Friday, December 28, 2012

Answer to Calvinism

Hello friends, below is my reply, Brytni's comments are in red, mine in black. If I missed a few questions I apologize, this was a very big study, if anyone one has any questions for me, feel free to ask.

God Bless,

Flame of Jah

1. Genesis 2:16-17 is not talking about “making a decision for Jesus”. Also, I believe that our omniscient, wise, Creator knew that man, by his own wicked heart would sin. Thus they would need a savior, so He chose some to save and those He purposed to save He did. John 6:38-40 (more on that later) Do you believe in God’s omnipotence and Sovereignty?

2. Deuteronomy 30:19 is not talking about a “decision for Christ”. It is declaring God’s conditions for life and blessing in Canaan. Israel was God’s Elect and Chosen people. They did not choose Him. Deuteronomy 7:6 Yes, they, just like we Christians today, can choose to obey Him or disobey. Those who disobey are not assured of their salvation. II Peter 1:10-11

3. Same goes for Joshua 24.

I quoted Genesis, Deuteronomy and Joshua to illustrate that man has a free will. God gave man a choice in the garden. Of course God knew man would sin, but, he did not create man to sin. Look here, if man was created with a wicked heart how could God look at all creation and say it was very good? If God made man with a wicked heart, how can he judge man for sin, seeing he created him to sin? Such a notion contradicts scripture which is clear that God is Holy and Just. In Deuteronomy and Joshua it is also very clear that man has a free will, God set before the Children of Israel life and death, and said Choose you this day who you will serve. God didn't make them serve him, he gave them a choice of serving him. No the children of Israel did not choose to be God's chosen people, he chose them but, they did choose whether or not to serve him.

4. We must compare Scripture with Scripture. There are NO contradictions in the Bible. We also must look at context. Jesus Christ told those Pharisees in Matthew 9 and Mark 2 that He didn’t come to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance… Were the Pharisees righteous so they did not need Salvation? Did they not sin? Of course they did! The Bible says that anyone who says He hasn’t sinned is a liar. Okay, so the key word in both texts is REPENTANCE. The publicans and sinners that Jesus was calling repented. He is also the Lord Himself. He is Very God. He knows whom He elected and said that He would lose none of them. Did He lie? Is He weak or unable to accomplish what He set out to do? No! He will lose, none of HIS. Also, I will remind you of the verse that I mentioned before, John 1:12 says that we are not born of the will of man… Is God a liar? He said He hates some. Is He a liar?

I agree there are no contradictions in the Bible. Of course the Pharisees sinned, all have sinned, I repeat All. If you say you have not sinned, lol, you just sinned to say that. Sorry that just struck me as funny. Anyway, yes I know Jesus is God, but, Jesus in the context you are quoting is speaking of his disciples, the twelve, and he did lose one, he said so himself, you have to read the whole verse, all were elect, but one didn't make it. Jesus said, While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
5. I am not sure where you got your definition of believe, but here it is from the dictionary:
a. to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so
b. to have confidence or faith in the truth of a positive assertion, story, etc.; give credence to.
c. to have confidence in the assertions of a person.
d. to have a conviction that a person or thing is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation
e. to be persuaded of the truth or existence of.
f. to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc., of
I do have confidence that Christ died for me! I believe it! But that is not because I chose Him; it is because He chose me! If He had not loved me, I could not and would not have loved Him. ! John 4:19 Are you more powerful than God Himself?

1 John 4 is speaking to believers, and 4:19 says that “We love him because he first loved us.” I never denied that God loved us, (all men). I do not understand why you even ask such a question, what did I say that sounds as if I think I am more powerful than God?

6. John 3:15-20 are such abused versse that it would be too lengthy to try to comment about them entirely here. I will simply say, the text is not structured conditionally with a future conditional (If . . . then). The verses primarily state the Son of Man’s death to secure eternal life for the elect. And secondarily state that the evidence (John’s purpose in writing) is faith. Also, If God loved the whole human race without exception so very, very, very much . . . Why couldn’t or wouldn’t He save very many of them? He is the Savior, isn’t He? How do babies, the mentally handicapped, and the heathen get to heaven without a chance to believe? How did people get saved in the Old Testament before they could believe on Him? Why will He profess He never knew most men in any affectionate way? Why has He kept the gospel from most men in the history of the world? What good is His love for the “whole world” with most men going to hell? It isn’t a very meaningful love. What is the difference between the saved and the lost? Did they save themselves? Are those in hell separated from His love, which He promised could never happen? Can any human ever go to hell, since Jesus promised He would lose not one? Is His love better than that of a whore, who offers it to strangers without any loyalty? How should men love their wives as Christ? By loving all women equally including them? Also, who was the Bible written to? The unregenerate or His children?

First please comment on John 3:15-20, I'd love to hear it.
Why has God not saved the whole world? Because he gave man the free choice to choose between life and death, we all can be saved, but he has given us the choice. I cannot answer what happens to babies, but mentally handicapped can get saved, ask Corrie Ten Boom, I am surprised that you asked that, with what you believe most of mankind is going to go to hell without a choice, and you seem concerned that babies and mentally handicapped don't get a chance under free choice? You believe a huge portion of mankind is going to hell, with no choice in the matter, why should it matter to you? Do you think all babies and mentally handicapped are somehow automatically Elect? I am not mocking you here at all, please do not take me as doing such. How did People get saved in the old Testament? By faith, read Hebrews, their faith in God was counted to them for righteousness. They certainly did make it by works lol, look at David, he was a sinner just like the rest of us. Why has He kept the gospel from most men in the history of the world? He hasn't, read Romans 1, the very creation is evidence for him, therefore man is without excuse. What good is his love for the whole world, with most men going to hell? He loved us so much that he took on himself to die for us, to pay the penalty for our sins, he left it up to us to believe on and confess him. Not a very meaningful love? Wow, God loved us so much to pay the penalty for all the sins we chose to commit, and offered us the free gift of salvation through him, and you say that isn't meaningful? What is the difference between the saved and the lost? Did they save themselves? No. Just, No. The saved did not save themselves, Christ gave his blood to cover all sins, the saved are those that chose to except his gift of salvation, the lost are those that chose not to. I am not sure what you mean by these last questions, what are you referencing that brings you to ask these questions? Where did God promise that the whole world would not be separated from his love? What are you asking here?

7. Romans 10:9-13 Descriptions of evidence do not offer eternal life by conditions. To do so would be to say that you are saved by works. Do you believe that your works save you or Jesus Christ? Again, compare Scripture with Scripture. Just because you “take His name into your mouth”, does not mean you are His. Matthew 7:21 or Matthew 25 that we already mentioned in the other post. Also, we are told, that you cannot say that Jesus is Lord unless it is by the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 12:3 Again, not by our decision, but His.

Before I answer this we must define what “works” are. What does it mean to work? Is believing a good work? Those that try to work to get to heaven, they are laboring, which is what work means, to labor. Look up work in the dictionary,
Work: activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:
a : sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result
b : the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood
c : a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity

Conditions are not works, and to say that there are conditions for salvation does not say that salvation is by works. I believe that I am saved by the grace of God, through his son Jesus Christ: For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9. Is it work to accept a gift? I agree that just because you confess Christ does not make you saved, but that was not the only condition, it also said, that you must believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Hmm, you are contradicting yourself, you just said that you can say that Jesus is Lord and not be His, but you also say that you cannot say that He is Lord except by the Holy Ghost, so, that is true, does that mean some unsaved folks have the Holy Ghost? What I am getting at here is that, you can say Jesus is Lord in two ways, in belief and unbelief. You can only say it in belief by the Holy Ghost.

8. You have assumed correctly. I believe that the LORD elected some to be vessels of honor and some of dishonor. Romans 9 I believe that God hates some and loves others. Psalm 5:4-6 I believe that the LORD gave His Son Jesus Christ the power to save as many as He gave Him. John 17:2

To elect something does not make it final, we elect the president, but until he is sworn in he is not the president, same with Christians, God elected those to be saved, but until you believe you are not one of his. He elected you to be saved, but you must believe to be saved. Romans 9 is speaking of the Jews, not Christians, and John 17:2 is speaking of the twelve disciples.

9. To answer your question, Justice means: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. So, no. if God chose some of us and sent others to hell, He would be unjust. It would only be fair to send us all to hell and save none. However, He is not unjust but sacrificed His Son for those He chose to save. Those men and women are covered in His righteousness. It would be unfair of Him to make His Son go through that agony for some who would reject Him! He is far more just than you or I can even comprehend! How dare anyone call Him otherwise for deciding to throw wicked, God hating men, in hell!
10. Asking the question “is that just for God to arbitrarily choose some over others” is shameful. God is God. He is JEHOVAH! How dare anyone say anything against His will! Paul wrote about you! He knew your heart! He knew it’s rebellion against the LORD!
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Romans 9:20-24

Brytni you are saying that God is unjust, for you said, that he would be unjust if he chose to save some and send some to hell. Then you say he only sacrificed his Son for those he chose to save, which is just another way of saying that God chose to save some men and not to save others. Let's get this straight. If God indeed did create man with a wicked sinful heart, God cannot be just and throw any man into hell or punish any man at all period. Why do I say this? You sew yourself a dress, then when it is all complete you want it to be a skirt instead, can you get mad at the dress for not being a skirt when you created it to be a dress? Of course not, likewise God being just, cannot punish men he created with a wicked heart, for sinning. Those that reject Christ are those that pay for spitting in his face when they refuse to accept the gift provide by him at the cross. Everyone that rejects Christ tramples in his blood. Think of it this way, you sacrificed everything to make a wonderful gift for someone, you present it to them and they fling it on the ground and walk on it, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, his life, he gave his life, shed his blood to pay for all men's sins, he offered man the free gift of eternal life through his blood, if they will just believe on him, unfortunately, many decide to make it their own way they decide to work it out, they tell Christ that his gift is too easy, or they say he isn't offering it because they don't want to give up their sin, and thereby they trample on his gift. Brytni, I was not calling God unjust, I was just looking from the perspective of justice at what you believe, let us not believe any doctrine that would make God to be unjust, Calvinism does just that.
I was not questioning the justice of God, but the justice of Calvinism. Calvinism makes God unjust, it dictates that he would create men to sin, pick out a group for no known reason, forgive their sins, and the rest he punishes for eternity for sins they had no choice but to commit as they were created with a sinful nature. It is not rebellion to question a doctrine the makes God unjust. I am not questioning how God made me, I am questioning a doctrine that makes God unjust, and the Bible a lie!
In contrast: I believe that God created man sinless and perfect, and endowed him with a free will to choose. Man chose to sin, God sent the law to convict man of sin and to prove to man that you cannot work yourself to heaven, God then sent his Son, who became a man, suffered from the same temptations as us, then gave himself the perfect sacrifice for all men's sins everywhere.

11. You ask, “Why need Christ die if God elects some?” You told me yourself… It would be unfair to save us because of our sins! BUT>>>He, the Just Judge, had those sins paid for and covered by the Blood of the Lamb! If He had not killed His Son we too would be damned. You belittle the Cross and the power of Christ’s Blood spilt! You say that He cannot do what He said He would, that He is too wimpy to save those who He wants to. No one deserves a spec of a tiny chance to go to heaven. We should be on our knees thanking God for the mercy He gave! Not replying against Him because of the mercy we think He should have given! It is wicked rebellion to ask God if He is fair! We live in a generation of rebellion. One tainted with the thought that everything is “unfair”. Let us not be spotted by that world.

I did not say that Christ couldn't save us because of our sins, I said he cannot arbitrarily pick those to save and not give everyone a choice and still be just. Christ died for the ungodly, anyone who believes in him is saved, Christ died for all, everyone, everywhere. (Acts 17) You are saying that Christ only died for a select group of men, when he died for the whole world, not just a select group, his blood is sufficient to cover all sins, what you believe is belittleing the cross. Also, God did not kill his Son, Christ had a choice, and he chose to lay down his life for us that we might be saved. When I say us, I mean mankind. Of course no one deserves to go to heaven, and of course we should thank God for his mercy, that is a given.

12. You told your readers to read the Bible without any bias from doctrines of men… You read it and do the same. Do not take your favorite sound bite verses from the word of God that you want to base this doctrine on because you think that God, The Almighty, All Glorious, Just, Jealous, Incomprehensible, Independent, Merciful, Benevolent, Omnipotent and only Wise God, is unfair, and twist them to say so! God is perfect! Holy! and Righteous! He will soon come to judge the quick and the dead… Let us be found faithful to the true Word that He wrote.

Lay the accusations aside Brytni, you have totally misunderstood my reply to you, if you have read this far, you will understand that I was not doubting, or accusing God, but rather, attempting to show you where belief in Calvinism leads. It is a given that God is Holy, Just, and Merciful, I never doubted that, let us not believe any doctrine that says otherwise.


Brytni let me ask you some questions: What assurance do you have of salvation? How do you know that you are one of the “chosen”? You sin, just like I, none of us are perfect, remember, all unrighteousness is sin, in light of that think about what you said in your comment that those who disobey are not assured of their salvation, that would mean that you have no assurance, so how do you know that you are saved? I hope and pray that you read and consider what I have written to you, most of all, I hope that you read your Bible and understand the truth. Don't take my word for it, check it up in scripture, don't follow any men, all men can make mistakes. I am praying for you!

Flame of Jah

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Salvation: Choice, or election?

Hello brothers and sisters,

Below is my reply to Brytni's comment on my last post, Hell Part II.

Where do I read about a decision for Christ? Let's start at the beginning of the book. First we must establish that man has a free will. In Genesis 2:16-17 God gives man his first choice, he tells him not to eat of the tree, if he does, he will die. In chapter 3 man decides to eat of said tree, thus exercising his free will.

Again we see in Deuteronomy 30:19 Moses lays before the children of Israel the blessing and the curse and tells them to Choose. If they did not have a free will why would he tell them to choose?

Similarly Joshua in chapter 24, they are told to choose who they will serve. Time and time again through the old testament we see people given the choice of serving God or the devil, life or death, so, in the old testament man clearly has a free choice. If he did not God would not be calling Israel to choose who they would serve, or calling them to return to him, not ordering, but pleading with them to return

Let's have a look at the New Testament now.

Matthew 9:13 Jesus came not call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Why would he call if they had no choice but to come?
Mark 2:17 repeats this
Read the Parable of the sower, the people had to receive the word sown.
Mark 16:16, you must believe to be saved. What does "believe" mean? You cannot believe without choice. You have to make a choice to believe.
Ok, let me cut this short, and just say, all over scripture, man has a free will to do as he pleases, he can choose good or evil, God or Satan and so on.

Back to your question, well, sort of, first let us look at the definition of believe. "Believe: To accept something as true." Therefore, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal 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. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John 3:15-20

And, further: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all the call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:9-17

These are just two of the many passages on this, we must believe to be saved, and believing is a choice. To believe you must accept it as truth, and to accept you must make a choice, a decision.

Where does God offer salvation to the wicked? What is your definition of the word wicked? Are not we all? Let us see: Wicked: Evil. What does evil mean? Morally reprehensible, sinful. Think of the scripture: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9. Think on this: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 Notice it says any? God came to call sinners, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, not some sinners, all sinners. In the book of Revelation, during the great tribulation God once again calls all men to serve him. All men, not just some, not just the non-wicked, but all men. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. If all have sinned, and God came to call sinners, then, He must be offering salvation to all because he is calling sinners.

From your post, I understand that you believe that Christians are the Elect, and all the rest are un-Elect? You come from the position that God Elected certain people to be saved, and the rest are damned, and that I assume also, that you believe that we are sinful by nature. If I am correct in all of this, please answer this one question; What is Justice? We both agree that God is a God of Justice. Let me define the word, Justice: The quality of being just, impartial, or fair. Okay, let us look closely at election...

Right off we have a problem, God is just, but, election is not. You see, if we humans are sinful by nature, that is, we have no free will, we sin just as we breath, we have to, because it is part of us, how can God if he is just, send anyone to hell seeing he created us this way? How can he judge us for sin we had no choice but to commit? Let us look at it from another angle. All have sinned, that is made very clear in scripture so, that means that God chose a certain group of sinners arbitrarily, and they go to heaven, everyone else to hell. Is that just? I mean really? We all sin, but some of us for no reason other than God deciding it go to heaven, and everyone else, just as bad as us, are all going to hell. Um, we have a problem of justice here. It is like four gangsters are brought before a judge for murder, all four are totally guilty, but the judge chooses to save one of them and sends the rest off to execution. Would that be just? How can he punish some of them, and let one go? They are all guilty. Same with God, it would not be just for him to punish some, and have mercy on some would it? If God is just, election as I believe you see it cannot work, it would violate the very nature of God, it violates scripture which repeatedly speaks of God being righteous and just, long-suffering and merciful. Would you call it merciful for God to give mercy to a certain group of people and not even give the chance to everyone else?
I have a question to ask you: Why did Jesus die? If God chose who should be saved from the foundation of the world, why need Christ die since they were already chosen?

I hope that in this post you will see that, God calls all to repentance, since all are sinners and he calls the sinners. That, salvation is a choice, not forced, we choose to believe, or not. That election is unjust, unfair, and unrighteous, and if God is Just and Righteous, then election could not happen. This post may come across as harsh, I don't mean it so, I just mean to speak the truth, if I am wrong, show me how from scripture, I am open and listening.

On closing, I implore all of my readers this day, please read your Bible. Read it carefully from beginning to end, please, read it without any bias from doctrines of men, just read what it says, and believe it, don't just listen to men tell you what it says, check on them, check every doctrine in the light of all of scripture, please don't for anything base your doctrines on just part of scripture, don't just use a few verses use the whole of scripture.

God Bless,

Flame of Jah

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hell Part II

Okay, so hell is real in all that, but what is it like?  For the sake of time and simplicity, I will combine hell and the Lake of fire in this post, they are different as in different places, but they are both very similar in what they are like.

In the last study we learned that hell is a place of torment, in the presence of God with fire.  It sounds bad, but let me illustrate just what it might be like.  You are dropped into the middle of a bonfire...  You cannot escape... You can feel all the pain of the flame, but...  You cannot die...  Ever...  You are thirsty... There is no water...  The pain continues you wish to die but you cannot...  All the while in the back ground others in the fire are screaming and gnashing their teeth...  You are too...  Just think of this all for a minute, imagine the above scenario for two minutes, what about ten?  How about sixty?  One day?  A year?  How about eternity?

We have all been burned sometime in our lives. Imagine the pain of the burn going on forever, it never diminishes, and you never die.  On top of that you are desperately thirsty.  You cannot quench your thirst at all, there is no water, think about what it is like when you are really thirsty, then start adding time, and heat, imagine the pain and desperation.  You cannot escape.  On top of all this you have all the teeth gnashing, and the moans screams and groans, along with the horrible suffocating smell of sulfur.  Folks, words fail to tell the half of it, you have to really feel it to know. 

Say have you ever been burned really bad?  I have, it was a steam burn to the face, and it hurt terribly for days, after the source of heat was removed.  I can't even imagine if it was a dry burn how it would have hurt, and folks, it wont be wet in  hell, it will be fire, not steam.  Have you ever tended a large brush fire?  How unbearable the heat can be, even when you are at a distance, just think of being actually in the fire, what would it be like then?  Hell is like that but worse.  In hell there is no second chances, you are there to stay, no escape, no help, you are stuck there, burning, burning forever.  The pain is worse than anything that can be described, and it goes on forever.  Stick you finger in the flame of a candle and hold it there till you cannot bare it, multiply that pain by a hundred all over your body, make escape impossible, death impossible, water no where to be found, throw in the stifling sulfur, the gnashing, and eternity, then my friends you have hell. 

Here is some good news to end on, nobody has to go there, no one, period.  I'll tell you about that next post.

God Bless,
                 Flame of Jah