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From the Same Person as 27 and 28: Kenites, Israel, Election, and Attitude, in Multiple Parts
God Is No Respecter of Persons. What is the Impact of that Precept on the doctrine of God's Unmerited Grace
This mailer had become more and more focused on me personally; as opposed to the declared purpose and subject of this page, which is to discuss what I think are the false doctrines of the Shepherd's Chapel.
When one is being attacked personally, there is a point at which too vigorous a defense is not appropriate. On the other hand, some charges must be answered lest silence be mistaken for assent. I try my best to judge which is the best course at the appropriate time.
This was our final exchange and I did not take my usual care to answer every point made. I do address his claims, point by point in several editorial responses which follow my original responses.
----- Original Message -----
My First Response:edits in maroon and in ( ), as in: (this is an example of an edit)
"Many people say I dwell "too much on the negative," because I have cast most of what I believe in the shadow of the teachings I believe are false. This is the way God revealed himself to me, at first, through false teachers, so it is natural for me to explain what I believe in terms of the things I have rejected. "
"I disagree that what I do is "negative," exposing false doctrine is a positive contribution. But, I thought it would be good to write the "positive side" of the things I believe. So this page is dedicated to my instruction, answering the question, "What do you teach?"
Bible Studies - (These are my downloadable audio bible studies, presented in chapter by chapter, line by line form, I will instruct you by whole books of the Bible).
The following are the things which I affirm. Not presented in opposition to what is false, but presented for the truth's sake alone.
Emailer's First Reply:
My Second Response: edits in maroon and in ( ), as in: (this is an example of an edit)
And in addition: As I said, the idea of "respect of persons" means that God does not favor us based on our background, race, wealth, nobility, or any other factor which men may use to discriminate against one another. Anyone can be saved, regardless of race, or any other factor such as described in the scriptures, wealth, power, prestige, fame, God does not respect the rich and famous, or favor them. That is what "without respect of persons" means.
I believe that his idea is that if what I say is true and God chooses some for salvation and others for destruction (and these choices are fixed) then that would imply some sort of respect of persons on the part of God. That is not what it implies. It implies a respect of his own purposes, not of men's persons. God chooses us for salvation, not based on who we are but based on his purpose. That is the opposite of "respect of persons."
It is not of him that wills or of him that runs but of God that shows mercy. Therefore he has mercy on whom he will and whom he wills he hardens. There is no respect of persons in that.
Emailer's Second Reply:
My Original Response
My Further Editorial Response (not via email):
I have never said that there were no exclusions, I did say God made exceptions to those exclusions.
Then they would not be exclusions. He is contradicting the terms. I said that by the will of God that some men are excluded from any possibility of salvation. This guys is saying, "Yes God excludes some from salvation by his will, but there are exceptions." There are no exceptions to the will and purposes of God.
What confuses this writer and others is the fact that someone might appear to us (from the human perspective) to be one that ought to be excluded from salvation by the will of God. And when we see them obtain salvation, we may mistakenly think that God has changed His Mind. But this is an illusion of our own creation, we cannot see the world and the lives of men as God sees them and we cannot see the purposes and will of God either. So this whole "exception to exclusions" idea of his comes from a wrong-headed view that amounts to the arrogance of ignorance. What we cannot know we ought not assume to know.
God converted Nebucadnezzar a type of anti-Christ into a believer for the purposes of his will. You are the one that said a tare could not be converted.
That is exactly the sort of wrong-headed/arrogance of ignorance I was just writing about. He thinks that Nebuchadnezzar was a "tare" and was changed into wheat. Someone who "looks like a tare" to man, is not to be inserted into the parable as an example of a tare transforming into wheat.
He misunderstands the parable of the tares and he misunderstands the immutability of God's purpose. In the parable of the tares there were two types of plants, one kind to be destroyed, tares, and one to be saved, wheat, ultimately, there is no crossing over from one to the other.
When the workers ask if they should immediately root up the tares the farmer says no. The reason he gives is that they might uproot the wheat by mistake. The workers could not tell the difference between wheat and tare until the harvest, neither can we. But that does not mean that he that purposed it, and created them does not know, because the scriptures declare he does.
For this purpose the message of the parable is that while we are "growing up" in the earth, the righteous and the wicked may at times be indistinguishable (to man), but the day of harvest will out the truth. But, apart from our inability to judge such things, they are what they were created to be, and will be dealt with according to what they are revealed to be. The Farmer does not suggest that the reason the workers should not root out the tares is that the tares might suddenly change into wheat. That is never suggested, and is , in fact, quite ridiculous.
But then you are an expert on the will of God.
Thank you for that endorsement. I know you meant it with all sincerity. All I know is what is plainly said by the scriptures and I have reiterated it time and again. This writer's problem is that instead of accepting what is written, he goes about to correct what is written so that is suits his own philosophical model of how things ought to be. He can't give up his belief that man can alter the purposes and election of God by his deeds. (And that is exactly the truth XXX)
Man by nature wills to do evil,and God created him that way,and the wages of sin is death. It may be said that man by nature is a tare. Without the presence of the spirit of God within him,what else can he be?
Did he learn nothing of the parable of the tares? That there are tares and there are wheat? A sinner is not a tare. A tare is a plant for which there is no use besides burning. A person who is a tare is someone who will never be saved, because all the tares were burned.
Having said that ,it turns out that God makes many exceptions to your so called exclusions.
No, he does not. All tares will be burned. The writer's problem is that he deceives himself and thinks he knows better than angels, he thinks he knows a tare when he sees one.
"Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:" Matt 13
What is evil?,what is good ? These are concepts,names given to phenomena that we can sense or observe such as darkness and light,cold and heat. Dark is simply the absence of light and cold is the absence of heat.In the same sense evil is the absence of good.
He has not given this much thought. That is wrong. .Evil is not simply the absence of good, because something can be evil and still have good in it. So that cannot be right. It does not have to be pure evil to be evil. Righteousness is the absence of unrighteousness, but I think it is more than that, I'm not going to write a thesis on the nature of Good and evil right here, but I hate over-simplifications like these. They seem right at first glance but do not withstand scrutiny and the statement is not biblical either. Evil is not merely the absence of good. The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil had both in it.
Evil cannot abide in Gods presence. In the same sense God will not and can not abide in the presence of evil, for good and evil cannot abide in the same place ,the same as heat and cold and dark and light cannot occupy the same place at once. Evil men are the result of God simply withholding his spirit from said men?
Well, as the scriptures say, can bitter and sweet water flow from the same fountain? Not in nature. But when that fountain is the human mouth, oddly, it can. We praise God and curse men made in his image. (James) Men can have both good and evil in them, but we know that God does not judge on a sliding scale. True Good, indeed is without evil as true righteousness has no unrighteousness in it.
In the same sense God will not and can not abide in the presence of evil
How then do we explain the presence of Satan before God (Job 1)? I'm just saying what comes to mind. I'm not trying to contradict what he says. Of course God and Satan do not occupy the throne together. This is the strange thing about this writer, he blasts me for my stand on the absolute sovereignty of God but himself stands resolutely on ideas that are far less well-established as absolutes.
The realm of evil exists outside the realm of good ,two separate realms.Can we then say that the earth is between the realm of good and the realm of evil, a place of testing for souls ,a place where souls are culled out for a position in the government of God that is to come upon this earth.
Good and evil are mixed before my eyes in the above statement with speculations and snips of the truth mingled in, is it good? I say what he says is not good, not true.
There is no doubt that God created these realms for his purposes and pleasure according to his will.
There is no doubt that good and evil struggle within the minds of men,you might even say that it is the only place in the universe where good and evil co-exist in a virtual wresting match.. Yes God ordained certain men and gave them the will to reject evil with his spirit and certain men the will to reject good with the lack of his spirit,from the foundations of the world, but there is no struggle within their minds for they have been willed respectively. What about the rest?
There is no "the rest." I will direct your attention again to the parable of the tares, there are only two kinds.
What about faith?This is also a concept,yet we can see or observe it in operation in the abundance or lack of it . Faith can be witnessed growing and waning.. Both who extol good or evil exhibit strong faith in their respective endeavors even to the death,but the rest follow like sheep respectively and stray like sheep respectively grab hold of and fall away from respectively. So I ask where does the true struggle between good and evil abide? Certainly not in the minds of those men who where ordained from the foundation of the world ,willed to do evil or good respectively.Yes we can see the results of this struggle between good and evil in these men in the physical world but that is not where the main struggle for mens souls abides.
No, this is all foreign to me. He thinks that the tares are exceedingly tare-ish. I mean the way he talks about everything is that he has to see it, to observe it. The men who are ordained to do evil, in his model, all realize that is what they are doing. The presumptions here are all misguided and skewed. The good, likewise are exceeding good, and then he has another group in the middle "the rest" This is getting close to Dr. Murray's doctrine, the good and bad elect and the people in the middle. Nonsense. Unbiblical.
The main struggle between good and evil abides in the minds of those men who are not foreordained from the foundations of the world,not willed to do good or evil. These are under both the influence of good and evil and struggle towards either a good or evil outcome in both the spiritual and physical depending on where their faith takes them, for the purposes of God.Is this self will? I don't know ,maybe it is simply the will of God.
What a clever idea. But it is a lie. The problem is that "those men who are not foreordained" DO NOT EXIST. The scriptures certainly never mention them.
This is just a fable. A fiction. A lie.
2Tim4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
That is where we are right now, in the land of make-believe.
Only in the minds of men can these concepts discussed be given credence or if you will existence.The new born have done no evil or good things ,but shall do evil without the presence of Gods spirit. It is mans nature to do evil simply because of the lack of the presence of Gods spirit for only God is good. Spiritually speaking it is in the minds of men where good and evil collide and the flesh is the interface that exhibits the results.The minds of men have two doors,one to the realm of good and the other to the realm of evil. The minds of the elect have only one door open in their minds,in respect to good and evil,the rest have two doors open in their minds ,to good and evil.
The problem just becomes one of origin, after listening to this fellow for so long, and now even after a year, I can hardly stand it anymore. All my patience for him is run out, I've been patient, but even the Lord does not wait forever, just long. I have no respect for this man's ideas, so it becomes difficult to even get serious about correcting the same repeated errors over and over and over. His philosophy springs from incorrect assumptions so the end result is corrupt. Period.
Regardless, God controls the opening and closing of these doors through the conscience of man.God does make exceptions to exclusions at times and opens the door to evil in the minds of his good elect,to show them what the true nature of man is,and also the door to good in the minds of his evil elect to show the true nature of God. God opened the door to evil in the mind of one of the 12 and the mind of a type of anti-Christ to good for the purposes of his will.
He talks about ideas but they are all his ideas, I like to stick to what the scriptures say, so I will merely refer the balance of my remarks to my audio bible studies. (especially Romans and Ephesians) if you want to know the real story, the Christian idea of how things really are, then listen to all my studies.
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