Born Dead?

The analogy of being “dead” is seen throughout the scriptures, but can it be demonstrated to mean that mankind is born morally unable to willingly respond to God Himself, as the Calvinists presume? Are we born dead like Lazarus, a corpse rotting in the tomb (a link scripture never draws), or are we dead like the Prodigal, a loved one living in rebellion? Scripture supports the latter rather than the former:

“For this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24).

Spiritual deadness seems to be equated with “separateness,”  “lostness,” or “in rebellion,” not as “total moral inability to respond.” Likewise, in Romans 6:11, Paul also teaches the believers to count themselves “dead to sin.” A consistent Calvinist would have to interpret this to mean that believers are morally unable to sin when tempted. Of course, that is not the case. Paul is teaching that we are to separate ourselves from sin, in much the same way we were once separated by our sin from God. “Deadness” here connotes the idea of being separated, like the son was from his father, not the incapacitation of the will to respond to God’s appeal to be reconciled from our separation.

Plus, if we examine the story of Lazarus more closely it reveals a truth that flies in the face of the Calvinistic conclusion.

“So Jesus then said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe…’ (John 11:14-15).

The lesson the Lord wishes to teach his followers is not the conclusion that Calvinists draw from this text (i.e. God effectually makes the spiritually dead alive in the same way He raises Lazarus); but instead, the Lord’s expressed desire is so that the witnesses “may believe.” Clearly, an outward sign is said to have the ability to help individuals believe, something that seems completely superfluous given the effectuality of regeneration on the Calvinistic system. The text goes on to say:

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’  She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world’ … Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’’ (John 11:25-27; 40).

Once again, it is the faith of the eye witnesses, not Lazarus, that Jesus seems to be focused upon in this discourse. Furthermore, the responsibility is put onto the individual to believe so as to live, not the other way around. The focus of this text is on the believing response of the witnesses to Christ’s miracle and the believers eventual resurrection from the dead. Remember, Lazarus was a believer, not Totally Depraved, so this miracle more likely represents the believer’s resurrection from the dead than a irresistible soteriological drawing of the lost to faith.

“So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me’… Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him” (John 11:41-42; 45).

Jesus expresses a desire for the witnesses to believe based upon what they have seen, something on Calvinism that is a certainty for the Elect ones and absolutely impossible for the Reprobates, regardless of what miracle either of them witness. Notice that Jesus describes the faith of the eye witnesses as being a direct response to what they saw, not a supernatural inward work of regeneration, or an unconditional choice before time began.

No where in this passage, or any other, do we find the concept of spiritual deadness as being in reference to total inability, yet the story of Lazarus is one of the most referenced proof texts cited by Calvinists in defense of this doctrine.

Let’s consider other passages which use the analogy of “deadness.” For instance, take a look at Jesus’ own words to the church in Sardis:

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Rev. 3:1-6)

Clearly, Jesus fully expects this church to heed his warning and respond in repentance despite the fact that he called them “dead.”  The Calvinist may object saying, “But, Jesus is speaking to the church, not to the lost, so that does not apply to our point of contention.”  I disagree, and here is why:

  1. The point is simply to show how the analogy of being “dead” doesn’t necessarily imply “corpse-like inability.” This use of the word illustrates that point because clearly those in the church are expected to “wake up” and “repent.” The burden is on the Calvinist to produce examples where the analogy explicitly demonstrates the concept of “total inability” to respond to God’s life-giving Word.
  1. The Calvinistic teachings on “Compatibilism” equally applies to the choices of the Saints (the elect) and the Reprobates (the non-elect). According to the Compatibilist, a person will always choose in accordance with his or her greatest desire, which is determined by the God given nature and Divinely controlled circumstances in which that individual makes the choice.[1]Therefore, the choice of a Christian is as much under the “sovereign meticulous providence” of God as are the choices of the Reprobates.  So, according to a consistent Calvinist, the “dead” believers in Sardis were as incapable of response to Christ’s appeals to repent, as were the “dead reprobates” being called by the gospel to repentance for the very first time.  In other words, if Compatibilism is true, then both the “dead” believer in Sardis and the “dead” reprobate is equally incapable of repentance apart from God’s gracious work to effectuate that willing response. Thus, the burden of proof is still on the Calvinist to demonstrate that the analogy of being “dead,” in both instances, equals “corpse-like inability.”

Paul is known to use the analogy of being “dead” along side the concept of being included “in Him,” as we see here:

In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” (Col. 2:11-13).

Here Paul seems to relate circumcision to being made alive. Deut. 10:16 says, “Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer,” which strongly seems to indicate it is man’s responsibility to humbly repent, as seen repeated in Jer. 4:4:

Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds.’”

This parallels Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 1 and 2, which likewise references the saints as having once been dead but being made alive by God. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists affirm that we were all once dead in our sins and have been made alive together with Him.  The point of contention is over whether the dead sinner has any responsibility in his being raised up. Is the concept of “deadness” meant to suggest that mankind has no responsibility (ability to respond) to God’s appeal to “repent and live” (Num. 21:8-9; Ezk. 18:32; 33:11; John 6:40; John 20:31).

The text indicates that we are “made alive together with Him,” and it is mankind’s responsibility to be included “in Him,” through faith:

“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, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).

When were you “mark in Him?”

“When you believed,” according to the text.

Clearly, one must believe in order to be marked “in Him” and receive the Holy Spirit, not the other way around.  It is “in Him” that we are “made alive” or “raised,” according to the texts quoted above.

No where in the Bible is the concept of being “dead” connoted to mean that mankind has no responsibility to humble themselves and repent in faith so as to be “made alive together with Him.” As Paul teaches in Romans 8:10, “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

The theme of being “raised up,” “made alive,” “exalted,” or “lifted up” is carried throughout the scriptures, and it is not difficult to see the expectation God has for those who He will graciously raise up:

1 Peter 5:5-6:  “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

James 4:10: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Matthew 23:12: For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Psalm 18:27: You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

Psalm 147:6: The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Matthew 18:4: Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 18:14: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Not once in scripture does it teach that God is the one responsible for humbling us so that we would be “lifted up,” “raised up,” “exalted” or “make alive together with Him.”

In James 1:14-15, it states, “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” Likewise, Paul says in Romans 7:9-10, “I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me.” Yet, Calvinists teach that we are born dead already. So, which is it? Clearly, the analogy of “death” can carry with it different connotations, none of which can be shown by the text to mean “total inability” from birth.

Finally, if spiritual deadness is taken in a woodenly literal way by the Calvinist when it comes to mankind’s moral inability to respond willingly, then why can the “corpse-like dead man” respond unwillingly? A corpse could not “grab the life preserver when it is offered,” as the Calvinist likes to point out, but a corpse also could not actively swim away from it either, as is the rebellious response of many to the gospel. In fact, there are all different kinds of responses to the life preserver.  Some swim around it for a while and seem genuinely interested. Others mock it angrily. In fact, no two “dead” people respond in the exact same way to the life preserver, which obviously would not be true if they literally responded like a corpse.

Once again, the Calvinistic presumption is just that, a presumption they read into the text that is simply never substantiated by any explicit biblical teaching.

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135 thoughts on “Born Dead?

  1. As much as I am on your side of this topic, I find it to be too wordy, too confusing, irrelevant train of thought, lack of scripture to prove the point, so that a 2 year old could understand it, so it does not hit the home run. A good place to start is at the word “AGAIN” in the phrase, BORN AGAIN. We were ONCE Born of God, that is, SPIRITUAL birth. Then the next process is that we spiritually died. Then the next process is AGAIN BORN of God. Life, death, then life again, which is the exact order of events of a NATURAL life.

    What is life? Spirit in a body.
    What is Spiritual life? Spirit in a body PLUS God’s Spirit in same body.

    When God’s spirit departs, you are spiritually dead, hence, separation from God. That separation is the result of KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, not before that. Not in the womb. The name of the tree in the garden had something to do with KNOWLEDGE.

    Simple explanation, and there are lots of bible references to prove that.

    One reference, you did mention. Romans 7. But that was just the surface.

    Gotta explain it like we are two year olds.

    Ed Chapman

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    1. Here is an EASY way to understand this:
      WHERE were YOU created?
      Spirits of man was created. The Body is what was formed in the womb. Plant a spirit (SEED) in a body (DIRT), you became a living soul.

      Now, if you say that you were CREATED in the womb, I will retort that God has been out of the creation business since day number 6 was completed. Hebrews 4.

      But ya gotta first understand that you are a spirit first and foremost. A body was formed LATER. Life requires a body, but existence does not require a body, hence ghost, aka spirit, meaning that you existed prior to conception in the womb.

      So, when and where were YOU created? When you realize this, you will KNOW that you were with God before birth, and God never departed you until you got knowledge of Good and Evil.

      Ed Chapman

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    2. The parable of the LOST KEYS. You once HAD those keys, THEN you LOST them. You OWN those keys. But now you are LOOKING for your lost keys.

      So how can we say that the keys originated already being lost?

      The sheep belongs to God, THEN they strayed, thereby becoming lost. Some will stay lost, others will be found.

      Did you find your keys?

      Ed Chapman

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  2. Spot on, as usual. Calvinism’s assertion that ‘dead’ must be interpreted in one and only one manner, and that they get to decide, is presumptuous and false. Along with many other interpretations they attempt to demand as unchallengeable. One can begin to see why Calvin was compelled to use tyrannical despotism to ‘sell’ his ideas – they only work if they are forced upon men who are forbidden to think for themselves or ask hard questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just want to very gently in the love of Christ mention something about Reformed Believers and John Calvin. John Calvin was never as far as I know compelled to use tyrannical despotism to “sell” his ideas, and to say they only work on men who are forbidden to think for themselves or ask hard questions is a very harsh and would definitely need proof to speak of any man in this capacity. It was said of John Calvin in the history of his life, “the most Christian man of his generation. a man very tender of heart, never ceasing to helping the afflicted and more can be read from the article below of the History of John Calvin’s Life. Before Michael Servatus is brought up to destroy this godly man’s reputation let me first say that John Calvin did not kill him by fire. I do not have time here to tell the real story but will if ask to. But let me mention one person on here and I think that will settle the argument. King David. lust after another man’s wife, Bathsheba, King David commits adultery with her and then has her husband killed because he was dominated by the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes which we all are guilty of. Then King David had Bathsheba’s husband killed. King David was a murder also. It was approximately 9 months before God sent a prophet and confronted David to tell him a story and David wanted to know who the man in the story was and the prophet with the Holy anger of God pointed His finger at David and said it is you King David. David repented immediately in ashes and prayed that God would have mercy on his new baby whom God said he would punish David by killing the baby for the terrible wicked sins David did. Let me say that again, God killed a baby because of the terrible wicked sins his daddy did. Was the baby innocent without sin not deserving this punishment. Hmmmmmm Read the article below to see how John Calvin in love labor continually doing good works by the grace of God for the Lord glorifying The God of Heaven.

      http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/index.html?mainframe=/calvinism/jc_character.html

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      1. John Calvin in the history of his life, “the most Christian man of his generation. a man very tender of heart, never ceasing to helping the afflicted and more can be read from the article below of the History of John Calvin’s Life. Before Michael Servatus is brought up to destroy this godly man’s reputation”

        br.d
        While the spirit of this post is one of kindness and that is always appreciated, I think its a mistake for a person to get their information from biases sources. From an observers perspective, there is no such thing as a historical representation of John Calvin authored by a Reformed writer that is does not seek to portray John Calvin in a biased complimentary light.

        If one wants to find out the sins and weaknesses of politicians (for example), one does not read books written by and for politicians.

        There are numerous arguments as to why John Calvin’s participation in the murder of numerous people in Geneva was justified and sanctified. If however, Paul, or John, or Peter were to address these arguments they would be appalled. That is not the spirit of Christ at work – but another spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ralph,

        Thanks for the sincere dialog. Calvin ruled Geneva with an iron hand as the article even states…..”but inexorably severe when he saw the honor of God obstinately and malignantly attacked.”

        Was he nice to some people? Did he write nice letters to some people? Likely.

        Was he severe to anyone who fell outside his interpretation of the rules? Yes, and that is not debated by anyone.

        Did Augustine venerate Mary? Did Jonathan Edwards stridently defend slavery and own slaves? Yes and Yes.

        Did David sin? Yes, we have his sin and his repentance, but we dont have whole systems of belief called “Davidism.”

        Calvin does not deserve the devout following that he has today, with man-made philosophies (Calvinism), schools, and seminaries named after him.

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      3. The Apostle John divulges to the world in Revelations 19, that he προσκυνῆσαι (prostrated) himself before an angel.
        That angel must have been something awesome to look at!

        But notice the Angel’s response – is to rebuke John.
        “See that you do it not – for I am just a σύνδουλός (fellow servant)”.

        I don’t think any Christian today would dare to argue he is more spiritually mature than the Apostle John must have been at that time.
        And yet John is rebuked for giving even the appearance of honor to someone other than Christ.

        It has sickened me to my stomach to read some of the ring-kissing worshipful adoration given to John Calvin by Reformed writers.

        This is called “vicarious boasting” (i.e., boastings towards an outward target designed to camouflage self-aggrandizement).
        The Apostle Paul would instantly categorize it as σαρκικοί (carnal).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ralph, I appreciate your generous comment earlier. I would tend to agree with br.d., that the slant given John Calvin is rarely objective, as could be said of much of history. Nor should one be surprised to find pleasant sounding words written by Calvin, who obviously sought to present himself in the best light possible. (Some suggest he had the sort of political skills that modern politicians often display, speaking in a manner that allowed multiple interpretations and always provided plausible deniability.) It was my former Calvinist pastor who tipped me off, admitting once, ‘John Calvin was not exactly a very nice person.’ The way he said it, I knew he meant it as an understatement. It was some time later that I decided to do some research for myself, rather than relying on hearsay.

        I have read much on Calvin in the last several years, with most of the more ‘honest’ scholarship taking place many decades ago. The Marilyn Robinson propaganda is pretty standard today, but the book I found most helpful was by a Reformed minister, who traveled and studied for a year in Europe after documents that had been long off limits to scholars became available for study. The book, which I highly recommend, is ‘The Reformers and Their Stepchildren’ by Leonard Verduin. It was presented as a series of lectures sponsored by the Calvin Foundation, so one would be hard-pressed to call it anti-Calvinist. Fluent in multiple languages, including French, Verduin had access to many historical documents, including the official records of all trials, punishments, etc. kept by the Council at Geneva during Calvin’s reign. This man, with no axe to grind, was honest and insightful as he presented what he discovered. Give it a read – it will open your eyes to much about the history of the Reformation that is not well known, and I believe you will find that the author was well-informed, intelligent, honest, and willing to discuss hard truths, along with being fully Reformed in his worldview. It is a book worthy or repeated readings.

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      5. I’m adding Leonard Verduin’s book to my reading list!
        Thanks TruthSeeker for the great reference!

        I’ve found that many of the authors of Calvin’s period who created biography’s of Calvin’s behavior, wrote either in French or in Latin, and many of their writings do not appear to have ever been translated into English. So unfortunate!!

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      6. You will love the book. If I had only one to recommend to those wanting a more objective view of the Reformation – The Reformers and Their Stepchildren would be it. He also wrote a very interesting follow up on Church-State relations : The Anatomy of a Hybrid.

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  3. Well done!

    A lot of action verbs done by “dead” people in the moving away from the Gospel. No need to do that…or way to do that if you are no-response-possible dead.

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  4. Calvinists say that man is born dead because of Adam’s sin and they use Eph. 2:1-3 as a proof text. But Paul does not say there “You were dead in Adam’s sin” but “in your transgressions and sins.” I take ‘dead’ here prolepticly i.e. doomed to die (the second death). They also think that “we were by nature children of wrath” means ‘by birth’ we were such. While the word for “by nature” can mean that, it can also mean ‘by practice.’ It should be taken this way because Paul already mentioned “your transgressions (plural) and sins (plural). The passage does not say what they want it to say.

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    1. TroyS,

      Yes! And Genesis 2:17 would back you up.

      “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

      He did not die…but was doomed to die. Obviously he made good and bad decision from that point on.

      He we “so dead” that he could not save himself, but not so “dead-men-don’t-make-choices” that he could not respond to a Savior.

      There is no biblical evidence for such a position. It is just forced upon a few texts because it is so needed by determinists.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, Adam did die THAT day…a spiritual death. KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. Adam and Eve was going to die a natural death ANYWAY, regardless, and you can find that in 2 Corinthians 15 in the discussion of the resurrection, regarding the BODIES that we have now, bodies that die, vs. bodies that WILL NOT die. In order for Adam to have had a body that does not die, he would have had to have eaten from the Tree of Life and that tree was blocked after the fall, so that Adam would not have eternal life in a fallen state. But God showed Adam and Eve how to TEMPORARILY restore the relationship between God and them by SACRIFICING an animal, for which clothing was made.

        Ed Chapman

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      2. Ed,
        I am not sure what your point it.

        Let’s stick with what we see in the passage.

        You say ….No, Adam did die THAT day… “a spiritual death. KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL”

        1. The passage does not say (like you) in what way he died. Let’s not bring things to the passage.

        2. So you are saying he DID or did NOT have knowledge of good and evil from then on?

        3. I am not sure in 2 Cor 15 where it says Adam was going to die anyway.

        4. If you are correct that Adam “died that day,” in what way does that prove his inability to make a wise choice, or follow the commandment of God, or call out to God?

        just a few verses later God tell Cain this….

        4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

        It sounds very much like God is saying that “dead Cain” is able to make the right choice.

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      3. FOH writes:
        ‘“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

        He did not die…but was doomed to die. Obviously he made good and bad decision from that point on.

        He we “so dead” that he could not save himself, but not so “dead-men-don’t-make-choices” that he could not respond to a Savior.

        There is no biblical evidence for such a position. It is just forced upon a few texts because it is so needed by determinists.’

        Yes! It is time to acknowledge that the ‘curse’ of sin was ‘death’ – not ‘Total Depravity’. It is this error upon which Calvinism perches, hence the necessity to twist verses into unnatural meanings which could easily have been avoided by looking at the rest of scripture to see if such meanings fit the narratives.

        In truth, it is impossible to ‘prove’ one interpretation over another, which is why the typical Calvinist tactic of playing prooftext wars is pointless. The best way to try and understand – assuming that is the reader’s agenda – the difficult concepts of scripture is to study the narrative passages, which demonstrate ‘truth in action’.

        If men are born totally depraved, none of Israel’s patriarchs could have responded to God without the magical transformative ‘gifting’ of faith and regeneration, which are never described. If Cain was predetermined to sin, God was deceiving him when he suggested and urged that Cain could choose to resist sin. The key is to look at the narratives, the stories set forth in scripture to see if what some ‘teacher’ asserts as the ‘true meaning’, formerly unrecognized, of scripture. The proof is in the pudding. Words can be manipulated and twisted to mean nearly anything – even the exact opposite of what the speaker intended! That is why the wise teacher tells stories to illustrate. The stories remain as illustration of God’s workings among men, and can be examined again and again, to see if the claims of ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ teachers stand. Including the ones who gain mighty reputations and followings.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. TS00,
        There used to be a YRR Troy commenting in favor of Dordt-confession determinism. He would say “look at ALL of Scripture, Sir!”

        I would always read that in utter amazement because in reading ALL of Scripture (note my many commentaries as I read through the Scripture—not cherry-picking) we can easily see the truth in the narratives (as you say).

        Cain. God is telling him that he can and should dominate over sin. No special dose of faith required. Just do it with what you have!!

        Is God then a liar? Deceiver?

        For Fatalists (Calvinists) He must be because (1.) He did not give Cain the special ability, but (2) it appears to any average reader that God is clearly telling Cain it is possible and desired by God. Commanded, called, and told to do it but not given the ability. How deceptive!

        Narratives like this (hundreds of them) are God’s way of communicating with us…His way of telling us who He is.

        What right do we have to (mis)interpret 40-50 verses and turn all of these clear teachings on their head?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. FOH, not only do we have no ‘right’ to misinterpret scripture, we will be held accountable for such misinterpretation, whether it is due to ignorance, arrogance, laziness or worse. Everything we need to understand God’s Word (as much as we are able) is granted, including the Spirit of God, who is eager to assist us. Coming to the Word with a desire to maintain our preconceived notions will never lead to greater understanding. I try to hold everything I believe somewhat loosely, and allow God to lead me into ever greater understanding. This often requires a great many factors, such as more knowledge, more humility, more recognition of all of the baggage we carry, etc., hence, is rarely a quick, easy or painless process.

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      6. Well, let’s be clear on one thing first. I am not a Calvinist, so my argument is not at all related to Calvinism. I am fighting against any and all forms of Calvinist thinking and teaching.

        Now, you want to stay with “the passage”. I REJECT expository study. I have to read the whole book first, in order to make a decision regarding things. I am TOPIC driven.

        Knowledge of Good and Evil is the means of spiritual death.

        Adam was going to die a natural death anyway, whether he ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or not.

        Why was the Tree of Life in the Garden, and what would have happened if Adam had eaten of that tree?

        If you are not asking questions, how can you find the answers, unless you read the whole Bible seeking?

        Ed Chapman

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      7. Thanks Ed.

        Just curious how they would know the difference between obeying God and following Satan’s tempting if thy had no knowledge of good and evil prior to eating. On what basis could God tell them “do not do this” if they had no understanding of right/wrong?

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      8. That is a good question. My only response would be to put a chocolate candy bar in the middle of your child’s bedroom, tell them not to eat of it, and see what happens.

        But let’s look at the BIGGER picture. Why did God never tell Adam about the Tree of Life? He only told them not to eat the chocolate bar, but never told them of the trip to Disneyland.

        Why is that?

        Heaven is in ETERNITY. Earth is in TIME.

        Adam was in TIME, not eternity.

        Angels were kicked out of eternity, into TIME. Time was originally created for the devil and his angels…Hell, that is, and where is Hell? In the heart of the earth, which is in TIME, not eternity. And Satan wants to take as many humans with him as possible to his final destination.

        We don’t fight against flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces. This war…it’s really against God and Satan. In heaven, there is NO CONCEPT of evil. But the demons are here, on and in and around TIME.

        TIME was never to be our ultimate destiny. This earth is TEMPORARY. It was always meant to be temporary.

        All I know is I’m not HOME yet, THIS IS NOT WHERE I BELONG.

        Ed Chapman

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      9. Ed,
        I appreciate your upbeat attitude. You realize of course that you are speculating in some of this of course?

        You might be right, but you might not.

        That is why I am inclined to be text-driven. Less likely to speculate. Your “eternity and time” idea is speculation. You also add into the text that Adam and Eve made sacrifices.

        Likely that is the case, but we still have no biblical proof. I tend to not be authoritative on ideas I am speculating about.

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      10. No, I’m extremely confident that I am not guessing. I can indeed back up everything that I am saying. Problem is, that takes a LONG LONG LONG time to do. Been studying this for many many years.

        Expository Study will never work, because you miss tons of nuggets of gold.

        Expository study will tell you that the name of the Messiah is Emanuel, not Jesus, for example.

        Expository study will ONLY tell you that the promised seed is Isaac. Expository Study will ONLY tell you that the Promised Land is a small piece of real estate in the middle east.

        You don’t get very far in expository study.

        Ed Chapman

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      11. Ed writes:

        ‘No, I’m extremely confident that I am not guessing.’

        Here, is where you fall into error. There is much in scripture about which we cannot claim to be ‘certain’. Most of what passes for ‘orthodoxy’ or ‘official’ truth, is, in reality, often speculation, traditions of men, passed on for centuries, without any real, serious questioning or analytical thinking allowed. As sincere as those who hold such beliefs may be, (I know, I’ve been there!) their error is in not realizing or acknowledging how ‘certain’ they claim to be about things for which scripture gives no grounds for certainty.

        I once foolishly argued ‘But scripture clearly teaches’, as if words do not require careful study, as well as knowledge of the history, character, intentions and motivations of the speaker and his audience. We are very vulnerable to deception when we are ‘certain’ that words mean what we currently believe, either because we have been persuaded, or even threatened by those who claim to be upholders of orthodoxy that it is unquestionably so. Those who insisted upon the right to dissent from orthodoxy, to question or even reject the ‘official’ interpretation of scripture are those history reveals as being persecuted and frequently murdered. Just as Jesus warned his faithful followers would be.

        I would humbly suggest that a little less ‘certainty’ is the path to greater understanding, not to mention grace towards other, equally ignorant and confused believers.

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      12. Again, I am certain of what I speak. Sorry you have a problem with that.

        You see, I am coming from this from a NON-CALVINIST mindset, of someone who had no clue of Calvinism until about 8 years ago.

        And since then, the arguments that I am seeing from non-Calvinists are coming from trying to prove Calvinism wrong, by reverting back to a REFORMATION mindset, instead of BIBLE ONLY, without any knowledge of Calvinism.

        So, what you have, is a never ending circular argument in which no one in either camp will convince either side.

        Constant big words are used on both sides, i.e. REGENERATION. Your average Christian without knowledge of Calvinism does not use that word in everyday language. Your average Christians has no clue as to what an Armenian is, let alone Pala…whatever that word is.

        All we know is JESUS, the Word of God, the Bible. I could care less about the Catholics “Church Fathers”, and their interpretations, of which, the reformers brought forth with them as BAGGAGE.

        Ed Chapman

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      13. Ed, we appear to have much in common, as I too have no desire to prove or disprove Calvinism vs. Arminianism. Or any other ‘ism’. I too am aware of the distraction that the Hegelian dialectic brings to nearly every question worth considering. I have grown weary and wary of jumping on bandwagons. They are notoriously easy to get on, and equally difficult to dismount.

        Like you, I dare suggest, I am a simple believer seeking grace, wisdom and a better understanding of what God wants me to do this moment, with who I am, what I have been through and what he is revealing to me. I have learned the hard way that my biggest impediment, no longer being unbelief, is ‘certainty’ in my own wisdom and ability to understand anything.

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      14. I think that one thing that you missed from my original comment to you was:

        “But God showed Adam and Eve how to TEMPORARILY restore the relationship between God and them by SACRIFICING an animal, for which clothing was made.”

        Adam, Eve, Cain, Able, etc., maintained doing sacrifices and offerings to maintain the relationship with God.

        They knew Good and Evil, and, they died a spiritual death, but BLOOD shed in the sacrifices brought God back to them so that the relationship would continue.

        Please note: God sacrificed the FIRST animal FOR them. God Sacrificed the LAST animal (LAMB OF GOD) FOR US ALL.

        That’s how much God LOVES his whole Creation.

        Ed Chapman

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  5. I had recently been thinking on the concept of dead, and decided to look into how it was defined in the bible. I started in the book of Romans, I noticed thatwhen the term dead is used, it is related to the inability of the Law to give life, and in the end sentences us to Death. Which is the judgment/sentence for anyone which breaks the Law. I saw that death then did not describe the total inability to hear because one is dead. Paul does not use the term dead in that way.

    Soon after I came across JESUS’S definition of dead.
    John5:
    24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
    25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

    THIS CLEARED IT UP FOR ME!
    THE DEAD CAN HEAR!!.

    And it is hearing…. hearing the word of God that brings faith, Faith (used unto Christ), leads to salvation!

    It is also interesting that scientifically and biologically. Hearing is the last sense to stop after being pronounced dead!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clare:
      Very nice!

      So the dead can hear!

      Calvinists will say, “of course they hear, cuz God makes them alive and gives them faith.?

      But that wont work…. at all.

      Because it says the dead shall hear…. (not because they were made alive)…. and it quickly follows with “and they that hear shall live.”

      So the living is done after the hearing. Not: regeneration so that they can hear (i.e. upended Calvinistic interpretation).

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    2. Clare cites:
      ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.’ (John 5:25)

      We see here the difference between Calvinism’s speculation concerning an imaginary state of death and what scripture appears to say.

      Calvinism starts with a made up definition of ‘dead’, which they insist all must adhere to, which leads, naturally, to a need for some imagined, convoluted twisting of all that scripture does state concerning ‘dead in sins’, faith and life. Scripture is consistent in portraying the need for ‘dead in sins’ men to believe (have faith) in order to receive new life, i.e., be born again.

      It is nearly impossible to somehow misunderstand John 5:25 to be saying anything other than that those who hear will be made alive. Granted, one must acknowledge that ‘hearing’ in scripture often means more than a physical ability to receive sound waves; ‘those who have ears to hear’ does not imply that many are physiologically deaf, but spiritually deaf, i.e. tuning out the message of the words that they indeed ‘hear’. It uses a common meaning of ‘hear’ which implies choosing to focus in on and accept the truth of what is heard rather than ignore or disregard it.

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      1. TS00
        Calvinists of course would say “those who have been given ears to hear will hear….” and that would be consistent with what they teach.

        But not consistent with Scripture.

        In their process, people are “made alive” / regenerated so they can respond. but here we see that the “making alive” comes after the hearing. It is not what enables the hearing.

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      2. This is a GREAT opportunity to have you study the story of Joseph and his “brethren”, more so towards the part where his “brethren” goes to Egypt to seek food, NOT KNOWING who the top dog was, but the top dog knew who they were.

        This is an example of why Expository Study sucks, because that story is PROPHESY of Jesus, and the relationship that Jesus has, and will have with the Jews that rejected him, who seek righteousness thru the law of Moses, instead of faith.

        But, it was God who BLINDED the Jews in the first place, for a reason, but that he will unblind them, giving mercy to them.

        And THAT is where Romans 9-11 comes into play.

        You will see that Romans tells us that God did not give the Jews ears to hear, eyes to see…but that is a reference to what Moses told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy. It was ONLY the Jews that he blinded…NOT the Gentiles at all.

        Ed Chapman

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      3. TS00,
        To be fair, we have to notice that most Calvinists will attach John 5:25 to 5:28 where Christ is talking about dead people in graves.

        But that cannot negate the words of Christ….

        24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

        A. Christ is saying —present tense— whoever hears and believes crosses from death to life. We know that to be even in this life.

        B. Then He says that the time has come that “the dead” hear the voice of the Son of God….and live.

        C. So we can honestly see that people that Christ calls “dead” can hear His voice…..and the “living” comes after the hearing.

        He could have easily said “the dead will be made alive so they can hear and have eternal life.” But you have to really contort the verse (of course by bringing presuppositions to it) to get it to say that.

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      4. God is USING the Jews (CLAY) to SHOW US, this is where Romans 9-11 comes into play.

        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.

        The Lord BLINDED the Jews, so that they may NOT SEE. He did, however, allow SOME to see.

        John 9:41 DING DING…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.

        It’s up to God to UNBLIND whom he blinded.

        The Story of Joseph sums it all up, of what Romans 9-11 is. It’s prophecy of the relationship of Jesus and the Jews who rejected him.

        Jesus is Joseph, and the brethren of Joseph is the Jews.

        Ed Chapman

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      5. Ed writes:
        ‘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.

        The Lord BLINDED the Jews, so that they may NOT SEE. He did, however, allow SOME to see.

        John 9:41 DING DING…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.

        It’s up to God to UNBLIND whom he blinded.’

        I have a very difficult time finding in Deut. 29 the message that the problem with these people is that God has blinded them and thus they are ‘unable’ to ‘hear’, ‘believe’ or ‘obey’.

        I grant that verse 4, if taken out of context, would appear to mean what you suggest. Yet all one must do to see it cannot possibly mean what a cursory reading might imply is continue reading. The entire passage emphasizes that these people have ‘seen’ all that God has done, have ‘heard’ the words delivered thus far by his messengers and have the individual responsibility for how they respond in the future. They are encouraged to continue believing what they have seen and heard, to remain faithful and not turn away to false gods and to not present God with the just necessity of punishing them for rejecting all that he has done for them.

        The entire passage would be made nonsensical if verse 4 is indeed saying that ‘the problem’ is that God has blinded them and the only ‘solution’ is if and when God chooses to ‘unblind’ them. All of the calls to what God has done, all of the pleas to acknowledge and respond to God’s promises would be silly – if they were unable to due to God’s withholding of such an ability. One is compelled to seek out a meaning that makes sense, which leads most thoughtful men and women to suggest the language used is idiomatic, as much of language is, acknowledging the fact that God has not ‘compelled’ them to believe and obey – and, apparently, never will – as it goes on to present the significant choice that is before these rebellious people. A choice that would be meaningless if the people had no ability to make a choice.

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      6. If you are really a TRUTH SEEKER, then you will seek the truth. I REJECT seeking the truth by a passage only. That is, I reject Expository Study.

        That’s all I will tell you.

        Ed Chapman

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      7. Luke 9:44-46 King James Version (KJV)

        44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

        45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

        Luke 18:32-34 King James Version (KJV)

        32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:

        33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

        34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

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      8. Might I humbly suggest that scripture nver states outright that these things are ‘hidden’ from people because God desires them to be hidden. It is feasible to suggest that scripture infers that God chooses to ‘hide’ the truth from all who are stubborn, arrogant, and determined to do what they want. It is possible that the truth of the gospel is only visible to the little child, who is humbly willing to listen and learn. It is possible that the idiomatic expressions that God ‘blinds’ or ‘hardens’ suggests that God allows those who refuse to see or believe to continue in their blindness and hardness of heart.

        I will not demand, with certainty, that my ideas must be acknowledged as incontrovertible truth. But they might be worthy of further consideration. And, I might add, I take no credit for being he originator of such an interpretation, for it has long been posited by students of scripture. I do not appeal to the ‘authority’ of consensus, but simply acknowledge that I am claiming no credit ideas that have been circulated for centuries, however discounted by the authors of orthodoxy.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. You had me at hello, until you said:
        ” It is feasible to suggest that scripture infers that God chooses to ‘hide’ the truth from all who are stubborn, arrogant, and determined to do what they want.”

        My retort:
        They are stubborn, arrogant, and determined to do what they want, BECAUSE it is hidden, not the other way around.

        They are the clay that God is TEACHING the rest of us about, that you can’t obtain righteousness by being obedient to the law of Moses, for which they are trying to obey.

        Righteousness is being sought by them in self righteousness based on Commandments that God gave them and told them to obey.

        But God is USING THEM, as clay ,to show us that we can’t get righteousness that way. THE LAW causes wrath. Faith, does not.

        So, they are stubborn, etc., because God blinded them.

        Ed Chapman

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    3. To go further, one might say the use of ‘hear’ applies to the word ‘deaf’ a spiritual, and readily understood, meaning exactly as is applied to ‘dead’. Men ‘physiologically’ hear, yet are ‘deaf’ to the spiritual truth God is presenting. God would never punish a deaf man for not hearing the words of the gospel that are spoken, but alas, he is helplessly unable to hear. Scripture can, without error, assert that many do not ‘hear’ the gospel without doing a medical survey on deafness.

      Likewise, men who are obviously physiologically alive (as they are the only sort the gospel can possibly target 🙂 ) can be, without error, described as ‘dead’ to the spiritual truth which lead to everlasting life. It is not that they do not ‘hear’ the words, or are too ‘dead’ to understand what such words mean, but that they choose to ignore the message (a ‘hearing’ which infers listening and responding). Many a spouse has used the word in the exact same way, when they sadly exclaim, ‘You never hear anything I say’.

      It really is not too difficult to understand this usage of the two words, and few would deny its legitimacy. Even those who may choose to assert another meaning was intended, must at least honestly acknowledge the validity of this as a legitimate interpretation, rather than pretending as if it is a denial of orthodox truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TS00
        Yes, but Mary-worshiping Augustine and Anabaptist-drowning Calvin needed “dead” to mean incapable of anything so they could scaffold the other “doctrines of grace” on top of it.

        They could not be satisfied with the “dead” that Christ used in John 5:25 or Luke 15 (twice).

        We are “buried with Christ” and “dead to sin” but still capable of it! So that “dead” wont work either. In fact….. their concept of “dead” (the way they define it does not appear in Scripture but only in the interpretations of man.

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  6. When it is said “dead means dead” that is a little vague I believe all would agree with that biblically speaking or I think they will after I finish with these few short thoughts. Now one

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  7. Continuation— can be biology or physically “dead” and I guess you could say in that sense “dead means dead” But we are speaking in a spiritual manner here are we not. Those that are Biology and physically alive but walking around spiritually dead in their sins. They are still active in their sins and God saves them in their sins, Let’s look at what that final authority says, God’s holy word. Ephesians 2:1 – 2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,——Now this first verse of God’s word is so amazing I am smiling as I am writing it. It actually that while we were STILL “DEAD” IN TRESPASSES AND SINS, God made us alive. that is spiritually alive in Christ.
    (English Standard Version ACTS 2:47
    “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
    People who were sinners, who had the holy wrath of God upon them, living unto themselves, living in trespasses and sins, although biology and physically alive were “dead spiritually” until God made them spiritually alive and has continued to do so until this day . But wait, there is more to this passage of scripture that brings authority and proof to thevery the fact that sinners are spiritually dead and have no desire to to Christ but hate him. But let us continue in Ephesians 2. Verse 2 was only half of a sentence as the translator with God orchestrating things deemed it so. Actually verses 1-3 is one very long sentence and is wonderful and give praise to the God of heaven for its truth. Let us read verse 2 now. Ephesians 2:2—-“2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” Verse 2 connects directly to verse on in a most emphatic and important way that most just miss it and keep on reading. “VERSE 2 DESCRIBES THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD ACTIVITY, (THAT BEING DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS Eph, 2:1b) God gives Spiritual life to us while we are still in that state of walking in that spiritually dead activity, of being dead in trespasses and sins, although being biology and physically alive. We have to be biology and physically alive for which sin and Satan to express themselves when they have a strong hold in their power and influence over us. Verse 2 says we once walked in spiritual deadliness expressing itself through our mortal bodies, ‘WALKING ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD” The sinful world described by the Apostle John in 1 John says do not love the world or all that is in the world, that being “THE LUST OF THE EYES, THE LUST OF THE FLESH AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE.” God have mercy on our souls. It was then God made us spiritually alive, when we spiritually dead in “trespasses and sins” “walking according according to the sinful world that manifest itself in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Not only that, it gets intense and spiritually worse, we walked and did according to the prince of the power of the air that being Satan and his demonic spirits the same evil spirits that are now at this time still working in the sons of disobedience. God did not save us with a prevenient grace that makes us neutral or gives us the ability to make a choice to accept Christ or reject Christ. According to what we have read right out of the Scriptures above it was when we were Spiritually dead in out trespasses and sins, walking according to the sinful world, which the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life and walking and doing what the prince of the power of the air (Satan and Demons) we did through their power and influence for even sin a principality had dominion over us, it was then God through his almighty power quickened us and made us alive (KJV) while we were still spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and doing wicked things that those who spiritually dead and walking with the Satan do for the wrath of God was upon us. God had mercy upon us and having mercy upon someone described in Ephesians 2:1-3 means Salvation in Christ. Let us read verse 3 now. Ephesians 2:3—-“3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Look what also we were doing before God the Holy Spirit by his Almighty Sovereignty and Love did while we hated Christ and wanted nothing to do with him, “WE FULLING THE EVIL DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND, (GOD HAD SAVING MERCY ON WHILE WE WERE IN THIS STATE)

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  8. CONTINUATION—-The next part of verse three I would love to hear Dr. Flowers comment and exegesis as to what it means and when. “IT SAYS WE. BEFORE WE WERE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST, WERE BY “NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, JUST AS THE OTHERS” Dr Flowers goes by this “age of accountability” which is no where taught in the bible but it is taught that we, Christians, before we were saved, “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, WHEN WE WERE SINNERS JUST LIKE THE OTHERS” I know a person nature begins at birth and it is sin that brings death to giving them a spiritually dead nature which immediately “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH. Romans 5 Paul explains this quite nicely, I do not have time to do it here now but I will because I know Dr Flowers does not agree Paul, Evil King David said the baby comes out the with a lying spiritually dead spirit. I know Dr Flowers you would say that is impossible for babies to tell lies as soon as they come out of the mother’s womb. Do you disagree with God’s word here Dr. Flowers. Let me try and tell you what David was really trying to say. You are right and I agree babies don’t start telling lies as soon as they come out their mother’s womb. I think he was speaking symbolically that when a baby is born and comes out of the mother’s womb he or she baby is already spiritually dead in Christ. The principality of sin and it’s dominion already reign in them (he or she baby) because of Adam fall into sin being man’s representative head of all mankind. You cannot deny what David has said about infants at the moment of their birth, in no place in scripture does say they are righteous or holy or innocent or free from the sin until a man made up teaching called the “age of accountability. Let us see what David said about the infant and his nature as soon as he is born from his mother’s womb.
    Psalms 58:3 – English Standard Version
    “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” But there is more. Psalms 51:5 – “5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV. David said inside of his mother’s womb he was shapen in iniquity and then he was brought forth in sin. David’s whole time of being in his mother’s womb was one of sin, trespasses and spiritual death and he comes forth with a nature of God’ of God’s wrath being upon him Eph 2:3. So yes I so this with confidence and boldness but not with gladness in my heart but with thankfulness for God showing me the truth that babies are shapen in iniquity in their mother’s womb, she brings them forth in sin from her womb and they go astray and lying before God as wicked babes when they come forth from their mother womb. “OF COURSE THE LYING AND GOING ASTRAY IS JUST THEIR WICKED NATURE THAT WAS PASSED DOWN BECAUSE OF ADAM BEING THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL MANKIND SINNED AND DEATH PASSED TO ALL MANKIND BECAUSE ALL HAVE SINNED IN ADAM AND IN HIS LIKENESS. I cannot go fully into proving this here which is taught by Paul in Romans 5. We are were all children of wrath by NATURE (FROM IN THE WOMB UNTIL WE WERE BORN UNTIL WE GROW OLD AND DIE OR ACCIDENT GOD HAS MANY WAYS OF TAKING US OUT OF THIS LIFE OR UNLESS HE HAS SAVING MERCY ON SOME POOR SINNER THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS BROUGHT TO A PLACE OF GODLY SORROW AND SEES HIS NEED TO BE SAVED FROM SIN FROM A SAVIOR, JESUS THE LORD OF GLORY!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! Well this could go on and on as I see the need to explains Romans 5 so Dr. Flowers will agree with the Apostle Paul But God bless to all.

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  9. Dr. Flowers,
    All I say to you now is that Jesus said if a man comes to you ask for forgiveness 7×70 you are to forgive him. What I wrote earlier was I lot. I copied and saved on my computer and on my WordPress site. I realize you might have forgiven me but may I ask why you are just determined to ban me and will not allow to interact anymore. The things I have read on your website from those professing to be Christians about James White are like tongues set on fire from hell and I know I never said anything about you as bad as that as far as I know. If you will show me I will repent and with humility publicly confess my sin. I have always as you know spoken how humility personifies your character and when you are talking with another Calvinist you are always Christlike. I desire to be that way so much like Jesus. Is it because I am a Calvinist. Please tell me what I did so terribly wrong even if you do not let me back in to interact. I am just a man, I am weak, I fall down many times but it is on my knees and I get back up. I am sure what I did to you must have been something extremely terrible for you to ban another brother in Christ to this manner and he is not really sure what he has done that would be so bad. I am not saying I didn’t I am sure I did or you would not have banned this long. Just please let me know so I can pray about this weakness and that Christ will cause it to become a strength in him. Be blessed Dr Flowers

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  10. When it is said “dead means dead” that is a little vague I believe all would agree with that biblically speaking or I think they will after I finish with these few short thoughts. Now one can be biology or physically “dead” and I guess you could say in that sense “dead means dead” But we are speaking in a spiritual manner here are we not. Those that are Biology and physically alive but walking around spiritually dead in their sins. They are still active in their sins and God saves them in their sins, Let’s look at what that final authority says, God’s holy word. Ephesians 2:1 – 2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,——Now this first verse of God’s word is so amazing I am smiling as I am writing it. It actually that while we were STILL “DEAD” IN TRESPASSES AND SINS, God made us alive. that is spiritually alive in Christ.

     (English Standard Version ACTS 2:47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

    People who were sinners, who had the holy wrath of God upon them, living unto themselves, living in trespasses and sins, although biology and physically alive were “dead spiritually” until God made them spiritually alive and has continued to do so until this day . But wait, there is more to this passage of scripture that brings authority and proof to thevery the fact that sinners are spiritually dead and have no desire to to Christ but hate him. But let us continue in Ephesians 2. Verse 2 was only half of a sentence as the translator with God orchestrating things deemed it so. Actually verses 1-3 is one very long sentence and is wonderful and give praise to the God of heaven for its truth. Let us read verse 2 now. Ephesians 2:2—-“2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” Verse 2 connects directly to verse on in a most emphatic and important way that most just miss it and keep on reading. “VERSE 2 DESCRIBES THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD ACTIVITY, (THAT BEING DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS Eph, 2:1b) God gives Spiritual life to us while we are still in that state of walking in that spiritually dead activity, of being dead in trespasses and sins, although being biology and physically alive. We have to be biology and physically alive for which sin and Satan to express themselves when they have a strong hold in their power and influence over us. Verse 2 says we once walked in spiritual deadliness expressing itself through our mortal bodies, ‘WALKING ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD” The sinful world described by the Apostle John in 1 John says do not love the world or all that is in the world, that being “THE LUST OF THE EYES, THE LUST OF THE FLESH AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE.” God have mercy on our souls. It was then God made us spiritually alive, when we spiritually dead in “trespasses and sins” “walking according according to the sinful world that manifest itself in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Not only that, it gets intense and spiritually worse, we walked and did according to the prince of the power of the air that being Satan and his demonic spirits the same evil spirits that are now at this time still working in the sons of disobedience. God did not save us with a prevenient grace that makes us neutral or gives us the ability to make a choice to accept Christ or reject Christ. According to what we have read right out of the Scriptures above it was when we were Spiritually dead in out trespasses and sins, walking according to the sinful world, which the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life and walking and doing what the prince of the power of the air (Satan and Demons) we did through their power and influence for even sin a principality had dominion over us, it was then God through his almighty power quickened us and made us alive (KJV) while we were still spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and doing wicked things that those who spiritually dead and walking with the Satan do for the wrath of God was upon us. God had mercy upon us and having mercy upon someone described in Ephesians 2:1-3 means Salvation in Christ. Let us read verse 3 now. Ephesians 2:3—-“3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Look what also we were doing before God the Holy Spirit by his Almighty Sovereignty and Love did while we hated Christ and wanted nothing to do with him, “WE FULLING THE EVIL DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND, (GOD HAD SAVING MERCY ON WHILE WE WERE IN THIS STATE)

     
    The next part of verse three I would love to hear Dr. Flowers comment and exegesis as to what it means and when. “IT SAYS WE. BEFORE WE WERE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST, WERE BY “NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, JUST AS THE OTHERS” Dr Flowers goes by this “age of accountability” which is no where taught in the bible but it is taught that we, Christians, before we were saved, “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, WHEN WE WERE SINNERS JUST LIKE THE OTHERS” I know a person nature begins at birth and it is sin that brings death to giving them a spiritually dead nature which immediately “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH. Romans 5 Paul explains this quite nicely, I do not have time to do it here now but I will because I know Dr Flowers does not agree Paul, Evil King David said the baby comes out the with a lying spiritually dead spirit. I know Dr Flowers you would say that is impossible for babies to tell lies as soon as they come out of the mother’s womb. Do you disagree with God’s word here Dr. Flowers. Let me try and tell you what David was really trying to say. You are right and I agree babies don’t start telling lies as soon as they come out their mother’s womb. I think he was speaking symbolically that when a baby is born and comes out of the mother’s womb he or she baby is already spiritually dead in Christ. The principality of sin and it’s dominion already reign in them (he or she baby) because of Adam fall into sin being man’s representative head of all mankind. You cannot deny what David has said about infants at the moment of their birth, in no place in scripture does say they are righteous or holy or innocent or free from the sin until a man made up teaching called the “age of accountability. Let us see what David said about the infant and his nature as soon as he is born from his mother’s womb.
    “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” But there is more. Psalms 51:5 – “5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV. David said inside of his mother’s womb he was shapen in iniquity and then he was brought forth in sin. David’s whole time of being in his mother’s womb was one of sin, trespasses and spiritual death and he comes forth with a nature of God’ of God’s wrath being upon him Eph 2:3. So yes I so this with confidence and boldness but not with gladness in my heart but with thankfulness for God showing me the truth that babies are shapen in iniquity in their mother’s womb, she brings them forth in sin from her womb and they go astray and lying before God as wicked babes when they come forth from their mother womb. “OF COURSE THE LYING AND GOING ASTRAY IS JUST THEIR WICKED NATURE THAT WAS PASSED DOWN BECAUSE OF ADAM BEING THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL MANKIND SINNED AND DEATH PASSED TO ALL MANKIND BECAUSE ALL HAVE SINNED IN ADAM AND IN HIS LIKENESS. I cannot go fully into proving this here which is taught by Paul in Romans 5. We are were all children of wrath by NATURE (FROM IN THE WOMB UNTIL WE WERE BORN UNTIL WE GROW OLD AND DIE OR ACCIDENT GOD HAS MANY WAYS OF TAKING US OUT OF THIS LIFE OR UNLESS HE HAS SAVING MERCY ON SOME POOR SINNER THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS BROUGHT TO A PLACE OF GODLY SORROW AND SEES HIS NEED TO BE SAVED FROM SIN FROM A SAVIOR, JESUS THE LORD OF GLORY!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! Well this could go on and on as I see the need to explains Romans 5 so Dr. Flowers will agree with the Apostle Paul But God bless to all

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    1. Dead means dead is indeed vague. The 7th Day Adventists believe in annihilation, that after you die, you are dead, hence, dead means dead…or, more better, dead means you don’t exist until the resurrection…according to the 7th Day Adventists. I once had a 7th Day Adventist tell me that Dead Means Dead.

      So, I came back to him with, well, now that we have got that all cleared up, what does dead mean?

      In order to find out what dead means, you must answer what LIFE is.

      Life REQUIRES a BODY. Life REQUIRES YOUR spirit in THAT BODY. When YOU are NOT in YOUR BODY, you are DEAD.

      James 2:26 answers it well.

      So…what is being spiritually alive? That is where God lives in your body with you. Hence, spiritual death is when God’s Spirit does NOT live in you.

      Oh and I see that you mention Romans 5 quite often. So, I am going to show you something, and I want you to identify which one is a Romans 5 verse from the following:

      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

      For all have sinned (NOT OBEYED THE LAW OF MOSES). Then how are we made righteous? Faith alone without the Law of Moses. We are now under the Law of Christ, which is the Law of Faith, which is the Law of Freedom (liberty) and the COMMANDMENTS of Jesus is a singular commandment: Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself. Now, some will say that we have two commandments, and I left out the Love God part. However, the way that 1 John explains it, is that we prove that we love God by loving people. For Love fulfills ALL, not just the parchment, but the stones, too, the law of Moses. The singular commandment of Love is the delight, the joy, not obeying the Law of Moses, which is a curse.

      Galatians 4:21
      Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

      Why was the Law of Moses instituted? Was it to bring about morality, so that sin would decrease? Many seem to think so. They call it “God’s Standards”. Really?

      Romans 5:20 (NIVr)
      The law was given so that sin would increase.

      Did Abraham really need a law that stated, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” to know that it is wrong to steal? Think about that.

      Romans 2:14-16
      For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

      By nature, they obey laws that they don’t even have. It’s called a conscience. And Jesus judges them by what they know, not by what they don’t know, and Paul calls that good news (gospel), and these people don’t even know God, or Jesus. So, do people who don’t know God, or Jesus, automatically go to hell because they are sinners? NO. But some seem to think so.

      Again:

      Galatians 4:21
      Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

      Bottom line:
      Faith is KNOWING that we are going to get what we are waiting for. Obeying the law of Moses is earning your way, not knowing for sure.

      —————————————–

      Abraham did not have the law. Why?

      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.

      Abraham sins just like the rest of us, BUT SIN WAS NOT IMPUTED.

      Righteousness was imputed…NOT FAITH.

      Pay close attention to the word IMPUTED here. Abraham sinned, too, for all have sinned, but not one sin was ever IMPUTED to him. He did not have the law of Moses telling him how to live his life.

      And NEITHER DO WE, as Gentiles. ONLY the Jews. The LAW to us, was just a schoolmaster to show that we have sinned, and THEN WE make a decision. That decision is not forced upon us by a TYRANT god of Calvin.

      Ed Chapman

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    2. We should all know that the Old Testament, aka, Old Covenant, First Covenant, begins in Exodus 20, NOT GENESIS 1. This is where God spoke to ALL of the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai. After God Spoke the Ten Commandments to ALL of the children of Israel, they were afraid that if God continued to speak to them, that they would die, so they asked if Moses would speak to them about what God wants of them, instead of God himself.

      Exodus 20:19
      And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. So, Moses continued to listen to God, and Moses gave the word of the Lord to ALL of the children of Israel.

      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.

      Again, notice the word, “do”. That is works of righteousness. Obedience to the law of Moses is known as works of Righteousness. If anyone can keep the law perfectly, then they have “earned” a wage, and God “owes” them eternal life. That is why it is called “works”, or “deeds”. JEWS are trying to gain RIGHTEOUSNESS by BEING OBEDIENT to a law that they cannot keep, and GOD KNOWS THAT ALREADY.

      Romans 4:4
      Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

      Romans 3:20
      Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

      Romans 3:23
      For all have sinned.

      Self righteousness is works that requires a wage, and that wage is eternal life if you can do it. If you can’t, the wage is death.

      The Jews are trying to establish what they call “OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (JEWS righteousness)…SEE DEUTERONOMY 6:25

      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.

      Ed Chapman

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    3. qballinthehouse

      You had said:
      “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV. David said inside of his mother’s womb he was shapen in iniquity…”

      My retort:

      This is a huge favorite for the Calvinists. But the interpretation is OH SO WAY OFF BASE.

      For example…

      The GENEALOGY line of a JEW runs thru the MOTHER, not the FATHER.

      Davids MOTHER was NOT a NATURAL Jew. She was a GENTILE who BECAME A JEW.

      That is LEGAL, however, it caused major contention, because here is David, a JEW…or is he?

      Do you see what I am getting at? You gotta see it from a JEWISH standpoint, and I have, from Jewish websites.

      The question is…WHEN did Davids mother BECOME a Jew? What is the History of Davids mother?

      Is it worth researching from a Jewish standpoint, or just a Calvin standpoint?

      Ed Chapman

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      1. Hey Chap,
        Nice to talk to by you, to be really honest you must be wiser in the scriptures than me because I really do not understand what you are talking about in you reply. I am sorry chap. I will read a few more times and maybe I can figure it out. Not sure what David being a Jew has to do with him being shapen in iniquity and brought forth in sin and in another place says all go astray from the mother’s womb with lies on their tongue. Now I know a baby cannot do that so I know David is speaking symbolically here of a death sinful nature, and a nature of holy wrath upon the baby, (Ephesians 2:3) This is spiritually dead nature dead in trespasses and sins Ephesians 2:1-2 but manifest its wicked works and sinful desires though out biological and physical body that also has not been redeemed yet as Jesus’s glorified body. But one day we shall be like him. Thanks for the interaction Chap and God bless

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  11. Dr Flowers says there is no where in God’s word that it says God humbles anyone but that they humble themselves. There is some truth to what Dr Flowers is saying but only a half truth which leads to error and false teaching. A man or a woman may humble themselves but I ask Dr Flowers something he may have never been asked or thought of or maybe he has. Who or what causes a man or woman to humble themselves before God. I know personally when I am chastised, tested, brought under great trial and godly sorrow this always seems to lead me to humble myself and instills more of the peaceable fruits of righteousness in me as I am trained by God’s humbling process. I think of Job and all that he went through he felt so vindicated and then God began to question him and when God was done Job put his hand over his mouth and said, “I have heard of you with the hearing of the ears but now my eyes have seen you” What a humbling process that must have been for Job and he was exalted in due time as God’s word promises. Yes we do humble ourselves but it God causing the humbling of our hearts to take place.

    Lets Look at 1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, (Or be ye humbled before God) therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

    Look at the command, ‘HUMBLE YOURSELF, OR BE YE HUMBLED BEFORE GOD. We are talking about the MIGHTY HAND OF GOD HERE NOT THE MEEK POWERLESS HAND OF MAN SELAH. IT is the Mighty all-powerful Hand of God that is causing the humbling process to take place in the man or woman So a person, male or female had better humble themselves under GOD’S SOVEREIGN MIGHTY HAND OR THE FACT THAT THE STUBBORN PRIDEFUL MAN OR WOMAN WILL BE HUMBLED UNDER THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD. GOD GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE BE HE RESIST THE PROUD, PRIDE CALLS OUT THE ARMIES OF GOD AGAINST THE STUBBORN AND PROUD, Who thinks they can throw the ALL-POWERFUL MIGHTY HAND OF GOD OFF OF THEM OR BEAR UP UNDERNEATH IT FOREVER. So many do, they think they can resist God and outlast him and they will get their way. No my friends they are under the Mighty hand of God that nothing Can resist and will eventually become weak and fall under the weight of His might and power, so be humbled under the MIGHTY HAND OF GOD. The only reason God does not crush them immediately is he is loving and merciful God and desires the one he is causing to be humbled cry out and repent and embrace Christ as their Savior

    John Gill–Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    Humble yourselves therefore,…. Or be ye humbled before God, and in his sight; quietly submit to his will; patiently bear every affliction without murmuring, repining, or replying against him; be still under the rod, and despise not the chastening of the Lord; mourn over sin as the cause, acknowledge your vileness and unworthiness, and stand in awe of his majesty, considering yourselves as
    under the mighty hand of God a phrase expressive of his omnipotence which cannot be stayed, and it would be madness to oppose it; and which is able to cast down the proud, and dash them to pieces, as well as to exalt the humble. His hand, upon men, in a way of chastisement, presses sore, and, in a way of punishment, presses down, and crushes to pieces; but to be under it in an humble manner is safe and profitable; such are hid as in the hollow of his hand, and are safe as in a pavilion, and comfortable under the shadow of his wings; and such humiliation and submission to him, and putting themselves under his mighty hand and care, is the way to exaltation:

    that he may exalt you in due time: the Arabic version reads, “in the time of exaltation”: when his time to exalt is come, either in this world, or more especially at the appearance of Christ and his kingdom. The Vulgate Latin version, and two copies of Beza’s, one of Stephens’s, and the Alexandrian, read, “in the time of visitation”; and so the Ethiopic version, “when he shall have visited you”; which seems to be taken out of 1 Peter 2:12 sooner or later such who are humbled shall be exalted; it is the usual way and method which God takes to abase the proud, and exalt the humble; for humble souls honor him, and therefore such as honor him he will honor; and this he does in his own time, in a time that makes most for his glory, and their good; oftentimes he does it in this life, and always in that which is to come.

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
    6. under the mighty hand—afflicting you (1Pe 3:15): “accept” His chastisements, and turn to Him that smiteth you. He depresses the proud and exalts the humble.
    in due time—Wait humbly and patiently for His own fit time. One oldest manuscript and Vulgate read, “In the season of visitation,” namely, His visitation in mercy.

    Clark’s Commentary —Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    Humble yourselves – Those who submit patiently to the dispensations of God’s providence he lifts up; those who lift themselves up, God thrusts down.
    If we humble not ourselves under God’s grace, he will humble us under his judgments. Those who patiently submit to him, he exalts in due time; if his hand be mighty to depress, it is also mighty to exalt.

    John Calvin
    But he adds, in due time, that he might at the same time obviate too much haste. He then intimates that it is necessary for us to learn humility now, but that the Lord well knows when it is expedient for us to be elevated. Thus it behoves us to yield to his counsel.

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  12. This is to EVERYONE:

    The following link is IMPORTANT for EVERYONE on EITHER SIDE of the Calvinist debate to READ, concerning David, and his, ““Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” STATEMENT in Psalms.

    It will DEFINITELY clear the air of the REAL explanation of what he meant by that, and I can tell you, that it has NOTHING to do with the Calvinist teaching of it.

    https://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/280331/jewish/Nitzevet-Mother-of-David.htm

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    1. There are, of course, all sorts of ‘possible’ explanations for the meaning of “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” There is no necessity to assume that this is asserting that David is a sinner at birth, but that he was ‘shapen’ in the womb of a sinner who was married to a sinner, and acknowledging the sad fact that he too, all too often, succumbed to the deceptive lures of sin. It also might suggest that he was an illegitimate child, conceived out of wedlock to one who was not his mother’s husband. None of these ‘possible’ explanations can be declared ‘certain’, but we might be better served to acknowledge that, while we can entertain ideas, we may or not may be correct about what scripture fully means.

      What most would grant is that David admits to serious, shameful sin, which he genuinely regrets, and is seeking forgiveness, cleansing and a fresh start with God, which he fully believes that God will give to him.

      Surely this takeaway message is accessible without fully understanding every nuance of every word, every piece of the puzzle that was written in a peculiar language, in a far different setting and culture than ours, pertaining to much of which we are completely ignorant. Perhaps that is what scripture intends to ‘give’ to us – all that we need to trust and follow the One who loves us, desires to have everlasting fellowship with us and has provided all that we need to be able to attain the great salvation he has made available to us.

      It seems to me that much was said about the foolishness of those who sought, and believed they were capable, of acquiring full ‘knowledge’ of all things concerning God, scripture and his workings in the midst of his creation. It is a mistake I have frequently made; overlooking all that I need – and is readily given to me – in search of ‘full knowledge and understanding’ of things which have not been given to me. Just a possibility.

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      1. The ONLY one that matters, however, is what comes from a JEWISH perspective. Christianity did not REPLACE Judaism, Christianity is an extension of Judaism. We worship their God. It’s their book.

        The main problem with Christians…is Christians themselves. What do I mean by that? Many Christian sects CAN’T STAND THE JEWS, therefore, they don’t listen to the Jews, all because Jews rejected Jesus.

        But what I have learned, is that you can LEARN a lot about Jesus, thru the unbelieving Jews.

        I’d rather listen to a Jew than a Christian, because, hey, what do Christians know anyway? Christians think that they are experts, all because they earned a degree in Cemetery?

        I don’t think so! Dr. Paul, um, I mean, the Apostle Paul did not tell anyone to go to college. Did he?

        Ed Chapman

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      2. Hi,
        I really like your name truthseeker. I enjoyed your blog comment also. You seem to have the ability to just flow with your thoughts. You said a few things truthseeker in what you said that really blessed me and made me take a look at myself. You can almost say you spoke the truth in love with a gentle rebuke to us all but if your not a truthseeker you might miss it. You said in the first place after you gave a few ideas of what David could be talking as to what “being shapen in iniquity” ” None of these ‘possible’ explanations can be declared ‘certain’, but we might be better served to acknowledge that, while we can entertain ideas, we may or not may be correct about what scripture fully means.

        I thought to myself that is true humility of someone who is really striving to be a truthseeker. Instead of being dogmatic and asserting the Reformed Believer is wrong (which I am sure you do but that is ok) you in a refreshing manner of respect godliness, holy reverence and love which is rare on a log of blogs that you can easily become a part of.

        Then you spoke from your heart of the love and intimacy you have for the God of your salvation. That is really rare on blog boards but I smiled when I seen you loving God and worshiping Him from your heart. You said, ” all that we need to trust and follow the One who loves us, desires to have everlasting fellowship with us and has provided all that we need to be able to attain the great salvation he has made available to us.” Thank you brother for the blessing.

        All though there are a few things I do disagree with I am not going to engage them tonight. Sometimes it is just right to bless the best in Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ralph:
        Nice post. TruthSeeker00 speaks often for a lot of us here. Sometimes he sounds angry though (he will be the first to say).

        You are also posting nicely and we appreciate it!

        If you are a real Calvinist, in theory you should NOT like the name TruthSeeker, since according to reformed philosophy, no one can seek the truth. That comes from a misinterpretation of Romans 3:10-11, despite numerous calls by Christ and others to “seek first the kingdom”….”draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (and on and on!).

        Many of us (former Calvinists) are truth seekers and have been willing to go where the text leads us. I regret the years that I came to the text with the answers….making it then say what I needed it to say.

        Please read well and long the dozens/ scores of responses that this site offers to the 40-50 gotcha Calvinist texts.

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    2. I read the article Chap, please tell me what to call you Sir, but I stand unconvinced. I know if you will ask many on here and even Dr Flowers they will tell you King David is of Jewish Descent. Still not sure how it is related with what I said, that is what you said and your article which I give you my word I did read. It was interesting but unconvincing. Have you took the time to see the documentation at the bottom of the article to actually read and study to see if what this person or persons are saying is true. I will give you another article that refutes the article and I think is much stronger in it’s evidence. I also noticed in your article that David’s mother was not shunned but it says “she shunned herself.” Hmmmm Interesting. And we must remember this does not come to us from the Sacred Words and Authority of God’s Bible which makes it suspect. The article also reads that you posted: “To understand the hatred directed toward David, we need to investigate the inner workings behind the events, the secret episodes that aren’t recorded in the prophetic books but are alluded to in Midrashim.4” And I do think the Prophet Samuel would anoint a King (David) of Jewish Descent. God did not send Samuel there to be deceived. I think you article actually proves David is of Jewish Descent. Unless I am misunderstanding what you are actually trying to say in connection with David saying he was “shapen in iniquity” in his mother’s womb. More of that later. Another comment from the article: “Her twenty-eight long years of silence in the face of humiliation were finally coming to a close. At last, all would see that the lineage of her youngest son was pure, undefiled by any blemish. Finally, the anguish and humiliation that she and her son had borne would come to an end.” Notice what David’s true mother says in the article which I find very suspect and this article as very lacking of God’s truth of King David. David’s Mother said quoting Holy Scripture: “Facing her other sons, Nitzevet exclaimed, “The stone that was reviled by the builders12 has now become the cornerstone!” (Psalms 118:22)” I would hope that Samuel would have corrected her as to who the Chief Corner Stone was, Not David But the Lord Jesus Christ. Your right this nothing to do with the Reformed Faith we would reject it entirely.
      You know what I think I just figured out what you were trying to say in your reply to me and in the article. That David’s real mother was not a real jew so because of that that caused him to be shapen in iniquity. I think that is what your saying Correct me if I am wrong Chap.
      Maimonides writes[1] that once King David was anointed as King, his family acquired the right to remain the kings of Israel forever. Only descendants of the Davidic dynasty have a legal claim to the kingship in Israel. What an interesting subject, thanks Chap. In the last article the same author who wrote being Jewish proves King David Jewish Heritage and that being Jewish is passed on from the “MOTHER OR THE FATHER”. I realize Chap I may still be completely wrong as I do not put my faith completely in these articles and you could very well be right. But at this time my friend in Christ I see King David as being of Jewish Heritage sitting upon the Throne of David as God promised that there would be a descendant of David on the Throne of David forever and now that has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ our Lord who I believe was Jewish. Thanks so much Chap for making look and investigate this subject. Something new. Now I want to see this verse in its surrounding context straight from God’s word through exegesis. I know comment to long but you really whetted my spiritual taste buds and got me looking. God bless In Christ my friend. Hope you read the articles I found on the subject at hand, Thanks my brother.

      http://www.beingjewish.com/identity/whoisajew.html Who is a Jew

      Comment from the article:The original and current Jewish definition of a born Jew is someone whose mother is Jewish. Even though the Torah forbids a Jewish woman to marry a Gentile man, if she does, her children will still be Jewish.

      http://www.beingjewish.com/identity/whoisajew.html Being Jewish

      http://www.beingjewish.com/identity/kingdavidjew.html Was King David Jewish?

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      1. Ralph,

        Ya ya ya…blah blah. If you don’t see things from a Jewish perspective, then you are missing out. Seriously. The Law and the Prophets are a JEWISH book. Not a Christian Book. Let’s not forget that. There is a story behind David’s life that is spoken in heartfelt words about his youth as a reject in his family. And we need to know that.

        David was made fun of by his own brothers…LONG BEFORE Samuel came on the scene to anoint him as King. And there was a reason that had to do with his own mother, and factual genealogy that David’s father had a problem with…knowing that a non-Jew female was in that line, who became a Jew, but that it was unlawful to mingle a Moabite in the mix. David’s dad had a problem with that, and did not want sexual relations with David’s mom, but she tricked him, not letting him know, then she was pregnant…by whom, daddy wondered.

        So please don’t give an impression that David was LOVED BY HIS FAMILY. He wasn’t. Except by MOM.

        I’ve read the story before…from others, too.

        I’d rather listen to Jews than expert Christians. LISTEN TO JEWS…yes, unbelieving Jews. You will learn a lot more about Jesus from unbelieving Jews than from any college educated Christian. Fo shore! Or is it, FUR SHUR!

        Ed Chapman

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      2. Ralph,

        My best friend is Jewish. He is a Christian. Genealogy for a Jew is NOT thru the father, but thru the mother. I knew that long before I met my best friend who is a Jewish Christian.

        Ed Chapman

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  13. Much of the underlying confusion of this debate is a byproduct of Calvinism’s doctrine of double-think.

    -quote
    Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.
    Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance—thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.
    -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

    The Calvinist is to:
    1) Believe that all things (including every neurological impulse) are determined in every part (i.e., fated to occur).
    2) Go about his office *AS-IF* (1) is false – and nothing is determined in any part.

    Thus the Calvinist is taught two mutually contradictory beliefs.

    In regard to being “dead” the Calvinist is to
    Believe that post-fallen man (Cain for example) for any choice – can only choose evil.
    Even though God clearly tells Cain that he can choose the good – and holds Cain accountable *AS-IF* he can.

    So Calvinism’s concept of “dead” is simply a byproduct of Calvinist double-think.

    If Calvin’s double-think is true, then the God of scripture is a deceiver.
    Because throughout scripture he says one thing yet holds to its mutually contradicting opposite.

    If the key to understanding scripture is to think doublethink and speak doublespeak.
    Then you require Calvin to DECODE scripture for you.
    And Calvin becomes the premier priest–interpreter–mediator between man and God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d
      You are right about the double think and that AS-IF.

      Adam/Eve and Cain are the perfect examples (as of course these examples are early on in the whole Bible to let us know how it works).

      King David is another. Told not to take a census and then given a choice (imagine that!) about the punishment for it.

      But in response we will hear some kind of weak not-in-scripture explanation based on a human definition of omniscience. So, the ‘ol “omniscience band-aid” applied to thousands of scriptures…… and somehow the Word does not mean what is says in thousands of places.

      Like

      1. Cain Discovers Calvinism

        “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’” Genesis 4:3-7

        I have often struggled to square the narrative of God’s brief conversation with Cain with the doctrines of Calvinism. Perhaps, the Calvinist might propose, Cain – for some inexplicable reason in a meticulously controlled universe – thought like an Arminian, thus God spoke to him AS-IF he was an Arminian.* This does not strike me as reasonable, for it leaves God open to the same charge that he is being, at the very least, less than honest in scripture.

        In my attempt to come up with some semi-reasonable Calvinist-friendly explanation for Genesis 4:3-7, I tried to imagine what the same passage might look like if the conversation took place today, with a (somehow) similarly confused modern-day Cain:*

        “In the course of time Cain came to church, thinking of all of the good works he had done in order to please God, and Abel came to church with a humble confession of his sin and a desire to do God’s will. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering of confession, but for Cain and his offering of self-righteous works he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, and turn from your wickedness, will you not be accepted as well as Able? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’

        Cain, however, had received a link from a friend to Soteriology101.com, and he had read how God was supposedly a Calvinist, while presenting himself as an Arminian. Cain, upon Googling and reading Calvin’s Institutes for himself, was ready when God confronted him.

        “In the course of time Cain came to church, thinking of all of the good works he had done in order to please God, and Abel came to church with a humble confession of his sin and a desire to do God’s will. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering of confession, but for Cain and his offering of self-righteous works he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, and turn from your wickedness, will you not be accepted as well as Able? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’ (Paraphrase of Genesis 4:3-7)

        To this, Cain responded, quoting Calvin: ‘Were not all men ‘previously predestined by God’s ordinance to that corruption which is now claimed as the cause of condemnation? When, therefore, they perish in their corruption’, do they not ‘but pay the penalties of that misery in which Adam fell by the predestination of God, and dragged his posterity headlong after him’? Are you or are you not ‘unjust who so cruelly deludes his creatures’?

        Cleverly unmasked, God was forced to acknowledge what Calvin had (for some inexplicable reason)* revealed: ‘Of course, I admit that in this miserable condition wherein men are now bound, all of Adam’s children [including you] have fallen by [my] will. And this is what I said to begin with, that we must always at last return to the sole decision of [my] will, the cause of which is hidden in [me].’

        Cain then angrily replied, ‘You lie! Instead of admitting that I am ‘bound in this miserable condition’ by the ‘sole decision of [your] will’ you urge me to turn from wickedness and do well, as if I have a real choice in the matter. If it weren’t for your more honest prophet, John Calvin, I would never have known that it is utterly impossible for me, my father, or any other man to make a free choice. Why do you mislead me, if you are so good and just? Why not just come right out and admit what Calvin explains: ‘If such a barren invention is accepted [that Adam sinned because he had free choice], where will the omnipotence of God be whereby he regulates all things according to his secret plan, which depends solely upon itself?’

        ‘Isn’t it bad enough that you have predestined me to corruption by your own ordinance? Why do you leave Calvin to tell the truth, to try and make excuses for your cruelty and injustice? What are you trying to hide by not admitting to my face that ‘predestination, whether they [the objectors] will [admit it] or not, manifests itself in Adam’s posterity.’ That means me. ‘For it did not take place by reason of nature that, by the guilt of one parent, all were cut off from salvation…. Scripture proclaims that all mortals were bound over to eternal death in the person of one man [Adam] (cf. Rom. 5:12 ff.). Since this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is perfectly clear that it has come forth from the wonderful plan of God’.

        ‘If this is such a ‘wonderful plan’ why do you not boast about it, or at least inform me honestly that I am one of the unfortunate ‘non-elect’, cut off from salvation by you – not by my own unfortunate choices? Why do you try to heap the blame on me, and even worse, urge me to make choices that you know full well I cannot make, thanks to your ‘wonderful plan’? Are you too ashamed to admit, as does Calvin, that ‘The decree is horrible indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree’.’

        ‘Obviously you knew that in speaking so deceptively, countless millions would ‘deny that [you] foreknew what end [I] was to have before [you] created [me], and consequently foreknew because [you] so ordained by [your] decree’. Yet Calvin archly suggests that no one should make such a denial, that ‘it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision. For it pertains to his wisdom to foreknow everything that is to happen, so it pertains to his might to rule and control everything by his hand’.’

        ‘We will, presumably, fall to our faces at such ‘wisdom’ and ‘might’. We must, without challenge, accept that ‘it is not in itself likely that man brought destruction upon himself through himself, by God’s mere permission and without any ordaining.’

        In fact, if Calvin is right, we don’t really have any other choice but to keep our mouths shut and do whatever you have ordained we must, do we?’*

        God responds sadly: ‘Cain, Cain, who are you to reply against me? You simply don’t understand my need for glory. Calvin explains that ‘[your father] fell because [I] judged it to be expedient; why [I] so judged is hidden from [you]. Yet it is certain that [I] so judged because [I] saw that thereby the glory of [my] name is duly revealed’. Isn’t it enough for you that my glory be revealed, or are you only concerned about yourself?’

        ‘The reprobate [like you] wish to be considered excusable in sinning, on the ground that they cannot avoid the necessity of sinning, especially since this sort of necessity is cast upon [you] by [my] ordaining. But [I] deny that [you] are duly excused, because the ordinance of [mine], by which [you] complain that [you] are destined to destruction, has its own equity [or justice]—unknown, indeed, to [you] but very sure.’

        Of course, no such conversation exists, nor could it, because if all men are ordained to do exactly as God has ordained, and he has determined to keep this little truth under his hat, no man could ever possibly lay such charges at God’s feet.*

        Then again, why did God need Calvin to make his excuses, and why have countless men and women throughout the centuries challenge and deny the truth of Calvin’s assertions? Why would God come up with the perfect plan, hide that perfect plan, reveal that perfect plan through Calvin, then attempt to hide it again under the Compatibilism of a reinvented Calvinism? God just can’t seem to make up his mind whether he wants man to understand his plan of salvation or not.*

        I guess God’s ways are hidden from pretty much everyone but John Calvin, and those he has enlightened.

        *Note: Pondering Calvinism inevitably demands a departure from logic; you just have to go with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And thus we have the ugly, problematic side of determinism….

        We show this …..as you did with Cain…. and they cry “you misrepresent Calvinism” (heard it many times!!).

        I simply say….. C’mon guys, just own it!

        Just own that God told Cain to not sin…and to dominate over sin, but never gave him the power—in fact, determined that he would sin and be judge for sin that God immutably foisted on him (oh yes, I know “he is doing what he naturally would do”). But there is no “naturally” when it is God who “necessarily” has determined all things.

        Just determine to own determinism!

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      3. We could co-author a book on Calvinism

        OWN IT: The Camel-Swallower’s guide to double-think, self-contradictions, and the bible verses that prove them.

        Now more than ever, you need the Determinist’s ultimate guide-book on tail-chasing and circular-logic.
        Learn the art of pointing in two different directions at the same time.
        Learn the 49 golden bible verses guaranteed to keep you double-minded.

        Order your copy now!
        Coming to Reformed book-stores near you. :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah. It could be one of those kind of books that you “flip” over and read the other direction. This site calls it a double-side book.
        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DoubleSidedBook.

        Adobe talks about how to do it…..here …..

        “Remember those children’s books that read from both directions? Read to the middle from one cover. Flip the book over and read from the back/”upside down” cover to the middle.”

        1.That way they can “flip” back and forth all they want.

        2. They can be double-sided and double-minded.

        3. First half of the book tells how God “necessarily” pre-determined everything. Flipped over version (the “man-centered” part) tells how man makes all the bad decisions that his nature tells him to.

        4. At the end of a chapter in the first part, we can say, “If you are still doing well with the God-ordained-and-desired-all-sin idea, please keep reading. If you are not, flip this book over and read the same chapter in that half.”

        5. The other sided book will have chapters ending, “If you are now disgusted with man having a free will, being created in God’s image, having to make any decisions at all, please flip over and read what sovereignty and omniscience really mean.”

        Then they can just flip-flop and read this book all day (preferably while on a rocking horse!).

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  14. Hey chap/
    Just one last thing you can call me qball for short and I do not understand your comment to say that it would be my Reformed Believer Favorite. I say Reformed Believer because i think non-Calvinist and that is what I am discussing on here when I am talking is the false teach of non-Calvinism not Calvinism, but back to what I was saying I prefer Reformed Believer because I think many who are not Calvinist you look down upon the word and see it as a curse word to those who hold to the Doctrines of Grace it represents so I do not deny I am a Calvinist but I prefer Reformed Believer if the board does not mind. I do not follow Calvin I follow the Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching and principles I adhere to can be found in Holy Scripture from point of view I know you see it different but that is ok that is why Dr. Flowers has graciously provided us a place we can in a Christlike behave ourselves and discuss this bringing pleasure to the heart of God. Both sides I believe the other is in Christ so I really don’t think we are too far off. People get saved in Reformed camp and in the non-Reformed Camp. The Lord adding daily to the Church those who are being saved. ACTS

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    1. Dr. Flowers has graciously provided us a place we can in a Christlike behave ourselves and discuss this bringing pleasure to the heart of God.

      br.d
      Well said! :-]

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      1. Just remember, Paul wasn’t such a nice guy at times when he was scolding people about doctrines. I hope by Christlike that means turning over tables in the temple???????

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    2. Ralph,

      I’m always confused when Calvinists say that they don’t follow Calvin. Seems like an oxymoron in my eyes. It’s like they are purposely trying to distance themselves away from the PERSON, yet keep his doctrines. HIS doctrines do not fit ANY other protestant sect. So why distance yourself from him? Own it qball. LOL. I joust, but don’t take it personal. You are a very respectful guy.

      Ed Chapman

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  15. Ed, I have frequently used that to get a laugh from my semi-Calvinist children. (They think they are Calvinists, because they were brought up under a double-talking pastor who never honestly taught what Calvinism really demands. The old ‘both are true’ stuff. So they say, with straight faces, ‘Well I don’t believe that God predetermines who will be saved or not, but . . .’ and have no idea that this makes them De facto non-Calvinists. I give them time – they’ll figure it out.)

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    1. I’ve also found that in a lot of Christians outside of Calvinism. They believe what they have no clue of what they believe. But it’s true, whatever it means. All I know is that it’s true, but I can’t tell ya why. Just believe it.

      Here is one to an atheist, tho…Why reason why when there is no reason why?

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  16. (An Israelite that believes he is saved by being born a Jew & and that he further believes is proven by his outward conformity to his election – standing before God on Judgement day)

    The Lord – Why should I let you into heaven?

    Israelite – Because I was one of the chosen people Lord, didn’t I prove it with my conformity to the religion.
    The Lord – You fool, do you think that you were more advantaged than anyone else in regard to salvation. In fact, you thought nothing of evangelizing because you thought you were either born into it or not born into it by some mysterious decree. Yes, you evangelized! But this was only to prove to yourself that you are worthy of your “mysterious” election – you didn’t actually believe that any one can be saved through faith. You didn’t believe my grace was sufficient for all. You didn’t believe My intention for sending my Son. You believed in another “mysterious” gospel whereby you believed you were saved.

    The Lord – Next! ……….. Please step up – what is your name sir?

    Ummmm – John Calvin Lord.

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    1. There is only one small minor problem with that.

      Did Moses give them the law of God?

      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.

      Even Peter thought what you laid out…until…

      Gentiles didn’t start getting “saved”…until God revealed it to Peter in the book of Acts.

      Then the next major argument regarding Gentiles was Acts 15…circumcised AND AND AND keeping the law of Moses, both of which got shot down.

      Ed Chapman

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      1. I haven’t got time to start on this bandwagon, but I disagree with you Ed. You will have to discuss that one with people like Melchizedek.

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      2. How can you disagree with a quoted scripture? It was unlawful for the Jews to “evangelize” their religion to other nations.

        And Peter thought the same until God revealed it to him.

        I can’t figure you out here.

        Ed Chapman

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      3. You make an argument and then you gotta go? Got better things to do? Drive by? Dude, please. If you post an argument, get ready to a counter argument, but don’t back out. Drive by’s are not cool.

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      4. You are right Ed, I’m stopping the car, I’m not going to drive by, I’m getting out of the car as we speak, I can see a group of young people and I’m going give them all a gospel tract. Chow

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      5. Why don’t you get offline and give it a go bro, I’ve listened to many a testimony of people who were confronted first with a gospel tract which led them to Christ. You should try it brother. Better than meaningless garb spent online babbling about nothing. (From the heart) 😊

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      6. You started this argument, not me. Like it or not, I’m here. I know the phoniness of self righteous Christians “evangelizing”. You sound like one of them. Seriously, gain a relationship with someone, then tell that person FROM THE HEART how God changed your life.

        Doing it “by the book” is doing it the Pharisee way. Let it flow from the heart…not a tract.

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      7. How God changed YOUR life probably won’t get anyone saved. The gospel is power of God unto salvation, not YOUR life, no matter how much heart you feel YOU are putting into it. I’m happy to do it by the book which has the heart of Christ not mine. Chow

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      8. Tell that to the Apostle Paul. How did God CHANGE his life? Give him the gospel? Sure, you go ahead, you GIVE ‘EM the Gospel.

        The Law is the schoolmaster that brings you to Christ…and you just want to start off with “Jesus Loves You!”. Good Luck with that!

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      9. Thanks Ed, I’ll to be more heart felt like yourself and tell them all about MY life, and how wonderful it is……..I won’t worry about telling them that Jesus loves them because that won’t do anything will it. It’s all about me …..pfffffft what’s the gospel. (Said with my “self righteous” tongue in my cheek)

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      10. Good News, aka Gospel, has NO MEANING without the EXPLANATION and reason of the BAD NEWS FIRST. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.

        The law is the school master to bring you to Christ.

        It’s always good to start at he beginning of a book, at the beginning of a movie, at the beginning of a lecture.

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      11. For I am ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for the law is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth ……..
        hang on just getting out my pen to make a few changes in my bible…… thanks rabbi Ed.😁

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      12. Galatians 3:24-25 King James Version (KJV)

        24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

        25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

        How can ANYONE repent if they have NO CLUE as to what sin is? I’m not so sure that you even know.

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      13. The passage is talking about the law of Moses. The “us” is Jews in the context of Galatians which Paul is addressing. He is addressing that the law of Moses was the schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. He is addressing the people getting sucked into keeping the Law of Moses. That’s the context!

        The gospel has it all. It is the good news that Jesus paid the sin debt for our sin. So of course the gospel includes this, but I can guarantee you Ed that it does not include keeping the law of Moses to bring us to Christ.
        Stop using texts out of context to float your boat 😉

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      14. You have been DISQUALIFIED to evangelize. You have no clue. No one needs to repent in your explanation…knowledge of sin is NOT IN THE GOSPELS at all. So, you can make up your own definition of sin.

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

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

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      15. Did I say say that no one needs to repent? Of course they do! But I can guarantee you that they do not need to be aware of their sin by trying to keep the law of Moses.
        The gospel is enough to make people aware of their sins, it brings conviction no doubt.

        Can I be allowed back in, please rabbi Ed pleeeeaaase pretty please 😂

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      16. i never said anything about keeping the law of Moses. Not once. I said that the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

        That schoolmaster tells you what sin is. And you can’t tell anyone to repent without giving them that knowledge first.

        Bad news comes first before good news makes any sense.

        The bad new is the penalty of sin.

        the good news is Jesus.

        Ed

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      17. No the Law of Moses was the Jews school master, not ours. We are Gentiles, and Gentiles were never under the law of Moses. Under sin disobeying God yes! but under the Law of Moses – no.
        Yes both are under judgement Jew and Gentile alike unless they repent. But you are out of context when you use that passage in Galatians. That’s all I’m saying………..,unless you believe in replacement theology. But we won’t get into that.

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      18. NO…it is OUR schoolmaster.

        Tell me, MASTER DEMON, I mean Damon, tell me WHERE in the gospels tells you what sin is? I already told you that sin is the transgression of the law, and that the law is the knowledge of sin, so that concludes that you most open up the book of the law to show them what sin is.

        The problem with Christians evangelizing, is Christians with NO KNOWLEDGE of what that entails.

        Repent…FROM WHAT? Picking my nose in public? IS that a sin?

        I have NO IDEA where you bring up replacement theology. I have no idea where you get the idea that I am telling you to obey the law of Moses.

        You are an uneducated Christian, and you want all Christians to be ignorant…just blindly follow Jesus, huh? Without really knowing why.

        Ed

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      19. Wow Ed! Settle down and take a chill pill.
        Read Romans 2, the Jews couldn’t keep the law of Moses, the Gentiles couldn’t keep the laws of God written on their hearts, that’s why nobody has an excuse before God (Romans 1:21)
        I hope your “heartfelt” delivery when you evangelize isn’t anything like your delivery online, I’d be running for the hills. Don’t worry about people throwing gospel tracts in the bin if this is how you deliver the gospel in your “heartfelt” way.

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      20. You keep reverting to the unsubstantiated accusation that I said that we must keep the law of Moses. STOP. I never said that.

        But everyone needs to know that they have sinned against God, otherwise, Jesus means NOTHING.

        Jesus died on the cross to save sinners, and every human is a sinner. But WHAT IS THEIR SIN’s (PLURAL).

        The only way to know, is to GIVE THEM THE BAD NEWS PORTION that the penalty of sin is death.

        But they ONLY place that sin is defined…is in the Law of Moses.

        Bad News comes first, and that MUST be explained, otherwise, Jesus makes NO SENSE. He would be NO DIFFERENT than following BUDDHA. A wise man that said some wise things.

        Give to the poor.

        Ya, even the most evil person says to give to the poor.

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      21. So are you saying Ed that if someone dies before being shown that they have disobeyed the law of Moses they would be excused? Because they were unaware of sin? Cmon brother, that’s a stretch. If we say that we have no sin we make Him (God) a lier.
        Gentiles do not need to see the law of Moses to know they are a sinner, the convicting Holy Spirit does that, yes the law does as well which only solidify’s it.
        There will be plenty of people in Hell that didn’t hear the law of Moses. There will also be plenty of people in Heaven who didn’t hear the Law of Moses too.
        The law of Christ yes! Galatians 6:2

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      22. Did Abraham really need a law that stated, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” to know that it is wrong to steal? Think about that.

        Romans 2:14-16
        For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

        By nature, they obey laws that they don’t even have. It’s called a conscience. And Jesus judges them by what they know, not by what they don’t know, and Paul calls that good news (gospel), and these people don’t even know God, or Jesus. So, do people who don’t know God, or Jesus, automatically go to hell because they are sinners? NO. But some seem to think so.

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      23. You just proved my point that people are accountable without the law of Moses being known to them.
        Yet you said before that unless they are aware of the law of Moses they wouldn’t know they are sinners.
        Which is it Ed? Do Gentiles need the law of Moses pointed out to them to realise that they are sinners? Yes or no?

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      24. Is it a sin to sleep with your sister? YES

        Abraham slept with his sister.

        So since Abraham slept with his sister, no one needs to know that it is a sin to sleep with his sister?????????????

        Really?

        Just tell them about Jesus, and they can continue to sleep with their sister, and that is OK.

        That is YOUR LOGIC.

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      25. Is it? Did I say this? No I didn’t. You don’t need the law of Moses to see this is a sin. The law of Christ is sufficient in the epistles. Many a person got saved reading a Tyndales New Testament without the law of Moses in it. I’m not saying the Old Testament shouldn’t be in the bible, it should be and I wholeheartedly believe it. But the Law of Christ is sufficient enough to bring conviction of sin apart from the law of Moses.

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      26. dude, you are missing the point altogether.

        You will be talking to SINNERS. You must tell them what their sin is. This is not a guessing game. They MUST HAVE KNOWLEDGE.

        You can’t assume that they know what sin is. The GOOD NEWS can’t be good until they know the opposite of what that is.

        You want to tell them good news without telling them the bad news. You can’t do that.

        The Gospel of Christ is that Jesus died for your sins…WHAT SINS? Where do you find INFORMATION of what sin is? The Gospels?

        Man…dude…please get educated.

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      27. “Dude” I realise they need to know they are sinners but it doesn’t have to come by the law of Moses, that’s my uneducated point. Peace out dude.

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      28. The law of Christ and the law of Moses Huh? Not the same thing. They have similar things but not the same thing.

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      29. Wow…no wonder Christians have a bad name in America. Novices like you who have no clue.

        br.,d
        This dialog is moving towards the edge of animosity giving the appearance of a fist fight.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. IF YOU are going to tell them about Jesus, YOU NEED TO SHOW THEM.

        Christians do not need the schoolmaster. But non-Christians need it until they become Christians.

        NO ONE knows what sin is, without it.

        Ed

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  17. So I’m struggling at the moment and want to know your best advice/opinions. I fully believe that the Bible is true and that Jesus Christ was the son of God and believe in the trinity. I believe that his death and resurrection was the once and final payment for all sin. I believe that true saving faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ are the only means by which we are saved and that we must be born again, which happens when we truly believe. Here’s my predicament. I believe those things I listed with all my being. However, I have no fruit or no peace or no joy whatsoever in my life. From my perspective, I was born again 4 years ago and have truly pursued a life of obedience to God not out of trying to earn favor or certainly not earn my salvation but out of love and thankfulness to him. I went from being a guy who partied with drugs and alcohol and slept with many different women to being the exact opposite, putting Christ at the center of my life and picking up my cross and following him daily to the best of my ability because I hate my sin and truly believe the Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. All throughout this time I have suffered from depression in varying degrees but for the first three years enjoyed a peace and love that truly did surpass all understanding. Ironically I think my depression is what led me to faith while at the same time now seems to be the very thing trying to destroy it. You see I still believe in my mind all of those things. But I now feel broken, I have no conviction, no hope, no peace, no joy and I don’t know if it’s a spiritual issue or physical/chemical issue. If it’s a spiritual issue, how? I’ve sincerely tried to follow Christ with all of my being and praying that the Holy Spirit would lead me in doing so. Now if it’s a physiological/chemical issue my concern is how can that effect the soul so much that it seems to be overriding the Spirit itself? Shouldn’t the Spirit be far and away stronger than any disease or ailment the flesh can experience? I should also note that I do have physical ailments I’ve been dealing with this whole time as well and so firmly believe they are causing my issues of the mind, such as poor attention span, poor short term memory, headaches, low energy, low mood, trouble concentrating and finding the right words. But again how can a disease of the body/mind alter the soul/Spirit because I know at the end of our days we will shed these bodies and the scars that sin has left on us. It seems to be doing everything it can to lead me from Christ. The thing now holding me on is simply the fact that I still with all of my mind believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus took place. A lot of the worst came on when studying apologetics and obsessing over science and philosophy. But Now I can’t get away from that line of thinking and overanalyze every single thought and trying to explain to myself every little thing to its finest point of logic. I even felt at the time when studying apologetics that I was grieving the spirit and feeding the mind/flesh but continued anyway because I felt that it would benefit me as a Christian in the future. I thought apologetics was a great thing for Christians and still think it is but for me personally it seems to be a stumbling block to true life giving faith. I so wish I never had come across apologetics because my faith was so much more robust and fruitful before this and now I fear I can never get it back. The apologetics themselves isn’t what’s hindering my faith because there is all sorts of evidence for the existence of God and confirms God. But I’ve also concluded that all philosophical and scientific logic and reasoning is circular which is why two smart people can argue for days at a time and not convince the other and why apologetics never saves anyone and only the Gospel does. But like I said now my mind just try’s to explain everything away and leave no mystery, which I know is wrong. It’s like I’ve gotten into this obsession of having to fully flesh things out and have gotten away from just pure faith at times. I’m scared I can’t get back to where I was which was a beautiful relationship with Jesus and a peace and love which surpassed all understanding. I’m afraid he’s given me over to a carnal mind. I believe it but I can’t feel it and I know as well as anyone that faith in Christ is not based in a feeling but man it sure makes the Christian walk incredibly difficult and thats even an understatement. Please pray for me and please any help or response would be very much appreciated!

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    1. Hey Taylor, my name is Eric and I help Dr. Flowers with this ministry. What you’re struggling with must be incredibly difficult. I do not think there is such a separation between the flesh and the spirit. I do not think this is how the ancient Hebrews who wrote the Bible saw the human person. I think they saw us as fleshly souls. That your soul is made up of both flesh and spirit and you can’t separate the two.

      On that view, it makes all the sense in the world that what you’re struggling with physically would affect your spirit. God, in his wisdom, created us with these limitations, these weaknesses, so that what is going on physically would have power over us. Then, in his wisdom, he sent his Son to become one of us with all those weaknesses too.

      I agree that science and logic can hinder our experience of God. An experience that is real even if those things cannot explain it. I do think apologetics can help save people but you’re right they have to encounter God at some point.

      I would encourage you in two things: Find a good counselor. I’ve gone through counseling myself and it changed my life. Past drug abuse often leads to depression and anxiety since it throws off the chemicals in the brain. I would also encourage you to look up “Dark Night of the Soul” by Saint John of the Cross. What you’re experiencing could truly be both.

      Please do not hesitate to email me. You’re not alone. traineralakemp@gmail.com.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wonderful post!
        Yes I agree on counselors making a huge difference!!
        Over many years, I’ve discovered that pastors – even though they mean well – are not uniquely equipped for this.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Taylor,
      Thank you for your wonderful post!!

      When any soul makes the statement “I hate my sin” that soul is manifesting fruit.
      Perhaps someone is influencing you to be looking for a specific type of fruit.
      And what that person is emphasizing is simply not what the Lord is building into your life.
      At least at this time.

      Secondly, there is an old saying:
      It took God a few months to get the people of Israel out of Egypt
      It took God 40 years to get Egypt out of the people of Israel.

      The world each of us comes out of makes a huge difference in what things the Lord has to deliver us from.
      And these things take time.
      But the fact that you are crying out the way you are is the best indicator of good things to come.
      If you were predisposed in the opposite direction – then it would be reason for concern.

      If I were you I would be seeking out brothers who are walking strong – but who are not pharisees.
      Brothers whom you can relate too and who understand internally the personal challenges you face.
      Brothers who not only can help your steady walk towards the Lord, but also brothers full of compassion.
      Stay clear of those who manifest self-righteousness or pass judgement over others.

      I’ll be the Lord is doing marvelous things in your life which are perhaps simply not that apparent.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Fromoverhere,
    thank you so much for you kind words in your post. You guys have really shown me respect and the love of Christ unlike that debate Dr. Flowers was in with his Christian brother against their opponents who were Calvinist at least professing Calvinist. I was so ashamed and thought they were so rude to Dr Flowers and his co-partner. I never seen so-called professing Calvinist act like that before. Now I have seen both sides act rude and disrespectful even as I have got out of hand at times but nothing like that debate. But did you notice how Dr. Flowers was so patient, never got upset, said anything rude or disrespectful although he did have to say one time, brother can I just please finish what I am saying. Perfectly effective and necessary in Christ if the non-Calvinist were going to even get to be heard. I think the debate was on free-will. This does not represent the majority of Reformed believers and I hope someone does not get on here and disagree with me or I will show them a place to go where they have probably been where the tongues of non-Calvinists have been set on fire by hell. I call you all my brothers and even sisters in Christ. We have all believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ and we are saved by grace in Christ to the glory of God. Both sides have their professing ones in Christ they are ashamed of and we should pray for them and not judge them. Yes open rebuke is better than concealed love as long as we speak the truth in love. But it is easy to judge and be hypocritical towards people. It is harder to get on our knees and pray that that area that is lacking godliness and the virtue of the Holy Spirit, and to persevere in prayer without gossiping and cursing that person, but blessing and perserving in prayer in effectual (James 5:16-Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective., It will bring forth God’s desired results sanctification) prayer to God Father in Christ through power of the Holy Spirit until that area of sin and wickedness blossoms forth in Christlikeness and the beauty of Holiness.
    So be patient with me my brothers in Christ and rebuke me in love when necessary. God bless you and the grace of Christ be with you always

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Fromoverhere I responded to your post on April 17, 2018 where you said that I could not be a truthseeker because I believe in Romans 3 10-11 I think that there is none righteousness and no one seeks God. The post is long so I could not put it here. It is on my site and I do hope as a truthseeker you take 5 minutes out of your time to read it. After all it is an article devoted directly to you, your beliefs and understandings of the Reformed Believer. God bless my friend and may the grace of Christ be with you always.

    https://wordpress.com/post/tulipnotflowers.wordpress.com/15

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