Manipulation & Easy Believism

 

If you have been around church functions as long as I have you have seen just about every kind of motivation to get people to “come to Jesus” or just to “walk the aisle.”  And let’s just face it, sometimes people go way overboard in their attempt to “get people saved.”

I remember in my first VBS as a young pastor one of the workers coming to me with a group of over 20 kids ranging from ages 3 to 13 who she insisted were ready to be baptized. She apparently had taken it upon her self to offer the children an “altar call to avoid hell” in her recreation time.  Surprise, Surprise, not one of the kids wanted to go to hell!  As a compromise to her request, I agreed to meet individually with each child and try to assess if any were indeed ready for such an important decision.

One by one each child came into my office and, as I expected, proved not to have understood even the basics of the gospel appeal to repentance.  That was until Kimberly came in and sat down.  Kimberly was a delightful twelve-year-old girl who always wore a bright cheery grin.  But she wasn’t smiling this time.  I asked her why she came to the front to pray, fully expecting the same kind of shallow answers from the other kids.  She looked to the ground, shuffled her feet a bit, and then, to my shock, she looks at me with tears welling up and said, “Brother Leighton, I have sinned and I know only Jesus can forgive me.”  We talked for while and I found a spirit of broken submission. Repentance marked this young tender heart.  She was the only one we baptized that next Sunday.  Oh, and that VBS worker was not at all upset with me. It just so happened that Kimberly was her oldest daughter.

At the time this happened I was a Calvinist.  I hated manipulation tactics or even the hint of an “easy-believism gospel.”  False teachers, money hungry TV Evangelists, and health wealth prosperity preachers made my blood boil. I certainly was not about to allow an overzealous VBS volunteer manipulate a bunch of children!

So, now that I have left Calvinism one may think I embrace such evangelistic tactics?  Or maybe that I have at least mellowed out a bit against such things?

THINK AGAIN!

When I was a Calvinist at least I could fall back on my belief that false teachers did not have the chance of preventing the “elect ones” from being saved.  I did not see these manipulators of the gospel as a real threat to the eternal souls of people.  After all, my systematic taught me that God would certainly save all His chosen ones.  So, while I had a righteous indignation, I really did not see them as the threat they actually are in this world.

Sometimes I wonder why it is the Calvinistic believers who are the first to repudiate such tactics when it is those who believe as I do that should be the most indignant given what is at sake.

We all know strong faithful believers who first came to church or walked an aisle as a result of “questionable tactics” employed by “questionable motives.” So, were these tactics the means God ordained for His Holy ends? If so, then should we not respond to those means with the grace Joseph responded to his criminal brothers by saying, “What you intended for evil, God intended for good,” and let it go at that?

Why do manipulative means bother you?

1. Do you believe God ordained manipulative means to come to pass for His greatest glory?

2. Do you believe God purposed such unbiblical tactics to irresistibly draw out his elect ones (because He not only ordains the ends but the means)?

3.  Do you believe God is indignant toward some of the very means He ordained to draw His elect ones to salvation?

Do you see the problem with adopting the idea that God actually purposed the evil tactics to come to pass; rather than, His redeeming evil tactics to bring about a good purpose?

Inquiring as to how God brought about the good end without meticulously determining the means is tantamount to asking how an undefeated chess master soundly defeated every opponent.  Whatever answer you might attempt to offer, would you ever speculate that the chess master is somehow secretly determining his opponents every move in order to ensure his own victory? Or, would it be more beneficial to the “glory” of the chess master to conclude that he is so wise and great at the game of chess that every free move of his opponent was masterfully countered and turned into a victory?

God is a Master Redeemer. He knows how to take any move of his opponent and redeem it for His greater purpose.  How?  I have no idea and if I could figure it all out then it probably would not be all that impressive, because I am not all that bright.  No human is, by the way.  Some of us just haven’t come to that realization yet, in my humble (but accurate) opinion.

Think about all the human discoveries, studies, and disciplines that most of us cannot even begin to understand.   Neuroscience, molecular biology, thermodynamics, genetics, complex engineering and the list could go on and on. Even the greatest minds in each of these fields admit how little we really know or can understand of these disciplines. Are we so naive as to think we can put our peon minds around the inner workings of our infinite Creator God simply because we have a theology degree hanging on our wall? The subject matter of a theologian makes all other subjects look like child’s play in comparison.  We would be naive to presume we can explain exactly how our infinite God works within our temporal world.

All this to say that we cannot begin to draw hard and fast conclusions about God that may impugn His very character. I would much rather appeal to the mystery of man’s capriciousness than to impugn God’s character.  It makes little sense for God (or His followers) to express outrage against things that God Himself has determined beforehand will be the means to ensure His greatest glory.  There is no rational answer against the charge of divine culpability for moral evil if Calvinism’s claims are true. Calvin himself admitted as much when he wrote:

“How it was ordained by the foreknowledge and decree of God what man’s future was without God being implicated as associate in the fault as the author or approver of transgression, is clearly a secret so much excelling the insight of the human mind, that I am not ashamed to confess ignorance…. I daily so meditate on these mysteries of his judgments that curiosity to know anything more does not attract me.” (there are quotes from Piper, MacArthur, and Sproul appealing to this same mystery)

In the Calvinistic way of thinking, any critique of that which has come to pass becomes a criticism of God’s eternal self-glorifying plan. This interpretation requires the response of any and all rebukes of questionable means or evil actions to be answered with the all too commonly misquoted proof text, “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?”

If a Calvinist says, “Arminian preacher, you shouldn’t  manipulate people with your seeker-sensitive easy-believism gospel!”

A consistent answer would be: “Who are you to question God?”

When another Calvinist complains saying, “Lifeway, you shouldn’t sell heretical books in your bookstores.”

An appropriate answer may be, “Who are you to question God?”

If a Calvinist podcaster states, “Churches, you shouldn’t become a country club that tickles the ears of your listeners.”

What keeps us from saying, “Who are you to question God?”

God has not brought these evil choices to pass!  He is not the one who ordained specific evil desires and deeds. We should be angry at such abhorrent actions because God is genuinely angry too, and He is not angry at Himself (His secret hidden will) or His eternal plan of self-glorification. He is angry at THEM for their CHOICES, period.  We can and should join God in his rebuke of bad choices without feeling that we are rebuking God’s secret eternal unchangeable plan of self-glorification. <more HERE>

We can rest in the truth that God is supernaturally able to redeem the evil intentions and actions of His creatures to bring about His greater good. But nothing, absolutely NOTHING, suggests we need to adopt any systematic (or philosophical theistic theory) which even implies that God brings about manipulations of His gospel, evil desires, choices or actions through “meticulous providence” or some kind of “divine sovereign decree.”

170 thoughts on “Manipulation & Easy Believism

  1. Thanks Leighton,

    Indeed the “mystery” starts right away with God forbidding Adam to eat (while secretly willing that he eat).

    But even more blatant is in Genesis 4

    6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 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.”

    ——
    God clearly told him to do right (so, he could have, right?)

    God clearly told him he would be accepted if he did right (so he could have, right?)

    God clearly told him to dominate over sin (so he could have, right?)

    If God “mysteriously, secretly” willed him to bring the wrong sacrifice and kill his brother, then we have no way to know when God is telling what He really wants.

    1. FOH said : “If God mysteriously, secretly” willed him-Cain to bring the wrong sacrifice and kill his brother, then we have no way to know when God is telling what He really wants”

      No, we can still know what God wants for us to do through our conscience God speaks and specially today that we have the scriptures at hand, but not everything is revealed to us right away. There are also secret things that belongs only to God that He chooses not to reveal to us while living on earth like the time of Christ return to lift up the saints.

      Foh said: “God clearly told him-Cain to dominate over sin, (so he could have, right?)

      Genesis 4:6-7 was the confrontation made by God to Cain after the offering was made.
      It is clear that Cain was not properly instructed on what is the acceptable offering and the way it has to be offered so do with his brother Abel. This imply that God also allow both brothers Cain and Abel to make use of their “free will” (that was marred with evil after the fall to sin). It seems that Cain was the goat destined to hell while Abel was the Sheep destined for glory. Why is it that Abel made it successful to dominate over sin while Cain failed? = The answer is Predestination. Each human being has already a definite plan that God created for mortals.

  2. I am always intrigued how Calvinist/ determinists say that everything that happens is God’s will.

    He goes out of His way in Jeremiah (and other places) to make it clear that this is not true.

    19: 5 They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

    1. FOH on Jer. 19:5 “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal-something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.”

      1. God knows everything in the past present and future including the intents of man nothing is hidden to Him. The phrase “nor did it enter My mind” – is not conclusive to build a doctrine here to refute God’s being Omnipotent, Omniscience and Omnipresent. It cannot be denied that even the easy believism preachers believes on these attributes.

      2. God allows it to happen even if it is against His will. This very true with the 10 commandments (summarized by Christ in to 2 in the NT). Although it is God’s command and yet true that man can still disobey. John Piper called this as “God’s Will of Command”. The other one according to Piper is “God’s Decree of Command” – this is something that has been fixed and determined by God even if man will try to resist, the ending is that God is still the winner.

      An example of this is the assurance of Salvation given to the elect Jews/Israel and Gentiles. Once they have already entered that Union with Christ, they are already locked-up by the love of Christ – (Rom. 8:35-39) even they will try to eject from that union, it will not work. This is why, I am so amazed and so humiliated of my helplessness that God really loved me even before I existed on this earth. Though I’m not worthy, yet Jesus Christ extended His mercy towards me.

    2. This is, imo, one of the major drawing cards of Calvinism. I have heard Calvinists reveal their own hearts, without realizing what they are saying. They insist that ‘If _____ happened, it must have been God’s will’ and seem utterly ignorant of how self-serving and absurd such a statement is.

      In other words, any decision I have ever made, however foolish, however evil, however much harm it may have caused my family, church or community, I can place the blame on God for ordaining or ‘allowing’ it to happen.

      This is the evil lure of Calvinism, and I will confess to having succumbed to it for a time. It completely frees one from all sense of guilt, and even allows one to indulge in a few favorite sins – as long as they are not too blatant or disruptive. But I have to tell ya that my conscience finally got to me. I could not continue to convince myself that God did not care what I did, that since he did not ‘see’ my sin, I could live however I wanted, guilt-free. If God wanted me to become more holy, then I guess he’d better get on the stick and make me more mature! It is utterly asinine! But it sure feels good.

      The frightening thing is, I cannot help but suspect that others must have had the same convictions in the dead of the night as I did, the voice calling to me to be honest, to stop making excuses and to come clean before God. And Romans 1 tells us what happens if we ignore that voice repeatedly, if we insist upon exchanging the truth for a lie, and allow ourselves to be persuaded by an evil theology that God does not care what we do, as long as we believe the right things. It is the most heinous of lies, and leads to genuine reprobates who no longer even hear the voice of God that they so stubbornly resisted.

  3. Great article!

    I am far from a fan of the likes of Joel Osteen. Leighton is right; The Calvinist should be his biggest fan. Joel is fulfilling God’s will meticulously. In fact according to Calvinism God wouldn’t have it any other way and therefore determined it unchangeable.

    I mean, according to Calvinism who are we to talk back to God?

    The Calvinist who complains about easy believism is kind of silly when you look at it.
    You cannot get any easier than God automatically changing your desire insomuch that it is impossible not to believe……..it doesn’t get any easier than that.

  4. Good discussion Leighton. It’s always good to hear how God taught you through Scriptures and personal experience. We can certainly reject fleshly motives and methods used in evangelism and also teach and preach against them… But like Paul we can and should still rejoice out loud that God blesses the preaching of the gospel in spite of man’s fleshly choices used in preaching it.

    Philippians 1:18 NKJV — What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

    It brings God no glory to say He eternally immutably predetermined those fleshly motives or means. It brings Him glory to rejoice in how He chooses to woo souls to Himself with truth even when it’s preached from ungodly lips.

    I know the Calvinist likes to fall back on Joseph’s theology, as if it confirms their view of divine determinism. Genesis 50:20 NKJV — “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

    But as usual they try to prove too much from God’s Word in their proof texts. There is nothing about a pre-creation divine intention in this verse. It more naturally would be a divine intention formed after Joseph’s brothers made their intention evident in action… unless you want also to say God intended their evil!

    God certainly was going to get Joseph to Egypt one way or another… but what if Joseph’s brothers and father had responded better to God’s revelation through Joseph’s dreams and encouraged him to go to Egypt? Couldn’t God have intended (worked with) that family reaction for the same good result?

  5. Jose Responding to the topic at hand: Personally I am against “easy believism” due to the following reasons:

    1. It appears to me that the gospel they bring to people is too cheap and they need to beg for people to positively respond to it.

    2. The practices of the “prosperity gospel” deceives people from obtaining riches in financial matters including healings of sicknesses and good health. Naturally people shall be attracted to these, but Only their preachers get richer because of that deceptions made by these preachers that God would bless them more if they will give their dollars in the offering. Easy believism happens here because these are the desires of the fallen man.

    3. The elect can also be a victim for this easy believism propagated by the pentecostals, but afterwards they will also realize the truth of the pure gospel of grace which the Calvinists are well known for. God is still the winner at the end even though the gospel that they first heard is a distorted one. The true sheep will come to his/her senses (activated by the Father,the Holy Spirit) the voice of the Good Shepherd and will depart from that group. Some of them does not have the courage to be labelled as Calvinists, maybe because they don’t want the pressure or ridicule coming from their former associates and friends.

    I will just continue my views next time due to time pressure. I need to stop first.

  6. Jose is here again commenting on Phil. 1:18 Why did Paul rejoice despite the fact that he is against false teachers and he even declared that there is a curse for those preachers of “another gospel” according to Gal. 1:8 (adding human efforts to the gospel of grace to obtain Salvation):

    1. Paul was in prison at the time he wrote this, Knowing that there are those preachers with evil motives yet he rejoices because of his confidence of God’s sovereignty that God is in control of everything. At the end God will still be the winner to turn out unpleasant circumstances into a blessing in disguise according to Rom. 8:28

    2. The theology on Predestination is not affected here because God acts according to His own pleasure. Nobody can question Him even those Bible scholars with brilliant minds here at soteriology 101. Man is only a created being with finite minds vs. God being omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent.

    3. If God will allow or dis-allow things to happen, well who are we to accuse Him? In fact we cannot do anything against Him.

    4. In a democratic country, we cannot forbid those prosperity gospel preachers and the cults to manipulate the gospel. To me, I am not threaten by these because those goats in the first place will never enter heaven. Even if the Calvinists will bring to them the pure gospel of grace, they won’t be saved because Christ did not offer His life for those goats.

    5. I am not the person who challenges anybody for a debate, but I also do react if in case my faith is under attack by those enemies of the cross.

  7. Jose’s reaction to the statement : “There is nothing about a pre-creation divine intention in this verse – Gen. 50:20”

    1. If there was none, then Why did Joseph acknowledge God’s Sovereignty in his statement to his bothers visiting him in Egypt?

    2. It cannot be denied that God is at work and is in control of the past, present and future. When he planned everything before creation, He already knows those details that will happen even those human intentions. God can allow those fleshly human intentions to happen and to have an alliance with evil, Why? because God is Sovereign and can never be threaten by anybody else. If He will totally restrict all of the activities of man on earth, then it would appear that Man is a created robot and God Is threatened by human actions, which is not true.

    1. Hi JTLEOSALAJ,

      You have said a lot but I’ll do a break down of just the last paragraph.

      You say – “It cannot be denied that God is at work and is in control of the past, present and future”

      Non-Calvinists agree that God is at work and in control of things, past present and future.

      You say – “When he planned everything before creation, He already knows those details that will happen even those human intentions”

      Non-Calvinists agree that God knows all of what man can do and his evil intentions.

      You say – “God can allow those fleshly human intentions to happen and to have an alliance with evil, Why? because God is Sovereign and can never be threaten by anybody else.”

      Non-Calvinists agree that God can ALLOW those fleshly human intentions to happen and to have an alliance with evil. Non Calvinists also believe God in His sovereignty is never threatened by anyone else.

      You say – If He will totally restrict all of the activities of man on earth, then it would appear that Man is a created robot and God Is threatened by human actions, which is not true.

      Non-Calvinists also believe that God does not restrict all the activities of man on earth, and that man is not created a robot.

      Calvinism says that everything that comes to pass, comes to pass because that is what God decreed to come to pass before the world began, right down to every thought and action that comes to pass. Calvinism says that it was determined unchangeable by the secret decree of God before the world began.

      There is actually no “allow” in Calvinism. There is actually no “human intentions” in Calvinism because they are just playing out God’s intentions. There is actually nothing to “restrict” in Calvinism because everything that comes to pass is un-changeably decreed to come pass that exact way by the secret decree before the world began.

      Non-Calvinists also believe in predestination. God predestined before the creation of the world that all who are found in Christ (which are believers in the gospel) will be sanctified and glorified. “….unto all and upon all them that believe……” Romans 3:22

      We do not believe that there was a “secret” decree that decreed that only some select individuals will be believers and not the rest for reasons unknown. Nor do we believe the bible teaches that anywhere.

      1. JTLEOSALAJ,

        When you say “the truth of the pure gospel of grace which the Calvinists are well known for”

        Do you mean the “secret decree” that decided to save only some and not the rest for reasons unknown before the world began? Because that’s the “gospel” that Calvinists are well known for.

        Or do you mean that salvation is by the grace of God in Jesus Christ through faith? because that’s the pure gospel that I’m thinking of, which isn’t constrained to Calvinism.

      2. “Secret Decree” that decided to save only some and not the rest for reasons unknown before the world began. = I don’t oppose to these so called “Secret Decree” due to the following reasons:

        1. The elect Jews both the 2 houses – Judah – Southern Kingdom and Israel Northern Kingdom were the partakers of the covenant that God will never turn away. Though they were the elect, still they fell into sin and deserve to go to hell, Why? Because all humanity have sinned according to Romans 3:23; 3:10-11. This is the reason why Christ was sent to save His people from their sins according to Matt. 1:21. It’s obvious that they also put their trust in Christ. This is the pure gospel that Jesus Christ will offer to them.

        2. “Salvation is by the grace of God in Christ Jesus through faith” = This is also the gospel proclaimed by easy believism preachers, but they add something like: obedience to the law, good works, self-determinism in seeking God, promising material prosperity and wealth if you will accept Christ. This is no longer pure gospel. I call it as “adulterated gospel” or “another gospel” as the apostle Paul declared in Gal. 1:8.

        When the Calvinists uses this, it is purely the work of Christ, man has no whatsoever contribution made in seeking God in order to be saved.=This is what I embrace, maintain and preach,

      3. Hi DG :

        I have no disputes with God’s Decree. I fully believe on it, but I also believe that there are things which God have commanded for man to do and yet man has the capability to dis-obey because man is not a created robot-I don’t mean here that man is more powerful than His creator. When a believer sins, (compared to the branch), he/she is being trimmed/disciplined by God the Father without asking anymore permission. When man dis-obey it doesn’t mean that God is helpless and becomes the loser.

        God acts according to His own pleasure. When He allow or dis-allow things to happen we cannot question Him. He can even make use of satan in order to accomplish His “Decree of Command” for mankind.

        Pentecostals are allergic with the “Secret Decree” simply because it is a great blow bursting them on their own doctrine of Universalism Atonement of Christ. I will not beg for them to embrace Limited Atonement, after all if they really belong to the goats, nothing can be done despite Calvinists persuading them, still they will go to hell.

  8. JTLEOSALAJ

    You say the reason you believe in a “secret decree” to save only some and not the rest before the foundation of the world for reasons unknown is because – Quote “The elect Jews both the 2 houses – Judah – Southern Kingdom and Israel Northern Kingdom were the partakers of the covenant that God will never turn away. Though they were the elect, still they fell into sin and deserve to go to hell, Why? Because all humanity have sinned according to Romans 3:23; 3:10-11”

    Are you saying that because Israel was called God’s elect that everyone from the house of Israel is saved?
    I think that is the very problem Paul is addressing in Romans 9. People are not saved by election. It is by the grace of God through faith that people are saved and not by being “elected”. Israel were elected for God’s service therefore can be called elect, but that doesn’t mean that all of them believed and were saved.
    It was the majority of the Jews at the time of Christ that believed they were saved by election. They thought that by being part of the Covenant people guaranteed their salvation for no other reason than that they are “elect”. That’s the issue Paul is knocking on the head.

    Calvinists are making the same mistake in my opinion.

    Salvation is by the grace of God through faith – Period.

    I am in agreement with you on your points on easy believism with these prosperity preachers and so on.

    But, I am also wary of the one who adds anything to salvation by the grace of God in Jesus Christ through faith “….unto all and upon all them that believe……” Romans 3:22 ”

    Like someone who might say “not unto all, but only upon those who God elected to be saved by a secret decree for reasons unknown before the world began. To me this is adding or distorting the gospel as well, not to mention un-biblical.

    1. Agree to DG :

      “Judaism” does not save the Jews/Israel. As God’s elect they need the offer of Christ to them, Why? Because all human race have sinned according to Rom. 3:23; Rom. 3:10-11. A former member of Judaism, Saul who became Apostle Paul without prejudice left/abandoned Judaism upon his conversion to Christ.

      I think not all of the Jews are saved due to the following evidences in the Bible:

      1. The pharisees belongs to Judaism which strongly insist God’s covenant for them alone and yet they were the number one opposition during the time of Christ. They were labelled as hypocrites.

      2. The young rich man who approached Jesus Christ attempted to obtain salvation and brags of his obedience to the law since he was young, yet turned out to be a goat also at the end of his conversation with Jesus Christ.

      3. I John 2:19 They (heretic-Jews) went out from us, but they were not of us, they would continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

      Question: How do read Rom. 10:26-28 “… all Israel will be saved…”

  9. JTLEOSALAJ,

    My understanding is those verses in Rom 11 are talking about the New Covenant that will be made with Israel toward the end of the tribulation. When God “will turn back ungodliness from Jacob”

    “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.”
    ‭‭
    “All Israel” from my understanding when I read the OT is speaking about Israel as a nation (or the majority if you like).

    I realise that this isn’t the only interpretation of this passage. Mine is what most baptists have held to on this passage.

    1. DG said in his previous comments that :

      1. “… people are not saved by election.”

      My response : If you refer the term “People” to Israel, I can say that God still will save those hard-headed Israelites by offering them the “IRRESISTIBLE GRACE OF GOD” according to Romans 11:26 “… He (God) will turn away ungodliness from Jacob”. v.27 …”I will take away their sins” v. 28 “… they are beloved for the sake of the fathers and in v. 29 For the gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable.

      This only means that it was already God’s prior decision that they (All Israel) were saved, and that this will never be changed anymore even if they refuse the gospel that Christ offered to them during the time of Christ’s ministry on earth. It is a fact that they cannot resist God’s action to :

      a. turn away ungodliness from Jacob-Ro. 11:26
      b. take away their sins Rom. 11: 27
      c. they are the beloved for the sake of the fathers Rom. 11:29

      2. “…but doesn’t mean that all of them believed and were saved.”

      and also DG commented in the later part that : “All Israel” from my understanding when I read the OT is speaking about Israel as a Nation (or the majority if you like)

      DG, my bro. in Christ, You now AGREE with me (based on Romans 11:26-29) that ALL ISRAEL will be saved. It is also obvious that you agree now to my previous comment that :
      ” … They (Israel) were the partakers of the covenant that God will never turn away”.

      For me I do maintain my belief that : God cannot turn away to His covenant for Israel, for in doing so, this would mean He is unfaithful and a liar, and unchangeable or having unstable mind with His promise.

      I just mentioned at least 3 examples on the side of Israel, i.e.: Pharisees, the rich man who approached Jesus Christ and the false teachers mentioned in 1 John 2:19 just to go along the current with your view, but it doesn’t mean that I’m giving up my former statement (“They (Israel) were the partakers of of the covenant that God will never turn away”

      1. JTLEOSALAJ,

        You stated – “God still will save those hard-headed Israelites by offering them the “IRRESISTIBLE GRACE OF GOD”

        I’m not sure if you can see the inconsistency of that statement. Calvinism says that individuals are saved by a secret selection process before they were born for reasons unknown. The only ones that will be saved are those picked out for it from before they were born according to Calvinism. so when you say “offer” – what is there to offer? Besides according to Calvinism it’s irresistible isn’t it? So any “offer” is not a legitimate offer. It can only appear like an “offer” in Calvinism.

        The way I understand God “turning ungodliness away from Jacob” is when they realize that they have crucified their Messiah. They (as a majority will realize and repent of their own free will and believe the gospel, by the grace of God in Jesus Christ through faith, just like anybody else. It is the gospel that is power of God unto salvation, Not the Calvinist magic wand of “irresistible grace”. Actually that terrible time of God’s judgement in revelation sounds like a lot of people will repent, believe and be saved. Rev. 6:9-14

        Zech 12:10 “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn”

        You say – “DG, my bro. in Christ, You now AGREE with me (based on Romans 11:26-29) that ALL ISRAEL will be saved”

        Thanks for calling me your brother. We can still be brothers, I like that.
        When I say that I believe that “all Israel” will be saved, I mean the majority that are left at that time during this terrible time of God’s judgement during the tribulation as described in the book of Revelation. I mean it in the sense of the majority. When it states in the OT “all Israel”, it means the Majority or the establishment if you like.
        .
        Here’s an example – Josh 7:25 “And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones”

        I don’t think that that there were 3 million people standing around in a circle with stones in their hand taking shots at Achan if you can get the picture?

        Again, this is a good example of Calvinists reading “election” to salvation by a ‘secret decree’ for the ‘select some’ before the foundation of the world for no given reason into every part of Scripture. When nowhere in scripture is this ever taught.

      2. Hi DG: I don’t dispute with you regarding your statement : “The only ones that will be saved are those picked out for it from before they were born according to Calvinism”

        That is very true with God’s statement in Romans 9:12-13 as cited by Paul. God picked out Jacob-Israel but left out Esau-Edomites (before they were born-Still inside their mothers womb). Esau and his seeds are not saved. This is supported by the book of Obadiah.

        That means the whole house of Jacob-Israel only-the Original Sheep (the 12 tribes sons of Jacob; Judah-Southern Kingdom; the rest of the brothers – Northern Kingdom)

      3. JTLEOSALAJ,

        Of course, you wouldn’t dispute that statement. I am glad you affirm that statement as what Calvinists believe. I certainly don’t believe it or that the bible teaches it.

        God picked out Jacob (the Israelites) for service not salvation. Remember not all Israel are saved, because not all believe.
        God rejected Esau (Edomites) for service. That doesn’t mean that any descendant from an Edomite can’t be saved. You may just be one yourself somewhere along the line?

        Again this is yet another good example of Calvinists reading a preconceived idea into Scripture – the idea that God selected only a few select individuals to be believers from before that were born for unrevealed reasons by a so called “secret decree”. Which isn’t taught anywhere in Scripture.

      4. DG said: “God picked out Jacob (the Israelites) for service not Salvation”

        My Response : Baut Paul is saying that ALL ISRAEL will be SAVED based on Rom. 11:26-27. There is no mention of SERVICE but SALVATION cited by Paul from the OT. This is what the Bible says about the covenant made by God with Israel.

        DG said: They (as a majority will realize and repent of their OWN FREE WILL and believe the gospel…”

        My Response : This is what the pentecostals are insisting the use of their own free will in seeking God. I have already explained this that FREE WILL is considered spiritually dead because it was already marred with SIN-thus using that free will is an offense to God that is why it is counted by GOD as VOID of no effect according to Romans 3:10-11- “There is non righteous, no not one. There is non who seek God.”

        You keep on insisting that “another gospel” that is adulterated with fleshly human effort to be applied with Israelites in seeking God. It is no longer the GRACE of God. The GRACE of God is operative before the act of Seeking. God needs to do this, Why? because man is dead and cannot seek God in His own accord. If man will try to use his own free will it wont work. You go to Christ and tell Him, “see I was saved because of my own effort.” Christ came down to seek and save the lost not vice versa.

      5. JTLEOSALAJ writes,

        “Free will is an offense to God that is why it is counted by GOD as VOID of no effect according to Romans 3:10-11- “There is non righteous, no not one. There is non who seek God.”

        Then – “The GRACE of God is operative before the act of Seeking. God needs to do this, Why? because man is dead and cannot seek God in His own accord.

        What a non-Calvinist means by the grace of God being operative BEFORE some can seek, is this-
        God made us – God’s Grace!,
        God sent his Son for us- God’s Grace!, God makes known his Salvation – God’s Grace! God convicts of our sin – God’s Grace!, God promised to save the believer – God’s grace!

        What a Calvinist means by God’s Grace being operative BEFORE some can “seek”, is this – You were picked out of multitudes to be a believer before you were born by a “Secret Decree” for reasons unknown. You cannot resist it when it comes upon you even though you are resisting it. You will submit to it and cannot do otherwise. I have determined it unchangeable- God’s Grace!

      6. DG said: “This doesn’t mean that any descendant from an Edomite can’t be saved. You may just be one yourself somewhere along the line”

        My response : Esau-the Father of Edomites-his repentance is not genuine according to :
        1. Hebrews 12:17 “… he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears”.
        2. Hebrews 12:15 “… he fall short of the GRACE OF GOD”.
        3. Hebrews 12:15 ” he is the root of bitterness. In the OT apostate is called as “ROOT” that produces poison
        4. Obadiah 1:1-4 talks about God’s pronouncement of judgment to Edom
        vv. 5-9 talks about How Edom will be annihilated
        vv. 10-14 talks about why Edom will be annihilated
        vv. 15-16 talks about Edom and the Day of the Lord
        vv. 17-21 talks about Israel’s complete triumph over Esau-the father of the Edomites

        5. Obadiah 1:18 “The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph as a flame; but the house of ESAU shall be stubble; they shall kindle him and devour them, and NO SURVIVOR shall remain of the house of Esau for the Lord has spoken.”

        DG said that “there are Edomites that will be saved”, but Obadiah 1:18 says “NO SURVIVOR” on the house of Esau shall be left out. They will be completely annihilated. It means DG is lying… This verse becomes his enemy and does not believe on this verse.

      7. And yet Herod the Great in Acts chapter 12 was a descendant of the Edomite’s. And he showed up after they were supposed to wiped out. Obviously there were descendants of Edomites that survived? What more shall I say?

        It amazes me how someone can be quick to call someone a lier before considering the facts.

      8. DG uses Acts 12:1 citing Herod as one who came out from the Edomites

        My Response: Obadiah 1:18 will come to pass or will still happen in the future events. It has not yet happened as of this time because this is the prophetic destiny of Esau-the father of the Edomites. Some Bible scholars are saying that the modern day Edomites today are the countries that have perpetual war with the nation of Israel. They-Edomites engaged intermarriages with the Ishmaelites-the son of Hagar and father of the Arabs/Muslims. e.g. Iran, Palestinian Terrorists with unending conflict with the nation of Israel.

        Genesis 28:9 So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nabajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had.

      9. I hope I don’t run into an Edomite on the streets and tell them that Christ paid for their sins and died that they can repent, believe and go to heaven……….wouldn’t that be a lie to them. I’ll ask them if they are an Edomite before I tell them that lie.

        Said with tongue in cheek of course 🙂

      10. My response : It’s not a lie because Edom is destined to perish even if you will offer to them the gospel it will not work for them, Why? God has declared that He hated Esau even before he was born from his mother. Maybe you can tell Joel Osteen to pay for sins of the Edomites then he can go to Christ and tell Him: “What can you say Lord, I am Joel Osteen, Did I perform well in my soul winning manipulative attempts” ?

        Any manipulation of the gospel will never work in obtaining Salvation.

      11. There it is folks! This is a classic example of lumping a man like Joel Osteen in with anyone that isn’t a Calvinist.

        See, there are a lot of Calvinists such as this that hate soul winning, when even God says in his word – “He that winneth souls is wise” Prov 11:30.
        Of course this can only be done by the gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Christ) which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.

        There’s nothing wrong with telling people the gospel because it can win souls! Be a soul winner!

      12. My Response : Yes I agree to Prov. 11:30 “…He who wins souls is wise”

        1. You may be called as wise, if you WILL NOT MANIPULATE the gospel. Any one who will manipulate the gospel is cursed according to Gal. 1:8. This made Joel Osteen cursed because of his ulterior motives to become richer and richer by using his manipulated gospel to deceive people.

        2. The gospel has the power to save for those that the Father will give to the Son, but for the perishing it is just foolishness-I Cor. 1:18
        It is a futile attempt to offer the gospel to those that are perishing, Why Christ did not offer His life to those goats.

      13. I think you need to let go of Joel Osteen. The bible warns of these men. Don’t let it bother you.

        On the other hand there is nothing wrong with manipulating people with the gospel. I’m glad it manipulated me. If the preaching of the cross is called manipulation – bring it on! I say. Call it what you will.

        Just don’t tell people that they are saved by a “secret decree” before they were born for reasons unknown, because that’s not the gospel either. There’s no cross in that one either.

      14. DG Says : “There is nothing wrong with manipulating people with the gospel…”

        My response is :

        DG : says there is nothing wrong… But the Bible says its wrong. God will curse those who will… according to

        Gal. 1:8 Sed licet nos aut de caelo evangelizet vobis praeterquam quod evangelizavimus vobis anathema (Latin Vulgate)

        But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be cursed.

      15. What? The preaching of the cross and Christ crucified is “another gospel”? I don’t think so!

        Whereas preaching that men are saved by a “secret decree” from before they were born for unknown reasons is.

      16. I Cor. 1:18 says: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”

        No matter how you will offer the gospel to the goats that are destined to perish, it will not work Why? Because Christ did not offer His life for those goats. Christ did offer His life only to the sheep according to Christ Himself in His declaration in John 10:11, 15

      17. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (past tense) foolishness; but unto us which are saved (past tense) it is the power of God.”
        ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭

        Even the version you are reading still doesn’t prove that only some individuals are selected to be a believer by a “secret decree” from before they were born for unknown reasons .

        You would have to believe the unbiblical statement and read that into the text. As Calvinists do.

      18. On a quick note – don’t you believe Joel Osteen’s “ulterior motives” were brought about by the secret counsel of God and were deemed unchangeable by God’s “secret decree”. Because his “ulterior motives” have come to pass haven’t they?

      19. Yes, Joel Osteen’s ulterior motive in gospel manipulation came to pass because of God’s decree-Agree to this, bwah hah hah… Do you believe also that Joel Osteen is destined to hell? like Judas Iscariot, a traitor to Christ in order to fulfill Christ’s death on the cross?

      20. Anyone who ends up in hell is because they they rejected the legitimate offer to be saved.

        When you say – “Joel Osteen is destined to hell”. Do you mean because he wasn’t one of the hand picked ones that were picked out from before they were born by the “secret decree” for reasons unknown?……Joel Osteen predestined to hell by the “secret counsel” of God from before he was born for reasons unknown……is that what you mean?

      21. There was no legitimate offer of Grace made by God to Joel Osteen, so how can he be saved? He cannot saved himself as what he is doing now in his preachings. Adding human effort to seek God, its not a pure gospel. How can he be saved if he is dead spiritually and is disconnected to the True Vine. He can do nothing according to Jesus Christ, right?

      22. You say Joel Osteen is – quote “Adding human effort to seek God”. And this is coming to pass right? And according to Calvinism all things that come to pass, come to pass by the “secret counsel” of God that determined it unchangeable before the world began right?

        Then what “human effort” is Joel Osteen adding to God’s secret counsel decree that determined what he is doing unchangeable? Because everything that comes to pass is for God’s glory according to Calvinism. Even Joel’s actions.

        I still don’t think you will see it though. Or refuse to face it.
        I don’t know?

      23. My Response : Your understanding about “Everything is decreed by God” – seems to me that Your view for Man is a ROBOT that is always manipulated by God. That God never give man the opportunity to decide for himself. May I ask you, Are you a robot ? If you deny, then you are NOT A NORMAL BEING, maybe half-human and half machine, like Robo – Cop.

        It appears that God did not allow Adam and Eve to use their freedom because, God is threatened by the time His commandments are violated. If this is your view, then you have a problem on the sovereignty of God.

      24. Huh! Calvinism says everything that comes to pass is by God’s secret decree, not me.

        Am I missing something here 😀?

      25. My Response :

        1. So… are you a ROBOT ?. Pentecostals are saying that they are NOT A ROBOT… and you ???

        2. God destroyed humanity during the global flood, a very clear manifestation that God dislike what the people were doing during Noah’s time. This means that this is against His will.

        3. God sent fire to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, a very clear manifestation that God was offended and disliked what people did and it was against His will.

        4. Maybe, you can do some pornography videos and have it shown in your church worship service and call it as decreed by God and that God gets the glory… Can you do that ? and still say honestly to yourself : “Lord, I am doing this for your glory”? “Lord, I have done this because this is what you want for me to do” Come on…

      26. JTEOSALAJ,

        It is Calvinism that says God brings all things to pass for his own glory, including every evil act of man. It was all predetermined by the “secret will” of God before the world began according to Calvinism. And according to Calvinism whatever comes to pass was determined unchangeable.

        So are you now disgusted in what God brings to pass? For his own glory.

        Who are you O man to talk back to God?

        All said with my tongue in cheek of course 😉

      27. DG Said : “Yet in your point 1, you act “as if” man was not a robot and had the freedom to “exercise his own will”.

        My Response : It is now clear to me that your view for Man is a ROBOT without WILL and is always manipulated by God. Well, be it if that’s you assess of yourself, a ROBOT. Sorry we have a different view on the issue…

      28. Mmmmmm. How can I get you to see your confusion? I don’t know if I can to tell you truth?

        I actually don’t believe we are robots JTLEOSALAJ.

        I am trying to show you that if you hold to Calvinism. We can can be nothing but programmed robots.

        It is Calvinism that says all things that come to pass, including every evil thought and action are predetermined to come to pass before the world began by a “secret decree” of God. Calvinism says all this brings God glory. According to Calvinism nothing comes to pass that God didn’t want and cause to come to pass by His “secret decree.

        If you do not agree with this, then maybe you are not a Calvinist? Or a “I want my cake and eat it too” kind of Calvinist.

      29. DG,
        Again, concerning your conversation with JTLE….. he does not quite yet understand all that Calvinism means and teaches.

        It usually starts with wanting to “give God all the glory.” Then the “dead men dont make choices.” Then the paradigm shift that regeneration precedes faith (“Wow, that’s not the way I understood it!”).

        All good so far. Follow that up with “two wills” and compatibalism. (“Okay…. give me time to adjust from the faith I started with! That seems kinda weird —– God willed everything that has come to pass?!”)

        They struggle with that and start growing their beard and get a tattoo in Latin…. and start smoking cigars.

        But it is when guys like you come along and say “Calvinism teaches that God planned every move we will make—- our lives are scripted. We are robots.”

        Then he says “We are not robots!” Buzzzzer! Wrong answer.

        Can God be angry? Newly-minted Calvinist responds “yes of course…. the Bible says it!” Buzzzzzzer! Wrong answer.

        Impassibility (held by Calvinists) teaches that God cannot be sad, happy, displeased, pleased, angry, disappointed. He cannot regret. He cannot “remember”. He cannot “respond to our call.”

        All of these things —- and many more —- are said many times in the Bible, but Pipers’ answer? MacArthur’s answer? “It doesnt really mean that. We know God is not like that.” The articles saying that are easy to find.

        But dont read those too soon young Calvinist (it will turn you off reading their tangled, twisting articles explaining that God ordains/decrees all sin). You need to ease into Calvinism…. Not all at once.

        Now, let’s go back to the beginning… Regeneration precedes faith….. Repeat. Dead men dont make choices. Repeat. Ahh….that’s better….

      30. DG said: “Can you tell me what came to pass by the “will of command” that wasn’t fixed? Where does your point 1 fit? Or is it just an imaginary thought?

        My Response is:
        1. Man was able to violate God’s will of Command. In fact even the good works of man is still considered as filthy rags that cannot be used
        to obtain Salvation.

        2. My point No. 1 will fit in to the use of Man’s will without being manipulated by God- But when it comes to seeking Salvation the use of this
        free will that is marred with evil/sin will never work, Why? Because Salvation is a FREE GIFT provided by Christ to those that are dead
        spiritually.

        3. It is not just an imaginary thought because it is obviously supported by Scriptures.

      31. You still don’t see it. EVERYTHING that comes to pass. That means everything that has ever happened and everything that will happen. That includes every minute detail of every minute sin and thought of that sin.
        ALL this comes to pass by the “will of decree”. Because nothing comes to pass that wasn’t by the “will of decree” according to Calvinism.

        So again, what imaginary world have you seen “God’s will of command” in?

        I can’t spell it out any plainer unless you take off Calvin’s glasses.

  10. Daily reading in Nehemiah

    1:5 “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

    8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

    ————

    Nehemiah helps us define God’s Sovereignty.

    A. He says that God keeps his covenant, “with those who love him and keep his commandments.” That is completely conditional on man’s actions. God tells us here (and in hundreds of passages like this) that He will act according to man’s actions. Not all decreed before time.

    B. Nehemiah says, “We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave…” There is no room for Piper’s (not-in-the-Bible) idea of two will or two decrees. Nehemiah makes it clear that they did not do what God wanted in any way (even uses the word “decrees’).

    C. Nehemiah quotes the Lord in a phrase we hear in hundreds of places in almost all the books of the Bible: “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you…. but if you…. then I will.”

    How can anyone reading these hundreds and hundreds of statements from the Lord dare to add to the Bible and say these phrases dont mean what they say?

    Please also notice that I am not quoting and re-quoting the same passages over and over like Calvinists to proof-text a point.

    Daily Bible reading will rinse away man-made Calvinism.

  11. When I refer to hundreds of passages where the Lord says “If you will ….then I will” or passages where the Lord says, “I did not command you to do that evil thing….nor did it enter my mind” —- it is common to hear Calvinists say “we do not get our doctrine from that.”

    No kidding. THEY do not get their doctrine from that, because they dont want to. They dont let it shape their doctrine in any ways —except to come up with some man-made idea of God having two opposing wills (He says dont sleep with another person’s wife, but if that has happened —- it must have been His will of decree).

    Let’s let the Bible tell us How God Is.

  12. It says in Romans 3:23 that all humanity (including God’s elect Israel) are sinners. Also in Romans 3:10-11 No one is righteous and that no one is seeking God-(includes the nation of Israel)

    The above verses will help us to understand that :

    1. Man has willfully disobeyed God and no one becomes righteous even though they will attempt to use that “free will that is marred with evil;contaminated with the virus of sin will ever please God to grant them Salvation

    2. If man disobeys God’s command it means that God has allowed it to happen. If He did not allow it to happen then it wont because God has the capability to override Man’s will.

    3. Don’t say that the Calvinists will say : “A person sleeps with another’s wife -It must have been His Will of Decree” – This is very bad because as if you are charging God as the author of evil/sin. Please remember that when God created satan he was prefect and the most beautiful of all angels. Also true with Man was created after in His own image, without sin. The tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden has no poison (not intrinsically evil or poisonous) that can cause death, because everything that God created was good and that God can never be the author/creator of SIN and can never commit sin because He is absolutely perfect.

    4. Why did God gave those commandments? My Answer: So that man will be able to exercise his will whether to obey or disobey. This is what John Piper is saying – “God’s will of Command” e.g.: like the 10 commandments that can be disobeyed/ignored by man, But as for “God’s will of Decree” – this is something that Man cannot evade or resist for it will surely come to pass. It has been decreed/destined by God, it is fixed and cannot be changed anymore.

  13. JTLEOSALAJ writes

    “This is what John Piper is saying – “God’s will of Command” e.g.: like the 10 commandments that can be disobeyed/ignored by man, But as for “God’s will of Decree” – this is something that Man cannot evade or resist for it will surely come to pass. It has been decreed/destined by God, it is fixed and cannot be changed anymore”

    Calvin and John Piper and Calvinism says that everything that comes to pass is fixed and cannot be changed which was decreed/destined by God before the world began by the “secret decree”.

    So when JTLEOSALAJ says that “God’s will of command” “can be disobeyed/ignored by man” what does he mean? When all things that come to pass are the “will of decree”. And if all things that come to pass are the “will of decree” and nothing of the “will of Command” then there has never been a broken commandment…..because according to Calvinism all things that come to pass are by the unchangeable “will of decree”.

    But you just don’t understand Calvinism!…………actually I don’t think they do either.

    1. DG Said: “So when JTLEOSALAJ says that “God’s will of Command” can be disobeyed/ignored by man,” what does he mean?

      My answer:

      1. The whole human race is guilty of SIN = the very proof that man has the capability to disobey. Man is not a created robot=meaning God
      still allowed it to happen by letting man exercise his own will without manipulating it. God foreknows everything even the inner intentions
      of man before he was created. In other words, man’s disobedience is still a part of God’s eternal plan

      2. “God’s will of Command” can be ignored/dis-obeyed, but God’s “WILL of DECREE” is superior than “God’s will of Command” = This is
      fixed, destined and cannot be changed.

    2. DG Says : “And if all things that come to pass are the “will of decree” and nothing of the “Will of Command” then there has never been a broken commandment… because according to Calvinism all things that come to pass are by the unchangeable “Will of Decree”.

      My Response :

      1. DG says “… then there has never been a broken commandment … “, But the Bible clearly says that ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD according to Romans 3:23

      2. If there was no broken commandment then there is no need for Jesus Christ to offer His life on the Cross.

      1. JTLEOSALAJ,

        You might just be on your way out of Calvinism if you stop and think about that. 😁

  14. JTLEOSALAJ,

    I don’t think that you can see your circular reasoning. Calvinism says EVERYTHING that comes to pass is by God’s will of decree – The unchangeable will of decree that decreed the very thought and action of every sin in every detail to come to pass.

    When you say – “God foreknows everything even the inner intentions”, that’s because according to Calvinism God implanted those inner intentions right down to the finest detail. Every evil intention and action that comes top pass is by what you call “God’s will of Command” that cannot be changed.

    Yet in your point 1, you act “as if” man was not created a robot and had the freedom to “exercise his own will”.

    Can you tell me what came to pass by the “will of Command” that was wasn’t fixed? Where does you point 1 fit? Or is it just an imaginary thought?

  15. DG,
    As for your conversation with Jose (JTLE) about robots…..

    The problem here is that many newly-minted Calvinists go on a rampage to “defend the faith” and “convert others.” They begin to pull out Eph 1:11, Romans 3:10, John 6:44, John 15, etc and expect people to “get it” and convert as easily as they did.

    What is ironic here is that he is accusing YOU of being the one saying we are robots. Those who are new to Calvinism sometimes do not fully grasp where Calvinism leads.

    So he knows we are not robots and we make willful choices etc….. but he still quoted Piper’s two wills???? This is amusing.

    Jose does not understand that the WHOLE point of Piper’s two wills is that Piper says God says (1) do not cheat on your wife (will of command) but if that man in fact cheated on his wife, then his actions, like all actions were (2) God’s will of decree (secret will, divine will, hidden will). Since truly….. as Piper claims….. all things that happen are what God wants to happen.

    So, DG, I think you have done what you can….. but some confusion remains since most new-Calvinists dont understand the full import of what a consistent application of Calvinism means.

    1. Yeah, the poor guy has it bad. I recommend taking two years to read the bible without Calvinist blinders, and call us afterwards to see how he is doing. Cured me. 😉

    2. Comment to JTLEOSALA : “Jose does not understand the whole point of Piper’s 2 wills is that Piper says God says (1) do not cheat on your wife (will of command) but if that man in fact cheated on his wife, then his actions, like all actions were (2) God’s will of Decree (Secret Will, Divine Will, Hidden Will). Since truly… as Piper claims… all things that happen are what are God wants to happen.”

      My Response :

      1. “Cheating on your wife” – calling it as “DIVINE WILL” of God is one thing that I cannot accept. Deep within my conscience it is a SIN that for me seriously displeases God. God is HOLY and can never connive with SINS because this is against His very nature and attributes.

      2. For me, it cannot bring glory to God. If all of the actions of Man regardless how sinful acts, is being thrown/passed on to God and frees the sinner without holding him responsible for his evil actions.

      3. Evil actions of man, Calling it “DIVINE WILL”= This is not true because God disciplines His children, meaning their is consequences for those evil acts that God cannot consent.

      4. Evil actions of man, calling it as “DIVINE WILL” = This is not true because, God the Father do the action of TRIMMING the branches, meaning it is NOT IN ACCORDANCE TO HIS WILL for the branches to continue sinning, Why? Because living in sins is not the Will of God, Is it? He is a Holy God=and you will say, God is glorified when the branch continue sinning? You mean, God is glorified to pumpering man to commit sins without holding him responsible for his evil actions? Even the HOLY SPIRIT is grieved (feel sad, not happy and glorified) when the saints commit sins, so you are telling me the opposite… that GOD IS HAPPY and GLORIFIED HERE ? ….. You cannot justify this even how hard work you will twist scriptures to become loyal to what is passed down to you… Still, even your conscience is guilty behind the mask you are wearing.

      5. What is the basis for calling it as “HIDDEN WILL” (the “cheating on your wife”) when it is already disclosed by God that this thing is against His will. Cheating on your wife is immoral and is obviously supported by the scriptures… so.. what is HIDDEN there, when it’s NO LONGER A SECRET?

      1. Wow!

        I am not sure what is happening!

        I made this statement on the “catching clouds” page of this blog…..

        “FOH writes, ‘According to Calvinism, if it did happen, it was God’s secret will.'”

        Jose’s fellow-Calvinist (and staunchest defender of Calvinism on these pages)….. quickly commented this.

        “A correct statement with no distortion.”

        I appreciate Jose’s enthusiasm, but Calvinism teaches that “if it happened, it was God’s secret, divine will.”

        I’m sorry for young Calvinists who do not understand that Calvinism teaches this. It is very easy to find. That is the goal of Piper’s two wills.

      2. Jose’s Statement is here : What I suspect in this blog is that : “White vs. White” is just the same Calvinists trying to argue with themselves, some pretending to defend the Calvinists side while at the same time taking side of the Pentecostals. That is why it will lead to seeming confusions. I admit that I have no whatsoever background of this blog site upon entering in, and to tell you people in this Soteriology 101, it really helped me to become more strengthened regarding the gospel of PURE GRACE which the Calvinists are well known for. SORRY GUYS if I caused confusions. I hope you will not block me. I really enjoy the argument here…

  16. FOH,

    That’s a classic!

    Yet it is not uncommon for Calvinists to do this. Calvin himself does it all the time in His Institutes. He constantly argues with himself. I couldn’t imagine what it must have looked like when he was writing them – “Ok, who am I going to be today – the man with responsibility or a determinist? Maybe this morning I’ll be a determinist and this afternoon I’ll be a man with responsibility?”

    1. DG, That is my take of Calvin as well. Those who simply read a quote here and there do not see how he ‘speaks’ out of both sides of his mouth. He struggled with the same issues modern Calvinists face. Thus Servetus could mercilessly mock his lack of logic and consistency, also earning his eternal hatred.

    2. Jose is here now, the real me and will no longer pretend to take side with the Pentecostal camp. I honestly declare that I belong to the Calvinist side . I am willing to give the admin of this blog my personal background in private so you can authenticate and for us to build mutual trust. I am here again with for the purpose of clearing out everything about the later part of my comments here that is leaning towards the Pentecostal side.

      1. I fully declare and believe in “God’s Will of Decree” – that everything that come to pass is by God’s Will of Decree.

      2. I declare my faith that : Man is NOT IN CONTROL of everything while God does, why? Man is only God’s creation and can never supercede the capabilities of his creator.

      3. Man’s WILL is a gift from his creator but cannot be used to win over God or even resist what God has destined for him. God can still override Man’s WILL anytime God may wish to do so.

      4. Regarding the issue on Man’s Responsibility, the following is my personal stand which I think still compatible with Calvinism:

      4.1 Man is NOT responsible for his sins, why? Because God knows that the Elect will commit sin and that they have no whatsoever capabilities to pay for their sins, the VERY REASON why Christ went to the cross to redeem/pay for the sins of His people-the Sheep. This is the GRACE of God, His unconditional love offered to the Sheep of His pasture. The Elect were not held responsible because they are not in CONTROL of everything even if they were gifted with the so called FREE WILL.

      If the Sheep are responsible for their sins ???… then all of them will go to hell as a consequence of their actions, but… this is not true.

      If we are not in control of everything, then we are not responsible for anything.

      4.2 There are several verses in the Bible about our ACCOUNTABILITY in the future by the time the believers will face God to take account of their deeds on earth whether good or bad (bema judgment). This accountability will occur for the sole purpose of giving rewards to the believer. This has NOTHING to do with the believer’s salvation.

      Just like in a school graduation ceremony that: ALL members of the graduating class are promoted/declared as graduates, and no one was ever left out, but not all receive the same award.

      My comments here dated August 15, 2018 are just plainly bluff. These are just my way of pretending to the side of the arguments that I have encountered with the Pentecostals and Charismatics. I’m not a Pentecostal, and I will never be. I strongly disagree to their adulterated gospel of Salvation. I can be a friend to them but will never embrace nor collaborate to their doctrines.

  17. Daily reading takes me to Job.

    I just dont get it! Jose, quotes over and over the Romans 3:10 verse (out of context) saying that no man (ever) can do anything good…..

    Job 1:1 He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil….. 5 Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.

    8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
    —————-

    The Bible says this kind of thing about a lot of people (Enoch, Noah, Zechariah & Elizabeth, etc).

    Jose and company, why do you put so much weight on a verse out of context (after all it does talk about venom on the lips of ALL people too), when the Bible clearly teaches that humans can make good choices?

    If Job, Noah, Zechariah, etc are all called blameless and good and upright —- how can you say that all men are “too dead” to hear God’s call for all men to “come to me, all you burdened and heavy laden.” ?

    I mean you put all your weight on one verse (out of context) and that is supposed to nullify all the times “The LORD” calls someone, good, blameless, upright, righteous. I urge you, please listen to the message of the Bible.

    1. 1. Job’s goodness cannot be used to obtain salvation, you know that men… hehehe… otherwise you will be teaching that man can save himself with his own goodness. Why are you still preaching Christ to people when you can save yourself with your good works?

      2. Good works of man as you contend it, are just filthy rags to God. They are futile and void in accessing Salvation. Those good works produced using the will of man that is marred with evil is an offense to God and is considered as dead.

      3. It is God who will start a good work in man in order for him to seek God and obtain Salvation – (Phil 1:6) A believer then, must cooperate with that good work that God has started in him as he continue the christian life.

      4. How do you operate the Christian life? Are you operating on your own fleshly strength or you operate the Christian life through the grace of God?

  18. One more thought on the misuse of the Romans 3:10 verse.

    A Calvinist (like I was) takes that one poetic verse (talking about ALL people having venom on their lips) and says that “no one can ever do anything good.”

    Then the Calvinist encounters dozens, hundreds (?) of verses where God says someone is good.

    He says to himself….. “Since no one can do good, it must mean that God made them good, gave them faith, irresistibly “makes” them be blameless.”

    I got so tired of doing that! I realized it was just better to re-examine the one poetic passage in Romans 3 and see if the message really was what reformed teachers had drilled me on. That’s when I first saw the context of this passage (in the verse right before!!!)

    Romans 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:…..

    Wow! What Paul is saying is that it is no advantage to be a Jew —-since all must believe in Christ. The point is to show that no one gets a free ride just cuz they say “But we are God’s chosen people!”

    1. Good comment. Unfortunately, you know as well as I, that when people are brainwashed into believing something, all appeals to the contrary are useless. The language of scripture is often poetic, as are most languages. When a teenager wails ‘No one understands me’, most appreciate that their cry is one of frustration, not a literal statement that they have questioned every human being on earth, and not a single one can understand them. It is the same in the language in which scripture was composed, as well as the languages into which it has been translated.

      Even the ‘For all have sinned . . .’ statement, among others, may very well not be intended as a doctrinal position upon which we can build a systematic theology. It may simply be a poetic description of how much that we all are in need of the loving guidance of our heavenly Father. No birthright, natural ability or personal circumstances eliminate the dependence we all have upon God. But can we really build a soteriology upon what might simply be a poetic description? Are such statements solid ground for rigid theories of atonement, soteriology, ecclesiology, eschatology or any other ‘ology’?

      I am not suggesting that we do not attempt to patch together some sort of group of ‘ologies’, but that perhaps we might be more humble about it, less dogmatic and more open to adapting our beliefs as we grow in knowledge, wisdom, experience and maturity. It is this necessary flexibility that rigid systematics such as Reformed Theology do not allow, and cannot tolerate. Instead, with inappropriate authoritarian tyranny, men and institutions attempt to declare the truest ‘truth’ and compel their followers to submit to its truthiness. We call this Religion, and incite wars, division and oppression over it.

      I do not believe this has anything to do with spreading the genuine good news of God’s love for all men.

      1. TS00,

        Yeah….what I’ve been saying…. if you have the answer already and come to the Bible…. you will find it! So you can make this poetic Romans 3:10 (which is teaching that there are none who are righteous by birth right) be the filter for hundreds of other contrary verses —- if you have the agenda to do that.

        None of these YRR guys came to Christ thinking any of this. I for one was a “generic evangelical” till I was taught “the Doctrines of Grace” —- which, as the scenario usually goes, I found disgusting at first.

        When sufficiently brow-beaten by “you have a man-centered Gospel!” and “dead men dont make choices” and “you sound like a universalist” and “so Christ’s blood was wasted on some who dont believe” ….. I switched over.

        But reading the Bible through every year cured me —- praise God!

        Or…. our friend Jose…. who quotes Roms 3:10 every time could just do a word study on blameless, righteous, good, faithful, just, right, integrity, etc and see that the Scripture (the Lord Himself) says this regularly about people.

        Oh no….. it can’t mean that…… because…….. wait………. wait for it……….. Romans 3:10!

        Rinse, repeat.

      2. Yeah, the first ‘hard’ question I ever asked my Calvinist pastor, in all innocence and sincerity, was how to interpret Genesis 6:8 and 9. I was not being contentious, I simply did not to know what to do with a passage that said some guy was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, when I had just been thoroughly brainwashed with, ‘no one is righteous, not one’ and other ‘all men are inherently wicked’, ‘dead in their sin’ type theology. Yet, there it was: ‘Noah walked with God’ just as had been said of Enoch, and both were spared the death of those God judged as wicked.

        I was met with a harsh ‘Noah was not perfect’ (the word used in the NKJ), and then abruptly walked away from. I think, for the first time, I left him without a good answer, and he knew I was not likely to fall for illogical word games. It was much, much later that I became disillusioned enough to ask more questions, and only then did I recall this earlier incident.

      3. TSOO says: “…for all have sinned… statement among others may very well not be intended as a doctrinal position upon which we can build systematic theology …”

        My Response :

        1. Then don’t preach Christ anymore. You can save yourself anyway. You don’t need Christ atoning death on Calvary.

        2. From here it is very evident, the statement of the goats. chaff, swine, stony ground, wayside soil, tares – shows that : “the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”

    2. FOH said : Wow! What Paul is saying is that it is no advantage to be a Jew-since all must believe in Christ. The point is to show that no one gets a free ride just cuz they say “But we are God’s chosen people!”

      My Response :

      1. There is no dispute on both “Jew and Gentiles as chosen people of God” – I do agree to that because all have sinned (including the chosen people of God) and needs the saving grace of Christ on the cross-the very reason why Jesus went to the Chros in order to save His people (the Sheep) from their sins.

      2. “… no one gets a free ride …” – there is no dispute on this.

  19. One more thought on the misuse of the Romans 3:10 verse.

    Non-Calvinists quote Christ saying “When I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself.” We quote dozens of “all” verses. The ones that are spoken directly (not metaphorically) and appear to mean “everyone”.

    Calvinists come along with fancy words and say “all does not mean all. It only means ‘all kinds’ of people.”

    Then the Calvinists will say ….. “Oh but ‘all’ means ‘all’ in Romans 3:10!!!”

    That is a very special passage with several quotes from Psalms 5, 140, 10, etc.

    Certainly we do not ALL have….

    Throats that are open graves…

    The poison of vipers on our lips….

    Feet that are swift to shed blood….

    Certainly that is not Paul’s point in the passage, right?

    So for Calvinists when Christ says “come to me all who labor” or “I will draw all men…” that means “all kinds of men.”

    But when Paul says we all have viper poison on our lips, he means everyone?

    1. 1. Jesus Christ will not invite those whom He did not offer His life on the cross – John 10:11, 15 “I lay down my life for the Sheep”

      2. If you want (please don’t get angry with me) you can go to the cross also and offer your life for the goats, chaff, swine, wayside soil, stony ground, and wayside soil.

      3. You cannot force Christ to include those who He did not intend to die for. If you still do, than you may be just daydreaming claiming for things which are not yours in reality.

      4. The Book of Romans and the gospel of John is a doctrinal book which we can build solid doctrines. It is not a poetical book.

  20. Bible reading today (OT was Job), NT is 1 Cor 14

    14:1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.
    ———–

    What does that mean when the Word tells us to desire something? Can we “desire” things and then God gives them to us— because we desired? If so, is that a real desire that originates with us? Or did He implant in us the desire for something? If He implants that desire in us….. then why does Paul tell us to desire it?

    I mean, it certainly looks like Paul is saying, “You can desire certain things…. and grow…. or just not desire them.”

    That is like “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

    When a Calvinist-Determinist say “God does it all” or “apart from me you can nothing” that sounds very pious and spiritual—for sure!

    But indeed the weight of Scripture says we must act, believe, desire, draw near, have faith (“If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed” or “Oh you of little faith” or “I am all things to all men to win some”).

    Sure, we can say “By God’s grace I did XYZ (won a race, played a great game, passed a test, led someone to Christ, etc)” but that is not saying that it was ONLY God’s grace. Surely He expects us to train hard, eat right, be responsible so that we can be a great quarterback. Then you say you had a “great game by God’s grace” but that does not mean that you did not work hard also, right?

    Surely He expects us to live far away from family, in underdeveloped countries, get (very) sick to bring the Gospel to people right? It’s not only what God does, right?

    God gave the victory in battles in the OT “By God’s grace we beat the Amalekite” —- yes, but some Israelite men were also killed in those battles. So, technically, by God’s grace AND the death of Mishaak, Othniel, Ishtan, etc…… right?

    So, let’s pay attention when the Bible tell us to love, respect, “grow in grace,” “draw near to God,” “desire” gifts, etc.

    What we do matters. It’s not all fixed in past time.

    1. You are right, and Luther was wrong. We owe our very existence, and offer of a second chance to the goodness and grace of God. But that ‘grace alone’ accomplishes nothing. We must desire, accept and commit ourselves to following the leading of God’s Spirit.

      “Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working[a] through love. You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Gal 5:3-7)

      There is a huge difference, which many far more capable than I have explained, between trusting in ‘works of the law’ and ‘faith working through love’. The ‘faith alone’/’grace alone’ crowd have not only ignored James, but Paul as well, who repeatedly speaks of, and describes a faith that works through love, a walking with God that is compared to a race well run, an ‘obeying [of] the truth’ from which we should not be hindered.

      I realize that these guys have been pouring the ‘grace alone’ Kool Aid for a long time, and many have drunk it to the fill. But while our salvation was made possible by grace alone, it is accomplished by those who accept the call to begin, and finish, the race set before them. If that was the teaching of Pelagius, then I roundly applaud him. We have not been called to sit around, drink craft beer, smoke our cigars and debate our superior theology. We have, instead, been called to run the race set before us, to strive to live less and less for self and give ourselves up for the sake of the gospel and those for whom it was sent. Faith without works is dead, and if you want to know what it is like to be ‘dead in sin’, ask any Calvinist – they wrote the book on it.

      1. Funny you should write that, TS00.

        I was just reading a MacArthur radio message (typed out) where John was addressing those who had abandoned the faith (his words). He says…. “….in John 8 where Jesus says, “If you continue in My word, then you are My alethos mathetes, my genuine disciple.” In other words, Jesus said it is continuity. It is continuing in obedience to the truth that gives evidence that you are a real Christian. If you don’t continue, you weren’t a real Christian.”

        Hummm…. in this long, convoluted, from-the-hip talk, John is very Arminian!!

        Kind of like what I say about Passover (the number one image of the cross in the Word). God provides the escape, but in faith you apply the blood …. and you must remain in the house!

      2. you say: “… grace alone accomplishes nothing… we must desire, accept, commit…”

        My Response:

        1. Grace will n o longer be called grace if you still add something. It is already an adulterated grace with an addition of human fleshly efforts.

        2. When God gives His grace it is a full package. He provides the sheep with the means in order to access Him

      3. TS00,
        You can respond to JTLEO if you like. I told him I would not since he is so rude to me.

        He is missing the point completely. The “grace of God” helped Israel capture the promised land—- true, but thousands of lives were lost in the process. There is some sacrifice involved (I am not talking about salvation, just the use of the term “we can do nothing”). That point was clearly made in my many posts today for all to see.

      4. Don’t really have any interest in interacting with him. He is like the typical Calvinist bot – enter keyword and out come the correct lines from the script. I’ve heard them all, and he does not really seem interested in engaging in genuine, meaningful conversation. Just spews out the lines.I am more than happy to discuss issues with people who are asking genuine questions. Closed minds do no invite interaction.

    2. 1. If you will desire something using that New Nature – the one that God has started in your life are really the ones that will please God.

      2. Activating the will of the old nature when you are already in union with Christ is one that displeases God. It cannot be denied that all believers are still at war with the flesh, right ?

    3. 1. Paul is simply telling us to desire by using the good work (grace) that God has started in the believer’s life. Do not be overcomed by the flesh to deceive you when you desire for something.

      2. Let us love, respect, grow in grace, draw near to God, desire gifts etc. – by using that good work (grace) that God has started in the believer’s life.

  21. TSOO quoted : Genesis 6:8 But Noah FOUND GRACE in the eyes of the Lord v. 8 then in v.9 This is the genealogy of Noah, Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God”.

    My Response : It is very clear in verse 8 that God provided Noah the grace-the very reason why he was able to walk with God uprightly.

    TSOO said : “… just been thoroughly brain washed with “no one is righteous, not one and all men are inherently wicked”.

    My Response : Romans 3:23 and Romans 3:10-11 is a solid doctrine in the book of Romans. It is non-negotiable. It will filter out all other verses in scriptures as what FOH have said. It is not appropriate to say being “brain washed” by the one using that verses, why? because that is the truth that the verses says. Any one who will oppose becomes an enemy of that verse.

    Total Depravity of Man, makes man impotent, nothing to offer of himself because Man is totally wicked. Paul will not pray for the total being of Man if man was not penetrated with the virus of SIN. Listen to the Prayer of Paul in:

    1 Thess. 5:23 “Now may the God of peace sanctify you completely; and may your WHOLE SPIRIT, SOUL, and BODY be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. = In this verse, it is GOD (not man) who do the complete sanctification process of the believers. The believers cannot do that for themselves. Nothing to brag of man’s fleshly efforts, right?

    Another verse: John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Verse 2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. = God the Father is the agent who does the action of “Pruning”(making holy) the branches . Very Clear that : (not the believers making themselves holy)

    1. TS00,
      You are right… three is no reason to continue. It is not dialog.

      I have pointed out that the Lord calls many people blameless, upright, righteous, “shuns evil” etc. to show us that it is possible for people to not do only-evil all the time (” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”).

      But this makes no difference to them. They says “it is clear that….” when the idea is nowhere in the passage. In fact in Job’s case, God even says…. “I wont do anything to help him!” In Job’s case what “is clear” is that God does NOT give him special treatment.

      But no….. they say “it is clear…”

      I discuss the idea of Romans 3 in context (“all have viper venom on their lips” “everyone has fee that shed blood” “everyone has a mouth that is an open sepulcher” and they say that is all metaphorical, but the one tiny part “this is non-negotiable doctrine.”

      How about this for non-negotiable scripture…. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 (that’s pretty clear from the mouth of Christ, right?). Let’s filter out other verses through that!

      It just shows their commitment to a man-made philosophy (over God’s word) to insist that one verse is non-negotiable when there are dozens that say the contrary.

      It is out of commitment to Calvinism, not God’s word to filter all other verses through one verse.

      1. My Response:

        1. Re: Job , “… blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil…” = Job’s description of being blameless and upright doesn’t teach that he is absolutely perfect and sinless, otherwise you will be teaching that Job is already equal with God who is sinless. The world will cast stones on you if you will say that Job does not need anymore the atoning death of Christ on the cross because he is already sinless. Man has nothing to brag of himself to God, why: he cannot be of equal attributes with his maker. You are in danger, if you keep on insisting this. No one will trust you because, you still preach Christ when in fact you are bragging of man’s goodness in front of God in order to obtain favor.

        Other people do good to their fellowmen, but these good deeds can never be used in order to please God, Why? because behind these good deeds is the human fleshly efforts that is contaminated with the virus of sin which displeases a HOLY GOD.

        2. Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple”.

        2.1 “You say this verse is non-negotiable scripture” – don’t insist that you mean this as literal “hate” in order for you to push your point that this is non-negotiable. The verse actually teaches “Loyalty to Christ” and not literal “hate”. If I ask you do you literally hate your father and mother?, wife and children including yourself just because of your manipulated gospel bragging of your good works-(hatred of your family) before God ?, oh… come on…

        Even the apostle Peter failed to maintain his loyalty to Christ by the time he denied Christ 3 times.- This is just a proof that man cannot depend on his own fleshly strength. He was already forewarned by Christ before it had happened that before the cock crows, he will deny Christ 3 times, but he did not listen and still hold on with his own fleshly efforts. He only recovered from this after the resurrection, by the time he acknowledge Christ that “He knows everything” in response to the question, Peter do you love Me?

        3. You say: “It is out of commitment to Calvinism, not God’s word to filter all other verses through one verse” – FOH is the one who said this, “filter all other verses…”. I just quote him saying this.

        4. “commitment to Calvinism, not God’s word” – I think both, not just one. I can absorb negative criticism because Calvinism is very well known for being the bearer of the pure gospel of grace Salvation provided by Christ on the cross.

      2. As you have shown us, “Calvinists are very well known FOR BELIEVING they are the bearers of the pure gospel of grace Salvation provided by Christ on the cross.” I’m afraid if you step out of your insular Amen corner, you will find Calvinists are more widely viewed as arrogant, self righteous, cocksure, smug, condemning . . . those are the kinder terms I have heard. 😉

        So different from the humble, gracious pastor of my youth, who was respected, admired and viewed very fondly by the entire community. I never saw such an outpouring as when he suffered a heart attack – even the ‘heathens’ sent gifts, including two new suits (he lost 60 pounds) from the atheist who owned the men’s clothing store. My Calvinist pastor, on the other hand, used to have to check his sidewalks each morning before his kids went out, to make sure something terrible had not been scrawled on them, as there so often was. People more often love when they are loved, and hate when they are not.

  22. More thoughts on God saying people are “upright, just, blameless” etc.

    NO ONE is saying that this idea means they are sinless, equal to God, or that they merit salvation.

    Calvinist say that man can only do evil….only disobey. These people that God calls blameless, upright, just cannot even hear God and respond to His call.

    A Calvinist will say, “that each and every person chooses not to obey God. ….. God gave man freedom to disobey Him.” “Man has freedom of choice…. always evil.” [these are direct quotes from Calvinists]

    The intention here is Total Depravity. This is NOT just the idea that man cannot save himself (which we all agree, man cannot save himself) …. but they say, literally, fallen man can ONLY make a choice to disobey. Man can never obey, or choose a good thing, or answer God’s call. This is stated over and over by Calvinists on this blog. They must maintained this idea to uphold Total Depravity.

    Now…. right away the Bible contradicts this (surprise!). Isn’t it great how God debunks Calvinism by Genesis 4!!!….

    Fallen Abel OBEYS God and brings the right sacrifice.

    Fallen Cain is told by God, “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.” (4:7)

    God is telling him that he (Cain… fallen Cain) lacks nothing —- needs no special faith—- to do what is right. God even comes personally and tells him to do it.

    Calvinists impose on the text that Abel got something special (never stated, never implied). Worse, they impose on the text that Cain is told by God to obey but God (purposely) DOES NOT give him what he needs to obey. What a tricky, deceptive ruler that makes.

    I have posted this concept many times and many ways, and it never gets a response.

    1. TSOO said :”… Calvinists are viewed as arrogant, self-righteous, cocksure, smug, condemning…”

      My Response :
      1. This is just our way of contending for the faith in this blog… but not generally true to all in real life. Our judgements here are subjective because we haven’t meet each others yet.

      2. We need to exercise our patience and resiliency as we contend for the faith.

      FOH said: “God is telling fallen Cain that he needs nothing, needs no special faith…”
      My Response :

      1. Suppose Cain was the “goat”, do you think God will still offer him the grace when the fact that Christ will not offer him His life on the cross ? You got it in your statement that : “Cain really needs nothing, needs no special faith…

      2. Both of them “fallen Cain and Abel” were not given specific instructions on what and how they are to give their offerings that will automatically will please God. You will notice that God sided with Abel, Why? Because Abel was the one chosen while the other was left out. Abel was accepted not on the basis of his own fleshly efforts, but because the grace of God was offered unto him.

      This is just the same with the situation : While Christ was hanging on the cross where there were bandits hanging on His left and on His right side. The one on His left mocked, while the other acknowledges the grace offered to him.

      TSOO said : “The Narcissists control freak God” (based on Hebrews 11:6)

      My Response :
      1. You can say that… because you are wearing the mantra of the Armenians, But even if you will not accept, you are also the same Narcissist who keeps on saying that Man has something to boast of himself before God.

      Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast”.

      My Response to FOH re: Hebrews 11:6
      1. God will give rewards for those who seek Him if they will make use of the good work (the New Nature) that God has already implanted to them. A believer in Christ cannot operate the christian life by using his own fleshly efforts. He operates the Christian life on the basis of Grace.

      2. A non-believer, i.e.: (goat, chaff, tares, swine, rocky ground, wayside soil, thorny ground, etc…) though hardly struggling making efforts seeking God, using his WILL to the max – that WILL … that is contaminated with SIN, will never found merit from God. It is considered NULL, VOID, DEAD. There is no reason for them to be rewarded since that the atonement of Christ on Calvary was not intended for them.

      3. Christ’s blood poured on the cross will just be a waste for them, when their destined ending is still in hell.

      4. How can you please God with your own self-generated faith produced by a fallen man ? God is HOLY and He will never be pleased with evil. Christ imputed His righteousness to the believer so that When God the Father looks at the believer, still the righteousness of Christ that He will see, no longer the believer that still commits sin.

      Romans 8:1 says : “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…”

  23. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
    ————-

    A. This means God can be “pleased”. Calvinism teaches with the impassibility and immutability of God that He “cannot be please” because that implies that He is changing in some way. So (Calvinism says) it can’t mean what it says.

    B. Anyone can come to God.

    C. If a man comes, he must believe that God exists.

    D. God rewards those who seek Him (oh —-but Romans 3 says no one seeks Him!!! But it also say we all have venom on our lips!). But many MORE verses talk about seeking Him. (“seek first the kingdom of God” etc).

    This verse must not mean anything to a Calvinist.

    Here is Hebrews 11:6 for a Calvinist….

    If God gives you faith, then He does (He is not pleased about it, since that implies change, and besides He planned it before time), because no one can come to Him unless He makes them…. and then makes them believe that He exists, and that He gives a reward to a person who did not seek Him but was just made to come.

    Thanks Calvinists! That clears up that vague verse for us!

    1. “Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

      Another one of the verses that convinced me Calvinism was utterly in error. Calvinism insists that God must ‘give’ men faith. This verse says otherwise, unless you are a Calvinist who can imagine God playing word games to hide what he really means. For as Paul goes on to describe, this faith not only believes that God exists, but that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. How ridiculous to say that if ‘pleases’ God when you have the faith (that he had to give you) to believe he exists. And oh, how happy he is that you believe in his goodness – because he made sure you believe it. In fact, you couldn’t NOT believe it. Somehow, it is so pleasing to the God who controls all things whenever he gets his way. The Narcissist control freak God.

  24. I was just on a Calvinistic web site where I saw, “God has blessed so-and-so [names excluded] with four precious children.”

    What can that mean? Calvinists give credit to God for His blessing of children (and rightly so!!) but then they use contraception. Kind of a “We got your 4 blessings God, thanks, we need to not be blessed now. We’ll handle this ourselves…”

    I have never understood that. I would have thought that those who believe in determinism and Calvin’s definition of “sovereign” would just ‘let it ride’ knowing that “God had it all worked out.” (and also knowing that the intimacy of a couple is a blessing in scripture and children are always called a blessing). But no….. they just resort to man-made, Man-Planned Parenthood contraceptive just like everyone else.

    Another proof that it makes no difference that they are Calvinists!

    1. 1. The command of God to Adam and Eve to go and multiply has been fulfilled already. That command is not perpetual. It had ceased already.

      2. Though it had ceased already, it is a human instinct (especially to newly wed couple) to engaged in sexual activities to have 2 or 3 children that they can afford to raise. After that they can use contraceptives to limit the coming of births.

      2. The world is in the big problem now of overpopulation and poverty.

      3. You say : “… God had it all worked out”. Yes… I don’t disagree with you for saying that.

  25. “Thus says the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
    ‘I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you to profit,
    who leads you in the way you should go.
    O that you had hearkened to my commandments!
    Then your peace would have been like a river,
    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
    your offspring would have been like the sand,
    and your descendants like its grains.
    Their name would never be cut off
    or destroyed from before me.’

    Isaiah 48:17-19

    What does this prophet of God say to the people chosen to deliver the ‘good tidings’ (see previous chapters) to all nations? Why have they suffered division, war and captivity? This would be a fine time for God to speak – through his real prophet, not a self-claimed one like Calvin – of his Sovereign determination of all things. Here he could explain that he gave them the corrupt desires (corrupt nature) to sin, in order to carry out his good plans. But this is not what is said, here or elsewhere.

    Instead, God dares to suggest that the reason for Israel’s suffering, lack of peace and righteousness is not because they had been cursed with Total Depravity and pursued their desires for their (predetermined) sin. No, instead of ‘the God who curses you with inability to hear, know and follow me’ God declares himself to be ‘the Lord your God who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’ Try explaining that. One COULD try and make the case that God is being cruel and facetious, but what would lead one down such a path?

    It is nothing but a few misunderstood verses that leads men to suggest that God actually cursed men with an inability to hear and understand, which he first chooses to not mention, then proceeds to ignore as he wastes his time teaching and leading people who have no eyes or ear to see and hear. Believe what you wish, but you should be very honest, with yourself and others, that what you are doing is reading this seemingly inexplicable behavior of God into the passage, because of some misbegotten idea from some other unrelated passage.

    What the true prophet of God actually says is that they COULD and WOULD have had peace – like a river. They COULD and WOULD have had rightousness – like the waves of a sea. They COULD and WOULD have had a surviving nation and offspring that were never cut off (ignore the modern man-made entity which borrowed the name ‘Israel’) – like the countless grains of sand on the seashore.

    You get the picture. God says they COULD and WOULD have had all of these blessings, but, for some reason, they did not. Why not? Is it stated, as Calvinism teaches, that it was because God had not desired, ordained and brought it to pass? Because he had a different plan, which would bring him more glory, even if it meant the inevitable misery and destruction of countless millions? If this is so, why did God, through Isaiah, not say so outright? Is there some reason that God’s own prophet could not clearly deliver the message he was sent to deliver, which awaited being cleared up until hundreds of years later when Calvin finally figured it out? Why not just have Isaiah spell it out in the first place? Did God then lack the vocabulary that he later acquired by the sixteenth century?

    Why does he say – misleadingly, according to Calvin et al. – that the problem was not God’s lack of desire or determination to ordain these blessings, but their own rebellious free choice to NOT ‘hearken to’ (obey) God’s commandments? If the reason these people did not hearken was not free choice, but because they were cursed by him with the inability to do so, then God is being cruel and facetious to pretend otherwise.

    The often trotted out explanation is not here proffered: we are not told they were in this, ahem, unpleasant predicament because of Adam’s sin, which left God with the, ahem, unfortunate necessity (God is compelled to do something due to one man’s actions?) of cursing them and rendering them unable to be taught and led. If – as Calvinism teaches – this is true, it certainly does not say so here. It simply says that they refused to hearken to God’s commandments, to respectfully listen and do as he instructed, and thus they forfeited all of the promised blessings.

    If man’s sin is due to some unspecified curse (Total Depravity), and this unspecified curse is not noted – here or anywhere – it is akin to the suggestion that all of scripture bemoans that men refused to walk upright, and it is this refusal to obey God’s command to ‘stand and walk’ that has gotten them in the mess they are in. Then, hundreds of years later, some self-claimed prophet reveals that, actually, God had severely crippled them due to Adam’s sin, and they were totally unable to stand, let alone walk. And yet, repeatedly God calls, instructs and threatens them with everlasting punishment if they do listen to his command to ‘walk upright’!

    If you want to follow some weird interpretation of man, that requires you to believe that God is first, unloving, in that he never truly desired to give the blessings often spoken of; second, cruel, in that the reason he withholds these blessings from all is because of one man’s sin, which occurred long before the others were born; and thirdly, disingenuous, in repeatedly insisting that the problem is that these people whom he had rendered unable to do well (by deliberately crippling them) did not do well, at least be fully aware of what it is you are claiming to ‘believe’.

    Did God cripple men – due to the sin of Adam, or any other reason – then spend the next few thousand years calling to them, urging them, promising them incomparable blessings if they will only rise to their feet? Did he send endless prophets to threaten and warn them of dire punishment if they ‘refused’ his simple command to stand, knowing full well that they could not, had never been able to and simply had no desire to do that which they could not even conceive of – which is stand on two feet? Did he send his only begotten Son – the first ever man to walk – to heal only a select few to walk like him, so that he would receive ‘glory’ for his ability to make other lame men walk? Did he enact this cruel program so that he could someday angrily condemn all the rest to eternal punishment for not standing, as those chosen and healed now could and did, revealing his glorious power and absolute Sovereignty?

    br.d. is right: this God described by Calvinism, whom so many adopt and revere, is a few french fries short of a happy meal. And since he is the one who doles out the fries, there is no use blaming the poor, miseable children for not receiving what was never given them.

    1. The truth is that :

      1. The entire humanity are sinners and guilty and deserve to be thrown to hell. No one is righteous no not one.

      2. If there is one who is righteous absolutely without sin that is no other than God.

      3. Displaying all of those verses in the entire scripture in this blog will not satisfy God’s wrath for all are guilty and are under judgment

  26. Daily reading Job 23-27 today.

    23:10 “But he knows where I am going.
    And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
    11 For I have stayed on God’s paths;
    I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
    12 I have not departed from his commands,
    but have treasured his words more than daily food.
    ————-

    Boy Job sure is man-centered! He stayed on God’s path! He will “come out as pure as gold!”

    ….. 27: 6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering.
    My conscience is clear for as long as I live.

    On an on he goes Job…. always talking about how he is seeking God and doing good. Can this save him? But is he a God-hater? Nah. Calvinist just made up that idea that all people are God-haters.

    1. FOH said: “On an on he goes Job… always talking about how he is seeking God and doing good. Can this save him? But he is a God hater? Nah. Calvinists made up that idea that all people are God-haters.

      My Response :

      1. Job was seeking God and doing good on the basis of God’s grace upon him not on his own fleshly desires.

      2. Job’s good deeds will not surely save him, why? Because salvation of man is purely based on the grace of God according to Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
      But for FOH his good works will save him.

      3. FOH still charging Job as God-hater…. My goodness…

      5. FOH even charges the calvinist as the one who made that idea that “all people are God-haters”- When the truth is that , he is the one saying that thing… oh.. oh… very bad FOH…

      6. According to Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – yet FOH is struggling too hard to wave in front of God that he is not totally wicked that he has something good to boast before God. He does not believe on this verse just to push on with his theology on Man’s goodness in seeking God.

  27. Daily reading in Job.

    Listen to what Job says man can do…

    28:1 “People know where to mine silver
    refine gold.
    where to dig iron from the earth
    how to smelt copper from rock.
    how to shine light in the darkness
    explore the farthest regions of the earth
    search in the dark for ore.
    sink a mine shaft into the earth
    tear apart flinty rocks
    overturn the roots of mountains.
    cut tunnels in the rocks
    uncover precious stones.
    dam up the trickling streams
    bring to light the hidden treasures.

    12 “But do people know where to find wisdom?
    Where can they find understanding?
    13 No one knows where to find it,
    for it is not found among the living.

    23 “God alone understands the way to wisdom;
    he knows where it can be found,
    24 for he looks throughout the whole earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.

    28 And this is what he says to all humanity:
    ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom;
    to forsake evil is real understanding.’”
    ————
    First he lists all the things man can do.
    Then he says man cannot find wisdom.
    Then he says that God understands the way to wisdom.
    Then God “says to all humanity”

    All humanity.

    The fear of the Lord is true wisdom;
    to forsake evil is real understanding.

    So… yep, ALL humanity…. fear the Lord and forsake evil.

  28. Daily reading NT is 2 Cor 2.

    2:12 When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. 13 But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.
    ————-

    What can Paul be saying here? The Lord opened up a door (sounds like a Lydia set up, right?). But he did not have peace of mind, so he moved on.

    If the Lord wanted to demonstrate that He has created the world in a way that man participates, how would He do it?

  29. I love the way God tells us some things clearly.

    Luke 1:5. In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.

    Calvinists come along and add to the Bible. They say either (a) these people are not righteous and blameless (use the filter of Romans 3:10 and eliminate a hundred verses that say “upright, right, blameless” etc.) or (b) they were blameless because God irresistibly made them blameless.

    Now, they can add to the Bible if they want. They can add words to the Bible and say that Zechariah “was not blameless” or “only because he was forced to be irresistibly” but they cannot make the Bible say that.

    We have a gracious God. But the Bible does not say that Zechariah was blameless (by the irresistible Grace of God). The very fact that is DOES NOT mention God is important. In fact, the Bible NEVER says that when it talks about the faith of hundreds of people (see some of them in Hebrews 11).

    That is just an idea that Calvinists add to the Scripture to make their man-made philosophy work.

    The Bible says (here and many places), “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

    Does that save them? Nope.

    Are they God-haters? Nope.

    Are they “too-dead” to hear God’s call? Nope.

    The point of my many “upright” posts is to show that the Bible does not display man as ONLY a God-hater, “too-dead” to hear God’s call. Nah, Zechariah was called blameless… just like Job, Noah, Enoch, Abraham (and many others)….. and only if you superimpose the Calvinistic idea (and dangerously add words to the text) can you say otherwise.

    Calvinists need to stick with what the Bible says.

    1. You said: “… Does God save them ? (Zacharias and Elizabeth) Nope.

      My Response :

      1. So… you agree now that their self-generated righteousness has nothing to do with Salvation ?

      2. What is the point of struggling too hard to present all of those self-generated righteousness when you will also agree with the Calvinists’ pure gospel of Salvation offered freely to the lost sheep ?

  30. Daily reading Job 31-33

    31: 5 “Have I lied to anyone
    or deceived anyone?
    6 Let God weigh me on the scales of justice,
    for he knows my integrity.
    7 If I have strayed from his pathway,
    or if my heart has lusted for what my eyes have seen,
    or if I am guilty of any other sin,
    8 then let someone else eat the crops I have planted.
    Let all that I have planted be uprooted.
    ————

    Job is repeatedly declaring his innocence.

    Is the word “grace” said one time in the book? I dont think so. And certainly not “irresistible grace”!!

    I am not sure how Calvinists can constantly add to the Bible and say that everything that Job did was by “irresistible grace.”

    Was it “by the grace of God?” Yes, sure. Everything we do is by the grace of God. But no more grace was available to (irresistibly forced on) him than the grace available to others around him. That I why later the Lord will scold the others because they did not represent Him like Job did…. but they could have.

    1. I am glad that FOH still admitted in his statement that : “Yes, sure, everything we do is by the grace of God…”

  31. Daily reading 2 Cor 3

    3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry…
    ——

    Here Paul takes some credit for them. Wow. How does Paul dare say they are a “result of our ministry”?

    I mean, in what way? According to Calvinism man plays NO part (neither the man receiving the Gospel or presenting the Gospel). They say that “God will not share His glory.” But Paul seems to be taking a bit of it here.

    Now we are gonna hear some cheesy deflection about “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase…” but here Paul says they (their belief and growth in Christ) are a result of him ministry. No matter how you slice it, he is taking “some of the credit” for their salvation. Because that is the way God set it up.

    1. No disagreements on this : Believers are doing good works, taking efforts (operating the christian life on the basis of God’s grace that Christ has started in the believer – Phil 1:6) to obey the mandate of the gospel not for the purpose of obtaining salvation. We believe that Salvation is from God given freely to men. Adding it with man’s fleshly effort it is no longer pure grace.

      There is no disputes on the believers efforts done for it will earn merit or demerits on the day of accounting at the judgment seat of Christ. But this accounting before God has nothing to do with Salvation, why? because… again… again and again… Salvation is freely provided by God to His lost sheep. Salvation is the 101 percent work of God legitimately offered to the lost sheep.

    2. FOH said: “… he is taking some of the credit for their salvation…”

      My Response:

      1. Very dangerous statement, a heresy !

      2. You are charging Paul of claiming his salvation with his own additional fleshly efforts.. very bad again…

  32. Daily reading in 2 Cor 3

    3:15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

    ———-

    Wait. They turn to the lord while a veil covers their heart!? They are ‘dead’ with the veil covering their heart….and they turn to the Lord. THEN the veil is taken away.? Yep.

    Wow. If Calvinism was right…. it would have to say …… “the veil is taken away and they are regenerated and then they turn to the Lord.”

    Nah. It never says that. It always starts with “turning to the Lord” first.

    1. 1. Its been predetermined already before that they will turn to the Lord. Nothing escapes from God’s omniscience, right?

      2. You believe also that God is omniscient, do you? … But I think as what you are behaving, its not an absolute omniscience, but limited or partial omniscient that you embrace…. wow ! that is the god of FOH… my goodness …

  33. Proverb for the day.

    Prov 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor.
    ————–
    It does not say “believing generous” or “regenerate generous.” It just says generous.

    Any “dead in sin,” unbelieving person can be generous and be blessed. They cannot save themselves with this generosity, but this shows that they can “do a good thing.” Certainly they can hear God’s word and believe it. That are not “too dead” to respond.

    1. Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away.”

      The Prophet Isaiah says that:

      1. All human beings are unclean
      2. All of man’s righteousness are just filthy rags

      FOH is still struggling hard trying to please God with his good works and self-righteousness… but still futile… it will never work.
      FOH can never impress God nor can afford to bend God’s plan of Salvation to conform to his theology of Good works and righteousness.
      Even if FOH will still seek the alliance of Joel Osteen’s popularity of easy believism and manipulation of the gospel, it will never work.
      FOH’s understanding of the term he invented “too dead” is literal and he is passing it to the Calvinists… my goodness… very bad again…

    2. There is no disagreement on the following you pointed up: i.e.

      1. the unregenerate has the capability to do good things to their fellowmen – agree to that

      2. the unregenerate can hear and still believe – I don’t agree with this due to the following:

      2.1 a sinner is disconnected to the Vine and according to Jesus Christ, they can do nothing – John 15:5 (including the ability to hear and believe)

      2.2 How can a spiritually dead man (not literal) be able to respond when he is dead? just as a dead battery is nothing…

      2.3 Salvation is the 101 percent work of God and is legitimately offered for the lost sheep. The gospel will never work for those reprobates whom Christ refuse to offer His life.

    3. Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

      Isaiah says : “God does not hear those sinners”, FOH said God does ?

      Psalm 115:17 “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence.” FOH said the dead in sin can still respond ?

  34. By the grace of God I have been on overseas missionary and pastor for 30+ years.

    By God’s grace I carry on with the daily tasks in my mission and with sermon preparation.

    When I am told that I have done a good job or told I have given a good sermon, I say “praise God” and “by the grace of God.”

    But I never wake up at 9 am on Sunday morning and say —- “I dont do preparation God, just depend on your grace.”

    He expects me to wrestle with the Hebrew and Greek that I studied in college and seminary. He expects me to put in the hours of study and prayer. That preparation plays a part in the sermon.

    It is the same with a professional athlete. They may finish a victorious race or ball game and say “I give the glory to God. It is by His grace.” But certainly their hours/years of preparation play a part.

    Three times the OT gives us a clear typology (image) of the cross (stated later in the NT).

    Noah’s ark
    Passover
    The serpent on the pole

    All three are examples of God’s grace, saving His people from their wretched situation. All three are His idea, and he provides the plan.

    All three also require faith, and action based on that faith.

    Never (not one time) does it even hint at the idea that God gave a special irresistible grace to some people so that they would go find the serpent on the pole and “look and live.”

    Never (not one time) does it even hint at the idea that God gave a special irresistible grace to Noah so that he would have faith to build the ark. In fact it says, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

    Never (not one time) does it even hint at the idea that God gave a special irresistible grace to the children of Israel so that they would have faith to kill the lamb and apply the blood to the door.

    The Bible tells us to apply the blood of Christ for our sins. By faith. Anyone can do it. You don’t earn it. You just believe it. You are not better for believing it (notice none of the above would claim that they were the ones who saved themselves).

    By the grace of God.

    1. 1. The Calvinists will not harass for anyone who would like to apply Christ’s blood for themselves. They are very free to do that… But even how hard they will struggle to apply the blood of Christ for themselves, if there was no legitimate offer to do that, its just a false assurance.

      2. Most people have their own self generated faith. Even the demons believe also (means they have their own faith also) but it doesn’t save them anyway.

      3. Jesus Christ did not offer His life to the false prophets, to Baal, to King Pharaoh, to the Canaanites, Edomites, Ishmaelites, etc…

      4. Its good that you commented : “notice none of the above would claim that they were the ones who saved themselves” – Your statement is now compatible with the Calvinists. Happy for that !

    2. FOH said: “… never (not one time) does it even hint at the idea that God gave special irresistible grace to the children of Israel that they would have faith…”

      My Response ”

      1. John 5:25 “Mostly assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live”. Jesus is here saying that God gives the dead the capability to hear and have faith, but FOH says, NEVER, not one time.

      2. James 1:18 “Of His own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures., James is here saying that God provides irresistible grace to the sinner, but FOH is saying NEVER, not one time.”

      3. 2 Tim. 1:9 Who has saved us and called us a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. Paul is here saying that God provides irresistible grace before the time began, but FOH is saying “NEVER, not one time”

  35. Daily reading brings me to 2 Cor 4.

    4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

    ———–

    Wait. What? Satan blinds the eyes of “too-dead” men? Why? They (according to Calvinism) are “too dead” to see. No need for any action on Satan’s part, right.

    If Calvinism is true, what in the world is the Bible talking about Satan blinding dead men for?

    1. 1. You forgot again that God is Sovereign, that He controls everything, even satan ?

      2. What is that to you, if God uses satan to do the blinding of those who don’t believe. If God has already done that to Judas Iscariot and to the affliction of Job with permission from God.

      3. If they were dead already, satan still blinded them ! Well you don’t know the mind of satan, it could be possible that satan would like to make a double sure of their defeat, he delighted to himself when God choose not to intervene or even if God does gave him the clearance to do so.

  36. Daily reading in 2 Cor 4….

    11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
    ——-
    There he goes again!!! Paul is saying that somehow their eternal life is connected to his suffering. God’s grace saves them, but Paul’s suffering gets the message to them? That does not work in Calvinism…. since that would mean that Paul played a part.

    1. 1. Eternal life can never be achieved through physical sufferings.

      2. Our doctrine of Salvation is found in Eph. 2:8-9

      3. Even if Christ offered the cross of sufferings for those who will follow Him, but it doesn’t mean that there still other means aside from the blood of Christ poured on Calvary for the atonement of the lost sheep.

      4. Jesus Christ will get angry with FOH if he will continue to insist his own theology of self-generated righteousness to boast them before God.

  37. Daily (through-the-Bible) reading takes me to Proverbs 22

    22:22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can,
    or exploit the needy in court.
    23 For the Lord is their defender.
    He will ruin anyone who ruins them.
    ————

    The Lord defends the poor. Not “the believing” poor, or “the chosen” poor. He has a heart for all people— and we see here, especially the poor.

    Now, Calvinism teaches that God loves only the elect. That just does not fit with the message of the Bible in so many places and so many ways that He loves people. Not “all kinds” of people.

    Bible reader: It looks like the Bible teaches that God loves everyone.

    Calvinist: Nope. The Good News of the Bible is that God loves a teeny tiny part of humanity.

    BR: I hear evangelists, preachers, and Christians say all the time “God loves you!” to people.

    Calvinist: They shouldn’t. They do not know if God loves that person. He clearly does not love the non-elect. They should not say “God loves you and Christ died for you!” to people.

    BR: Boy that is Good News!

    1. My Response to FOH:
      1. God the Father does not love the entire human race. Why? this is due to the following:

      1.1 God the Father has decreed the Israelites to annihilate the Canaanites including the non-combatants, young and old including their animals. – Joshua 6:21 “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey with the edge of the sword.” . If God really loves even the unbelievers, than why did He ordered the annihilation of the Canaanites? The Canaanites are also people, no doubt about that, right?, yet FOH says, God loves the unbelievers, the teeny tiny part of humanity.

      1.2 Exodus 12:21-22 – About the “Passover” that happened in Egypt was a nightmare among the Egyptians and their King. If God really love even those unbelievers, then why did God killed the Egyptians including their babies?, YET FOH says God loves them, the teeny tiny part of humanity.

      1.3 The False Prophets, False deities, including Molech, Jezzebel, etc. = God does not loved them, in fact God said False Prophets are to be stoned to death, but FOH says, God loves them, the teeny tiny part of humanity.

      1.4 The “global flood” during the time of Noah – The entire human race was wiped out except the family of Noah, yet FOH says… God loves them the teeny tiny part of humanity.

      1.5 The burning of “Sodom and Gomorrah” the inhabitants of that city was wiped out, and yet FOH says … God loves them, the teeny tiny part of humanity.

      2. God’s love in general could be experienced by all people by means of nature. God sends the rain and sunlight to all including the air that we breath are expressions of His grace for all. But when it comes to Salvation, God has a very specific Plan for that., and His plan can never be bended nor be manipulated by humans according to their whims and desires.

  38. Daily Bible reading gets me to Isaiah 1-2.

    1:2 Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth!
    This is what the Lord says:
    “The children I raised and cared for
    have rebelled against me.
    3 Even an ox knows its owner,
    and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—
    but Israel doesn’t know its master.
    My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
    4 Oh, what a sinful nation they are—
    loaded down with a burden of guilt.
    They are evil people,
    corrupt children who have rejected the Lord.
    They have despised the Holy One of Israel
    and turned their backs on him.

    5 Why do you continue to invite punishment?
    Must you rebel forever?
    ——

    We will see this kind of thing a hundred times in Isaiah. These are God’s Chosen People. Abraham followed in faith and these are his people. And yet… and yet they rebel from God.

    Calvinism-Determinism says that even this rebellion is God’s secret will/desire (but He certainly doesn’t sound like it here!).

    Then He says:
    Why do you continue to invite punishment?
    Must you rebel forever?

    God sounds disappointed and even phrases it as a question…. Why are you doing this? It is extremely hard to make that case that God Himself is the motivation behind their actions!

    Then He reminds them that they do not have to rebel forever. This sounds pretty much like they could just make the choice to not rebel. It all seems so “man-centered” as if God is really, truly saying to rebellious people that they dont have to be rebellious…. but He is leaving that choice with them.

    1. 1. It is true that, God is in absolute control of everything, Why? because He is the Supreme God and no other being is higher than Him

      2. It is true also that, God has an absolute freedom. He decides according to His own pleasure.

      3. It is also true that, God bestowed humans with limited freedom, not co-equal nor it will supercede the level of the freedom of God, the Creator.

      4. It is also true that, man can exercise his will within the bounds of this limited freedom that God gave him.

      5. It is also true that, God can still override man’s exercise of his limited freedom anytime God may wish to do so.

      6. It is also true that, God allowed humans to rebel against Him.

      7. It is also true that, God in His personality, possess emotions where He can freely express His disappointments over man’s rebelliousness.

      8. When God does not entervine for Sin to occur, this does not mean that God is impotent or helpless. It does not warrant anyone to give much empowerment to man, making man more sovereign than His Creator.

  39. More from Isaiah 1-2

    1:14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
    They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
    15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
    Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
    for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
    16 Wash yourselves and be clean!
    Get your sins out of my sight.
    Give up your evil ways.
    17 Learn to do good.
    Seek justice.
    Help the oppressed.
    Defend the cause of orphans.
    Fight for the rights of widows.
    ————–
    God says that even though they bring sacrifices He does not like it. Then He tells them to “wash yourselves and be clean”

    “Give up your evil ways”

    “Learn to do good…seek justice”

    on and on….

    Then He says ….

    “Though your sins are like scarlet,
    I will make them as white as snow.
    Though they are red like crimson,
    I will make them as white as wool.

    Great!! How?

    19 If you will only obey me,
    you will have plenty to eat.

    They need only to turn and obey Him. (which looks possible). But if not….

    20 But if you turn away and refuse to listen,
    you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

    ————-
    Now, before anyone goes wild and says that I am applying this to modern man, I will say I am not.

    My point is not —we can work our way to heaven—- so, please no red herrings and no straw men.

    My point is that the LORD tells them that they can come back to Him and He wants them to come back to Him. The lessons we learn here:

    A. Since many times they do not come back, that must mean He does not always get what He wants. (Calvinist response: He secretly willed their disobedience) Response to that….then He is being deceptive here to act and say that He is disappointed and wants them to return. You cannot have both.

    B. The Lord clearly says (hundreds of times in Scripture) If you obey me…. you will do well…. but if you refuse you will be devoured. This shows us over and over that God gives men real choices that they can really choose.

    C. Dont forget that this is God Almighty putting in His eternal Word….. “If you obey me…. you will do well…. but if you refuse you will be devoured.” That leaves any reader with the understanding that the outcome is not even settled yet. God is letting man decide and He will then react to that decision.

    1. “What I am saying is that it is bad hermeneutics to take Romans 3 (we ALL have viper poison on our lips) to “prove” that man is “totally depraved” and cannot even do a good act towards his child or a needy person. That is just a bad interpretation.”

      My Response :

      1. SIN is a virus that will totally contaminate the whole being of man, i.e,: Body, Soul and Spirit. This is the reason why Paul is praying for the Thessalonian Christians’ complete holiness, “Now may the God of peace Himself SANCTIFY YOU COMPLETELY; and may your WHOLE SPIRIT, SOUL, and BODY be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      2. FOH is trying to inject PARTIAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN on the basis of the good works done by people to the needy and their fellowmen. But God is saying that man is totally depraved in His sight that even his good works are just filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6. The readers on this blog are also wise to whom they will put their trust if to God or to FOH.

      Eph. 2:5 “Even when we are dead in tresspasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.”

      Ezekiel 33:13 “When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he TRUSTS IN HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND COMMITS INIQUITY, none of his righteousness works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.”

      Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

      Romans 3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works ?, NO, but by the law of faith.”

      3. A glass of water poured with partial drops of poison is no longer a potable drink. It is good for nothing. I doubt if FOH will still drink that contaminated glass of water.

      4. Labeling it as “bad biblical interpretation” is not a big deal for me nor will cause me to renounce “total depravity”.

      5. What is the point of magnifying and heralding fleshly good acts of man if these are nothing before God and can never merit Salvation?

    2. “My point is that the Lord tells them that they can come back to Him and He wants them to come back to Him…”

      My Response :

      1. It is really the desire of God for His lost sheep (not the entire humanity) to come back to Him, and this will be fulfilled especially during the great tribulation period. ALL ISRAEL will be saved including the Pharisees, Sadducees who rejected Christ as their Messiah. Revelation chapter 7:1-17

      2. Don’t be in a hurry, God has His own timing for the things He desires. If is has not happened now, we are not in a position to charge God as impotent or powerless to fulfill what He wants for Himself.

      3. God allows man real choices to sin or not to sin. This will never intimidate God for He is not dethroned when man chooses to rebel against Him.

      4. Every outcome of Man’s doing has nothing escaped from God’s knowledge and has been settled already. God can never be late and will only act as the thing happened. His decisions and actions are not based on blind presuppositions because He is all knowing God.

      1. jtleosala,

        I have mentioned before that I would not respond to your posts since you were so rude and condescending to me. Also your dogmatic way of listing “facts” (“it is true that…”) (theology as you see it— as fact) is not a real winning way of engaging either.

        Another reason I do not respond is because so often you miss my point. I dont mind discussing with those who do not use English as a first language (I am a missionary and work in several languages) but it is perhaps because of this that you miss my point.

        Another reason that you may miss my point is because I am discussing / rebutting a point of Calvinism that you might not even know. By your answers, I can see that you are either not a Calvinist or do not fully understand all the ramifications of Calvinism.

        Let me give you some examples of how you differ from Calvinists or Reformed people, from what you post:

        A. “ALL ISRAEL will be saved including the Pharisees, Sadducees who rejected Christ as their Messiah. Revelation chapter 7:1-17” You may believe that, but it is certainly NOT a tenet of Calvinism and Reformed theology. Calvin did not consider the Jews or Israel as anything after the church came along, and neither do most post-millenial, or a-millenial theologians. You mentioning “The Rapture” shows a clear disagreement with Calvin.

        B. “God allows man real choices to sin or not to sin…. man chooses to rebel against Him.” Calvin taught that every action of every person was decided and decreed by God. Even sin. He says this in many places. We have given Calvin’s quotes on this site many times.

        C. “It is also true that, God in His personality, possess emotions where He can freely express His disappointments over man’s rebelliousness.” Here we can see that you are not a Calvinist. This is called “impassibility” and Reformed theology says that He cannot show emotion since that “would mean change.” Reformed guys will always say these hundreds of verses “do not really mean what they say,” and explain away all words like: pleased, displeased, saddened, overjoyed, disappointed, etc.

        And of course “disappointed” or “expected” or “relented” or “repented” have to be explained away since that would imply that God wanted one thing and man did another. For Reformers, God must always get what He wants… and everything that happens must be what God wants.

        So, Reformers have no room for God to do what you said, “freely express His disappointments over man’s rebelliousness.”

        D. “FOH is trying to inject PARTIAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN on the basis of the good works done by people to the needy and their fellowmen. But God is saying that man is totally depraved in His sight that even his good works are just filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6. The readers on this blog are also wise to whom they will put their trust if to God or to FOH.”

        This is one of many examples where you miss my point. Disagree with me? No problem. But re-stating my point in a straw man is what you are doing. I have made it clear on this page and many of the other threads of this blog that my position is certainly in the framework of an accepted position in the evangelical world today.

        You continually either misunderstand me or just want to malign me. Either way it’s not a problem and doesn’t bother me. But, for the record: all our good deeds are as filthy rags as far as meriting salvation. But they are, however, good deeds. True Calvinists cannot have ANY good deeds (see my many posts and quotes elsewhere). If there are ANY good deeds, it would defeat the one verse that Calvinists bring out all the time (Roms 3:10). They must have no one doing ANY good, EVER, in order for “Total Depravity” to work.

        Perhaps you are confusing “Total Depravity” and “Original Sin.” Of course we are too-dead to heal ourselves (“original sin”). Of course our good deeds cannot merit salvation, but if there is such a thing as a “good deed” then man is not “totally depraved.”

        Get it? If you say “FOH your good deeds cannot save you” then you are at least saying that there is such a thing as “good deeds”. [BTW, I would agree that good deeds cannot save].

        If you defend “total depravity” you need to insist that NO one can do ANY good thing (help an old lady across the street; help pull a mule out of a ditch; help a child with his homework, etc). Man cannot “refrain from evil” at all.

        The non-Calvinist interpretation of Romans 3:10 is that no one is without sin, and any sin is enough to condemn you. The Calvinist interpretation of that verse (which is needed to support Total Depravity) is that no one EVER does anything good (If it looks “good” it is just a selfish motive).

        Of course our “works” cannot earn salvation. That is why Paul spends most of chapter 4 of Romans saying that it is not by works but by faith.

        Romans 4:2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

        Abraham would boast about works, but he doesn’t about believing. Most of this chapter shows Paul contrasting works and faith. Abrahams faith is not a work, and neither is mine.

        4:4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

        Believe, trust, have faith. These are what the Bible says. Your trust is not a work. Your faith is not a work. Paul teaches that here.

        Let’s say you have an unsaved friend and you say to him, “Trust me, I will pick you up at 11:00.” If he is waiting for you on the street at 11:00 the next day, he trusted you. People can trust (even unsaved ones). Did you do the driving and pick him up? Yes. Did you give him the faith that you would be there? No. Can he “boast” that he made you pick him up? Nah…. he just trusted you.

        There are differences between Calvinists and other believers who are not Calvinists (it is entirely possible to be a born-again believer in the blood of Christ and not be a Calvinist). One difference is that we read the hundreds of verses about “trust in” “believe in” “have faith in” —- many of the verses calling the person by name and “commending” that person— and we see the Bible saying that even sinful man can do this. He can do this in the same way he can “trust in” or “believe in” something. Lots of Mormons, JW’s, Muslims “have faith in” something. It’s just the wrong thing. Trusting… believing…. having faith in something is possible.

        Abel believed/ had faith and brought the right sacrifice. Cain —who was told by God that he could/should rule over sin — did not. God told Cain that he was not “totally depraved” and could in fact rule over sin… but he didnt want to. Or was God telling Cain to rule over sin … and then just not giving him the faith to do so? That would appear misleading on God’s part to say he can and should dominate sin…. but then denying him the faith.

        You say that “man chooses to rebel against Him” but that would mean that he could choose to not rebel too?

        You say that God “freely express His disappointments over man’s rebelliousness,” but that would mean that man could choose to not rebel too? And “disappointment” means He wanted and expected something different. But of course Total Depravity insists that evil / sin is man’s only choice… so there cannot be disappointment like you mention.

        That is what I notice in the Scripture. I see the many verses where Paul says he “reasoned with them” “he proved from Scripture to them” “he persuaded them” “he was all things to all men that he might win some.” All of these verses point to the personal aspect of man (dead man) being reasoned with and having faith. For Calvinists these verses refer way too much to man and his faith-part. It is kind of misleading for Paul to keep saying he “persuades men” when Calvinists say the contrary. For Calvinists, you can’t persuade someone who has not been given faith and you dont need to persuade someone that God gives faith to…. so once again…. Paul’s words are meaningless or misleading.

        So there is our difference. You bring out a Calvinist-interpretation of Romans 3:10, John 6:44 and the other 40 verses that are used over and over. I am trying to read through the Bible every year and I encounter hundreds, even thousands of verses that, in my opinion, do not make sense in Calvinism.

        As I have stated many times, I too was a Calvinist, but reading these thousands of verses caused me to wonder. Then I went back over the 40 Calvinist-sounding verses and found, “Aha! That verse does not have to mean what Calvin says.” ((I admit I never really cared for Calvin himself much with him baptizing babies; him refusing to let anyone be baptized as a believer if they had been infant-baptized—- he himself only ever had infant, Catholic baptism; him being a-millenial [having no regard for Israel]; him using torture on those who disagreed; him basing his stuff on Augustine who worshiped Mary, etc)). But still I gladly called myself a Calvinist until I read those thousand of verses.

        You might be inclined to respond with a bullet point list “it is true that….” and it is fine that you have your personal opinion.

        You might be inclined to respond and again repeat some of the 40, go-to, Calvinist verses (that somehow seem to trump the thousands of other ones). But as for me, I need to integrate into my position all the thousands of verses that talk about faith and how people “are commended” for it.

        I will continue to comment on this site. You can continue in your fashion to attack me (I also comment on other threads here that you do not respond to or look at). I am fine with you attacking, but will likely not bother to respond. I am happy letting the reader see the verses I propose each time and your responses. Attack me if you like. It’s not about me anyway. It is about what God’s word says.

      2. My response to the post of FOH here in this blog dated Sept. 10, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

        FOH said : in his previous post dated Sept. 6, 2018 @ 1:43 pm, he says that :”Now, Calvinism teaches that God loves only the elect. That just does not fit with the message of the Bible in so many places and so many ways that He loves people…”

        1. I pointed to him instances in the Bible that disproves his claims of God’s universal love of the entire human race, e.g.: The annihilation of the Canaanites, The killing of the Egyptian babies during the Passover, The human race swept away during the global flood; The burning of Sodom and Gomorrah; The false prophets and false deities, but failed to respond to it … instead he even insist his suspicions about my identity that I’m not a true Calvinist.

        2. I admit that I am not all knowing because I am not God. If I failed to subscribe on a 101 % of Calvin’s teaching-this is because I have also my own personal stand concerning those verses that I encountered in the Bible, and I think I have also the freedom to express that as I contend myself in this blog. Engaging with people using English as their 2nd language is what I appreciate because this is really the true character and identity of overseas missionaries descending to the culture and language of target people.
        —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
        Regarding the good deeds; good work; faith of man, I think there is no further argument in between of us here, why?

        I also acknowledge and so with FOH both of us here… that those good works, good deeds; self-generated faith of man as having no whatsoever merit to obtain Salvation. There are good people (unbelievers) who do good things unto their fellowmen. I must admit that I have so many unbeliever friends and they do good unto me and my family to the point of supporting our ministry needs. In my associations with them I don’t tell them God loves them, but just tell them about God’s plan for Salvation with no offense on their part.(i.e. Jesus Christ lay down His life to the sheep, and who are the sheep?… then I have to explain if they will insist)

        YES, in Calvinism man has no choice, I agree to that…because all humanity are dead to sin and how can the dead react? even the very elect they cannot react because they are dead to sin. God must quicken their dead spirit so that they can come back to God -This is one of the ways in which God the Father draws people to the Son. On the other hand, I also do acknowledge those good works, self generated faith of the fallen man as only good for themselves and to the religion to whom they belong and to their fellowmen but not for God. Because of these, I am being charged as not real Calvinist and does not understand Total Depravity and all of the ramifications of Calvinism.
        ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
        In FOH’S post here dated Aug. 29, 2018 @ 10:47 pm, he stated that : “I planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase … no matter how you slice it, he is taking “some credit” for their salvation. Bec. that is the way God set it up.”

        My Response : 1. Very dangerous statement, a heresy ! 2. You are charging Paul of claiming his salvation with his own additional fleshly efforts… very bad again…

        This is what confuses me and makes me mad because FOH also claim that those good works has no merit in obtaining salvation. Please don’t get angry with me if I will throw back to the non-Calvinists the term they invented as “double talk” of Calvin’s god”
        ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
        I have said that: ALL ISRAEL will be saved based on Romans 11:26-27 and also about God’s covenant with Israel that God cannot deny. If there is disagreements on either post-millenial, amellenial, the “rapture” etc. – that is already a personal belief and must not be used for expulsion.

        I don’t treat FOH as an enemy, we can be friends in this blog even if we have some sort of disagreements on some points. Forgive me of my being harsh and rude as I express myself in this blog. In real life I’m friendly.

      3. 1. Isaiah 64:6 The prophet Isaiah have said that :”all of our righteousness (good works of man) are like filthy rags…” before God though In the sight of man (including FOH) it is considered as righteousness in order to prove his point that the fallen man can still do good. But the problem is that in his previous statement (dated August 29, 2018 @ 10:47 pm) he is saying that those good works contributes “some credit” for Salvation, and yet he is also claiming that good works has no merit for Salvation. Therefore he is also a “double talk” from the side of the non-Calvinist.

        2. My personal position regarding total Depravity is that : In God’s sight all men are totally depraved no matter what good works they will display, still those goodness, self-righteousness that they will boast is still nonsense in the sight of God. If I also acknowledge those goodness done by the fallen man (meaning I don’t label it as bad but has no merit in obtaining Salvation), I think God did not harass me, because I believe that God is in absolute control of everything and that He allowed me to write here even my personal convictions concerning the matter and it happened. FOH cannot hinder me from doing that and even cannot use it to knock down Calvin’s definition of Total Depravity. Only God can prevent me because He is in absolute control of everything.

      4. FOH said : “… God told Cain that he was not totally depraved and could in fact rule over sin… but he didn’t want to… that would appear misleading on God’s part to say he can and should dominate sin… but then denying him the faith.”

        My Response :

        1. FOH must admit that God’s thoughts are different from man’s thoughts. FOH has no capacity to dictate what God must have to say in order for Him to become correct in His logic. Non-Calvinists can even charge God as “double speak” as what they do to the Calvinists side on this blog.

        2. If FOH see it as misleading on God’s part, then he can directly air that sentiments against God. I am not here in the position to defend God’s integrity nor to question Him why He refused to give faith to Cain. My personal understanding concerning the matter is that God choose to pick out Abel-the sheep and left out Cain-the goat.

        3. Actually there is no valid proof that God really told Cain that “he was not totally deprave”. It is very hard to prove that by means of using the statement “he should dominate and rule over sin.” …. but he failed, Why? according to FOH “God did not gave him the faith” and it seems that this portion of his statement here is now becoming compatible with the Calvinist side, maybe because he was a former trained Calvinist.

      5. FOH said: “… You say that God “freely express His disappointments over man’s rebelliousness”, but that would mean that man could choose not to rebel too? And disappointment means He wanted and expected something different, but of course Total Depravity insists that evil/sin is man’s only choice… so these cannot be disappointment like you mention.”

        My Response :

        1. God in His personality possess emotions and He is free to express that in response to different situations. However, it does not mean that He does not know what will happen to every details in the future because He is an all knowing God. If He is exercising to express His emotions FOH doesn’t have any capabilities to restrict Him for doing so.

        2. Man can make use his limited freedom that God gave him. If God will decide not meddle or meddle in the use of that freedom, let us leave that to God.

  40. Daily reading now in 2 Cor 11.

    11:1 I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.
    —–

    Let me see if I have this right. Calvinists say that “too-dead” man is regenerated by God and then “irresistibly forced” (of course they call it choosing, but you cannot NOT choose it) to believe in Christ.

    Then later, with this God-given faith, they still make Paul say he “fears” that this will now be corrupted and deceived?

    What is Paul is trying to say here? Why does he use the space in God’s eternal Word to say that he fears that their faith might be corrupted?

    1. “What is Paul is trying to say here? Why does he use the space in God’s eternal word to say that he fears that their faith might be corrupted?

      My Response :

      1. Paul is here expressing his care to the believers in Corinth against false teachers just as nowadays there are still so many who would like to give much empowerment to human beings. They make man more sovereign than their Creator.

      2. The verse does not say that Paul now is denouncing eternal security of Salvation in all of the epistles that he have written. Paul will never do this thing, otherwise Paul will become another victim of labelling as, “double speak”

      2. Paul’s expression of “fear” is just an ordinary thing among humans. It does not suggest Salvation can be lost. If Paul will teach this, then he is contradicting what Christ have said that : “no one can snatch in His hand those whom the Father has given Him”.

  41. Daily reading gets me to Psalm 53. (I dont cherry-pick 40, go-to verses; I just read through the Bible)

    1 Only fools say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
    not one of them does good!

    2 God looks down from heaven
    on the entire human race;
    he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
    if anyone seeks God.
    3 But no, all have turned away;
    all have become corrupt.
    No one does good,
    not a single one!

    4 Will those who do evil never learn?
    They eat up my people like bread
    and wouldn’t think of praying to God.
    ————

    This passage is talking about “only fools”.

    It says “all have turned away” so does that mean that they followed for a while?

    They have “become corrupt” so that means they were not corrupt before?

    “Those who do evil” are contrasted to “my people”.

    It does not appear that the psalmist is trying to establish doctrine here but is giving a very time-specific, situation-specific lament.

    You may know that this passage is quoted in Romans 3 and is used by Calvinists as “proof” that no person ever, anywhere can do something good. For example if you sell your car and give the money to starving children in Africa you were doing it for selfish, sinful reasons (ask our resident Calvinists on this blog).

    Calvinist MUST make it all-people, all-sinning, all-the-time …. no one can do a good thing (based on Romans 3:10). Even though that passage also says that ALL people have “throats that are open graves” ALL people have “the poison of vipers on their lips,” ALL people have “feet that are swift to shed blood,” they still insist on no person in the world is capable of one good act.

    Why? They need Rom 3:10 to be taken to that degree to prove Total Depravity. Man must be totally depraved— totally. If he is capable of doing any one good thing, ever, then he would be capable of hearing and believing the Gospel. So we must find one verse, take it out of context, and insist that all-people sin all-them-time.

    So….. help an old lady across the street…. you are being selfish.

    So…. quit your job and go dig wells in Africa…. selfish.

    So…. get wounded while protecting a small girl from gunfire…. selfish.

    Now….. before young YRRs misunderstand me (some on here have English as a second language), I will be clear. I am not saying their good acts are enough to save them. And indeed that is exactly what Paul is saying in Romans 3!! We are all Jews and Greeks on the same footing in that no one can do good enough deeds to merit salvation.

    What I am saying is that it is bad hermeneutics to take Romans 3 (we ALL have viper poison on our lips) to “prove” that man is “totally depraved” and cannot even do a good act towards his child or a needy person. That is just bad biblical interpretation.

  42. Reading through the Bible I come to Is 10.

    22 But though the people of Israel are as numerous
    as the sand of the seashore,
    only a remnant of them will return.
    The Lord has rightly decided to destroy his people.
    23 Yes, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    has already decided to destroy the entire land.
    ————

    We are told by some on these pages that God only loves a tiny percent of humanity. We are told that a sign that God does not love people is that He judges, disciplines, destroys them. Nah, that doesnt work… here it is the chosen people…. “His people.”

    Judging and disciplining do not mean lack of long-term love. Wherever did that idea come from?

  43. Calvinists tend to love and quote John Piper.

    Recently the president of Piper’s organization wrote a book on faith called “Not By Sight.”

    Below is the preface of the book written by Jon Bloom (forward John Piper).

    His short preface illustrates the point that whereas they may theologize about Total Depravity….they preach like Arminians.

    In the whole book it never talks about God limiting salvation (you only talk about that when you theologize—-not in a book that retells 35 Bible stories on faith!!). All 35 of his Bible stories are meant to help you have faith.

    —————- his preface below—–

    A WORD TO THE READER

    WHAT DOES JESUS REALLY want from you? So much needs to be said. But boiled down to one sentence it’s this: “Believe in God; believe also in me” ( John 14:1). That’s why when the apostle John wrote his gospel, he used some form of the word “believe” eighty-five times in twenty-one chapters. What he remembered Jesus emphasizing in his teaching and preaching was believing.

    Whether or not you believe in Jesus is the most important issue of your life because “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” ( John 3:36).

    You see, “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb.11:6). But believing in Jesus is very difficult. It’s difficult because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and he works with all his might to blind “the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2Cor. 4:4). And he is constantly trying to lead believers astray (Matt.24:24).

    Because of this, it is crucial that followers of Jesus learn to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2Cor. 5:7). In other words, we must learn to trust God’s promises more than we trust our perceptions. This theme is woven through the Bible from beginning to end. The purpose of this little book is to imaginatively reflect on the real experiences of real people in the Bible in order to help you grasp and live what it means to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and not lean on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Its goal is to help you believe in Jesus while living in a very confusing and painful world.Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” ( John 6:29). My prayer is that God will use this book to encourage you in the most important work you will ever do in your life.

    ————— end preface—-

    Notice that the book has not yet started and he is preaching like an Arminian!!

    Believe (85 times in John!!) Sounds like it’s possible!

    “Whoever believes and obeys the son” (notice not once here —nor anywhere in the book— does he say “Whoever actually means ‘all kinds of people.’”

    Without faith it is impossible to please God —–and Bloom even says we must seek Him —–sounds good! sounds possible!!!

    But believing is difficult…… oh here it comes……the staunch Calvinist is gonna say it is difficult (impossible to believe) unless God gives you faith!

    NO!!!!! He says it is difficult because of Satan!

    Satan has to blind the minds of unbelievers or else they would see! He is not giving any (ANY!) credit to God for revealing or giving faith. It is all about you vs Satan.

    Then he adds that Satan is constantly trying to lead believers astray! This guy is no Calvinist! Believers cant be led astray!!

    Then…it is crucial that we walk by faith. It sounds so personal, so doable. So human. Well, so man-centered.

    We must “learn” to trust God’s promises. He doesn’t give that faith to us?

    The goal of the book is to “help” us believe in Jesus. We need help? I thought we got that faith given to us??

    The most important work we will ever do is to believe in Jesus. Work?

    This kind of theologize-like-Calvin, but preach like Wesley illustrates to me that IT MAKES NO REAL DIFFERENCE to be a Calvinist.

    Bloom is so inconsistent with his theology. He hasnt even told one Bible story yet. Spoiler alert… all 35 stories that he will tell are about personal faith and how you need to have it (taking a lesson from the 35 people he mentions).

    1. Citing Jon Bloom’s work is a feeble attack while uplifting your own-self better than him is a clear manifestation of too much empowerment to the self making yourself much more sovereign than the Creator.

      Each of the items in the argument presented here has no ending if we will jump to another without first answering/resolving the previous ones.

      1. “God loves all People” (entire human race) – this is your position here. I disprove this by citing instances in the Bible facts, i.e: God’s order of the Israelites to annihilate the Canaanites including the non-combatants, young and old including their animals; The total death of the Egyptian babies during the passover; The human race that was swept away by the global flood except Noah’s family. ; The burning of Sodom and Gomorrah’s residents; God’s command to stone to death those false prophets-(these are people, including false deities like Baal, Jezebel; etc.) If God really loved them all, then why did God killed them? If God loved them all, then why is it that Jesus excluded them from among those legitimate beneficiaries of His death on the cross? – John 10:11, 15

      2. You say : “man’s good works/self-righteousness cannot save”… then you also say that : The apostle Paul is “taking some credit for his salvation”. How do you reconcile your contradictory statements now? Is this a result of being not loyal to where you came from wherein according to you, you got your training as Calvinist debater? If you will claim that you are loyal to God, then why is it that you don’t give God all the credit but on the contrary you become over possessed of idolizing the self?

      3. What is your motive and prime purpose of heralding, idolizing good works, self-righteousness when in God’s sight they are completely nothing in obtaining favor and Salvation?

      1. jtleosala,
        You see this is why I dont think I can continue this with you….

        You have accused me of saying…. The apostle Paul is “taking some credit for his salvation” (you even put it in quotes as if I said it).

        Please read my posts friend. I never said that. Not once. There is just too much miscommunication going on. I can’t understand what you mean and you keep missing my point (or misquote me). Sorry.

      2. Let the resident administrator in this blog decide on who really said this qoute dated August 29, 2018 @ 10:47 pm

        “Now we are gonna hear some cheesy deflection about “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase… “but here Paul says they (their belief in Christ) are a result of his ministry. No matter how you slice it, he is taking “some credit” for their salvation. Because that is the way God set it up.”

      3. yes…. and I said this here….

        “Here Paul takes some credit for them. Wow. How does Paul dare say they are a “result of our ministry”?”

        JTLEOSALA, I am sorry if you cannot see the difference between me saying the above and you taking the above and mis-quoting me here.

        The apostle Paul is “taking some credit for his salvation”.

        You still can’t see my point? Man this is hopeless.

      4. Thanks for admitting. You are the one who made the quote.

        1. Those people whom you say Paul have persuaded has been saved by God. Paul have nothing to share for the Salvation of those people, why? simply because Christ’s blood was only the means for the remissions of their sins. Are you telling the readers here that Paul also shed his blood as a share to Christ’s blood?… so that Paul has also the right to claim for some share? No one else can claim the credit concerning the efforts for the drawing of people to the Son than God the Father, The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ Himself. If the apostle Paul is still living today he might kick you on your butt for saying this to him. Paul can never be inconsistent of what he is saying in Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5 and all the rest of his letters concerning God’s plan of Salvation to sinners.

        2. If Paul has claimed for some merits or credits concerning his evangelism efforts done to those people, I’m very sure it has nothing to do with Salvation, but rather to the rewards that God will give him at the judgment seat of Christ. Each of us will be rewarded for all of the works done on earth by the time we will face Christ. These rewards has nothing to do with Salvation.

        FOH’s Question to Calvinists: If you tell your non-believing friends about Christ, and talk with them and study with them…. and lead them to Christ, do you ever say “I reasoned with them”? Do you ever say “I persuaded them to Christ”?

        My answer : NO. If Paul has said it, it will only work for those whom Christ offered his life but will never work for the rest. How can Paul take pride for those fake converts that has never possessed the offer of the gift of salvation? My friend Pastor-Missionary FOH, you are a former Calvinist you know that… only those elect will be able to respond to the legitimate offer-the “too dead” as you call it. Those non-elect are also “too dead”-they cannot respond to the offer because God refuse to hear them according to Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

        3. So, the items # 1, 2 and 3 that I posted in this thread dated Sept. 14, 2018 @ 10:19 am, remains sturdy-standing unmoved. Your contention of the good works-crediting to Salvation has been flushed to the septic tank.

  44. Let me say a few things to clarify my previous ideas.

    Paul says that certain believers are a “result of his ministry.” In other places he says he “reasons with men,” he “proves the Gospel to people” and “he persuades men.” He even says he “is all things to all me that he might win some.”

    Now, Calvinists say that “dead men don’t make choices” (one of our local Calvinists said they dont say that! Ha! Google it! It is all over the Calvinist sites.)

    Now…. if that person is “too-dead” to respond why does Paul “reason with them”? In what way does he “prove to them”? In what way does he “persuade a dead man”? If the man is dead, Paul cannot persuade him. If he is regenerated-then-given-faith and irresistibly-made-to-believe then Paul cannot persuade him either. He takes no persuading!!!

    So why is Paul taking any “credit” for their salvation? Why is he mentioning in any way that he had something to do with it? That gives us the impression that he had something to do with it!

    And if Paul is saying IN ANY WAY that he was IN ANY WAY responsible for their coming to Christ, then the Calvinist position is faulty. I cannot accept some man-made “secondary-means” blah-blah since Paul is NOT saying any of that in all these verses.

    He is claiming, to some extent, that they are a “result of his ministry.”

    Question to Calvinists: If you tell your non-believing friends about Christ, and talk with them and study with them…. and lead them to Christ, do you ever say “I reasoned with them”? Do you ever say “I persuaded them to Christ”?

    You are sitting there in horror saying — “No, I would never say that!!!”

    Why not? Paul does.

  45. Daily reading in Galatians 2.

    15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law (Calvinist ESV version).
    ———–

    I love how Paul illustrates here what he is saying in Romans 3:10.

    Here in Galatians he says they are not sinners. Calvinists use Romans 3:10 to say that no one seeks God, all are sinners.

    But Paul says here they are not sinners??

    Yes… because his point here AND in Romans 3 is that EVEN Jews are not sinless enough to be saved without Christ.

    The point in Romans 3 (used by Calvinists to prove Total Depravity) is simply that not even Jews can be saved — without Christ.

    If Romans 3 is used to prove that no one seeks God (Total Depravity) then why does Paul say they are not sinners?

    His point in Galatians “we may not be sinners like the Gentiles but we still need Christ.”

    His point in Romans 3 “we may not be sinners like the Gentiles but we still need Christ.”

    Romans 3 is not given to teach that we are all “too-dead” to hear God’s call, since there are 10 times as many verses saying may can and should seek God (“seek first His kingdom” (Matt 6:33), “God rewards those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6, “seek and you will find” (Matt 7:7), “seek the Lord while He may be found” (Is 55), Deut 4:29, Prov 8:17, Jer 29:13, Ps 34:10, Ps 9:10, “that they should seek God” (Acts 17:27), Luke 12:31, Prov 28:5, Job 8:5.

    1. 1. You are too much scared with Romans 3:10. This verse becomes your enemy and a difficult hindrance to the one you are promoting – your “partial depravity of man” (since you don’t go with “Total Depravity”, then your position on the matter is “Partial”, right?. If the “too dead” has the ability to hear God’s call or even if they have that capability to seek favor with God on their own accord-these are just futile because God refuses to hear them according to Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. (even if you will still say partial depravity – God still refuses to hear them)

      2. The use of Galatians 2:15 to disprove or even bend down Romans 3:10 is a very hopeless attempt, why? because you cannot change the fact that the verse itself (not the Calvinists) declares that “there is none righteous, no not one”. The apostle Paul is the same author who wrote Galatians, and he can never contradict himself, otherwise you might also label him as “double talk”

      3. In what sense they (the Jews) are not sinners?, this is only what they see for themselves because the Jews are self-righteous. In God’s sight that self righteousness is never counted as righteousness. This shaky is attempt to disprove total depravity in Romans 3:10, thus again your attempt only falls to the ground.

      4. You say, “Yes… because his point here AND in Romans 3 is that EVEN Jews are not sinless enough to be saved without Christ.”

      My response : So, in your statement above you agree with Paul’s point in both verses (Gal. 2:15 and Romans 3:10) that the Jews are not sinless…. Therefore they are sinners.., so what’s the point of trying to disprove the “Total Depravity” of Romans 3:10 with Gal. 2:15, when the 2 passages complement with each other? This only shows to the readers here that the “total depravity” embeded in Romans 3:10-11 remains solid and unmoved

      5. My previous post here (i.e. # 1, and # 2 dated Sept. 15, 2018) remains unanswered.

    2. You are now shifting the former talk in this thread with another topic about your disgust on “Regeneration Precedes Faith”. Well… my say to that topic are the following:

      1.The dead man can only make use of that God given faith by the time he is made alive (regenerated) by God.

      2.That God given faith can never be exercised by dead persons. He needs to be regenerated first.

      3. Regeneration does not save. It is only the first step/beginning of the process moving towards the other aspects of Salvation.

      4. The one that Saves is Jesus Christ, not regeneration

    3. FOH said : “I love how Paul illustrates here what he is saying in Romans 3:10.”

      Here in Galatians he says they are not sinners. Calvinists use Romans 3:10 to say that no one seeks God, all are sinners.

      But Paul says here they are not sinners??

      My Response :

      1. Its not actually the Calvinists who said it in Rom. 3:10, it is what the verse says that “no one seek God, all are sinners”

      2. You are claiming here that Paul says in the verse (Galatians 3) that they (Galatians) were not sinners. This is unacceptable. Your claim will never ruin down Paul’s integrity. This direct assault to Paul is aimless and will never knock down the Calvinist side.

  46. Daily reading in Proverbs 23:13-14

    13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
    14 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.
    ———

    What you do makes a difference!

    Discipline your children and help them live! What man does matters.

    1. My friend FOH :

      1. The Holy Spirit is given as the seal for their Salvation after they were regenerated. God will not provide that seal (Holy Spirit) for those who are still dead. They need to be regenerated first.

      2. Faith is then given after they were made alive (regenerated). During this time, they may be able to exercise that faith to believe in the offer of Salvation.

      3. Why there is a need for God to give them faith if they have already their own self-generated faith? Very simple : God’s gift of Salvation is purely 101 percent the work of God given free to the sinner. Man has no whatsoever part in it because he is dead sinner and can never have a share to the Salvation provided to them. Most people have their own self generated faith while some are religion infused to them but all of these will not satisfy God. Still the wrath of God is upon them and will never save them. So… whatever verses used here are all burned to the ground due to wrong interpretation of those showingly says Salvation by grace and yet there is an insertion of good works, self-generated faith etc. …

    2. 1. Why these people were able to put their faith (God given faith, not their self-generated faith) in CHRIST ?. Answer : “Because they were regenerated first.”

      2. self-generated faith of the dead man will never work to pleasing God. The faith of Abraham that pleased God was not his own.

  47. Daily reading Isaiah/ Gal/ Ps/ Prov

    Gal 3:1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.
    ——————-

    What do the people reading this letter (or sitting in a room having the letter read out loud) think? They think they received the Spirit “because they believed.” They have no understand/ underlying idea that it is really because they were regenerated first and then irresistibly made to believe. He says it again….

    5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
    ———-

    It is because they believed. He says it again….

    6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.
    ———-

    Putting faith in. Applying the blood to the door. He says it again…

    8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would make the Gentiles right in his sight because of their faith.
    —-

    He made them right because of their faith. Not — He made them right, then gave them faith. He says it again….

    9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
    ———-

    Those who PUT their faith in Christ have the same blessing as Abraham, because of his faith.

    All this means nothing if the faith is imposed on you. You can’t have it. You can’t NOT have it.

    1. FOH said : “All this means nothing if the faith is imposed on you. You can’t have it. You can’t NOT have it.”

      1. Faith can only be given by God by the time the “dead man” has been regenerated.

      2. All those faith being commended by God on those verses was not their own. They were commended for exercising it to believe in God.

      The Samaritan woman and her fellow Samaritans were worshipping at the foot of the mountain. You will notice the very words of Jesus to this Samaritan Woman, Jesus said to her in John 4:22 : “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for Salvation is of the Jews”.

      Question : What kind of faith does this woman have and whose faith did she use to worship God? … that caused God to reject their worship?. Jesus will not offer to her the “living water” if her “self-generated faith” has already satisfied God.

      This Samaritan woman was able to possess the faith that was offered to her by Jesus. It was proven by her acknowledgement and her testimony to her fellow Samaritans to also acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. This only disprove and to knock down FOH’s statement.

  48. Reading through the Bible I reach Isaiah 26:

    In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song:

    Our city is strong!
    We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.
    2 Open the gates to all who are righteous; [ …there are none righteous, no not one?]
    allow the faithful to enter. [faithful ones]
    3 You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you, [they trust in you]
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you! [they fix their own thoughts]
    4 Trust in the Lord always, [put your trust in God; He allows you that choice]
    for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
    5 He humbles the proud [He humbles the proud; so don’t be proud]
    and brings down the arrogant city.
    He brings it down to the dust.
    6 The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot,
    and the needy walk all over it.

    7 But for those who are righteous, [“if no one is righteous”….why does he say it so much?]
    the way is not steep and rough.
    You are a God who does what is right,
    and you smooth out the path ahead of them. [for the righteous]
    8 Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; [we show our trust — we choose to obey— like the ones who applied the blood on the door. it wasn’t applied for them.]
    our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. [we have a heart that desires]
    9 In the night I search for you; [ I search for you]
    in the morning I earnestly seek you. [I seek you]
    For only when you come to judge the earth
    will people learn what is right.
    10 Your kindness to the wicked
    does not make them do good. [His kindness to the wicked is refused]

  49. Isaiah chap. 26 was addressed to Judah, the chosen tribe where Jesus Christ the Messiah chose to identify Himself during His incarnation. I can see no problem here with the phrases used, e.g.: “righteous one”, “I seek you”, “I search you”, “faithful ones”. They can do all of these things due to God’s enablement of grace for them. The grace of God is operating on the lives of His chosen ones. God deserves to receive all of the credit rather than idolizing too much the self-will of man, making man much more sovereign than His Creator.

    It would be a false assumption to claim for these phrases just to push on with your indignance of the “total depravity”,

    Trying hard to prove for that man’s so called “self-righteousness” will never found merit in seeking God’s favor including Salvation. This attempt is always combustible and will always turn to ashes.

  50. Daily reading in Isaiah, chapters 28-30.

    Yesterday we see the people saying they are righteous, trusting, faithful, fixing their thoughts on God.

    Little time goes by…. next chapters….

    29: 13 And so the Lord says,
    “These people say they are mine.
    They honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
    And their worship of me
    is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
    …..

    30: 8 Now go and write down these words.
    Write them in a book.
    They will stand until the end of time
    as a witness
    9 that these people are stubborn rebels
    who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.

    Not so much faith now.

    Often it is the same people that exhibit trust, then lack-of-trust, then trust again. (We see that all over Exodus and Judges).

    We are told that every bit of faith they have in God is given-faith, given-trust. In that case, the Lord gives faith, then takes it away, then gives it, then takes it away.

    We see that in Exodus 13. They had faith enough to apply the blood on the door…. but then God was not sure they would have enough faith to keep going. [I know, I know, you think what I just said was heresy. Read on].

    13: 17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

    Not only does God say “they might” (a determinist God would not ever say “they might”), but it is also clear that He is not the One giving them their faith. He could have just given-faith and then there is no “If they face war, they might…..”

    We are told it was given-faith that caused all of them to apply blood to the door…. but within days they are lacking faith for the on-coming Pharaoh, shortage of water, shortage of food etc. So if it is all given-faith, it appears that God gives it…takes faith away…. re-gives it…. takes it away.

    So, at any time they could just pull out the excuse “God didnt give us faith.”

    But Moses tells them “have faith”.

    Just like Christ did: Matt 21:22, Mark 11:22, Matt 17:20.

    1. There is nothing new !, … Even the apostle Paul , he had the same experience too, – the struggle between the flesh (old nature) vs. the (new nature). The old nature has a tendency to resurrect, why? because the good work which God has started in us has not yet been through according to Phil. 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

      1. Don’t worry my friend FOH, the complete exit of the “old nature” in us will have an end at the coming of Jesus Christ.

      2. By the time this “old nature” has completely gone, the believer then have already completely put on the “new man” in Christ -(the finish product of all the believers). This will now release the believers (that includes you) from all of those struggles you are mentioning in Isaiah chaps. 20-30

      3. In our previous discussion here, I have already manifested that the dead man or “too dead” as what you call it, they possess in themselves their own “self-righteousness”, “self-generated faith”, or religion man made faith infused to them. When these these things are activated (remember these are all aligned with sin and satan) this is what displeases God and also becomes your bases for manifesting the following:

      “.. if it is all given-faith, it appears that God gives it…takes faith away…. re-gives it…. takes it away.”

      “Often it is the same people that exhibit trust, then lack-of-trust, then trust again. (We see that all over Exodus and Judges)”
      .
      For me, the believer must operate the Christian life through the grace of God not on the fleshly efforts. Paul have said this : “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Phil. 4:13 (meaning, Christ should be the source of strength of the believers in operating the Christian life)

      4. I also manifested that God gave man “limited freedom” for him to exercise. The Apostle Paul have to choose for himself. Listen to what he said : “But if I live on the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what shall I choose, I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”

      Thanks for giving me your time and patience. English is not my mother tongue, it’s only my second language.

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