Saturday, July 26, 2014

When Divinity Meets Humanity

Doctrine is not revealed as fact like a number but the teaching of the Bible that is systematically arrived at. What this means is that you look at all of scripture as a whole and see what it is teaching about a given subject.

For instance the Bible teaches, that
·        God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
·        That there is one God, (Deuteronomy 6:4)

From this we can say confidently there is but one God and He created the Heavens and the Earth.  That is until we get to Colossians 1:16 which in speaking of Jesus Christ says “ For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”

How do we reconcile Colossians 1:16 with Genesis 1:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4? Simple Jesus must be God. This is very staggering to say the Jesus is God until we get to Colossians 2:9-10 here we see the divinity of this Jesus Christ, and the formation of a Godhead, 3 person is one god. This is the Trinity revealed to us in scripture and taught through sound doctrine.
Now let us deal with a question given to me last Sunday which indirectly denies the Trinity, a 2000 year old fully accepted, irreproachable, historically provable, doctrine of the Bible.

If Jesus is God why did He not know the hour of his return?

Mark 13:30-32, "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Matt. 24:36, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Many times when dealing with the Trinity, (And because it [this question] challenges the deity of Jesus Christ it challenges the doctrine of the Trinity) the issue is not as much the Trinity as it is the difficulty in understanding the Trinity. Sometime the inquirer just does not understand the Trinity, however, most often this question comes from those that are used to dealing with things out of their own intellect. Smart people so to speak; they are those that search the scripture diligently to prove in one lifetime what has been established and stood the test of the wisest scholars for over 2000 years.  Most cases it comes from those that struggle with the power of a sovereign God, because they are used to being important, or smart, or the center of intelligence, or something to their small portion of the world.  

But perceiving Christ as God, someone much more than a man, omnipotent makes them impotent;  and everything they have done that has heretofore hailed as good to man, is but a filthy rags before an all mighty God (Isaiah 64:6)

Return to His Glory
During His earthly ministry Jesus moved and walked as man and every miracle that he did was as a man. This is because He was made a little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9) and had emptied Himself (willingly choose not to express His deity)  and taken on the form of a man (Phil. 2:7). 

Because Jesus, was a man who was ministering completely as a man under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5), He did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Christ was therefore completely dependent upon God as He in the form of man was cooperating with the limitations of being human.  That is why He said He didn't know the day or hour of His return.

However, we see that after the resurrection of Christ it is said of Him that He knows all things (John 21:17) and that He is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20).  Therefore, after His resurrection and glorification, the Lord Jesus did know all things.

The Hypostatic Union.
So how is it that Jesus being God did not know the hour of His return?  Simple Jesus is both God and man we see his deity in passages like (John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Col. 2:9) However, Jesus was also fully man and during His ministry in Jerusalem, He was cooperating with the limitations of being a man. 

·        As a man, Jesus walked and talked just like each of us,
·        As God, He was worshipped (Matt. 14:33; 28:9; Heb. 1:6), prayed to (1 Cor. 1:2), etc. 
This Dual Nature of Christ is called the Hypostatic Union, So why was it necessary to have a hypostatic Union? Hebrews 2:17 tells us so that he might identify with our suffering…

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)

… and so that he could be a spiritual High Priest and mediator between God and man and to secure eternal redemption for us…
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:11-12)

But excitedly important He took on the image of a servant (Philippians 2:7) so that He could die on the cross and atone for the sins of His elect and give everlasting life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Philippians 2:5-11 says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

…and he could not have done that without being human

Until we can see the blessed beauty of the Trinity and the need for the Hypostatic Union we will never understand the power of God’s unmerited Grace toward our salvation.

Sola Deo Gloria

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Darkside of Reading Rainbow!

I can't become a God, but LaVar Burton can,  and is trying to convince your children they can too!

The Darkside of our present education, has shown its ugly face again! LaVar Burton Debuts the New Reading Rainbow theme song with lines like " I can become a God" (you remember this is what Satan told Eve)  and "No one should have such Power"

Genesis 3:5 

For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.

This is not a new lie, its just pointing at a younger audience our children. And as christian we can not dismiss this as just a song.  No more than we dismiss the fact that hardcore lyrics do negatively effect our children, and we can't dismiss these lyrics as negatively effecting our children faith system.

As minor as some Christian may think this is, discerning men and women of God must see the enemy attacking our children. Here we have a man that is ridiculously misguided in his knowledge of God. who tries to justify himself through the statement "I studied to be a Catholic Priest" in and interview with who else Oprah. Then write a new theme song for Reading Rainbow which replaces "I can do anything" with "I can become a God?" because I read a book I'm mad with power! I must stop everyone from having reading power!?

Let's not let this be the resurrection of Reading rainbow but the downfall of reading rainbow! For our children's sake.

here is the link if you can stomach it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is God in Violation of His own Commands

Because this teaching is a little longer than I would like it to be, I will get right to the point.
The Question asked of me this week by the teenager is;

“If God says “Thou Shall Not Kill” (Exodus 20:13) then why does He order the utter destruction of the nation of the Amalekites?”

Provisions for Killing

 When we consider Exodus 20:13 we as Christians must see it in the perspective that God intended, not take on the widely accepted mindset of the world.  The accepted worldview (how non-Christians think) can be as subtle as the individual wants, or extreme as the individual wants it to be.  
  • Some extremists may say that we should not kill at all, for any reason. Many pacifist have taken this worldview to such an extreme that they have become vegetarians.  Yet they kill plants for food.    
  • Then there are the people claiming to be a breatharians, able to live on the air alone, these people have taken not killing to such an extreme that they do not kill even for their own welfare. But I also read about their deaths.   
  • Finally, we have the atheists that claim that when God orders the destruction of the Amalekites that He was in violation of His Own command.  How do we answer this argument arguments we see God’s command, and the events of the Bible? 

This is very hard for most people to accept, however, God (Yahweh) has made some provisions for lawful killings, yet He has never made any provisions for murder.  The separation of “killing” from “ Murder” is not an act of Symantecs, they are truly very different both in the Bible and in today’s law. Consider that the word used to translate kill in Exodus 20:13 is “ratsach” which is used to suggest intent or premeditated murder. While the word used in Joshua 10:40 (Smote) is “Nakah” which is most of the time translated as kill, beat, smite, or Hit, and each time it is used, with the intent to express   punishment toward someone or nation for past behavior. This is why modern bibles have removed the world kill  from that passage and better translated it with murder.  It’s not done to change the meaning of the Bible passage, its don to address those too lazy to use Strong’s concordance to see its true meaning and better understanding [1]. 

Additionally, God has provided for accidental killing or killing done out of self-defense, and to defend one’s self even down to the killing of women and children. (Ester 8:10-11In fact, the law requires a that Israelites set aside a city of refuge so that those that committed justifiable killing would not be avenged (Numbers 35:11) This is important to understand because in much the same way a solider on the battlefield may kill the advancing enemy, he is never charged with murdering the advancing enemy.

So the first point;
murder require intent and malice, and God clearly demands that we do not murder in Exodus 20:13.  However, killing which is accidental, or out of protecting one’s nation God has made provision for.  


God’s Judgment on Nations.

When God ordered Joshua and his people to kill every man, woman and child in Canaan is was not because God was unjust? No, in fact it was just the opposite, because of the Righteousness of God and the Love he has for each of us, God had to command that Joshua utterly destroy. The Bible tells us that these populations Canaanites, Amalekites, and other nations were irreconcilably wicked. Some of the normal practices of these people were to burn their own sons and daughters in sacrifice to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:31)Perverted sex   

Corruption literally does breed corruption, which is why God (Yahweh)  did not want the Hebrews tainted by the other corrupt cultures of that time, God did not want them to take on the habits of those cultures (Numbers 25:1-3
Don’t’ think so? Ask yourself, how many Christian do you know that read the horoscope every day? (Witchcraft) How many practice yoga? (Hindu worship)  How many believe in Karma[2]? (Hindu beliefs grounded in reincarnation[3])  How many believe in reincarnation? And the sad thing is we don’t even have to go to those nations to pick up their perverted practices, we allow them to invade us.

Lawful Killing?

I think I should make something perfectly clear, that is, that God (Yahweh) is never wrong in His righteous judgment toward us. We must understand that by right every one of us deserve to be utterly destroyed. (Romans 6:23) But God (of our Lord Jesus Christ) in His perfect mercy provided a way satisfy His Holy Justice and still allow Himself to forgive those that have so grievously sinned against Him[4]. Therefore God’s instruction to Joshua and to Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites is not murder it is a lawful killing.  How is it a lawful killing?

A lawful killing of a nation would mean that there was not one righteous (innocent) person in the whole nation!  That from the natural perspective is impossible to believe, but we must remember that Yahweh not only sees our actions He sees our hearts, so He knows the wickedness that we may be able to hide from the outside world. However my statement “God just knows” alone is not proof that there was not one innocent person in all the city. However I am perfectly sure when I say there was not one innocent person in all city. How? Because the Bible teaches that God is Just (Psalm 9:8) so we can be confident that no innocent has suffered wrongly.  But consider this.

In the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah the Bible says the Abraham (knowing the justice of God) advocated for the safety of Sodom if God found only 50 righteous within the city. And God response was He if there were 50 he would spare the whole city. Then Abraham advocates for 45 righteous, and 40, 30, 20 and finally 10 righteous, and in each case God said if He found that many righteous in the city he would not destroy the city. Now while this was going on God has sent two angels to warn the four righteous (innocent) people in the city to leave before the city was destroyed (Genesis 35:23-32). And once they were outside the city the city was destroyed. So we can be sure from past events of the Bible that God (Yahweh) does not destroy the righteous with the wicked. 

So my second point 
is that God does not destroy the innocent with the wicked, he will remove the innocent to safety before he kills even one! Even the innocent children, for them, God has already made provisions in heaven. Therefore we see that the destruction of the wicked, may actually save the souls of the innocent children among them.

What about the innocent children?

This may sound harsh but seldom is a parent evil and the child innocent. Almost always the wickedness of the parent is expressed in the behavior of the Child. This is where we get that expression, “The nut does not fall far from the tree.” This is why psychiatrist agree that hate has to be taught.   Consider this true event, last week I watched the news on TV, and there was this mother who was trying to sue the police for beating her son who was caught shoplifting at a department store. She claimed that the police beat him for no reason and that he had never shoplifted anything in his life much less resisted arrest. Now even though there were witnesses that saw the teenage boy stealing, and fighting with the police she was adamant that it her son was innocent. Two days ago the very same mother that was on TV accusing the police of arresting her son and beating him unjustly was being arrested herself. And do you know why? Yes, shoplifting from the very same store her son was accused of shoplifting from! Duh! Remember the expression “The nut does not fall far from the tree.”

Now consider the statement that hate has to be taught. And Pay good attention to this next true story. There are extreme Muslim groups which teach their children to hate Jewish people from the time they are old enough to understand language. Muslim children of these extremist are officially taught beginning in grammar school that if they die in a Holy Jihad, then they are guaranteed a place in paradise.

Now these children are so brainwashed (taught to hate) that they easily give up their lives in suicide bombings for a chance in paradise.  (See video at end of this post)

So God commanding Joshua to utterly destroy the Amalekites, it is not a show of God’s wrath but His mercy[5]. When Joshua and Saul kills the children they are delivering the young into the hands of the Lord and saving their souls by not giving them a chance to be corrupted by the sins of their parents. See what I call a dispensation of accountability in my last post “Does God Send Babies to Hell?”)

 Who were the Amalekites?

Genesis 36:12 tells us the Amalekites are the descendants of Esau. A nomadic people that for reasons that only God knows utterly hated the Israelites.
  1.   Exodus 17:8 tells us they fought against the Israelites at Rephidim, 
  2.  Deuteronomy 25:17-18 say the followed behind the Israelites during their 40 year journey and murdered straggling children and elderly. In Exodus 23:7 we see that God is righteous and that the reward of the Amalekites was the expected outcome for them. In that God does not acquit those the kill (properly translated as murder [harag]) the innocent or righteous. 
  3.  Judges 3:13 says the Amalekites joined forces with the Ammonites and Eglon of Moab to defeat and enslave the men of Israel for 18 years. 
  4.  Judges 6:3, 6:33, 7:12 says the Amalekites joined forces the Midianites to attack Israel. Asaph the psalmist sings about this in Psalm 83:7  
  5. When Saul failed to utterly destroy all the Amalekites as God had commanded they resurface again to raid and destroy Ziklag and again David had to wage war against them that should have already been dead (1Samuel 30
  6. 250 years after King David the remaining Amalekites were still a major problem for the Israelites. It was not until they came against five hundred of the sons of Semion during the reign of King Hezekiah that they were finally completely annihilated (1 Chronicles 4:42-43)   
Why would God give such a command? Because He loves us just that much. 
Because God had already put into play the method to atone or bring us back to Himself, Satan destruction was regulated to trying to destroy the genealogy of the coming messiah. And some of the ways that Satan did this was through armies, idolatry, and intercultural breeding. All of these are an attempt to destroy the lineage of the coming Messiah. The Messiah, had to die on the cross for the sins of the world, because without his death there would be no atonement. Without the atonement, we all would spend eternity in corruption (hell) So, God was ensuring the arrival of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) for the salvation of the elect, whom He loves perfectly, through the annihilation of the nations that acted as tools of Satan. 

So my third point 
is that because the Amalekites murdered the straggling elders and innocent children of the Israelites in the dessert, and because they murdered their own innocent children.  But more importantly because they were the tools by which Satan sought to stop the coming Messiah, or pervert the lineage of Christ Jesus they were irreconcilably wicked.   And God had already spoken in Exodus 23:7 that for their guilt He would not acquit. Any other action, for instance to let them go unpunished, would have made Yahweh and unjust God.

In conclusion

We must remember four (4) things  
  1. Murder and killing are not the same. God is against murder, but sometimes make provisions for killing  
  2. The Justice of God will not allow Him to destroy the innocent with the guilty.  
  3. There are situations when some deserve earthly death, because God does not acquit those that murder the innocent and righteous.  
  4. If God had not destroyed them then the Amalekites may have been successful in perverting the lineage of the coming Messiah and our Salvation would have never been realized.
 Watch Video

 Your Brother in Christ
Troy "FireSpeaks" Pearsall

[1] Click on this link and see how this word is translated in other Bible versions.  (Thou Shall Not Kill) now follow this link to see how Strong’s concordance define the word kill (ratsach)

[2] Karma is found in Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is the idea that how you live your life will determine the quality of life you will have after reincarnation.  Many people have incorrectly associated this with reaping and sowing which takes place in our present life. They are not the same! Only the Bible speaks of the reaping what we sow in this life. More importantly Luke 12:14 reminds us that even though God has put into process the application of sowing and reaping, God alone is still the source and origin of what we attain in our life, Being a child of God we can reap good even though we may have in the past sown woe. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! This is an expression of God’s Grace
[3] Reincarnation is not of God. The Bible is very clear on this matter Hebrew 9:27 say that a man dies once, not over and over again, with his karma following him, determining his present life by the actions of his past.
[4] This act by God (Yahweh) to reconcile man is called Atonement. Atonement is the central theme of the Bible in which God (Himself) provides a way to satisfy His Holy Justice and still allow Himself to forgive those that have so grievously sinned against Him. 2 Corinthians 5: 21
[5] "God does not always act with justice. Sometimes He acts with mercy. Mercy is not justice, but neither is it injustice. Injustice violates righteousness. Mercy manifests kindness and grace and does no violence to righteousness. We may see non-justice in God, which is mercy, but we never see injustice in God." - R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, p. 145

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Does God Send Babies to Hell?

One of the reason I love Bible study with children is because they move you places where you would not have otherwise thought.   Today while speaking of the Gospel one of the teens asked the simple question If sin is inputted on us from Adam (Romans 5:12) then where does a newborn baby go when they die?” This question was spoken under the pretense that a just God would not send an innocent child to hell. However if sin is inputted to us while still in the womb of the mother (Psalm 51:5,  58:3) than even a newborn is guilty before God.  And since salvation is found in no one else other than Jesus Christ, (Acts 4:12) and a newborn is incapable of understanding the gospel and therefore cannot make a decision for Christ, That being so wouldn't it reason that all newborn babies that die will go to hell?

My answer is unequivocally NO!
However, I am making this statement from the issues of my heart not from scripture. Fact is I want to believe that God's mercy would not send a new born baby to hell. My hope is that  a person that for some reason could not make an intelligent  decision for Christ, would have the comfort of a loving God. To me that just would not be fair, But then if I say no on the grounds of my feeling alone than I’m making a God in my image, not allowing the word of God be my guidance.

The Bad News
So let’s forget that I said no, and seek the knowledge of scripture to answer this most difficult question. The Gospel is the “good news” But before we can fully appreciate the “good news” we must first understand the Bad News. But what is the bad news? Well the bad news says we inherited a sinful nature because of the first man Adam (Romans 5:12, 16) that through Adam, there was condemnation to all men (Romans 5:18). The Bad News says that from the instant we leave our mother’s womb we go astray (Psalm 58:3) is says that none of desire to do right, not one of us (Romans 3:10-12) The Bad News says even when we try to do our best, , it’s like a filthy rag before God (Isaiah 64:6) But the most scary part of the Bad News says the cost for the sin that we commit is death. The Bad News paints an almost hopeless situation for all of us.

The Grace of God in Christ Jesus  
But there is Good News, The bible tells us were sin abounds grace does much more abound. This is wonderful news it says even though we are sinful in every imaginable way that God has given us a way out of eternal damnation (Grace) in the form of Jesus Christ. The Good News says the death that we rightly deserve will not come to us, because “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). So the Good News is that there is hope. However, that hope is only for those that can comprehend the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His work at Calvary.  So where does this leave babies who die in infancy, or are aborted, or are stilled birth? Where does that leave those that may not be able to comprehend the Gospel because of development issues?

A Dispensation of Accountability
OK, I know someone is going hate me for what I am about to write my only defense is; test the scripture against what I write. Eat the meat and throw out the bones. Nowhere is scripture does it speak of a dispensation of accountability. As a matter of fact I have never even heard the two words used together before I wrote it.  So where do I get off writing (or proclaiming) this thing? Simply, scripture alludes to the possibility of there being such a thing. In this dispensation God does not whole accountable those that are, for some reason unable to make an intelligent decision for Jesus Christ
    • In the Old Testament we see an example of this dispensation of accountability [1] whereas because of the harden hearts of the Israelite God promises that they [2] would never enter into the promise land. But the children, because of their inability to discern what was good and bad, were not held accountable for the harden hearts of their. parents. (Deuteronomy 1:34-39 )in verse 39 God Says Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
      This puts a major damper in the concept of generational curses, or the doctrine of parental covering. However, that is for another blog. Let’s stay focused.
      So even though there is no scripture to prove this, we can use God’s past action as a guide to His future actions (Malachi 3:6) especially as it concerns how He handles the life of His creation.

    • Again to a lesser degree I see how God dealing with those that willingly rebel against him is not the same as with those that cannot discern their rebellion. In 1 Kings 14, when God speaks to Jeroboam through the prophet Alijah he tells Jeroboam of the humiliating deaths that his whole family will experience. Some will die in the streets of the city and their body will be eaten by stray dogs, and others in country and the wild birds will consume the flesh from their bones. But God makes an exception for Jeroboam’s infant son, giving him an upright and honorable burial before the people (1Kings 14:10-13) Now even though the child still dies, he is spared the judicial punishment of those that willingly rebelled against God.
    • Psalm 22:9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. This powerful psalm, though it is surely messianic in nature, may have much more to tell us.  Albert Barnes commentary on Psalm 22:9 suggest that it could very well be attributed to child who was unable to make a decision for Christ.  So, that children who from the conception are under the Fall of Adam, God is able to make them believe and trust in him.

    • In 2 Samuel 12 King David and Bathsheba have a child out of wedlock who becomes terminally ill. King David adorns himself in sackcloth and ashes fast and mourns the possibility of losing his child. When King David finds out that the child has died, he put on normal clothes and stop mourning. The prophet Nathan ask why he was no longer in mourning and David replies “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’  But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:22–23 (KJV)  
    Now if we pay good attention to the text we see that it implies that the child went to heaven when King David says, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me The Bible says that David was the apple of God's , so I am assuming ( I Think safely) that David did go to heaven so we have to have confidence that the infant  son of David died without ever discerning what is good or bad , or making a decision for Christ is now in heaven worshiping God with all the other saints that have the inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ.

    What really frighten me about much of the teaching in the modern church is that when confronted with difficult statements they do not rely on scripture but on their own sometimes heartless interpretations.
    For much of my childhood I struggled with a God that I called Just, Righteous, and God that went out of his way for the Christian, but was lazy in meeting the needs of the poor, homeless, and infants, and those that just could not make an intelligent decision for Christ. Some of the most caring churches today ascribe to this most horrible doctrine of hell for infants when the die. Due to error teaching of many church fathers like John Calvin many people are taught that sin of the parents are passed from one generation to the next.  Somehow honest loving Christians believe that Children inherit the sins of their parents.  Yet the Bible is very clear that this is just not true! One more time in case you missed this “The Bible is very clear that this is just not true!”
    The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:20(NASB)

    The big problem those that teach God send infants to hell is that they overlook who God is, and more important the fact the only thing God can’t do is stop being God.  
    God is that he is Just.
    The Bible teaches a number of time that God punishment is on the guilty but nowhere is scripture does it say God wrath is on the guiltless or innocent. It is God’s Justice that save Lot and his family. God would not destroy the whole city of Sodom if there was even one innocent. Because God is Just he will not destroy the wicked for the sake of the innocent. Yet we are to believe that God will send an innocent child to and infinite damnation because he was not able to make a decision for Christ?

    God’s Grace abounds (Romans 5:20)
    this is the truth of the Gospel, God’s Grace much more abound sin. But to say that God sends infants to hell is saying, that the very same God that devised this plan to step out of eternity, and become the sacrifice for us that we could in no way provide for ourselves, who while we were still in our sin, was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: and took the chastisement of our peace upon himself;  Hung on a cross lay in the earth dead for three days and rose up again so that He could reconcile us no good sinners back to Himself. This God that devised this great plan could not, or did not want to show his Grace on innocent children?

Your Brother in Christ
Troy "FireSpeaks" Pearsall

[1] There is no such thing as dispensation of accountability, but for lack of another term I have called it that in this example. funny thing is that after much study I found there is something called the Age of accountability which is very much like what I called the dispensation of accountability ( though I do not agree on all points)
[2] Except for Celeb and Joshua.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Can We Believe the Doctrine of Predestination?

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Romans 9:11-13 KJV

On numerous occasions I have had the conversation with God loving Christians about the subject of will.   I think on the issue of salvation many people were drawn aback by the suggestion that predestination may negate freewill. The natural man want to believe he has free will, it makes us feel as though we have authority of some measure. In fact pride (which comes before destruction) is nothing more than a heighten perception of free will. Free will says I can do something without God. Yet Jesus says we can do nothing without him. (John 15:5)

I have to be truthful though, I don’t know if man has free will or not, because the Bible does not teach free will. However, the Bible clearly teaches predestination. I think it’s safe to say that salvation is never the results of man’s free will but is always the results of God's work in man.  Therefore, rather than departmentalize God’s Predestination to only that part of our life which deals with our salvation I sought to clearly define  predestination even if it don’t feel good.

What is Predestination? 

Predestination is concept which assumes that God before all creation preordained, that some people would be saved (the elect) and some would be damned to eternal judgment. Now for those that are saved (the elect) He calls them effectually, which means that He completes what He ordained by His sovereign direction of that person’s life.  

The Reason Predestination is So Difficult to Accept is;  

  • First, because it does not seem fair to the natural man, We seem to want a God that will forgive us all regardless to our state of repentance; a God that will just forgive everything that we do, no matter how sever, no matter how litter contrition. However we fail to recognize that one of God's attributes is justice, and a just God must punish for sin. Because Justice is who God is when we ask "Why can't God just forgive everyone?" we are in fact asking "Why don't God change who He is, because I refuse to change what I am doing".  
  • Secondly,  because we are fearfully stricken with the possibility that our own family members, and loved ones, friends and others who we see each and every day may perish in their sins, sentenced to the eternal damnation of agony and suffering and pain and burning; we find it hard to accept the truth.
    Jesus gives a hint of this truth that some will perish in Matthews 7:22-23 
    when He says  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?
  • And thirdly, because we can’t perceive us doing such a thing, we began to anthropomorphize God. That is, we apply the limited attributes and knowledge of man, to the omniscience, omnipotent person of man's creator. We in fact build a God to fit our perception of who we, be it consciously or subconsciously conceive from our hearts a God as we think  God should be. We make the image of God which is formed out our own personal experiences, our hurts, our successes, our desires, rather than perceiving  God in the way that He is described in the Bible. When the believer begins to conceive predestination in his mind, he is almost always accosted with the questions Are we saved against our will?” and if so “Does that mean that others are damned no matter what they do?”  And lastly “If this is the case why even bother to evangelize?”     But the difficulty with the natural world and the non-believer is “How can an all loving God send us to hell?” and the answer to this for most people is free will. But is this as Biblical as we think?

Predestination is Biblical

Predestination is a 100% Biblical doctrine (teaching) it is directly identified in scripture 6 times, and indirectly many more times, consider some of these;
·        Acts 4:28, "to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur." 
·        Rom. 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 
·        Rom. 8:30, "and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." 
·        1 Cor. 2:7, "but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory."  
·        Eph. 1:5, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will." 
·        Eph. 1:11, "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."

Now when we consider God’s predestination we must ask ourselves is the will of God above our will? Let’s look at the prophet Jeremiah who was known as the weeping prophet because of the lamentation he had toward a rebellious Israel.  In Jeremiah 1: 5  God tells Jeremiah “ Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” which is a clear statement of predestination without ever even using the word pro-o-rē'-zō (G4309) The instance of God predestination  is endless in scripture, we see this both in the Old Testament with  Isaiah 43:7, Job 23:14, many other passages as well as the New Testament like Galatians 1:5, Matt 7:21-23, Matt 22:14, John 15:16, Rom 9:27, Rom 11:7, 1Thess 5:9,

Predestination is Clearly Taught in the Bible

In Romans 9 the Apostle proves that God has never shown His mercy based on family privilege, merit, birthright, financial condition or anything that man may perceive as worthy. No, we see that salvation has always been the result of God’s sovereign grace and mercy. Paul explains that even within the privileged nation of Israel God shows that He gives salvation and blesses whom He pleases for no apparent reason other than He chooses by His sovereign will. The apostle Paul cites three examples of individual election:  
·        In Romans 9:6-9, God denies the law of primogeniture[1] and chooses Isaac over Ishmael Abraham’s true first born, Then Abraham leaves Ishmael and his mother Hagar out on the street to fin for themselves.
·        In Romans 9:10-13, While they were yet babes fresh from their mother’s womb, having done no sin, ( here we see the operative word is “having done no sin”) in that neither boy was more righteous than his brother, God  choose Jacob for the blessing ( from whom the lineage of Jesus Christ would come)  but hated[2] Esau ( choose not to allow the lineage of Christ to come through)
·        In Romans 9:14-18 God Choose Moses, not Pharaoh  

Ephesians chapter 1 is and amazing clear defense for predestination, however nothing is as beautifully expressed as verses 4 through 11 which reads;
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will  Ephesians 1:4-11 (KJV)

Does God Predestinate or Does He Foreknows?

There are many people that say that God does not predestine, but with His Omniscience He foreknows in advance who will freely choose him. The problem I have with this error mindset is that it makes the actions of God dependent on the will of man. God is therefore in defense not in control. The concept destroys grace and puts God in debt to man for what man has done, choose to worship God as if God needs man, not man which needs God.

The beauty of Ephesians 1:4-5 is that it completely refutes that interpretation by using the Greek word proorizo, (Strong’s G4309) which specifically means “predestinate”. There may be those that say that the Apostle intended foreknown but this is foolish, because a number of times Paul uses both foreknow and predestinate specifically. If Paul had instead wanted to say that God would foresee who would choose him, there’s a perfectly good Greek word for that – proginosko (Strong’s G4267). Fact is foreknow is only used once in the Bible and foreknowledge is only used twice. So it isn’t very likely that the Apostle made a mistake when he wrote predestinate. I believe that the foreknowledge argument is put to rest in Romans 8:29-33 which reads;
For whom he did foreknow [proginosko], he also did predestinate [proorizo] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Romans 8:29-33 (KJV)

So I added verses 30 through 33 so that you could clearly see not only does The Apostle teach predestination by his statement, he anticipates that not only the unbeliever but also the believers would have difficulty accepting this truth, and that the natural counter argument would be that “God is not fair (Just) to punish everyone” But we miss the most important fact God is perfect and without blemish and all that He created is good. But you and I are not the product of God’s creation, we are the by-product of sin that entered into creation. And every one of us by right deserve to burn eternally in damnation, and we have this mindset because we think within ourselves that we are good. So when we look at predestination we don’t see God’s mercy towards us the elect which plucks us out of eternal damnation. If we did we would surely praise Him for saving us. Instead we only see His wrath toward a guilty world, and we forget that every one of us, His elect, are just as guilty and deserving of eternal damnation[3], But God the Father choose us His elect for Himself and by the blood of His son Jesus Christ we are made justified and not held accountable for the wickedness that we have done.   

Lastly let’s look at 1 Corinthians 1:27-30 in this passage I will highlight the words that are of the most importance;
27 God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast [brag that he is saved by his own works] before God. 30 But by His [God’s] doing [not by anything we can do] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.1 Corinthians 1:27-30. (NASB) 

I think verse (30) makes it very clear that it is God’s doing that we are in Christ[4] not anything of our own and at our very best we are as filthy rags before God. We say we love God but we are all sinners, ransomed by the blood of Christ fully deserving to stand trial for the crimes which we all commit. Yet in spite of living our lives recklessly as enemies of God; God has for some reason, which we can’t possible know, chosen us to be elect. And so God reached into this world from eternity and for no other reason except He choose to; He pulled us form the pits of hell. Showing himself merciful He did not give us what we deserved. . And it is when we can conceive this truth, that we are able to see a drug addict, prostitute, drug dealer, whoremonger, thief, murder, lair, effeminate, homosexual, transsexual, rapist, even a child molester, on the street, Knowing that we are no greater than them and just like them we rightly deserve to burn forever into eternal damnation.  When we reach this truth of our own guilt we will never be able to truly love another. However, once we see this Grace that God has bestowed on us His elect, we are then unable to point a finger at another person, or turn our nose up at them. For we know if it wasn’t for the Grace of God unto election, just like all those whom hearts God hardens, we would surely perish. 

We must not see election and predestination as the unfairness of God, but must see it for what it is toward those of us that are His elect,  which is the Beauty of God’s Grace given to us for no reason what-so-ever except he chooses to.

Soli Deo Gloria
Your Brother in Christ
Troy "Firspeaks" Pearsall

[1] The right of the first born child to inherit a double portion of his family wealth above his younger or female siblings.
[2] In this passage as with many passages in the bible the hate of God is not as one man hates but rather hate means that God has not chosen him, not that God is against Him. In the natural we find that Esau was rich and lived a full life, and even had a forgiving heart toward his brother Jacob, had God ben against him he would have surely died
[3] Romans 6:23 (KJV) for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[4] This is a very crystal clear saying in all versions of the Bible. In that the KJV says “of Him [God] are ye in Christ Jesus”; while the NIV says “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus”; the English Standard Version says “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus” and the New American Standard  says “but by His doing you are in Christ Jesus”