible He is referred to as “the God of Israel”. No one else can make that claim.

    Now read very closely what our Lord says here….

    Matthew 15:21-28 (NKJV)….
    Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

    Now this Canaanite woman was a Gentile. A believing Gentile. And our Lord called her a “dog”. Dogs are not sheep. Nor do dogs ever become sheep. Gentiles, though “wild” (Romans 11:17) get grafted in, but they never become the “natural” branches (the Jews).
    I believe the point of our Lord’s conversation with the Canaanite woman is that we (the Gentile nations) only get what we get because of God’s overabundant love, covenants, and promises to the nation of Israel, mine elect (Isaiah 45:4).

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    1. phillip writes, “I believe the point of our Lord’s conversation with the Canaanite woman is that we (the Gentile nations) only get what we get because of God’s overabundant love, covenants, and promises to the nation of Israel, mine elect (Isaiah 45:4).”

      A good Calvinist, and even non-Calvinist, explanation.

      Like

      1. “A good Calvinist……explanation.”

        No need to be hateful, brother. 😉

        The difference though is I see the nation of Israel being God’s elect. Period. That would make the gentile nations the non-elect. So, we have non-elect peoples (gentiles) being saved. And some of His elect (Israelites) being lost. That was Israel’s blunder. They believed salvation was reserved only for His elect (Israel) and denied to the non-elect (gentiles). But their election didn’t guarantee them their salvation (Romans 11:28).

        However, that mystery (of the Gentiles inclusion for salvation, not election) was revealed only to the apostle Paul (Romans 11:25, Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:3).

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      2. phillip writes, ““A good Calvinist……explanation.” No need to be hateful, brother. ”

        Nothing hateful here. I merely noted that your explanation is that pretty much accepted by all. Perhaps, I should have said “A good explanation..” without the additional baggage. But, what fun would that be??

        Then, “The difference though is I see the nation of Israel being God’s elect. Period. That would make the gentile nations the non-elect.”

        A reading of the OT would suggest this conclusion.

        Then, “However, that mystery (of the Gentiles inclusion for salvation, not election) was revealed only to the apostle Paul (Romans 11:25, Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:3).”

        The message of the NT seems to be that gentiles were always among the elect – but the drawing of significant numbers of gentiles to salvation did not happen until after Jesus had been crucified. In reading John, he uses the term, “world,” to say that salvation is not just about the Jews – it includes the gentiles, also. Thus, God loves the world, Christ takes away the sins of the world, Christ gives life to the world, Christ came to save the world.

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      3. Rhutchin writes….

        “The message of the NT seems to be that gentiles were always among the elect – but the drawing of significant numbers of gentiles to salvation did not happen until after Jesus had been crucified.”

        Precisely the same error the nation of Israel made. Confusing election with salvation.

        Again, prior to the nation of Israel, there were no “elect”. That’s just scriptural. And yet thousands, perhaps millions, of people were saved before that tiny nation came into existence. That alone should tell us that election has nothing do to with salvation. Was Adam elect? Nope. Was Seth elect? Nope. Was Noah elect? Nope. Was Abram elect? Nope. That distinction was reserved only for the people of Israel.

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    2. Phillip,

      There is much that I disagree with you here:

      When you say, for example that there is no Jew/Gentile…YES, there is Jew Gentile. The caveat is IN CHRIST. If both Jew and Gentile are Christians, then your statement stands. But if either one is not a Christian, then there is Jew/Gentile.

      Paul did not say anything about tribes when he discussed “all Israel”. What he did say:

      Do a word search for EXACT PHRASE “ALL ISRAEL”. That comes up NUMEROUS times in the bible. 145 times.

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      1. Ed,

        I know brother, and that’s okay.

        Romans 10:1 (NKJV)….
        Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

        Romans 11:13 (NKJV)…
        For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh (Israelites) and save some of them.

        I don’t think Paul shared your optimism.

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      2. Phillip,

        You had quoted me:

        Romans 10:1 (NKJV)….
        Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

        This verse has many in your league totally confused by what he meant by this.

        As I keep saying over and over again, all Israel will be saved. All Israel will be saved. All Israel will be saved.

        So, what does Romans 10:1 mean?

        Somewhere you missed the words, IN THE FLESH.

        Meaning that he wishes that they would be saved IN THIS LIFE BEFORE THEY DIE.

        It is after they die that they will be saved.

        Hebrews 9:27 it is appointed unto man once to die…AND THEN then judgment. You are not judged until after you die…not before.

        Jesus was not judged for our sins until after he died. Not while on the cross. He received our sins on the cross. But he suffered for our sins after he died.

        Jesus REVEALS himself to the Jews, after they die. All Israel will be saved, but Paul wishes that they would be saved NOW, instead of needing to wait, hence IN THE FLESH, which is the key words many seem to miss, especially in the reform doctrines.

        Ed Chapman

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  12. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)…..
    But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as THE FIRSTFRUITS TO BE SAVED, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

    2 Thessalonians 2:13 (CEB)…..
    But we always must thank God for you, brothers and sisters who are loved by God. This is because he chose you from the beginning to be THE FIRST CROP OF THE HARVEST. This brought salvation, through your dedication to God by the Spirit and through your belief in the truth.

    2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NLT)…..
    As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among THE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE SALVATION—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.

    Firstfruits? First Crop of the Harvest? First to experience salvation?

    So here we are some 2,000 years later (with most thinking we are in the last days), but somehow we are the firstfruits? The first crop? The first to experience salvation?

    Romans 1:16 (NKJV)…
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew FIRST and also for the Greek.

    Think this thru, brothers and sisters.

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    1. phillip writes, “2 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)…..
      But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as THE FIRSTFRUITS TO BE SAVED, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”

      There seems to be some discussion whether the Greek says “first fruits” or “from the beginning.” Regardless, it applies to the Thessalonian believers who were not necessarily Jews. Paul’s next comment is, “He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here, “this salvation” would have the same meaning as “THE FIRSTFRUITS TO BE SAVED.” Thus, all whom God chose for savation can be called “first fruits” as God chose them and held them back to be a sacrifice to Himself. If you mean to understand Paul to be speaking of the Jews as the first fruits, I don’t think the context supports this conclusion.

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      1. brianwagner writes, “He chose them through faith, which means they exercised faith and He added them to the chosen one Christ and they became chosen ones in Him.”

        Or God chose him to receive faith and then he exercised that faith. Either way, it’s the same person under both systems.

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      2. Nope… not the same person! The one thought of in determinism as eternally immutably existing in God’s mind as a necessity is a wild figment of one’s imagination and a rejection of the clear teaching of Scripture about individual identity.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. brianwagner writes, “Nope… not the same person!”

        But aren’t the ones God would have chosen had you allowed Him those you describe as exercising faith?

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      4. Roger, you asked- “But aren’t the ones God would have chosen had you allowed Him those you describe as exercising faith?”

        Not sure what you are asking in such a convoluted way. I don’t “allow” God anything. He’s the sovereign that does any allowing that happens. And as far as “the ones God would have chosen”… I’m assuming you mean those who are now dead that He would have chosen to join the Chosen One – Jesus – if they would have freely trusted Him when He offered them the opportunity to do so.

        But they did not exist as an eternally immutably completed life in His mind before creation… nor did you or I… sorry. We’re just not that eternally immutably important as you might think. Yours is a made up fantasy from man’s pagan philosophy that contradicts God’s Holy Word! Sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Brian,
        You are so right. That is another of the downsides of Calvinism. They make man be eternal when The Lord God is the Eternal one.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. brianwagner writes, “I’m assuming you mean those who are now dead that He would have chosen to join the Chosen One – Jesus – if they would have freely trusted Him when He offered them the opportunity to do so.”

        Those who are saved under your system are the same who are saved under my system. The difference is how they come to salvation.

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      7. Roger… I wish you would open your eyes on the logic of that point… the saved are not the same in both our theological systems as their identity before salvation and after was not eternally, immutably locked in to one set life forever… therefore they are different identities in God’s mind for those individuals… therefore not the same individuals.

        It is like the Abraham and Jesus of Islam are not the same Abraham and Jesus of Scripture. Sooner or later there are significant enough descriptives that make their identities not the same.

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    2. Acts 2:5 (NKJV)….
      And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

      Acts 17:1 (NKJV)….
      Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.

      James (1:18 NKJV) writing to the 12 tribes of Israel…
      Of His own will He brought us (the Jews) forth by the word of truth, that we (the Jews) might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

      Acts 13:47 (NKJV)….
      For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth

      So, yes. I believe the Jews are the firstfruits.

      And, no, I am not chosen because I chose to believe. I am not elect, because I elected to believe. Yes, we get grafted in, but we (unnatural/wild) never become the natural branches (Romans 11:21, 24).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. phillip writes, ” I believe the Jews are the firstfruits.”

        So, are you saying that the “Thessalonians” to whom Paul is writing are Jewish believers in Thessalonica?

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      2. Phillip, I don’t think the word “elect” or “chosen” in the NT can be limited to just Jews in every context… especially in this passage talking to all the believers in Thessalonica. Is that what you are trying to limit its meaning to?

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      3. Brian,

        I think Phillip has a very very valid point. TO THE JEW FIRST. Jews were the first saved. Paul could not go to the Gentiles until going to Jewish Synagogues first. For a long time, the gospel was not brought to the Gentiles. Peter didn’t even get it until God told him to eat unclean animals. So, the Jews were indeed the FIRST FRUITS, which is PENTECOST, a JEWISH FEAST. The NEXT Jewish feast is about Jesus and the Jews, too. Like I said before, either in this blog, or the other one, the Feasts are a story about Jesus, not about food and drink and being obedient. They all have a prophetic meaning. And the Jews are a part of that prophesy, regarding Jesus…THEY hold the oracles of God…WE DON’T, although many Christian Cemetery grads think that they have all the goods…who have the nerve to think that it is their job to proselytize the Jews to Jesus, when Jesus states to LEAVE THAT UP TO ME, FOR I PROPHESIED THAT I WILL REVEAL MYSELF TO THEM, SHOWING THEM MY HANDS AND MY FEET, and I will have mercy on them due to their ignorance and unbelief…just like the Apostle Paul, who also did bad things to my people, the Jews, because as Paul states of himself receiving mercy, he got mercy BECAUSE of ignorance in his UNBELIEF. We need to give Jews more credit than what we give them. We worship their God, they don’t worship ours.

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      4. Chapman… we agree salvation is of the Jews and the gospel was for the Jews first. But did you notice how you ignored the exegetical evidence I was offering for this verse in 2Thess. The readers Paul was addressing were not Jewish Christians only…

        But there had to be Gentiles in that readership that Paul says “God from the beginning chose”, especially when you compare with 1Thessalonians and Paul’s use of “election” (1:4) for that “church” there and then contrasting it with the churches of the Judeans –

        1 Thessalonians 2:14 NKJV — For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans.

        And we Gentiles worship God! He is not just the God of the Jews. He’s always been the God of mankind… as Paul confirmed in Acts 17:26-30… we are His offspring.

        Romans 3:29 NKJV — Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Brian, Thanks for that comment. There have always been those who seek to repair the veil that was torn in two, to separate the oneness of the Body of Christ, in which Paul asserts rather clearly, ‘There is no longer Jew or Gentile’. Those who make God’s plan ‘all about the Jews’ make the exact same error as those who make it ‘all about the elect’, with the difference of one word.

        God’s love, as scripture carefully sets forth, in passage after passage, is for all of his creation, each and every single human being who ever has been or ever will be born.

        Few deny that God chose Israel as his firstborn, the nation to which he revealed himself, miraculously rescued from slavery, dwelt with and taught about who he is and what he desires from men. However, as Jesus taught and his apostles after him, properly understood, all of the revelations of the Old Testament, via Israel, proclaim that his love is for all men and that his plan of salvation ALWAYS was about ‘all men’. The Jews first, simply because he made them, through no merit of their own, his people, chosen and elected for the most precious role in history – to foreshadow, produce and demonstrate the purpose of God’s anointed Messiah, who is to bring good news to all men.

        However, in the Romans 9 passage that Calvinists misinterpret, Paul carefully sets forth the truth that, apart from being the ‘first’ and truly loved people, they are no more or less valuable than any other people, and will be treated no differently. Those who believe, will be received as forgiven. Those who reject, will be judged by the law. The real point of justification by faith is to prove that salvation is NOT partial, is NOT about Israel, the elect, or any other pre-selected, predetermined few, but about ‘whosoever will believe’ – a truth which, contrary to Calvinism, opens up salvation to the entire world of men.

        While many interpret Paul, when saying ‘Thus ALL Israel will be saved’ as meaning each and every physical descendant of Abraham, a careful reading of Romans makes such an interpretation nearly impossible. This is exactly what the Jews he was speaking to believed, and he was very carefully revealing how and why this was FALSE!

        He explained that not all children of Abraham were considered Israel even by Israel. He demonstrated, through Israel’s own revered history, how frequently individual Israelites had rebelled, disobeyed and been punished. Read Romans 2 through 6 in particular; but all of Romans seeks to explain why it is not, and NEVER WAS ‘all about the Jews’. Unless, of course, one is speaking metaphorically, using Paul’s own definition that ‘He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal.’ Which of course leads to ‘But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law (Israel), although the law and the prophets (Israel) bear witness to it: the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe’. Note, however, in order to avoid unnecessary confusion, the New Testament ekklesia did not continue to call themselves ‘Jews’ or, on an every day basis, ‘Israel’, even though, based on Paul’s definitions, they could have.

        How could one possibly glean from these, and countless similar statements, that ‘in the end, it will be ‘all about the Jews’, fleshly Isreael or a small number of the physical descendents of Abraham’?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. In summation, Paul suggests that the error of those who would suggest that all Israel MUST be saved or else God’s word and promises would prove to be untrustworthy, was the error of thinking that it ‘was all about the Jews’ (Israel). He writes:

        ‘But it is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all who are descended from (fleshly) Israel belong to (spiritual or true) Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his (physical) descendants; but through Isaac (faith in God’s promise) shall your descendants be named.’

        It is this summation of how faith in God’s promise, such as Abraham demonstrated, is the example of the faith that is required of all men, Paul had just lengthily disclaimed: God’s offer of salvation was not limited to any particular group of people; not by birth, not by gifting, not by works but is – praise God – a gift wholly of God, freely offered to ALL upon one and only one condition: faith. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

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      7. ‘For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him,’ is of course found in Hebrews 11:6. My problem with Calvinism, what sets it apart from nearly every other doctrinal error, is that it makes out of believers, unbelievers. Many who once fully believed that all men can freely draw near to a loving and merciful God, now sadly accept, based on the misinformation with which they have been brainwashed, that God actually took away man’s ability to draw near or seek him, except for a limited few.

        It essentially wipes out all of the hope and beauty of the gospel message, and sets forth as ‘Truth’ that God exists, but that all men cannot ‘draw near’, thus, while technically true that ‘he rewards those who seek him’ it is based on a false, complicated model that insists that no one CAN seek him, no one CAN draw near, thus Hebrews 11:6 is meaningless without the ‘secret knowledge’ that reveals what it really means.

        Thus, I can more readily live with doctrinal errors concerning gender issues or other ‘critical’ issues that Calvinist put on the front burner than with a doctrine that denies the hope of the gospel to most of mankind.

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      8. Thank you, TS00, for your thoughtful replies… we agree there were no chosen individuals from all eternity past. That is the most important agreement. We do not agree that Paul talks about a spiritual Israel/elect that includes the Gentiles. There is a spiritual Israel that is part of the elect and spiritual Gentiles that are part of the elect… and always have been since Adam and before Abraham and also after Israel became a nation and also after the church began at Pentecost.

        The main issue is understanding that God is not done with the physical nation of Israel in their promised land as part of His sovereign use of them to be a testimony to His faithfulness to His promises. The passage – Rom 11:25-27 NKJV – 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this [is] My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” — speaks of a future coming of Christ, not the past one… and “Jacob” here is physical Israel on that day, not all of physical Israel throughout all their generations… and not spiritual Israel throughout all generations of humanity either.

        Another verse that helps me see a difference between Jew and Gentile after the church was started is – 1Co 10:32 NKJV – 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.

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      9. Brian writes:
        ‘The main issue is understanding that God is not done with the physical nation of Israel in their promised land as part of His sovereign use of them to be a testimony to His faithfulness to His promises. The passage – Rom 11:25-27 NKJV – 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this [is] My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” — speaks of a future coming of Christ, not the past one… ‘

        Again, I hesitate to even open my mouth, and will gladly bow out to others who are far more capable – anyone, anyone? – but may I just offer that it is at least possible to interpret these passages other than as you have?

        I would agree that the quoted passage: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this [is] My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” when written, was indeed speaking of a coming Christ, for Jesus had not yet come. Granting that, it is certainly feasible that Paul was saying – and obviously quoting the verse as written in future tense – that this had now come to pass, and that now, indeed, ‘all Israel’ would be saved, as was God’s plan all along. You might grant that Paul is referring to all who will believe, not a predetermined ‘elect’ few, whether they be defined as ‘fleshly Israel’ or ‘the elect, which includes some Jews and some Gentiles’. Paul took great pains in Romans 2-9 to explain that :

        “For not all who are descended from (fleshly) Israel belong to (spiritual or true) Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his (physical) descendants; but through Isaac (faith in God’s promise) shall your descendants be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.” Rom 9:6-8 (parentheses mine)

        In other words, ‘all Israel being saved’ could just as feasibly be interpreted as all who would ever believe in Jesus; and this would appear slightly more logical, after his lengthy explanation of who and what Israel was and was not, in God’s eyes.

        Surely you do not mean to suggest in quoting ‘For this [is] My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.’ that Jesus has not yet taken away the sins of the world, and that this awaits another coming? I presume – and please correct me if I am wrong – that you view the death and resurrection of Jesus as already having taken away the sins of ‘whoever’ one defines as Israel?

        I freely admit that the concept I have struggled most with understanding is ‘that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.’ I will in no way assert that I know, without question what this means. I can only suggest that at least one possibility is that it refers to the almost impossible blindness of not recognizing that Jesus fit all of the qualifications for being the long-awaited Messiah. Had this ‘blindness’ not been allowed, without doubt the Jews would never have allowed Jesus to be crucified. They fully understood that their sacrifices were only no sufficient, thus had to be repeatedly offered, year after year. They understood that God promised a future ‘sacrifice’ that would be effectual and permanent and remove all guilt for sin. I that my interpretation – while perhaps not extensive – does no error to the beliefs of the Judaisers of the reality of sin and the need for a Messiah/Redeemer.

        If – and again, I can only ponder – this is what Paul was referring to, he could be suggesting that, now, as the Deliverer who was promised to come out of Zion has indeed come, the door has at long last been opened for the Gentiles to receive the ‘good news’ that salvation is not, and has never been, ‘all about the Jews’. In other words, the ‘blindness’ was a very limited blindness, and had nothing to do with casting Israel into hell, but only in temporarily allowing them to not recognize who Jesus undoubtedly was. Would this not also explain why Jesus did not outright claim to be ‘the Messiah’, but spoke in parables? Had he set forth clearly who he was and what he had come to do, would not the Jews have proclaimed triumphantly that their Messiah and day had come and perhaps have attempted a violent revolution?

        Thus, when Paul writes, ‘And so ALL Israel will be saved’ he could very well be contrasting that to merely ‘fleshly’ Israel. Again, Paul took great pains to discount the Judaiser’s error of claiming that ‘All (fleshly) Israel will be saved’. Are we to believe that this lengthy explanation was for nothing, and now he is asserting that the Judaisers were right all along? Huh?

        This is close to the understanding I long ago had of this passage, admittedly gleaned from my uneducated reading as a young person. Through the years, I have been exposed to various other interpretations, and no doubt there are others with which I am yet unfamiliar. As I said at the outset, I make no claims to be any kind of expert. I have from time to time, adopted one or another parts of these explanations as necessary to ‘fit’ with other beliefs. In hindsight, my original interpretation seems, in my humble opinion, to make at least as much sense as the others I have embraced, and possibly more.

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      10. Thanks TS00 for another thoughtful reply. I think the phrase – “until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in” is definitive on what coming of the LORD is being seen in that prophecy… it is the future one. And in a day, the nation will turn to the LORD, when they look on Him whom they pierced.

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      11. Brian, I appreciate your response. That is a phrase that will indeed give me pause. I will be more than happy to discover that not only will ‘all (fleshly) Israel’ be saved, but if indeed ‘every knee shall bow’ savingly. Way over my head to try and grasp fully either one, but there certainly seems to be some ‘after this life’ activity that I do not understand. Or are you suggesting that it only suggests ‘all Israel’ who happen to be alive at the time? Which would seem a bit of a letdown for the rest. 🙂 I would be thrilled if it is as Unviversalists suggest, for I, like God, desire that none perish in their sin, even if my current limited vision can’t quite imagine how to ‘get that’ out of scripture. Much of this is non-essential to our understanding of the gospel, but it is always beneficial to be open to growing in knowledge and understanding, and this I hope to continue.

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      12. Thank you, TS00, for expressing your appreciation of my comments. I do think Jews have been and are being added to the church since Pentecost. But Rom 11 is speaking about generations of Israel being cut off from and generations of nations being grafted into the blessings of the gospel. And the final promise, when Israel is grafted in again, is “all Israel will be saved.” So I believe it is speaking about that generation of Israel which is alive at that Second coming, including all resurrected Jewish saints that join them for Christ’s earthly rule.

        I do think that “all Israel will be saved” will still be through faith in Christ, so those who had followed the Antichrist up until Christ’s return will not get saved that day, but will be destroyed along with him. So “all Israel” is only “all Israel” that remains because of their having been added to Christ through faith.

        Ultimately, we are going to have to wait and see how it all works out! And it will! 😉 I just believe this view I’m sharing has the best exegetical backing using normal rules of grammar and context that a layperson could see for themselves.

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      13. A few last questions, Brian, as now I am unsure if I even understood/understand your position properly. (No looking for debate, just clarification.)

        Are you saying that you do not believe all fleshly Israel will be saved, but simply all spiritual Israel? And if so, how does this differ from those who posit a ‘spiritual’ Israel requiring no future mass conversion of so-called ‘Jews’? I think this is one of those subjects that will require some time for me to sort out, as I have not reexamined it since becoming aware of the tendency to succumb to false dichotomies. You seem to posit something of a hybrid of the positions I am familiar with, which I am having trouble wrapping my mind around – maybe I just don’t ‘get it’.

        The most unique perspective I have heard was years ago from a friend, originally from (and since returned to) South Africa. He was raised Dutch Reformed, but his mother was of Jewish heritage, making him, technically, by modern definition, ‘a Jew’. The use of quotes is in deference to his claim that there is no longer any such thing as a fleshly ‘Jew’, and, arguably, never has been. (Those who call themselves Jews, but are not.) Modern Israel grants this same contention, as anyone is allowed to convert to Judaism, no Abrahamic blood required. My friend contended that this was Paul’s argument – that from the very start, anyone could become an Israelite by being circumcised and following the Law, thus only the original group that escaped from Egypt ‘perhaps’ shared Abrahamic blood, although some contend that there were Egyptians who joined them and were part of the original nation of ‘Israel’. (Hence the debate over Moses’ wife.)

        In other words, being an Israelite or Jew, in my friend’s opinion, is, and always has been, about religion, not about bloodline. The distortion of ‘Jew by birth’, that the Pharisees and other Judaisers taught, gave rise to a false self-righteousness and arrogance to those who claimed Abrahamic heritage. It was this ‘myth’ that Jesus, and later Paul, exposed. This earned him the enmity of the Judaisers, who sought to limit God’s approval and blessings to those whom the Pharisees judged viable. (Similar to Calvinism’s ‘elect’, although my friend was a staunch Calvinist!) Since the religion of Judaism rejected and rejects Jesus as God’s anointed Messiah, one cannot be both a ‘Jew’ and a ‘Christian’; that is, there can be no such thing as a ‘Christian Jew’, but merely a Christian who was formerly a Jew. This, according to my friend, makes Zionism and the whole debate about ‘all Israel’ being saved something of a mute debate, as one who converts from Judaism is no different than one who converts from atheism, Pantheism or any other non-Christian religion. He would suggest that all of the covenant promises to Israel were fulfilled before Jesus’ first coming, (Joshua 21:45) and that all of the prophetic promises were fulfilled in Jesus (It is finished). The future promises are to all ‘true’ or spiritual Israel, which is made up of all who are circumcised of heart and joined to Christ though faith; the first birth, or bloodline, has absolutely nothing to do with it. His perspective seems to grant a different perspective on Romans than commonly accepted. Or maybe I misunderstood what he was saying?

        Alas, there is a lot that I ‘don’t get’. Thanks for your patience.

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      14. Thank you for sharing more of your thoughts. I guess I was not clear, but I believe that the Israelites alive when Jesus returns, and who have put their faith in Him as Messiah and Savior will enter under Christ’s earthly rule along with Jews resurrected at that time. The rest who had joined the Antichrist will be dead.

        How that works with also the resurrected church at that time, I am not totally sure… but I believe there is a period after the church is raptured, and during the rule of the Antichrist, that there will be the salvation of multitudes of Christians, both from Jewish backgrounds and none Jewish.

        The issue of being “of Israel” by blood or conversion to Judaism is not the issue, except in the fulfillment of the 144000 witnesses from Israel during that time (Rev 7). I believe that genetics will help identify those 12 tribes again, and they were still being identified in Jesus’ day –

        Luk 2:36 NKJV – 36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
        Act 4:36 NKJV – 36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,
        Rom 11:1 NKJV – 1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [of] the tribe of Benjamin.
        Mat 19:28 NKJV – 28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

        After the church is gone, Christianity will once again be viewed as a sect of Judaism, since the witness will be mainly from the 2 prophets and 144000 Israelites.

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      15. Brian,

        You talk about exegesis, and you have not even do so correctly in Romans 11. Read the whole thing. It’s talking about a DIFFERENCE between Gentiles and Jews, and the SO part of the All Israel will be saved is STILL discussing ONLY the Jews, not us who are grafted in.

        It’s like I discuss something, and put in an OH BY THE WAY, then I RETURN to the main topic in the next sentence stating, SO…ANYWAY…

        Ed Chapman

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      16. Truthseeker, BRIAN, Phillip et all,

        Truthseeker, I noticed that you used the word, “fleshly”.

        I gotta ask you as to what YOU mean by “FLESHLY”.

        Because when you read the Bible, flesh is BODY.

        Hear me out. YOU are a spirit, first and foremost…RIGHT? You, that is, your spirit, which is the REAL YOU, lives in FLESH.

        So, when scripture states, FLESH, in the case of Romans 9-11, Paul is WISHING that the Jews would be saved BEFORE THEY DIE, so that they can EXPERIENCE salvation BEFORE they die.

        However, THEY WILL BE SAVED AS SOON AS THEY ARE DEAD. All because God blinded them from the GIT GO.

        So, all Israel will be saved, whether in this lifetime, or the next. They will ALL SEE WHOM THEY PIERCED…but they will be saved, nonetheless, ALL BECAUSE God USED THEM as CLAY, to TEACH US what NOT TO DO, and that is to NOT be SELF RIGHTEOUS, but just BELIEVE.

        The Topic of Romans 9-11 has nothing to do with Gentiles at all. It has nothing to do with UNIVERSALISM at all.

        If God blinded us all, we would all be saved, and that would be universalism. God saves the ignorant. Paul was given mercy, WHY?

        What does the scripture state? It states that he was given mercy due to IGNORANCE in UNBELIEF. God states that he WINKS at ignorance. Romans 9-11 quotes a verse from Deuteronomy, that God has not given the JEWS a heart that comprehends…ears to hear, etc.

        The Jews are Ignorant. Becaus eGod wanted it that way. They are the only ones who are ELECT. We are saved, but they are elect.

        All elect will be saved. But we Gentile believers…no no no…we are not elect. The Jews are. Brian…I agree with Phillip.

        Ed Chapman

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      17. Btw, I am not reading Universalism out of your response, merely one-upping you to suggest that if ‘all Israel’, why not ‘all men’?

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      18. Sorry for editing errors. They are so obvious after hitting ‘post’, but harder for me to see in the smaller print in which I must type them!

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      19. ts00 writes, “My problem with Calvinism…is that it makes out of believers, unbelievers. Many who once fully believed that all men can freely draw near to a loving and merciful God, now sadly accept, based on the misinformation with which they have been brainwashed, that God actually took away man’s ability to draw near or seek him, except for a limited few.”

        That ability was taken away by Adam’s sin. It is the consistent testimony of Scripture that none seek God and that no one can come to Christ. There is only one who can enable a person to come to Christ to be saved and only one who can provide the faith necessary to salvation – that is God.

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      20. I would submit to you that just because God created humanity, that does not mean that we are “in the family”. We Gentiles are “adopted” into the family, when we believe, and are therefore children of God at that point. Yes, God is the God of the Gentiles, too. But to be a child of God…that is a different story.

        In addition, I would also submit to you that the audience that Paul was speaking to in both Thessalonian epistles were indeed Jews only.

        Reading both Epistles, to me, shows that, even with your reference regarding their “countrymen”. Jews lived in every country known to man at that time, and they were citizens of those countries, like Paul was a Roman citizen, yet a Jew. And the only reason that he was in Jerusalem at Passover was because it was required of all Jewish males to be in Jerusalem at the 3 major required feasts.

        Paul mentions the man of perdition. Many of us Gentiles interpret Revelation as showing that Christians will not be here for that event. So why would we need to know about that?

        The Jews are still awaiting their Messiah…and THAT so-called messiah is THE anti-Christ…their false savior. This has nothing to do with us. Flee to the mountains? That is for the Jews, too.

        And there are more clues, too. Now, when you see the word Bereans, the ONLY scripture they had to go off of, what The Law and the Prophets. And the ONLY place that you would find that…is in Jewish Synagogues. But Acts 17 gives an understanding of what Paul is discussing in both epistles of Thessalonians. It shows me that his audience was not Gentiles at all.

        Acts 17 ties in with Thessalonians regarding the what is said in the Epistles of Thessalonians.

        Acts 17 King James Version (KJV)

        17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

        2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

        3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

        4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

        5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

        6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

        7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

        8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

        9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

        10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

        11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

        12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

        13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

        14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

        15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

        16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

        17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

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      21. Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Chapman, but I think the exegesis is in my favor. The believers in Thessalonica were not just former Jews, but also “devout Greeks a great multitude and chief woman, not a few” according to the passage you quoted. All these were the “elect” to whom he was writing to in 1 & 2 Thessalonians.

        1Th 1:1, 4 NKJV – 1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. … 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

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      22. I’m not a fan of reformers ‘exegesis’. Just so you know. Leaves out the rest of the story. I gotta see the WHOLE movie to understand it. Not a few sentences to make a thoughtful review.

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      23. Greeks were mentioned, but they were not the focus of the, how you say, exegesis?

        Devout Jews keep separate from the, how you say, Greeks? That is the Jews Law. The Greeks would never be able to step one foot in any synagogue whatsoever at any time…unless they wish to be a convert to Judaism.

        Paul goes to the Jew first. Always. He can’t go to the Gentile until…

        So the lesson is regarding the Jews, because the uproar was regarding the Jews anger to Paul and company, and therefore, that anger would extend to all Jews converting to Christianity. I’m sure that the Jews could care less about what the Greeks do in their own circles…just as long as it isn’t to convert the Jews to Christianity…like the Southern Baptists think that they can do as well.

        And the story that I see in Acts 17 regarding the Jews anger, extends to the explanation of Paul in the epistles of Thessalonians.

        Now, if there was a letter written TO THE GREEKs of Thessalonians, I don’t see it in either epistle…but that is not to say that he didn’t write one. I just don’t see it.

        Ed Chapman

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      24. Ok Ed… others can decide which of us is representing those texts the best. I think I shared the Scripture evidence accurately. There were not only saved Jews in the church of the Thessalonians, but saved Greeks, a multitude, also. And when Paul writes to that church, he calls them the elect, chosen by God. Blessings.

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      25. I am not implying that Greeks were not saved. What I am implying is that the letters are to the Jewish believers, not addressed to the Greek believers. I’m sure that James wrote to Gentiles, too. But we just don’t have those letters. I am saying that Thessalonians 1 and 2 are to Jewish believers, not to Greek believers.

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      26. I understand your view, Ed… but you are reading that into the text because you do not want “elect” to include Gentiles… But the church includes Jews and Gentiles, and Paul is addressing the “church of the Thessalonians” and calls them “elect”… That’s exegesis… not eisegesis, which is reading into a word your definition that contradicts the grammar and context. Thanks again.

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      27. Brian,

        You had said:
        “but you are reading that into the text because you do not want “elect” to include Gentiles… ”

        My response:

        that’s not true. My “wants” have nothing to do with it. It is what is said throughout the whole 2 Epistles, things that would only be told to Jews, things that only Jews would understand at that time. Things that were FOR the Jews in future. Paul didn’t go about telling gentiles those things in his letters. I gave an example of the man of perdition that Paul describes…is that for Gentiles? No. We won’t be here for that event.

        Unless of course, you don’t believe how many of us interpret Revelation. Is the Man of Perdition someone from the United Nations? United States? Who is he? He’s gonna be a jew, from the family line of David…when you see the OBAMA NATION of desolation standing in the TEMPLE (HOLY PLACE)…that is in Jerusalem, not New York.

        Some things are said to Jews that have nothing to do with Gentiles. And that is how I see both epistles of Thessalonians. It’s not about my wants.

        I think that some serious research in the matter should be done. I don’t buy into exegesis. I buy into Jesus. Exegesis will NEVER reveal Jesus in such things as the story of Joseph and his brethren as a prophesy of Jesus and the Jews, in that Jesus will reveal himself to the Jews and give them mercy, but in the mean time, he’s gonna TOY WITH THEM for a while. It won’t reveal Jesus in the story of Abraham, either, showing that Abraham was gonna sacrifice his ONLY SON…only is what scripture states. It won’t show Jesus as the promised seed, either. It only shows Isaac as the promised seed. So I don’t buy into expository exegesis one bit. The Jews used that method, and it got them nowhere fast.

        Ed Chapman

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      28. Brian,

        You ask:
        “is the church made of Jew and Gentile?”

        My response:
        Was the letters that James and Peter wrote to the Gentiles? No, they were to the Jews. Jewish believers, regardless of Gentiles.

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      29. Ed… why didn’t you answer my question if you think the word “church” means Jew and Gentile? Why discuss other epistles? I’m just looking for your view if the word “church” means those from both Jews and Gentiles. Thanks.

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      30. Brian,

        You had asked:
        “why didn’t you answer my question if you think the word “church” means Jew and Gentile? Why discuss other epistles? I’m just looking for your view if the word “church” means those from both Jews and Gentiles. Thanks.”

        I have answered your question…with a question. Church does not mean Gentile. Church does not mean Jew. Church does not mean Gentile and Jew. Church is Ecclesia, assembly, a body of believers. The church that was in Jerusalem included absolutely NO GENTILES whatsoever. It was just a gathering of believers, assembly. And it just so happened that it was ONLY Jewish believers in Jerusalem. Yet they were THE CHURCH. No distinction of race. So I will NOT answer your question about Gentile or Jew as a meaning of the word Church. Race has nothing to do with the word. Gathering, or assembly is all it means. We used to have CHURCH in school, for example…assemblies. Nothing to do with religion. Just an assembly. Why does your definition involve race?

        Why do I discuss other epistles? Because James and Peter also wrote to THE CHURCH…the Jewish assembly, that is, the Jewish ecclesia.

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      31. Thanks for your clarification, Ed. So since Gentiles were converted by Paul in Thessalonica as you demonstrated from Acts 17… why are they not in view in the word “church” in 1Thess 1:1? Thanks.

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      32. Because the persecution was from the Jews to the Jews, not to the Gentiles. Orthodox Jews are not allowed to mingle with Gentiles in or around synagogues, not even on a Sabbath.

        Do you remember a certain individual that Paul did circumcise a Jew? Why? He was Jewish on his mothers side, Greek on his fathers side, and Paul, formerly known as Saul, circumcised him. But didn’t Paul say that circumcision of the flesh is unprofitable…or something like that. Yet Paul performed the circumcision on him.

        Now, WHO WOULD BE LOOKING AT HIS JUNK IN THE TRUNK? Jews, of course. Not Gentiles. WHY? Especially since this newly fresh CUT dude was a Christian now.

        Orthodox Jews persecuted Jewish converts to Christianity because they saw that as a threat, so they used that to their advantage to stir up local authorities, who were Gentiles, to threaten Paul and Company with.

        There was NO THREAT to Gentile Christians at all. Just the Jewish Christians were being persecuted, and Paul talks about this JEWISH persecution in both Acts and the Thessalonian epistles.

        Jews who lived and were residents to countries other

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      33. Interesting speculation Ed. But I don’t think the Jews persecutors would have minded persecuting Gentiles who were a part of this new Jewish sect. Remember that the evil one is behind it all. But the word “church” in 1Thess 1:1 includes all the believers in it. Many of whom were Gentiles. Thanks for the conversation. It is interesting you are so loyal to your view in spite of the clear evidence. All the best.

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      34. Yes, you and I definitely do not see eye to eye regarding the Jews. Your take on things reminds me of the reason that the Southern Baptists, in their infinite unsolicited wisdom, seems to think that it is their job, their duty, their mandate, their commission to proselytize the Jews…for which the Southern Baptist Convention got a HUGE backlash from Jews about that stupid idea. You see, it’s not up to Gentiles to do God’s work regarding the Jews. If the Southern Baptists KNEW the scriptures, other than historical context, expository exegesis, then they would have known that Prophesy dictates that the Jews will be saved when HE unblinds them, and Jews proselytize Jews. 144000 Jews get sealed just for that purpose. The dead ones will see the one who they pierced, and they will mourn…but that mourning will turn to joy, JUST LIKE the story of Joseph, when Joseph REVEALED himself to his brethren.

        Yes, Brian, we see Jews differently when it comes to THE CHURCH, especially in the story that Paul is describing to us.

        IN CHRIST there is no Jew and Gentile. BUT, there is a separate story line for the Jew, than for the Gentile.

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      35. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 (NKJV)…..
        For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen (Jews living in Thessalonica), just as they did from the Judeans (Jews living in Judah), who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us (Jews who believe); and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us (Jews who believe) to speak to the Gentiles (NOT to you Gentiles) that they (NOT you) may be saved,

        What was happening in Thessalonica was precisely the same thing happening in Judea. Jews persecuting other Jews. It was unlawful for a Jew to even associate with Gentiles. Paul was telling the Thessalonian Jews that “Don’t be surprised when the Jews persecute you for preaching to the Gentiles, because they have been persecuting me for doing the same.”

        Now…..

        John 4:22 (NKJV)….
        …..for salvation is of (or from) the Jews.

        That was part of their election (Romans 9:5). It says “salvation is of the Jews”, but it doesn’t say “salvation is limited to the Jews”, which is how the Jews, unfortunately, understood it.

        Luke 2:32 (NKJV)….
        A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel

        See the distinction? Israel is His chosen people (His elect). That makes the Gentiles the non-elect. Its based on lineage, not faith. Israel knew they were God’s elect. The OT told them that. But they thought, mistakenly, that being God’s elect, excluded the other nations from salvation. And that is what Paul was trying to get thru their heads in Romans 3:9. Don’t confuse election with salvation.

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  13. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NKJV)….
    We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

    Now when we see that word “election” we should immediately think “the Jews”. They are “elect” because of their lineage (Romans 11:28), regardless if they believe or not.

    “Concerning the gospel they (the Jews) are enemies for your (the Gentiles) sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.” NKJV

    You can’t read that any other way. The Jews are loved (and elected) by God because they are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Gentiles cannot make that claim.

    1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 (NKJV)…..
    For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen (Jews living in Thessalonica (Acts 17:5 NKJV)), just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they (the unbelieving Jews) do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us (believing Jews) to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

    Notice the language. They (the unbelieving Jews) are forbidding “us” (the Jews who do believe; including Paul) from speaking to the Gentiles.

    Now reading further…..

    1 Thessalonians 5:27 (NKJV)….
    I charge you (the Jewish leaders) by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.

    I am saying that Paul was writing to the church leaders, who were believing Jews living in Thessalonica. I have no doubt that some, perhaps most, members of the congregation were Gentiles at the time (we don’t know for sure), but the leadership, to whom Paul was writing, was made up of Jews.

    Remember, first to the Jew and then, and only then, to the Gentiles (Romans 1:16). Find Jews. Make them believers. Then let these Jews teach the Gentiles. That was their calling and election (2 Peter 1:10). To be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:6, Luke 2:32, Acts 13:47).

    The problem, as I see it, is we are letting the Calvinists and their Arminian offspring, dictate the concept of election. For the Calvinist, God chose from eternity past who He would save and who He wouldn’t. And for them, the elect are guaranteed salvation. Bless their hearts, our Calvinist brothers made the same mistake Israel did. Confusing election with salvation.

    Then here comes the Arminians, naturally uncomfortable with this, so they come up with this idea of the elect being those in Christ. Believers (both Jews and Gentiles) become elect once they are in Christ Jesus, the Elect One. The problem with this notion is that man decides if he is elect or not. “God chooses me, but only because I chose Him.” Here, you have man in control of election. Pretty lame if you ask me.

    Deuteronomy 7:6-7 (NKJV)
    “For you (the nation of Israel) are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples (that would be the Gentiles; making them the non-elect) on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you (Israel) nor choose you (Israel) because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least (fewest) of all peoples….

    I am no more elect because I elected to believe than Israel is elect because they elected God. God chose His people. “Israel My elect” (Isaiah 45:4). And He tells us why.

    God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phillip,

      You understand! You know, recently I’ve been researching the Southern Baptists stance regarding the Jewish people. They don’t get it…not one bit. But I read your last few comments, and I say, YES…you get it. There is so much animosity against the Jews…from these Christians. These Christians just have NO CLUE. If the Jews killed Jesus, then the blood of Jesus covers ME. What is so wrong about that? Southern Baptists have no clue regarding the TNK regarding JEWISH prophesy. If they did, they would not be acting so snobbish to the Jews, thinking that they can spread the gospel to them…especially when the NT clearly shows that JEWS only can proselytize JEWS. Gentiles are NOT ALLOWED in a Synagogue where Paul would preach to the Jew first…THEN the Gentile. Yes…you get it.

      Ed Chapman

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    2. Phillip – you said – “I am no more elect because I elected to believe than Israel is elect because they elected God. God chose His people. ‘Israel My elect’ (Isaiah 45:4).”

      Are you aware that all choosing by God in the Scripture is not for individual salvation or made before the foundation of the world according to God’s own words in the Scripture? So wouldn’t it be unwise to compare the reasons and methods for choosing Israel as a nation in God’s plan for redemptive history as proving how He must have had the same reasons and methods when choosing/adding individuals to His Elect One, the Christ?

      And, anyway, actually, Israel corporately and individually made a choice to put the blood on their doorposts during the Passover, and to follow Moses through the Red Sea. Those seem like moments of individual choice and faith that determined if they would be in the elect nation that was being formed, to me. Right?

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    3. phillip writes, “I am saying that Paul was writing to the church leaders, who were believing Jews living in Thessalonica. I have no doubt that some, perhaps most, members of the congregation were Gentiles at the time (we don’t know for sure), but the leadership, to whom Paul was writing, was made up of Jews.”

      So, we have two positions identified: (1) Paul was writing to the leadership of the church in Thessalonica who were Jews and (2) Paul was writing to the entire church (wherever that church might reside) and would include gentiles.

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      1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 KJV — Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus.

        The word “church” never means clergy in the NT… but always the congregation of believers when Christians are in view. Why do people want to reject the clarity of Scripture that a normal reading of a layperson would understand?

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  14. My through-the-Bible reading today has me in Joshua 24.

    I am not gonna quote the famous (and important) “Chose for yourselves this day….” verse. That one is so obvious.

    Look farther down at ….

    24:31 “The people of Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him—those who had personally experienced all that the Lord had done for Israel.”

    Does this indicate that they were “given faith”? No. It says that people served the Lord because they had personally seen what He had done. That is personal. The personal relationship factor. Not the impersonal “gave some people faith” factor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FOH writes:
      ‘ That is personal. The personal relationship factor. Not the impersonal “gave some people faith” factor.’

      That is, truly, where the rubber meets the road. I write of this constantly in my personal meanderings. My heart aches to think that many, even among those I most love in this world, may not understand that what God desires of us is a genuine, intimate, ongoing relationship.

      I had the blessing of ‘growing up’ with that understanding. And of needing that personal relationship to get me through a turbulent childhood. And of experiencing the love, mercy and faithful hand of he who so loved me that he not only sent his Son, but would provide all things that I might need in order to continue in my faith.

      At the height of my Calvinist experience, I realized that I had traded that oh so precious personal relationship for a shiny, fake insurance card that was inscribed: ‘Get out of hell free. No need to stop sinning. No need to continue growing in sanctification and maturity. Once in, always in.’

      It was so tempting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have the hope of heaven and still be able to keep a few of their favorite personal sins too? Then God stepped in and destroyed the mirage. He presented himself to me in a spiritual Joshua 24 moment, and demanded that I ‘Choose this day’ who I would serve – him, in all of his truth and justice, or the false illusions I had been sold. I saw in my minds eye, and even heard hymns that I had not thought of for decades, all that God had been to me, and done for me. It was as if, for a brief moment, I was looking at me from God’s perspective, and seeing all of my life at the same time. And I knew the choice was mine. That I could not rely on my past relationship or choices, but that God sought an ongoing relationship with me. It was literally like starting over, after having been a ‘believer’ my entire adult life.

      And oh, the sadness, to think that my children had been raised under the false doctrines of the Calvinist church! They had heard ‘personal relationship’ and ‘following the spirit’ and ‘walking with God’ mocked and scoffed at as the ‘foolishness’ of evangelical holiness folk who didn’t understand the ‘true doctrines’ of the faith. They all had those shiny cards in their pockets. But did they ever ‘know’ God? The burden I bear, perhaps to my grave, is trying to undo what I unwittingly did, in allowing my children to be brainwashed into a faulty understanding of who God is, what he has done, why he has done it, and what he seeks from us – which is simply our complete trust and undivided hearts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that personal story.

        I have shared several times here how we watched my nephew, who was under a newly-minted, cage-phase, YRR youth pastor, say to himself…..”well if God determined all things….. and I do this/ that, then it is really God…right?”

        Of course the youth pastor had no way of answering him (he was just crazed on the “Doctrines or Grace” that led to determinism).

        So…little by little and sin by sin….this young, baptized leader of his age youth-group nephew….just drifted away.

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      2. FOH,

        Agreed. If sin is rebellion against God, but I (we) somehow keep all of His secret decrees perfectly, then just how am I (we) rebelling?

        It sounds to me that Jesus isn’t the only one who lived a perfect life. And, yet, most are damned for doing so.

        God bless.

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  15. The words below are not mine, but from a beloved brother in Christ. I just want to share, because I believe this shows who, and why, Israel is the chosen people of God; Mine Elect.

    “2 Timothy 1:8b-9…..of the gospel according to the power of God; 9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, (not because of anything we deserve, but only because His grace is poured out to bring about the fulfilling of His own purposes. Now look at the rest of the verse) which was given us in Christ Jesus (when?) before the world (or the ages) began,’ Now that ties right in with everything we’ve been saying all afternoon. Right from eternity past, when the Triune God in counsel decided to create the universe, to put mankind in it, knowing that he would fall into sin. Knowing that He would bring about a Plan of Redemption, and in that Plan of Redemption He would have to bring to fruition the Nation of Israel. So that out of the Nation of Israel would come their Messiah. And that their Messiah could be rejected and go to the cross. It was all preplanned before the ages ever began. Miracle of miracles, the eternal purposes of God to bring about a Savior, not just for Israel, for the whole human race – but it starts with Israel.

    And that’s why you know I’ve made the illustration (at least in my classes and in my seminars), that if you take a wheel, especially the old covered wagon wheel with the wooden spokes and the steel tire around the edge and the hub. Well, you can lose a good portion of the rim and you can lose several of the spokes and the wheel will still turn. But you pull the hub out of that wheel and you’ve got nothing. Nothing!

    All right, what’s my point? Israel is the hub of God’s wheel. You take Israel out of the mix and you’ve got nothing. And that’s where most of Christendom is. They have totally rejected Israel as a part of God’s eternal purposes and you cannot do it. Somebody told me the other day that their pastor had said from the pulpit ‘There is not one word in the Bible that says that Israel should ever come back to their homeland.’ How in the world can they say something like that, as the Old Testament prophecies are full of it.”

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    1. Phillip, I am no expert, and I would recommend you seek out those who can explain it much better, but I believe that we can take Joshua’s word for it in Joshua 21:43-45:

      “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land which he swore to give to their fathers; and having taken possession of it, they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers; not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”

      I believe, and I could be mistaken, that these teachers are pointing out the common error of conflating the temporal, land promises to the nation of Israel, of which Joshua tells us: “Not one of all the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” with the eternal, spiritual promises and blessings which are to be to ‘all people’.

      There are non-Zionist Jews, who also believe that what is today held up as God’s fulfillment of his ‘promises to Israel’ is no such thing, being based upon brutal bloodshed and ongoing oppression. Some might argue that there is yet a spiritual fulfillment to come, but if so, it must be based on Paul’s definition:

      “For not all who are descended from (fleshly) Israel belong to (spiritual or true) Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his (physical) descendants; but through Isaac (faith in God’s promise) shall your descendants be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.” Rom 9:6-8 (parentheses mine)

      That is pretty much all I can offer, and would suggest that such ‘political’ topics often serve to confuse, divide and arouse believers into all sorts of unhealthy conflict. I can only say, with Paul, that it is not, and never has been, ‘about the Jews’. There is no longer any difference between Jew and Gentile, and all are the same in the Body of Christ, entering in by a faith that is equally available to all. The ploy of dragging ‘Israel’ back into play is a very ancient one. It is my fallible opinion that the concept of a future plan for Israel has sadly led to much bloodshed, oppression and division, and taken believers’ eyes off of their true charge, which is to spread the ‘good news which shall be unto all people’, Jew and Gentile alike.

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    2. phillip writes, “Israel is the hub of God’s wheel. You take Israel out of the mix and you’ve got nothing. And that’s where most of Christendom is. They have totally rejected Israel as a part of God’s eternal purposes and you cannot do it.”

      I don’t think that is true. It is after the crucifixion that people started to say that Israel had no role in God’s plans anymore. Even here people were undecided. Certainly the restoration of Israel in 1948 was hailed by many as a prophetic event ushering in the last days. However, I don’t see anyone rejecting Israel as a part of God’s eternal purposes as Israel is the subject of the OT especially from Genesis 12 forward.

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  16. More from the same brother (again, not my words)…..

    “Alright but now the point that I’m really wanting to make is concerning the nation of Israel. Now we know that anti-Semitism is coming up much like it did in the thirties, and forties, especially over in Europe, and it prompts me, and I want to remind my listening audience, why since day one, have the Jewish people suffered such hatred and such opposition from the rest of the world? Well, it isn’t because of their unique makeup, it isn’t because of their personality, it isn’t because of their looks, it’s because this adversary of God, this Lucifer, fallen now, and we know he’s Satan – knows that if he can knock Israel out of the earth’s existence, then God’s whole program falls apart. Because, as you see, as I’ve said over and over on this program, Israel is at the heart of everything that God does. And if you take the heart out, that kills the whole. And this is what Satan knows.

    And so all you have to do is reflect back. Just as soon as the race was called out through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, my, what begins to befall those people? Well, the first glaring act of course, is when the brothers sold Joseph down into slavery. Hatred! Sin! Now you come all the way up through their history. Now there comes all of this what we think is, how could those people who have been blessed so richly, be so blind and practice such unbelief? Because Satan knows and he works on them constantly. If he can get Israel out of the way, he’s the winner.

    Alright, let’s bring you all the way up to the Book of Esther. What happened in the Book of Esther? Well old Haman convinced the king to set out a decree that would kill every Jew in the empire, because they were the problem. And so the king fell for it. Fortunately God had His own little Jewish girl in the right place at the right time and thanks to Esther, the whole thing fell apart. But did Satan quit? No! He keeps on and so everything is directed to stop God’s program. When Christ is born, why in the world did Herod put out the decree to kill all the boy babies under the age of 2? To hopefully, get that Christ child that has been born in that two year interval. Well, why kill the Christ child? Oh, that’s what Satan wanted.

    Now, you take it on up to the work of the cross, as many of you now have seen the movie, “The Passion”. Oh, what was behind the whole scenario? Satanic power! And so all the way down now since. Satan working overtime to stop God’s prophetic Scripture. And so why the hatred of Israel tonight? Why the threat to throw them into the sea? Why the threat to get rid of every Jew on the planet again? Oh that’s what Satan wants, because if Israel is gone, then everything falls apart. Never lose sight of that. And so this is the reason that they are so hated and so despised, is because Satan knows that without them God’s promises would fail.”

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  17. Brian,

    I would say that God, according scripture, didn’t choose any individual for salvation. But at some point, long ago, God had a plan of redemption and providing a Savior. And in that plan, He saw the nation of Israel.

    So when I see terms like “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), “predestined us to adoption” (Ephesians 1:5), “your election by God” (1 Thess. 1:4), “from the beginning…” (2 Thess. 2:13) and “elect according to the foreknowledge of God” (1 Peter 1:2), I believe He is referring to the Jews.

    Now you ask… “Those seem like moments of individual choice and faith that determined if they would be in the elect nation that was being formed, to me. Right?”

    I would say those moments of individual choice and faith determined their salvation. I believe they never lost their election. If I am understanding you correctly (and please correct me if I am wrong), you are suggesting that these Israelites lost their election because of unbelief. And that would imply that Gentiles could be added to the elect via faith.

    While I certainly believe that salvation is acquired by faith, I still lean towards election being by God’s sovereign choice. While we are grafted in thru faith, we never become the natural branches (Romans 11:17). And while the natural branches are cut off because of unbelief, they never become unnatural (Romans 11:24).

    Please believe me, brother, I am not trying to be difficult, I am searching for continuity. Nobody (I hope) wants to reject the clarity of scripture. God is very clear when He calls “Israel my elect” (Isaiah 45:4), and those same scriptures are silent on this description prior to Israel. But now we have folks claiming that Adam, Abel, Noah, Lot, and Abram… “Yeah, they were elect too”. God never said they were. And that is very clear. We know they were saved, but God never called them “elect”.

    So, again, if we are looking for consistency, let’s look again at 2 Timothy 2:10. I believe I have provided the exegetical evidence (Romans 9:3-4a, Romans 10:1, Romans 11:13-14, Acts 28:20) that Paul was referring to Israelites (apparently lost Israelites) when he refers to “the elect”.

    2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)….
    Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    2 Timothy 2:10 (NET)….
    So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory.

    Who would you say, in this verse, are “the elect” or “those chosen by God” to be?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the question Phillip. I believe no-one is eternally immutably individually chosen by God before creation. The Son was the first Elect One. And before joined to Him by the Spirit through faith we are not His, not one of His people or His beloved (Rom 8:9, 9:25)

      My exegesis of Eph 1:4 might help. See it at https://www.academia.edu/31113015/Ephesians_1_4_-_exegetical_dialog Paul uses the personal pronoun “us” in a general reference and anachronistic way, like me saying – “Before the American Revolution we pushed the Native Americans west of the Appalachian mountains.”

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      1. Brian,

        Thanks for the link, brother. Again, I always appreciate your insight.

        But for the sake of the discussion here, who is Paul referring to as “the elect” or “those chosen by God” to be in 2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)? I believe I have successfully proven it is lost Israel.

        What say you?

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you Phillip for the kind remarks. You have probably done this already, but if not, here are all Paul’s verses on elect, election, and to elect, from the same Greek root – εκλεγ. I can see how Paul might be pointing to Jews as the “elect” in 2Tim 2:10 since he is currently in custody with the Romans because of their false accusations. But I rather think he is talking about his suffering as a sweet savor of Christ to all elect believers – 2Co 4:7-12, 15 NKJV – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 [We are] hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. … For all things [are] for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

        Paul’s Verses about the Elect, Election, and Being Chosen
        NOUN – Elect
        Rom 8:33 NKJV – Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? [It is] God who justifies.
        Rom 16:13 NKJV – Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
        Col 3:12 NKJV – Therefore, as [the] elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
        1Ti 5:21 NKJV – I charge [you] before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.
        2Ti 2:10 NKJV – Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
        Tit 1:1 NKJV – Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness

        NOUN – Election
        Rom 9:11 NKJV – (for [the children] not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),
        Rom 11:5, 7, 28 NKJV – Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. … What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. … Concerning the gospel [they are] enemies for your sake, but concerning the election [they are] beloved for the sake of the fathers.
        1Th 1:4 NKJV – knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

        VERB – Chosen
        1Co 1:27-28 NKJV – But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
        Eph 1:4 NKJV – just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

        I think Rom 8:33, Col 3:12, 1Thess 1:4, and 1Cor 1:27-28 are most naturally speaking of believers in the church from both Jew and Gentile. To say these are speaking only of Jews would be forcing a very unnatural interpretation into those contexts considering the original readership.

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      3. Brian,

        It’s always best to start of the beginning of a book, not in the middle or the end.

        Besides, God states that he declared the end from the beginning anyway. So if ya wanna know the end…it’s in the beginning.

        That was a side note, but the first sentence is a clue to you. Look in the Hebrew scriptures and that tells you who the elect are.

        And like I said last night, too. Thessalonians was to a Jewish “audience”, or assembly. Not to Gentiles. There is more than just one way to prove that. But, you have this notion that all believers are elect. So you gotta read, as Paul Harvey would say…

        The Rest of the Story.

        That is why I despise Reform exegesis. You don’t learn anything that way.

        Ed Chapman

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      4. Brian,

        Jacob vs. Esau…all that means is that God “chose”, if you will, the FAMILY LINE of Jacob…uh, the Jews…to be the ELECT. Not the family line of Esau. He saw she saw. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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      5. Phillip,

        You are GOOD at this, Phillip. Do not depart from stating that the Elect is Jews only. I agree ten thousand times ten thousand percent with you.

        Now, if we can only convince the rest of the reformers, who are Catholics in disguise…without the collar device, but highly edumacated.

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      6. Brian,

        With that in mind, we have….

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect believers, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        Wouldn’t the elect believers have already obtain salvation? And why would Paul say that “elect believers” MAY obtain salvation? Thus implying they MAY NOT. And since “also” suggests inclusion, is there such a thing as non-elect believers?

        Seems to me that interpretation struggles a bit. Even a lot.

        However, knowing Paul’s sacrificial love for Israel (Romans 9:3) my exegesis is more sound.

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the Israel, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

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  18. Ed,

    Thanks for the gracious words, brother.

    But honestly, I could be wrong (obviously I don’t think so). I have discussed this notion of Israel, and Israel alone, as being the elect with other brothers “behind closed doors”. So I am not the only one willing to entertain this idea.

    It was when I first came across Calvinism with its notion of “unconditional election” that cause me to study this more closely. In my studies, I came across 2 schools of thought. The Calvinistic one: Unconditional Election. And Arminianism; Conditional Election.

    I reject both.

    I have chosen to take the road less traveled, which leaves me open to attack from both sides. And that’s okay. I believe the nation of Israel is God’s elect. Period. Saved or not.

    I find brother Brian very opened-minded and easy to converse with. Though I have never met him, I love and respect him. Not just because of the attributes already mentioned, but for his gracious tone and demeanor. I have personally witnessed him turning the other check on this blog many times. And he has shown Rhutchin so much love and grace. We’re blessed to have him.

    That said, is he infallible? Of course not. And he would be the first to admit it. I will never throw a stone at him. Mainly because I’m too busy ducking boulders myself. 🙂

    But here’s the kicker for me. If God is anything, He is consistent. So when we start with the word “elect” what do we find? The word “elect” or “election” only appears 27 times (KJV) or 28 times (NKJV) in all of scripture. The words “elect” or “election” only appear 4 times in the OT.

    Isaiah 42:1 (NKJV)….
    “Behold! My Servant (Israel) whom I uphold, My Elect One (Messiah) in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

    Israel: A Jewish nation. Elect One: One Jew (Messiah). And the Elect One is a physical descendant of the elect nation. No Gentiles here.

    Isaiah 45:4 (NKJV)…
    For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

    Israel, My Elect. Speaks for itself. Making all the Gentile nations the non-elect.

    Isaiah 65:9 (NKJV)…
    I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.

    Physical descendants. An actual blood line. No Gentiles in this group. The “elect” are the Jewish people.

    Isaiah 65:22 (NKJV)….
    They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

    My People. My elect. This is the people of Israel. No Gentiles.

    Consistency.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phillip,

      Yep, you and me both get attacked from both sides. I don’t come from a “reform” mindset. Therefore, to me, the “non-Calvinist” is still from the reform community, which is why Artesians, or whatever that word is, and Palag…whatever that word is, is constantly used in arguments. My side of Christendom is ignorant of those words, not part of our language. Only a reform would know that stuff.

      I’m not a Baptist, either, which also puts me at odds with the Baptist mindset. I keep harping against the word, “exegesis”, and bringing in ideas against “expository” preaching and studying. I’m just a lowly UNEDUCATED (NO CEMETERY and proud of that) Berean. Call me Dr. Ed, for Dr. Paul…I mean the Apostle Paul considered his education…what is word, dung? Expository has its place, but the real meat is when you spiritually study, hence, the natural man vs the spiritual man. The Natural man is expository.

      I found that there is no way to see the spiritual story by doing expository. And, I listen to Jews, where many in Christendom badmouth them. Including the Southern Baptists, who have a history of badmouthing the Jews, officially.

      I’ve read the experts, the educated experts, and I disagree with them. I’ve been studying the Bible ALONE for years. I’m not one to study the commentaries to see if the Bible is right.

      It’s funny, the reform is quick to say, Bible Alone, but they are anything but. They have something called, CONFESSIONS…something about a meeting 600 years ago that I never got the memo for. Dead people made decisions as to what you are supposed to believe, so they come up with WE BELIEVE statements. No one is allowed to make up their own mind based on their own study. Except the Bereans.

      Ed Chapman

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    2. Thank you Phillip again for the kind remarks. What? I’m not infallible?… lol 🤣🤣🤣 Now I’m going to have to rethink my whole theology. 🤣

      But I am wondering how much you and Ed are really on the same page when it comes to the NT definition of “elect” in all its occurrences. It seems you mean the nation, both saved and unsaved, and Ed means just the saved Jews… but I could be fallible on that. 😉

      And Ed – I wonder if you are a pastor or if you are under the leadership of a pastor who agrees with you on this view of the word “elect” and if you think your view is necessary for qualification in sound doctrine (Titus 1:9) to be a pastor. Let me know, would you? I certainly believe that believers baptism is a necessary sound doctrine for qualification to be a pastor. Thanks.

      Like

      1. Brian,

        No. I don’t agree with Ed on everything. And I’m fine with that.

        For instance, when I see the phrase “all Israel” I understand that to be the 12 tribes. It is the 12 tribes that make up “all Israel”. In the book of Revelation, we see the 144,000 or the 12,000 representatives from the 12 tribes. Do I think every Israelite, or offspring of Jacob/Israel will be saved. Nope. What about the tribe of Dan? Israelites for sure, but not mentioned in the book of Revelation. What about Judas? Surely an Israelite. Saved? I don’t think so. The apostle Paul, a Jew himself, was willing to be accursed from Christ for the sake of his own people. He didn’t seem sure of his people’s salvation. Personally, I would love to see every Israelite saved. I hope I’m wrong. Bless their hearts; what they had to go thru.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Phillip asks:
        What about Judas? Surely an Israelite. Saved? I don’t think so. The apostle Paul, a Jew himself, was willing to be accursed from Christ for the sake of his own people. He didn’t seem sure of his people’s salvation. Personally, I would love to see every Israelite saved. I hope I’m wrong. Bless their hearts; what they had to go thru.”

        My response:

        Judas was SORRY that he did what he did…and it was JESUS that allowed Satan to take a hold of him, so YES, I believe that God USED Judas for HIS purpose of getting JESUS to that cross. So yes, I believe that Judas is in heaven. In addition, I also believe that the Pharaoh is also in heaven. Why? Because God USED him as CLAY to tell a story about the POWER OF SIN, and MOSES is Jesus the REDEEMER.

        Calvinists think that all people are used as clay, all because of that Pharaoh reference. But that is not true God used, PAST TENSE people in the bible to tell a story about Jesus. It goes no further than that.

        In addition, ISRAELITE’S, Israel, the 12 Tribes,, children of Israel, Jacob, the children of Jacob, no matter how ya slice it, they all are known as the ELECT. Yes, including Dan.

        Now, let’s discuss Paul’s anguish about being willing to be accursed.

        Paul wanted his people saved NOW…not having to WAIT until after death. The story isn’t over just because they die.

        God UNBLINDED SOME ELECT to be saved during THIS LIFETIME. The REST are in SLUMBER. But those in slumber will be saved, too.

        Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid. That is a big fat NO. They will not fall because of their stumbling.

        If God blinded them, then God will unblind them. Simple as that. No need to go into details about Judas, or the tribe of Dan, etc.

        And that shows that OUR God is NOT A TYRANT as the Calvin god that does what he pleases calling it god’s glory.

        Ed Chapman

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      3. Brian,

        Hey dude. I don’t have much time tonight to discuss things…but I see many many comments. I don’t even have time to go thru them tonight. Much to do and many miles to drive tonight. But…

        What I am saying is that the Elect are JEWS ONLY from the family line of Jacob…Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Therefore, we are NOT SPIRITUAL ISRAEL. The Children of Jacob are the children of Israel.

        We, on the other hand, are children of Abraham thru Jesus.

        Our family is Abraham, Jesus, YOU. Jacob is bypassed with us. There is no spiritual Israel.

        Elect are Jews BOTH SAVED, AND UNSAVED, because as I said, the UNSAVED will be saved, and if the unsaved dies, they will be saved after they die.

        And why? The same reason that Paul got MERCY.

        1 Timothy 1:13 Paul’s Mercy
        Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

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

        There is not a Gentile on this planet that is the ELECT. Never was…never will be.

        Respectfully,

        Ed Chapman

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      4. Brian, and Phillip…need to respond to both of you in this one….

        Why do I believe that it is ALL JEWS from the family line of Jacob? Jacob is Israel. Family line of Jacob is the Elect, as I said moments ago.

        However, a verse that you might be interested in is

        Romans 11:8
        8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

        That was Romans 11, right? 11? Romans? Right? Not 1 Corinthians?

        Now, notice it states, AS IT IS WRITTEN?

        This is where it was written, spoken to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL by Moses:

        Deuteronomy 29:4
        Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

        UNTO THIS DAY MEANS NEVER NEVER EVER NEVER EVER EVER.

        Now, I have no idea the discussion about 12 tribes, but I do know the story of JOSEPH, and his BRETHREN. Please NOTE: The 12 Tribes in Revelation is not the same 12 Tribes that began the Twelve Tribes? Ever notice that? Where’s Dan? The Tribe of Dan?

        So, the Jews are blind, and God MUST give them mercy, because he said so in Romans 11, and let’s not forget the REASON that Paul got mercy…ignorance in unbelief.

        Ed Chapman

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      5. Brian, you asked me this:

        “And Ed – I wonder if you are a pastor or if you are under the leadership of a pastor who agrees with you on this view of the word “elect” and if you think your view is necessary for qualification in sound doctrine (Titus 1:9) to be a pastor. Let me know, would you? I certainly believe that believers baptism is a necessary sound doctrine for qualification to be a pastor. Thanks.”

        1st, I’d NEVER be a pastor.

        2nd, I’m NOT from the REFORMED belief system, and therefore, I’d knock out any pastor/elders that wishes to put me or my family under a false doctrine of CHURCH DISCIPLINE.

        3rd, I don’t see our discussion as being a QUALIFICATION of anything at all. I see our conversation as being REVELATION…what we do with it, is up to us. I’m not about DOGMA, or CONFESSIONS or CONVENTIONS.

        4th, regarding Baptisms, Jesus baptized, or IMMERSED us in the HOLY GHOST AND FIRE. I don’t see baptism the same as you do regarding magical water. We see it as an OUTWARD show of an inward experience. Unless that water is turned to wine, or blood, water has no magical act to show that you are IN THE CLUB.

        And based on what I am hearing from others here, Lutherans are BROTHERS, and if that be the case, then THEIR baptism is JUST FINE.

        Right? OK, Now I’m off to drive for a while. Won’t be back til tomorrow.

        Ed Chapman

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      6. Ed – You didn’t answer if you were under submission to any pastor(s) leadership as the Lord clearly commands – Heb 13:17 NKJV – 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

        Also, what about all those Jews that Jesus spoke to, warning them of hell fire… That seems contrary to your view that all Jews end up in heaven after death. I don’t think the Holy Spirit has taught that view in His Word, nor have I ever heard any godly teacher teach it.

        Mat 23:15, 33 NKJV – 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. … 33 “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

        The rich man in Luke 16 ended up in hell. He certainly was a Jew.

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    3. phillip writes, “My People. My elect. This is the people of Israel. No Gentiles.”

      Within the OT context that you present, it is clear that Israel is God’s elect.

      When we come to the NT, we have Paul writing n Ephesians 3, “…when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,…” Thus, we read in Romans 11, “…if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches;…” and so, from Romans 2, “…he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit,…”

      The Israel we read of in the OT is a picture of the true Israel, a people united by circumcision of the heart, and this Israel consists of Jews and gentiles.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. brianwagner writs, “…are you saying that Israel the “picture” (both of the heart and not of the heart/national Israel) was not clearly called “chosen” by God?”

        No. I think Israel was clearly chosen and the OT makes that clear in the verses Phillip cited.

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      2. Roger, thank you for confirming you believe Israel as a nation was chosen and not just some supposed remnant within that nation. It confirms you recognize that the term “elect” does not always mean only the saved.

        Now if you can begin to see how choosing by God for salvation was not before creation but is still going on… we can plan the coming out party. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. brianwagner writes, “Now if you can begin to see how choosing by God for salvation was not before creation but is still going on…”

        To do that, I would have to make God a god. Don’t think I can do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Indeed, Brian this is the problem…..making Him small and weak like Tozer said.

        I went to Amazon to read some book reviews today and saw the usual Calvinist trolls on some books I was looking at. No review offered by them….just bashing and name-calling the author. But (and how this fits with what you just wrote) they always add things like “God is not like that…. He is…” (fill in with their perception of what He “must” be like).

        Yeah….bringing Greek philosophy to the text is a significant problem.

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      5. Brian,
        As you know I have several kids. When they were little they thought I was the strongest person in the world, the smartest person in the world (humm….sure miss those days!).

        I never told them I was….they just “needed” me to be that way… I “must” be that way.

        Same with the Greek-Reformed version of God. They make Him be what He never said He is.

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      6. That’s a matter of definition, Roger. I believe you are… limiting and locking Him into a set mind as if that is best or perfect… even though it contradicts with Scripture. That is dumbing God’s mind down, since Scripture reveals His mind.

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      7. brianwagner writes, ” I believe you are… limiting and locking Him into a set mind as if that is best or perfect… ”

        You do the same thing. That which “limits and locks God into a set mind” are His decrees. We both have God making the same decrees – the difference being the timing of those decrees.

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      8. Misdirection Roger… you believe God is limited and locked into one set future by one never actually made decree. I don’t believe God is limited and locked into one set future, and though He obligates Himself to any unconditional decree He makes, He is very free to make decrees and does actually make them.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. brianwagner writes, “He is very free to make decrees and does actually make them.”

        We both take that position. The decrees God makes are the same whether your system or mine. Once God makes a decree, He is locked into a set mind that is best or perfect. That is true regardless when God makes that decision. So, now we need to find misdirection.

        Then, “you believe God is limited and locked into one set future by one never actually made decree.”

        God actually made a decree – to create the heavens and earth (and that one decree encompassed all His decrees regarding His involvement in that creation). I maintain that God does not decree without an end in view – God has a purpose for everything He does. A decree to create is for the purpose of the end result. I think you agree that God had to decree to create if He did create. Are you saying that God had no specific purpose in creating the earth or that His purpose could be thwarted by someone? I don’t see where the “timing” of God’s decree to create the earth affects His purpose or the end result.

        Then, “I don’t believe God is limited and locked into one set future, and though He obligates Himself to any unconditional decree He makes, He is very free to make decrees and does actually make them.”

        If I understand this, you say God can have a general purpose for a decree but not a specific purpose and a general end in mind but not a specific end.

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      10. Roger, I don’t think you understand the logic of you position, or should say illogic. If something is eternal or immutable it is never made for it always has existed that one way. So God never decreed anything based on a purpose… He is locked into something you want to call a decree He made… but it never was “made”.

        His theoretical free will that you say He has, was never exercised in decision making. So you cannot prove it is free… though the Scripture does prove it. Yes He has an eternal purpose subject to His nature, which is basically the purpose of being true to His nature.

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      11. Brian,
        You know this of course, but they dont have to be logical. They just cry “mystery” and “compatible” and say “nothing to see here. Move on.”

        You also know that they bring to the text who God “must” be (sorry, must “necessarily” be).

        So…..if you (they) bring to the text the idea that God is a certain way (decreed everything, knew everything —meaning that it was all fixed, no change from the beginning), then you need …. NEED to have God be a certain way…. despite any verse that is shown to you.

        All verses, narratives, even whole chapters of the Bible must be forced to pass through this narrow funnel of presuppositions.

        It is so obviously a Greek philosophical understand of deity, but they cannot accept that…. and around and around we go.

        Like

      12. brianwagner writes, “If something is eternal or immutable it is never made for it always has existed that one way. So God never decreed anything based on a purpose… He is locked into something you want to call a decree He made… but it never was “made”.”

        Yet, we read that God takes action in His creation according to purpose. Paul refers to this as an “eternal purpose” in Ephesians 3:11, “the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will:” (Ephesians 1:11). Then God saves people according to His purpose (2 Timothy 1:9) and people are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So God does act according to purpose and His actions execute His decrees. By whatever means God has decreed to act within His creation, those decrees occurred before the creation of the universe because God’s purpose to create would include all aspects of that creation from beginning to end. This is so, because God begins to refer to aspects of His purpose as early as Genesis 3:15 and then in His interaction with Moses and then the prophets. Then, Hebrews tells us that the tabernacle was to be constructed in precise detail as God instructed because it had a purpose that pointed to Christ. The Scriptures tell us that God has perfect wisdom and perfect wisdom points to a purpose in the exercise of wisdom. So, you are correct in what you reason but what you reason is not really correct – according to the Scriptures.

        So, you say, “Yes He has an eternal purpose subject to His nature, which is basically the purpose of being true to His nature.” God’s purpose seems to do that and more.

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      13. Roger… You rightly point out – “we read that God takes action in His creation according to purpose.” But no where do we read that such a purpose is locked into one eternally immutably set future forever. In fact, what we READ, rejects clearly that idea. So I think you need to rethink and reread how God has described and works out His purpose, instead of reading into it a determinism that is not there!

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      14. brianwagner writes, ” But no where do we read that such a purpose is locked into one eternally immutably set future forever. In fact, what we READ, rejects clearly that idea”

        We have two key verses speaking to God’s understanding.

        “Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding (or wisdom) is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5)

        “With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, And informed Him of the way of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:14)

        The key point from these verses is that God is not increasing in understanding – if He were, then those verses would need to be modified. An infinite understanding requires complete knowledge as any increase to knowledge would contribute to a greater understanding. If Psalm 147 were taken to be “wisdom,” then an infinite wisdom would call for an infinite understanding and complete knowledge – if knowledge were to increase, understanding would increase and wisdom would be greater.

        So, when did God achieve infinite wisdom or infinite understanding or complete knowledge? God must have these as part of who He is. If we put God in a position where He gains knowledge, then we also put Him is a position where He gains understanding and wisdom. As far as I can tell, that is not possible. Thus, I disagree with your assessment above.

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      15. Infinite understanding does not lock God into and limit Him to one set future forever. That’s a non-sequitor argument. His infinite understanding knows all the possibilities His freewill can choose between, and the free will of man in His image can choose between as He works to develop a true love relationship with man. Such a relationship does not exist within a deterministic world. Sorry.

        Liked by 2 people

      16. brianwagner writes, “His infinite understanding knows all the possibilities His freewill can choose between,…”

        It does more than that. It ensures that God’s purposes are accomplished. God works all things after the counsel of His will; this counsel includes His infinite understanding and perfect knowledge. God knows all the possibilities He can choose among, and by His understanding He understands the choices He would and did make.

        Then, “…and the free will of man in His image can choose between as He works to develop a true love relationship with man.”

        And by infinite understanding, God understands what a person will choose in the course of time. No one can teach God something new that God did not already know. God does not need to learn new things to enhance His understanding or His wisdom. God’s wisdom is perfect thus there is no lack in His understanding nor any new thing that He needs to learn.

        Then, “Such a relationship does not exist within a deterministic world”

        Why not? It is God who opens the womb for a person to be born; it is God who sustains the life of each person from minute to minute; it is God who sets the day of a person’s death. It is God who sustains the physical and chemical properties of elements and maintains laws of gravity and thermodynamics providing for order in the universe. Satan asked God to remove His protection over Job and God did so with the results recorded of Job’s life. Satan would do the same to any of God’s elect if God decreed it. This is a highly deterministic world and God is the primary determiner. There is no way to avoid this conclusion. Within this deterministic world, Adam chose to sin without compulsion from God and humanity was corrupted. Even as God restrains Satan, God now restrains the evil that people want to do so that the total depravity of people does not degrade to utter depravity. Depraved man cannot engage in any relationship with God unless God helps Him – this occurs in a deterministic world.

        Even your system does not allow God to take a hands-off approach to governing His creation because the result would be that described in Genesis 6, “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” You seem to have this imaginative, utopian idea about how you think the world works and it is only imagination – the world does not work that way.

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      17. It continues to be sad, Roger, that you use the unbiblical tenet of determinism to define what God’s purpose should look like and how freewill and to believe that love-inspired events can be set eternally immutably. That might give you a feeling of satisfaction, but hopefully dissatisfaction in your now chosen rejection of clear revelation from God will grow to overcome your satisfied loyalty to determinism some day. I’ll keep praying. Take the last word in this thread… until we meet again. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      18. ts00 writes, “I’ll admit it – I never thought I’d say this – I absolutely agree with what you wrote! ”

        That because we disagree on Calvinist type issues and not, necessarily, all Biblical issues.

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      19. Although I would probably drop the ‘Jews and Gentiles’, which is easily misunderstood by we who are far from ancient times.

        ‘All people’ – which is also scriptural – is better understood in the eras after the division between ‘God’s people’ and ‘all the rest’ was torn down, once and for all, by the coming of Jesus to reveal the ‘mystery’ of the gospel. Thus, as Paul explains, there IS NO LONGER Jew and gentile in God’s eyes. Why do so many seek to restore this distinction which Jesus and the apostles sought to eliminate?

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      20. Jew/Gentile no difference has a CONTEXT that is unrelated to what I speak about.

        Male Female no difference? If you look hard enough, you will SEE a difference. Otherwise, why fight against gay rights? Ponder that one. No difference between male/female, right? I’d say that there is a HUGE difference between the sexes. Huge.

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    4. Phillip, and the rest:

      I am responding here since this is the first comment I have found with the word “reply” underneath it.

      I have enjoyed reading these comments, except for Hutch’s shuck-n-jive. It is hard to take anyone seriously who calls an astute brother in Christ a “confused little puppy.” And also who will write “The drawing and teaching [of Christ] are irresistible,” but when challenged cannot provide a single verse of support. Still waiting on that, Hutch.

      And whoever says the rich young ruler eventually came to Christ must believe irresistibility has a delayed reaction. Very interesting! I thought that whatever God does he does perfectly. Further, to make such a pronouncement about the young man is an argument from silence – and thus should remain such: silent! How theologically responsible is such a claim when there is not one iota of evidence the man was saved later? I guess if you can say grace is irresistible with no supporting verses, then you are predisposed to make many other such unqualified statements. And Calvinists do.

      I would want to re-think whether Ronnie really is a 2-point Calvinist. But in a general sense, if anyone does happen to agree with Calvin on some truly biblical point, that does not make that person a “so-many-point” Calvinist. No. Just makes that person a believer who properly understands the scripture. Additionally, I prefer not to have my theology defined/identified with any earthly person, especially an eisegetical murderer such as Calvin, whose cronies burned-at-the-stake and drowned our Anabaptist forebears for rejecting infant sprinkling in preference for believer’s only immersion.

      As one who works more than 70 hrs/wk, I have little time for blog stuff. If I don’t answer henceforth, you will know why.

      Blessings, all.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Norm,
        I believe the story of the Rich Young Man is exactly what it appears to be and why it appears to be.

        Christ’s love and call are resistible….and it is easy to see that. So dont do as this man did and put money or anything before God.

        What other lesson is there for us? Uh….. he resisted, but we assume that he came to Christ later. (adding to the story)

        Or….. here’s the point…. Christ was not sincerely calling him since he could and did resist (Christ was only faking a call —for His greater glory!)

        We often read on Calvinist sites (and it turns heads!!! and wins converts!!)

        “for if Christ died for persons who will not enjoy the benefits of the forgiveness of sins, then Christ failed.”

        Why? Who made that rule?

        The Rich Young Man said no.

        Christ stands at the hillside outside Jerusalem….. “….how oft I would have taken you under my wings…. but you would not….”

        He TELLS us He can be refused.

        Who turned the word of God on its head by some man-made rule and said “this means He failed”?

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      2. Indeed!

        It is utterly disingenuous of God to command “all men everywhere to repent” while knowing some are already damned to hell (which Calvin says in Institutes that God does “for his good pleasure”). The God I serve is not a bait-and-switch con artist.

        Another sticky wicket for the Calvinist — one that still remains unanswered by any Calvinist — and that is this: Who can commit the unpardonable sin?

        The question is not what the sin is, but who can commit it?

        The elect? Predeterminedly NOT!

        The reprobate? No, for he is already condemned.

        BTW: LOVED Phillip’s collection of verses on the “elect,” which is synonymous with “the Jews.”

        Underscores CS Lewis’s quote twice noted at this post.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Norm,

        You wrote… “I would want to re-think whether Ronnie really is a 2-point Calvinist.”

        However, he is a firm believer in total depravity/total inability. His articles over at SBCT are clear on this. And if you believe in TD/TI then you have to believe in some form of irresistible grace.

        You and I (and Leighton and Rick Patrick) believe in FREE will. Brother Rogers believes in FREED will. And there’s the difference (I can provide evidence if need be).

        Rogers believes in total depravity/total inability and a form of irresistible grace (a grace that overcomes man’s depravity, thus restoring man to a pre-fall condition enabling him to believe). Leighton rejects both. Both cannot be scriptural. One has to be right, the other wrong. I go with brother Leighton.

        If you agree with 2 points of the TULIP, that makes you a 40% Calvinist in my book (or Arminian if you like).

        Galatians 5:9… Alas, it takes only a little leaven to affect the whole lump!

        I mean no ill-will towards brother Rogers. I love him.

        Just discern, brother. That’s all I ask.

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  19. As per the (endless?) discussions ongoing on this blog on this topic . . . those who interpret (most well-meaning) Paul’s words to indicate that God continues to distinguish between Jew and gentile, man and woman, slave and free, do not, in my opinion, understand the oneness that Jesus set forth, and how incredibly important it is to those who were and are marginalized. No gentile, woman or slave could possibly put much store in their newly granted ‘equality’ if there exists an asterisk which states that ‘this is all temporary’, and, someday in the future, God plans to restore the divisions that he so carefully eradicated. Gee, it was good while it lasted; back to second class status.

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  20. Now, in the 4 gospels, the word “elect” appears 7 times. The book of Matthew, 3 times. The book of Mark, 3 times. And the book of Luke, 1 time. I will use those in Matthew (in context), since Mark would be redundancy.

    Matthew 24:3-25 (NKJV)…..
    Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples (all Jews) came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you (the Jews) up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations (the Gentiles) for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom (not the gospel of the cross) will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place”, whoever reads, let him understand, “then let those (Jews) who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath (why would a gentile care about the Sabbath? He wouldn’t. O, but for a Jew living under the Law, he could only go so far) For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh (all of mankind) would be saved; but for the elect’s sake (the nation of Israel) those days will be shortened. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (the nation of Israel). See, I have told you beforehand.

    Revelation 12:13-17 (NKJV)…..
    Now when the dragon (Satan) saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male Child (Messiah). But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time (3 and a half years), from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman (Israel), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (the Jews), who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    Luke 18:1-8 (NKJV)….
    Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect (the nation of Israel) who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

    No other nation, since they came into existence, has been more hated and persecuted than that tiny nation of Israel. And they still are today. Now, since all the people had during Christ’s earthly ministry were the OT scriptures, when our Lord spoke of “the elect”, to whom do you think He was referring? Who do you think His audience thought He was referring to?

    Israel, my elect.

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    1. phillip writes, “when our Lord spoke of “the elect”, to whom do you think He was referring? Who do you think His audience thought He was referring to? Israel, my elect.”

      His audience, comprised of Jews, would think Israel. Jesus would be thinking more broadly. Thus, He says in John 10, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold [Not of Israel?]; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd.” However, we get a glimpse into His thinking when He says, “God so loved the world…” or “…you are the light of the world…” or ““Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

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      1. Ezekiel 34:25-31 (NKJV)…..
        “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord GOD.’ “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord GOD.

        I guess just another “picture” for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. phillip writes, “I guess just another “picture” for you.”

        A very vivid picture. The citation describes a future event yet to come to pass doesn’t it?

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      3. Rhutchin writes…

        “His audience, comprised of Jews, would think Israel. Jesus would be thinking more broadly.”

        Just like a Calvinist. Always throwing a curve ball.

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    2. Amen.

      And to whom did all the personal possessive pronouns refer as mentioned in the first 12 verses of Eph. 1?

      Exactly!

      In verse 13 there is a distinct shift in pronouns. Paul says, “And you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit…”

      And to whom does “you also” refer? The Gentile believers in Ephesus.

      “The chosen were chosen for the sake of the unchosen” – CS Lewis.

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      1. norm writes, “In verse 13 there is a distinct shift in pronouns.”

        1 Paul…to the saints who are at Ephesus,…:
        2 Grace to you…
        3 Blessed be the God…who has blessed us…
        4 just as He chose us…that we should be holy…
        5 He predestined us…
        6 …He freely bestowed on us…
        7 In Him we have redemption…,
        8 which He lavished upon us…
        9 He made known to us…
        11 also we have obtained an inheritance,…
        12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ…
        13 In Him, you also,.
        14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance…
        15 …having heard of the faith…which exists among you, and your love for all the saints,

        There is no shift in the meaning of the pronouns because the antecedent goes back to v1 – the saints who are at Ephesus. If there is a shift in the pronoun, where is it’s antecedent? There is change from “we” in v12 to “you in v13 with και emphasizing Paul’s point.

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      2. Romans 9:3-5 (NKJV)….
        For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

        Ephesians 2:12 (NKJV)….
        Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

        The verse above makes it quite clear. Our Gentile forefathers were strangers from the covenants of Promise, without hope and without God in this world. This wasn’t the case for Israel, which God had predestined them for. However, because of the finishing works of Christ, we are brought near, not via covenants, but by the blood of Christ. The covenants were directed only to the nation of Israel (actual physical descendants of Israel. Now I feel I have to state the bleeding obvious). However, in order for the covenants to be fulfilled, Christ had to go to the cross. Not just for Israel, but the whole world. Now, by His grace, that sacrifice was extended beyond the covenants (Israel) and opened heaven’s door for the whole human race (including the gentiles).

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      3. phillip writes, ‘Our Gentile forefathers were strangers from the covenants of Promise, without hope and without God in this world. This wasn’t the case for Israel, which God had predestined them for. ”

        That was the case in the OT prior to Christ’s death. Very few gentiles were saved in OT days.

        Then, “However, because of the finishing works of Christ, we are brought near, not via covenants, but by the blood of Christ….Now, by His grace, that sacrifice was extended beyond the covenants (Israel) and opened heaven’s door for the whole human race (including the gentiles).”

        Fortunately for us gentiles.

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    3. Hey Phillip,

      While we are both at it, I think it is IMPORTANT to state WHY Israel is THE ELECT.

      There was a purpose. I think that nobody is getting that, and i have stated huge hints over and over and over again. But it still goes over their heads.

      Pearls before swine, maybe?

      Ed Chapman

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  21. Rhutchin writes… “The Israel we read of in the OT is a picture of the true Israel, a people united by circumcision of the heart, and this Israel consists of Jews and gentiles.”

    So, rhutchin. Who is the Dragon making war with (and this is still future) in Revelation? Physical “picture” Israel or “true” Israel?

    And we are still waiting for your response to Brian’s question “….are you saying that Israel the ‘picture’ was not clearly called ‘chosen’ by God?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. phillip writes, “Who is the Dragon making war with (and this is still future) in Revelation? Physical “picture” Israel or “true” Israel?”

      In Revelation 12, the Dragon is obviously a reference to Satan (v9). He makes war with Michael (v7) and is thrown done to earth Here he persecutes the “woman” who is Israel (and probably the remnant) (v13). Then Satan wages “war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” This would be all believers whether Jew or gentile who are called the offspring of true Israel who went out, as Paul, preaching the gospel to the world..

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      1. “This would be all believers whether Jew or gentile who are called the offspring of true Israel who went out, as Paul, preaching the gospel to the world..”

        And there you have it everyone. The “true” Israel goes thru the tribulation period.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol… yes… the true Israel, saved Israelites, and other believers, saved Gentiles, but not the church, which is neither Jew or Gentile and is in heaven waiting to come back with the Lord to defeat the Antichrist! 😉

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      3. Brian,

        Since rhutchin sees the body of Christ as the “true” Israel, he has the church experiencing the tribulation period.

        Jeremiah 30:7 (NKJV)….
        Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.

        Just more “pictures”.

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  22. Rhutchin writes…

    “I lean amil (Amillennialism) on this.”

    Of course you do, brother. Confusing the body of Christ with “true” Israel, it would only make sense. At least you’re consistent.

    Of all the brothers who post here, I probably have the least in common with you.

    But you are still my brother and for that, I am thankful.

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  23. Things have really gone off the rails discussion wise. What does all this have to do with Calvinism? Seems like some folks jumped on the wrong blog, or are looking to derail this one. 😉

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    1. Well, I’m not sure if you are talking about me or not, but what does GOD have to do with Calvinism? Nothing. I thought we were talking about DEBUNKING Calvinism, in all of its deranged thinking. Chose, Chosen, Elect, you name it.

      Ed Chapman

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    2. This blog is about 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 and the phrase “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation.”

      While the “goal” might be to debunk Calvinism, we should not be so eager to embrace its offspring, Arminianism, or Calvinism “lite” either.

      This blog has provided two options. Unconditional Election (Calvinism) and Conditional Election (Arminianism). My “goal” is to show there just might be a plausible (and biblical) alternative to both.

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      1. Phillip writes:
        ‘This blog is about 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 and the phrase “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation.”

        While the “goal” might be to debunk Calvinism, we should not be so eager to embrace its offspring, Arminianism, or Calvinism “lite” either.

        This blog has provided two options. Unconditional Election (Calvinism) and Conditional Election (Arminianism). My “goal” is to show there just might be a plausible (and biblical) alternative to both.’

        I also do not subscribe to either Calvinism or Arminianism. I also believe that historical Christianity has long offered mostly false alternatives to not only what ‘election’ means, but much else in scripture. That is the goal of Satan, to corrupt, distort and deceive.

        What I am suggesting is that we might credibly ignore debates over the theory that it is ‘all about the Jews’, when, in my opinion, Jesus and Paul dealt with that and took it off the table. 🙂

        Whether you define ‘election’ as being corporate, or to certain tasks or otherwise, what I think we most non-Calvinists can agree on is that there is no unconditional election unto Salvation, for Jews, gentiles or any mix thereof. The gift of salvation has been made available to all.

        I tend to agree with much of what you have written; I just see the discussion easily derailed into one with essentially eschatological and political undertones. I personally do not read out of scripture a re-division of men into Jew and not-Jew at some later date, or any other ‘partiality’ according to birth or bloodline. Such interpretations seem to engender partiality, inequity, misunderstanding and abuse of others who are judged ‘less important’ for one reason or another.

        Although, in my opinion, the Social Justice Warriors err in attempting to slip behavior into the equation, they correctly assert that God does not judge people on the basis of race, nationality, skin color and other unchosen distinctives. Scripture does assert that we will be judged on our actions, for which we do have the ability and responsibility to choose. So-called ‘Science’ may be manufactured/distorted to allege that obesity, alcoholism and gender confusion are physiological – scripture appears to assert otherwise. I have read more than a few scholarly journal articles suggesting that much of so-called ‘proven’ Science is, in fact, eventually proven to be untrue, so I’m not too worried about what ‘Science’ declares. Yet few would deny that we have no choice over our parents, race or bloodline.

        Whether it is Calvinism, or some other fiction; whomever or whatever asserts that God judges and condemns men based on that which they cannot control or choose is assuredly false. We may be deceived by the masterful Deceiver about such categories, but God judges truly and justly.

        It does seem to me a wee bit of a distraction to wander into discussions that are ultimately more about eschatology than soteriology.

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      2. Truthseeker00 writes…

        “What I am suggesting is that we might credibly ignore debates over the theory that it is ‘all about the Jews’, when, in my opinion, Jesus and Paul dealt with that and took it off the table.”

        Dear brother, that is not my intent. Again, the topic of this thread is “from the beginning He chose you for salvation.”

        In my humble attempt, I just wanted to offer an alternative interpretation. That it was the Jews that God “from the beginning” chose for salvation; not that salvation was limited to the Jews.

        The dialogue continued and I felt compelled to make my case, using the scriptures. My view was challenged (understandably so) and I believe I have successfully done that via biblical exegesis.

        Again, the topic of this thread is “from the beginning He chose (elected) you for salvation”. Granted, the verses I provided open the door for extended discussion, but I think, for the most part, I have stayed on topic.

        God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Phillip, no disrespect intended. I won’t repeat my earlier comment, but will just add that I reject all forms of Divine Determinism as to salvation. Israel was indeed chosen, or ‘elected’, for a very precious and unique role, but it did not grant them salvation, which was and always is about personal choice to trust in God’s promises. Many others have also been called to unique roles in revealing God’s redemptive plan, such as the prophets and apostles, but none, in my opinion, irresistibly. We who were chosen or elected for salvation are ‘whosoever will believe’, excluding none.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. And truthseeker, this is where I highly disagree with you.

        Take the word, “salvation” out of it just for a moment.

        Did God blind the Jews? I know you will say yes.

        When WILL He Unblind the Jews?

        I know your answer, because you already stated so, that he already unblinded them. But that is not so. Their salvation is in the unblinding.

        I keep mentioning the story of Joseph and his brothers. Doesn’t that mean anything to you at all? Which one of his brothers was punished? NONE, right?

        So why do you think that ALL Jews (Israel) WONT be saved, when Romans clearly states that they will be. I’m not getting your logic, and I keep giving reason after reason after reason.

        Ed Chapman

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      5. “I won’t repeat my earlier comment, but will just add that I reject all forms of Divine Determinism as to salvation (Agreed). Israel was indeed chosen, or ‘elected’, for a very precious and unique role, but it did not grant them salvation, which was and always is about personal choice to trust in God’s promises (Exactly). Many others have also been called to unique roles in revealing God’s redemptive plan, such as the prophets and apostles (all Jews), but none, in my opinion, irresistibly (Agreed). We who were chosen or elected for salvation are ‘whosoever will believe’, excluding none (Disagree, and that’s the point of my posts. Don’t confuse election with salvation. Election was reserved for the nation of Israel. Salvation has always been for “whosoever will believe”).”

        And I appreciate your contributions here, brother.

        Like

      6. Thanks for the kind words. And it may be mostly semantics – we seem to agree more than disagree. 😉

        Like

      7. Phillip,

        You had me at hello. You had me at, do you want to come in? You had me at , would you like some coffee. But ya lost me in your explanation with truthseeker. WHO is ALL ISRAEL?

        All Israel will be saved. So you say something about 12 tribes. The 144000 will be SEALED with the Holy Spirit so that they can EVANGELIZE TO THE UNBELIEVING JEWS Left Behind for the Great Tribulation.

        So all the other Jews are doomed, just because they died before that? If an unbelieving Jew dies TODAY, is he NOT SAVED, just because we haven’t gotten to Revelation 7 yet? The Jews that died in the Holocaust. What about them? Too bad, so sad???

        If your answer is NO, then I disagree BIGLY.

        I will try to stay awake for your response, cuz I cant wait to hear your response.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      8. Ed,

        Zachariah 8:23 (KJV)…..
        Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations (Gentiles), even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

        I believe that during the tribulation period, when “this gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 24:13; not to be confused with the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; that time has passed) is preached, many (not the majority) Gentiles will be saved.

        Romans 9:1-4a (NKJV)….
        I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh (actual physical descendants), who are Israelites…

        I just don’t think Paul shared your optimism, brother. I don’t think Paul would be willing to be accursed from Christ (lost eternally) just so some Jews could be saved while alive, if he thought, like you, that they would only be saved later after they died.

        Again, bro, I hope I’m wrong. Really. I would love to see every Israelite from the beginning saved (personally, I would love to see the lake of fire empty). But I am just not picking up on that in the scriptures. I just lean towards “all Israel” referring to the 12 tribes, which make up “all Israel”. I see that in the book of Revelation.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Hey Phillip,

        OK, so you quoted Paul in saying, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh (actual physical descendants), who are Israelites…”

        So, when it states “flesh”, which is BODY, and LIFE requires a body, I interpret that to mean “in THIS life”. But I’ve already provided scriptures that state things about MERCY, that God did not give them a heart to perceive, ears to hear…except for a few, and the rest are in a SLUMBER.

        It is those who slumber that will be given mercy just like Paul was given mercy and he was given mercy because he did it IGNORANTLY IN UNBELIEF.

        So, my qualification in stating what I say is simple. Two words. Ignorance in unbelief. And since God has concluded them (JEWS) in unbelief, all because God made them the CLAY like that, he will save them. Regardless if they DIE a natural death still in unbelief.

        They can’t help that they are in unbelief. Think of Paul, in how he got mercy. Jews can’t come to Jesus now (except a few), until God allows them to see, for it is God that put the blinders on them. And again, I keep going back to the story of Joseph, and his brothers.

        Jesus is Joseph…and the brothers of Joseph are the Jews. Do you not see a connection here?

        Did Joseph TOY with his brothers? Absolutely he did. But he never revealed himself to them until they were all together.

        If God isn’t going to save ALL of the ones that He, Himself blinded, then you are describing Calvin’s God, and I just can’t accept that kinda god.

        Thank you for you explanation. I agree with EVERYTHING that you state, except for THIS portion of it.

        Ed Chapman

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  24. The word elect/election appears 4 times in the books of Peter. While it is true that Peter is writing to believing Jews, please keep in mind that they are elect because of their lineage (Romans 11:28).

    1 Peter 1:1-2 (NKJV)….
    Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia 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.

    God did not elect them because He looked down the corridors of time and foresaw their faith. They were elect according to the foreknowledge of God, because it would be thru this nation of Israel that the whole world would be blessed (Genesis 22:18). They were part of God’s redemptive plan long ago.

    Acts 2:5-11 (NKJV)….
    And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

    James 1:1-1 (NKJV)….
    James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes (of Israel) which are scattered abroad

    Only the Jews were scattered. And they were scattered so long ago, that they had already become fully assimilated in other cultures and languages.

    1 Peter 2:6 (NKJV)….
    Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

    A clear reference to the Messiah. The Elect One. The King of the Jews.

    1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)…..
    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

    Almost the exact same language we find in the OT. And to whom was he speaking?

    Deuteronomy 14:2 (NKJV)….
    For you (the nation of Israel) are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples (Gentiles) who are on the face of the earth.

    And for added clarity….

    1 Peter 2:9 (ESV, CEB, NET)….
    But you are a chosen RACE, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    A chosen RACE. That would be the Jewish race, or the physical descendants of Israel. No Gentiles in that group. Not a single one. And didn’t God say that if the Jews (the natural branches) did not continue in unbelief that it was easy to graft them in again to their own tree (Romans 11:24)?

    1 Peter 5:13 (NKJV)….
    She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.

    Babylon. A previous place of captivity of the Jews.

    2 Peter 1:10 (NKJV)….
    Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble

    Again, what was the nation of Israel’s calling? What were they elected for?

    Genesis 22:18 (NKJV)….
    In your seed (physical descendants/lineage/the nation of Israel) all the nations (Gentiles) of the earth shall be blessed….

    Acts 13:47 (NKJV)…..
    For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

    John 4:22 (NKJV)…
    …. for salvation is of (from) the Jews.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Brothers (and sisters),

    Again, the word elect/election appears 27 or 28 times throughout scripture (KJV, NKJV).

    I have proven that all four (4) times in the OT, it was referring to the nation of Israel only. I have proven that all seven (7) times in the 4 gospels that when the Lord spoke of the elect He was referring to the nation of Israel only. I have proven that all five (5) times that Peter was referring to Jews only. I have proven that in 2 Timothy 2:10 that Paul was referring to the nation of Israel only.

    So in the OT it was the nation of Israel. In the 4 gospels it was about the nation of Israel in regards to the end of the age. In the NT (2 Tim. 2:10) we have at least one example of the elect being the nation of Israel only. So from the beginning (Genesis, Isaiah) to the end (Revelation), we have the nation of Israel as “the elect”. That’s at least 17 times out of 28 and I could go on and on.

    With all that in mind, brothers (sisters), and for the sake of time and space, is it not at least possible that the other 10 times (with exception; 1 Timothy 5:21 for example) the term is used just might be referring to the Jewish people only? Isn’t God consistent?

    Now if you want to disagree with me, that’s fine. Its not salvific. But you should now at least be willing to understand where I get it. It doesn’t mean salvation is reserved for Jews only. Salvation has always been by grace thru faith. However, election was reserved only for the nation of Israel, but that election didn’t guarantee them salvation. So there will elect (Israelites) saved and lost. And there will be non-elect (Gentiles) saved and lost.

    Thanks for your time and patience.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Norm,

        Thanks, brother. That means a lot to me, especially coming from someone like you.

        If you remember, probably some 5 or 6 years ago, when you were the moderator over at SBC Today (Gee. I hope you are the same Norm), I bounced this same idea off you when I sent you my interpretation of 2 Timothy 2:10. You thought it was interesting, so you sent this idea off to one of your scholastic buddies. If I remember correctly, he sent back some off the cuff rebuttal rather quickly that neither you nor I thought too much of.

        No matter how much I “googled”, it seemed everything came back with one of two options. The Calvinistic notion of Unconditional Election, or the Arminian notion of Conditional Election. But when I plugged either one into 2 Timothy 2:10, it just didn’t work.

        When Paul says “I endure all things…” that’s when I went back to see for who. That’s when I found…

        “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh…”

        If that wasn’t enough (and it should be), the following was.

        “…because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”

        Now this isn’t some kind of “spiritual” or “true” Israel. It wasn’t the body of Christ. Paul was willing to endure all of his suffering for the physical descendants of Israel. Any other description and you’re just not be honest with the text. So right there, I knew I had at least one NT reference to the nation of Israel being God’s elect.

        Speaking of Piper, in my searches, there was a youtube video of him reading from 2 Timothy 2:10, but every time he would say….

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        He would say this over and over again. Each time omitting “also” or “too”. So, I thought “which translation is he using?” So like most folks I went to biblegateway.com and checked most of the major translations. And, nope, the word “also” or “too” was in all of them. I thought “so why would Piper do this?” Well, if you’re a Calvinist, you have to, because a simple word like “too” suggests inclusion. And we know for them, salvation is reserved only for the elect (ironic. the exact same error Israel made).

        So, I started doing my own word study. I thought “whoever the ‘elect’ is, we should be able to plug it in in almost every verse and it should still make sense.”

        Long story short (and perhaps too late for that), I came up with all the above (in this thread).

        Then, when I came across the distinctions between “us” and “you” found in the first chapter of Ephesians, it all started coming together.

        So I know, based on hours upon hours of word study, that when Paul writes…

        “….knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.”

        Somehow, some way, he has to be speaking to Jews. Maybe at the point of this letter, the church was made up entirely of Jews. Maybe he was just speaking to the leadership who were Jews (He did tell whoever he was writing to, to take this letter and share it with the body (Thess. 5:27)). Honestly, we don’t know how many gentiles were there, if any. Yes, Thessalonica was gentile country, but the Jews had been dispersed for years. They had already assimilated fully into other cultures and languages. They were citizens. And remember, God dispersed them for a reason. So that way, where ever Paul went, it was…..

        “..first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

        God bless, brother. And, again, thanks so much for the kind words. It helps. Maybe all of this was a blessing to someone else as well.

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      2. Hi Phillip:

        I don’t recall the matter you cite from SBCToday, but I am that same ‘Norm.”

        Your citation of Piper’s omission is telling. There is no other word for that than dishonesty, which brings under suspicion everything Piper avers. If one must lie to expound his position, then his position is built upon sand and not the solid Rock. Shame on Piper.

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      3. Norm (all),

        I found the video (very short).

        Bless Piper’s heart. So passionate. So careful. So wrong.

        He omits “too/also” every time he quotes 2 Timothy 2:10. I just have to wonder what the folks in his audience were thinking.

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      4. Phillip,
        The folks in his audience are not thinking anything! They are swallowing every word!

        Any determinist that can write a book and start a campaign called “Don’t Waste Your Life” is gonna be able to play the determinist-fatalist-Calvinist card when he needs to and STILL appeal to the “do the right thing” trigger in all of us.

        Gotta face it….. it is a good, “safe” place to be in….”giving glory” to God saying He controls (literally) everything, and yet being able to turn and say…. “come on boys, try a little harder!” (which would include all the “draw near to God” “seek first His kingdom” “flee the devil” etc).

        Liked by 1 person

      5. phillip writes, “[Piper] omits “too/also” every time he quotes 2 Timothy 2:10. I just have to wonder what the folks in his audience were thinking.”

        The Greek word translated as, “also,” is “και” and it has range of meaning, most commonly, “and,” but it can be translated “also,” or “likewise.” Thus we can read the verse as:

        “…I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they, “like myself,” may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”

        It is possible that Piper reads it this way and rather than explain this understanding, just left it out – or perhaps, in a previous study, he had explained it and did not see the need to repeat himself here. so, we have a difference of opinion concerning Paul’s meaning in using,”και.” I don’t see the issue needing all the drama people are attaching to it.

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      6. FOH,

        Sadly, I think your right. They are a “duped” bunch.

        However, I would like to think that at least a few people got up and left. The chairs behind him are empty. 🙂

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      7. So according to Piper “Christians are the elect”.

        So, we have “Israel, My Christians” (Isaiah 45:4).

        Let that soak in for a while.

        Sorry, Piper, Paul knew exactly who the elect of God were. The OT stated it quite clearly. And he was willing to be accursed from Christ for them.

        Maybe our Calvinists brothers need to stop looking at the “pictures” and start reading the text.

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      8. Phillip… you may want to consider the interpretation weakness of limiting a term in Scripture to have only one identity, as you are doing with the term “elect”. If you do a simple word study of “firstborn” or “church” or “baptism” or “sons of God”, you will see that the same could not be done with those terms.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. True Brian…

        And the discussion that all Jews will automatically be saved is confusing also.

        Judas is often associated as a “son of perdition” ….

        Acts 1 tell us…

        Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”

        Where did he belong? Heaven? Purgatory (gotta work a little off!)

        …or perdition?

        the idea of all fleshly Israel will be saved does not seem to square with Scripture.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. phillip writes, “So according to Piper “Christians are the elect”. So, we have “Israel, My Christians” (Isaiah 45:4).”

        Oh, phillip!!! The term, “christian.” is not applied to believers until Acts 11. Let’s not assume that Piper is a complete idiot so that he would read Isaiah as you allege..

        Like

      11. Brian,

        I fully understand your hesitation, brother. No worries.

        I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and your contributions here.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Rhutchin writes…

        “Thus we can read the verse as: ‘…I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they, “like myself,” may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.’’”

        Hilarious.

        Then adds… “I don’t see the issue needing all the drama people are attaching to it.”

        Of course he wouldn’t. Talk about a heart of stone.

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      13. brianwagner writes, “But why should you want my hermeneutic expertise to back your argument?”

        I guess I missed it. I did see a comment where you looked at “elect.”

        Regardless, I wanted your Greek language expertise to weigh in on the translation of και in 2 Timothy 2:10. I did a search through the comments on “2Ti” and “και” but did not find a reply to that issue. Any chance you could do a cut and paste of your analysis or give me a better term to search that would lead me to your comment on Paul’s use of “και” in 2 Timothy 2:10.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. 2Tim 2:10 – διὰ τοῦτο πάντα ὑπομένω διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ σωτηρίας τύχωσιν τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ μετὰ δόξης αἰωνίου

        My literal translation – “on account of this, these [things] I am enduring on account of the elect [ones] in order that even to/for/with/by them salvation/deliverance they should obtain/experience, the [kind that is] in Jesus, with everlasting glory.”

        The και – meaning “even”, has to do with Paul’s introducing another category of people, besides the Gentiles to whom he is an apostle, and whom he is wanting to see saved. This other category he also wants to see saved and is willing to keep enduring all things so that might happen.

        That other category is “elect ones”, and so Phillip has context and other passages on his side pointing to “elect ones” here meaning Jews who are not yet saved, but on account of whom (their forcing Paul’s arrest and trial by Rome) he is enduring his current imprisonment.

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      15. brianwagner writes, “My literal translation – “on account of this, these [things] I am enduring on account of the elect [ones] in order that even to/for/with/by them salvation/deliverance they should obtain/experience, the [kind that is] in Jesus, with everlasting glory.”

        A nice literal translation. Can we agree that the translation really does not resolve the issue of identifying the “elect”?

        Then, “The και – meaning “even”, has to do with Paul’s introducing another category of people,…”

        This begins Brian’s analysis, brief as it is. We find that Paul does not refer to the Jews or Israel in this second letter to Timothy nor in the first letter and the two letters provide the immediate context to which we look to discover the identity of the “elect.” That does not argue for Paul to introduce the Jews at this point.

        Paul says in in 1 Timothy 2:7, “I was appointed a preacher and an apostle…as a teacher of the Gentiles…” Then in 2 Timothy 4:17, “the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear;” Given this, it is strange that we should understand Paul to say, “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of [the Jews], that they also may obtain the salvation…” when he makes no further reference to the Jews, Israel, or the elect ones either before or after this statement.

        Now begins an analysis (exegesis) to discover what Paul implies by this statement when there is no explicit statement by Paul to guide us. Is Brian correct to conclude that this “has to do with Paul’s introducing another category of people”? We can’t tell from the what Brian has provided since he doesn’t get into the Greek to show us how και is used in other verses to provide this meaning. All we really have is an opinion by Brian that sounds reasonable but for which no support is provided in the immediate context and one basically has to assume that Paul’s mindset here, and understood by Timothy, is drawn from Romans 9-11. I do this with regard to Ephesians 3, so I am not going to bash Brian for doing it here. So far, I am not convinced of his argument.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Roger… the second use of the preposition δια – on account of, seems to be connected with “endure”. Paul is enduring “on account of” the elect… The normal idea is “because of” is retained, even if there is a positive benefit suggested “for”.

        Because of this great gospel calling, Paul is enduring, and suffering imprisonment (vs 9), because of the elect, and for their benefit, so that even they will be saved.

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      17. brianwagner writes, “…Paul is enduring, and suffering imprisonment (vs 9), because of the elect,…”

        I agree. The issue contested is the identity of the “elect.”

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      18. Agreed, Roger… but it would be kinda of silly to think it was really the not yet saved “remnant” elect in the elect nation of Israel that was causing Paul’s imprisonment that he was willingly enduring.

        That would be like a missionary saying, “I am being imprisoned by the not yet saved elect of N. Korea so that even they can be saved, but I’m not enduring for the benefit of any of those other N. Koreans and they’re not the ones really imprisoning me… I wouldn’t want to endure anything for them, since I’m pleased, along with God, that they are eternally immutably damned.”

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      19. Brian,

        Thank you so much, brother. I mean that. Thank you!

        You don’t have to be an English major to read the obvious.

        Romans 11:13-14 (NKJV)…..
        For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh (Israelites) and save some of them.

        2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)…..
        Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect (the nation of Israel), that they (the elect) also (along with the non-elect/gentiles) may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

        Acts 28:28 (NIV)…..
        For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel (those according to the flesh) that I am bound with this chain.

        Now we know why Piper omitted that one simple word. Doesn’t fit his narrative.

        Again, brother. Thank you.

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      20. You’re welcome Phillip. The only difference in my view would be this – 2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)…..
        Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect (the nation of Israel), that they (the still unsaved and not yet elect in Christ, of that elect nation who are persecuting me) also (along with the other unsaved and not yet elect in Christ gentiles) may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

        But the Paul will tell us what he really meant when we see him! 😉

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      21. 🙂 That’s a bit of a stretch, brother, and you know it.

        All the scriptural evidence supports my interpretation.

        Still, if you were closer, I would give you a hug!

        Much blessings to you, brother.

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      22. Brian and rhutchin,

        I will let you both struggle with this, but my interpretation is the only one that fits perfectly with the text. And I have other scriptural references to back it up.

        Rhutchin’s use of “like myself” is laughable; while Brian’s creates two elect bodies (the nation of Israel and the body of Christ). Though Brian acknowledges my view is at least feasible.

        Piper was wrong. He’s wrong on every front. Paul knew precisely who the elect were. The OT told him.

        I love you both, but you just need to let the scriptures speak, even if it means having to rethink your stance. Believe me. I have had to do it more times than I care to admit. Makes my head hurt. But regarding 2 Timothy 2:10, I am 100% right.

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      23. Phillip writes:
        ‘I am 100% right.’

        That is a fatal mistake. 🙂 The possibility of any human being understanding the things of God 100% is slim to none. (I can’t be 100% sure! 🙂 ) And the only way we will ever be open to growing in knowledge and understanding is by acknowledging that there is much we do not understand, and much we will never understand, at least in this life. This not only gives us that valuable ability to recognize error (be teachable) – it also allows us to be gracious, and agree to disagree with those who are in different places than we happen to be in their own path to understanding. Why even discuss issues with anyone who is convinced they are 100% right. What’s the point? Ideally, the goal of communication is greater understanding, by all parties. Lack of humility and teachableness makes that impossible.

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      24. Not in this case TS00. He is right 100%. In the mouth of two or three may every word be established. I concur with his analysis. And, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, either. Nor does it take ten thousand religious scholars, Greek experts, or Hebrew experts, or an English lesson. He laid it out from the OT. And you wonder why Jews don’t fall for the story that Christians tell them? It’s because Christians have no clue as to what they are talking about. It’s in their book, that they are the elect . So who are we to tell them that they aren’t? Who do Christians think that they are to tell Jews anything? It’s their book for crying out loud.

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      25. We agree Phillip that “elect” in 2Tim 2:10 means Israel, the saved and lost in her. (I think that is your position). I won’t change my mind that “elect” in 1Thess 1:4 is identified as the church in Thessalonica which is both from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds.

        You are lived in Christ by me also!

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      26. And for “official” agreement and disagreement, Brian, I agree that elect in 2 Thes is indeed THE CHURCH, but I disagree as to WHICH CHURCH it is.

        Remember, all church means is ASSEMBLY, and I believe it was the JEWISH CHURCH.

        So, we do agree, and disagree with the same exact word, CHURCH. You see, there are three church’s, if you will. The Jewish church, which we do know that existed in Jerusalem. We have the GENTILE church, which I conclude is the 1 and 2 Corinthians.

        And there is the Gentile and Jewish Church, which everyone participated in. Have not found that church in the bible yet, but I’m still looking.

        We know that the book of Hebrews was to Jews. We know that 1 and 2 Peter was to Jews. We know that James was to Jews.

        But what book (s) were dedicated to BOTH? We know that Galatians was to Gentiles. There were no Jews in that church at all. At least, you should know.

        It’s easy to distinguish which ASSEMBLY that the epistles are written to, based on words, circumstances, etc.

        Phillip is right. I have no doubt.

        Ed Chapman

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      27. How about the church in Antioch, Ed? Act 13:1 NKJV – 1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

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      28. Jews. That’s easy. When did Peter first figure out that Gentiles are to come in the fold? Acts 10, right? When was Antioch first mentioned? Acts 6.

        Acts 11:19
        Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

        Gentiles came LATER. And if you think for one moment that these Jews MINGLED with the Gentiles…you got another thing coming. Peter just found out about Gentiles in Acts 10. And he KNEW that other Jews would know this one:

        Acts 10:28
        And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

        Antioch was a name of a city. Jews was the FIRST CHURCH.

        Later we see in Acts 15…was that letter for JEWISH believers, or Gentile Believers?

        First, can you tell me what Gentile was present in that meeting?

        Acts 15:23-29 (READ VERY CAREFULLY AS TO WHO THIS LETTER IS TO. JEWS OR GENTILES OR BOTH?

        23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

        24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

        25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

        26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

        27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

        28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

        29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

        ——————————–

        That letter was not addressed to THE CHURCH by your definition. It was addressed to GENTILES ONLY.

        The CITY of Antioch is ONE CITY, but I’m quite certain that the Jews would rather hang out together in their part of the town, while the Gentiles hang out in their part of the town.

        How many church’s are there in your city? One, called the TOWN CHURCH?

        Ed Chapman

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      29. So, Ed, does this sound like two different churches in Antioch to you – Gal 2:11-13 NKJV – 11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

        Isn’t there only one body of Christ – the church (Col 1:17) – Gal 3:26-28 NKJV – 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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      30. Brian, dude, you just proved my point with that. You didn’t prove your point. It was STILL fresh in Jews minds to not mingle with the Gentiles. Even Peter. In Acts 10, God had to tell him. In Galatians, Paul had to tell him. So for you to imply that Jews and Gentiles went to the same church is ridiculous.

        Verse 12 SO STATED.

        To wit:

        he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

        FEAR OF THE JEWS.

        Final conclusion. Where does it say that Jews and Gentiles attended the same ASSEMBLY? Last I saw in that reference is in regards to EATING.

        Did Peter DEPART THE CHURCH in fear of the Jews? Or just a meal?

        Ed Chapman

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      31. Brian,

        The word church is ecclesia, defined as ASSEMBLY. You seem to ignore that. If Jews wish to have their CHURCH in a different location than the Gentiles, what is your problem with that?

        You can’t prove that the Jews and Gentiles went to the same SUNDAY MORNING GATHERING. You just cant. I can prove that they were separate.

        Ed Chapman

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      32. That’s pretty sad, Ed. You really think Paul did not worship together with former Jews and Gentiles together in the churches he started. God is not pleased by the division in the body of Christ you are promoting. Division among brethren is an abomination to Him!

        Liked by 1 person

      33. I’m not talking about Paul. YOU ARE. I’m talking about your average PEW SITTER. Paul would HAVE to be in those church’s. He established them. Then he would revisit them. He was the Apostle to the Gentiles…

        But in order for him to go to the Gentiles, he had no choice but to FIRST go to the Jews. To the Jew first. Then the Gentile.

        There is no doubt in my mind that Jews did not attend Worship services with Gentiles. Paul did, because he was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and his COMPANY accompanied him in the journey.

        Bearans STUDIED SCRIPTURE DAILY TO SEE IF THOSE THINGS WERE SO. WHERE would they be able to do that?

        The only scripture in those days was the Law and the Prophets (Tenakh), which was ONLY available in a synagogue. A place where only Jews were allowed. The Bereans were not Gentiles. They were Jews.

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      34. Truthseeker00,

        My stance of that (100%) is only in regards to 2 Timothy 2:10. I am merely pointing out that my interpretation of that one verse fits perfectly. Nothing more.

        Again, I have been wrong more times than I can count. And there is still much, much more that I struggle with and am clueless about.

        If you have your own interpretation of 2 Timothy 2:10, please share it.

        Blessings, brother.

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      35. Truthseeker00,

        Also, I agree with what you wrote, please forgive me if it came across that way. Perhaps it would have been better to say “I am highly confident” that my interpretation is the right one.

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      36. Phillip, it was a kindly ‘rebuke’, and one I would not have made had I not thought you would take it as intended. It was not in agreement or disagreement of your ideas – actually didn’t even read them. 🙂 I was just startled to hear a statement so bold – one that I have made so often, and now repent of.

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      37. Truthseeker00,

        Okay. Understood. But your overall assessment is still correct. Discussion in this kind of forum can be awkward. Sometimes intent can be misunderstood. Not all the little nuances can be properly detected. When I read your comments, then looked back at my words I thought “O geez”. I knew what I meant, but I didn’t approve of how it was stated. I should have been more careful. So, no, I goofed. And thank you, brother, for pointing that out. Its appreciated.

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      38. You guys are way too nicey nicey about what I believe you should be bold and stand your ground with, without apology. Can you imagine a debate with you and James White for example? And you giving in? Get them boxing gloves on man. LOL.

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      39. Brian,

        You wrote… “We agree Phillip that ‘elect’ in 2 Tim 2:10 means Israel, the saved and lost in her. (I think that is your position).”

        Thanks, brother. That’s all I ask. It’s a start. Again, I appreciate your due diligence in providing the framework for that verse. And thanks for acknowledging that I had both the context and scriptural support on my side. That meant a lot to me. So, again, thank you, brother.

        So, we do have at least 1 NT reference to the nation of Israel, only, being God’s elect. Period. Saved or lost, it doesn’t matter. Paul knew who the elect were.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. phillip writes, “Again, the word elect/election appears 27 or 28 times throughout scripture (KJV, NKJV).”

      The Calvinist argument for election to be taken in the broader sense points to these verses:

      Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.

      Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

      2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

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  26. Romans 8:28-33 (NKJV)….
    And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

    Now this might be a little harder to unwind, because while there is certainly application for all of us, Paul is addressing the Jews (albeit believing Jews).

    Starting with verse 29 “For whom He foreknew….”
    This isn’t who He foreknew who would later believe in Him, but rather who did He have a prior, intimate relationship with. That would be the nation of Israel. He was a husband to them (Jeremiah 31:32), and thru His intimate relationship, came the Christ child (Romans 9:5).

    Look again at verse 29….
    “For whom He foreknew (the nation of Israel), He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (why?), that He (the Christ) might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

    Romans 9:5 (NKJV)…
    …of whom (the Israelites) are the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) and from whom, according to the flesh (physical blood line), Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

    Paul, later confirms whom God foreknew when he writes….

    Romans 11:1b-2a (NKJV)….
    For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people WHOM HE FOREKNEW….

    So this was all about God electing the nation of Israel and thru whom He would bring the promised Messiah. This was all about His redemptive plan of salvation.

    So, we have confirmation that Israel (that tiny Jewish nation) are those whom God foreknew.

    It was Israel whom He predestined.

    It was Israel who was called out of Egypt.

    It was Israel who was justified/set apart from the other nations.

    It was Israel who was (and will always be) glorified.

    Romans 9:4 (NKJV)….
    …who are Israelites (actual physical descendants), to whom pertain the adoption, THE GLORY, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises…

    All present tense. Nothing has or will ever change.

    Luke 2:32 (NKJV)….
    A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And THE GLORY of Your people Israel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again Phillip for taking my “confrontation” so well, and your kind words, as always. When it comes to unique views about words… I have some of my own that I stand alone on! 😉 Here’s my take on the word “foreknew” in Rom 9:29. Though it is not totally unique only to me, it is a minority one. https://www.academia.edu/31030814/Romans_8_29-30_-_exegetical_dialog And the meaning I take for the prefix “προ” in προγινωσκω is probably unique to me. 😉

      Like

      1. Brian,

        I wanted to get back to you on this, because you were kind enough to provide it.

        I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness it takes to put that together. I have respect for anyone who is willing to take the road less traveled and challenge the status quo. I really do. So, thank you. And bless your heart, baby-sitting rhutchin is a full time job.

        With that said, I still think my stance has more scriptural support. Just too many verses that fit so perfectly together. We seem to agree that the word “foreknew” is about knowing someone personally, even intimately (relational), and not just knowing something about someone (prescience). But it is the object of His relationship where we differ. I say it is the nation of Israel.

        Sometimes, I like to refer to “The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord and Zuck. Overall, there is some good stuff there, but being from Dallas Theological Seminary, they obviously have Calvinistic leanings, so I have to be cautious. They, too, tie all believers to those called and predestined. Personally, I believe they dropped the ball here and failed to see the nation of Israel taking that role.

        Again, I can’t see how I am “elect”, because I freely “elected” to believe. Now sure, God sovereignly chose the means and methods of how I was added to the body, but, ultimately, no matter how you sugarcoat it, I elected to be a part of that body. I elected to be among the elect. I spiritually struggle with that.

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      2. The problem Phillip, as I see it… if you take “foreknew” to mean the nation of Israel… then you are going to have to agree with Ed… for those God foreknew … He glorified.

        But if you take “foreknew” to mean starting a love relationship at the moment of new birth, then the individual becomes part of the elect at that point, whether Jew or Gentile before that.

        This passage is certainly chosen for salvation, in Rom 8:29, and that is why Paul needed to help them see that difference between that elect group and it’s promises and the elect group called Israel, and its promises.

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      3. Foreknew has a context of WHO.

        Romans 11:2
        God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

        That is discussing the Jews. There is no other people that is in the foreknew category.

        Romans 11:2
        God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,

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      4. Brian,

        Two quick observations. Or three.

        Romans 8:29 (NKJV)….
        For whom He foreknew (the nation of Israel), He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (the Messiah) might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        I see this as lineage, and not individual salvation, as you suggest. Though it is ultimately about bringing about the One who would bring salvation.

        Now if we apply your view we have….

        For whom He foreknew would believe, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (the Messiah) might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        It comes across as suggesting that the coming of the Messiah was contingent on there being believers.

        My stance is that God was working/shaping/molding the nation of Israel as clay, preparing them for the coming of the Messiah. This doesn’t mean that every Israelite was saved, but that the nation of Israel, as a whole, would be gloried. Again, He was referred to as “the God of Israel” 201 times in the OT and the gospels, thus singling them out from the other nations as worshipping the One True God. And part of their glorification is still yet to come.

        Second, and on a slightly different topic, you know I don’t believe anyone experience the new birth prior to the cross. How could Jesus be called “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18) if everyone prior to him had already experienced the new birth? Seems to me that He wouldn’t even rank in the top ten million. 🙂

        And, finally, there’s Romans 8:33 (NKJV)…
        Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?

        Now, we have already established the fact that God’s elect in 2 Timothy 2:10 was the nation of Israel. Same author. Why would Paul change it here? Why would he keep his audience guessing on who he was referring to? And wouldn’t it be the same group as in Romans 11:2? Like God, wouldn’t Paul be consistent?

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      5. Well, I think Phillip as long as you think a word in the NT can only have one identification throughout we will not get to any agreement on meaning. Ed thinks there are three “churchs” you think there is only one “elect”. I think there is only one body of Christ – the Church, made up of both Jew and Gentile, but two “elect” groups, one physical (Israel) and one spiritual (the body of Christ.

        You still have a problem with foreknew in Rom 8, even if you say God foreknew and glorified the nation of Israel… all those He foreknew (if the nation) … He called… and He justified! They are all justified – saved in that group.

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      6. Brian,

        Well, I can’t be responsible for every post on this thread. 🙂 I see several local bodies, or churches, making up one body of Christ including both Jews and Gentiles, and one elect of God, Israel (the nation of Israel).

        As far as there being two elect, distinct entities, I think you might be standing alone there, brother.

        Now, as for a being “justified”, I see that as simply being made righteous, not being saved, per se.

        Romans 10:10 (NKJV)….
        For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

        Now in some form or fashion, Israel, as a nation, not individually, was justified in the sight of God (I could use you’re help there, brother). We know “all Israel is saved” because we see all 12 tribes in the book of Revelation. We definitely seem all 12 tribes represented in the New Jerusalem. It reeks of the number 12, which represents the nation as a whole.

        Now, that aside. You still have a problem with those in the OT being justified yourself.

        Romans 3:21 (NKJV)…
        But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…

        Now, since we are made righteous by the shed blood of Christ, exactly how were those OT believers justified before the cross?

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      7. Well, Phillip, there are definitely some unique views on this site… justification that is not salvation in Romans (yours) is definitely a new one. All physical seed of Jacob eventually saved after death (Ed’s) another. I have not seen either of those views taught by the HS to anyone else. Have you?

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      8. Brian,

        Are you ignoring the story of Joseph? Or do you just think that the story of Joseph and his brothers ONLY about Joseph and his brothers in your expository interpretations?

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      9. I’ll take those questions about Joseph as rhetorical and don’t think they prove your point of personal everlasting salvation for all the physical seed of Joseph to anyone but you, unless you can point me to a brother who has preached the same view as being what the HS meant.

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      10. Rhetorical? Are you kidding? This is serious. You only know REFORM talk. You have not really stepped OUTSIDE the box. Reform people are EXPOSITORY driven. They REJECT stories like the story of Joseph as being PROPHECY. They only see it as a story of Joseph.

        Joseph and His Brothers are a prophetic view of Jesus and the Jews. Read the story, and put Jesus as Joseph, and his brothers as the jews.

        In the end, Joseph REVEALED himself to his brothers, for they did not know who he was. HOW did he reveal himself? Junk in the trunk, circumcision.

        Jesus will reveal himself by his hands and his feet.

        Rhetorical? Get out of the box of Reform thinking, and move away from expository preaching. You don’t learn much that way.

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      11. Zechariah 12:10
        And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

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      12. Yes… there will be a great turning of Israelites who are alive when Jesus returns. But the ones who followed the Antichrist will be thrown into hell with him… perhaps even 2/3 of Jews at that time.

        Zechariah 13:8-9 NKJV — And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
        Says the LORD,
        “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
        But one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire,
        Will refine them as silver is refined,
        And test them as gold is tested.
        They will call on My name,
        And I will answer them.
        I will say, ‘This is My people’;
        And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”

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      13. All the evidence thrown at you and you reject it all. Elect is Jews only. Jacob is Israel. God blinded them.

        If God blinded them, then God will save them. How is it that you don’t believe that? I showed you that Paul got mercy BECAUSE OF IGNORANCE IN UNBELIEF.

        How are the Jews any different than Paul? HOW?

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      14. Ed – “All the evidence thrown at you and you reject it all.” Thanks for the conversation… I guess you can’t share an example of where the HS confirms your view elsewhere in the body if Christ. Blessings.

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      15. What is HS? The only thing I know HS is High School.

        Tell me what you think of these? I already aluded to them in my last comment, but again, you ignored them too. WHY? Frustrating to the max.

        What does the following tell you, Brian?

        1 Timothy 1:13 PAUL
        Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

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

        No difference between Paul and the Jews. None.

        Ed Chapman

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      16. Dude, he established the church’s. He traveled from one to another. He didn’t hang out there from one Sunday to the next. Never became a MEMBER of a church anywhere. No covenant signature, didn’t drive the church bus. I am discussing THE PEW SITTERS, not the establishers.

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      17. Your are causing divisions contrary to the gospel of Christ, Ed. Sorry… but I’m not going to respond further unless you affirm that the body of Christ should love one another and worship and serve together.

        Romans 16:17 NKJV — Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

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      18. Ya, sure…that is so cliche’ Brian, when someone tells you that you are wrong, then comes the false accusations of causing divisions. I know how you reform people work, and you are no different than the Calvinists in that regard.

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      19. And if you are indicating that HS stands for HOLY SPIRIT, then YES…BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT tells you what scripture means.

        And I am not the only one. Step outside of REFORM theology. Many in Christendom believe what I do, and why? Because WE DON’T LIMIT OURSELVES TO EXPOSITORY PREACHING.

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      20. Ready for you Ed to direct me to read one entry that teaches all physical seed of Jacob from Jacob till judgment will be saved… even Korah and his family?

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      21. Ya gotta read the book and study…it’s not in ONE VERSE. But we’ve been giving you NUMEROUS VERSES, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH verses to convince a two year old. But you reject them. Dust feet or pearls before swine, I don’t know.

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      22. Brian,
        There will not be a text saying that all will be included….and in fact I wrote that the Word says that Judas (“son of perdition”) went “where he belongs”…. and one would be hard pressed to read from that context that it meant heaven!

        Liked by 1 person

      23. If you don’t believe me, just Google the topic of Prophecy of Joseph. There is PLENTY to read. But you have to weed thru Joseph Smith of the Mormons in that quest.

        Get rid of that carnal thinking. That is the real definition of the NATURAL man. The story of Joseph has to be SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED.

        MOST stories in Genesis is exactly like that, too.

        Including Noah’s Ark, come hell or high water!

        But you guys miss that, all because of expository. You guys simply amuse me. Really.

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      24. Brian,

        Maybe some clarification is need.

        Faith….justified/made righteous…. new birth (saved).

        Per your other comments. Agreed. We are a mixed bunch. United by faith.

        TS00 and FOH agree with you.

        Norm and Ed agree with me.

        So, we’re in right field. Y’all in in left field.

        Poor rhutchin. No even in the same stadium. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      25. So are you still saying Phillip that all Israel is foreknown and justified… and therefore saved… like Ed. I thought you held some of elect Israel are lost forever. But Rom 8 does not say “some” foreknown are justified. Could you explain more clearly how your view of Israel compares with Ed?

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      26. I never said that the ARE saved. i said that they will be saved. After they die. Holocaust victims, too. I provided scripture to prove that.

        Their unbelief was due to God blinding them, therefore, God saves them, just like he did Paul. But you can’t answer how Paul is any different than Holocaust victims who burned in an oven, and now you think they are burning in hell, too. Wow.

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      27. phillip writes, “Faith….justified/made righteous…. new birth (saved).”

        Or the order can be: regeneration (new birth)….faith (justified)….belief….saved…sealed

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      28. It’s not tho. Faith is YOURS, not God imputing it. It’s your belief. You own it. It wasn’t a gift. Grace was the gift thru YOUR OWN faith. Belief is not imputed, and all “regeneration” comes AFTER all that, and all that means is that God is CHANGING you to conform to his image.

        Calvinists concentrate way too much on REGENERATION.

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      29. Brian,

        Believe me, brother, I am not even close to figuring that out. But somehow, some way, all 12 tribes will be there in the end. And I don’t think it will be limited to just the 12,000 from each tribe.

        I know about the 7,000 men that didn’t bow a knee to Baal, not including all the women in children. So somehow that bunch had to include representatives of the 12 tribes. Israel is a tough nut to crack. That word alone (Israel) can cause confusion. There’s Israel the man (Jacob). There’s Israel the nation (all 12 tribes) and there’s Israel, the Northern Kingdom. Each time Paul uses “Israel” you have to stop and think.

        So, to try to answer your question the best I can. I believe all Israel (the 12 tribes) as a nation, will be saved. I don’t believe every Israelite is saved. I believe the tribe of Dan is lost. I believe the 3,000 killed at Sinai are lost. So not every Israelite is saved, but as a nation, He foreknew them, called them, predestined them, justified them, and glorified them. I see a nation thru whom the whole world will be blessed. Now how He justified them, I’m not sure. But somehow, some way He did.

        If we let Romans 8:28-29 mean all believers, how did God justify them? With what? There was no blood spilt at the time, and we know without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). So what did God cover them with?

        I think I have shared my view before, but I lean towards all OT believers (both Gentiles and Jews) went to Abraham’s bosom. Now were they saved? And a manner of speaking. I think it best to say that were set aside. It wasn’t until after the cross they were justified (made righteous by the blood of Christ) and granted the new birth and only then, followed Jesus into glory. I might be wrong, but that’s how I lean. In other words, I believe OT believers (up to the cross) were only “declared” righteous, but they were not “made” righteous until the works of the cross. I think that is what is meant in Romans 4:3 (NKJV)…

        “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

        I think this righteousness was only temporary (or enough to set him apart), because God knew His righteousness was still to come.

        I hope this helped (and didn’t make it worse).

        I appreciate you, brother.

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      30. Thank you Phillip for clarifying your position as opposed to Ed’s. I do think you might need to consider Abraham being justified when God’s righteousness was imputed to him… but the word you meant was that he was not yet redeemed… which is by the blood of Christ.

        Now justification is based on that death too… but God granted that benefit early through faith… passing over their sins (or covering them from His judgment, if you will). And I agree… that is why OT saints had to wait in Hades – the nice part 😉 – until redemption was complete.

        But all that does not help you out of the problem your position has explaining “foreknew” in Rom 8. You would have to limit it to mean only the justified in Israel were foreknown… so “elect” would mean only specially chosen to be saved ones from each tribe. Is that your view? Justification is salvation.

        That is why I think the love of “foreknew” doesn’t begin until justification takes place too.

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      31. Brian,

        Well, finally something both you and I totally agree on. I agreed with everything that you said, regarding justification. Nothing that I can disagree with on that at all.

        However, I still maintain my input as well, in that God blinded the Jews, which is the reason for their unbelief, and for that reason, they will be saved. No different than the salvation that Paul got, except that Paul got it during his FLESH, aka lifetime.

        If the scenario was any different than that, the theology is no different than that of Calvinism. God blinded the Jews so that they may not see, which put Jesus on the cross. If they could see, they would not have done that. Therefore, God will have mercy on those he blinded.

        Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Ignorance in unbelief. God has concluded them in unbelief that he will show mercy to all Israel that he blinded.

        Regarding Judas, that’s up for debate, but I believe that he was sorry for what he did, and forgiven, for even he falls under the “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

        Ed Chapman

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      32. Brian, I change my mind. There is the last sentence of yours that I do disagree with.

        That last sentence was:
        “That is why I think the love of “foreknew” doesn’t begin until justification takes place too.”

        Justification takes place at salvation, but has nothing to do with “foreknew/foreknow”.

        Also,

        Romans 2:14 – 16…who are they? Are they not people who NEVER heard of Jesus or the gospel?

        When are they judged? WHERE are they judged?

        Hebrews 9:27 for it is appointed unto man once to die…THEN the judgment.

        People are not judged on earth before they die. They are judged after. And since Gentiles who never had the law, obey laws that they never knew, BY NATURE, HOW are those people JUDGED?

        Was Jesus judged ON the cross, or after he died?

        I would conclude that he wasn’t judged until after he died. He suffered more after he died, than the brutal beating he got before he died.

        So, the unbelieving Jews are judged AFTER they die, and Jesus is the judge. And Romans 2:14-16 shows that those who don’t know anything about a Jesus or Gospel are judged based on their conscience…after they die. Not before.

        Why did Paul get mercy again?

        I see that you have a notion that you believe that the Jews were somehow unblinded at some point in the past. If that be the case, Romans 9-11 need not be written, because Romans takes you back to Deuteronomy, showing that God never unblinded them, except for a few.

        Ed Chapman

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  27. Calvinist James White writes regarding “foreknew” from Romans 8:29…

    “It refers to the choice to enter into relationship with someone. In this case, in eternity past God chose to enter into personal relationship with His elect people, even before bringing them into existence. The relationship is so personal, so intimate, that it is proper to speak of it in the sense of fore-loving. God’s eternal choice was to enter into a loving, intimate relationship with the elect. This results in His predestinating them to adoption as sons, His calling them into relationship with Him in time, His justifying them by declaring them righteous, and His glorifying them in His presence for all eternity.” (Debating Calvinism, p.146)

    Now, ironically, I agree with this (for the most part). Where I disagree with White is who the object of this relationship is with. And how could he miss it when the OT stated is so clearly?

    Deuteronomy 7:6-7 (NKJV)…..
    “For you (the nation of Israel) are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God HAS CHOSEN YOU TO BE A PEOPLE FOR HIMSELF, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you (Israel) nor choose you (Israel) because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least (fewest) of all peoples…

    Isaiah 45:4 (NKJV)….
    For Jacob My servant’s sake, And ISRAEL MY ELECT, I have even CALLED you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

    Jeremiah 31:32 (NKJV)…
    “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, THOUGH I WAS A HUSBAND TO THEM, says the Lord.

    Amos 3:1-2 (NKJV)…..
    Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: “YOU ONLY HAVE I KNOWN OF ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

    Romans 9:4 (NKJV)….
    who are Israelites, to whom pertain THE ADOPTION, THE GLORY, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises…

    Romans 11:2a (NKJV)….
    God has not cast away His people (the Israelites) whom He FOREKNEW.

    So, when Paul wrote…. “For whom He foreknew….” to whom was he referring?

    The nation of Israel.

    How could White miss this? Didn’t fit his narrative.

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    1. Phillip writes:
      ‘Romans 11:2a (NKJV)….
      God has not cast away His people (the Israelites) whom He FOREKNEW.

      So, when Paul wrote…. “For whom He foreknew….” to whom was he referring?

      The nation of Israel.

      How could White miss this? Didn’t fit his narrative.’

      Might I humbly suggest the same could be said of those who assert an ‘it’s all about the Jews’ understanding of what Paul wrote?

      Might one not suggest that the key to understanding ‘God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew’ is understanding that not all who are of Israel are Israel, or as Paul put it:

      ‘. . . not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but “Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.’

      One might ask, how can those who insist that there is still some sort of separate plan for a so-called national Israel ‘miss this’ – the ‘this’ being Paul’s explanation about who and what ‘Israel’ signifies? Paul teaches that (spiritual) Israel never was, ultimately, ‘the whole family which [God] brought up from the land of Egypt’, but always those few within that family who genuinely trusted and followed God. There were always two ‘Israels’ – similar to what is termed the ‘visible church’ and the ‘church invisible’.

      Israel was, initially ONE MAN. How is it that an entire nation became known as ‘Israel’? Even this claim, according to Paul, was a delusion, because, in reality, any individual who chose to be circumcised and follow the law could become a part of the nation of Israel; and any unwilling to obey the law could be cut off from the nation of Israel. The Judaisers were either dishonest or inconsistent.

      It seems to me that Paul was teaching that, in God’s eyes, ‘Israel’ was always those – who like the one man – trusted in and obeyed God. Hence, the term ‘my Elect’, was introduced – those whom God foreknew would trust and obey Him. Eventually, ‘the elect’ would demonstrate that faith by trusting in God’s Redeemer and Son. These ‘elect’ would not be restricted to believing descendants of Abraham (and never truly were), but were all who did, do and ever will believe in and follow Him.

      Surely men and women who have multiple children grasp how the unavoidable uniqueness of their relationship with their firstborn (there can be only one ‘first’) does not suggest a greater love than that which they have for all of their children? I have strong, emotional memories of many of the ‘firsts’ of my first child, but he is not more loved, significant or important than my other children. He is, and ever will remain, my beloved firstborn among many beloved children.

      I find it difficult to understand how people ‘miss’ the key to understanding how ‘all Israel will be saved’ in Paul’s declaration that ‘not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel’. It requires the entire book of Romans to properly understand that fragment of a verse. And careful, proper interpretation relieves one of the necessity of insisting, contrary to all logic, that God must someday restore all of the divisions he deliberately destroyed, once again make ‘Jew’ distinct from ‘gentile’, and, once again ‘showing favor’ to one group of people over another simply due to an accident of birth. These things will, in my opinion, never be. The ‘purpose’ of, and task for, which ‘one nation’ was chosen over all others has been accomplished. It is finished.

      Israel the man represents how a person, due to his decision to believe God’s promise, is elected to become a child of God when others, of similar blood and circumstances, are not. There is no boasting, because God chose Jacob, when he could just as easily have chosen Esau. Jacob’s only ‘claim to fame’ was that he ‘believed God’, thus turning him into the first ‘Israel’. When ‘Israel’ became a great number of people, it was necessary to differentiate between those who followed God, and those who just happened to be born in the right place at the right time. These were called ‘the elect’, the true, spiritual ‘Israel’ who would, indeed, all, without exception, be saved.

      Paul teaches that the mystery of God’s goodness and foreknowledge, once hidden, reveals that it was always his intention that this category of ‘the elect’ would include all nations of men. This gives a proper understanding to all that Paul taught – with no lingering inconsistencies.

      All who are ‘of Israel’ are not ‘Israel’, according to God, and never were. All who are ‘of Israel’ are not ‘the elect’ of God, and never were. Israel was first, and rightly, defined as one man, chosen for a special task; eventually, all of his blood descendants – chosen for that special task – came to be called ‘Israel’ as well. However, the fact is that others, not related by blood, were allowed to become a part of that physical nation called ‘Israel’, and those who refused to follow the laws of circumcision and sacrifice were banished from the nation of ‘Israel’. Such, always, was the case with that which was called the nation of ‘Israel’, demonstrated by the non-Abrahamic descendants which were in the line of David and thus, Jesus.

      Those who are spiritual children of God, born of spirit and not flesh, are the ‘true’ Israel, predestined to become conformed to the image of Jesus, and always have been. This is the great ‘mystery’ which Jesus revealed, explaining how history and prophecy pointed to this great truth all along. Thus ‘all Israel will be saved’ makes perfect sense, without demanding some future ‘revival’ on the part of some nation of men. As does ‘all of the elect will be saved’. Because the meaning of ‘Israel’ and ‘the elect’ are, in God’s eyes, one and the same – all who trust in His promises and live a life that demonstrates true faith. God’s definition has never changed; he allowed ‘the ignorance’ of Israel’s belief in their ‘chosen people’ status to continue for a time, but it was never ‘true’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, Israel is JACOB. We are children of ABRAHAM thru Jesus. We are not Jacob. The spiritual family line is Abraham, Jesus (Promised Seed), you.

        The Family Line of the ELECT is Abraham, Isaac, JACOB. Jacob is ISRAEL, for God changed his name to that, because he wrestled with God and PREVAILED.

        WRESTLED WITH GOD. PREVAILED. That’s what Israel means based on a biblical passage. Jacob is Israel. NOT YOU.

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  28. Romans 9:6-13 (NKJV)….
    But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

    Paul’s message in Romans 9 is not about God electing some for salvation, while excluding others. It has nothing to do with some “spiritual” Israel. Paul is outlining the physical lineage proving that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. We see this in verse 5 when he writes…

    “…of whom (the Israelites) are the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

    Romans 9: 6…
    But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel…

    Now we have to remember that during Paul’s ministry, Israel was still a divided nation. We had Israel, the Northern kingdom, and Judah, the Southern Kingdom. So when Paul says that they are not all Israel who descended from Israel (or Jacob), that’s true. Some of Israel (the man) was Judah (the southern kingdom). Israel (the northern kingdom) was not essential in bringing forth the promised Messiah. Ah, but Judah, the southern kingdom was. The promised Messiah is from the tribe of Judah. This was prophesied in the OT.

    Isaiah 65:9 (NKJV)…
    I will bring forth descendants from Jacob (Israel), And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.

    Romans 9:7-8 (NKJV)…
    ….nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

    Now what did old Abraham do when God said I will give you descendants? Knowing Sarah was barren, He went and had a child with Hagar. But God said “no…no…no.” It will be thru Isaac, not Ishmael, that your seed shall be called. When it reads “those who are the children of the flesh” it is referring to Abraham, or man’s attempt to fulfill God’s promise. This is confirmed in the following verse.

    “For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

    Now verses 10-13….

    And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to ELECTION might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

    Now what was the problem here? Well, Esau was the firstborn, to whom the blessings usually went to. But what did God say? “Jacob I have loved”.

    Remember, this is all about election. God choosing the nation of Israel to bring forth the promised Messiah.

    So what do we have? Not Ishmael, but Isaac. Not Esau, but Jacob. And not Israel (the northern kingdom, but Judah (the southern kingdom). It was thru the blood line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah that the Christ child would come.

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    1. So many Rom. 9 verses.

      Not that the following is directly related to you comments, did you get a chance to read Eric Hankins paper on that chapter? The necessity of reprobation ala Calvin is utterly destroyed. Calvinism is unraveled – bankrupt!

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      1. Norm,

        First, no, I haven’t read brother Hankin’s writings, though I have heard some good reviews.

        Second, I greatly appreciate your earlier comment regarding “persuasive” explanations. I hope so, but I have by no means worked out all the kinks. But with the Lord’s help, I will.

        Once the Lord showed me who the “elect/election” were, the floodgates started to open.

        Consider….

        Romans 11:7 (KJV)….
        What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

        Some versions change “election” with “elect”, but I believe the KJV’s use of election fits perfectly (and resolves any confusion).

        There are some out there that say, “See? Israel is no longer the elect of God. That title now belongs to the church.” Or some will say “See, its not about physical Israel, but spiritual Israel”.

        I say this is precisely what Satan wants. Satan has always wanted to annihilate the nation of Israel and take them out of the picture ever since God made that covenant with Abraham. Why? Because without them, all of God’s promises would fail. He would have lost His sovereignty and Satan knows it.

        So what does Romans 11: 7 mean?

        What then? Israel (the Northern Kingdom) hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (Judah, the Southern Kingdom) hath obtained it, and the rest (of that elect nation) were blinded.

        Isaiah 65:9 (NKJV)…
        I will bring forth descendants from Jacob (Israel), And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.

        Now when God dispersed Israel (the Northern Kingdom) into Assyria, for the most part, they never returned. But when God dispersed Judah (the Southern Kingdom), God had to return part of that kingdom to their own land. “God had to?” O, yes. “Why?” Because the promised Messiah, from the tribe of Judah, had to be born in Bethlehem. It had been prophesied (Micah 5:2).

        Now, more proof that “the election” were Jews, and not the church or some spiritual Israel.

        Romans 11:28 (KJV)….
        As concerning the gospel (Paul’s gospel of the death, burial and resurrection), they (the Jews) are enemies for your (the Gentiles’) sakes: but as touching the election (exact same word Paul used just moments earlier), they (the Jews) are beloved for the father’s sakes (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

        How can anyone say that the “election” in verse 7 has to do with the church/spiritual Israel when election in verse 28 clearly refers to the Jews, even non-believing Jews?

        And look, again, how the chapter begins.

        Romans 11:1-5 (NKJV)…
        I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant (of the nation of Israel) according to the election of grace.

        Now what did God want to do with them way back in Exodus? Wipe them out! Start over! But what did Moses say? Remember your promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel/Jacob (Exodus 32:13)! So God backed off. And I love Romans 11:5. Paul writes…

        “Even so then, AT THIS PRESENT TIME there is a remnant (of the nation of Israel) according to the election of grace.”

        It was true then when Paul said it and its still true today. There is still a remnant of the nation of Israel with us today. Not because they’ve earned it, but because of the election of grace (Romans 11:6). And God knows who they are.

        So, to summarize. The word “election” appears 5/6 times in the (NKJV/KJV) bible.

        Romans 9:11 (KJV)….
        For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;

        I believe I proved earlier this is about the lineage of the Jews (coming from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob).

        Romans 11:5 (KJV)….
        Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant (of the nation of Israel) according to the election of grace.

        Romans 11:7 (KJV)….
        What then? Israel (the Northern Kingdom) hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (Judah/the Southern Kingdom) hath obtained it, and the rest (of that elect nation) were blinded.

        Romans 11:28 (KJV)…
        As concerning the gospel, they (the Jews) are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

        2 Peter 1:10 (KJV)….
        Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

        And who was Peter writing to? Jews. So, there are 5 times that the word “election” is referring to the Jews, and the Jews only. Four times by Paul, and one by Peter. And we have only one verse left where the word “election” appears. And this, again, from the pen of the apostle Paul.

        1 Thessalonians 1:4 (KJV)…
        Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

        Just do the math.

        God bless you, brother.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Phillip… you and I are on the same page about an elect nation. Some day we might be on the same page about elect church (1Thess 1:1, 4). But that verse is not the only one speaking about the elect church –
        Colossians 3:11-12 NKJV — where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
        Romans 8:32-33 NKJV — He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
        Titus 1:1 NKJV — Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,

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      3. Brian,

        Forgive me for interjecting here, as I know you have problem with my tone and style. However,

        Where do you get the idea about an Elect “CHURCH”.

        Elect is a people, not a church. Elect is UNSAVED Jews, who certainly are not part of any church, as well as saved Jews…both saved and unsaved Jews. Where does the word “church” come into play?

        Those who are saved…in THIS LIFE, are the “REMNANT”. The rest, that are in slumber, will see when they die. Paul wishes that they can see NOW, which is why he wishes to be accursed.

        We get it, that you have said that “IN CHRIST” there is no Greek or Jew, etc. We already acknowledge that.

        Philip and I are discussing a different topic, not that one.

        I keep asking over and over and over again, WHY did Paul receive mercy? And you won’t answer. Paul himself tells us that he received mercy BECAUSE of ignorance in unbelief.

        So, the unanswered question is, how is PAUL any different than your everyday average unbelieving Jew? Why, in your mind, will they not receive the same mercy for the same reason?

        Please say something about that, because you won’t answer it…because of my contentious tone? Come on, man.

        Ya, I am dividing, alright. Rightly dividing the word of God.

        Ed Chapman

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      4. Brian, and rhutchin,

        Churches (Plural) of the “Gentiles”, not Jews/Gentiles, but Gentiles. From the Strong’s Concordance of the KJV

        Rom 16:4
        Who G3748 have G5294 G0 for G5228 my G3450 life G5590 laid down G5294 their own G1438 necks: G5137 unto whom G3739 not G3756 only G3441 I G1473 give thanks, G2168 but G235 also G2532 all G3956 the churches G1577 of the Gentiles. G1484

        The same Greek word (G1577 Ecclesia (Assembly, Church, Churches)) is also used of the SINGULAR Church, as well.

        The plural appears 37 times in 36 verses.

        The definition is “assembly”, and even that word is used with the same Greek word 3 times in Acts 19:32,39,41.

        So, if there were churches of the Gentiles, there are also church’s of the Jews, too.

        So, while there may be no difference between Jew/Gentile, there were churches of the Gentiles, and churches of the Jews, especially since the Jews were the first Christians.

        Ed Chapman

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      5. Brian,

        I had forgotten about the following comment that you asked me, so I will respond:

        “Ed – You didn’t answer if you were under submission to any pastor(s) leadership as the Lord clearly commands – Heb 13:17 NKJV – 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

        Also, what about all those Jews that Jesus spoke to, warning them of hell fire… That seems contrary to your view that all Jews end up in heaven after death. I don’t think the Holy Spirit has taught that view in His Word, nor have I ever heard any godly teacher teach it.

        Mat 23:15, 33 NKJV – 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. … 33 “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

        The rich man in Luke 16 ended up in hell. He certainly was a Jew.”

        My response:

        This is so easy.

        Do you remember that I keep saying that God blinded the Jews?

        John 9:40-41 (KJV)
        40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
        41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

        Blind=NO SIN. Claiming they can see = SIN REMAINS.

        And since I do not come from the REFORM circles, we do not see the same INTERPRETATION of Hebrews 13:17 as you do.

        We see it NO DIFFERENTLY than the little ditty we were taught as children, regardless of religion. RESPECT YOUR ELDERS.

        Respect your elders…what does that mean?

        Elders are supposed to be mentors, who have lived life, been there, done that, knows the struggle, has wisdom, but what do REFORMERS get? Authoritarians to whip us into shape, who they are to be OBEDIENT to, or else get the wrath of a phony doctrine of Church Discipline.

        We non-REFORMERS obey out of respect to the elder for his WISDOM, not his AUTHORITY. And therefore, we don’t see it as a COMMANDMENT as you reformers do.

        And in my experience of studying REFORMERS, the LEADERS

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      6. –Continued—

        the leaders do not watch out for anyone’s soul. They rule with an iron fist. They LORD OVER, when they are clearly forbidden to do so.

        Ed Chapman

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      7. Brian,

        The epistles of Corinthians.

        Addressed to Jews? Gentiles? Both?

        Romans 16:4 (KJV)
        Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

        ChurchES of the WHO?

        1 Corinthians 12:2
        Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

        Where were the Jews? No Jews in Corinth? No mention of anyone in Corinth being ELECT in either epistle, either.

        1 Corinthians 1:2
        Unto the church of God which is at Corinth,

        Uh…DAT BE GENTILES, NOT JEWS.

        Ed Chapman

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      8. chapmaned24 writes to Brian, “The epistles of Corinthians.Addressed to Jews? Gentiles? Both?…Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, Uh…DAT BE GENTILES, NOT JEWS.”

        “…to the church of God which is at Corinth…with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,…”

        Paul writes to the church at Corinth and then includes all believers. Paul is using the problems the church in Corinth encountered as an opportunity to teach all believers who could also encounter those same problems.

        Like

      9. rhutchin,
        your usage of ellipsis makes the meaning change to what you want it to say, rather than what it states, because I showed another verse in Corinthians that you seem to have missed. That Verse: 1 Cor 12:2, which states in part: “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these…”

        Notice where MY ellipsis are?

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      10. chapmaned24 writes, “your usage of ellipsis makes the meaning change to what you want it to say, rather than what it states, because I showed another verse in Corinthians that you seem to have missed. That Verse: 1 Cor 12:2, which states in part: “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these…”

        I just quoted Paul’s introduction to his letter. Paul writes directly to the Corinthian believers but tells us that his letter has broad application to all believers. In 12:2, Paul speaks directly to the Corinthian believers. Other believers would do well to take note of what Paul writes.

        I don’t see an issue here.

        Like

      11. rhutchin states, “I just quoted Paul’s introduction to his letter. Paul writes directly to the Corinthian believers but tells us that his letter has broad application to all believers. In 12:2, Paul speaks directly to the Corinthian believers. Other believers would do well to take note of what Paul writes.

        I don’t see an issue here.

        My response:

        I see an issue here. You quoted, while ASSUMING that it has BROAD applications to all believers.

        Maybe it does…But the LETTER was not addressed to JEWS in Corinth. It was addressed to GENTILES in Corinth, and that verse that you have forgotten about TWICE proves that.

        My point had nothing to do with BROAD APPLICATIONS TO ALL CHRISTIANS. My point is the ADDRESS of the letter.

        It’s like, the COMMANDING OFFICER of a ship, writes a MEMO to the ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT, but what the Commanding Officer states in that memo, ALSO HAS broad applications FOR the SUPPLY DEPARTMENT.

        But the SUPPLY DEPARTMENT never got a memo.

        Address is the only thing I was discussing, not broad applications.

        Ed Chapman